Could the Beatles have broken more ground and/or pioneered more?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Myrtonos, May 19, 2023.

  1. healter skealter

    healter skealter Domestic marshmallow

    That's what you get for setting the bar so high with your comparison to @Wildest cat from montana . Couldn't you have chosen someone from the lower echelons of poaters? There's plenty of them, you know.
  2. Tristero

    Tristero I Prophesy Disaster

    I don't disagree with you about "Eight Miles High" at all--it's a powerful, groundbreaking song. I just don't consider it to be space rock.
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  3. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

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  4. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    Brilliant song. I guess I'd call it psychedelia, if such labels must be applied.
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  5. HfxBob

    HfxBob Forum Resident

    There's a story about McCartney being in San Fran and playing an acetate of A Day in The Life for members of Jefferson Airplane. Paulie showing off, I guess, but reportedly it worked-the Airplane was gobsmacked by what they were hearing, and kind of "now what do we do, after hearing this"...
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  6. healter skealter

    healter skealter Domestic marshmallow

    Understandable reaction from the Jeffs. Indeed, it took them another 18 years to produce anything of equal calibre.
    Last edited: May 26, 2023
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  7. NightGoatToCairo

    NightGoatToCairo That's my Wookey Hole, Chewbacca!

    Hampshire, UK
    Quicker than Paulie.
  8. healter skealter

    healter skealter Domestic marshmallow

    True, but to be fair he's had little opportunity since then to insert another irritating & incongruous non-sequitur contribution into a superior songwriter's composition just to claim a co-write.
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  9. Tristero

    Tristero I Prophesy Disaster

    Certainly, and of course, the Beatles went that route too but both bands remained pretty song-oriented in their psychedelic excursions.
    I can think of only one occasion where Paul dabbled in a bit of space rock. It sounds like he'd been listening to Pink Floyd when he made "Loup", but while it was kind of an interesting experiment, the style wasn't really a natural fit for him.

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  10. wildstar

    wildstar Senior Member

    ontario, canada
    Well, that WOULD require a very vivid imagination, since in REALITY:

    1 - the Beatles DID use a Moog synthesizer on Abbey Road in 1969.

    2 - However, The Monkees and The Byrds both beat them to it, using a Moog synthesizer on their records 2 YEARS earlier.

    Speaking of the Byrds - some of their innovations:

    1 - Folk-rock (in their words a conscious melding of the music of The Beatles and Bob Dylan)

    2 - Proto-psych with '8 Miles High' released several months before 'Paperback Writer' and Revolver. This track was inspired by the Byrds recent touring where while travelling between concerts, they had a cassette player (McGuinn was always into the latest gadgets) running through a guitar amp playing (non-stop) a cassette with John Coltrane on one side and Ravi Shankar on the other. Also apparently the Byrds introduced the Beatles to Ravi Shankar's music when hanging out with the Beatles in LA during the Beatles 1965 US tour (so quite possibly, no Byrds = no sitar on Norwegian Wood).

    3 - The 'Younger Than Yesterday' album from Feb 1967 was split almost down the middle alternating between jazz-rock (Crosby) and country-rock (Hillman) with some vestiges of folk rock (McGuinn).

    4 - The next album NBB melded those different styles into a more cohesive whole, and added baroque-pop to the mix (and ending the album with an experimental Moog track).

    5 - The next album was meant to be a double concept album about the history of music throughout (at least) the 20th century (if not starting even prior to that) starting at least as far back as turn of the century proto-country, proto-jazz, proto-blues musics and following chronologically their evolutions through all major music forms to the then present day AND predicting what might happen in the last quarter of the 20th century using the Moog (if it was just like what he'd already done with the Moog previously, McGuinn's "future music predictions" would have failed - however if he put a strong repetitive beat behind the Moog, his prediction may have actually been pretty close.

    Anyway that album never happened - though it could be argued that one could make a reasonable facsimile of what it may have sounded like by pulling individual tracks from other Byrds albums that sound like they COULD have come from such an album. Anyway Gram Parsons wasn't hired to be a country singer with an acoustic guitar for the Byrds, but rather to be a jazz piano player for the intended double "History of Modern Music" concept album.

    During rehearsals Gram picked up an acoustic guitar and sang a country hit from the 50s and Hillman immediately joined in singing harmony, and the focus changed from including *some* country music on the album (along with every other genre of modern music) into making it an ALL country album.

    That album 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo' (recorded in Nashville, and employing professional country session musicians) is called and is often acclaimed as a groundbreaking "country-rock" album, but I hear almost no rock in it apart from *maybe* 2-4 songs (not to mention that the Byrds themselves had ALREADY done country rock (in far closer to a 50/50 mix of the two ingredient styles) with Hillman's YTY tracks. OTOH, released the same month as Sweetheart, ex-Byrd Gene Clark made a groundbreaking "Newgrass" album along with Doug Dillard (which combined bluegrass and rock). A year later ex-Byrds Parsons and Hillman teamed up in the Flying Burrito Brothers to do a full-on, proper melding of country and rock with 'The Guilded Palace Of Sin' album (and arguably a mix of country and Psychedelic rock, given the tape-speed manipulation of a couple tracks and the liberal use of the unique-sounding pedal-steel guitar run through a fuzz-box).
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  11. Evethingandnothing

    Evethingandnothing Forum Resident

    Yeah, I love that they were all feeding off of each other and not really doing stuff in isolation. If you want that, listen to The Shaggs, which I love too btw.
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
  12. You do realize Manson was a big Beatles fan. Know your history.
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  13. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    What was that??
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  14. human riff 999

    human riff 999 Forum Resident

    They were a great studio band...they were not a live band at all..
    a fanatic he was.....for sure...he preached their gospel.

    I think they would have been interesting to see live later on....not the on the roof LIB stuff....they were really not into it at that point they were just going through the motions...that was a death knell. They could have put their egos aside, pulled their pants up and stop showing their asses, and stop acting like a Boy Band....they invented Boy Band in my opinion all that sappy stuff early thanks!!!!!!!! Get out there and rock dammit...they could have done it...they were playing rock music later and were damn good at much potential so little live results..... a lot of that early stuff to me is just not like it!!!! rock guys!!!! Too much love stuff for me!

    Some of the stuff from Pepper onward would have been interesting to hear live Pepper Reprise as a rocking tune...would have been great.....lot of the White Album....Sexy Sadie as a hard blues, Everybodys Got Something To Hide as a jam improvisation...Why Dont We Do It Birthday....some acoustic stuff Julia Long Long Long Mother Natures Son....and stuff from Abbey Road The End Maxwell.....very viable live.....they could do Something acoustic.....and Here Comes The Sun was proven to be killer at much live potential for them....but they quit in 66.....I would love to get in their ass....push them to play their music live.....forget the studio....get out there and play!!!!! Thats what The Stones did....they realized doing those hit singles and Satanic was futile after a the 60s wound down, people wanted to hear these big bands 1969 The Stones hit the road and became might have saved The Fabs had they tried it when The Stones did it!!!!!
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  15. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    NC USA
    When Charlie finally heard the White album on CD, he suddenly realized the error of his ways.
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  16. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Yes. The crescendo at the end of A Day In A Life ascends upward, almost like a rocket taking off with great force upon lift-off.

    Across The Universe is very ethereal and space themed in a way...not soaring *rock* but something quite different than most Beatles songs.

    George Martin said John often was looking for other worldly sounds and atmospherics. #9 Dream typifies this. A type of "flying" and transcendence.

    A Day in the Life - Wikipedia
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  17. RickH

    RickH Connoisseur of deep album cuts

    Raleigh, NC
    Short answer: yes, they could have if they had wanted to
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  18. a customer

    a customer Forum Resident

    The answer to the thread is no
    Seven years is fifty years today

    I just watched the first half of dick cavetts 1971 interview. Dreadful on both sides.
    Cavett too awestruck Lennon spending too much time on stupid wordplay.
    I cut it off after 30 minutes
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  19. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I actually believe that the rooftop was more than going through the motions. Not the sessions in general but I think for that fleeting “moment” on the roof, they “felt” it as they had in many years past, before the mania disease set it; the extended look into those sessions in the Get Back film made the combined joy on the roof that much more poignant. Sadly, “fleeting moment” is the operative phrase here. We’d be talking about “The Beatles Story” in a whole other way today had they come off the rooftop “gig” saying to each other, “what do you think, should we pursue this..??”. Not to be.
  20. lawrev

    lawrev Forum Resident

    San Antonio, TX
    Lennon said on the radio in the early 70s (73 or 74) that if they had stuck together in the 70s they would have become something similar to ELO. While I agree with that sentiment, I don't think the Beatles would have released pop disco like Discovery and Xanadu. :)
  21. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Levittown. NY
    I always thought that was a very self limiting (I’ll be polite and not say, “ignorant”)statement on John’s part. I always heard ELO as creating every different type of song they could come up with, with The Beatles’ 1967 orchestral production as the basis for all of them. The Beatles would’ve never repeated themselves.
    DRM likes this.
  22. wildstar

    wildstar Senior Member

    ontario, canada
    I'm baffled by how impressed you are by this. It does nothing that cannot be done manually - it just automates one step (ie physically singing or playing a part twice)...not to mention how do you know they/EMI were first? We know about the Beatles requesting that the EMI staff come up with a lazy way around double tracking (due to Lennon's laziness/distaste of having to sing something twice) because its discussed at length in 'The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions' book....but how do you KNOW that someone else didn't come up with a similar thing in the US (or elsewhere) earlier than that?

    Also making a big deal about ADT as a groundbreaking achievement (and giving the credit to the Beatles for it) is kinda nutty, since speaking of technical advancements, The Beatles were among the LAST bands to regularly record on 8-track (as opposed to 4-track). Heck they were still using 4-track at EMI after 16-track first became a thing.

    ...but of course, the number of tracks available has no relevance beyond the fact that the availability of additional tracks makes the process of recording easier (in that it removes the time wasting step of having to pre-mix/bounce tracks together to allow additional overdubs on a 4 track, as opposed to not needing to bounce tracks at all when using an 8 or 16 track machine. Recording is still recording, whether a new piece of machinery (NOT created by the band members themselves) eases/removed one step from the recording process.

    BTW speaking of a band actually creating a new piece of equipment/technical innovation, there are several that can be mentioned (and none of them are the Beatles).

    For example:

    1 - latter day Byrds lead guitarist Clarence White told the Byrds drummer at the time, with whom he'd been friends/musical collaborators for several years prior to joining the Byrds, that he wanted to be able to bend strings on his guitar in the same way that a pedal steel player bends strings, but NOT external to the guitar (ie externally hooking rods from the guitar and into a floor pedal). He wanted a mechanism built into the guitar. Well his drummer friend was a machinist by trade, so together they developed and the drummer (Gene Parsons) built the first, later patented. 'Parsons/White Stringbender' (aka B-Bender, as that was the string that was most commonly set up to be bent, as its the most easily bendable string, that isn't also the most breakable string). Later they added the ability to bend an additional string simultaneously, so in addition to the player also bending another string with his finger, this allowed a B-Bender guitar to bend entire chords - even barred chords (which prior to its invention, was impossible).

    2 - Tom Scholtz (Boston leader/guitarist) has a master's degree in engineering from MIT and he designed and built the home studio in which he recorded (AFAIK at least) the first and third Boston albums, and he holds several patents including one for the 'Rockman' guitar pedal which replicates the "Boston-sound' without needing a huge stack of outboard equipment/amps.

    3 - Kevin Godley and Lol Creme hold a patent for their invention of the "Gizmotron" device which attaches to the bridge of a guitar, and essentially "bows" the strings to provide endless sustain (almost a violin or synthesizer type effect). Both 10CC and Godley and Creme (after leaving 10CC) used the Gizmotron extensively on records.

    BTW Led Zeppelin used the Gizmotron on at least a couple tracks on the 'In Through The Out Door' album, and used the earlier mentioned "Parsons-White Stringbender' on (at least) live versions of 'Ten Years Gone'.

    These are impressive technical engineering achievements providing sound palettes that simply did not exist prior to their invention (and they were ALL invented by the musicians themselves)...

    ...but you continue to insist that Lennon's complaining to the EMI staff that he was too lazy to want to have to deal with singing his vocal a second time, is some kind of praiseworthy "achievement" on his part :crazy:

    What does a Japanese deep-fried seafood dish have to do with anything we're discussing?

    That's not even a real word (at least not according to google).
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  23. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    Yes. John said he liked ELO and that they were an extension of what the Beatles had been doing. Not that the Beatles wanted to be like ELO.
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  24. DRM

    DRM Forum Resident

    The Beatles and Geoff Emerick were very innovative and broke new ground in the creative way they recorded instruments and vocals during the 1966-1967 period. The way they manipulated tape.

    George Martin played an important role as well.
    Last edited: May 27, 2023
  25. Myrtonos

    Myrtonos Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Look, it is mentioned in a video embedded right that the start of this thread and I have read elsewhere that artificial double tracking was developed for John Lennon and this was because John refused to attend double tracking sessions. I first read above this in a book with a transcript of the Beatles' Anthology T.V series.
    Well, artificial double tracking does save time, and note that Sgt. Pepper took months to make, so maybe time saving was important.

    By the way, I meant to write tanpura, as far as I know, the Beatles were the first to use that Indian instrument or a rock or pop recording, same with the sarangi.

    I know the Moog was used a bit on Abbey road but I thought the Beatles could have used it more extensively on later albums, another idea I mentioned is use of polymeter, there is a brief period of it on Happiness is a Warm Gun.

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