Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Developing Their Own Style

May 1961

The Beatles are spending a lot of time on stage, in addition to playing their own sets, backing Tony Sheridan.  One of the major influences that Sheridan has on all of the groups is the technique of using the original songs only as a starting point.  It is a lesson for them about developing a recognizable style.  That is one of the earliest memories that I have of hearing the Beatles on radio.  You could tell after hearing a few notes of intro that you were about to hear a Beatle song, even if you had never heard it before.  With most of the other pop music of the time, you had to wait usually until the vocalist started singing, and even then it wasn't always possible to tell who it was.  Everyone was trying to conform to a certain standard of what was considered "good music". 

Ian Edwards (of Ian and the Zodiacs) shows a keen insight when he says, "We used to copy a record as best as we could.  And then we came across Tony Sheridan, who didn't give two hoots as to how somebody else had recorded it.  We realized that we shouldn't be carbon copies and got a lot more adventurous."

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