Scaruffi’s rock criticism

Sometimes I do blatantly useless things so I can flaunt my rejection of the often unhealthy “always optimize” pressures within the effective altruism community. So today, I’m going to write about rock music criticism.

Specifically, I would like to introduce you to the wonder of the world that is Piero Scaruffi. Or, better, I’ll let Holden Karnofsky introduce him:

We can start with his writings on music, since that seems to be what he is known for. He has helpfully ranked the best 100 rock albums of all time in order…

If that’s too broad for you, he also provides his top albums year by year … every single year from 1967 to 2012. He also gives genre-specific rankings for psychedelic music, Canterbury, glam-rock, punk-rock, dream-pop, triphop, jungle … 32 genres in all. Try punching “scaruffi [band]” into Google; I defy you to find a major musician he hasn’t written a review of. These are all just part of the massive online appendix to his self-published two-volume history of rock music. But he’s not just into rock; he’s also written a history of popular music specifically prior to rock-n-roll and a history of jazz music, and he has a similarly deep set of rankings for jazz (best albums, best jazz music for each of 17 different instrument categories, best jazz from each decade). While he hasn’t written a book about classical music, he has put out a timeline of classical music from 1098 to the present day and lists his essential classical music selections in each of ~10 categories

So who is this guy, a music critic? Nope, he is some sort of mostly retired software consultant and I want you to know that his interests go far beyond music. Take literature, for example. He has given both a chronological timeline and a best-novel-ever ranking for each of 36 languages. No I’m serious. Have you been wanting this fellow’s opinion of the 37 best works of Albanian literature, in order? Here you go. Turkish? Right here. Hebrew, Arabic, Armenian, Ethiopian, ancient Egyptian, and Finnish? Got those too.

Naturally, Mr. Scaruffi has not neglected film (he’s given his top 40 films and favorites for each decade starting with the 1910s, along with a history of cinema written in Italian) or visual art (see his 3-part visual history of the visual arts, his list of the greatest paintings of all time and his own collages and photographs) but let’s move on from this fluffy stuff. Because it’s important for you to know about his:

Does this guy just like sit inside and read and write 24 hours a day? Not to hear his travel page tell it: he’s visited 159 countries and is happy to give you guides to several of them along with his “greatest places in the world” rankings. He also has an entirely separate “hiking” section of his website that I haven’t clicked on and am determined not to.

But let’s focus on his rock music criticism, which I think is alternately silly, wrong, and brilliant.


Here is Scaruffi on Moondog, an NYC street musician who played avantgarde jazz in a viking helmet:

… he composed string quartets, symphonies and operas, but mainly surreal vignettes for orchestra and home-made instruments. His works encompass everything that was known and a lot of what was still unknown. He virtually invented every single genre of rock, electronic and world music.

And on this 1997 song by electronic composer Amon Tobin:

The apparently unassuming [“Defocus”] is actually a new kind of symphony. Tobin warps the distinctive tone of an instrument to produce a new kind of instrument, and then weaves a few of them (a bee-like violin, a distorted bass, UFO-sounding flutes) into an organic flow of sound. It is, in fact, one of the most significant innovations since Beethoven added a choir to a symphony.

Then there’s his choice for the best rock song of 2005: “Dubi Dam Dam” by Banaroo. I asked him if he’s joking. He’s not.

Also, this isn’t about music, but… I once asked Scaruffi why there is a chipmunk on the cover of his AI book. He said he was hiking and saw the chipmunk so he took a picture.

“Yes, but why did you put it on the cover of a book about artificial intelligence?”

“Well, I liked the picture.”




I leave it to you to explore Scaruffi’s thoughts on politics, history, consciousness, physics, AI, and much more. Suffice it to stay I have a different thinking style. But let’s stick to music, here.

Scaruffi’s most infamous music page is his Beatles profile. Here’s the gist of it:

The Beatles sold a lot of records not because they were the greatest musicians but simply because their music was easy to sell to the masses: it had no difficult content, it had no technical innovations, it had no creative depth. They wrote a bunch of catchy 3-minute ditties and they were photogenic…

While the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, the Doors, Pink Floyd and many others were composing long and daring suites worthy of avantgarde music, thus elevating rock music to art, the Beatles continued to yield three-minute songs built around a chorus.

In broad strokes, I agree with Scaruffi about the Beatles. They wrote some good albums, but it wouldn’t occur to me to list any of them in the top 100 albums of rock music.

But on the details, well… Scaruffi’s Beatles page is littered with apparently motivated errors. 1 Here’s a sampling:

Today Beatles songs are played mostly in supermarkets.

Uh, no. I checked the most-listened artists worldwide chart for the week I wrote this sentence, and the Beatles came in at 37th most-listened, the most-heard artist whose most popular work was released in the 1960s, and ahead of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Rihanna, U2, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Lady Gaga, Elvis, Drake, etc. When I check the same week the previous year, the Beatles were 20th most-listened. The year before that? 7th. In 2005, the earliest year I can check? 3rd.

The Beatles’ lyrics were tied to the tradition of pop music, while [other] rock music found space…  for psychological narration, anti-establishment satire, political denunciation, drugs, sex and death.

A Day in the Life. Nowhere Man. Happiness is a Warm Gun. Eleanor Rigby. Piggies. Revolution. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Lots more.

The influence of the Beatles cannot be considered musical.

Sure, other artists of the time were more progressive and experimental. 2 But the Beatles’ musical influence was still huge. Specifically, they developed a language for incorporating progressive and experimental elements into short pop songs through clever arrangement and studio effects, and this has been the M.O. of many talented artists after the Beatles. (Sure, Pet Sounds came before Sgt. Pepper, but some artists were more influenced by the Beatles than by Brian Wilson.)

Anyway, we don’t have to speculate about the Beatles’ musical influence. We have quotes from many other musicians of the time.

See here for more Scaruffi musical inaccuracies.



Basically, I call Scaruffi’s rock criticism “brilliant” because he shares my biases and interests. In particular, he’s an intellectual historian of rock, rather than a fan or a journalist.

Most rock critics are journalists. Their job is to write entertaining pieces about music in the popular discussion. That’s a fine thing to do, but it’s not what I care about. I want to learn about and experience an evolving intellectual art form. I want to learn about new musical ideas, new fusions, new timbres. Read a piece by Lester Bangs or a piece in Pitchfork and you’ll barely know anything about what the music sounds like, or where it fits in the history of musical ideas. Instead you’ll learn about the artist’s drug habits and what their music says about the political topics of the day.

Scaruffi is primarily an intellectual historian. He’s not a “fan” of this genre or that. He’s not trying to keep up with what’s current; he usually doesn’t bother to review albums until more than a year after they’re released. He rarely writes about an artist’s social context or personal life, and instead writes about how their work fits into the intellectual history of music. He writes quickly and succinctly, rather than carefully crafting riveting, literary articles about a much smaller number of artists and albums. He doesn’t need to hail every 50th album a masterpiece so he can sell albums.

He’s also not a historian of musicians or the music business. Nearly all musical biographies and histories are about the lives of musicians, which of their tracks hit the charts, which albums sold the most, etc.

I like to imagine that Scaruffi’s intended audience is a small group of classical music historians and composers, who know musical theory deeply and know which musical innovations were introduced by specific works of Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Berlioz, Stockhausen, etc., and who asked him the question “So, I guess in the last 60 years there’s been this ‘rock music’ thing going on. What innovations has it produced? What should we listen to?”

Hence in the preface to his History of Rock Music, Scaruffi writes:

Anyone who is into Beethoven’s symphonies or Wagner’s operas and is told that the Beatles’ catchy three-minute tunes are the masterpieces of rock music will simply smile and politely nod, but never listen to rock music again; and will thus never learn that rock music has also produced 20-minute avantgarde suites and hour-long electronic poems that are easily as complex and as futuristic as contemporary classical music.

Scaruffi mostly ignores lyrics, too. Vanishingly few rock lyrics make good poetry anyway. This fits my own bias because for some reason my brain can’t pay attention to lyrics for more than 10 seconds at a time.

Another reason I’m a huge Scaruffi fan is that his opinions are the most browsable of all the critics I know.

What are Robert Christgau‘s favorite albums of all time? I’d have to browse through his 50+ pages of his online consumer guides and check which ones got an A+ rating. Dave Marsh has a few lists, but they’re mostly about pop singles. Meanwhile, Scaruffi has yearly lists for albums and tracks, decade lists, genre lists, lists of greatest musicians by instrument, and of course his “best albums of all time” list.

Scaruffi’s other great advantage is that his database of reviews is the most comprehensive I know of for a single music critic. He has profiles for just about any artist you can name, except for brand new artists. But he also has profiles for loads of super-obscure but also fascinating artists like, say, Abu Lahab.



The result of all this is that, in my experience, I am 90% likely to strongly appreciate an album that Scaruffi rates 8/10 or higher, but only 40% or less likely to like an album that another rock critic rates equivalently high. And nobody else has introduced me to more obscure albums that I think are great.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go listen to some Sandy Bull.

  1. Thanks to this post for doing some of my research for me. Though that post also has errors. For example, every song it lists as not having a refrain (chorus) does in fact have a chorus.[]
  2. The Beatles released at least one straightforwardly experimental track: “Revolution 9” from the White Album (1968). They also recorded “Carnival of Light” in 1967 but it wasn’t released at the time.[]


  1. Ben Pace says

    Can you understand what he writes about albums and artists? His words often don’t seem to mean anything…

    For example, the entry on Andrew Bird:

    “Noble Beast… is austere, idiosyncratic, impressionist chamber-pop for traumatic experiences, crafted via a meticulous syntax of subliminal nuances.”

    “…Fitz And The Dizzyspells sets up a theater of memory for an audience of amnesiacs.”

    Also, what is it like discussing AI and MIRI with him?

  2. says

    Scaruffi’s reputation for encylopaedic knowledge is very far from well-founded. His list of the best jazz albums of the 1940s is already problematic since most of the best jazz of the 1940s wasn’t issued in album form, but according to him, the best jazz of the 1940s was:

    ‘Lennie Tristano: Crosscurrents (1949)
    Duke Ellington: Liberian Suite (1949)
    Lee Konitz: Subconscious-Lee (1949)
    Coleman Hawkins: Rainbow Mist (1944)’

    So, that’s leaving out all of Charlie Parker’s Savoy and Dial sessions, recognised by anyone who knows anything at all about jazz as a world-class, game-changing collection of music, not to mention everything else Parker did in the 1940s, by far his most productive and brilliant decade; everything Dizzy Gillespie did in that decade, equally innovative, brilliant and influential; the first recordings by Thelonious Monk; Charlie Christian’s Minton’s jam sessions; Bud Powell’s earliest solo recordings, including ‘Un Poco Loco’, and a lot else. Lists like these make me wonder whether Scaruffi has actually listened to jazz at all, other than the albums he writes about in detail. I notice that the 40s is also the first decade that Scaruffi covers, meaning that he leaves out Louis Armstrong’s Hot Five and Hot Seven recordings, which in itself should be enough to rule him out of court as someone with anything at all to say about jazz. It’s not enough to pay lip-service to Cecil Taylor and John Coltrane. You’ve got to actually know what you’re talking about, and the evidence suggests that Scaruffi gets his opinions from books, not from encounters with the music.

    • Luke says

      Did you read Scaruffi’s history, or just his lists? He discusses the 1940s work of all the artists you mention, he just didn’t list their albums among the best albums of 1940s jazz.

      E.g. of Charlie Parker’s Savoy sessions Scaruffi writes: “In 1945, besides recording the milestone performances with Gillespie, he formed his own group and proceeded to develop a new tonal vocabulary… Parker extended both the melodic and the rhythmic range of jazz music in a systematic way. His solos seemed to have no rule, occasionally sounding arbitrary in the context of the group’s playing. Thus each solo appeared to be unique in nature, not the repetition of a distinctive pattern. The polyrhythmic essence of his playing was emphasized by the detours of his rhythm section, but made possible by his melodies, that toyed with beats and with the space between beats. Parker was an oxymoron of sorts: the player of a melodic instrument who indirectly focused on rhythm. His music was revolutionary because it was based on discontinuity instead of harmonious flow. His phrasing sounded hysterical and contradictory. His playing did obey a meta-rule, though: emotion. Whatever he was doing with the saxophone, he was trying to secrete as much emotion as possible.”

      • Ivan says

        He explains somewhere in the huge vastness of his website that he doesn’t include early jazz music in his lists because the concept of the album didn’t exist at the time. He also says that it is better to listen to jazz antologies rather than albums because of the improvisational nature of jazz, sometimes it just doesn’t work that well.

  3. Joseph Mar says

    Scaruffi web page is a good data base about rock music, but has many erroneous historical data type and inconsistencies in the qualifications of the albums. For example, speaking ill of the Beatles and The Kinks good, but the average rating of the albums of both is the same.
    It lacks clear criteria for rating the albums. So, its rating system is incomplete.

    • Alex A. says

      I think the way he writes is based on how he thinks *relative to what he believes popular opinion thinks*. Since popular opinion of bands such as the Beatles and Radiohead are overwhelmingly positive, most of the review will appear to be negative, but in reality he gives a couple 7/10’s out for both of them. Regarding a more obscure band with similar scoring, he will likely speak nothing but praise for them because they are otherwise unknown.

  4. says


    I wanted to comment regarding a post on your Listology account. It seems you don’t use the site much anymore, and therefore may no longer be notified of new comments. In any event, your post, “Best Rock Albums Ever (according to me)” says about Soft Machine’s double album Third:

    “It was this album that awakened most critics to the fact that rock music was not just for dancing; it could make significant artistic contributions on the level of Igor Stravinsky and John Coltrane.”

    While Scaruffi’s website is hands-down one of the greatest areas for discovering obscure music, he is far from a great source when searching for a professional historian’s take on rock music. Your quote above simply isn’t true. During the Beatles’ run (1963-70), many critics’ reviews and other editorials compared – and not in an unfavorable way – the melodies and arrangements in the Beatles’ work with those of the Western tradition’s great classical composers. The Beatles could even be described as one of the groups which first made intellectuals take rock music seriously. Brian Wilson, lead singer of the Beach Boys, once said that Rubber Soul was more coherent than any album that came before. The year Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band was released, English critic Kenneth Tynan called the album “a decisive moment in Western civilization.” If most critics had believed until June 1970 that rock music was only for dancing, it would have taken much longer for them to credit the Beatles – and other contemporaries – with elevating the genre to the level of a fine art. Of course The Beatles (“The White Album”) was disparaged in 1968, but several critics by then, if asked, would have agreed that the Beatles had already made the history of popular music no matter whether or not their last few efforts would be poor.

    Scaruffi’s musical taste may be ahead of its time in some respects – many of the albums in his top-25 list are criminally underrated – but his reputation for encyclopedic knowledge, as someone else has commented, is “very far from well-founded.” I bring Scaruffi back into the picture because your quote sounds very Scaruffian (“It was this album…”, “could make significant artistic contributions”, questionable jazz reference, etc.), as though he told it to you or, you wrote it based on his write-up. I know that for you there is something rather brilliant in Scaruffi’s approach – I, as well, think there is. But brilliance does not necessarily make someone infallible or scholarly. A brilliant person can still make things up to support an agenda of theirs, and/or still read poor sources. I have the feeling that Scaruffi has, at least a few times before writing certain content on his website, either done one or both. Neither should be present in a professional critic.

    • Gary Gomes says

      But most professional critics have agendas and often play fast and loose with the facts. I agree with Scaruffi that the Beatles produced mostly pop songs-Revolution 9 being a notable exception- but the idea that rock music to be for something other than dancing originated several years before Soft Machine 3rd, much as I love Soft Machine.
      And the Beatles did some fine, new work between Revolver and Abbey Road. But almost every innovation the Beatles did could be traced to earlier sources. It is difficult to find a bad review of the Beatles in the 68-70’a-mainly because they were so beloved and most classical musicians and critics listened to no one else!


    The problem with Scaruffi essay on The Beatles it’s filled with historical inaccuracies and lack of any knowledge in terms of musical theory. To be honest I don’t know where to start it’s that bad. There are so many books that discusses The Beatles innovations in the rock music world. For example ” The Foundations of Rock: From “Blue Suede Shoes” to “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” by Walter Everett or “Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles” by Dominic Pedler

    You ask rock musicians who is the greatest or most influential rock act they will most likely say The Beatles first. It’s just factual there is another way to say it despite what Scaruffi wants you to believe.

    For example The Beatles were one of first rock acts who were seriously discussed by classical musicians or critics. It is true not everyone was enthralled with The Beatles however, in 1963, classical critic William Mann declared John Lennon and Paul McCartney were “the outstanding English composers of 1963.”

    Five years later, Deryck Cooke, the musicologist who made a performing version of Mahler’s unfinished Tenth Symphony, hailed the Beatles as “genuine creators of a ‘new music’,” while denigrating classical avant-garde in the same breath.

    Leonard Bernstein declared that the Beatles’s best songs were “more adventurous than anything else written in serious music today.”

    Another example:
    Ned Rorem

    “Why are the Beatles superior? It is easy to say that most of their competition (like most everything everywhere) is junk. More important, their superiority is consistent: each of the songs from their last three albums is memorable. The best of these memorable tunes—and the best is a large percentage (Here, There and Everywhere, Good Day Sunshine, Michelle, Norwegian Wood)—compare with those by composers from great eras of song: Monteverdi, Schumann, Poulenc.’’

    I also don’t understand Scaruffi critique regarding their so-called lack of technical ability as compared to Cream. Let’s be honest The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys who used The Wrecking Crew, The Rolling Stones were actually not great technically either or even better than The Beatles.

    However, The Beatles were progressive musically to have influence the majority of early progressive rock acts. Songs like “’Tomorrow Never Knows’’, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “ I Am The Walrus” for example were clearly distinct from Pet Sounds pop/Phil Spector Wall of Sound type of music.

    Brian Wilson was obsessed with The Beatles. After listening to ”Strawberry Fields Forever” it was over for Smile. Sorry for the some of The Beach Boys obsessed fans on this forum but it’s reality.

    The psychedelic orchestrated ”Strawberry Fields Forever” not present on Pet Sounds just obliterated anything he did previously in terms of innovative soundscapes..

    One of the more interesting approaches in style in music and instrumentation well to me was ”Eleanor Rigby/”She’s Leaving Home”’

    The dark lyrical themes, chamber style orchestration, lack of rock instruments with just vocal backings is almost entirely different genre of music in my opinion.

    Lastly could we stop this it’s utterly ridiculous for Scaruffi to say The Beatles did not write about drugs or anything that may have been politically serious? While The Rolling Stones or The Who were writing teen agnst songs The Beatles were signaling out polticians, drug dealers, hippie type songs, acid trips, religious topics and referencing The Tibetan Book of Dead in 1965-1966. Go ask Brian Wilson or even John Cale about “Norwegian Wood” or “She Said She Said’’.

  6. says


    For what it’s worth, I’ve gone through Scaruffi’s assessment of the Beatles and have provided a fairly comprehensive rebuttal of many of the ‘facts’ he states about them. I have not attempted to argue that he is wrong to dislike them; although I do like them, I spend most of my time listening to other people. I disagree with your comment that he’s an ‘intellectual historian’ because I think he lacks the skills and intellectual honesty required to be one; I think his site is just him bloviating about music he likes and dislikes, and pretending, for reasons I prefer not to speculate about, that his opinion is in some way more than just his opinion. Anyway, if you’re interested, you can find it on my site.

  7. Mike says

    I’ve looked at this guy’s website compendium of rock band history/reviews, and I find him pretty hard to take seriously because he consistently gives information wrong enough to demonstrate that he’s more interested in saying SOMETHING (anything) about EVERYTHING than in saying something insightful about any particular thing.

    I’m in agreement with him about the Beatles being overrated, but the ignorance he displays in making the case is embarrassing. If Piero was half as smart as he seems to think he is, he’d be a genius. He is not.

    • graf says

      Spit on someone who had a major role in the music of 60’s is embarrassing.
      Beatles can be overstated, but that they are irrelevant is more than offensive.
      From this reason my doubt in his opinion are dubious.
      Just look at what he did Bowie in the 70’s or Smiths in the ’80s.

  8. Peter Fitton says

    “While the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, the Doors, Pink Floyd and many others were composing long and daring suites worthy of avantgarde music”. Good God, that sounds like the sort of jejune drivel I used to say to my father when I was 15 years old and he moaned at me for constantly listening to Van der Graaf Generator. “But, Dad, Peter Hammill doesn’t write silly pop lyrics, he writes 70 line poems! His lyrics are really deep!”. My father was, quite rightly, unimpressed (I still like Hammill though). Scaruffi’s opinions are mostly those of a passive-aggressive teenager, and his tendency to make up his own facts is contemptible.

    • Bill says

      Sounds like you just hollowed out, bub. The guy doesn’t feel the need to put those thoughts or feelings to rest just because he aged. The rest of the world just thinks it’s weird or lame so you or anyone else criticizing this aspect call it out, but realistically you’re just getting pissed off for someone wanting a more creative nature in his music. That frustration doesn’t argue any logic to me.

  9. RB says

    I’m probably going to be misjudged for posting all of this information totally debunking the extremely idiotic,ridiculous lies that Scaruffi wrote about The Beatles,but because I have so much great strong information,I’m going to.

    As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography “That it’s difficult to summarize their career without restating cliches that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans, to start with the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century.”

    “Moreover they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did *and* the most popular at what they did.” They also say as singers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were among the best and most expressive in rock.

    Also on an excellent site,The Evolution of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Dennnis Alstrand,Stanley Clarke,Sting,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan,George Martin and John Lennon are quoted saying what a great,melodic and influential bass player Paul has always been.

    And Wilco’s John Stirratt was asked in Bass Player which bass players have had the most impact on his playing and the first thing he said was, Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time,if you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio it’s unbelievable.” “With his tone and musicality he was a huge influence,he covered all of his harmonic responsibilities really well but his baselines were absolutely melodic and inventive.”

    In this 2010 interview the blogger says that John Stirratt has an affinity for good melodies so it’s not surprising that Paul McCartney is one of his musical icons and then he quotes him saying that he’s always absolutely in awe of his playing,including Paul’s Beatles years.

    And in an online 1977 Eric Clapton interview,Eric Clapton In His Own Words he says that there was always this game between John and George,and he said partly because John was a pretty good guitar player himself .He played live with John as a member of John’s 1969 Plastic Ono Band.

    And there is a great online article by musician and song writer Peter Cross,The Beatles Are The Most Creative Band Of All Time and he says that many musicians besides him recognize Paul as one of the best bass guitar players ever.He too says that John and Paul are the greatest song composers and that to say that John and Paul are among 2 of the greatest singers in rock and roll is to state the obvious,and that John,Paul and George were all excellent guitarists and that George is underrated by people not educated about music but that Eric Clapton knew better,he also says that both John and Paul played great leads as well as innovative rhythm tracks.

    John Lennon co-wrote,sang and played guitar on one of David Bowie’s first hits Fame in 1975 and David invited John to play guitar on his version of John’s beautiful Beatles song Across The Universe.Brain May,Ozzy Osbourne,and Liam Gallagher and many more call The Beatles The Greatest Band Ever.’

    Also on MusicRadar Tom Petty,Joe Perry and Richie Sambora in What The Beatles Mean To Me all say how cool and great they thought The Beatles were when they first saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 when they were just teen boys,Richie was only 5.Tom Petty said he thought they were really really great.

    Robin Zander of Cheap Trick said he’s probably one of the biggest Beatles fans on the planet.Brad Whitford of Aerosmith said that a lot of that Beatles influence comes from Steven Tyler’s collaboration with Mark Hudson both whom are absolute Beatles freaks and he said I guess the goal is to try and emulate probably some of the best music of the last 50 years which has to be The Beatles.

  10. CS says

    Also in an excellent Beatles book Ticket To Ride by Denny Somach where so many other well known popular respected rock musicians and artists are interviewed about The Beatles praising them including Jimmy Page,Brian Wilson who says he’s always loved The Beatles. And Brian Wilson called John & Paul the greatest song writers of the 20th century on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show,(which had on music artists from every type of music,a young black jazz musician,a middle aged black opera singer,Steve Winwood,Meatloaf,and classical violinist Isak Perleman,who said he plays his children Bach,Beethoven Mozart and The Beatles)and he played With A Little Help From My Friends on the piano and he said he just loves this song. He also said that Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album he ever heard and The All Music Guide says in their Beach Boys biography,that Brian had a nervous breakdown after he heard it. Brian also said that when he first heard The Beatles brilliant 1965 folk rock album Rubber Soul he was blown away by it.He said all of the songs flowed together and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time and he couldn’t believe they did this so great,this inspired him to make Pet Sounds.

    John Lodge and Justin of The Moody Blues are interviewed in this book and Bill Wyman and Ron Wood says how The Rolling Stones became good friends with The Beatles in 1963 after John and Paul wrote 1 of their first hits,the Rock n Roll song,I Wanna Be You’re Man.

    Ron Wood was asked what his favorite Beatles songs and he said there are so many apart from the obvious like Strawberry Fields I Want To Hold Your Hand is one he said he used to like a lot ,and he said he really loved We Can Work It Out.He also says that The Beatles used to have a radio show every Friday where they played live and spoke and he would never miss an episode. He said infact whoever has the rights to those shows should dig them up,because they are incredible.

    Justin Hayward says that the album he always really loved ,and he said it was when they started experimenting with chord structures ,was A Hard Day’s Night.He says they began to move away from the standard 3 chord thing and just went into more interesting structures .He said A Hard Day’s Night was the album for him and their song If I Fell was the song.He said it started in a different key to how it ended up,and it’s a beautifully worked out song and that there are some songs on that album that were very emotional and evocative. He said that for everybody just starting to write songs as he was,it was a real turn on and eye opener.

  11. CS says

    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


    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

  12. CS says

    This 1999 review of Mark Lewisohn’s excellent Beatles studio diary book where many of The Beatles recording engineers and tape operators and their producer George Martin are interviewed (and it shows how truly innovative,brilliant and creative especially John and Paul were in the recording studio),The Beatles Recording Sessions titled, Behind The Creative Genius Of A Groundbreaking Band by a musician himself says it all, he says that as a musician he found Mark Lewisohn’s portrayal of The Beatles genius and in parenthesis he says, especially that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to be completely thorough and accurate, as well as insightful. He then says if you are to buy any one Beatles book,buy this one.

    And this reviewer RAS who became a big Beatles fan after he read The Beatles Recording Sessions book,said,I think The Beatles ARE BRILLIANT and he said he despairs what his life would be like without The Beatles!! He said that when he first saw this book,he said Oh another garbage Beatles book.

  13. CS says

    Here is a really good July 1976 Rolling Stone Magazine interview with George Martin in which he’s asked about George Harrison who he says is talented but John and Paul are so enormously talented that it was silly to look elsewhere.But it’s obvious George Harrison was even more talented as a song writer and guitarist than most people realize because in this same interview George Martin says that he didn’t give George much encouragement he just tolerated him. And of course John and Paul didn’t give him much encouragement,so he did mostly everything on his own.

  14. CS says

    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 Shakespeare,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.

  15. CS says

    From Me To You,and especially She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were praised by some music critics even from the beginning,like William Mann of The London Times in December 1963 pointed out their interesting unusual chords and arrangements and London Times music critic Richard Buckle also in late 1963 called John and Paul the greatest composers since Beethoven after they wrote the music for a play Mods and Rockers.

    Bob Dylan ,Roger McGuinn of The Byrds as early as 1963 and 1964 pointed out that even in early Beatles songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand had unusual and interesting chords and they arranged them.

    Here in this article about The Beatles chords,Bob Dylan is quoted saying what he thought in 1964 about The early Beatles music,he said that they were doing things nobody was doing and that their chords were outrageous,just outrageous and their harmonies made it all valid.

    Here in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Song Writers Bob Dylan is number 1,Paul McCartney is number 2, and John Lennon is number 3, Bob Dylan is quoted about a car trip when he heard a lot of Beatles songs on the radio, he said they were doing things and that he knew they were pointing the direction where music had to go.

    Roger McGuinn has said that he started to play a 12 string guitar after he saw and heard George Harrison playing in in the A Hard Day’s Night movie.

    And John and Paul wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits the rock n roll song, I Wanna Be Your Man in late 1963 right in front of them. And Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed and said wow,how can you write a song just like that and it inspired them to start writing their own songs.

    John Lennon and Paul McCartney were such amazingly talented singer song writers that they were already writing hit songs for other artists as early as 1963 when their own song writing success was getting off the ground,besides The Rolling Stones,they also wrote hit songs in 1963 for Billy J.Krammer and The Dakatos,Celia Black,and Peter and Gordon etc.

    Paul wrote his first song at age 14 and was playing guitar,John wrote heavy deep poetry but didn’t start writing songs until he met Paul and was impressed that he wrote his own songs,and he too started to write his own songs at age 16,and they wrote together and never stopped from then on. Paul wrote the very pretty song I’ll Follow The Sun at only 16.Even when The Beatles first came to America in February 1964 many people said how rare it was for *adult* rock n roll bands and solo artists to write their own songs,and Paul and John were already doing this as teenagers in the mid 1950’s.

    And even though I wasn’t born yet in 1963 I know what type of music was popular on the radio,non rock n roll songs like Bobby Vinton,The Four Seasons,Bobby Darin and The Beach Boys surfing hits,The early Beatles songs like She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing there etc were hard rock for 1963 and ahead of their time.

  16. CS says

    Also, classical composer Leonard Bernstein called John and Paul the greatest composers of the 20th century so did Elton John on a 1991 CBS Morning news show,he was asked who he musically admires and he said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammerstein but for the quantity of quality songs that Lennon and McCartney wrote in that short period of time,he said he thinks they were the greatest song writers of the 20th century.Brian Wilson said this too on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show. The Beatles are in the Vocal Hall of Fame and John and Paul have been in the song writing Hall of Fame since 1987,Keith Richards and Mick Jagger have been in it since 1993,but as of now no members of The Who,or Led Zeppelin are in The Song Writing Hall Of Fame or The Vocal Hall Of Fame,The Rolling Stones aren’t in The Vocal Hall of Fame either and The Beatles were awarded about 20 prestigious Ivor Novello awards as great singers and song writers in just a remarkable 8 year recording career,John and Paul won the first one in early 1964.

    They also won an Oscar for their film score of their 1970 film Let It Be.

  17. CS says

    In this 2008 interview asking Keith Richards who the five greatest bands ever are besides The Rolling Stones,he said obviously he put The Beatles in there. This was 6 years of course before he ridiculously criticized The Beatles brilliant Sgt.Pepper album that The Rolling Stones tried but failed to copy and equal.

  18. CS says

    Ozzy Osbourne has been a big Beatles fan since he was an early teenager,and he picked She Loves You as one of his favorite songs for Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest songs and Sgt.Pepper is one o his favorite albums. He says that not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxygen and he called The Beatles the greatest band to ever walk the earth.

    Here Ozzy Osbourne says that he doesn’t anyone will ever be as great as The Beatles and he said they were all great,even George Harrison and Ringo Starr were great.

    Here is a video of Ozzy Osbourne meets Paul McCartney for the first time and they hug each other.

    Here Ozzy Osbourne says how hearing She Loves You at age 15 inspired him to go into music.

  19. CS says

    As The Rolling Stone Album 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 a young teen 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 hi 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.

  20. CS says

    Giles Martin,George Martin’s son who recently remastered The Beatles 1964 and 1965 Live At The Hollywood Bowl concerts rightfully says on All Songs Considered when people ask him if The Beatles were a good live band,he says they were a great live band and he mentions the very limited,primitive sound systems they had back then,and says how great The Beatles played live in the studio on their first 3 or 4 albums,and that they all played their instruments very good.

  21. CS says

    Here is just another of countless examples of how ignorant and wrong Scaruffi is about The Beatles and he makes up a whole bunch of outright lies.

    On Last FM. before Last FM. changed their site and now they unfortunately took off the fan groups,The Rolling Stones only had 80 members and they had 2,000 of their fan group in 2007,The Beatles had over 2,000 which became 18,000 and the average age of fans is 22 more guys than girls and they are from all over the world. In 2006,2007 and 2008 The Beatles were the # 1 most listened music artists on Last.FM and they are very popular on YouTube and Rate Your Music where many male and female fans in their teens and 20’s call them The Greatest Rock Band Ever. They are now the number 1 classic Rock band on there as they have been for years

    and they did their homework right,in their Beatles biography they rightfully say that The Beatles were an iconic *rock band* and are the most critically acclaimed and successful rock band ever. And on Rate Your Music,they are the highest rated music artists out of over


    And they are number 1 out over 1,000 Top Rock Artists

    The Beatles are still rightfully regarded by most people,most rock critics,and many other music and rock artists as The most creative,innovative,and prolific rock band ever.

    In 1995 25 years after they broke up their Anthology CD’s went straight to # 1 around the world and I heard a rock DJ say that 40% of the people buying them were teenagers,the same exact thing when their 1 CD came out in 2000 30 years after they broke,up and in 2009,39 years after they broke up,they were the second biggest selling artists in the last decade,and their 1 CD was the biggest selling album. And their music went to the top soon after it went on iTunes.And soon after their music started streaming on Spotify it became very popular and Billboard reported that 65% of listeners are under 34 years old which means they weren’t even born when they broke up in 1970.

    There are also a lot of people in their teens,20’s and 30’s who are fans of John’s solo great music,and Paul’s solo and Wings great music.

  22. CS says

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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 June 1964.

    Here in 1964 June in Melbourne Australia they are playing John’s great rock song that they had recorded in February 1964 on their first great early album A Hard Day’s Night.

    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.

    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.

    Here they performed a rocking cover of Dizzy Miss Lizzy with John’s great rock vocal,at the same She Stadium concert.

    Here is another great rocking Beatles performance of the cover Twist and Shout in June 1964 in Melbourne Australia

    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?

  23. CS says

    Both VH1 and MTV have been using Richie Unterberger’s excellent All Music Guide’s long Beatles biography as their Beatles biography they both used to not have a very good biography of The Beatles.Here are great Beatles biographies that totally debunk this totally stupid,inaccurate,ludicrous,ridiculous myth that they were ever a ‘’boy band’’!

    The Beatles own documentary The Beatles Anthology

    The great 1982 Beatles documentary,The Complete Beatles narrated by award winning British actor Malcolm McDowell

    And any great reputable accurate Beatles biography would debunk this ludicrous,stupid myth.And I have *never* read or heard *any* legitimate serious rock critics or rock music journalists describe them this way and for extremely great reasons.

  24. CS says

    In 2010 I read an online article that had an interview with Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers about a recent tribute to Jimi Hendrix, in which he says that Jimi played for The Isley Brothers & lived with them & that they & he were fans of The Fab Four from the moment they all watched them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. I always thought that Jimi was only a later period Beatles fan,I knew he played Sgt.Pepper live the weekend it came out,& he played Day Tripper live also,& several people on different message boards said that when he was asked where the direction of music was going,he said ask The Beatles.

  25. CS says

    In the 2012 Newsweek Beatles special celebrating 50 years since their music came out,Steve Jobs was quoted from Walter Isaacson’s biography as talking about how the band’s approach to recording “refining and refining” influenced his own creative process. He said they were such perfectionists they kept it going and going he said. Steve Jobs said that this made a big impression on him when he was in his thirties.Newsweek rightfully says,that it’s hard to imagine another rock band that influenced the way computers are made just as it is to think of one whose name became an adjective. And Newsweek said and that’s why The Beatles still stand apart.

    They quote Steve Jobs saying,”Somebody else could have replicated the Stones,(Newsweek then says,nailing the difference between artists shaped by their times and those who shape them),no one could have been Dylan or The Beatles.”

  26. CS says

    The Beatles do need defending because there truly is so much ignorant,inaccurate myths about them,the most ignorant and ludicrous of all,is that they were ever a boy band and they never were not even for half of a second.

    Here is a review of The Beatles first album,Please Please Me by a top Epionions music reviewer Scapp70 he says they need defending and he said that he had been reading some really negative things about The Beatles in print and online,and he said it’s just so wild.He said but when you’re as big as The Beatles there is bound to be some negativity out there. He explains how brilliant they were,how they made an amazing amount of great albums in such a short time and why they are rightfully widely considered the best band ever.

  27. CS says

    It’s really amazing how good The Beatles sounded live with such limited primitive crappy sound systems of the time,but they were so great that they would have even sounded good playing out of of cave.

    There is an online interview with Roger Daltry,Roger’s Journey With The Who in The Sun and he was asked if The Who had screaming girls at a certain point,and he said after Can’t Explain they did. He said it was the screaming teenage era and every band had them on their way up. He said it was fun at first but the trouble for a performer when you are that young and inexperienced is that you start to judge your performances on the amount they scream,he said it’s nonsense which is why Lennon gave up. He also said that The Who’s manager turned their image overnight from scruffy rockers to Mods.

    When The Beatles played live in 1963,64,65 & 66 they only had 100 watt amplifiers,no feedback monitors so they couldn’t hear themselves sing and play,plus the screaming crowds and that’s why they gave up touring.

    George Harrison says in The Beatles Anthology video series,that for their August 1965 Shea Stadium concerts, special 100 watt amplifiers were made and that they went up from only 30 watts before. Given how limited and primitive the sound systems were then,it’s amazing they sounded as good as they did live.But it was impossible for *anyone* to sound great on those kind of limited,primitive sound systems of the time.

    Former Kiss guitarist Bob Kulick who produced the heavy metal Beatles tribute album, Butchering The Beatles, said he saw The Beatles in concert in 1966 and he said he could hear parts of Baby’s In Black & Paperback Writer and they sounded amazing.

    A guy Steve from Canada said on Artist Facts,that he saw The Beatles live in 1966 and The Stones in 1996(and the sound systems by then were a zillion times better!) and he said don’t get me wrong,The Stones were great but they were no match for The Beatles and he called The Beatles The Greatest Band Of All Time.

    The Beatles started out playing 8 hours a night in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany,taking speed pills to stay awake,wearing tight black leather jackets and pants,smoking and cursing on stage,and had sex with so many young women groupies including the strippers in those clubs,they were successful there. They also played successfully live in The Cavern Club for several years in the early 1960’s.

    John and George especially hated Beatle Mania,and George says in The Anthology series, that it took a toll on their nervous systems, they had no life either trapped in hotel rooms most of the time. They wanted to be popular & successful as every band does, but they didn’t want or ask for the hysteria. John says in his 1975 Tomorrow Show interview that the screaming wasn’t doing the music any good,and that things would break down and nobody would know.

    The Beatles sound great on their live roof top January 1969 concert in The Let It Be Film, and the sound systems had improved by then,(although still very limited compared to today’s) and there were no more screaming crowds.

    Paul was playing guitar and writing songs at 14 and he started soon after his beloved nurse and midwife mother Mary died of breast cancer, and he wrote the beautiful song Let It Be after he had a real seeming dream where he saw her alive again and she told him to just accept things as they are. He says in his authorized biography, that when he woke up he thought how great it was to see her alive again.

    And there is this very good article by Collin Fleming from The Atlantic, 50 Years Later: The Greatest Beatles Performance Of All Time

    And there used to be the full video of The Beatles February 1964 Washington Colosseum and there were over 1,000 likes and many people were saying what Frank and Jack say to this now only audio version of this concert,( many people on youtube are saying why are many of The Beatles videos gone off of youtube now and some are saying it’s because of UMG_MK and I don’t know what this is.) that it’s amazing that with such crappy sound systems of those days and no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing and many said they still sound so good and great and some say this Washington concert proves what a great live band they were and before they got so tired of all of the Beatlemania garbage they had to put up with all of the screaming drowning out their great music.

  28. CS says

    I also met two people and know a third one who saw The Beatles in concert,one woman and one man who were my high school teachers who saw them in 1966,and the other my second cousin who saw them at the Baltimore Coliseum when she was 16 in 1964,she became a psychologist.They all told me that they were close enough to them to see and hear the The Beatles and that they were great.

  29. CS says

    A radio host who was a former DJ once said that The Beatles are one of the only if not only bands that almost all of their songs were great including the album tracks that weren’t released as singles.

    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.

  30. CS says

    Not only did The Beatles give The Rolling Stones one of their first hits with their rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man in 1963 ,and they wrote it right in front of them and Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed and like wow how can you write a song just like that and it motivated them to start writing their own songs.
    The Rolling Stones were good friends with and fans of The Beatles.

    Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with him.Also Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that in May 1967 when The Beatles were recording their song Baby You’re A Rich Man he came there and stood on the sidelines to watch and listen to them recording it. His name is also on the tape box and he likely sang at the end verses.In Mark Lewishon’s great detailed music diary book, The Beatles Recording Sessions there is a big black and white picture of Mick Jagger sitting in between John and Paul in the recording console room during The Beatles Revolver recording sessions too.

    And Brian Jones played the saxophone on the strange Beatles song, You Know My Name Look Up The Number and he and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend at the time Marriane Faithful contributed sound effects on the song Yellow Submarine.

    As this guy Sal66 who is also a musician and has also posted on sites debunking ignorant cr*p about The Beatles has rightfully pointed out, The Beatles wrote,played and recorded I Feel Fine (which The All Music Guide says has brilliant,active ,difficult guitar leads and riffs) in the Fall of 1964 which was the first use of feedback guitar on a pop rock record and it also had a prominent guitar riff throughout this very good song almost a year *before* The Rolling Stones’s Satisfaction came out.

    And on John’s great Norwegian Wood recorded in the Fall of 1965,George Harrison was the first to play a sitar on a pop rock song and it was released on their great album Rubber Soul in December and then in May 1966 The Rolling Stones song Paint It Black came out with Brian Jones playing a sitar.

    And in Paul McCartney’s authorized biography Many Years From Now, Mick Jagger’s former girlfriend singer Marianne Faithful says that she and Mick used to go over to Paul’s house a lot and hang out in his music room. She said he never went to see them at their house they always went to visit him because he was Paul McCartney.She also said that Mick was intimidated by Paul but that Paul was totally oblivious to this.

    Paul also says in this book that he turned Mick on to pot in his music room and he said which is funny because a lot of people would assume it was the other way around. Mick Jagger was also with The Beatles in Bangor when they got the call that Brian Epstein was found dead because he went on the train with them with his then girl friend singer Marianne Faithful to see the Maharishi to study meditation that weekend.

    Also Mick Jagger is quoted on a Rolling Stones fan site, saying that Keith Richards liked The Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences and he says he also liked their harmonies which he said were always a slight problem for The Rolling Stones.He said Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy.Mick then says,that what they never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals and he said it didn’t work because Keith was a better singer and to keep going,oooh,ooh,ooh(he laughs) and he said Brian liked all of those oohs which Keith had to put up with.He also said Keith was capable of much stronger vocals than ooh,ooh,ooh.

    On this same fan site Keith Richards is quoted from 1971 saying that The Beatles were perfect for opening doors,when they went to America they left it wide open for them and he said that The Rolling Stones could never have gone to America without them.He also said that The Beatles are so f**king good at what they did.

  31. CS says

    Not only is this so ignorant,ridiculous,and false on a creative and musical level,but on their personal level too. I guarantee true genuine boy bands don’t have groupies.

    The Beatles had sex with *tons* of young women groupies,many who were just teen girls especially during their touring years of 1963-1966 ironically they did this the most during the joke fake cleaned up image Brian Epstein created for them in their early days.In reality they were like pimps playing the part of priests! It’s no coincidence that in The Beatles Anthology video series that Paul,George and Ringo made,the story that is reported of The Beatles being thrown out of a US hotel in August 1965 because Paul was found in his hotel bedroom with an underage girl, that is included in the first great Beatles documentary from 1982 The Complete Beatles which none of them had any involvement making,is completely left out of The Beatles Anthology.

    Paul McCartney also said in Hunter Davies 1968 first edition of the only authorized Beatles biography called,The Beatles, that he had sex at age 15 with a girl who was older and bigger than him,and most 15 year old boys weren’t having sex in 1957,and he said he bragged about it to his classmates the next day and that he was the first one in his class to have sex.Paul also said in this book,that he would go into strip clubs at only 13 and he was the lad in his class that drew nude women.He also got another girl who was his girl friend,pregnant when he was 17 and she was 16,and Paul’s father and her parents wanted them to get married but she had a miscarriage.

    Hunter Davies says in his 1985 update of his Beatles biography, that The Beatles were no different from any other rock band when it came to groupies and he said they just had more to chose from. He said it was up to the road manager to say to these young women,you,you and you 5 minutes later which is really sexist and disgusting but it’s totally typical for every rock band which is what they always were.

  32. CS says

    The Beatles also wrote about sex in their songs in addition to drugs,but in those days you had to be more subtle about it,although Paul’s Why Don’t We Do It In The Road is pretty blatant.Day Tripper from 1965 was about sex and drugs,and even John’s 1963 song,Please Please me was about oral sex.

    Some years ago on a heavy metal site that I think was called metalpedia a guy said,it goes like this,Scaruffi write a whole bunch of contrived bullsh*t about The Beatles

  33. CS says

    I forgot to add that the guy on Metalpedia then said that a lot of people think Scaruffi knows what he’s talking about because he’s a cognitive scientist.

  34. CS says

    And I have been a huge Beatles fan,especially a highly impressed John Lennon and Paul McCartney fan since I was 11 when I got my first Beatles books for my 11th birthday, I started collecting their albums at age 9, and I had every Beatles album by age 13.I was born after 1964 too. Most people I have known all of my life,including my male and female cousins,friends and neighbors, know they were brilliant.One of my cousins was two when they broke up and he likes all different types of music and said The Beatles are the best band there ever was.When I was 11 I had a music teacher who asked us to guess who he was talking about,he said they were geniuses and they wrote 200 songs,most of them great and critically acclaimed,and many great critically acclaimed albums in just an 8 year recording career,and I guessed correctly I said John,Lennon,Paul McCartney The Beatles,and he said that’s right!

  35. CS says

    In this All Music Guide review of The Beatles early 1963 album,With The Beatles Stephen Thomas Erlewine says at the end of the very good review that still the heart of With The Beatles lies not in the covers but the originals where it was clear that even at this early stage The Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing turning into expert craftsman and musical innovators.

  36. CS says

    Many people on different message boards have said the only Rolling Stones song they like is Paint It Black, 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 Randi 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!

  37. CS says

    Rate Your Music Top 1000 Rock Artists Queen is number 75,The Beatles are so rightfully number 1 !

    And on the site Digital Dreamdoor where many musicians are members The Beatles are the number 1 Greatest Rock Artists.

    On their 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists Paul McCartney has been number 8 for many years now, John Deacon is number 32.John Paul Jones is number 27,and Bill Wyman is number 95.

    Out over 100 Greatest Rock Drummers Ringo Star is number 13, Roger Taylor is number 31 and Charlie Watts is number 91..

    Out of 200 Greatest Rock Song Writers John Lennon and Paul McCartney are of course number 1 members of Queen are number 47.

  38. CS says

    Here in this 1971 interview at the Sgt.Regis Hotel John Lennon is asked by the interviewer about him using drummer Jim Keltner and if this was a reflection on Ringo’s drumming.And John said, Oh no I love his drumming. He then said I think Keltner is a bit technically better but Ringo is still one of the best drummers in rock.

    And who did John Lennon use as a drummer on his first brilliant solo album John Lennon Plastic Ono Band when he could have gotten almost anyone who would have jumped at the chance to play on one of John’s albums? Ringo.

    And Ringo Star was already a successful drummer in the most popular successful band in Liverpool,Rorry Storm and The Hurricanes when John,Paul and George asked him to join The Beatles.And George Martin didn’t think that Pete Best was that good,and he and John,Paul and George thought that Ringo was much better.

    Also Phil Collins and Max Weinberg are both Ringo fans. And Phil Colins ( who has always been a big Beatles fan and he was in the audience in the concert scene in their great movie A Hard Day’s Night at age 13) says he can’t even duplicate Ringo’s great drumming in A Day In The Life. George Martin says that Ringo always had a great feel and ear for a song and that it was his idea to play the tom toms on A Day In The Life giving it a unique percussion sound.

    Mark Lewisohn says in his great book,The Beatles Recording Sessions,that on a handful of occasions during all of the several hundred session tapes and thousand of recording hours can Ringo be heard to have made a mistake or wavered in his beat. He then says that his work was remarkably consistent-and excellent-from 1962 right through to 1970.

  39. CS says

    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 to. 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.

  40. CS says

    The Beatles revolutionized popular and rock music and were very
    innovative,prolific and creative,more than any other group. And their great timeless songs are the most covered in music history by everyone from jazz musicians,classical,Motown,rock,pop and even heavy metal recording and playing their great timeless music.

    Many academic musicologists and music scholars have done serious
    studies,analyses and praise of their great timeless music,like university of Penn graduate musicologist Alan W.Pollack who did an extensive 11 year detailed analysis of every Beatles song.He says he hadn’t even listened to The Beatles in 20 years until they came out on CD for the first time in 1987.He said The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn was one of the things that motivated him to do his Beatles study.He demonstrates that even though a lot of their lyrics were simple in most of their really early songs,most of their music
    wasn’t and that a lot of their early songs have as many as 9 chords and
    interesting and unusual arrangements.Paul’s great rocker,You Never Give Me You’re Money on their excellent amazingly modern sounding rock album,Abbey Road has 21 chords.Here is the link to his extensive analysis

    And university of Michigan music professor and musician Walter Everett who wrote the 2 volume,The Beatles As Musicians:The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul and The Beatles As Musicians:Revolver Through Anthology.And British musicologist and classical composer and music professor (who is dead now)Willifred Mellers 1973 book,Twilight Of The Gods:The Music Of The Beatles,and he also wrote about Beethoven,Mozart and Bob Dylan.

    And award winning music professor Dr.Glen Gass who has been teaching a course on what brilliant composers The Beatles were and a rock music course at Indiana University School Of Music since 1982.Dr.Gary Kendall’s Beatles course is the most requested at North Western university ,university of California also has one and Oxford university had a recent Beatles course.

    How many serious music scholars and award winning music professors are teaching and writing serious academic works studying and praising what “brilliant” composers The Rolling Stones or any other rock bands were?

    Of course ignorant,biased Scaruffi conveniently leaves all of this important information out of his atrocious,inaccurate Beatles article.

  41. CS says

    This is a great August 1986 hour long Paul McCartney interview by Barbara Hower from Entertainment This Week. 🙂 She asked him a lot of great intelligent questions including how he felt about John Lennon’s horrible,tragic murder and she got a rare great interview out of him and he comes across as very likeable intelligent,funny,serious and charming.This is really the best interview with Paul that I have ever seen or heard. I still have this interview on an old VHS tape from the time. It’s not on youtube though for some reason. Unfortunately it gets interrupted by advertisements but then the interview resumes.But I just watched it again and there were no commercials now, I hope they don’t include them again.
    Paul also says in this interview that soon after John died Yoko called him up and told Paul that John really loved him.

    Notice how uncomfortable Paul’s face expression is for about a minute in this great August 1986 hour long Paul McCartney interview by Barbara Hower from Entertainment This Week when she says to him,probably your first great love before you married Linda was Jane Asher,it struck a chord.I’m sure that Paul was really in love with Jane too,you don’t write the beautiful love songs such as And I Love Her,Things We Said Today, and Here There Everywhere,(plus the great songs he wrote about his arguments with her,which was his own fault because of his sexism constantly trying to get Jane to give up her acting career she loved so much and that she had been doing since she was 5 years old.

  42. CS says

    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 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 and Wings 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.

  43. CS says

    Paul McCartney’s early solo early Wings music which includes a lot of great rock and even some hard rock from 1970-1975 which is Paul’s best post Beatles music/

    Here the very good Russian music reviewer George Starostin reviews Paul McCartney’s solo and Wings albums and songs and he so rightly debunks the common stupid myth that Paul’s solo and Wings music wasn’t very good and he gives good and great reviews to almost all of Paul’s 1970’s albums.

    Paul McCartney is still in the Guinness Book of World Records since October 1979 as the most successful song composer of all time and he has an honorary doctorate in music from Sussex University in 1988 and another from Yale in 2008!

  44. CS says

    Paul’s 1975 Venus & Mars Wings album is a great rock album and out of the majority of great reviews on 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.

    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.

  45. CS says

    The Beatles wrote and played like 50 years worth of mostly great,( and what wasn’t great was still good) diverse music in just an amazing 8 year recording career. No band or other music artists have done this before or since.

  46. CS says

    Oh another inacurrate thing Scaruffi says about The Beatles writing 3 minute songs,well until The Beatles broke the rules for everyone with the long song Hey Jude in 1968, the radio’s rules for everyone was that they wouldn’t play any songs longer than 3 minutes. If you look up online The Rolling Stones early hit songs like Paint It Black etc they too are only 3 minutes and some seconds.Pain It Black is only 3 minutes and 22 seconds long.

    As Tears Go By is only 2 minutes and 33 seconds.

    Under My Thumb is only 3 minutes and 41 seconds long.

    Get Off Of My Cloud is only 2 minutes and 55 seconds long

    Satisfaction is only 3 minutes and 44 seconds.

    Ruby Tuesday is only 3 minutes and 15 seconds.

    The Who’s My Generation is only 3 minutes and 18 seconds.

    Happy Jack by The Who is only 2 minutes and 14 seconds


    etc, etc

  47. CS says

    The Beatles were *NEVER* a ”boy band”! As a poster Reverend Rock,who is a rock musician,reverend and a big Beatles fan said on a classic rock site years ago,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.

  48. CS says

    The Beatles wrote *plenty* of great rock songs including hard rock on The White Album and Abbey Road and as many have rightfully pointed out Paul invented heavy metal with his 1968 song Helter Skelter and people have also said John’s I Want You She’s So Heavy on Abbey road was also one of the first heavy metal songs.

    Even in their early days they wrote some great rockers that were very rocky for the times, as The All Music Guide said,in their very good review of Past Masters Volume 1 that they proved they could rock really really hard,with John’s I Feel Fine from late 1964 which featured the very recorded feedback guitar on a rock song,and Paul’s great blues rocker,She’s A Woman also from late 1964,and what they called the peerless I’m Down which is Paul’s screaming rocker from mid 1965 which they performed even harder rocking, and screaming in August 1965 at Shea Stadium.

    Also John’s You Can’t Do That from early 1964,is a great rock song, so is Day Tripper,Paperback Writer, And You’re Bird Can Sing,Oh Darling,Hey Bulldog, She Said She Said,Taxman, Revolution,Get Back,Come Together etc

  49. CS says

    NME News
    Bob Dylan talks of Beatles friendship

    Legend admits: ‘I’m in awe of McCartney’
    May 16, 2007

    Bob 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 rumors 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.”

  50. CS says

    And when the Beatlemania( which The Beatles did not create and didn’t ask for or know would happen and it certainly doesn’t take away their credibility and legitimacy as a true great rock n roll band in their early days,)and it was only a compliment for about 3 minutes,because they had no life because they were mobbed everywhere and trapped in hotel rooms,and their music wasn’t being heard in concerts,

  51. Peter Fitton says

    Here’s another telling quote from Scaruffi’s Beatles piece: “Jazz critics have long recognized that the greatest jazz musicians of all times are Duke Ellington and John Coltrane, who were not the most famous or richest or best sellers of their times, let alone of all times”.

    Now, aside from the fact that most jazz critics would actually name Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis as the greatest jazz musicians, one has to wonder how Scaruffi reacted when he learned that Coltrane had not only recorded a version of My Favourite Things but had even – shock horror! – had a sizable hit with it.

    I expect he had to listen to some godawful 20 minute noise suite or other to calm down, or maybe he just satisfied himself with listening to some ultra-talented “London guitarist” perform endless pentatonic noodling over standard triadic chord changes for half an hour. Only be exposing himself to such genius could he hope to take his mind off Coltrane’s unforgivable populism, I tell you!

  52. Lucas Lambers says

    Though a fan of the Beatles when I was younger (their albums were my first rock albums) and though I still appreciate them for packing a lot of memorability and progressiveness into 3-4 minute bits (and I know there are exceptions (day in the life is great, revolution 9, tomorrow never knows, strawberry fields forever remains my favorite of their songs) it is hard to go through all these posts (there must be 20 of them) in praise of the Beatles and not be more than a little turned off. If something is so good, it shouldn’t really need 20 posts worth of defense, does it? Much less on a blog post that for once actually has something nice to say about Scaruffi (trust me, the ones that drag him through the mud for his Beatles opinions go on and on). Much less on a post that briefly mentions the Beatles. Music does not live and die with the Beatles. There are greater gods in the history of music. My cadre starts with Bach, Beethoven, and Schoenberg. I know you have yours. But if it’s the Beatles, find another website. There are hundreds to choose from.

    • Bill says

      Any favorites outside of Scaruffi’s site? I would like to know about them. This is one of the only comments that didn’t make me facepalm.

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