There is so much to unpack in this one sentence.

If you had written 1962 instead of 1968, I could cut you some slack.

By 1963, The Beatles were so far ahead of their time musically, we still hear their influence in music 50 years later.

Based on your admiration for Dylan and the Stones, I'll say this:

  1. Dylan's background in folk made him the greatest lyricist of his day, so any of the early Beatles songs would seem like pop marzipan in comparison, but their music made him sound more like a medieval bard.
  2. The Beatles were the kings of being bad boys and rocking the blues during their Hamburg years. They left that space to the Rolling Stones who made a 50-year career out of doing the same genre.

Let’s look at 1964, the Stones’ first album. The only song on the album written by the Stones was Tell Me, a formulaic blues song that sounds like the 50s.

Now listen to the insanely complex drum beat, harmonies and chord structure of this 1963 gem by the Beatles when it’s not drowned out by 65,000 screaming teenage girls.

Holy crap, music analysts still can’t figure out “The Chord” from 1964's A Hard Day’s Night:

Analysis of the chord has been debated,[14] it having been described as G7add9sus4,[15] G7sus4,[16][17] or G11sus4[12] and others below.

Part of the chord is an Fadd9 as confirmed by Harrison during an online chat on 15 February 2001:[18]

Q: Mr Harrison, what is the opening chord you used for “A Hard Day’s Night”?
A: It is F with a G on top, but you’ll have to ask Paul about the bass note to get the proper story.

Harrison’s beautiful use of that Rickenbacker 12-string electric guitar was the sound that inspired the Byrds and the folk rock explosion of 1965.

One has to measure the evolution in the Beatles’ music by seasons, not years.

By August 1965, the album Help! starts to showcase John Lennon’s lyrical skill and darkness in the title track, “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away,” and “Ticket to Ride.” Paul McCartney finally records “I've Just Seen A Face,” a song he wrote during The Quarrymen days that he called “slightly country and western” from his point of view, but it contains a complex rhyming sequence.

By December 1965, The Beatles release Rubber Soul, and groundbreaking new instrumentation (sitar, harmonium, fuzz bass) and a combination of musical styles ranging from pop to soul to folk to psychedelic to progressive rock. According to the wikipedia article, it also showed that The Beatles were musically “Woke” 50 years before the Black Lives Matter movement started:

The title derives from the colloquialismplastic soul” and was the Beatles’ way of acknowledging their lack of authenticity compared to the African-American soul artists they admired.

You can read about the revolutionary qualities of so many tracks in the album here.

It’s good to have you back, old friend, but I think I’d rather hear about your cross country eating exploits.

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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