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-   -   Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning? (https://www.crf2.com/showthread.php?t=35694)

Foxhound 08-31-2010 11:36 AM

Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Boy bands have been around for at least half a century. These bands initially played their own instruments for the most part and would often write some of their own music. The latest variant/wave of these bands seems to have dispensed with the necessity of even playing their own instruments, however, and has concentrated on the key defining criteria of a boy band, that being designing their act/music to target pubescent females.

Although many/most of us sneer at these bands in disdain, there are some who caution us with the argument that even the Beatles were a boy band at the start of their careers.

Could this actually be true? What do you think?

:scratch:

the roser 08-31-2010 11:58 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
You gave only a yes or no answer. I think they were certainly marketed as a boy band, who else but kids were going to buy a rock and roll record from four, well, boys in 1963? They were unlike the teen idols of the day, however, as they formed and worked as a band before being signed. At the time, teen idols were recruited by producers and many of them had little musical experience before they started making records. So my answer is they weren't formed as a boy band, but they adapted. And I think that's one of the reasons they quickly rebelled against the star machine and dedicated themselves to making music they could be proud of.

bobbyg29 08-31-2010 12:00 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the roser (Post 1051204)
You gave only a yes or no answer. I think they were certainly marketed as a boy band, who else but kids were going to buy a rock and roll record from four, well, boys in 1963? They were unlike the teen idols of the day, however, as they formed and worked as a band before being signed. At the time, teen idols were recruited by producers and many of them had little musical experience before they started making records. So my answer is they weren't formed as a boy band, but they adapted. And I think that's one of the reasons they quickly rebelled against the star machine and dedicated themselves to making music they could be proud of.

Yeah, that is kind of how I would answer the question too. Certainly they didn't start as a "boy band" and were much more than that for most of their career, but if you wanted to form a "boy band" today Beatlemania would definitely be the blueprint on how to do it.

And there is obviously a big difference between a band that formed on their own and developed together than a band that was hand-selected to fit some scheme dreamed up by music executives.

Foxhound 08-31-2010 12:12 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the roser
You gave only a yes or no answer.

That's because I don't want any fence sitting to evade the question here. I've had some recent "problems" on this question with people who argue one way and then much to my annoyance vote the other way on the basis of an arcane hair-splitting technicality thus messing up the scientific validity of this poll on a question that's ever so important to our understanding of the place of rock music in popular culture.

You can believe all that if you want. It's your choice. But there are only two choices in the poll and you can pick only one.

:drummer:

the roser 08-31-2010 12:59 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Well if you wanted to make it scientific, you might want to remove the ever so loaded qualifications after the yes and no. I don't think the screaming determines whether or not they were a boy band and I don't think the Beatles themselves were marketing to anyone, they were just happy to be getting payed to play. So I'm standing firm on my maybe.:lol:

hodad 08-31-2010 01:53 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
You could say the Beatles were a power pop band too but no one calls them that. The fact is boy band and power pop were terms that weren't around when the Beatles came on the scene. That is my rationale for voting no. :thumbsup:

Foxhound 08-31-2010 02:06 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by roser
Well if you wanted to make it scientific, you might want to remove the ever so loaded qualifications after the yes and no.

Well then ignore everything after the "Yes" and "No". Vote on the poll question precisely as worded.

:drummer:

Foxhound 08-31-2010 02:09 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hodad (Post 1051227)
The fact is boy band and power pop were terms that weren't around when the Beatles came on the scene. That is my rationale for voting no. :thumbsup:

An evasion and an awful one at that. But there's no helping that now.

:mad:

Red George 08-31-2010 02:23 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No. They may have been marketed as a boy band, but in essence they always were a rock-n-roll band. They just played the music they wanted to play and didn't really care much about those screaming girls. They got sick of all this beatlemania very soon, and that's one of the reasons why they quit performing live n 1966.

the roser 08-31-2010 02:29 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Red makes a convincing case, so I too have voted no.

annie 08-31-2010 02:41 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No. The Beatles succeeded in gathering a following of youngsters and adults alike. Unlike many artists before them, who appealed to either adults, kids. or one particular segment of population, The Beatles appealed to every age group. Initially the marketing profile showed a vast cross section. The reason for their enormous sales was the wide age range of the audience. They had captured the entire record buying public, including me, a young mom at the time.

Deja Vu 08-31-2010 03:13 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Here's exactly how I feel about it: Some of The Beatles' music was meandering fluff, absent-minded dime a dozen pop songs which are certainly equatable with Boy Band music.

However, at no point in time were The Beatles ever a boy band. Have you heard Twist and Shout? Rock n roll. A boy band doesn't play anything badass, and a boy band certainly doesn't play anything but pop. So The Beatles can't be a boy band at any point, considering we have Twist and Shout right there on their debut record.

That being said, some seek to excuse The Beatles early fluff-pop transgressions due to the times themselves... Seeing as how The Beatles are, themselves, the progenitor of rock's grand evolution, they can't be expected to have harbored that which they would eventually spur, so of course they sound somewhat tame in comparison to what they inspired. However, I reject this hypothesis on the grounds that The Beatles were a good bit less hardcore than a lot of of the popular rock music that came before them, like Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Not to mention all the old blues guys, plus people like Bob Dylan who were recording the same time the Beatles were.

Serena 08-31-2010 03:54 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago but made a much bigger impact. They sort of intended to start off as commercial pop to get the ball rolling then gradually became more progressive once the mania died down. But majority of their followers before 1966 were people under thirty. I guess not very many adults took them seriously until their innovation really peaked within their later albums.

tacobender44 08-31-2010 03:58 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
great question! i've often asked myself this question before. however i vote no for pretty much the same reasons Deja and Red George said. The band always had its roots in rock and roll as evidenced in their Hamburg days. Although they may have been heavily marketed like a boy band would in their early days, they were still too rock and roll to be considered one.

BeatlesFan3287 08-31-2010 04:04 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
If the Beatles were a boy band than Elvis must have been a teen idol...simply not true.

The Beatles were targeting young people in general, and even some older folks joined in on the excitement.

Now the Jonas Brothers----hardly anyone who isn't a female under the age of 20 likes them.

Phantastico 08-31-2010 05:40 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No, because "boy bands" are manufactured. The Beatles were organic.

That 70s Guy 08-31-2010 06:38 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No. The Beatles were targeting a market much broader than pubescent girls right from the start.

troggy 08-31-2010 07:07 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

Zombeels 08-31-2010 07:35 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by troggy (Post 1051285)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

I agree.

Serena 08-31-2010 09:19 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by troggy (Post 1051285)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

In a sense that they were a band who formulated themselves, played instruments, wrote original material and majority of their listeners were girls between the ages of seven and twenty-five. Rock was in its immature days then so it still is commonly seen bubblegum pop/rock now, although it was very 'heavy' for the times. But I guess it depends on how you define "boy band." They were certainly not N'Sync or the Backstreet Boys, just simply a band of boys. So what if they were a boy band, they were great! This goes for the early Rolling Stones as well.

troggy 08-31-2010 10:02 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051300)
Rock was in its immature days then so it still is commonly seen bubblegum pop/rock now

This, I'll agree with but it's one of the biggest problems with "now". First of all, thank god we have a couple of years of the immature Beatles. Secondly, the immature Fab Four rocked harder than after they grew up. I'd argue that the Beatles were a bigger pop band later than they were early.

annie 08-31-2010 10:47 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
just to remind everyone that 20-25 years old is not "pubescent girls".

Foxhound 09-01-2010 11:05 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
What?! And all this time I thought you were just a young-un.

:D

annie 09-01-2010 12:32 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhound (Post 1051443)
What?! And all this time I thought you were just a young-un.

:D

ha ha ha young at heart :lol:

heyyou 10-30-2010 10:05 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
"The boy band" term did not exist in the spirits of people at that time, thus the question is initially not on its place.

butch 10-31-2010 01:16 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
I have a hard time viewing a "boy band" as anything but a group of singers.

The Beatles had a manic response from teen girls. Lots of artists have had that and IMO it just means they were really successful pop stars.

FM Refugee 11-01-2010 03:45 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
...I'm saying no. The Beatles were an insanely successful band from day one at a time when rock/pop music wasn't specifically designed to appeal to ages under 14. The primary rock-n-roll audience up to that time had been older teenagers and young adults, and I doubt that anyone at the time was expecting anything different. The Beatles' status as a 'boy band', real or perceived, thus sounds more like a classic example of the 'law of unintended consequences'...

Quote:

Originally Posted by butch (Post 1060257)
...The Beatles had a manic response from teen girls. Lots of artists have had that and IMO it just means they were really successful pop stars.

...that 'manic response', especially from a younger-than-expected age group, was unprecedented. I doubt that the Beatles' managers, or the Beatles themselves, quite saw that coming. The Beatles were not all that much different from other bands at the time, with matching outfits and hair styles. But they were probably the first band to have such a large audience segment that was attracted to their 'look' and having so many younger girls falling all over themselves over them ('ooooh...he's so CUTE!!)...

Quote:

Originally Posted by butch (Post 1060257)
...I have a hard time viewing a "boy band" as anything but a group of singers.

...a 'boy band' is indeed just a group of singers, but the term has certain implications. The term is recent, but the concept that has given rise to it goes way back to the Beatles' time. And that takes us back to the 'unintended consequences'. As previously noted, the Beatles themselves were somewhat taken aback by all the mania and quickly grew tired of it. But they had given rise to the concept of the 'teenybopper', the very young fan to whom the artist's 'cuteness' was all-important, in many cases more important than whether or not the music was very good. The 'suits' of the music industry were quick to recognize this and scrambled to find ways to capitalize on it by manipulating bands and artists to fit into a 'package' that they hoped those young fans would fall in love with in a similar manner. There have been, and continue to be, many famous (or infamous) examples where they have succeeded. The 'package' has historically been based on a 'boyish' image and sound specifically designed and manufactured to appeal to young girls (especially the aforementioned 'cuteness' mentality), thus the term 'boy band'...
...The Beatles pioneered a look that an unprecedentedly young audience fell in love with, but they had created it themselves. And in so doing they had inadvertently become the prototype that 'boy bands' were built on...

...end of ramble :redface: ...

Snookeroo 11-01-2010 05:25 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No

Foxhound 11-02-2010 12:39 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by heyyou (Post 1060178)
"The boy band" term did not exist in the spirits of people at that time, thus the question is initially not on its place.

I strongly disagree. Just because the term wasn't in use yet does not mean that boy bands did not exist. Did planets not exist until they were named?

:drummer:

MsHiFi 11-17-2010 11:27 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
No.

IMO there was a brief period when they were teen idols but that was not right at the beginning of their career. They already had some history before the whole "Beatlemania" thing. The Beatles were almost always first and foremost a rock band.

kw21925 11-17-2010 03:56 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
When the Beatles were younger than most "Boy Band" members, they were playing in sleazy dives on the Reeperbahn in Hamburg. They had a lot of life experience at an early age.

kath 11-18-2010 01:10 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombeels (Post 1051288)
Quote:

Originally Posted by troggy (Post 1051285)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

I agree.

just my take on this.

technically, shakespeare was paid by the line.

he was, ya know.

that doesn't make him a hack, now, does it?

sheelywheely 03-30-2011 03:46 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Foxhound (Post 1060504)
Quote:

Originally Posted by heyyou (Post 1060178)
"The boy band" term did not exist in the spirits of people at that time, thus the question is initially not on its place.

I strongly disagree. Just because the term wasn't in use yet does not mean that boy bands did not exist. Did planets not exist until they were named?

:drummer:

Actually, at the time we called them a "beat group".:smile:

Foxhound 03-30-2011 10:35 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FM Refugee (Post 1060375)
...I'm saying no. The Beatles were an insanely successful band from day one at a time when rock/pop music wasn't specifically designed to appeal to ages under 14. The primary rock-n-roll audience up to that time had been older teenagers and young adults, and I doubt that anyone at the time was expecting anything different. The Beatles' status as a 'boy band', real or perceived, thus sounds more like a classic example of the 'law of unintended consequences'...

Quote:

Originally Posted by butch (Post 1060257)
...I have a hard time viewing a "boy band" as anything but a group of singers.

...a 'boy band' is indeed just a group of singers, but the term has certain implications. The term is recent, but the concept that has given rise to it goes way back to the Beatles' time. And that takes us back to the 'unintended consequences'. As previously noted, the Beatles themselves were somewhat taken aback by all the mania and quickly grew tired of it. But they had given rise to the concept of the 'teenybopper', the very young fan to whom the artist's 'cuteness' was all-important, in many cases more important than whether or not the music was very good. The 'suits' of the music industry were quick to recognize this and scrambled to find ways to capitalize on it by manipulating bands and artists to fit into a 'package' that they hoped those young fans would fall in love with in a similar manner. There have been, and continue to be, many famous (or infamous) examples where they have succeeded. The 'package' has historically been based on a 'boyish' image and sound specifically designed and manufactured to appeal to young girls (especially the aforementioned 'cuteness' mentality), thus the term 'boy band'...

...The Beatles pioneered a look that an unprecedentedly young audience fell in love with, but they had created it themselves. And in so doing they had inadvertently become the prototype that 'boy bands' were built on...

...end of ramble :redface: ...

I agree. Ramble on.

;)

Foxhound 03-30-2011 10:38 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kath (Post 1062768)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Zombeels (Post 1051288)
Quote:

Originally Posted by troggy (Post 1051285)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

I agree.

just my take on this.

technically, shakespeare was paid by the line.

he was, ya know.

that doesn't make him a hack, now, does it?

Perhaps that was actually a key factor behind his success.

:foxhound:

DSOM 03-31-2011 09:51 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051300)
Quote:

Originally Posted by troggy (Post 1051285)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...

Nonsense.

In a sense that they were a band who formulated themselves, played instruments, wrote original material and majority of their listeners were girls between the ages of seven and twenty-five. Rock was in its immature days then so it still is commonly seen bubblegum pop/rock now, although it was very 'heavy' for the times. But I guess it depends on how you define "boy band." They were certainly not N'Sync or the Backstreet Boys, just simply a band of boys. So what if they were a boy band, they were great! This goes for the early Rolling Stones as well.

I was alive when the Beatles first came to America. Millions and millions of people tuned in to see them on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. This audience had a broad range of ages and gender. Their fans base was a lot more than just girls between the ages of seven and twenty five. A far as the question, boy band? No way.

Sister Ray 04-01-2011 11:01 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Clicking on the "view poll results" for this thread made me laugh. I'm not sure why.

They were all boys...
they were a band...

so yes!

/posting in a Foxhound thread :lol:

Denim 04-02-2011 09:25 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Serena (Post 1051260)
Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago but made a much bigger impact. They sort of intended to start off as commercial pop to get the ball rolling then gradually became more progressive once the mania died down. But majority of their followers before 1966 were people under thirty. I guess not very many adults took them seriously until their innovation really peaked within their later albums.

Serena, you have always had incredible posts and very well thought out.
I respect your opinions, but this post has to be the worst you have ever shared.
Especially the part about under 30. I believe that is the case with almost every band back then, From Bill Haley to Led Zeppelin. I still listen to some of the stuff I did when I was a Teen but my parents were not into that at the time. Based on your statement, Black Sabbath would qualify as a boy band....:beer: (Ok, now I'm just going crazy.
Still enjoy your posts Serena.:thumbsup:

moonshadowgirl60 04-02-2011 03:57 PM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
I voted for the boy band thing but wished that I could voted for both. The Beatles were probably put out in the beginning like a boy band. The music business had no idea what they had. I bet they were happy when everyone loved The Beatles instead of them being a 'Nsync, here and gone.' They are played by almost all guitarists and even our young folks like them. Mila has a friend who is totally ape over them. He is 15 or 16.

jackory 04-04-2011 08:49 AM

Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?
 
Of course they weren't a boy band. There was nothing "artificial" about them. They wrote their own songs and did not rely on a mammoth promotional machine to keep them in the public eye. Their "target audience" was not teenage girls. It was the entire country of America. I doubt the boy bands of today have roots in seedy, rowdy German bars playing 6 sets a night for sailors and prostitutes. The whole Beatlemania outburst was just as much about collective, cathartic healing in the wake of the JFK's assassination as it was the music and the band. The kids wanted something new and different, with the long haired electric guitar weilding "fab four" that's exactly what they got.

Even so, what's wrong with boy bands? They appeal to a certain demographic...mainly pre-teen girls who are only now discovering the pangs of sexuality. Better the Backstreet Boys than Marilyn Manson, if you know what I'm saying. If the Beatles has cross-over potential into this market, well good for them. But they shouldn't be tagged with it after such a monumental career as they had.


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