It was 50 years ago today....

...that the Beatles played their last concert on the rooftop of Apple Records.
7c01701e 4ab0 48e3 bf14 b970c5e4bf7fmofimadness
"get back to where you once belonged."
I read that article today. I got douche chills when the writer said that it would be blasphemous of him to say that he didn't like any of their songs. After all of these years there are apparently still many people who are in a trance when it comes to this band.

"It’s complicated". They were such a cultural phenomenon that it’s hard to judge their music objectively. Everyone likes one period or album(s) more than another, and they progressed through a lot of them. Think how much different they sounded in ’66 compared with ’64! No group put out so much material in such a short period of time as did they, though Prince and Ryan Adams tried.

I love Rubber Soul and Revolver, but not Sgt. Pepper---too many filler songs imo. Magical Mystery Tour is just awful (it wasn’t even an album in England, just an EP), but the s/t white album is pretty amazing, though I agree with George Martin---it would have made a much better single album (Revolution 9? Wild Honey Pie? Lennon and McCartney were better together than alone imo). Get Back/Let It Be is really sad; they were obviously overdue for a divorce. Lots of people like Abbey Road, but I had already moved on by the time of it’s release (and the rooftop set). The Band had moved the bar far higher than even The Beatles could reach ;-) . The end of one era, the beginning of another, as much so as when they had appeared in 1963.

I had mixed feelings about them from the moment I saw and heard them live in the summer of ’65; they weren’t that good, I was disappointed. I had already started going out and seeing local San Jose groups (as we called bands at the time), and wasn’t very impressed by The Beatles AS A LIVE BAND. San Jose was the undisputed garage band capitol of The United States, and I saw them all: People, The Chocolate Watchband, The Trolls/Stained Glass, The Otherside, The Syndicate of Sound, The Count V, many others only locals knew about. None of them had the songwriting of John, Paul, and George, but they were better live bands. Honest! It is my view that they were a fair Rock ’n’ Roll band that evolved into a great Pop group.

Since Martin wrote all their songs he should know .
Thanks guys for a little sanity. So many insanely good bands during those years and so many great songs; and there are still those who believe The Beatles were the second coming. 
So the last the Beatles played was on a rooftop. Did not know that.

So that means the ending of Across the Universe, singing All You Need is Love from the roof top, that was yet another homage. Good one.
Most of Let it Be was recorded before Abbey Road. Your mother should know.
I think the Beatles songwriting, singing and arranging talents will never be equaled in the realm of pop/rock. In most interviews with musicians of that era and shortly thereafter,they say that listening to the Beatles caused them to pick up a guitar and play. They were indeed stood for much more than music as they led the cultural revolution through the turbulent mid- late 60s.  Virtually EVERYBODY listened to the music of the Beatles and loved the music. Some even sang about it (e.g."Beatles new record's a gas"--Ball of Confusion-Temptations). But now only the music remains. On the basis of their music alone, three of their albums are, to this day, in my top 10 of all time led by the U.S. version of Rubber Soul. Not to mention All Things Must Pass. So IMHO, they were not the second coming, but they were damn close.  
.....Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play!
Correct Geoff. Let It Be was such a downer they wanted to go out on a higher note (they knew The Beatles were over. George had already started recording his All Things Must Pass debut, and Paul was also working on a solo album), so went in and recorded the Abbey Road album. Let It Be took so long to finish (John brought in Phil Spector, who ended up "over" producing the album) that Abbey Road, their final recordings, were released prior to the dismal Let It Be. I can’t listen to that album; it’s absolutely dreadful.
I'll take John Lennon with his fur jacket and Epiphone guitar on that rooftop as the iconic image of R&R in any era.

@gpgr4blu, believe me, I completely understand why you feel the way you do, and wouldn't dream of challenging your opinion. The Beatles made some great Pop music, a fair amount of which I would not want to be without. And they are unquestionably amongst the three most important and influential artists in Rock 'n' Roll history (along with Elvis and Dylan). And yes, their cultural influence cannot be overstated, for better or worse. 

However ;-), in regard to songwriting, do know Paul McCartney considers Brian Wilson his favorite songwriter? I can't name a Beatles song on the level of Brian's "God Only Knows". That Lennon considered Chuck Berry his hero? That Lennon & McCartney modeled themselves on The Everly Brothers, who had the best songwriting, singing, and musicians of them all? All the above music may be from before your time, but it's what The Beatles music is based on, and is still considered superior by older guys like Dylan (who is not in awe of the 1960's).

As to singing, taste is just that. Paul was and is a pretty good singer, but great? Give a listen to Richard Manuel of The Band. John? Okay, I guess (pre-Yoko, that is). George? Pretty bad. Ringo, terrible.

Arranging? Sorry, no. That was George Martin.

The thing about The Beatles is that they were greater than the sum of their parts, at least to me. Each to his or her own! Just an alternate point of view.

So IMHO, they were not the second coming, but they were damn close.  
+ 1

I'll take John Lennon with his fur jacket
That was actually Yoko's fur coat.
"in the realm of rock" is a low bar .
odds are they shall remain remembered when we are all but dust, critical dust....

not a crazy fan, but I get the contribution and many cultural tuchstones they ( with help , like who does not have help ? ) created....

post your great pop song lyrics here....I am writing....and waiting...also..

Eric, as always I learn stuff from you
Barton showed up, solid for sure...having an Eagle help you...priceless...
album visually made grade, sonics disappointing..ha
love it
still cheaper than drinking...
Say what you want, but I doubt that there will ever be another band which such universal appeal. Fifty plus years later and we’re still listening. I’m not really a fan of their early cover songs, but Rubber Soul, Revolver, Abbey Road and the White Album are gems. I doubt that there will ever be another band that cranked out songs with such ease. I’m only sorry that John and George are gone. Beatle songs may lack some relevance today, but for their time they were a window into the angst of the sixties.

FWIW, I read somewhere that they are preparing a film about the backstory of that last rooftop concert.
50 years under the microscope, still selling records, and more fans than ever. The facts speak for themselves.
bdp24, I suggest you listen to Let it Be Naked and see if it doesn't nudge you in the other direction.  I find it to be 180 degrees from the Phil Spector version.
Schubert, what you said about George Martin writing the Beatles' songs is simply not true.  He often made huge contributions to the arranging and production.  He did not write any of the songs.  Not one.
I was eleven years old when the Beatles' music hit America.  I was a high school senior when they broke up.  I don't expect to get the same buzz from it now as I did then, but in the words of Brian Wilson, "I still dig those sounds."  I appreciate better a lot of other music from that time than I did then (such as Dionne Warwick singing Burt Bacharach) but I keep coming back to the Beatles.  The biggest problem is that I have heard the original recordings too many times and so I often opt for alternate versions these days but I expect that for me they will always be the gold standard for the 60's.
Of course Paul has recognized God Only Knows as a great song and Brian Wilson as top notch friendly competition. But Brian's favorite album is Rubber Soul. Of course the Beatles loved Elvis, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry (and Little Richard, Carl Perkins, et al).
But that doesn't change the fact that Beatles songs are much more popular today than any of those artists. I am a fan of all of the above, but I can go for 6 months without listening to one song from the Beatles predecessors. I can't go 1 month without having the urge to hear an entire Beatles album.
 The Beatles were also extremely versatile (ie the wide variety of styles of they have excelled in--even in one album (White) ) in a way which none of the artists before them or after them have ever approached.
I love George Martin but he assisted the Beatles on many songs but he was far from  an arranger in the classic sense. As to musicianship, that was one area where the Beatles always beat the competition---not as the best technical players--but as musicians who had the best musicality. The Everlys are a favorite of mine as well and had great harmonies, but there musicians were not nearly as sophisticated and varied in their approach as the Beatles-- especially considering Paul's inventive and musical bass playing on many, many songs and Ringo's tremendously tasteful drumming. George wasn't half bad either. 
I'll take Lennon/McCartney harmonizing (Please Don't Wear Red Tonight, If I Fell, This Boy and many others) as the equals of the Everly Brothers--but different.
I also think Lennon's Twist and Shout voice and his voice in and around1964/65, is one of the greatest in pop history.
I will agree with you that Elvis, the Beatles and Dylan are clearly the big three.
And Richard Manuel was a great emotionally transporting singer.
When it all boils down, and when they did, no band ever rocked harder, then or since, than the Beatles.

"You’d say, you’re putting me on, but it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm,
You know I can't sleep, I can't stop my brain, you know it's three weeks,
I'm going insane, you know I'd give everything I've got, for a little piece of mind."
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As musicians the Beatles were rather rudimentary and unremarkable.

As song writers, the Beatles were perhaps the greatest of all time. So many memorable melodies and great lyrics.

I never choose to listen to the Beatles but I heard them so much growing up that they are like nursery rhymes or church hymns - indeliably imprinted in my mind from childhood.
So what. Pop music, no more no less. Procol Harum´s debut 1967 and "Shine on Brightly" 1968 in particular with the very first true progressive rock epic music "In Held Twas in I" are serious pop/rock music, with true intelligent and psychedelic lyrics. To me, even when I still was just a kid, in 1967-68 Pepper sounded like silly children´s music. Lucy in the Sky with diamonds ... funny funny heh heh. Right.
The downfall is right there when they tried to be clever and intellectual but sounded quite corny most of the time. And Abbey is just dull, with the exception of brilliant "Something" not written by Lennon/McCarthy.

George Martin´s role in production is very important, he truly was the fifth Beatle and without him the end result would have been different. "Revolver" and "Rubber Soul" have real magic that they lost when they became "serious" musically. Innocent and very happy (pop) music, simple tunes like "Girl" are their finest hour. Of course, later they had their moments like Back in the USSR, they finest rocker. Heh, Sovjet Union. Very funny tune for us, our neighbor you see.

Lennon could only dream of songs like "A Whiter Shade of Pale" not to mention "A Salty Dog". Btw, the perfect pop music perfectly produced by class came from Sweden a few years later ... tunes like Ring Ring and SOS. And from Holland, Never Mary a Railroad Man, not to mention Venus.

In late 60´s people such as Gary Brooker & Co and Jimi Hendrix & Co created the very first attempts to serious and important rock music ... "Electric Ladyland" from 1968 is light years away from harmless pop music. Hendrix was/is a genius and way ahead of most pop musicians. These guys created new genres, new art. Symphonic Prog and Psychedelic Rock and the world was never the same.

I read somewhere that the "mighty" Beatles stopped to perform for audiences already in 1966 because they were tired of screaming fans, in the middle of Beatlemania ? Really. How stupid is that. Quite an insult to the fans. The most overrated music in history. I like their 1964-66 period, though. But never my cup of tea really.

Btw, for a pop band I´ve always preferred The Hollies because their songs were simple about love (girls) and their songwriting is very good. When pop music becomes too serious it kinda looses its magic, as a simple pop music.  
And Allan Clarke had a gorgeous voice, perfect for pop melodies. And great harmonies from Graham Nash, but that is another story.

Discussions about The Beatles never fail to get everybody goin'! We who bought their albums at the time of their original release have unfortunately heard them far too many times, and it's easy to take them for granted. Rubber Soul is a really, really good album, and they had become a great recording group by the time they did it. John had discovered Dylan, and it shows. If you watch the tapes of the two of them traveling in a taxi together when Dylan was touring England with The Hawks (who became The Band in '68. George and Ringo became instant fans while seeing them on that tour), you can see John trying to be as cool as he obviously thinks Bob is. Speaking of Bob, he introduced the Jazz cigarette to The Beatles, and it too shows!

Paul had greatly improved as a bass player (thanks to discovering James Jamerson of The Funk Brothers, the Motown house band), and George's guitar playing, though it was starting to sound somewhat old-fashioned in the wake of Jeff Beck's playing in The Yardbirds, along with the emerging white Blues bands like Paul.Butterfield (with Mike Bloomfield, whom Dylan had starting using on his recordings in '65, on guitar), was peaking (his little solo in "Nowhere Man" is one of my faves. To hear where it came from, listen to the guitar playing by James Burton in Ricky Nelson's "Young World" ;-). It shortly thereafter went way south, as he became infatuated with the Sitar, with which I can not at all relate. But George better than Hank Garland, the guitarist on a lot of the Everly Brothers recordings? In his dreams! Get yourself a Garland collection and be amazed. Don Everly was a fantastic rhythm guitarist, much better than John Lennon. He played a lot of their songs' chords as inversions, which was way over Lennon's head. Their drummer, Buddy Harman, is on of my Top 5 drummers of all time list. He was Nashville's Hal Blaine, if you know what I mean.

Ringo's best drumming imo is that on Rubber Soul. He was now getting a great sound, learning how to damp the heads to get the dead, thumpy sound he was after (for whatever reason, they don't sound nearly as good imo on Revolver). He later became a huge fan of Levon Helm, who also mastered the art of drum tone. When I went to Levon's book release and signing, Ringo showed up to get his copy. To hear why I consider The Band a great Rock 'n' Roll one, but The Beatles not, listen to Ringo try to play along with them at the end of The Last Waltz. They leave him in the dust, he plodding along behind them.

Brian Wilson of course heard Rubber Soul, and it's excellence inspired his next album, Pet Sounds. He then started work on what could have been the album of all time, Smile. But that's a subject for another time, except to say that Lennon & McCartney had heard about it from Derek Taylor, who had been The Beatles press agent but was now working for The Beach Boys. The Smile tapes were kept under lock & key (Brian thought Phil Spector might try to steal his ideas!), but John and Paul came to America to try to hear them. They were working on Sgt. Pepper, and the rivalry between Paul and Brian, especially, was intense. Taylor snuck John and Paul into the studio and played them the tapes. If and when you hear the Smile album, you can guess how they reacted;-) .

I liked the white album when it came out, but also Procol Harum's debut, The Nice ( Emerson's pre-ELP group, whom I saw live at The Fillmore), Moby Grape's debut, and the rest of the emerging new groups and bands. The one I didn't "get" was Music From Big Pink. I could not understand what all the fuss was about, and gave up trying. But in the summer of '69, as I have recounted here before, all that changed when I saw and heard Dewey Martin (of Buffalo Springfield) and his band play live.  

It doesn’t matter what anyone, whether informed pedant or shameless ignoramus, thinks about The Beatles - good or bad. Popular music today would be something else altogether had they not existed. Apart from the music they created, they changed recording studio practices. Culturally and musically they were a seismic event that lasted the better part of a decade. They altered the landscape (to use that cliche) and there ain’t no going back. They weren’t operating in a vacuum of course, and no mention of the Fab 4 should be made without invoking the names of SS. Martin and Emerick.  Love ’em or hate ’em, doesn’t matter - The Beatles transformed popular music like no other group before or since. Some of us think the transformation was for the better.

Harold, I very much enjoy your post directly above. Nice to hear someone else give ABBA their due!

I imagine you know John Lennon loved "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", playing it incessantly they say. But I really must dispute you assertion that Gary Brooker and Hendrix "created the very first attempts to (write? create?) serious and important rock music". What do you consider "Like A Rolling Stone"? "God Only Knows"?

Leonard Berstein wrote, produced, and narrated a TV Special that aired on CBS in the spring of ’67, entitled Inside Pop---The Rock Revolution. One of the main segments is about Brian Wilson and his upcoming Smile album. Brian is shown playing "Surf’s Up" (lyrics by Van Dyke Parks, a much better lyricist that Brooker’s songwriting partner and Hendrix, imo) on the piano (yes, the one in the sandbox ;-) in his Bel Air mansion, and Berstein explains why he is so impressed. The show is viewable on You Tube.

To see and hear the genius of Brian Wilson explained and demonstrated, watch the You Tube video wherein a music teacher breaks down "God Only Knows", it's whole structure and construction. Chord by chord, the melody, harmonies, and counterpoint. It is mind blowingly great!

It doesn’t matter what anyone, whether informed pedant or shameless ignoramus, thinks about The Beatles - good or bad. Popular music today would be something else altogether had they not existed. Apart from the music they created, they changed recording studio practices. Culturally and musically they were a seismic event that lasted the better part of a decade. They altered the landscape (to use that cliche) and there ain’t no going back. They weren’t operating in a vacuum of course, and no mention of the Fab 4 should be made without invoking the names of SS. Martin and Emerick.  Love ’em or hate ’em, doesn’t matter - The Beatles transformed popular music like no other group before or since. Some of us think the transformation was for the better.


I am a huge long time fan of Procol Harum, Moody Blues, King Crimson, you name it late sixties early prog/art rock act, but you gotta realize non of that may have ever happened when it did without the Beatles blazing the trail for new waves of creativity in pop/rock in various ways/phases, and at different times in the immediate years prior. Starting with their emergence in 1964 and pretty much up to the end, at least up through the white album, after which they cooled their jets and just did what they had to in order to go out in style (Abbey Road).

George Martin + Co.  was a huge part of this!

Add their hit making and staying power, and being simply embedded in so many in so many ways as mentioned and there you have it. Plus they were a very talented kick-ass straight out rock and roll band to start with. They picked the ball back up from where Elvis, Buddy Holly, you name it left off in their late 50’s heyday, in their early days, and blazed the trail for pop/rock music from there, incorporating elements of most every prior music genre to some extent in the process.

By the way all---I did not mean to diminish the role of George Martin or Geoff Emerick (may they both rest in peace). They were both critical--especially Martin with classical music suggestions (often in answer to Paul's requests).  BUT, for example, Martin never told Paul how to approach the bass lines on" Something" or "With A Little Help From My Friends" or on many other Beatle songs as tastefully as he did. No one told Ringo how to hit the skins on "Ticket To Ride", "A Day In The Life" or "Come Together" or numerous other songs. The Beatles, according to Eric Clapton reflecting on his solo on "While My Guitar.." related how they were extremely tough task masters who worked hard to get every sound and every note exactly the way they wanted. In that respect, they were superb arrangers as was George Martin. 
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Brian Epstein made the Beatles a household name. So they were already the bourgeoisie elite of pop culture when they began taking LSD and experimenting in the studio. I agree with you bdp24, in that the Beatles were a studio group first and foremost however they're live performances always sold out. I believe this to be telling of the complexity that surrounds the Beatles and other pop groups who rise to levels of such notoriety.

George suggested The Beatles stop touring as the 3rd USA tour grinded on, as he (and Ringo) didn’t think they were playing as well as they once had. They didn’t even have stage monitors, to be able hear their vocals! I therefore don’t fault them for the often out-of-tune harmonies of their live shows.

They never again performed together live on stage until on the rooftop in Get Back (with Billy Preston on electric piano). In that performance, they sound pretty rusty imo. Having not played night after night on stage for many years, they were not exactly firing on all 8 cylinders! But that’s immaterial; it was their songs that made them what they were, and their personalities, humour, style, and cultural influence.

When I said arrangements, I was talking about the charts George Martin wrote for the strings, horns, and other instruments The Beatles themselves didn’t play. The "arrangements" of the songs themselves, the song construction---verse/chorus/refrain or middle 8 (no offense, but that’s not what "arrangement" means), THAT John, George, and Paul did, with some suggestions from Martin. In contrast, Brian Wilson DID write all the parts for the strings, horns, percussion, tuned percussion (tympani), keyboards (piano and organ), celeste and harp, bass harmonica, basses (up to three on any given song: upright acoustic, 4-string electric played by Carol Kaye, and Fender or Danelectro 6-string), and complex harmonies and counterpoint he started using long before did The Beatles. I can’t overstate in what high esteem Paul McCartney holds Brian Wilson.

During the recording of Smile (an album scheduled to be released before Sgt. Pepper. It ended up not being released at all---at least not fully finished, but is truly and astonishingly musically revolutionary. Sgt. Pepper---a vastly over-rated album imo, pales in comparison), Brian and his brother Carl were floating in Brian's pool, a Beethoven symphony playing on the outdoor speakers. As the symphony ended, Brian turned to Carl and said: "It's nice to know you're a musical midget" ;-) . I love humility.

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It would be hard to come up with a 60's/70's pop group that didn't incorporate horn and string arrangements into there recordings. The Beatles were a product of their environment with this respect.

Often, the band would record and then a later date was set for a string and woodwinds or horn section and they would superimpose their recording with the earlier recording.
If they weren't the best I quess I'm missing something. I have yet to hear another group with a body of work like the Beatles, each lp except maybe Let it Be showing progress  and growth.
Ignorance and prejudice never fails to surprise me. It´s always funny actually : )
Seems only me and Eric realize the brilliance of their 1965-66 albums, THE best pop albums from incredible 60´s ? Their pinnacle, all their other albums before and later are inferior, musically. As I already mentioned, White Album has it moments (well many inferior albums by almost any artist have its moments so nothing new under the sun).
Thank God exist different (musical) cultures. And I´m glad people like Eric knows a thing or two about pop (and rock) history ´cos has been there, so to speak.
Beatles or any other pop "icon" are just some other people´s fantasies, nothing more nothing less. Quite silly POP icons. Walrus, saw it on telly, I laughed at it as kid, I still do, another happy harmless tune. Likewise is We Can Work It Out, what a message, positive attitude, probably pop´s finest hour. And McCarthy is a great musician and a bass player. I never said they had´t influenced a number of musicians - who had´t who could possible have closed ears for FM radio in the 60´s ? Ridiculous. They just happened to be the first. All pop music is inspired from earlier artist, like we it not.
But luckily the best of them got their inspiration elsewhere. Classical music, serious music, the best music, Man´s finest achievement.
Before bands like Hendrix Experience, Procol Harum, (well Nice too and Beach Boys´ Pet Sounds in some extent, I admit) and The Moody Blues, exist popular music or even progressed rock´n´roll music, that you Eric are talking about. But here I´m talking about Progressive Rock Music, where Beatles is so often referred, took influenced from classical music and different musical cultures and blended them into rock´n´roll and finally created new rock music, very interesting music and true art, art at finest, the best in existence. You gotta realize that essential difference. Even so you seem to dis Hendrix in so many ways, which is just plain absurd. Don´t try to explain your strange behauviour, I coudn´ t care less.
Electric Ladyland, in particular is one of the very first Progressive Rock albums alongside Procol´s second and Ennio Morricone´s work, really. Not Pet Sounds despite its brilliance, it´s still pop music, not Frank Zappa his actually avant-garde(n) not true Prog. Prog Rock was invented in England, but not by Beatles, thank heavens.
Back to pop. Well, I´m glad you understand what ABBA is all about. Gorgeous pop tunes, huge hits worldwide. So silly, so cute and so good. Fantastic female singing and harmonies, nice and VERY HAPPY pop songs, never harmed anybody never offensive NO so damn booooring political feminist racist BS. The perfect Pop Product, from Sweden. That must be hard for Brits, I almost feel sorry for them. Almost. But Brits should not worry too much about ... also Sally Carr had nice legs and bottom : _)
Mapman says:

I am a huge long time fan of Procol Harum, Moody Blues, King Crimson, you name it late sixties early prog/art rock act, but you gotta realize non of that may have ever happened when it did without the Beatles.

That´s your fantasy and countless others´, quite strange statement.
In reality pop music was evolving all around in the 60´s, in Europe particularly in England, and in America. Progressive pop like Beach Boys and eventually Prog Rock would have emerged anyway, without Beatles somewhere, by other musicians of that time, sooner or later. And it did, 1968 and onwards. 
Carlos Santana fused latin dance music to blues and rock, and the Rock Fusion kinda a form of World Music was born, in USA.
Things tends to happen, it´s always just a matter of time.
Or not, like it was planned to form a hyper band HELP but that never happened. Hendrix was already disappointed with his current band and wanted to move on. He was a true pioneer in Prog Rock, starting from Axis: Bold as Love, 1967.
Or maybe he had joined jazz-fusion acts like Weather Report or something else, but that never happened, unfortunately. What a talent Rock lost. And what a manly voice, one of the very best and the best from Black Man IMO. Jimi, RIP and thanks for the Cosmic Music 
It's 2019 and some people think they can say something that already hasn't been said about The Beatles.  Amazing!
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"No group put out so much material in such a short period of time as did they..."
Unfortunately, many great, and more prolific, artists do not get their share of worldwide glory because of the language. They thrive in much smaller markets but are often far from being second class.

Except from inevitable short-lived 10-year-old-kid affection for Beatles songs that came and went, I was not a great fan and did not consider their music that great. However, I have recently bought, little by little, their mono records (from 2014). Now, I think I can understand why some people think they were great. I am still not the biggest fan, but have a new-found appreciation for their music. Comparing to stereo CDs, CDs just do not have it. Even Sgt. Pepper's is not that much overrated anymore.
Back when Rubber Soul and Revolver came out it was far more important culturally than simply a new pop album. In the context of that era there was absolutely nobody as hip and interesting as these guys in the popular music world, and you'd sit in front of the stereo (or mono) and be blown away by the whole thing...just musically miles ahead of everybody else on every level. At 15 I was headed home from some shopping mall in Hawaii in my mother's car when the new release of "I'm Looking Through You" came on the little Toyota Corona's radio before I left the parking lot...I sat there stunned for the entire song. That didn't happen with me often, maybe another time with Aretha's "Respect"...still...maybe you had to be there, but whew...
That rooftop concert, believe it or not, I was standing in the street below. I just happened to be walking by, my Dad had is office about 300 yards away.
wolf-garcia, that's how I felt when I heard Traffic.


I'll take John Lennon with his fur jacket

"That was actually Yoko's fur coat."

Yes, but it was his coat for future value at auction, and certainly his sideburns, if not the walrus.


I doubt  a single one of the musicians you mentioned respectfully would agree that prog rock would have happened without the Beatles.  Anyway, the fact is that it didn't.  Revolver was released in summer of '66, featuring tracks with classical instruments, Indian instruments and the  track Tomorrow Never Knows, which pushed the envelope quite a bit. Strawberry Fields Forever was produced in late '66 and released in early '67, still ahead of the wave of forward-looking (or -sounding) Brit bands you mention (mind you, I also like those bands and "was there, so to speak"). 
One of the valuable (to me, at least) things I learned in school came from a music theory teacher.  I don't remember if we were discussing fugues or twelve-tone music or what, but he told me "it doesn't matter how complicated or sophisticated the method of composition is--what matters is 'is it good?'"  I don't think the Beatles were interested in creating genres or producing music for art snobs--just music that "is good."  Since we'll never know what would have happened without them speculation is pointless.
No doubt that Rubber Soul and Revolver were the albums that changed everything for The Fab 4. To my ears, specifically, the song "Day Tripper" was a key turning point. The band really found that Rock N Roll backbeat. Play it LOUD!

Happy Listening!
'Day Tripper' featured George Harrison's counterpoint guitar which was sophisticated and still is.
Sorry, I'm thinking of 'I Feel Fine'.
Two after Beatles records that deserve merit IMHO are 'All Things Must Pass' and 'RAM'.