The Beatles are overrated

Yeah, I said it. The Beatles are overrated.

British? Check. Singers? Check. Overrated? Check.

British? Check. Singers? Check. Overrated? Check.

I’m not saying they’re a bad band, or their music sucks, or they didn’t have an impact on the music scene. That’s not what overrated means. But when it comes to top bands of all times, they just don’t measure up.

Their music has some of the simplest lyrics you’ve ever heard. For example, A Hard Day’s Night:

“It’s been a hard day’s night, and I been working like a dog

It’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log”

Seriously? They rhymed dog and log? What’s next? Cat and hat? I don’t see how a band who writes like Dr. Seuss could be considered the greatest band of all time.

The next stanza in A Hard Day’s Night:

“You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things

And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything.”

Now they rhymed thing with thing! Geez.

That’s not the only example.

What did they rhyme this time? Car and far?

What did they rhyme this time? Car and far?

In Yellow Submarine, they rhymed submarine with submarine.

Let it Be rhymes me and me, as well as be and be in the first stanza.

Hey Jude doesn’t even rhyme.

I know I’m not the only one out there who believes the Beatles are overrated.

From Dave Simpson of the Guardian newspaper in the U.K.:

“I never bought the myth – all that thumbs aloft, wacky Scousers, lovely boys, world peace stuff which we now know to be nonsense because they were in fact either taking heroin, fighting among themselves or dreaming up the Frog Chorus all that time.”

Virgin Records did a top 10 list why the Beatles are overrated.

Like I said, overrated is not the same as saying they suck. But they have some of the simplest lyrics of any band in history, and most of their songs sound like they were written by school children.

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13 Comments

Filed under entertainment

13 responses to “The Beatles are overrated

  1. Jennifer McIntosh

    Tom,
    When you write countless hits and albums that have been popular over the course of two generations, then you can criticize the Beatles. I think you should have a time out for even saying it! Never mind writing a blog about it.

  2. Dennis

    Whew. That’s almost too much to fathom. I’m trying to come to grips with this. The Beatles. Are you kidding? They were the greastest ever. A Hard Day’s Night was in 1964, the early days. Simple lyrics were perfectly normal. The Beatles, and the individual Beatles, wrote many masterpieces (particularly on the White Album, Rubber Soul, and Revolver, and the medley on the second side of Abbey Road is some of the funkiest, rockin 20 minutes you’ll ever hear. The Beatles were the greatest ever.

  3. Cheryl

    Basically, you’re silly. And wrong. The Beatles are awesome. But good job creating debate.

  4. Will

    Yes- you’re right.

    As the post states- to deny their cultural impact would be foolish- but musically they don’t live up to the hype.

    For every ‘strawberry fields’ there is a ‘maxwell’s silver hammer’ or ‘octopuses garden’.

    I am quite happy for their music to exist, and for other people to enjoy it, but when I hear things like ‘best band ever’ I just assume that the people saying it have VERY small record collections.

    There were loads of great sixties acts who got nowhere near as much attention as The Beatles. Some of them didn’t even feel the need to pollute their albums with bad childrens songs either!

    • Vrinda

      The Beatles didn’t pollute their albums with bad children’s songs. “Yellow Submarine” was on “Rubber Soul,” and “Octopus’s Garden” was on “Abbey Road.” That’s hardly polluting. The Yellow Submarine album was throwaway songs, as George Harrison said it. They were songs they weren’t going to use on their regular albums so they gave it to the makers of the film to use for the cartoon.

      The label “best band ever” is subjective. It’s impossible to hang that one on band. The Beatles are one of the best bands ever, I will say. Even they themselves would not want given the sole distinction.

  5. Mike

    In grand scheme of music I believe they are overrated.
    When you are told to listen to their music, a response to that can be listen to other music than The Beatles.

    They are credited with many “firsts” in music that had already happened in music.

    Not the first concept album or continuous track concept album.
    Not the first to record vocals or instruments backwards on an album.
    Not the first to sample.
    Defiantly not the first band to write and record their music and to have different band members sing lead.
    Plus many other non “firsts”

    • Vrinda

      Who were the firsts to do all these things? When I looked up recording backward vocals, it said the Beatles popularized it, but it never said who was the actual first to do so. No one said the Beatles were the first artist to sample, or that they were the first to write and record their own music. They made the practice more of a mainstay. What are these other “non-firsts”?

  6. kacoldwell

    I wrote an article explicating similar opinions here: http://tippingthelion.wordpress.com/2009/07/26/why-the-beatles-are-overrated/

    I was actually going to respond to this blog post, but then my little diatribe sort of evolved into a big diatribe, so I just decided to blog the damned thing. Thanks for the inspiration. Check it out and let m e know what you think.

  7. Since I wrote this post two months before ESPN, I’ll just say it wasn’t me.

  8. Cian

    So basically they’re overrated because

    A) Out of the thousands of lines they’ve written, some don’t rhyme that well (mainly their early less mature songs and a song intended to be a nursery rhyme).

    B) No wait, that’s all the reasons.

  9. Delia

    Ok so your reasoning sucks in terms of that you only named rhyming, but I do agree. They don’t suck or anything, they are rather good. But in all honesty, if I was listening to my ipod and a beatles song came on, I would probably skip it, because it is, to me, the kind of music that you really have to be in a specific “beatles mood” to listen to and enjoy. But the same goes in that I would rather listen to Yiruma than Beethoven, but that in no was means that I don’t regard Beethoven as a musical genius with a great deal more musical talent than Yiruma. But times are inevitably changing and the audience that Beethoven intended is very much not me, just as the Beetles’ intended audience is also becoming obsolete. The problem is that people are holding onto what they believe to be “cool” just because they too (for some reason) think that the 60s were pretty much the shit. lets not forget the cold war or the multiple incidences of police brutality, public riots, etc. yeah, lets just remember it for the beatles and the shitloads of lsd and mary jane. but yeah, they did do lots of things that nobody had heard about, although it should be noted that it in no way means that nobody had done it yet. Aaron Copland’s Piano Variations were experimental and revolutionary, but does that mean that everybody still needs to pretend to think that its the greatest music ever?

  10. matxil

    I agree that the Beatles are very much overrated, but there are far better reasons to give than the fact that their lyrics are not comparable to Shakespeare. (Bob Dylan once made “Tangier” rhyme with “hear”, and no-one would dare call him a lousy lyricist, would they?) Actually, having lyrics that do not rhyme I find an admirable thing. It would be silly to deny that Yesterday and Hey Jude are two extreme clever and melodically original pop songs. On the other hand, they were bad musicians (and I don’t just mean technically), didn’t know how to play neither blues nor rock n roll, and their music always sounded cold, soulless and contrived (especially the later years, and especially John the wanna-be-artist Lennon). There was no guts to what they did, and the best proof of that is whenever I say such a thing, Beatles fans come up with the Helter Skelter disaster.

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