Originally Posted by Dom Heffner
Elvis Presley had double their chart success. I've said this before and I think it bears repeating:
At one point Billboard's top 5 artists of all time included the Beatles and Paul McCartney and Wings.
If you combined their points, they still didn't equal Elvis. Number 1 was better than 2 and 4 combined.
I guess you can argue that chart success doesn't mean anything, and I'm sure that there are many lists where the Beatles are on top.
Elvis was a trailblazer. Rock and roll did not exist in the white consciousness until Elvis Presley brought it into acceptance. Popular music since (especially rock n roll) was spawned from Elvis. It was the 50s, and people, especially whites (teens), never heard or seen a man do such things before. He was an originator and quite unique. Could one say "No Elvis, then no Beatles?" I think one could. Everyone had their mentor, those that influenced them.
But could Elvis be considered an artist? He didn't write his own music, and was an adequate rhythm guitar player (it became more of a prop). His forte was in performing and delivery. And yep, boy could he deliver.
And Dylan was also a great influence on the Beatles. But the Beatles, IMO, were a very progressive band.
Here are a couple good articles on Lennon and Elvis, and when the Beatles met him....
Lennon's song "Starting Over" was John getting back to his roots, and done ala Elvis.