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July 4 2022 4:06 PM ˚
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The legacy of the Beatles

A public sculpture of the Beatles in Liverpool, England, October 22, 2020. “The Beatles’ flavor has surpassed anything the world of popular music has known to this date,” writes Jordan News columnist
A public sculpture of the Beatles in Liverpool, England, October 22, 2020. “The Beatles’ flavor has surpassed anything the world of popular music has known to this date,” writes Jordan News columnist Jean-Claude Elias. (Photo: NYTimes)
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Fifty years ago, the Beatles split after the release of their last album, “Let it Be.” Why speak now of a broken-up band that has not released music since 1970? For the same reason we mention Johann Sebastian Bach, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven: They are still making waves.اضافة اعلان

Fifty years also offers space to analyze the influence of the greatest Western pop-rock band of all time. This would not have been possible 10 or 20 years after the split. Now, however, we realize what the Beatles have brought us. American music magazine Rolling Stone lists Beatles Paul McCartney and John Lennon as the second and third greatest songwriters of all time, the first being Bob Dylan. I want to argue that Lennon-McCartney should come first, but who am I to contradict the Rolling Stone?

The Beatles have cast their spell on three generations, gliding into a domain of enduring cultures.

In 1967, Tony Palmer wrote in The Observer: “If there is still any doubt that Lennon and McCartney are the greatest song writers since Schubert, then next Friday, with the publication of the new Beatles double LP, should surely see the last vestiges of cultural snobbery and bourgeois prejudice swept away. … Not even Schubert wrote at that speed.”

Some still try to unravel the secret behind the group’s global success, but there is not much to it. The big six — Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Starr, and their producer, George Martin — simply happened to be in the right place at the right time.

The band has not released any music since 1970, but “Yesterday,” “Michelle,” “Back in the USSR,” “Something,” “Help,” “Let it be,” “Come Together,” “Hey Jude,” “Girl,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” “With a Little Help from my Friends,” “While my Guitar Gently Weeps,” and at least 50 percent of their 200 songs, have become classics. They have been covered countless times by other artists, and this continues today.

Gabriella Quevedo is a fine example of how the Beatles are influencing younger generations. The 24-year-old Swede is popular on YouTube for her impressive guitar covers. Her music videos have gathered millions of views. The guitarist has covered “Let It Be” and “Blackbird,” two masterpieces by the Beatles, but her prowess falls short of the Beatle standard. Nevertheless, it is a good tribute to the group.

Interestingly, and as Palmer pointed out: “The Beatles are competent rather than virtuoso instrumentalists, but their ensemble playing is intuitive and astonishing.”

This goes to show that musicianship, soul, originality, and genuine inspiration are more important than technical, instrumental virtuosity. The Beatles’ flavor has surpassed anything the world of popular music has known to this date.

So, what happened after the Beatles split and went solo? Except for a few songs, such as Lennon’s “Imagine,” Harrison’s triple album “All Things Must Pass,” and McCartney’s inspired duets with Michael Jackson, making music that was on a par with what the group was able to come up with in their heyday proved impossible. It was good music, but the magic of their trademark sound, of their melodies, voices, and harmonies, was gone.

Fifty years after, musicologists, reviewers, and critics agree that the Beatles are for Western pop-rock what Bach is for classical music.

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