Weird to see people looking back from 2021 to 1960 and saying the Beatles were nothing special and not influential etc. They sure were back then. The first handful of their songs were lollypop bubblegum, but once they smoked their first joint and dropped acid a couple of times everything changed and no one, not one band at that time was doing music like they were doing – especially starting with Revolver. Not a single artist I can think of was doing things like that at the time.
The reason was they had gotten so big so quickly that they could buck the trends and didn’t give a shit what the cigar chomping executives at the label thought anymore. They could live the dream and make the music they wanted to make, and not the music they thought other people would like. Big difference in the creative thought process when you take that out of the equation. The Beach Boys were one of the few bands that actually caught on and tried their own hand at just doing their own thing rather than being pigeonholed into a genre – Pet Sounds. (Come to think of it, even the Monkees did the same with Head)
Still, the Beatles started it. Within a few years, that was the norm.
They somehow grabbed up every single good melody and chord progression along the way. It’s almost impossible to write a song without going hmmm is that a little too Beatlesque? It is because they did it already. They influenced almost everyone for decades.
Hell, even Ringo, who was actually not a shabby drummer at all, left his mark on generations of drummers. I’ve extensively played Beatles songs on drums for years while teaching myself, and it occurred to me how many of his licks and fills were copied by other drummers, whether on purpose or just being oversaturated in the pop charts.
Anyway, everyone has their personal preferences and I know this, but there was truly a reason why they were so big. Incredible amount of talent in that band, and they were allowed the opportunity to explore it to any extent they wished. Really it’s an amazing thing for back in the 60s when so much crap was being produced.
Not to mention that most of the early stuff was recorded on 4 and 8 track machines, ping-ponging the tracks into layers. Many innovations due to George Martin’s production too – like the automatic doubler (something I’m working with right now). Lennon got tired of doubling his vocals, so they invented this machine to do it for him. Amazing.