Beatles vs. The Who!

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Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Cliketh » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:17 pm UTC

I've always found this one of life's toughest questions; who is better, the Beatles, the gods of classic rock, or The Who, the gods of classic rock? Hey Jude or Won't Get Fooled Again?
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Gamma Ray » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:54 pm UTC

The Beatles win EVERy time. The Who are distinctly average bar a couple songs.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:57 pm UTC

Beatles, although I do feel guilty because I don't know a lot of who songs.
I loved every album, the vast majority of their songs.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Smiling Hobo » Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:25 pm UTC

I like The Beatles--their songs are catchier and just better, in my opinion. The Who are pretty good, but their songs get tedious after a while.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Dingbats » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:24 pm UTC

You can't compare The Who to The Beatles. The Beatles are the gods of classic pop, but there's lots of bands that could be the gods of classic rock. Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin?

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby The Spherical Cow » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:32 pm UTC

The Beatles, hands down. They have so many excellent albums, and many more excellent tracks.

The Who, on the other hand, have a few damn good songs, a couple ok ones, and many down-right bad songs. The only album I can think of theirs that is notable is Tommy, which is excruciatingly bad.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby someguy » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:34 pm UTC

The Who are alright (see what I did there?), but a bit second-tier compared to the Beatles, IMvhO. They just weren't brilliant as often. They were good, though, very good, most of the time.

I rate the Kinks higher than the Who, FWIW, and I do think that at times they were 99.9% equal to the Beatles.

Dingbats wrote:You can't compare The Who to The Beatles.

I'm not sure you can actually compare anything to the Beatles. They're sort of like the Holocaust in that regard. ('Twenty-two points, plus triple-word-score, plus fifty points for using all my letters. Game's over. I'm outta here.')

(Did I just godwin a Beatles thread?!?)
Last edited by someguy on Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:39 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby kanavazk » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

someguy wrote:The Who are alright (see what I did there?), but a bit second-tier compared to the Beatles, IMvhO. They just weren't brilliant as often. They were good, though, very good, most of the time.

I rate the Kinks higher than the Who, FWIW, and I do think that at times they were 99.9% equal to the Beatles.

Dingbats wrote:You can't compare The Who to The Beatles.

I'm not sure you can actually compare anything to the Beatles. They're sort of like the Holocaust in that regard.

(Did I just godwin a Beatles thread?!?)

You're awesome.

But yeah, I pick Beatles. I can listen to them on days when I can't listen to The Who.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby The Spherical Cow » Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:42 pm UTC

someguy wrote:I rate the Kinks higher than the Who, FWIW, and I do think that at times they were 99.9% equal to the Beatles.
Agreed. The Kinks were so much better than The Who, who are very much overrated while The Kinks don't get anywhere near the recognition they deserve.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby SirMustapha » Mon Jan 19, 2009 12:41 pm UTC

someguy wrote:I'm not sure you can actually compare anything to the Beatles. They're sort of like the Holocaust in that regard.


In the sense that they've become so commonplace that even mentioning them has already no significance, in any context.

I think this is, honestly, a pretty sad fate for a band; to reach the point where everybody knows you, everybody knows your songs, everybody knows you're supposed to be the best ever (even though many people don't know why), everybody knows everyone else knows you're supposed to be the best ever, and nobody cares anymore.

I also think it's kind of pointless to think of music as this one-dimensional thing with these upper and lower absolute limits. Music is actually a multi-dimensional, infinite thing -- and if you can't compare the Beatles to anyone else, then you can't compare anyone to anyone else, since everyone is unique.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Xutar » Mon Jan 19, 2009 2:40 pm UTC

I guess it depends on the album.. I'd rather listen to Who's Next than many of the earlier Beatles albums.
Rubber Soul through Let it Be however.... Nothing I've heard even comes close.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby cypherspace » Mon Jan 19, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

I think the Who were much more talented musicians, but Lennon and McCartney were more talented songwriters. Keith Moon is a drummer several orders of magnitude greater than Ringo Starr. But I must say I listen to the Who a hell of a lot more than I listen to the Beatles.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Kirjava » Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:52 pm UTC

I think I may like to buck the trend here.

The Beatles, aside from Abbey Road and The White Album, are massively overrated. For example, Sergeant Pepper's is not such a great album as people say it is, featuring some truly god-awful songs. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite being top of that list. And despite being quite fond of The Beatles, I only like 2 songs on that album - LSD and the sadly underrated Day in the Life. Some more of their crimes against music include Hey Jude, Yellow Submarine, and even though it's Lennon's song, I blame them for Imagine.

The Who, however, are.. well. I don't know, I find this hard to judge. I think when The Who are fantastic, they are mind-bogglingly awesome. Pinball Wizard, My Generation, Baba O'Reilly, Won't Get Fooled Again, I Can See for Miles, Substitute - I can't think of any Beatles songs I like more than those.

However, The Who's second tier of songs aren't that great, really. And that's what lets them down - their depth isn't as strong as The Beatles.

They both wrote a lot of dross. They both wrote some very good songs. The Who would take the majority of the bands combined Top 10 songs, but from there down, it'd be The Beatles for quite a distance. With Hey Jude right at the bottom, where it belongs.

So while I'd prefer to listen to The Who every day of the week, I think the majority be quite reasonable to prefer The Beatles.

The Beatles against Pink Floyd - now that's really a debate that I would hope to be won by the underdog!
(and The Beatles and Led Zep isn't a debate worth having, because we all know how that would end. Zep Zep Zep Zep!)

P.S. For the record, my combined Top 10:

1. Baba O'Reilly
2. Won't Get Fooled Again
3. Pinball Wizard
4. Octopus' Garden
5. My Generation
6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
7. Here Comes the Sun
8. Substitute
9. Listening to You
10. You Better You Bet
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:01 pm UTC

Kirjava wrote:I think I may like to buck the trend here.

The Beatles, aside from Abbey Road and The White Album, are massively overrated. For example, Sergeant Pepper's is not such a great album as people say it is, featuring some truly god-awful songs. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite being top of that list. And despite being quite fond of The Beatles, I only like 2 songs on that album - LSD and the sadly underrated Day in the Life. Some more of their crimes against music include Hey Jude, Yellow Submarine, and even though it's Lennon's song, I blame them for Imagine.

The Who, however, are.. well. I don't know, I find this hard to judge. I think when The Who are fantastic, they are mind-bogglingly awesome. Pinball Wizard, My Generation, Baba O'Reilly, Won't Get Fooled Again, I Can See for Miles, Substitute - I can't think of any Beatles songs I like more than those.

However, The Who's second tier of songs aren't that great, really. And that's what lets them down - their depth isn't as strong as The Beatles.

They both wrote a lot of dross. They both wrote some very good songs. The Who would take the majority of the bands combined Top 10 songs, but from there down, it'd be The Beatles for quite a distance. With Hey Jude right at the bottom, where it belongs.

So while I'd prefer to listen to The Who every day of the week, I think the majority be quite reasonable to prefer The Beatles.

The Beatles against Pink Floyd - now that's really a debate that I would hope to be won by the underdog!
(and The Beatles and Led Zep isn't a debate worth having, because we all know how that would end. Zep Zep Zep Zep!)

P.S. For the record, my combined Top 10:

1. Baba O'Reilly
2. Won't Get Fooled Again
3. Pinball Wizard
4. Octopus' Garden
5. My Generation
6. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
7. Here Comes the Sun
8. Substitute
9. Listening to You
10. You Better You Bet

YOur favorite Beatles song is Octopus's Garden, and your least favorite is Hey Jude. Christ.
And why would you blame the Beatles for a song Lennon wrote after they break up? That makes no sense. You make no sense.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Kirjava » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:39 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:YOur favorite Beatles song is Octopus's Garden, and your least favorite is Hey Jude. Christ.
And why would you blame the Beatles for a song Lennon wrote after they break up? That makes no sense. You make no sense.


Hey Jude sounds like a song you sing at closing time in a pub in the East End of London. It's a piss-up song. It has absolutely no musical value whatsoever.
Octopus's Garden has a cracking guitar solo in it, which I very much enjoy. I'm quite fond of Harrison, as you may've noticed - While My Guitar Weeps is another song he heavily influences that I have on my little list - and I think his contribution to this song is excellent.

I blame The Beatles for Imagine because John Lennon is, in my mind, inextricably linked with The Beatles. And I can forget that while listening to Lennon's more 'rock-y' stuff, but when I hear those plodding chords, I'm reminded again. I'm reminded of Let It Be, I'm reminded of Yesterday, and I can see McCartney's influence written all over it. So, yes, I consider it a Beatles song as I believe that had Lennon never been in The Beatles, he never would've written that song.

Finally, I resent being told I make no sense by a person who likes the album Yellow Submarine :P
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Immortal_Z » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:34 am UTC

I am afeared that I must firmly and completely say The Who. I will admit readily that the Beatles are awesome, but the Who... That's about it for me. The Who and Pink Floyd both easily beat out the Beatles for me. I really, really dislike a great majority of the Beatles early stuff, and even their later stuff is hit and miss for me. Penny Lane will always be one of my favorite songs, but... damn. Even the who's second tier stuff I like better than the majority of the Beatles. Pictures of Lily, 5:15, I'm Free, Eminence Front (which is lacking something huge in it, and still beats most Beatles songs), My Wife, Boris the Spider, the sadly underrated A Legal Matter...

Townsend is just a much better writer to me, if not because of the lyrics, than because of the guitar. And you cannot, CANNOT, beat Entwhistle on bass or Moon on drums. You can't.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby 1337geek » Tue Jan 20, 2009 3:53 am UTC

The Beatles and The Who are both overrated. Good, sure. Got some nice songs there. But they're not the best thing ever, as so many people make them out to be. My choice: The Beatles. Talented, quirky, fun to listen to.

Some people earlier also mentioned Pink Floyd. Also overrated, but not actually relevant to the thread at hand. I should stop and revisit the "Most Overrated Artists" thread. :)
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 4:36 am UTC

Kirjava wrote:
sje46 wrote:YOur favorite Beatles song is Octopus's Garden, and your least favorite is Hey Jude. Christ.
And why would you blame the Beatles for a song Lennon wrote after they break up? That makes no sense. You make no sense.


Hey Jude sounds like a song you sing at closing time in a pub in the East End of London. It's a piss-up song. It has absolutely no musical value whatsoever.
Octopus's Garden has a cracking guitar solo in it, which I very much enjoy. I'm quite fond of Harrison, as you may've noticed - While My Guitar Weeps is another song he heavily influences that I have on my little list - and I think his contribution to this song is excellent.

I blame The Beatles for Imagine because John Lennon is, in my mind, inextricably linked with The Beatles. And I can forget that while listening to Lennon's more 'rock-y' stuff, but when I hear those plodding chords, I'm reminded again. I'm reminded of Let It Be, I'm reminded of Yesterday, and I can see McCartney's influence written all over it. So, yes, I consider it a Beatles song as I believe that had Lennon never been in The Beatles, he never would've written that song.

Finally, I resent being told I make no sense by a person who likes the album Yellow Submarine :P

Please don't resent me; I'm just a fool who gets a little overprotective of his favorite band. :)
I must say that I do love Octopus' Garden, especially the guitar . . .but I think it's just very odd that it's your favorite, as it is definitely one that people tend to not like the most (at least, of their later work). Ringo is really not considered a great songwriter (although George helped him out a lot . . .he probably wrote that guitar . . . and most people would be embarrassed to listen to it.
Hey Jude does seem like it would be a pub song, I agree, but I don't really see how that makes it less musical. It certainly sounds pleasant, and is emotional, and that's why I love the song. And it seems . .. to me at least . . .to be the most popular Beatles song. People who hate the Beatles tend to really love Jude. I mean, can it really be your least favorite of their songs? Their early stuff, their experimental stuff (what a shame mary jane had a pain at the party, revolution 9,), their childish stuff (piggies) and so on are better than Hey Jude? Blue Jay Way? I can see how you think that it's their most overrated, sure, but definitely not the bottom of the barrel.
I personally think the gently weeping guitar song is kinda boring. I love Harrison too, though, especially Here COmes the Sun and What is My Life (which I hope you love too . . .it's one of my favorites).
Did I mention on the fora that I love the Yellow Submarine album? I do. I love all their albums. I especially enjoy Northern song.
That said, I apologize for calling you crazy (although I do think so still), and I do agree that most of those Who songs you listed are indeed very awesome.

Also, I can also agree that the Who are better musicians, but the Beatles were very good songwriters, and that is why I like the Beatles better. I do think they were good players, though, just not virtuosos.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Phill » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:18 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Also, I can also agree that the Who are better musicians, but the Beatles were very good songwriters, and that is why I like the Beatles better. I do think they were good players, though, just not virtuosos.


One thing I like about George Harrison's guitar solos is that you can virtually sing them. Being a virtuoso doesn't necessarily mean what you produce will be better to listen to... sometimes music can just be too complicated to appreciate unless you are also a talented musician (or just connoisseur). It's the same with with Brian May, he was a great guitarist but didn't go overboard.

In terms of The Who vs The Beatles, I'd have to say Beatles. I do love some of The Who's songs, but for me they just didn't quite have the diversity or consistency that the Beatles did.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Kirjava » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:45 am UTC

sje46 wrote:Please don't resent me; I'm just a fool who gets a little overprotective of his favorite band. :)


Ah, my resentment is strictly limited to the friendly musical variety. I resent most of my friends, normally because they like The Arctic Monkeys or some other such dross. :D

You mentioned earlier in this thread that you loved all of The Beatles' albums, and that does of course include Yellow Submarine, which I'd say was their worst. As you say, Ringo's not such a great songwriter - and Yellow Submarine (the song) is good evidence of this. And the lyrics of Don't Pass Me By - "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair. You were in a car-crash, and you lost your hair." Just ridiculous. And hilarious!

I don't know "What is My Life" - couldn't find it on The Beatles discography. Don't suppose you have a link?
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby SirMustapha » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:00 pm UTC

Kirjava wrote:As you say, Ringo's not such a great songwriter - and Yellow Submarine (the song) is good evidence of this.


Actually it's not good evidence, because Ringo didn't write it. I think it was just a tradition to have at least one Starr-sung track, but not necessarily written by him. And I really like his (two) compositions, because he had a natural sense of fun and enjoyment that, for example, McCartney pretended to have but actually hadn't. When Lennon wanted to have his voice sound like a a choir of monks in Tomorrow Never Knows (wtf?!), Ringo lightened things up.

Re: on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, I don't think it's a bad album. It's just dated. It has little to no impact today, but it was huge back then. It was unprecedent and new, there had been nothing like it before (or so they said), and it became way too big for its own good. I believe it holds on today, and there's a mixture of past glories and bias, and the little space it has for personal opinion turns into absolute bitterness. It's the anti-hype -- an inevitable backlash. But looking at it coldly, it's dated. It's not a timeless piece of music. In all aspects, it was a product of its time. That does not necessarily make it bad, but, damn, I don't think an album like that deserves all those titles. It was a great album BACK THEN (and that's not true for every album made in 1967 -- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is also a product of its time, yet it sounds crazy and challenging even today). I think Revolver is a FAR more seminal and important album, because it opened a window to a whole universe of possibilities, while Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was merely a formula that sounded fresh. But it sounded fresh because it was good. Good yet dated; dated yet good. Revolver is not at all dated, and it's also good, but I'd rather watch all Saw films in succession than listen to 'Good Day Sunshine' again. Ohh, I hate that song.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 1:53 pm UTC

Kirjava wrote:
sje46 wrote:Please don't resent me; I'm just a fool who gets a little overprotective of his favorite band. :)


Ah, my resentment is strictly limited to the friendly musical variety. I resent most of my friends, normally because they like The Arctic Monkeys or some other such dross. :D

You mentioned earlier in this thread that you loved all of The Beatles' albums, and that does of course include Yellow Submarine, which I'd say was their worst. As you say, Ringo's not such a great songwriter - and Yellow Submarine (the song) is good evidence of this. And the lyrics of Don't Pass Me By - "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair. You were in a car-crash, and you lost your hair." Just ridiculous. And hilarious!

I don't know "What is My Life" - couldn't find it on The Beatles discography. Don't suppose you have a link?

As sirmustapha said< ringo did not write yellow submarine< but rather that song was written for him> john and paul liked everyone in the group to sing at least one song per album> ringo only wrote octopus" garden and dont pass me by<and those with a ttle help from his friend{george}> i love both of these songs too< because they are fun to listen to< and een lke ringosvoice>
wow > > > >i hate this shift key {its stuck}> sory> anyways< what is life {i mistyped it} is not a beatles song< it is a song george wrote in sixty eith> tae a lsten http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2oFESUMWhU
apolgies for the horible typage> my shift key is stuck< ad i had to put it in caps lock>
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Kirjava » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:37 pm UTC

SirMustapha wrote:Actually it's not good evidence, because Ringo didn't write it.


Ah. I hope you'll forgive my ignorance, I have sadly been misled in this matter.

SirMustapha wrote:Re: on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, I don't think it's a bad album. It's just dated. It has little to no impact today, but it was huge back then. It was unprecedent and new, there had been nothing like it before (or so they said), and it became way too big for its own good. I believe it holds on today, and there's a mixture of past glories and bias, and the little space it has for personal opinion turns into absolute bitterness. It's the anti-hype -- an inevitable backlash. But looking at it coldly, it's dated. It's not a timeless piece of music. In all aspects, it was a product of its time. That does not necessarily make it bad, but, damn, I don't think an album like that deserves all those titles. It was a great album BACK THEN (and that's not true for every album made in 1967 -- The Piper at the Gates of Dawn is also a product of its time, yet it sounds crazy and challenging even today). I think Revolver is a FAR more seminal and important album, because it opened a window to a whole universe of possibilities, while Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was merely a formula that sounded fresh. But it sounded fresh because it was good. Good yet dated; dated yet good. Revolver is not at all dated, and it's also good, but I'd rather watch all Saw films in succession than listen to 'Good Day Sunshine' again. Ohh, I hate that song.


Hmm.

I think this is part of the difficulty for me in assessing The Beatles - I wasn't around when they came onto the scene, so I don't appreciate how original their stuff truly is. Perhaps if I could, I would be able to appreciate it more. But perhaps my opinion is that while they may have invented the formula, it was perfected and improved upon by others.

(And I find it interesting that you bring up Piper. Despite being a humungous Floyd fan, I still think Piper is quite a weak album, and very very very rarely listen to it. Not fond of Barrett, in all honesty, and think they only found their stride after he left.)

While I find Revolver enjoyable, I guess - I will have to bow to your superior knowledge of The Beatles in rescuing your claim that it is truly seminal. With my limited knowledge, I see very few differences between this album and their former stuff, with the possible exception of Here, There and Everywhere and Eleanor Rigby. Beyond that - Taxman sounds like Drive My Car, Got to Get You Into My Life sounds like Help!....
I guess that's part of my problem with The Beatles. I have trouble differentiating a lot of their earlier stuff, because I don't see or appreciate how fresh and new it was, and prefer their later stuff which is a bit different.

As a related note to this topic, I believe that The Who's quality live should perhaps give them a couple more points. I saw them about 2 years ago, and while clearly Moon and Entwhistle weren't there, Townsend and Daltrey were quality, Townsend's brother on the bass was incredibly good, and Zak Starkey (Ringo's son, of all coincidences) is several orders of magnitude better than his old Dad.
Prior to seeing them, I liked them a lot. But after hearing My Generation, live, outside, in a humungous crowd of people who interjected thus:
Daltrey: Why don't you all f-f-f-f-
3,000 others: FUCK OFF!
Daltrey: Fade away.
Followed by the mental bass solo - well, I sorta fell in love.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Alder » Tue Jan 20, 2009 7:55 pm UTC

The Beatles. Um...yeah, that's about it, really.

Anyway, for those who mentioned Sergeant Pepper - last year the BBC had a couple of radio shows featuring the entire album covered by modern bands(I'm thinking it was one of those x-years-since-the-making-of things) . It was recorded using the same equipment the original had been made on, with people who'd been involved in the recordings the first time. No sorting out the glitches on computers later...I missed the shows, but saw and recorded a short TV programme about it. There's some clips on Youtube, somewhere. Several of the covers were amazing...and that's when I went out and bought myself the album. :D
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Tue Jan 20, 2009 9:00 pm UTC

Zak Starkey (Ringo's son, of all coincidences) is several orders of magnitude better than his old Dad.
Doubtful it is a coincidence. A lot of Beatles kids are in music (Sean, Julian, Dhani, James, Zak), although I wouldn't be surprised if that was all nepotism.
I'm not a drummer, or a musician at all, but I hear that Ringo's drumming, while not technically dificult, is still considered very revolutionary.
In his extensive survey of The Beatles' recording sessions, Mark Lewisohn confirmed that Starr was both proficient and remarkably reliable and consistent. According to Lewisohn, there were fewer than a dozen occasions in The Beatles' eight-year recording career where session 'breakdowns' were caused by Starr making a mistake, while the vast majority of takes were stopped owing to mistakes by the other three members.[27]
In other words, he didn't mes up too often.
Starr is considered to have advanced various modern drumming techniques, such as the matched grip, placing the drums on high risers for visibility as part of the band, tuning the drums lower, and using muffling devices on tonal rings, along with his general contributions to The Beatles as a whole.[25]

Also, one problem is that Ringo was never showy. They had to force him to do the drum solo in The End. This may affect perceptions of him.
Then again, all that is just wikipedia. I have no clue.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Dingbats » Tue Jan 20, 2009 10:03 pm UTC

Immortal_Z wrote:Townsend is just a much better writer to me, if not because of the lyrics, than because of the guitar. And you cannot, CANNOT, beat Entwhistle on bass or Moon on drums. You can't.

Songwriting is so much more than being awesome at playing an instrument.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby cypherspace » Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:18 pm UTC

sje46 wrote:
Zak Starkey (Ringo's son, of all coincidences) is several orders of magnitude better than his old Dad.
Doubtful it is a coincidence. A lot of Beatles kids are in music (Sean, Julian, Dhani, James, Zak), although I wouldn't be surprised if that was all nepotism.
I'm not a drummer, or a musician at all, but I hear that Ringo's drumming, while not technically dificult, is still considered very revolutionary.

Not compared to Keith Moon. If you listen to most Who songs, practically every bar of drumming is different. He's almost soloing throughout.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby EvilDuckie » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:32 pm UTC

[big Who nut alert]

The Who! Definately!!

Their lyrics have always spoken more to me than any other band (and I did get into The Beatles before migrating to heavier stuff and eventually settling on The Who). They're not a nice goody goody band, they're raw and edgy. When they're playing, something is actually *happening* onstage (also, they're more fun to watch when something is going wrong). Shame I'm too young to have seen them with Keith Moon, but at least I got to watch them a number of times with John Entwistle. And truth be told, Zak Starkey (yes, Ringo's son) is a great and worthy drummer for them.

Although it's not an entirely fair comparison. The good years of The Who didn't start until '69, by that time The Beatles were nearing the end of their career.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby poprocks and coke » Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

I think with The Beatles and The Who, you can't really say one or the other is better. they both had amazing songs, o.k. songs, and sub-par songs. The Beatles were brilliant song writers, but The Who had better vocals, drums, bass (Harrison and Townsend tie for guitar in my opinion). Not to mention they had completely different styles. I'd say that The Beatles are, on average, better background music, while The Who is better actually listening music.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Midnight » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:40 am UTC

i do prefer the beatles, but you can't knock the who. they're unknockable. entwistle? Keith moon? guitar's not bad, but those two were amazing.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Rinsaikeru » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:53 am UTC

I really don't consider these two in the same category--this makes it nearly impossible for me to distinguish here.

I'd say I like the Beatles more, especially Rubber Soul and Revolver. I agree that Sargent Pepper's is quite outdated--though I like some tracks on it.

Ultimately--music was forever changed in several ways by the Beatles, the Who are definitely great--but it's not a valid comparison.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Immortal_Z » Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:55 am UTC

Dingbats wrote:
Immortal_Z wrote:Townsend is just a much better writer to me, if not because of the lyrics, than because of the guitar. And you cannot, CANNOT, beat Entwhistle on bass or Moon on drums. You can't.

Songwriting is so much more than being awesome at playing an instrument.


No. Just. No. Not to me, at the very least.

Rinsaikeru wrote:I really don't consider these two in the same category--this makes it nearly impossible for me to distinguish here.

I'd say I like the Beatles more, especially Rubber Soul and Revolver. I agree that Sargent Pepper's is quite outdated--though I like some tracks on it.

Ultimately--music was forever changed in several ways by the Beatles, the Who are definitely great--but it's not a valid comparison.


I believe that both were very, very influential to music. Both the Who and the Beatles show up in almost every list of most influential artists, and I've seen them both at the tops of different ones (though I've also seen the Kinks winning quite a few as well... I think someone said something similar a bit before). The list of bands who would exist without one or the other are probably both ridiculously long. The Who does not much have its roots in Beatles music, I don't think. They started off covering blues songs and really, really old (elvis era) rock songs, John wanted to play beach boys type music, ringo and moon are nothing alike, and townsend plays more like a spanish flamenco guitarist than the beatle's style...

They are really, really different bands. I believe that it would be possible to have one without the other, but I agree that music wouldn't be the same without the Beatles (or the Who)
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby cypherspace » Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:09 pm UTC

Immortal_Z wrote:
Dingbats wrote:
Immortal_Z wrote:Townsend is just a much better writer to me, if not because of the lyrics, than because of the guitar. And you cannot, CANNOT, beat Entwhistle on bass or Moon on drums. You can't.

Songwriting is so much more than being awesome at playing an instrument.

No. Just. No. Not to me, at the very least.

Seriously? That doesn't make any sense. Being able to play scales at furious speeds and technically difficult pieces is not the same as creating an emotionally charged, harmonious, beautiful song, for example. Some of the best songs ever are almost as simple as you can get. You seem to be confusing skill with talent. I don't disagree with your conclusions, but your logic is entirely flawed.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Immortal_Z » Thu Jan 22, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

cypherspace wrote:
Immortal_Z wrote:
Dingbats wrote:
Immortal_Z wrote:Townsend is just a much better writer to me, if not because of the lyrics, than because of the guitar. And you cannot, CANNOT, beat Entwhistle on bass or Moon on drums. You can't.

Songwriting is so much more than being awesome at playing an instrument.

No. Just. No. Not to me, at the very least.

Seriously? That doesn't make any sense. Being able to play scales at furious speeds and technically difficult pieces is not the same as creating an emotionally charged, harmonious, beautiful song, for example. Some of the best songs ever are almost as simple as you can get. You seem to be confusing skill with talent. I don't disagree with your conclusions, but your logic is entirely flawed.


I didn't say playing riddiculously fast. Playing fast and playing amazing are different, very different, as a general rule. I love songs where the guitar could nearly sing the song itself, where the bass opens your mind, where the drums create a symphony. Vocals are secondary to me
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Felstaff » Thu Jan 22, 2009 3:15 pm UTC

Some songwriters can't play music well/at all. Most musicians can't write songs well/at all. And if your name is Liam Gallagher, you can't do either well/at all.

e.g. Yngwie Malmsteen couldn't write a Stairway. Bernie Taupin & Tim Rice can't even play instruments (or read music[citation needed]). Good musician != songwriter, and vice versa.

Comparing Beatles with the Who? Whatever next! It's like comparing chess to prostitution; both are enjoyable and usually I get knocked out after seven minutes, but aside from that, there's little you can compare between two very different bands. The Beatles were masters of experimentation. Well, let's be honest, John was. Paul was good at introducing horn sections and popularising brassy oom-pah, whereas John was adept at bringing introspective searching and layers into the exiguous world of pop music. The Who just rocked out and drove Mercedes into pools. Keith Moon was a legend.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Kirjava » Thu Jan 22, 2009 8:11 pm UTC

Felstaff wrote: And if your name is Liam Gallagher, you can't do either well/at all.


I bow to your Oasis-bashing ways.

Add my vote to the camp that says a good songwriter doesn't need to be awesome at an instrument.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby sje46 » Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:35 pm UTC

Add my vote as well, although I do think the Beatles were at least versatile instrumentalists (Paul played the piano, bass, guitar, drums, and various other instruments). All together they used various synthesizers, kazoos, percussion instruments, brass, sitars, etc. I'm sure there are more versatile groups out there, but this at least shows that the Beatles were able to learn quickly enough other instruments.
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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Various Varieties » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:07 am UTC

Since the thread has moved beyond comparing just The Beatles and The Who, here's my current, rough, ranking of English bands that came out of the '60s...

1. The Beatles
2. Pink Floyd (as much as I like Piper..., this ranking is mostly for their '70s work)
3. The Who
4. The Kinks
5. Led Zeppelin (I've recently begun to appreciate them a lot more than I used to... though I still think Stairway's far from their best song!)
6. The Rolling Stones (sure, their hits are great. But I haven't heard many of their albums - and of those, I still haven't really got what's so fabulous about Exile on Main St)

Aw, whaddaya mean, I've got to include Cream and The Small Faces too?

Kirjava wrote:Hey Jude sounds like a song you sing at closing time in a pub in the East End of London. It's a piss-up song. It has absolutely no musical value whatsoever.

Hey Jude is (to quote this highbrow analysis) transcendental. It has acquired its anthemic status for a very good reason.

I know I recommended this in Sir_Elderberry's Beatles newbie thread (fun that these two topics should appear at around the same time!), but please read Ian MacDonald's Revolution in the Head. It's the best book about music I've read, analysing all their songs and giving a persuasive argument that the band really was at the heart of the '60s. With any luck you'll come away from it with a greater appreciation of both their historical context and what there is to like about their music now. And don't think it's just nauseating fawning - yeah, his overall conclusion is that they were probably the greatest pop group ever, but he's not afraid to be critical of several of their most revered songs along the way.

Kirjava wrote:I only like 2 songs on that album - LSD and the sadly underrated Day in the Life.

A Day in the Life underrated? In my experience, it consistently gets called one of their best songs - this recent list, for example. It's pretty high in their last.fm charts as well. And it's my favourite, too.

Felstaff wrote:The Beatles were masters of experimentation. Well, let's be honest, John was. Paul was good at introducing horn sections and popularising brassy oom-pah, whereas John was adept at bringing introspective searching and layers into the exiguous world of pop music.

Paul still tries to maintain that he was The Avant-Garde One, though (when he's not retelling for the umpteenth time the story of how "Yesterday" came to him in a dream, that is). The never-released Carnival of Light (vetoed from inclusion on Anthology 2)usually gets mentioned in such discussions. He may be exaggerating, but on the other hand I don't think you can dismiss his contributions as just a knack for giving shallow music flashy arrangements.

Kirjava wrote:Finally, I resent being told I make no sense by a person who likes the album Yellow Submarine :P

"Yellow Submarine" and "All Together Now" may be simplistic novelty songs, but they were a big part of the reason I enjoyed the Yellow Submarine movie when I saw it aged four, and that led directly to my appreciation of their other music. So I usually skip them these days, but I'm still rather fond of those tunes for nostalgia's sake.

Kirjava wrote:Ah, my resentment is strictly limited to the friendly musical variety. I resent most of my friends, normally because they like The Arctic Monkeys or some other such dross. :D

I like the Arctic Monkeys. :|

And Oasis too! Though of course I can still appreciate digs at them like that Achewood strip. But my favourite was this sketch from David Quantick's BBC Radio 2 comedy series The Blagger's Guide to Rock:

Damon Albarn: [Exaggerated posh voice] I say, Graham! Who are these two working-class oiks heading toward us?
Graham Coxon: I don't know, Damon, but let's hope they go away soon.
Noel Gallagher: Hi, I'm Noel, and this is our kid Liam.
Liam Gallagher: [Liverpudlian accent] I'm John Lennon. Do you like The Beatles? I like The Beatles. I think they're great.
Damon Albarn: Well, certainly they were a great band, but one must take on a range of influences.
Liam Gallagher: Did he just say The Beatles are shit?
Noel Gallagher: Punch their lights out!


Er, it came across better on radio.

And so we drift rapidly off-topic...

Alder26 wrote:Anyway, for those who mentioned Sergeant Pepper - last year the BBC had a couple of radio shows featuring the entire album covered by modern bands(I'm thinking it was one of those x-years-since-the-making-of things) . It was recorded using the same equipment the original had been made on, with people who'd been involved in the recordings the first time. No sorting out the glitches on computers later...I missed the shows, but saw and recorded a short TV programme about it. There's some clips on Youtube, somewhere. Several of the covers were amazing...and that's when I went out and bought myself the album. :D

That was a fun set of covers, though the quality was very mixed. This Youtube search should come up with most of them, but some of the songs weren't included in the TV version, and only played on the companion radio documentaries.

And guess who one of the bands was! :wink: That was not one of the best of those covers...

sje46 wrote:I'm not a drummer, or a musician at all, but I hear that Ringo's drumming, while not technically dificult, is still considered very revolutionary.

I too find it difficult to distinguish good drumming from bad. The only times I've ever really noticed Ringo's drumming being prominent was in "Ticket to Ride", "Rain" and "A Day In The Life", and I'd rather listen to his concise solo in "The End" than John Bonham's in "Moby Dick".

As I understand it, he was very good at consistently keeping up with Lennon's slightly warped sense of rhythm in songs like "Happiness is A Warm Gun" where it shifts unpredictably between different time signatures - IIRC one of the bands in that set of Sgt Pepper covers had trouble replicating similar changes in "Good Morning Good Morning".

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby SirMustapha » Fri Jan 23, 2009 12:31 pm UTC

Happiness Is a Warm Gun at times seems to be the product of tape editing, but I can't be sure at all. But if you want testimony of Starr's sense of rhythm and pace, there's the classic story that he was in the bathroom when they started to record a take of Hey Jude, and the tiptoed all the way to the drumset JUST in time to pick up his cue and keep up; and that's the take they released. A Day in the Life has very creative drumming, and many other so-called drummers don't have the chops to pull that stuff off.

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Re: Beatles vs. The Who!

Postby Smokestack_Lightning » Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:12 am UTC

Rinsaikeru wrote:I really don't consider these two in the same category--this makes it nearly impossible for me to distinguish here.


This^

The Who are probably the best straight ahead rock and roll band out there. Each member is totally unique and amazing at their roles within the band. However perfect they are at this, they still are bound by the constraints of what a rock and roll band is.

The Beatles on the other hand were able to become so much more than a band. They ruled the studio (how they managed to create Peppers with the technology of the day is beyond me), they were amazing musicians and their singing was flawless. Hell, they basically drove Brian Wilson off the edge trying to outdo Peppers. There is a reason why people time and time again place them on top of lists, because they damn well deserve to be there. They made great pop, psych, rock, and everything in between.


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