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Thread: The Beatles influence on Progressive Rock

  1. #1
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    The Beatles influence on Progressive Rock

    The Beatles I have to admit the Beatles for a mainstream band they were really progressive and even jazz music were not doing some of the things they were doing like backward guitar, drum looping to name a few. Some of their rhythms on "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" for example include a Balkan rhythm and a polyrhythm in different sections. Were they influenced by jazz?

    "A Day in the Life", "I am the Walrus", "Within You, Without You", Strawberry Fields"... not really blues tunes, They were able to draw from diverse sources, like Classical Indian "Within You" uses a raga-like form that contains both major and minor thirds in different octaves, kind of a combination of mixolydian and Dorian modalities. Lennon used forms similar to Tibetan chants. McCartney and Lennon were both versed in the same types of cadencies cycles that had evolved from Dixieland and Tin Pan Alley, the pop music of the previous era (and also a primary underpinning for jazz).

    "Tomorrow Never Knows" is a very early Art-Rock song that was recorded even before the Velvet Underground. The song is influenced by Avant music and its weird sounds are produced by tape loops/samples with looped effects. The song uses an upfront drum 'n' bass sound with the looped effects not unlike many forms of Modern Music.

    "Love You To" is a true use of Classical Indian Music in instrumentation, style and rhythm. There is nothing like it in rock music before this. Songs like "Eight Miles High", "Norwegian Wood and "See My Friends" are nothing like this.

    I considered "Strawberry Fields Forever" true progressive rock songs. With its use of mellotron, Indian scales and two separate versions of one song into one. Strawberry Fields Forever" uses diminished chords that are common with jazz music. Then are changes time signatures often 4/4, 6/8, 3/4, 2/4. Hardly simple stuff. It helped invent Progressive Rock.

    "Blue Jay Way" song based on some ancient Indian raga that uses the diminished 7th scale.

    I think the Beatles were one of the biggest influences in early progressive rock. They influenced nearly all early Progressive Rock Artists like King Crimson, Yes and ELP.
    Last edited by ModernJazz89; Nov-22-2008 at 00:04.

  2. #2
    Admiral Maestoso marval's Avatar
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    Hello ModernJazz89,

    Welcome to the forum, glad you could be here.

    I don't know much about the Beatles music, but I expect that to a certain extent they were an influence on some music.

    Do have a look round and join in.


    Margaret

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by marval View Post
    Hello ModernJazz89,

    Welcome to the forum, glad you could be here.

    I don't know much about the Beatles music, but I expect that to a certain extent they were an influence on some music.

    Do have a look round and join in.


    Margaret
    Thank you, I just wanted to join in. I like jazz, some Rock Music and the Beatles. The Beatles were a huge influence on music not some. They have been much more influential than say Elvis who was about as innovative as Bon Jovi the last 50 years in rock music. The only one who is as influential was Chuck Berry but he is not that influential in Modern Rock.

  4. #4
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    well i am a very big Beatles fan and am a fan of some prog music, i think the Beatles influence was through the idea of going into the studio for several weeks or even months (ala Sgt Pepper) and creating 'a work of art' that would essentially survive the run of the mill here today, gone tomorrow chart single.

    The studio would be the 'palette' offering new ways of creating music, using unusual or new instrument, creating new sounds, effects etc etc. Also record companies seeing the commercial success of Pepper were doubtless more ameanable to letting their contracted groups go and work on 'big' albums that would hopefully sell millions!!!

    crochet for crochet i dont think the Beatles were a great influence on a purely musical basis, other than they were admired by various members of prog rock bands (such as Phil Collins) for their song writing quality

    Cheers Elpless

  5. #5
    Commodore con Forza
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    it is said that peter gabriel have said that sergent pepper was a big influence on genesis.

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