Beatles & H!P Roundtable, Hello!Project on September 4th, 2008 2:57 by Henkka
Tags: morning musume, the beatles
I’ll get this out of the way right now. This may not apply to CK or wu, but as for me I’ve thought for the longest time that The Beatles is the best band ever. Period. I just want to get that out there right away. I don’t know about those two, but for me my objective with this series would be for at least one person who previously didn’t listen to The Beatles to be introduced to them. You might argue, “but Henkka, who in this day and age hasn’t listened to The Beatles?!” Well, that’s true. But I find that these days it’s also getting increasingly uncool to listen to them for some reason. But hey, since I’m assuming you love Hello! Project, you should have no problem with liking uncool stuff, am I right? Har har har!
Well, in all likelihood, my targets are rather the people who already have heard something by them, or the people who just flat out hate them. But if you’re already a fan of the band, don’t worry, I’ll try and make my posts entertaining enough even for you.
First I have to clear up a major misconception I would imagine many people unfamiliar to The Beatles’ music have about them. While even the people most uninitiated with The Beatles probably HAVE heard a song or two by them, it’s usually some of their golden oldies hits such as Yesterday, Help! or I Want to Hold Your Hand… and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. Or if it’s the later stuff, it’s usually Let It Be. Nothing wrong with that either. However…
That is not even close to what The Beatles were able to do. They experimented. They constantly tried out new stuff in the studio. They played so many different genres after their early era it’s hard to believe. I hate to think that there are still many people out there who only think of The Beatles as the moptops from the early 60′s who only played happy-go-lucky rock type stuff such as She Loves You or Help! Dammit, if you ask me, when you think “Beatles” you’re supposed to think of words like “rocking“, “psychedelic“, “experimental“, “innovative“, “crazy“, “witty“, and most importantly “mindblowingly awesome.” Hell, even “progressive rock.” When I say a °C-ute song is “Beatles-influenced” and the song Yesterday is the first thing that pops into your mind, no wonder why you might be thinking “what the hell is this guy talking about?” I mean, if you hate the band, that’s okay. It’s okay to hate a band and all, but at least be aware of what it is you’re hating.
I just wrote this about The Beatles: “They experimented. They played so many different genres after their early era it’s hard to believe.”
Question: Does this remind you of any other group? A certain Japanese pop group consisting of several generations of females?
Hell, for now let’s even narrow it down to just Morning Musume instead of the whole H!P.
Okay, so The Beatles and Morning Musume.
Another question. What do the Beatles tracks Love Me Do, We Can Work It Out, Hey Jude and Something have in common, musically speaking?
Don’t know? Okay, what about the Morning Musume songs Morning Coffee, Renai Revolution 21, AS FOR ONE DAY and Ai Araba IT’S ALL RIGHT?
Then, what do the Beatles albums Please Please Me and Rubber Soul have in common, musically? Or how about A Hard Day’s Night and Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band?
Or, the Morning Musume albums First Time and Ai no Dai 6 Kan? Or 3rd ~ Love Paradise and SEXY 8 BEAT?
Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the stupid riddles already and tell you. If you asked me those same questions, my answer to all of those would be pretty much “not a damn thing.”
However, if you start comparing those Beatles and Morning Musume questions side by side…
Love Me Do was the 1st single by The Beatles. Morning Coffee was also the 1st single by Morning Musume. We Can Work It Out was the 11th Beatles single, Renai Revolution 21 the 11th Morning Musume single… Can you see where I’m going with this? Those are both of the groups’ 1st, 11th, 18th and 21st singles listed there.
Likewise about the albums. Please Please Me is The Beatles’ 1st, First Time is Momusu’s 1st, etc etc. 1st, 6th, 3rd and 8th albums mentioned from both bands, in that order.
None of those Morning Musume singles are very similar musically speaking. Not if you ask me anyway. Totally different styles in each and every one. The point I’m trying to make here is this:
Both Morning Musume and The Beatles are constantly evolving. Constantly switching genres. Everchanging.
Okay, well the singles thing was easy to pull off. I mean, what group would constantly release singles that sound the same? I’ll tell you which groups: the shitty, downright boring ones. But then, I know what you’re thinking about those Morning Musume albums I chose for comparison. You might be thinking “But the first three albums are completely different from the later albums! It’s all the same kind of sound! Why not compare those together?!” And hey, you’re right, I’m a frustrating asshole for not doing that.
However, it’s exactly the same with The Beatles. Both groups have an “early era” and a “later era.” The first three Beatles albums do not sound all that different from each other either. In fact, while I like to think the “early era” for Morning Musume ended after the first three albums, for The Beatles I say it was actually even longer. I like to think they truly moved to their “later era” only after Help!, their fifth album.
But here’s a little mindfuck for you. So both Morning Musume and Beatles had an early era where they mostly kept to the same style. Okay? But Beatles fans will most likely agree with me that even in their later era, The Beatles were constantly evolving. But when it comes to Morning Musume…? After the first three albums, do you think there was ever another as radical a change as the switch from the 3rd to 4th album was? No? I don’t think so either. But then, when you compare for example the 5th and 8th albums, surely you agree with me that they’re really, really different from each other, right? I wonder how that is? How can they progress and change as time goes on, even if you can’t hear much difference between, say, the 4th or 5th albums, or the 6th and 7th albums? What is that? At first it seems like it doesn’t make any sense! It took me a while to figure it out, too. Want me to tell you what it is?
It’s because both Morning Musume and The Beatles often evolve in groups of two albums. Like for Morning Musume, I consider some Beatles albums very much alike. To me, Rubber Soul and Revolver (6th and 7th albums) are very similar in many ways, even more so for Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour (8th and 9th albums, if you count MMT as an LP.)
Why is it though that Beatles fans can easily say The Beatles constantly evolved in their later era, but at the same time we are hesitant to say the same about Morning Musume’s later era albums? I honestly don’t know. At first I thought it was simply because The Beatles has released way more albums, but then I realized it’s not even that many more at this point. Then I thought it must be because they were around for longer, but that’s when it dawned on me… The Beatles were around from 1960 to 1970. That’s ten years. Morning Musume just released their first major single a little over ten years ago. So that means Morning Musume has actually been around for LONGER than The Beatles. Crazy stuff, huh?
No, but like I said, I don’t know the answer to the question I just posed. I could, however, have a guess at it… but it would be something that many Beatles fans would kill me over. Want me to do it? I thought you might.
So, recap, the question again is: “Why is it though that Beatles fans can easily say The Beatles constantly evolved in their later era, but at the same time we are hesitant to say the same about Morning Musume’s later era albums?”
My guess would be that, while they both experimented, Morning Musume’s experimentation is simply way over-the-top. When you think about it, it is crazy that the same group can go from the big band sound of Mr. Moonlight to the downright rocking Kanashimi Twilight, and then from the standard J-pop sound of Happy Summer Wedding to Souda! We’re ALIVE which is just a mix of everything jumbled together. Yeah, you know what I’m getting at here… Get ready for the statement the Beatles fans will kill me over.
There. I said it… but I already regret it a little. Just looking at that sentence I start doubting my own sanity. I mean, Morning Musume? A girl pop group? More experimental than The Beatles? Could it really be? I’m not sure, but I think the reason why it seems like that is because The Beatles were simply able to create more coherent full-length albums. Morning Musume’s albums are almost always just a batshit insane collection of singles and a bunch of other songs, all created in the crazy Tsunku-style, so varied to the point where it just starts sounding all samey!
It’s actually no wonder why it may seem like Morning Musume’s style never evolves these days: it’s because their sound is all over the fucking place already as it is, and I love them for it!
Alright, this is getting long, I’ll stop here. Remember in the introduction post when I said I found strong Beatles influences in Ongaku Gatas’ newest single? I’ll end this post with a clip of both that and a Beatles song, revealing basically a straight up borrowed guitar lick!
Next time it’s CK‘s turn!