It was 50 years ago today. The world changed. Just as Kubrick represented the evolution of man in 2001: A Space Odyssey, I can only assume that a black monolith was present in Liverpool at the dawn of our new musical age, with four lads caressing its veneer; four lads who would change simply everything. I swear, we probably even brush our teeth differently now as a result of The Beatles.
Some perspective: 50 years ago, John, Paul George and Ringo performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. At the half way point between then and now (we’re a week off from it being 25 years ago to the day), New Order released ‘Technique’ – a glorious blast of acid-tinged wonder. Consider how much music has moved on. Before the Beatles, pop music was pretty much the equivalent of a monkey hitting a rock against a tree. Fast forward 25 years to ‘Technique’, and you’ve had, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Prince. You’ve had punk, you’ve had stone-cold soul classics from Detroit. You’ve had the high points of folk, reggae and disco, you’ve had the creation of hip-hop, and of electronica. There’s a lifetime of musical innovation that took place after The Beatles.
And, in the last 25 years? We’ve not really moved on a hell of a lot. ‘Technique’ could be released tomorrow and sound fresh.
So, I know it’s kind of stating the obvious, but I couldn’t let today pass without tipping a hat in the direction of The Beatles. I bloody love that band. It’s impossible to listen to too much of them. I truly find it just obtuse for anyone to say that they ‘don’t like The Beatles’.
The best band ever? More than that: they’re the only band that really counts.