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The Beatles vs. The Beach Boys: Battle of the Bands!

The Beatles? The Beach Boys? Battle of the Bands? Really?

Although it is conceded by Brian Wilson that the Beatles' Rubber Soul was the inspiration for his masterwork Pet Sounds and likewise by Paul McCartney that Pet Sounds influenced Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, to assume that mere competetiveness, or the motivation to compete against each other - as in 2 bands obsessively driven by rivalry trying to best each other - was the sole driving force behind the creation of these ambitious albums (#'s 1 and 2 on Rolling Stone's List of 500 Greatest Albums - no less), would be, by anyone's measure, a stretch.

It seems that there are enough websites promoting the concept, however!

It also seems that there are any number of would-be history revisionists (authoring webpages or posting on web forums) who insist that not only didn't the Beach Boys - despite having had their share of hits - get the recognition or respect that maybe they should have otherwise received, but, moreover, insist that they (the Beach Boys) were equal to, or even better than, the Beatles.

Is such a claim legitimate?

Brian Wilson, who wrote and arranged most of those memorable Beach Boys' tunes, was, by all accounts, a genius - at least as far as his sophisticated and harmonically innovative vocal arrangements - and, yes (keeping in mind that by the mid-60's Brian was collaborating on many of his songs while the Beatles were not only the sole composers, individually or jointly, of their own material but also wrote and produced for other acts), even probably as far as his songwriting capabilities as well.

A genius, yes - but . . . . .

The default indicator of success in the music business is called the Billboard Top 100 which, based upon record sales, provides a quantifiable measurement of a band's popularity and is the virtual battlefield on which each group competes for the top position and where the public, by the simple act of the purchase of a record, casts a vote for their favorite artist, and by the total number of records sold - numerosity, that is - success is determined.

Even though the Beatles officially disbanded in 1971 and the Beach Boys have continued to produce records well into the 21st century - sales of Beatles albums top the Beach Boys by a 10:1 ratio - the Beatles selling upwards of 1 Billion units compared to 100 Million for the Beach Boys (greater commercial appeal may not necessarily be an indication of higher quality or superior talent - or even greater genius. As often as not though, it may. But, we digress).

Though the war ended decades ago, the "battle" rages on.

Beach Boy's Brian Wilson and that "other" genius (c. 2000)

  Rubber Soul (1965) - Pet Sounds (1966) - Sgt. Pepper (1967)

Brian Wilson interview on Mike Douglas 1976 .....

Beach Boys Top 10 Songs ...

  1. Good Vibrations
  2. God Only Knows
  3. California Girls
  4. Don't Worry Baby
  5. In My Room
  6. I Get Around
  7. Wouldn't it Be Nice
  8. Fun Fun Fun
  9. Surfin' USA
  10. Help Me Ronda


So, what're the odds that she'd've been wearing a Beach Boys T-shirt?.....

This page dedicated to Sandra Bland (1987-2015)
Article on Wikipedia

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