However, what is bothering me now should be pretty minor. One of the "kid" contestants (therefore, about 3 years younger than me), claimed that he had no idea what Tim was talking about when Tim was explaining that his outfit looked too Sergeant Pepper. And people are saying this is no big deal, he's young and the Beatles are all dead or irrelevant in our modern age.
Seriously? John Lennon died before I was born and I still know what kind of effect he and the others had on modern music. SO much of modern music would not even exist without the Beatles and George Martin. Sgt. Pepper has been named the greatest album of all time (on some lists, not all, but still my point stands) and the Beatles have sold more albums in the USA than any other artist. Who is letting these kids grow up with no knowledge of what came before them? Do they think that Da Vinci was the guy from that crappy Tom Hanks movie? I feel old.
The Beatles' constant demands to create new sounds on every new recording, combined with George Martin's arranging abilities and the studio expertise of EMI staff engineers such as Norman Smith, Ken Townsend and Geoff Emerick, all played significant parts in the innovative sounds of the albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966) and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
The Beatles continued to absorb influences long after their initial success, often finding new musical and lyrical avenues by listening to their contemporaries. Other contemporary influences included the Byrds and the Beach Boys, whose album Pet Sounds was a favourite of McCartney's. Beatles producer George Martin stated that "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn't have happened... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds." After Sgt. Pepper was released, Beach Boys' leader Brian Wilson was so despondent that he went to bed for months. Lennon also named Elvis Presley as a spark that interested himself in music:
It was Elvis who really got me buying records. I thought that early stuff of his was great. The Bill Haley era passed me by, in a way. When his records came on the wireless, my mother used to hear them, but they didn’t do anything for me. It was Elvis who got me hooked on beat music. When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel', I thought ‘this is it’ and I started to grow sideboards and all that gear...."
Along with studio tricks such as sound effects, unconventional microphone placements, tape loops, double tracking and vari-speed recording, The Beatles began to augment their recordings with instruments that were unconventional for rock music at the time. These included string and brass ensembles as well as Indian instruments such as the sitar in "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" and the swarmandel in "Strawberry Fields Forever". They also used early electronic instruments such as the Mellotron, with which McCartney supplied the flute voices on the intro to "Strawberry Fields Forever", and the clavioline, an electronic keyboard that created the unusual oboe-like sound on "Baby You're a Rich Man".
Beginning with the use of a string quartet (arranged by George Martin with input from McCartney) on "Yesterday" in 1965, The Beatles pioneered a modern form of art song, exemplified by the double-quartet string arrangement on "Eleanor Rigby" (1966), "Here, There and Everywhere" (1966) and "She's Leaving Home" (1967). A televised performance of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 directly inspired McCartney's use of a piccolo trumpet on the arrangement of "Penny Lane". The Beatles moved towards psychedelia with "Rain" and "Tomorrow Never Knows" from 1966, and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am the Walrus" from 1967.Me again - if you have never listened to Past Masters: Volume 2, I highly recommend you go check out "Rain", it is an amazing track. Pardon me, I need to go crank some "Abbey Road" now.