Recently a friend of mine shared with me his frustration over how some younger folks scoff at his love for the music of the Beatles. They dismiss them as an overrated boy band. So, he asked me, “When someone asks you ‘What’s the big deal about the Beatles?’ what do you say?”
The way I deal with that is to begin by giving the questioner some historical context—explaining to them the kind of musical world it was just before the Beatles changed everything. Then, if they are still interested, I add a few points about the Beatles’ legacy, influence, and critical acclaim. So there are many ways to show why the Beatles are indeed a big deal. Below I count ten of the ways:
- Before the Beatles, popular bands didn’t write their own songs. Professional songwriters did that. This changed because of the Beatles.
- Before the Beatles, “guitar groups [were] on the way out” (as Decca executive Dick Rowe put it, when turning down the Beatles in 1962). The Beatles reversed that trend permanently.
Before the Beatles, popular music was not considered a genuine art form. The Beatles (especially the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band) changed that.
- Before the Beatles, popular music wasn’t culturally significant enough to warrant newspapers having journalists devoted to covering rock music. The Beatles changed that. In fact, they were a major musical force inspiring the first rock music periodicals—Crawdaddy, Creem, and Rolling Stone.
- The Beatles weren’t just a rock band. They were a masterful cabaret band, able to make excellent original music in about ten different categories: 50’s style doo-wop, surfer rock, blues, rhythm & blues, acoustic balladry, show tunes, folk rock, orchestral rock, hard rock, string quartet chamber music, Indian music, and (perhaps inventing) psychedelic rock. Name another band to do this before or since. You can’t. The Clash mastered five or six, which is as close as any band gets. Bands like Phish could convincingly play more genres, but they didn’t write great songs in more than a couple categories.
- The Beatles were among the first bands to make significant (and impactful) socio-political commentary in their music (thanks to Bob Dylan’s influence, of course).
- The Beatles revolutionized the art of studio recording. Contemporary producers and sound engineers still consult the Beatles and producer George Martin “like we’re consulting a manual,” as one current record producer puts it.
- You can draw major lines of influence from every great band since the 1960s (e.g., Queen, Led Zeppelin, U2, Radiohead, etc.) directly to the Beatles.
- The Beatles made countless musical innovations and firsts, including use of the sitar (“Norwegian Wood”), tape loops (“Tomorrow Never Knows”), backward guitar and vocal tracks (“I’m Only Sleeping” and “Rain”), the use of guitar feedback (“I Feel Fine”), and the Moog synthesizer (several songs on Abbey Road).
- The Beatles’ music has stood the test of time, which is the ultimate filter for greatness. Nearly half a century after their break-up, their music still outsells most popular acts in any given year. They’ve sold over one BILLION records to date. And on all major “greatest album lists,” the Beatles have multiple albums featured, usually several in the top ten. This Rolling Stone list includes five Beatles’ albums in the top 15, four in the top 10, and three in the top 5, including Sgt. Pepper at #1. Even the prog- and alt-rock tilted NME top 100 albums list includes four Beatles’ albums and places their Revolver album at #2. Thus, by far, the Beatles enjoy the greatest critical and popular acclaim among rock bands. So in dismissing the Beatles, one must thumb one’s nose at two of the most significant criteria for evaluating artists of any kind—the historical test and the test of critical acclaim. To do so usually reveals arrogance or ignorance. Or both.
Such are the points I make to young Beatles skeptics. Some are moved. Others aren’t…to their own loss.
So, your telling me that The Beatles were an overrated boy band…. ; )
Precisely, Ben. And shameless imitators of the Monkees.
Model T Ford was the first in countless things as well but would you still drive it? The Beatles religion were brought upon us by the middle aged music critics who kept voting for their albums on every poll imaginable. The only reason they are raised on the pedestal is because of the ruling babyboomer generation. If the Fab Four made an album full of burping and farting it would still make it Rolling Stone Top 20 Album List. Now that younger generations are not doing the same the elderly music writers are getting angry.
The Beatles are still the most overrated band in the history of rock music and not worthy of the sainthood they enjoy. Yes, they were pioneers, yes they were talented and good songwriters but so where many more others.
Thanks, Jim, for explaining to us why they’re still such a fun band to listen to when their music is heard somewhere : )
So…yeah, the Beatles were pretty good. I really like that album of theirs Dark Side of the Moon. Classic.
..And all the Keyboard, Guitar & Bass was played by Larry Knechtel.
yeah, that’s it, just a well polished boy band. but there is one more thing…the hair, man. don’t forget the hair!
i was a motorcyle riding drummer back then and was doing just fine with the ladies, thank you. then i let my hair grow and i was moved to whole other plain of the cosmos. “yeah, yeah, yeah!”
While many of your points sound good on paper (or on my iPad screen), not all of them are historically accurate.
*The Beatles did were not the first to use feedback or innovate with it. Check out “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” by The Who.
*Phish has written original songs in dozens of genres, including: Rock; Jazz; Funk; Calypso; Doo Wop; Barbershop; Fusion; Bop; Folk; Latin…and that’s just off the top of my head.
There’s more, but I’m not here to nitpick. I enjoyed the article and agree with the overall sentiment.
You’re mistaken regarding the chronology of those two songs. The Beatles’ “I Feel Fine,” which features feedback, was released in late 1964. The Who’s “Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” came out in the spring of 1965.
And I didn’t say Phish hasn’t written songs in multiple genres. Rather, I said no other band has written great songs in so many genres.
And throw in their amazing artistic idea to turn their music into a puzzle and mystery with the whole “Paul-Is-Dead” mystery! http://paul-is-dead.com/
Thanks, Bruce. And here’s yet more to consider: http://listverse.com/2012/10/11/10-beatles-innovations-that-changed-music/
1000% Correct Jim! And let’s give a ton of credit for all of this to the “5th Beatle”…George Martin… ; )
Here is a very good educational you tube video by MeanMr Mayo who is a member of The Beatles fan site,Abbryd debunking this stupid,ridiculous,ludicrous myth that The Beatles were ever a boy band.
242. The Beatles were NOT a “boy band”
Typical modern day nonsense.
The early Beatles lyrics were more simple but a lot of their early music was actually much more complex. Just one of many examples I always loved this very early John song written and recorded in 1962 Ask Me Why.
I have always loved this great beautiful song written by John,with such typical beautiful melodies and harmonies John and Paul usually wrote,and John’s usual beautiful singing voice.And this was amazingly recorded in 1962 on only two track tape! with such limited,primitive recording technology but it of course still sounds great.Except I hate mono it’s limited sounding and only makes their already limited recording technology sound even more limited.I tried to find the stereo version of this song on youtube but I couldn’t find it.
Here university of Pennsylvania musicologist Alan W.Pollack who did an 11 year extensive analysis of every one of the 200 Beatles songs,analyzes Ask Me Why and explains that it’s structurally complex.
Here is Alan’s whole Beatles song analysis series
The Beatles even in their early days were writing and playing on records as well in concerts,both love ballads,and great rocking rock n roll and pop rock songs that they both wrote and cover songs including their great rocking performances in Sweden where the audience was quiet during their performances. Here is their great rocking performance of Paul’s I Saw Her Standing There in Sweden in 1963
I Saw Her Standing There (Live) – The Beatles
Live on Drop-In TV Show, Stockholm, Sweden. October 30, 1963.
They were the greatest *rock* band ever! (NEVER A G*d dam*ed stupid,uncool,untalented boy band as so many ignorant morons misperceive them as!) And I have always loved this great blues rocker by Paul,She’s A Woman they performed in .
Except live there isn’t the piano,blending with the great rocking guitars,Paul’s great prominent booming bass,and his great rock vocal! And once again it’s amazing how good they sound on such limited,primitive sound systems of the time and with no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing,yet they still played and sang great and in sync with each other.
The Beatles HD – She is A Woman (Remastered)
The Beatles HD – She is A Woman (Remastered)
The Beatles HD – She is A Woman (Remastered)
Here is their great April 1965 New Music Express Winner’s Poll concert from April 11,1965.They won three years in a row.And notice that there are men and women of ages in the audience.
The Beatles at the NME Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert, 11 April 1965
The Beatles – Live Empire Pool – 1965 + Presentation
00:00 Speech 01:23 THE BEATLES !! 02:39 I Feel Fine 05:17 She’s a Woman 08:26 Baby’s in Black 11:04 Ticket To Ride 14:47 Long Tall Sally 17:34 Presentation
The Beatles topped the bill at the 1964-65 New Musical Express Annual Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert. It was the third consecutive year they appeared at the …
Here they performed Paul’s great rocking I Saw Her Standing There in Sweden in October 1963 which The Beatles recorded in February 1963 on their first album Please Please Me which was recorded in just one day.
The Beatles performing their rocking cover of Long Tall Sally with Paul’s great rocking vocal 1964.
The Beatles – Long Tall Sally – Live
I created this video with the YouTube Video Editor (http://www.youtube.com/editor) Paul McCartney Lead Vocals/Bass John Lennon Rhythm Guitar George Harrison …
Here in 1964 June in Melbourne Australia they are playing John’s great rock song You Can’t Do That and John played lead guitar on, that they had recorded in February 1964 on their first great early album A Hard Day’s Night
The Beatles – You cant do that live ( HQ )
http://www.facebook.com/TheUltimateBeatlesFanpage?ref=hl LIKE 🙂 IF YOUR A FAN
And here they performed Paul’s very good hard rocking,especially for early 1965,I’m Down at The Ed Sulivian Theater August 14,1965 one night before their live Shea Stadium performance.
The Beatles – I’m Down
August 14, 1965
Here is their even harder rocking performance at Shea Stadium on August 15,1965 than they did on their record version of Paul’s I’m Down. And they did what a great rock n roll band would do,they ended this rock n roll concert with this rocking song.
The Beatles – I’m Down Live At Shea Stadium – Aug 15th, 1965
h, 1965″ by Isaac on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.
Here they performed a rocking cover of Dizzy Miss Lizzy with John’s great rock vocal,at the same She Stadium concert.
The Beatles – Dizzy Miss Lizzy Live At Shea Stadium – Aug 15th, 1965
h, 1965″ by Isaac on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love…
Here is another great rocking Beatles performance of the cover Twist and Shout in June 1964 in Melbourne Australia
The Beatles Twist And Shout Live HD
The Beatles Twist And Shout Live HD 720p HD «Twist and Shout» es una canción compuesta por Phil Medley y Bert Russell. Fue titulada originalmente como «Shake…
Beatles — Live — Washington DC Concert [ film highlights! — improved audio ]
There’s a new Beatles movie disc, reduced on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Days-Week-Touring-Blu-Ray/dp/B01M13O81J/theofficiapet-20 Also, I have a book on the …
Beatles — Live — Australia Concert [ film w/ great audio! ]
The latest Beatles movie disc is reduced on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Eight-Days-Week-Touring-Blu-Ray/dp/B01M13O81J/theofficiapet-20 Also, I have a book…
And what a huge disgusting insult to all of them as very talented musicians,and to John and Paul as extremely talented song composers and great singers,and to John Lennon’s memory and was never the founder and leader of some stupid,uncool,untalented boy band! And I’m certain that if John were still living he would come on youtube and other message boards and say I was *never* the founder and leader of any f*cking stupid,uncool,untalented boy band get that through your stupid f*cking heads!
If Beethoven,Mozart and Bach had screaming teenage girls in their audiences and they formed a band together they would have been a boy band too right?
The Beatles were *NEVER* a ”boy band”! As a poster Reverend Rock,who is a rock musician,reverend and a big Beatles fan said when said on a classic rock site years ago when some moron like you, called them this,that anyone who knows The Beatles history knows it’s ludicrous to even *suggest* such a thing!
And what a huge insult to their enormous talent as true singers,song writers and musicians! The Beatles were a *zillion* times more talented and cool than any stupid,uncool,untalented real boy band! The Monkees are the first true boy band because they didn’t even start off as a genuine band, they were all musical but they were originally hired as actors to play members of a TV pop rock band for their TV show, they didn’t start off playing together like Paul at age 15,George age 14 and John age 16 playing guitars and singing,then playing a few years later for 8 hours a night in sleazy strip clubs( and The Beatles had sex with many young women groupies,many who were teen girls and strippers) like The Beatles did in Hamburg Germany(or anywhere) for 2 years in a row,taking speed pills to stay awake to do it,and working their a*ses off playing as a real rock n roll band,and then playing successfully in the Cavern club as a real rock n roll band for years by the time they made it big.
And The Beatles wrote and played a lot of great rock n roll and pop rock songs in their early days. John and Paul wrote the rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man write in front of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1963 and they were both really impressed that they could just write a song just like that,and it inspired them to start writing their own songs and both bands became good friends from then on. And this song was one of The Rolling Stones first hits. There is just no comparison to The Monkees etc.
A guy so accurately said on a message board many years ago when some idiots called them a ”boy band” that The Beatles were *never* a boy band,not even during their 1963-1965 period. And another guy said a few years after this on another forum,when some idiot said this,that he too once thought the early Beatles were a boy band like NYSNC,or The Back Street Boys,until he got out of 7th grade.
Every time some ignorant person unjustly calls them a boy band,I’m sure John Lennon’s ashes must be turning with outrage.I’m sure he would go on to these sites and say I was *not* the founder and the leader of some f*king,stupid,uncool,untalented, boy band get that through your stupid f*cking heads! And younger people don’t know what type of music was out in 1963,even though I wasn’t born yet,I know that The Beatles early songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were hard rock compared to the music out then.There was just Bobby Darin,The Four Seasons,Bobby Vinton and The Beach Boys surfing hits.
I have read all of the many almost all 5 star amazon.com reviews of the new remastered amazon.com best seller,The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl and many people are saying what I and other fans have said elsewhere,that given how limited and primitive sound systems of the time were,and they had no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing,they played and sounded amazingly good! I heard the small samples on amazon.com,and what struck me is how typically great and prominent Paul’s bass playing is,someone said he’s playing it like a lead instrument.Also an amazon.com reviewer said how underrated John’s rhythm guitar playing is and how George Harrison’s guitar playing is very good and how great Ringo’s drumming is.
Here on Paul McCartney.com quite a few members are saying that it’s amazing and incredible that The Beatles played so great and sang so great with such primitive sound systems at the time and no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing.One member said they were without a doubt the greatest live rock band ever!
Many are saying the same things on this music forum including how great and hard rocking of a live band The Beatles really were.
I found only part of this review from The London Times,you have to have a subscription to read the whole article though,and it says in the first part of it,that it’s remarkable they played as well as they did given that they couldn’t hear a thing.
This guy says at the end of his 5 star great review which he titled,Miraculous! of the UK edition of The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl, that The Beatles showed who the real best Rock and Roll band in the world was.
Dylan talks of Beatles friendship
Legend admits: ‘I’m in awe of McCartney’
May 16, 2007
Dylan has spoken in depth about his longstanding friendship with The Beatles and his particular bond with George Harrison.
Talking to Rolling Stone magazine, Dylan talked freely about Harrison’s struggle to find his voice within the songwriting collective of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
“George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?” he asked.
Dylan highlighted the writing talents of Harrison, saying: “If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody.”
Speaking against popular belief, the singer also denounced any rumours of competitiveness towards Lennon and McCartney, asserting, “They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is.”
Nodding his cap to McCartney in particular, Dylan concluded: “I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up… He’s just so damn effortless.”
The Rolling Stones also wrote quite a few soft sentimental pop kind of songs,Lady Jane,As Tears Go By,Ruby Tuesday,Angie,Wild Horses,Waiting On A Friend,Happy etc and the 2 dreadful disco imitations,Miss You and Emotional Rescue. At least when Paul McCartney did a disco like song,Good Night tonight it was good interesting sounding music!
I do really like some Rolling Stones songs though,but the songs I like the radio rarely ever play,like street Fighting Man,Monkey Man,Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,Heart of Stone which I think is one of their best early songs,Let It Bleed and Happy which is a good but not great pop rock song.
My first cousin who is a head hunter helping people find jobs,she used to an accountant,and when she was 21 a huge Rolling Stones fan she also had The Beatles Revolver album in her bedroom.
When The Rolling Stones did their Steel Wheels tour in 1989 I asked her if she still liked The Rolling Stones and she said no,but the same year at her wedding shower my male and female cousins were talking about The Beatles who we all love,and my cousin said Oh I love The Beatles.
And when I was going to Paul McCartney live for the first time in 1990 and I was very excited about it,I was going on about how great he,John and The Beatles were and she said OK,I said you said you love The Beatles too and she said hey bottom line they were geniuses!
And I once heard a radio host who was a former rock DJ and he said The Beatles are really like the only music artists who have just about every song they did was great and wasn’t great was still good. He said even their album tracks that weren’t released as singles.
As The Rolling Stone Guide said, not liking The Beatles is as perverse as not liking the sun. And Ozzy Osbourne( he’s been a huge Beatles fan he was 15 when he first heard She Loves You on his transistor radio in 1963 from The Beatles early days,and he picked She Loves You as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s greatest songs of all time,and Sgt.Pepper is one of his favorite albums) said not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxygen. And a guy who runs Keno’s Classic Rock n Roll Site and who runs a Rolling Stones and John Lennon fan site says in his review of The Beatles 1967-1970 Blue Album damn The Beatles were one great group and he said in his great review of The Beatles 1962-1966 Red album, that if you don’t love or at least like The Beatles and their music then you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never ever get it.
He also says that John Lennon showed on Paul’s rocker Get Back why he should have played lead guitar more often because he did such a good job of it. He also said he played a pretty good slide guitar on George’s For Your Blue and he said John also played one of the first and best acid guitar parts on his great rocker Revolution.
And around 2005 a guy ignorantly called The early Beatles a boy band when discussing their early live concerts and Ken said to him,Oh hogwash!
Hunter Davies wrote in his 1968 only authorized Beatles biography,The Beatles that George Harrison at only age 13 would stay up till 2 in the morning playing his guitar until he got all of the chords exactly right and his fingers were bleeding and his nice mother stayed up with him too. And One of The Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick says in Mark Lewisohn’s excellent Beatles recording diary,The Beatles Recording Sessions that in early 1966 when The Beatles were recording John’s song I’m Only Sleeping, George Harrison played backwards guitar the most difficult way possible even though he could have taken an easy way,and it took him 6 hours just to do the guitar overdubs! He then made it doubly difficult by adding even more distorted guitars and Geoff says this was all George’s idea and that he did all of the playing.
Eric Clapton said in a 1992 interview when he and George were asked what they admired about each other during their Japan tour, that George is a fantastic slide guitar player. He and George were very good friends and they obviously admired and respected each others guitar playing and George played guitar on Cream’s song Badge.
And I have been a huge Beatles fan, especially a big highly impressed John and Paul fan since I was 11 and I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birthday,I started collecting their albums at age 9, and I had every album by age 13. I was born after 1964 too. when I was 13 a guy at school who was 2 years older than me,gave me Hunter Davies authorized biography,he was a fan and his older brother was an even bigger fan.I would read that book for hours till 5 in the morning.
My father was a big Bob Dylan fan and he had a lot of his albums,and he also had many Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass albums,and albums by Leonard Cohen and Peter Paul and Mary when I was growing up. And my sister who is 4 years older had a big music collection of all different types of music artists.
Most people I have known all of my life,including my female and male cousins, friends and neighbors know they were brilliant.When I was 11 I had a music teacher who asked us to guess who he was talking about when he said they were geniuses and that they wrote 200 songs,and that most of their songs and albums are great and critically acclaimed in just an 8 year recording career,and I said,The Beatles and he said yes that’s right!
George Martin Says in his biography,All You Need is Ears,There’s No Doubt Lennon & McCartney Were good Musicians,They Had Good Musical Brains and The Brain Is Where Music Originates,It Has Nothing To Do With Your Fingers,As It Happened They Could All Play Their Own Instruments Very Well,And that Paul is an excellent music allrounder, probably the best bass guitar-player there is, a brilliant guitarist,a first class drummer and a competent piano player.
Around 2003 I found an online interview with George Martin and he said that even though he has produced many other music artists and he has never had the same success before or after producing The Beatles,he has never known or worked with anyone as brilliant as The Beatles. He was also interviews in the 1990’s on a Breakfast With The Beatles show on a local rock station,and he said that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were incredibly talented people and he said it like he still couldn’t believe it. And he also said they both were extraordinarily talented song writers and great singers.
And in the excellent thorough book by Mark Lewisohn,The Beatles Recording Sessions,George Martin,and so many of The Beatles tape operators and recording engineers are interviewed,(and in the beginning there is a great 1987 interview with Paul McCartney) and they describe in detail how truly innovative, brilliant and creative especially John and Paul were in their amazing 8 year recording career. And there is a big black and white picture of Mick Jagger sitting in between John and Paul in the recording console room listening to the playback of the songs from The Beatles Revolver album.
And my cousin who was born in 1968 who used to be a lawyer,and his brother born in 62 who is still a lawyer,and their sister born in 64,their oldest brother born in 60,and their parents have always been Beatles fans. My cousin born in 68,went to England around 1991 and he told me that he was at a British Museum where the works of Shakespere,Dickens,Wodsworth and Keats,Lennon and McCartney’s lyrics are right in the same case. And he said the majority of visitors always said,forget the Shakespeare etc,lets go over to the Lennon and McCartney lyrics.
When I once asked him,if he still liked The Beatles he said,best band there ever was.My step cousin born in 1958,said they probably were the greatest band ever.He saw Paul McCartney and Wings in May 1976 in concert when he was 18 and he said it was a great show.
On a message board discussion some years ago about what bands and artists people consider overrated,quite a few said The Rolling Stones and some said The Beatles or both,and a guy said if you ask almost anybody in the music business they will tell you that The Beatles were the Greatest Band Ever.
I once spoke to a rock DJ about The Beatles and even though he said they aren’t his favorite,he said nobody can say that The Beatles weren’t great,he said especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney as song writers.
And I once spoke to another rock DJ who is a huge Beatles fan & who has hosted a 2 hour Breakfast With The Beatles radio show for over 20 years & I said that The Beatles work in the recording studio described in details in The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn,is so impressive & brilliant & he said oh it’s the work of geniuses. I said how can anyone not recognize what extraordinary singer song composers John Lennon & Paul McCartney were? And he said oh you can ask anyone in the music business & they will tell you that.
Paul McCartney is the Mozart of rock and he really was born this way because he inherited his father Jim McCartney’s and Jim’s father’s natural music talent,to a rare ridiculous extreme degree. Paul’s father Jim taught himself how to play the piano at age 14,and he broke an ear drum at the age of 10 so he was deaf in one ear,and he went on to become a classical jazz pianist and the leader of his own jazz band Jim Mac’s Band who were popular in clubs in Liverpool.
His father even wrote an instrumental song called,walking In The Park With Eloise which Paul recorded with the name The Country Hams in 1974 and included this song on their 1976 Wings album,Wings At The Speed Of Sound. But his father and grandfather weren’t poets,they were naturally musically talented and Paul has always been more of a *music genius* than a lyric genius even though he can and has written very good lyrics,but he doesn’t have to.And even when he did it’s his *music* that is what is so great about his songs and albums. Paul’s father’s father,also played brass and other instruments in a band and was a good singer with a good singing voice so that must be where also got his once great singing voice for rock,love songs and everything in between. Paul has been in The Guinness Book Of World Records since 1979 as the most successful song writer of all time,Paul was also given an honorary doctorate in music from Sussex University in 1988,and another one from Yale University in 2008.
Paul’s 1975 Venus & Mars Wings album is a great rock album and out of the majority of great reviews on amazon.com it gets a well deserved 5 stars out of over 100 reviews for this album. This is one of the *GREATEST* solo/Wings Paul albums he ever did! It’s great and it’s Beatles quality because every song is very good & if anyone wants to know what a true music genius Paul really is,just listen to the *music* in the great Letting Go.
My mother only liked classical music,Beethoven,Bach & Mozart,no rock & she played their music on the piano.When I was playing this album and she came into the room when Letting Go was on,she asked me is that Paul McCartney and I said yes and she said Oh that music is brilliant,he’s a music genius like Beethoven! My mother was also a talented artist who sculpted,and drew with charcoal pencils and pastels, and she even sold some of her sculptures at a few local galleries.She said she now loved most of The Beatles music and said they were brilliant.
And my sister who is 4 years older than me and had a big diverse music collection since she was a mid teen,bought Venus and Mars when it came out,and I remember listening to it with her,and her friend and my best friend and we all loved it. My sister still says years later that Venus and Mars is one of the best rock albums she ever heard and that it’s unique and she knows no album like it.
She always said his 1971 Ram album was a very good album too,although I like this album much better and I really don’t understand all of the love everywhere for his Ram album I think it only has 3 great songs on it, the great rocker Too Many People,Uncle Albert and Back Seat of My Car. Paul’s best post Beatles sounding music was from 1970-1975,with this being his last true great album.After this he wrote some good music but he never wrote the same great quality music again for some reason.
His first solo album McCartney where he played every instrument by himself (and he played them all great) is very good,Red Rose Speedway and Band On The Run are very good albums too,and he produced all of these great albums by himself and co-arranged the music on Venus and Mars by himself.
And it was Paul who wrote a lot of rock including hard rock in the 1970’s not John and George (no knock on them though) and most of it was great,