Music/Popular Culture

Tournament of Rock – Legends: The Beatles pod

Results: Not only was this one of the tightest contests yet in terms of victory margin, it was also a case where the arguments to be made in favor of one artist or another were anything but definitive. In the end, Elvis nudges The Ramones. Hey, we asked for drama. The numbers: #4 Elvis Costello 43%; #5 The Ramones 39%; ZZ Top 18%. Mr. McManus advances to the Sweet 16.

All the drama is wearing us down, so move our search for the greatest band of all time to the top of the Hollywood Bowl region where four lads from Liverpool begin their ritual march to a preordained coronation. Or do they? Let’s see if we can’t make it a little hard on them, at least.

Polls close tomorrow morning sometime.

<br /> <a href=”” mce_href=””>Which band/artist deserves to advance in the Tournament of Rock: Legends?</a><span style=”font-size:9px;” mce_style=”font-size:9px;”>(<a href=”” mce_href=””>polls</a>)</span><br />

25 replies »

  1. When we entered the second round, I thought Zappa was the only unseeded artist with a good shot at advancing further. So much for that.

  2. I’ll just get this out of the way…throw the grenade and permanently brand myself as an untouchable outcast.

    The Beatles will win–that’s a foregone conclusion, right?

    May the Boomers enjoy this while they have it, because as they shuffle off to nursing homes and their eventual graves things will change. Already a generation is rising that only knows the Beatles through muzak renditions of famous songs as soundtracks to commercials for old people.

    Sure, the dedicated will wax poetic about the greatness that was the Beatles…but there are people who can read hieroglyphics too.

    Congratulations to The Beatles.

  3. I think I can sum up my generation’s view of this pod simply:

    Yeah. Yeah. Yeah….

    Lex: So, do you think what’s happening to The Beatles won’t happen to later bands – bands perhaps that you deem more worthy? Or that’s what happening to Boomers won’t happen to Xers? We all fade away – we Boomers will just fade away to a great soundtrack. 🙂

  4. I’m not sure the Beatles are just a Boomer thing. Both of my kids found them on their own, and both love them. I find the fact that my children like music I grew up with kinda creepy.

  5. Yes, wufnik, Stones were singing a Buddy Holly song that that piece of #@#$%$ Norman Petty added his name to.

  6. AARGH! I so desperately want someone other than the Beatles to win this tourney (although I expect I’ll be disappointed in that) given how much I dislike them. But I can’t vote against them in this pod, no matter how much I prefer the Beach Boys.


  7. Brian: Ever heard “Dirty Love?” That’s probably the song of his I hear the most these days at random times and places (it’s from his album ‘Over-nite Sensation’). Out of all his works though the one that always kills me, and I still listen to regularly, is his all-instrumental ‘Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar.’ You will rarely hear rock guitar that inspired and liberated and just plain fuckin’ nasty fun. I also, as you would expect, love his Synclavier-heavy instrumental album ‘Jazz from Hell.’ I named my blog after it. Zappa is an acquired taste for sure, but the wonderful thing about him is, once you’re hooked, you’re hooked for life and in for a crazy ride: he has an *enormous* catalog of exciting, challenging, weird, brilliant music. Like a mad buffet of delights that never ends.

    Jennifer: Yes, Beach Boys, really. Just go buy ‘Pet Sounds’ and Brian Wilson’s completed ‘Smile’ and enjoy. Paul McCartney has said ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ was the Beatles’ attempt to out-do ‘Pet Sounds’ and that “God Only Knows” is his favorite song of all time. ‘Smile’ was Wilson’s attempt to outdo ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ but Wilson had a meltdown amid its recording and it remained unfinished for 30 years. It is astounding, a triumph (though I admit I still prefer a few of the bootlegged original tracks). The Beach Boys catalog has many other gems but their later works are spotty at best. At any rate, everyone really should own those two albums to begin with.

    • Not to tread heavily upon critical consensus, but I found Smile to be mostly unlistenable. Yes, it was a technical masterpiece – from the standpoint of pure production and engineering it’s Hall of Fame stuff. But he could have done the same thing with actual SONGS. It’s remarkable that a man like Wilson, who’s known as one of rock’s greatest songwriters, would be so lauded for 40 minutes of ambling noise. And I say this as a guy who has plenty of noise rock in his collection.

      On the other hand, Radiohead fans ought to love it.

  8. I actually thought it would be tighter because some people would be voting against the Beatles just to do it. Sort of like people who are all of a sudden Phillies fans this morning.

    The Beatles span generations, anyone who denies that is either idiotic or just jealous. I’m 32, my wife is 27, our only true musical connections are Pink Floyd and the Beatles. I don’t think any of my friends don’t own a CD by the Beatles. My sister who relies on a heavy dose of Britney has at least 50 Beatles songs on her ipod. In fact the only person I ever heard of that hated the Beatles was my dad, and i think it was because he hated John Lennon and loved the Beach Boys.

    As a side note to all Beatles fans. I went to Vegas for the Blog World Expo and got the chance to see “Love”. I’m not really a “show’ person, but this show was one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe how awesome it was, so let me put it to you this way. I got tickets for around $115 and I feel like I ripped off the casino. I would easily spend $200 bucks on it.

  9. D: So I can calibrate your take on LOVE, is this the first Cirque show you’ve seen? If not, what else have you seen and how does LOVE compare?

    I ask because Cirque could do a show on digging ditches and it would be spectacular.

  10. It may have been a combination of my first show, sensory overload, and love for the music that made it so great. I did go with someone who has seen O, along with many more, and he said Love was one of the best. I also talked to a couple on the plane home who went to a 4 that week and they thought Love was their favorite. They need to do a heavy metal one called “Number of the Beast” next.

  11. If it’s being considered in the same breath with O then it must be amazing. Because O is the most incredible show I have ever seen. Anywhere. Of any type.

  12. It’s not often that I agree with Sam, but I do on this–I found Smile unlistenable too. Surf’s Up, on the other hand, was a delight. I find the ongoing hagiography of Brian Wilson one of the enduring mysteries of rock.

  13. Having just seen a Cirque show (Allegria), which was my second, I would echo Sam’s comments about their ability to make anything riveting.

    Had to vote with the Beatles in this pod, although I’ve never been able to get into them.

    • We went to see Kooza in Denver recently. Another great one. They’re not all equally great, but I do look forward to seeing LOVE. And Zumanity. And Nouba. And the ones I haven’t seen…..