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I get the Beatles of course, Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Berry, Little Richard and even a bit of Elvis but I could never understand what makes Dylan great. I listen to Eleanor Rigby or side two of Abbey Road and I honestly think Dylan could not create music like that. If he was given those songs it would have not been the classics they became. Am I wrong to assume that someone explain to me why would Dylan be ahead of the Beatles and I know I'm in the majority on this.
Dylan isn't George Martin, if that's what you mean. He's one of the finest lyricists of all time, though.
Yeah George Martin did not write or play or sing Eleanor Rigby or Abbey Road that was the Beatles. The strings on Eleanor Rigby was a partnership between Martin and McCartney.
The two things about Dylan, I assume, which makes for acclaim, is great songwriting and a voice with gutwrenching personality. The voice is not to everyone's taste, and it's no wonder that many of his songs have been far greater hits for other artists than for the man himself. I personally love the sound of him, but if hearing the guy himself doesn't persuade you, then my saying so will of course not do the trick either. I suppose we all have some highly acclaimed artists that we just don't get ... :-)
But of course Blonde on Blonde is better than side 2 of Abbey Road - much,much,much,much,much,much better
Turn your question around: What would it sound like if the Fab 4 tried to play the songs on Highway 61?
I think it would sound different, but still pretty good. That's a testament to both the Beatles and Dylan. After all, he wrote the songs.
Yeah that's a bad argument for comparing artists. They should stand on the merits of their own work not what they would sound like if they performed other peoples work.
Try hearing Norwegian Wood and You've Got to Hide Your Love Away as The Beatles doing Dylan and you could see the Beatles doing quite well. Dylan doing Yer Blues or Revolution is a different story. I am a newbie on this site but the influence worked both ways Dylan did go electric largely becuase of the Beatles and Lennon and Harrison loved Dylan.
I’ll simply copy here a recent quote by Jonmark: I'd be harder pressed to defend Dylan if his talent and influence weren't so obvious. Talking again about his song-writing abilities, his vocal uniqueness and his huge influence produces to me an endless laziness.
Dylan playing "Revolution" would sound silly because his lyrics are usually so much more interesting than that song (which is a great Beatles tune, by the way).
Yeh but could Dylan sing it the way Lennon did it, not a chance could Dylan do a song that is a hard rock song but still it's pop in a way. The Beatles were the best to me at balancing pop and being experimental at the same time. That concept has been tried by practically every true rock artist but not many have been able to pull it off. The Beatles opened avenues from the folk rock Byrds another intresting topic who really started folk to the ultra progressive rock artists King Crimson. Dylan is lyric orientated I would not say the actual music is that innovative his music was his lyrics.
Great does not always mean musically innovative.
Rock music as a popular genre is mostly meant for pleasure I guess.
Dylan, like Springsteen (especially after 1975) or Neil Young or the Stones or Creedence (or even Tom Waits in a way) find their expression in traditional music. They don't feel the need to explore other universes, but they make very good music anyway
That's why for me all these arguments about who's greater than who are nonsense. I don't think this is really the way AM ratings should be interpretated.
Personnally, I prefer the Beatles to Dylan but I love them both, they are top of the top artists and I wouldn't say one is greater than the other
Would Dylan have "gone electric" if not for the Beatles?
I think so, but the popular legend suggests otherwise. Seems to me that Dylan's move to electric instruments was just as likely, if not more likely, inspired by the electric blues.
He already had the motivation to go electric, the Beatles just provided the tools. I think he'd've gone either way.
I think the Beatles verse Dylan debate is pointless (unless you think Dylan is better, because then you're right (I kid I kid)) because they set out to do different things. They achieved different goals under different circumstances using different methods. Sure they're both great, but they're both great at doing something totally different than the other. The Beatles were pop, Dylan was folk.
Jonmarck, you seem to know what your talking about and I mean that in a good way. I bought this question up yesterday. I read in a recent interview with Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, he credits the Beatles use of folk with rock for them forming as a rock group. The question I ask is who really started folk rock? I always knew the Byrds as a mix of Dylan and the Beatles. What is your take or anyone else's take on this?
Well, not to get too deep, but...
When people talk about genres what they might or might not realize is that they are talking about emotions. Metal is angry, hip hop is goofy and fun, pop-punk is cute (grrr....), rock is exciting, etc. Of course there's crossovers. Gangsta rap, for example, is also angry (which is why they love metal riffs so much). Still these analogies work in a general sense.
So when you're asking who wrote the first folk-rock song you're asking who was first inspired to express the emotion of excitement/power and the strength of working class traditions. There are many who have done this, even well before music was first recorded. They might not have done it with electric guitars but the emotion was there, and you can bet that if these same people were alive in Dylan's day they'd be playing the exact same thing that he was.
However I'm pretty sure you're asking who popularized folk-rock, in other words, who packaged it in a way that made sense to the general populace. The Animals did this with their cover of House of the Rising Sun (already eliminated, *sniff* from bracketology), a traditional favourite given new meaning by Eric Burdon's unearthly howl and a great hammond line. But please don't confuse this with meaning that the Animals invented folk rock. Like everyone else (including the Beatles and Dylan) they were only standing on the shoulders of giants.
well said johnmarck
I think no one invented folk rock
Several people did it in different countries
In England, very early Lonnie Donegan and the skiffle movement were mixing folk (Leadbelly covers for instance) with rock and that for sure influenced British rnr and the Beatles.
The 50's rockers were more into blues and country, but what is "folk" ?
Folklore litterally is traditional music, so blues and old-time country are folk.
What is generally called folk by rnr historians is a very small scene of New York performers, born in the 1940s around left-wing and unionist circles, with Woodie Guthrie, Leadbelly then Pete Seeger.
This movement was not hugely commercial and was totally different from 50's rock n roll (Elvis, Chuck and co)
Dylan was totally fascinated by these people but he was not the only one who was influenced by them.
But he was very important : Both the Animals and the Byrds took their 2 "folk-rock" anthems from him.
(House of the rising sun was sung by Leadbelly and Josh White, two folk blues musicians in NY in the 40's)
So if Dylan didn't create the sound he brought the folk repertoire to rock and pop music so I guess he is the main creator of folk-rock along with Lonnie Donegen in the UK who is not so well-known but who was very influential too.
Creator of folk rock....
What about Tom Wilson? Not only was he the Columbia producer who produced Dylan's electric records, but he was also the guy who decided to re-mix Paul Simon's "The Sound of Silence" by adding an electric guitar line.
I am not going to claim that the Beatles invented folk rock. There is a strong folk rock influence on tracks like Every Little Thing, What Your Doing very Byrdish sounding and the Dylan influenced I'm A Loser on Beatles For Sale. This was released in 1964 before Dylan went electric and the Byrds.
The Beatles roots are skiffle very folk influenced. Lonnie Donnegan was a big hero to the Quarrymen a.k.a The Beatles. It is no coincidence that Roger McGuinn recognized this on A Hard Day's Night. The influence work both ways without the Byrds and Dylan the Beatles might not have wrote Youv'e Got to Hide Your Love Away, and the very folkish Rubber Soul. Also picture Yesterday without the strings it was originally just a folk song similiar to Blackbird.