In the history of stupid claims this new one is up there with some of the best lines from the ‘Sunday Sport’ –
An ‘academic’ says that the Beatles had little influence on music –
The Beatles were an average group who did little to change the musical landscape – at least according to one academic, who claims to have the science to back it up.
Despite the Fab Four’s 600 million record sales, Professor Armand Leroi dismisses their output as ‘ditties for prepubescent girls’ and claims they ‘sat out’ the musical revolution of the 1960s.
What a smug twat!
This is his ‘science’ –
There were several stages to this process – initially, we had to source chart data for the last five years, identify the songs referenced, and acquire audio for each track from the BBC’s archive. from then on, we integrated with and built upon previous work analysing our music radio output; Using cuttting-edge signal processing techniques in order to distil each track down to a set of figures or features representing the most salient features of the music, in a form that our computer models could comprehend. These features represented many different aspects of the songs – some of them more easily interpretable in musical terms than others.
For instance, the tempo of each track in beats-per-minute, the key, and an estimate of the song structure (ie. the number and order of verses and choruses) – all easily recognisable as musical properties of a song. Alongside these, we extracted lower level acoustic features – some (such as RMS Energy – the average sound level over a window of the song) which are also easily interpretable by humans, as well as others whose significance is less obvious, such as MFCCs, Zero-crossing rate, Bark coefficients, and Tempograms (which are a recent innovation in this field by our collaborator Mi Tian, from the QMUL Centre for Digital music), but which contain valuable information about the melody, harmony, rhythm, or timbre of the music.
He says based on this bollocks the ‘Stones’, ‘Who’ and ‘Kinks’ had more influence. I’m a big fan of all those groups but don’t consider that they were anywhere near as important – many of their tracks are in a very similar style.
Consider ‘A Day in the Life’, ‘I am the Walrus’, ‘Strawberry Fields’, ‘ Yesterday’,‘ Eleanor Rigby’ ‘In my Life’ and all of the other different tracks that the Beatles and George Martin created.
Has this bloke ever even listened to ‘Sgt Pepper?