Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thoughts on Beatles Rock Band.

I've never been a fan of the Beatles.

Sure, I grew up knowing their music (thanks largely to my mother, who always has enjoyed them) and I had a cassette copy of Abbey Road that I listened to back when there were nothing but cassettes, and listened to it until the tape literally disintegrated and snapped.  But I never thought I really liked them.

That was until the last couple of weeks, as I've been enjoying a romp through their history thanks to Beatles Rock Band.

When we received it, my little sister Natalee scoffed in disdain.  "I don't even know how you can call the Beatles rock music anyway - it's more like manufactured pop band."  And I didn't feel any need to correct her, because clearly I didn't know their music as well as I thought I did.

Certainly, much of their early oeuvre was rather poppy, and didn't involve much instrumentation or much of a mind towards intricate songwriting.  But if there's one thing to be said about even their early works, their vocal harmonies remain unrivaled by any but perhaps Queen.

However, as I've played the story mode and moved through the Beatles' career, one thing has become painfully apparent - these guys have a lot of talent for rock music that I've ignored over the years.

As a lad, I always loved "I Want You (She's So Heavy)", because I thought it was the closest thing the Beatles ever did to "rocking out".  Not so; "Helter Skelter" is a blistering rock track, filled with dissonant guitars and unfriendly melodies.  So too is "Back in the USSR"; whereas "Dear Prudence" and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" have moments of delicate beauty in them.

So I'm not like a HUGE Beatles fan or anything.  But thanks to Rock Band, I can honestly say that I respect them a whole lot more than I used to.


  1. As an Beatles experience, The Beatles Rock Band is a very well made, lovingly crafted journey through their career. It also demonstrated nicely their evolution as a band. And while I wouldn't claim to be a big fan, it is hard to deny their influence and importance in the overall development of rock music.

  2. I'm a big Beatles fan and I'm pleased to hear you've gained a better opinion of them, Braeden. However, I have to say your statement about their vocal work being 'unrivaled by any but perhaps Queen' is not quite correct.

    Queen's harmonies were always overdubs of Freddy's amazing voice (although the film clips will have you believing otherwise) whereas Beatles employed genuine 3 part harmonies (John, Paul and George).


  3. Geez, you learn something new every day. Now, Freddy is even more my vocal hero. ;)

  4. Good thing you are not going to be a journalist, because what I said and what you wrote are so different I could sue you for libel and easily win.
    If you are going to quote some one, quote them accurately and not what you wanted them to say in your head just to make it sound "better."
    And I did NOT scoff!