Tuesday, April 6, 2010

They were a handful

Occasionally we'll pimp over-the-top Beatles devotees who just won't shut up about how great their boys were.

We know they were great!  But it would be nice to have a civil discussion about Beatles vs. Stones, for example, without Fab Four fans getting so spitting mad.  I suppose we incite matters by asking them if, deep down, they really think "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a great bit of song writing. Goodness they take these conversations seriously.

Then they throw something like this back at us. It's their Exhibit A, also known as the Billboard Top 5 from this day in 1964:
1. Can't Buy Me Love, Beatles
2. Twist and Shout, Beatles
3. She Loves You, Beatles
4. I Want to Hold Your Hand, Beatles
5. Please Please Me, Beatles

That's pretty convincing evidence. And yet five weeks later "Can't Buy Me Love" was toppled by Louis Armstrong's "Hello Dolly," which was quite fitting.  It was Armstrong who once uttered "If it hadn't been for jazz, there wouldn't be no rock 'n' roll."  Truer words were never spoken.

How in the world did an old man with a trumpet and a gruff voice momentarily beat back the revolution?  There's only one explanation.  The Beatles were busy reloading. And, of course, the Stones hadn't arrived.


  1. Just took a long car trip with my daughter who is almost 12 - same age I was in 1964. We listened to Beatles most of the way, Rubber Soul and later.

    She loves them - and it confirmed to me once again that the Beatles had a melodic and harmonic genius that appealed to people of all ages, including pre-teens and girls.

    The 1964 Billboard list is impressive. But look at the Stones' output from Beggars Banquet (1968) through Exile ('72 I believe). Absolutely amazing - and not just because they defined and refined the sound against which every subsequent rock band would be measured. They also wrote some pretty great songs themselves during that period.

    By 1968 the Beatles were done with live performing. They were in the right place at the right time to pioneer multi-tracking and other recording techniques that had a tremendous impact on music. But their sensibility at the end was more or less the same as when they started: English music hall tunes influenced by American rock and roll.

    The Stones, despite a bit of dabbling in Brian Jonesey exotica, always were and still are the greatest white blues/R&B band in history. I seriously doubt they will ever be topped, just as nobody will equal the Beatles' doominance of the charts in 1964.

    Two different bands. Both incomparable. The fact that they overlapped while some of us were young is one of the great gifts of our lifetimes.

  2. Hey Charles....I must say I agree with you on this one!!!! Sorry about the disagreement over Grand Funk, didn't really mean to say you sucked , because you thought they did.....At least we know now we can agree on some groups...lol
    As a young teen back in the day of the early Beatles I absolutely loved them..sang and knew all the words to every song, and when they came out with their Rubber Soul album, I played it to death... I actually got it from my boyfriend at the time for Christmas, and I gave him a bottle of Jade East....lol. Boy I am really dragging out the cobwebs....
    Then.......... the Stones came, wow...especially Under my Thumb,Sympathy for the Devil, Start me up....oh so many,Both group were awesome....I feel blessed to have grown up listening, dancing, and gettin high during those great wonderful years. After all......I was a Hippie Chick. Still am, because I loved those days, I just don't do all that bad stuff anymore, cause I am trying to do all the right stuff to stay alive for a few good years yet!!!!!

  3. Never watch American Idol, but tonight surfed across it and stopped. The contestants sang songs from the extraterrestrials who came to Earth: Lennon and McCartney.
    "Hey Jude," "Jealous Guy" and "Across the Universe" were standouts. And I thought, how difficult it would be for them to pick songs from the Stones to sing. Then I logged onto to Six String Sanctuary . . .

  4. Beatles and Stones was like weed and hash. You couldn't go wrong with either and you were a very rich man if you were smoking both at the same time. Of course we never inhaled that stuff. Their music was our drug.

  5. Actually James a few weeks ago they did a whole show of Stones songs. And there were more contestants, so more songs. And just like last night, most of them didn't do justice but a couple sort of did.