Imagine one of those tween magazine quizzes, one that is supposed to show what your favorite music says about you by asking you cute questions about your musical taste. Except in return, this one would provide you with some stone-cold harrowing insight into your soul as to specifically why you may prefer The Beatles A Hard Day's Night over Yellow Submarine.
While I cannot provide you that kind of insight, it is a fact that The Beatles evolved between each of their albums in a fashion that resulted in their branching out enough to reach a wide array of tastes and personalities, arguably more than any other pop group in history. This is what enabled them to capture the world's imagination, and probably why you're even reading this.
Today the Beatles are still one of the most revered bands of all time. Truth be told, I used to question this. Growing up, I wasn't exposed to much of them beyond the occasional "Hey Jude" coming on Sunny 99.1 after something like The Eagles' "Hotel California." Those two songs didn't differ much to me. I thought they were both boring and overplayed. Blasphemy ensued, etc.
Fast-forward to a few years later. I hit that breaking point, say, resembling that moment in the movie Almost Famous when 15-year-old William Miller played that record that changed his life. Though this time there wasn't just one particular song that I can say changed my life, but those teenage years were enough to awaken my blossoming interest in music and its surrounding culture.
During that time, I evidently rediscovered the Beatles. The music I heard this time, though, wasn't reminiscent of being stuck at the dentist's office waiting to get my roof expander poked at. Instead it was rather exciting, like I had discovered another artist, a new Beatles.
So it took a different persona of the group, in a sense, to grab my interest. I then dove into more of their music, which has led me to truly believe that the band's distinct versatility, alongside their musicianship, are the reasons why their popularity has stood the test of time.
For example, there is the Beatles of the late '60s until their breakup, the Beatles who are solidified as classic-rock staples with the albums Abbey Road and Let It Be. This music is most easy to digest even without taking their widespread admiration into consideration. For those happiest sticking with the classics, this is their Beatles.
Then there's the previous Beatles, the colorful, psychedelic group residing somewhere around Revolver up to their self-titled album known as the "White Album." These Beatles are a colorful circus with their exhibition of worldly auditory treats, including some songs' glittery use of sitar or layers of distortion. These Beatles provide the greatest showmanship, and capture fans with their spectacle.
The Beatles that initially hooked me was their pop kickoff of the early '60s, as they appealed to all my loving, yeah, of '50s and early '60s rock and roll-like musics. They provided catchy, danceable tunes that justifiably got many teenage girls excited.
So I was hooked and I then diverted my interests to Magical Mystery Tour and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and then moved on to Rubber Soul and Revolver. I then grew to actually like Hey Jude as an album or, more correctly, an album-length compilation of B-sides and singles issued a month or two before the group announced its breakup in April 1970.
The point is, there's more, and I still have honestly yet to discover all of the band's works. However, again, I wouldn't have been interested in doing so had I not already discovered a different Beatles from the one in the dentist's office.
Of course, they weren't the only musicians doing the kind of music they did, and they were playing a kind of music that was already popular at the time, but a whole other point to be had is they remained technically excellent musicians throughout their run.
All of this isn't to share how much I adore The Beatles. There are other artists who are great to me and who offer something different. What remains food for thought is how the Beatles honed their craft and their market, and achieved those feats on a grander scale than any other musician I can think of, which is what continues valuing the Beatles to the world.
All in all, this can link to something about how excellence values success -- or vice versa, I'm not even sure -- posted somewhere on a workplace wall.
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