Bee Gees and Beatles

I read an old thread from this forum concerning the comparing of the Bee Gees vs The Beatles. One person made the shallow comment that comparing the Bee Gees to the Beatles was like comparing Richard Simmons to John Wayne. I laughed at the degree of ignorance required to post such a comment.

It is more likely that The Bee Gees and the Beatles are as different as Pink Floyd and Led Zeplin. The badge of honor that validates the Beatles is quite simply…popularity. They were in, the cool item. And in my opinion while their music was very good, it simply was not great. I dared to judge the music by listening to it myself as opposed to letting popularity and commercialization speak for me.

I personally find the Bee Gees pre-disco music to have more emotional depth of understanding. As song writers and story tellers they surpass the Beatles. But often times great music can be lost in the disdain for sadness and popularity of pep. That might explain why the Bee Gees are often remembered for their upbeat disco music instead of their latter sixties serenades. Many of the Bee Gees songs are deep with sadness.

But I find that some of the greatest music touches the depths of emotion as well as understanding that emotion. No… comparing the Bee Gees to the Beatles is not like comparing Richard Simmons to John Wayne at all. Both bands are entertaining, but for different reasons. The Beatles got the popular ride for certain.

I’d stand by the previous comparison. The Beatles are in a completely different league than the Bee Gees. The Beatles are Manchester United. The Bee Gees are an AYSO team.

Without the Beatles, there are no Bee Gees.

And the Bee Gees are nowhere in the same league as the Beatles. They did have the ability to put an emotional quaver in their voices, but where the Beatles were always exploring and integrating new musical styles, the Bee Gees stuck with what they knew until irrelevance forced them to start thinking about Disco.

They were good, but you didn’t have hundreds of musicians trying to emulate them. The Beatles were popular, true, but you’re falling into the common fallacy that “popularity <> quality” (almost as common as “popularity = quality” and just as misguided).

The Beatles were filet mignon. The Bee Gees were Slim Jims.

I wouldn’t sneeze at any band that has sold as many albums as the Bee Gees. The BeeGees didn’t spawn as many mimics, but the Beatles didn’t enjoy the BeeGees’ longevity, either.

Would you rather have an explosive, passionate affair that was doomed to burn out in a few years or a long, contented marriage? Both have their merits.

To take two examples from the beginning Bee Gees I enjoy “Holiday” and “New York Mining Disaster 1941.”

But, I can’t say the Aussies ever showed much in the way of Rock and Roll joy (Paperback Writer) or sonic transcendence (Rain).

I won’t call it ignorance, but I daresay there’s a woeful lack of understanding behind dismissing that comparison. Listening to the songs and deciding what you like ignores the context in which these two bands made their music.

In looking at what came before them, what they did, and what came after them, it’s hard not to be awestruck with the Beatles. The Beatles melded a respect for the music that precede them with amazing innovation in songwriting and constant growth in expanding and defining their genre. Popular music was profoundly influenced by their contribution. It’s not that people think they were great just because they were popular. It’s that they were popular – and still are – because they were great.

The Bee Gees were better at soulful ballads, I’ll grant that (though I don’t think they did anything that measured up to “Yesterday”). But in considering the whole of what they did and the whole of what the Beatles did, I find the Richard Simmons/John Wayne comparison rather apt.

The Bee Gees were considered so similar to the Beatles when they first appeared that some people believed that Bee Gees was a coded pseudonym that stood for “Beatles group.”

Nostalgiascape, you’re free to rate any groups however you want. Almost nobody is going to agree with you on this one, though. The Beatles are miles above the Bee Gees.

And anybody who claims to be into nostalgia, but spells Led Zeppelin “Led Zeplin,” is guaranteed to come out on the losing end of any debate here. :dubious:

Sorry folks, the Beatles aren’t as good as The Bee Gees at all IMO. Bee Gees music is not Beatles cloned by any stretch unless you count their first album and discard the rest.

I’ll take Massachusetts and Run to me over Hard Days Night and Yellow Submarine any day of the week.

To me The Beatles are the joke. Commercialized crap.
I could care less if every single member disagrees. It’s immaterial to me. I may have misspelled LED ZEPLIN, lol. But all that matters is I spelled Pink Floyd correctly as they are superior. I don’t claim to be into Nostalgia, I am into Nostalgia. Just not the crack that’s been smoked in here.

Even if you LOVE the early Bee Gees’ best work (and I do), there’s no way around it: they didn’t have NEARLY as many good songs as the Beatles. I’d struggle to come up with 10 great songs to put on a “Best of the Bee Gees” I’d also struggle to pick JUST 35 songs for a “Best of the Beatles” collection.

You’re using some of the Beatles lesser songs in that comparison aren’t you? How about using Eleanor Rigby and Day In The Life instead?

And The Bee Gees aren’t?

Personally I don’t think either of them are crap, but they are both commercialized. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

The real big deal about the Beatles is that they pioneered new musical styles and techniques. The Bee Gees did not. This may not be obvious if you are not familiar with the way music was before The Beatles.

The Bee Gees are as British as The Beatles. They (Bee Gees) immigrated to Australia with their parents, then left when they grew up. They rarely return here as far as I know.

You are welcome to your opinion, and we are welcome to mercilessly mock you for it. You might as well compare your local garage band with the symphony; if you like garage bands better than what the symphony plays, fine. But anyone with any sense of music beyond “what they like” will recognize the innovation, talent, and lasting impression on popular music that the Beatles had, and that whatever the Bee Gees may have accomplished they never even came close.

If it’s immaterial to you and you are not bothering putting forth anything resembling an objective support of your opinion, why did you even make your posts? You’re not going to get many converts just saying you happen to like their music and giving very non-specific reasons why you don’t appreciate The Beatles.

It’s not the Beatles that are commercialized, it’s that commercial music came to emulate the Beatles. It’s rather strange hating a group for sounding like everyone else when everyone else intentionally decided to sound like them.

I think we are underestiming the influence of the Bee-Gees quite considerably.

Look at the last 20 years (which incidently is almost twice as long as the entire career of the Beatles) and think of all the material they have written for others.

Their influence over the charts in those years is huge, and for those who dismiss disco, just remember that the Bee-gees pretty much kicked that all off, and how many artists took up the disco mantle?

Now you may not like the sorts of things that they spawned, plenty of boy/girl bands have used material written by them, but to say that noone is copying them is way wide fo the mark.

As for the Beatles, no denying their influence, but, but golly, they wrote some utter drivel, and quite frequently too. Maybe we should have a poll on the worst Beatles songs, because the list to choose from is fairly long.

I remember in the late 90s the Bee Gees (what a crap name) did a live TV broadcast of their farewell concert. I was staying at my brother’s place when it was on and asked my sister-in-law if she minded if I watched it. She said that was OK but she didn’t like the Bee Gees and wouldn’t be watching it.

When the broadcast started she sat down with me to watch “a couple of songs.” As the concert went on she kept saying, “Oh this is a really good song” or “I didn’t know this was the Bee Gees.” She watched the whole thing.

Sure, right. It’s not simply that most people prefer the Beatles while you prefer the Bee Gees … it’s actually that you have the purity of spirit to listen to the music objectively, as opposed to all those sheeple who only like the Beatles so much because that’s what they’ve been told to like.

I admire the Bee Gees like any right-thinking person, but just because the OP likes A more than B, it does not mean that people who like B have been deluded by “popularity and commercialization”. Tastes differ. Some tastes are more widespread than others, deal with it.

Christ, not another one. We have had about 50 Beatles polls in recent months, and that particular question has been addressed many times too.

You know what the very best form of entertainment is?

Being smug on the Internet.

The Bee Gees are an excellent band and I love their music, but the Beatles are beyond comparison because of their self motivated innovation that so radically affected music around the world.

The Beatles didn’t react and adapt to what the music world was doing around them, they were the people who caused everyone else to react and adapt.

Their manager didn’t tell them to, or advise them to, for example. to go psychadelic.
They just wanted to go this direction, likewise the Indian influences.

There are many great artists and bands who are great at what they do, and they keep doing it until circumstances force them to evolve.

The Beatles were a naturally creatively explosive talent that certainly until now have never been equalled.

A quick aside on an earlier post, the gibbs did indeed emigrate to Australia but originally came from , I believe , Manchester.

If there’s a scale we could be on I’d guess I’m in the middle of it. I don’t agree that the Beattles are overrated, or that all they had going for them was popularity.

I definitely agree that the Bee Gees deserve more of a listen than they often get.

If the Beatles were filet mignon, I’d say the Bee Gees were at least a Kansas City strip steak, or maybe a porterhouse.

While they were probably the most influential band ever, the Beatles were definitely influenced by both their predecessors and contemporaries. For instance, you don’t get “Norwegian Wood” without the Beatles’ being impressed by Bob Dylan, or “Paperback Writer” without the popularity of the Beach Boys, and diversions into a heavier, “Rock” style such as “Helter Skelter” and “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” were largely reactions to the output of bands like The Who or Vanilla Fudge. And of course the Beatles wouldn’t be anything remotely like the Beatles we know in the first place if not for, among others, afro-American rhythm & blues artists (e.g. Chuck Berry, the Isley Brothers, etc.).