6 Apr 2016
What The World Would Look Like If The Beatles Didn’t Exist
It’s quite insane, really! When you look at the impact the Beatles had on music, culture and society throughout the ‘60s, it kinda makes One Direction look like a pub band.
Of course, One Direction aren’t a pub band, they’re the most explosive musical phenomenon of our generation; but the legacy left by The Fab Four was so monumental – so absolutely astronomical – that the world hasn’t quite been the same since.
‘Star Wars. Superman. The Beatles. What other things have had that huge of an impact on our culture?’ @S_copyWright poiniently asks on Twitter, and we’re strongly inclined to agree with you, Shawna.
Star Wars. Superman. The Beatles. What other things have had that huge of an impact on our culture?— Shawna Wright (@S_copyWright) December 20, 2015
It’s scary to think about what life would be like today without the Beatles’ influence.
What if John Lennon had decided to be an interior designer. Or if Paul and George had decided to start their own construction firm? Our planet would look significantly different.
To celebrate The Sessions hitting The O2 on 15 May – where we’ll be witnessing a live reconstruction of the Beatles’ Abbey Road Studios sessions, with some spectacular renditions of their classic hits – we looked at three ways the world would be different today if the charismatic Liverpudlians had never met…
Firstly, our parents would probably still have WAY more control over us!
Back in the ‘50s it was quite simple: your parents told you what to do, and you would damn well do it. These days, though, most teenagers just kinda do whatever they like.
‘60s culture had a huge impact on this shift in teen attitudes, and when Bob Dylan proclaimed in The Times Are A-Changin’ that ‘your sons and your daughters are beyond your command’, he penned a line that would entirely epitomise the epic transition going on at the time.
And yes, the Beatles were at the forefront of it all. Beatlemania created such frenzy – such mass hysteria – that no parent could possibly hope to control their children anymore. And they’ve never quite been able to claw that control back since!
The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album wouldn’t be anywhere near as epic!
Famously – The Beatles’ 1965 album, Rubber Soul, pushed the Beach Boys to profound new levels.
Best-known for writing surf-influenced rock and roll, Brian Wilson was so blown away by the songwriting perfection on Rubber Soul that it directly inspired him to create the masterpiece that is Pet Sounds. Wilson said at the time: ‘When I heard Rubber Soul I said, “That’s it. That’s all. That’s all folks. I’m going to have to make an album that’s really good, I mean really challenge me”.’
And it’s fair to say – that’s exactly what he did!
Modern music would look very different
Rock and roll would most likely have still taken over the ‘60s in some form, and influenced the songwriters of the future – artists such as Buddy Holly, Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Everly Brothers saw to that. But the Beatles, quite simply, globalised the genre.
With so many legendary modern bands paying homage to the Beatles’ influence on their music, it’s quite likely that, without The Fab Four’s specific impact, today’s music world would have an entirely different landscape.
When you look back at the chain of musical influence the Beatles created, it reads like a who’s who of modern music. From Radiohead and Oasis, to U2 and The Police – you can hardly escape their presence!
We’re just scratching the surface here, of course. We’d need to write a 100,000 word essay to really cover the significance the Beatles had on pop music, but you get the gist, right?