The Beatles break up anniversary- 32 years on, how have attitudes to ‘pop’ changed?

In Music on April 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm

On this day, 10th April 1970, Sir Paul McCartney left The Beatles

On this day, in 1970, Sir Paul McCartney announced the split of The Beatles, due to ‘musical differences’ causing a reported conflict between members.

The break up came 7 years and 12 records since the formation of the band, and 13 years after Paul McCartney was approached by a young John Lennon after a Quarrymen gig in Liverpool (John Lennon’s band prior to The Beatles). Paul was playing his guitar backstage, as soon as John heard his playing, John was ‘impressed by his talent’ and asked him to join the Quarrymen. This, marked the birth of one of the biggest, and most influential pop groups in musical history to date.

32 years on, the ex Jam front man, musical genious, Paul Weller becomes the latest to share his opinion on Saturday night ‘Talent shows’, telling the Radio Times he would be ’embarrassed to take part’.

With yet another addition to the line up of such shows, ‘The Voice’ began on BBC1 two weeks ago, going head to head with the ITV equivalent ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, on a Saturday night.

I wonder if Sir Paul envisaged this mentality, of simply entering a talent competition, would become the norm in the pop industry. I wonder if he ever thought the success he and his band had, would be attempted to be made, through manufacturing.

8.9million people watched the last episode of ‘The Voice’,  the aftermath of each episode is plastered over the newspapers. This form of talent show has become an easy reel for broadcasters BBC and ITV.

It could be said that comparing the fame of The Beatles with that of contestants on such talent shows is unfair, that the fame that The Beatles had is superficial to anything these contestants can achieve. But The Beatles always were a ‘pop group’ in the same way that One  Direction, or Little Mix are today.

But with the popularity of these talent shows growing, and with the music industry opening it’s arms wider and wider with acceptance, is the beauty of a group being formed through true friendship, and bonding, bouncing off eachother’s musical talents and ideas, being lost?

There is of course exceptions to this criticism, The Monkees, possibly the best example of this, a band proving such success is possible, after being manufactured.

Backing up Paul Weller’s criticism of these talent shows is Jools Holland, a man who, perhaps on the other end of the scale, thrives on discovering new talent, the un-manufactured type. I think Jools sums up what i’m trying to prove, in the most fitting words, ‘Music’s not like a competition. It’s an art form. I wouldn’t knock the competition shows if that’s what people want to do. But there’s a difference between having it like a game show and having it as something that connects with your spirit and moves you … that’s what music’s supposed to be about.”

In my opinion, the public seem to still prefer to hear the classic story of ‘working your way to the top’. As people we like to know that there are still the odd celebrity that was one day, the same as us. Lived in a bungalow, had a 9-5 job and who’s favourite food is our Mother’s spag bowl. Take Adele for example, daughter of a furniture maker and growing up in Tottenham. At the age of 21, she now has 6 Grammy awards under her belt, her album 21 is the best selling digital album of all time. Would Adele have achieved this level of success if she competed on X-factor? I beg to differ.

I hope true rags to riches stories such as this continue to reign, the type that brought The Beatles and Adele to reach their level of fame, rather than the ‘cutting corners’ method, of talent shows.

Image courtesy of Google Images:,r:5,s:0,i:75

  1. Reblogged this on atasteofhoneyblog and commented:

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