Hands up anyone who thinks that the Beatles are shite? I am kicking off this series with a piece on a crappy little beat combo from Liverpool. They are the first of rock music’s untouchable deities to be laid out on Buffy’s Butcher’s block will be the Beatles. So, let me kick off first with that shitty bad pun of a name, the Beatles? Seriously? It might have been funny for five minutes in 1962, but now it is just mega dull. But I suppose that is a reflection on the band too, maybe they did briefly show talent in the early days. Their backing on Tony Sheridan’s version of “My Bonnie” was almost as good as anything that Right Said Fred has released. As for the music, well it was mostly covers in the early days. The first two albums were 43% cover versions and 57% rip-offs from people like Carl Perkins, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. How did they have the arrogance and audacity to turn down that classic pop song “How Do You Do It?” A song that went on to be a huge smash for a more talented Liverpool band, Gerry and the Pacemakers. In fact, the first three singles by Gerry and the Pacemakers all went to number one in the UK. The Beatles failed to do that with “Love Me Do” limping to a lowly number 17 and “Please, Please Me” stuttering out at number 2. Their early albums were recorded incredibly quickly and that shows in how interminably bland the music is. In a similar way, their later albums took months to record and that shows too, mostly in the overproduced, overrated drivel they put out. All they have left us is a series of mediocre pop songs and plenty of album filler. If I must provide reluctant praise, it would be to long-suffering producer George Martin. He knew that he couldn’t polish a Beatles-shaped turd, but he was able to roll that turd in glitter occasionally.
Even Ringo, the second-choice drummer, (let’s face it Pete Best was far better), didn’t play on the “Love Me Do” single. John Lennon is alleged to have said that Ringo “wasn’t the best drummer in the world, in fact he wasn’t even the best drummer in the Beatles”. Apparently, Lennon didn’t actually say that, according to a number of sources, but the statement stands true, doesn’t it? The Beatles a.k.a the Floptops were just in the right place at the right time, any beat band of the early sixties could have been picked up and groomed for success like they were. The Merseys or Gerry and the Pacemakers would have been moderately better, although still somewhat shit. The overuse of “yeah, yeah, yeah” in their lyrics made it abundantly clear that they couldn’t write a decent tune to save their lives. They were basically a manufactured boy band put together by Brian Epstein. He got rid of the original drummer and made them change their appearance, dressing them in pretty little suits and promoting the Beatles’ haircut. In that sense, they were the Westlife of their day, nothing more. Like the boys from Sligo they sold millions of records based on their pretty boy looks, well excluding Ringo, he was hardly pretty was he? To be fair to Lennon in particular, he was right when he said that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus. Extensive research (on Google) suggests that JC was no more than 5 feet 5 inches tall (other heights are available) while the shortest Beatle was Ringo at five feet 8 inches.
Some people say that a measure of success is all their number one records, 17 UK number one singles, and 11 UK number one albums (plus another 4 if you count compilations and archive issues) for example. But Westlife have had 14 UK number one singles and 9 UK number one albums, 11 if you count compilations. So, on that basis, I should add that I believe Westlife are absolute and utter shite, the Beatles are a few number ones better than Westlife. But simply put both acts are steaming piles of number twos! George Harrison convincing the boys to let him use a sitar on some songs probably explains why he was not given the opportunity to write more Beatles songs. The sitar in rock music? What a waste of overindulged, egotistical effort. Then there is the infamous “concept” album, ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, if I linked the last three bowel evacuations I did it would be more of a concept and frankly would probably sound better. As for ‘Abbey Road’, well firstly what a lazy fucking title that is, and secondly it was filled with half-finished sketches of songs and a huge plagiarism of Chuck Berry by John Lennon in “Come Together”. And what about the so-called “White Album”? A double album with 30 tracks, ridiculously overlong, and where the hell was the quality control on track selection. “Glass Onion”, “Piggies” and “Don’t Pass Me By” should have been expunged from tape never to be heard again. The sonic dirge/ soundscape that is “Revolution 9” is easily the best track the Beatles ever recorded, largely because it doesn’t feature any of them and is just a bunch of insane randomly recorded sounds and words.
If you must listen to the Beatles, why not go with a facsimile from the 90s, at least you would be listening to something slightly more modern, albeit an even more shitty band than the Beatles, ladies, and gentlemen I give you Oasis. Let me finish by saying that if you have bothered to read this far you either agree with me or your head is about to explode with steam-fuelled anger and you are already typing me a message from “Angry of the Shires” telling me I am wrong. Well, you’re too late, all that remains of the Beatles is their blood on my butcher’s block. But they have provided several tough and bordering on rancid steaks and cutlets for local butcher’s shops!
I have many more rock deities on my list, and I would love to hear who you would like me to take apart next! In the meantime please remember that “all you need is love” Buffy Frobisher Smythe Esquire xxx
Written by Buffy Frobisher Smythe.
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