You're probably here because you clicked through from a page where I said a Beatles song that you love more than life itself isn't very good. I want to lay out the reasons why I say things like that in the name of common understanding.
Below are five statements. If you think any of them are true you've come to the right place and it may be the last page you'll want read on this website.
Five Statements I Don't Agree With
- “The Beatles should not be critiqued. Just appreciated”.
- “YOU are not as great a songwriter as the Beatles and therefore have no right to criticise them”[well, I agree with the first part!].
- “X is a great song. You are wrong to criticise it”.
- “X is a great song. You are wrong to criticise the lyrics/performance/chords”.
- “X is my favourite song. It is meaningful to me/It was important to me as a child. You are wrong to criticise it”.
There is a goal and several assumptions that underpin everything that I do here at Beatles Songwriting Academy
- My goal, as a songwriter, is to study the Beatles as a practical example of great songwriting.
That means though I do appreciate them, I am more focused on what they can teach my about the art and craft of songwriting. Imagine a lover, a painter and a medical student. One sees beauty and falls in love. One sees beauty and attempts to recreate it. The third want to dissect it and see how it works. I'm the medical student. I'm not here to fall in love or pay homage. I want to understand the secret inner workings.
If that sounds like sacrilege – this is not the website for you.
That's my goal. Now for my assumptions.
- Some songs are better than others.
- Therefore, some songs are worse than others.
- Some elements of a song can be better than others – e.g. a great melody/bad lyrics
- It's natural for any artist to display varying degrees of skill in different areas – e.g. Bob Dylan is stronger on lyrics than on chord sequences.
Personal preference is entirely subjective. Therefore what I 'like' may be not what you 'like'. And that's FINE. Art critique is also subjective. However art critique is not ENTIRELY subjective. While it's not possible to definitively name the best 10 Beatles songs, or even the worst 10 Beatles songs, it is entirely truthful to say Strawberry Fields Forever is a better song than What Goes On.
Now as far as individual songs go, I'm ALWAYS open to change my mind – so lay out your case! And if you disagree with my goals and assumptions that's ok. But if they make you angry or unhappy please know I'm unlikely to change – so you might be happier doing something else.
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