100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

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Blair N. Cummings
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Joined: Fri Jun 11, 2004 4:14 pm

100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

http://sabotagetimes.com/music/the-beat ... -fab-four/
Not as funny as it could have been but spot on, anyway.
The most over-rated act in pop music history.
BachtoBacharach
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Second and third most overrated?? My vote would go to Mr. Frank Sinatra and Ms, Aretha Franklin. Sinatra was always a mediocre vocalist who had the best producers working with him and who always made his seem much better than he really was...Aretha Franklin sang some things well but she was the 1960s version of those who are hyped so heavily today...her catalog is weak when it's considered as a whole and her persona so well known today was largely created by Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun to be the "angry black power female anthem singer" after Columbia's Mitch Miller tried to turn her into an African-American Barbra Streisand in the early and mid-sixties and failed miserably...Aretha's cover of Walk on By from that period is excruciatingly bad...her vocals on that defy description. Her two best tunes? A Natural Woman and Respect. Her version of I Say A Little Prayer is pretty good too. Aretha was many times spectacularly bad in concert as well and was never a comfortable concert performer. Hell yes, Aretha could belt out a song but in the process, she practically destroyed the subtlety of any Bacharach-David tune (among many others) she covered (and she covered quite a few) with her gut-bucket approach (again the only exception to that IMHO is ISALP). Just my opinion for what little it's worth.
Blair N. Cummings
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

In the more or less moribund category of professional singer, I ask myself "Who would I listen to even if they were performing a song I really disliked?" and two names spring immediately to mind: Andy Williams and Carmen McRae. I know, they`re stylistically worlds apart but I loved them both.
Blair N. Cummings
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

And five additional reasons that the Beatles suck: http://internetisinamerica.blogspot.com ... -suck.html
BachtoBacharach
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Andy Williams and Carmen McRae are woefully underrated along with Dionne Warwick. Andy could sing anything and do it well. Carmen McRae and Dionne Warwick share a lot of vocal similarities to my ear. Another favorite of mine is Ella Fitzgerald who was criticized for being "too white" and too subtle (much the same was aimed at Dionne Warwick during her career) but Ella could scat like no other. Cissy Houston said in defense of her niece regarding those comments that Dionne Warwick wasn't black enough...Cissy's response was "just what is 'black enough'?" Bing Crosby is another who was somewhat underrated but was a superb performer in many genres. And blasphemy here, Elvis Presley was great in the early part of his career but his later stuff is not that compelling or interesting. He like Sinatra and Franklin, was more hype than anything else and they turned out a lot of dreck later in their careers.
blueonblue
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by blueonblue »

And don't forget Dean Martin.

"blue"
Blair N. Cummings
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

I have all of Ella`s "Songbook" recordings. No one need look further for an introduction to what is now called the Great American Songbook. Michael Feinstein may be its curator - and an able one - but Ella is its great, near-contemporary interpreter (even if I personally prefer Carmaen`s voice).
BachtoBacharach
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by BachtoBacharach »

My favorite series of albums ever. Ella could do it all. I never get tired of listening. The first recording I remember falling in love with as a child was an old, old 78 RPM recording of Ella singing A-Tisket, A-Tasket on the Decca blue label which I had found in my grandparent's attic. I still have that 78 along with all the others my grandmother passed on to me before she died.
face
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by face »

BachtoBacharach wrote:Second and third most overrated?? My vote would go to Mr. Frank Sinatra and Ms, Aretha Franklin. Sinatra was always a mediocre vocalist who had the best producers working with him and who always made his seem much better than he really was...Aretha Franklin sang some things well but she was the 1960s version of those who are hyped so heavily today...her catalog is weak when it's considered as a whole and her persona so well known today was largely created by Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun to be the "angry black power female anthem singer" after Columbia's Mitch Miller tried to turn her into an African-American Barbra Streisand in the early and mid-sixties and failed miserably...Aretha's cover of Walk on By from that period is excruciatingly bad...her vocals on that defy description. Her two best tunes? A Natural Woman and Respect. Her version of I Say A Little Prayer is pretty good too. Aretha was many times spectacularly bad in concert as well and was never a comfortable concert performer. Hell yes, Aretha could belt out a song but in the process, she practically destroyed the subtlety of any Bacharach-David tune (among many others) she covered (and she covered quite a few) with her gut-bucket approach (again the only exception to that IMHO is ISALP). Just my opinion for what little it's worth.
Hold on a second, B2B! Aretha and Sinatra are two of my favorites, and they have recorded some of the best music of all time. For example, I consider Aretha's "Ain't No Way" to be one of the most exquisite recordings that anyone, dead or alive, has ever made. The whole thing -- the vocals, the arrangement, everything -- fits perfectly together to break the listener's heart, and she has many more similarly high quality recordings. Sure, Aretha is not technically gifted, disciplined, or even particularly musical (she's certainly no Dionne in that regard), but she does have a deep well of soul and pain that she draws from to beautiful effect. I think her earlier recordings misfired because they were trying to make her into something that she isn't. Her Atlantic stint allowed her to reach back to her church roots and sing the way that she always had, and that's why it worked so brilliantly. I think of Sinatra the same way: where Tony Bennett was a technically brilliant Italian tenor (the best in the game, according to Sinatra himself), Sinatra employed his voice to astounding effect because he drew from his personal troubles and experiences, particularly during his Capitol years. Nobody does "swinging but weary" better than Sinatra! I don't think it's fair to fault Aretha or Sinatra because they happened to work with excellent producers, writers, promoters, and managers (couldn't we fault Dionne for the same?). They were very good at what they did, and their impact is astounding. They will be eternally important.

I totally agree about the Beatles, though. Very overrated.
Blair N. Cummings
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Blair N. Cummings »

For what it`s worth, I think Aretha`s Young, Gifted and Black album is a classic recording - not least because of the musicians and production. But BtoB was simply saying that her overall catalogue is weak and I agree.
Tony Bennett was far superior to Sinatra as a vocalist and has maintained a higher standard of recordings.
Where I disagree with BtoB is in his assessment of Elvis. The only recording of his I ever liked was the late-period "Cold Kentucky Rain."
face
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by face »

Fair enough point about Aretha's total catalog being weak, but, again, couldn't we say the same about Dionne, or even Burt for that matter? If B2B's lukewarm assessment of Aretha and Sinatra is based on the sum of their entire careers, then that also suggests that Burt and Dionne be viewed as overrated, which makes me very uncomfortable. They all had a decade or so of gold, followed by decades of inconsistency or mediocrity, but yet none of us would dare call Dionne or Burt overrated. At their best, Dionne and Burt achieved a level of art that few have ever hoped to reach, and that's enough for them to deserve all of the praise that they have received, no matter what came next (even though I agree that Dionne is still extremely underrated, especially compared to Aretha). Aretha and Sinatra are similar: they each reached the pinnacle of critical and commercial acclaim, only to lose their direction later amid changing tastes and times. I'd rather be more charitable to them all, since, in their prime, they were unequaled in their respective niches.
BachtoBacharach
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Elvis's Cold Kentucky Rain was a brilliant recording and one of the few from his later era that wasn't phoned in IMHO. As for his early work, he imitated other Rockabilly and blues artists but they were superb imitations in my opinion and I recognize them as just that. The hype far exceeded the substance in those recordings but they were fun to listen to. Aretha's Young Gifted and Black was the high point of her career, again my opinion...and after about 1972 she began to sputter and the quality of her recordings declined significantly...again, my opinion. Aretha was, as a singer incredibly inconsistent, when the whole of her catalog is considered. Just as I can't stomach much of Warwick's 80s and 90s output for extended lengths of time, it's that consistently brilliant work from the 60s and early 70s that sets Warwick apart and that body of consistently high quality work by a female singer, on such high quality compositions from 1962 until 1972, is unmatched in the annals of popular music (yes a clichéd statement but nonetheless appropriate). It's that catalog that I can listen to over and over. Warwick's sixties catalog is incredible. Aside from a few compelling tunes in the mid and late sixties and early seventies, Aretha was nowhere nearly as consistent.
Raposo Loves You
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by Raposo Loves You »

I think there's plenty of room in the musical world for both Bacharach and the Beatles.

The Beatles clearly admired Bacharach when deciding to cover "Baby It's You", which Burt still publicly points out was an honor for him.

Paul McCartney wrote a great Bacharach "pastiche" for Cilla Black called "Step Inside Love"... there's also a demo version of it on Anthology 3 with Paul's vocal. That and other tracks like "Martha My Dear" show that Paul clearly had an affinity for Burt's wavelength...

I love the footage of Burt working on Cilla's "Alfie" with George Martin at Abbey Road Studio 1. I also agree with Richard Carpenter who swears by the "Three B's: Beatles, Beach Boys and Bacharach.''

Just my 3 cents,
Chris
An Enormous BB Fan
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by An Enormous BB Fan »

The Beatles were absolutely GREAT and they came out with one great pop song after another. I just love this revising history bit that's going on here.
BachtoBacharach
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Re: 100 Reasons the Beatles Suck

Post by BachtoBacharach »

Step Inside Love, not one of McCartney's best efforts...sorry don't hear Bacharach. The Beatles were a great pop band, no doubt about it and wrote some really great and compelling tunes that have stood the test of time. They also wrote some tripe, as Bacharach did, as Michael Jackson did, etc. This elevation of the Beatles to "god-like" talent is in part a product of their great commercial success...they were the most popular band ever but it's a matter of great disagreement regarding the fact that they were the most talented band ever who wrote and recorded the greatest tunes ever...that's why it's called opinion. I read no revision here; simply differing opinions. The deification of wildly popular entertainers is not uncommon...it's all a matter of taste and who touches whom. There are many entertainers who achieved great fame and were more than the sum of their parts (Sinatra and Riddle, Petula Clark and Tony Hatch, Aretha Franklin and Jerry Wexler). The same can said of the Bacharach/David/Warwick "triangle marriage" as Warwick calls it; the difference there was not only the production but the unique music and the unique performer herself...Warwick was hands down, the most instantly recognizable female singer of her era; when Warwick opened her mouth you heard Bacharach/David even when she wasn't singing Bacharach/David (Valley of the Dolls comes to mind here...the three were so intertwined in the collective public mind). Apart from each other, they did some great things, just as the Beatles did separately, but it's that body of work the three created in the sixties and early seventies that set them apart. The Beatles will never be again, neither will Bacharach/David/Warwick and many others.
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