The Heights, the Independent Student Newspaper of Boston College, thought it was a good idea to tap Kaylie Ramirez to write about arts and music. A quick look at her articles online should give you a good idea of where she’s coming from: “Kanye Overpowers Cudi on Collab ‘KIDS SEE GHOSTS’” and “Boston Calling Day 3 Burns Out with Enigmatic Eminem Set.” Oh boy.
In February of this year she decided to take on the Beatles. In an article titled “The Beatles are Overrated,” she tries to make a point that the Beatles just weren’t that good. An avowed Eagles fan (Yawn), she points out that Keith Moon was a better drummer than Ringo, Flea was a better bassist than Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton was a better guitarist than George, Freddie Mercury was a better singer than Paul and John, and Bob Dylan wrote better lyrics than the band as a whole – leading her to the conclusion that “the Beatles’ music itself is not worthy of its untouchable status.”
Wow. Talk about missing the point. Talk about taking a big whiff and striking out.
I would just point her to my post about why the Beatles are the greatest band ever, but that’s just a rebuttal. What needs to be corrected is her flawed thinking.
Will I argue about Ramirez’s assertions that there are some musicians better than the Beatles individually? Not really, although I think Paul plays a more melodic bass than Flea ever could. And Bob Dylan wrote some stinky lyrics: “Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle like a gypsy queen/Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle all dressed in green.” She quotes a throwaway lyric by Lennon in “All You Need is Love” as an example of their lyrical inferiority, yet misses “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” and “Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup / They slither while they pass, they slip away across the universe.” Did you even look at any lyrics, Kaylie, or just write down the first one that came into your head?
Eric Clapton is probably one of the greatest guitar players ever, yet George was no slouch. Ramirez says George seemed to be “guided by the lyrics of The Beatles’ songs.” Well, yes, that’s called accompaniment. You don’t have to have a screaming guitar solo in every song. Subtlety has its moments. Same thing with Ringo. Paul said this about Ringo’s drumming: “Ringo is right down the center, never overplays.” Again, subtlety.
The voices? Paul’s was mostly soothing, but at times it could tear you in two, as he did in “Oh, Darling!” John had a plaintive, almost hurting voice that lent so much emotion to his heartfelt lyrics. Freddie Mercury was again, over the top, operatic. There are times for that, and times when a more nuanced vocal is needed. I dare say that “Hey Jude” would have been any better with Mercury singing it.
What made the Beatles special is that on their own, they were ordinary (see their sometimes disappointing solo careers); together, they were heaven. Even Paul admitted that the sum was greater than the parts in a 1984 Playboy interview. “When the four of us got together, we were definitely better than the four of us individually,” he said. “One of the things we had going for us was that we’d been together a long time. It made us very tight, like family, almost, so we were able to read one another. That made us good.”
Take the 2004 Detroit Pistons. They had only one All-Star, Ben Wallace. For each position, you could find a better player in the NBA: Point guard Chauncy Billups? Allen Iverson was much better. Wallace? Shaq scored almost twice as many points as he did, and had almost as many rebounds per game. Tayshaun Prince? Please. Vince Carter outscored him by 2-1. Rasheed Wallace? Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan outplayed him in every aspect. Richard Hamilton? Two words: Kobe Bryant. Doesn’t sound like a great team when compared to future Hall of Famers, but together, they won the NBA championship, stomping the LA Lakers in five games.
At the end of the article, Ramirez admits that the Beatles paved the way for all the musicians she said were better than the Beatles, and she closes the article by saying that “there is something mystical about the British band’s everlasting legacy.”
THEN WHAT THE HELL WAS THIS ARTICLE FOR??? You have proven nothing – in fact, you’ve proven the opposite!
Go back to KanYe and Eminem, Kaylie. Or the Eagles, for that matter.