The Beatles might be the most iconic music group that has ever existed. Maybe the most iconic of any musical group or single performer we have ever known. Now I’m sure some would argue for Elvis, or Sinatra, or any number of performers that have existed, but they would be wrong. Why? Because the Beatles didn’t just perform, they wrote their own music, and the music that they wrote was game changing, evolving, and not set in a niche.
You can see in their music how it influenced the music of that generation, and even affecting this generation. I wasn’t a Beatles fan growing up, sure I liked some of their songs but, to me, they were just another group, however as time passed I learned to appreciate them more for what they did than for what they were performing/producing.
Elvis had stage presence, a great performer, a great singer, but he never wrote any of his own material, and that is the only reason I don’t consider him to be a musician. He was a performer. And like John Lennon, Elvis was not shy about his politics. Which, at times, got both into hot water. Like the time Elvis refused a concert gig if his back up singers, who were African-American, couldn’t come and weren’t treated like royalty. Or the times the Beatles supported openly gay singers like Long John Baldrey, when being openly gay was not the in thing to do.
There’s no question that the Beatles impacted our musical culture more that anyone before or since. And to some degree impacted how we see things, either through their music, or through their politics. So, whether you like them, or are a raging fan, we gotta give them props, for what they gave us.