Originally Posted by Betterread
As for the Beatles, if they were such geniuses, then what is Paul McCartney doing these days that is so great? Tell me about his latest musical opus or his genre defying musical innovations.
I don't think that's being fair to either the Beatles, McCartney, or any artist for that matter. Every artist or style of music has it's "golden period" where it reaches it's zenith (peaks), and then declines.
Where are the new musical innovations, as far as composers, in classical music? Why haven't we seen another Mozart, Beethoven, or Haydn? Classical music, while still popular, has seen huge declines in it's listening audience in comparison to it's peak period (era).
And one could make that claim with any musical style.
Music, in all it's various formats, has always been in a constant state of evolution. And with all those eras you'll find where even those artists, who were seen as innovators or groundbreaking due to their "uniqueness" or innovations, were heavily influenced by their predecessors, and even "borrowed" from them. The question, IMO, is "Who were the innovators?" Who were the ones who demonstrated that uniqueness and stepped out and forged that path that opened doors that others followed in? In other words, they weren't "followers", but leaders.
I don't know how old you are; but for one who was old enough to experience the Beatles they would definitely fit the bill as far as innovation and progressiveness.
And there's also that "generational" aspect to it. Each generation wants to step out and establish their own "fingerprint", and to distinguish themselves from previous generations so to say that identifies them. My Dad was a Big Band Era freak. And when the Beatles, as well as the English revolution, came along in the 60s he couldn't understand why his music wasn't as popular, was in decline, and being "pushed aside" by these four moptops. I use to tell him "that's old people's music". He identified with it, but I couldn't.
My kids are the same way. They like to listen to the Beatles; but it doesn't hold the same level of
fascination and endearment as it does for my generation.
The question is about endurance. Does their music contain those "endearing qualities" where people will still be listening to them in 100 or 200 years from now, like some do with classical or other forms of music? Only time will provide that answer.
As for McCartney's music (songs)... he may no longer be making #1 chart busters anymore - there's that generational "animal" rearing it's ugly head again - but I personally think a lot of his solo efforts over the last 40 years stands up with that which he wrote as a Beatle. But very few have been able to match what the Beatles did.... and that includes an ex-Beatle.