Are criticisms of the Beatles as a Live Band overblown?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by JABEE, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    Location:
    S FL
    Your comments are not really accurate. Like almost all pop/rock bands up to the mid sixties, the Beatles had pretty clean guitar tones. However, starting a round '64, they increasingly used distortion pedals, drove their tube Vox and Fender amps to distortion and used the fuzz/distortion effects built into their Vox solid state amps, live and in the studio.
     
  2. maccafan

    maccafan Forum Resident

    I think the idea that the Beatles weren't a good live band is ABSOLUTELY DELUSIONAL!

    The recent release of the Beatles LIVE AT THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL kills all that NONSENSE!

    Haven't you guys seen the WASHINGTON COLISEUM CONCERT?! How can anyone watch that and say the Beatles weren't a good live band?!
    I have always thought that was just TOTAL INSANITY!

    1966 is the only time the Beatles began to sort of slide live, and that wasn't because they were no longer good, it was because they weren't enjoying it anymore, and even that was because of other reasons!

    The Beatles were FANTASTIC live!
     
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  3. FrixFrixFrix

    FrixFrixFrix Forum Resident

    Location:
    Parts Unknown
    If there's one thing that makes me trust an opinion on the internet, it's randomly distributed ALL CAPS.
     
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  4. Ephi82

    Ephi82 Still have two ears working

    Location:
    S FL
    Those that say the Beatles weren't a great live band don't know what they are talking about.

    The Beatles got their big break in the US on Ed Sullivan because Ed witnessed Beatlemania at Heathrow when the Beatles returned from a tour of Europe.

    The fans in UK went nuts for the Beatles because of their live shows across the country and through the Please, Please Me record, which was essentially a studio recording of their live show of the time.

    They built their live playing chops by playing hundreds of long nights in sweaty clubs like the Cavern and those in Hamburg.

    Add to this the FACT that no other band of the time wrote incredible, unique songs, had two great lead singers, sang in three part harmonies and had McCartney on bass and Starr on drums.
     
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  5. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

     
  6. Tristero

    Tristero Forum Resident

    Location:
    MI
    Yeah, I'm sure that they were a lot more exciting back in '63-'64, when they were young and hungry. Unfortunately, I'm more of a fan of their mid to late 60s output, by which point they had understandably grown weary of the grind.
     
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  7. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    The Beatles performed:Twist And Shout, I'm A Loser, Baby's In Black, Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby, Can't Buy Me Love, Honey Don't, I Feel Fine, She's A Woman, A Hard Day's Night, Rock And Roll Music and Long Tall Sally at the 1964/5 Christmas Shows. The autumn 64 tour included I'm Happy Just to Dance With You and I Should Have Known Better.
    The Liverpool concert available on b**tl*gs with 8 minutes video surviving was 7 December 1963.
     
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  8. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    They went totally country-and-roots rock there for a spell.
     
  9. nikh33

    nikh33 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Liverpool, England
    The Carl Perkins Years
     
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  10. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    The Beatles tried an all-caps logo with a Super-B and a Capitol-B with lowercase-eatles. The ALL CAPS one prevailed.

    The paper-over one from 1960 is great, too, but they wouldn't have made it with it, and the snail one would have been ridiculed back into its shell. :)

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Mainline461

    Mainline461 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tamiami Trail
    I hear clean and you hear distorted; I can live with that.:righton:
     
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  12. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Well, no....it's not an official EMI release. The DVD is From Germany. I picked it up over ten years ago at the local HMV.

    The total disk is 80 minutes.
    Budokan Tokyo, June 30, 1966 - Evening show.
    July 1, 1966 - Afternoon show.
    Bonus: Japan footage, Press conference.

    I didn't know they preformed four shows over two days. Or was it two shows over two days?
     
  13. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    No really?...Does he really enjoy smelling his own flatulence? That could explain a lot..mmmmm. I understand he didn't think "Their Majestys Satanic Request" was any good either. I love (sarcasm) the way bands look back on their career and smash their classic albums. Neil Peart used to say how nothing was really any good before "Moving Pictures." At least he dropped that nonsense. But his comment regarding "Caress Of Steel" being I quote, "Ohh, that's weird.." bothers me. To me it's like going to the local pool hall and bad mouthing your kids to your pool buddies. (My ex-girlfriends father used to do that)
     
  14. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    Hard to argue with that!
     
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  15. bob60

    bob60 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    It's the internet equivalent of throwing your toys out of the pram :D
     
  16. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma
    Looks like it was 5 shows
    The Beatles' 1966 tour of Germany, Japan and the Philippines - Wikipedia
    The Japan shows are........
    30 June 1966 (1 show)
    1 July 1966(two shows)
    2 July 1966(two shows)
    The filmed shows being the June 30th one, and the 1st on July 1st.
    I did know there were two filmed shows, but always thought they were an afternoon and evening performance from the same day

    Listening to this right now. I think it's one of the unfilmed shows...
    Day Tripper rocks, best live version I've heard.

    Seems to be a great show... Babys in black nice vocals..
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
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  17. drbryant

    drbryant Forum Resident

    I think that quite a bit of the widely held view that the Beatles were a poor live band arises from Lennon’s comments and the fact that, among hardcore fans, the first widely available live shows weren’t very good in terms of performances or sound quality. I think the first bootlegs I had in the mid-70’s were initially on cassette tape. The best sound quality was Budokan, which we now know was just one poor performance by the band, but back then became somewhat representative.

    Listening today to television studio recordings, shows like Blackpool/the Royal Command performance and the BBC tapes, it’s clear that they could actually could have been quite good if they could just hear each other and that the live shows aren’t a fair representation of their abilities.
     
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  18. BDC

    BDC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Tacoma
    I think the show I posted here is a great Japan show, it's not one of the filmed ones, Paperback Writer is excellent. Ringo does a very good vocal on I wanna be your man, better than the studio version and any Jagger version I've heard. One of the best Yesterday's I've ever heard.. I consider it a great show, and the best 66 show I've heard.
     
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  19. ODIrony

    ODIrony Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, VA
    That's the thing though, isn't it. In 1966, there weren't such things as a "a normal roadie group" or "soundchecks" per se. The soundcheck was plugging your guitar in, looking at the amp's volume setting, and waiting for the count-off. Somewhere out there is a shortish documentary on Candlestick Park in which near the end, someone, speaking of the primitive state of stage preparation, sound systems, etc, says something to the effect that the Beatles walked off the stage for the last time, and fifteen minutes later the birth of modern-day Rock concerts began.
     
  20. Arnold Grove

    Arnold Grove Senior Member

    Location:
    NYC
    IF you believe that the audio is NOT from one of the two filmed performances, do you have any idea where the tape originates from? Did Japanese radio, for instance, broadcast the other shows? Because otherwise, I don't think that anyone in the audience made a recording of one of the 3 non-filmed performances.

    Just curious.
     
  21. ODIrony

    ODIrony Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, VA
    I don't think it was so much of Brian "neutering" them live as what constituted a live show at the time. We think of a live Rock concert as just that - a concert. Back then, a live show was pretty much a variety package with two or more opening acts followed by the big stars. Shea Stadium represents a sort of peak example; it was, what? approximately an hour or so long? Maybe 90 minutes, at most? As Neil commented, you had just enough time to play your hits and get off.
     
  22. wiseblood

    wiseblood Forum Resident

    Location:
    Boston, MA, USA
    With every year that passed they got a little more annoyed with being on the road and that factored into their live performances greatly.

    early years to 1964: can't miss. If you watch the Washington DC show and think they're tired of being on the road or live performance I don't know what you're looking for because they're great. Amazing. SO much energy. Granted, that's their first concert in the US, but still...SO very good.
    1965: Beatlemania as we knew it had changed. The audiences were loud and I think they really grew tired of it even by the end of 1964. They were still good, but getting sloppy. I'm curious to know how the original Shea concert sounded before "sweetening" (and let's be honest, they really just re-recorded that thing because it was terrible for release. By calling it "sweetening" they are really just glossing over the fact that by this point the live show was a burden and they didn't care as much).
    1966: SLOPPY! However...I'll never in a million years forget seeing the Japan footage for the first time as a 4 year old kid on "The Compleat Beatles". How great was that? And they sounded pretty damn good. Still though, you could hear they were tired and totally over it.

    Their most valuable member in a live show? Ringo. Listen to the Hollywood Bowl boots and hear how much groove and style he had.

    Decent live band, not amazing. I often wonder what it would have been like with proper sound systems installed AND a visual "hey, we give a crap" attitude post 1964.
     
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  23. ODIrony

    ODIrony Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, VA
    The Stones or the Beatles?
     
  24. ODIrony

    ODIrony Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, VA
    You make an excellent point: There's a difference between a band playing crap because they can't play better versus a band playing crap because they can't be bothered.
     
  25. ODIrony

    ODIrony Forum Resident

    Location:
    Danville, VA
    Wow. I've never heard that one before. You are right. They are much more polished than the two video recorded shows. The comments about their shock at finally having a respectful audience and it prompting them to "get it together" for subsequent shows now rings true. It just took them the first two shows to fully get back into it. And yeah, on that one, Paperback Writer is amazing.
     
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