Post by grantco
They are often influencial without the younger musicians knowing it.
Take Hendrix for example. From Hendrix came Cream. From Cream came Led
Zep and Black Sabbath. From Black Sabbath came just about every metal
band in existence since...
Cream's first LP, "Fresh Cream," was released in 1966, following the release of
their first single that October.
Jimi Hendrix's first LP, "Are You Experienced," was released in August, 1967.
Hendrix's popularity shot up with two events: 1. At the suggestion of members
of the Beatles, Jimi was invited to participate in the Monterey Pop Festival;
2. Jimi took part in Woodstock, playing a legendary version of the
"Star-Spangled Banner." His two "greatest" albums were released in 1968
("Axis: Bold As Love" and "Electric Ladyland").
Led Zeppelin and Cream both emerged (in a fashion) after the Yardbirds, since
Clapton and later Jimmy Page had been memberss. The group to be known as Led
Zeppelin toured as the New Yardbirds for contractual reasons and then became LZ
in Fall, 1968. They were more closely connected with John Mayall and the
Animals than they were with Hendrix. Certainly, they did not follow or copy
As for Black Sabbath, although their first LP was released in early 1970, they
were signed in '69. Their sound traces itself back (to an extent) to some of
what Cream was doing, but not to Hendrix. They were far more influenced by
acts like Blue Cheer.
The earliest influence on that style of sound was probably The Who, a band that
was classified as "British Invasion" at the time.
The British blues movement, which came to generate a heavier sound (that was
picked up by others and named "Heavy Metal" after a line from Steppenwolf's
"Born to be Wild"), is the same movement to which the Rolling Stones belonged.
The Stones, of course, were intricately connected to the Beatles, since several
members of both bands were friends.
The Beatles and the Who also influenced one another in the same way that the
Beatles and Stones influenced each other (or the Beatles and Brian Wilson).
The Beatles had enough popularity that they could expose the masses to sounds
that they might otherwise not hear on the radio. Before the Beatles-inspired
"First British Invasion," British groups seldom made it big in the US. The
Who, the Animals, and the Stones were all introduced to wide audiences because
of the Beatles, whose sound both influenced and was influenced by the
blues-based British bands.
Many styles that followed the Beatles (from the 70's to the present) have paid
homage to them. Guitarists and drummers have paid tribute to them...and still
do. That's why the Beatles have had greater sustained popularity SINCE 1990
than any other artist in the "pop/rock" genre. The Beatles are still
influencing this generation.
Artistically, the Beatles used their fame to allow them to turn "promotional
fims" into artistic "rock videos," creating the first "album video" in 1967 --
fifteen years ahead of Thriller. They took creative control of their cover
artwork -- something that modern musicians take for granted. Putting song
lyrics with albums, spending significant money on videos and artwork, and
setting up their own company are creative elements that the Beatles
demonstrated were possible for post-fifties-pop artists. Their songwriting in
'65 and '66 influenced some of the folk-rock movement, and they are so credited
in the liner notes of certain folk-rock albums.
In other areas, they were the first group to play in large stadiums, forcing
sound system manufacturers to design (for the first time) for large audiences.
In addition, Beatles music brought in "new" and "unfamiliar" instruments from
other genres and introduced them to the average pop music listener. This
included not only strings but also the sitar, fuzz bass, jangle box, etc..
This inclusion of new sounds was intentional. With the encouragement of George
Martin, they played around with the recording process -- adding backward vocals
and instruments, sped up and slowed down music, and other "gimmicks" to
"popular" music (something that might otherwise have been relegated to the
Mothers of Invention). They also recorded synthesizer music very early,
Due to the Beatles' experimentation, Artificial Double Tracking was invented --
something that has enjoyed wide popularity. Rock music had been relegated to
two- or three-track machines, but the Beatles took that to eight tracks before
they broke up, showing that rock music could be just as complex as classical.
Heck, Paul has DONE classical.
When John Lennon wanted a grittier guitar sound on "Revolution," he had to
overload a pre-amplifier. Others, wanting to duplicate that sort of sound,
later created amps that make exactly that kind of "Revolution" feel. From '66
to '69, they regularly created sounds that could not be repeated "live."
The Beatles have had tremendous influence, not only as performers and composers
but also as businessmen (both good and bad!), as videographers, as inventors,
and in several other major ways. The organizational structures of major record
companies changed on account of that one group.
But hey, all that "rock guitar" stuff goes back to Chuck Berry, and
experimental drumming is a Gene Krupa thing.