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60's Discuss your favorite classic rock & pop from the 60's.

View Poll Results: Were the Beatles simply a boy band in 1964?
Yes, absolutely. Check out the screaming. 12 22.64%
No. The Beatles were targeting a market much broader than pubescent girls right from the start. 41 77.36%
Voters: 53. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:36 AM   #1
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Question 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?

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Old 08-31-2010, 11:58 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:00 PM   #3
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Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

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Originally Posted by the roser View Post
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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 12:12 PM   #4
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Exclamation Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

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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.

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Old 08-31-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 01:53 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:06 PM   #7
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Exclamation 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.

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Old 08-31-2010, 02:09 PM   #8
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Exclamation Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

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Originally Posted by hodad View Post
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.
An evasion and an awful one at that. But there's no helping that now.

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Old 08-31-2010, 02:23 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:29 PM   #10
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Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

Red makes a convincing case, so I too have voted no.
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:41 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:13 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:54 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:58 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 04:04 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:40 PM   #16
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Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

No, because "boy bands" are manufactured. The Beatles were organic.
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Old 08-31-2010, 06:38 PM   #17
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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.
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Old 08-31-2010, 07:07 PM   #18
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Re: Were the Beatles just a boy band in the beginning?

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Technically yes, they are comparable to what Hanson was thirteen years ago...
Nonsense.
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