Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Why I've Never Bought a Beatles Album

I am currently on holiday in Merseyside. Over the past few days, I've visited such five-star local attractions as Chester Zoo, the Tate Gallery, and the Picton Reading Room.

I also went to the Museum of Liverpool, which served as a stark reminder of just how much this city loves The Beatles. There was a whole exhibit dedicated to John, Paul, George and Ringo, and while it was very informative, I can't help but feel that I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I was, y'know, a Beatles fan.

Depending on how you count 'em, The Fab Four's back catalogue consists of anything from 11 to 24 studio albums, and I own precisely zero of them. It's not that I dislike their music; I simply never felt that it was especially worth adding to my collection. As Liverpudlian bands go, I always preferred Echo & The Bunnymen.

Here are three reasons why I have never bought a Beatles CD:
  1. I've heard it all before
    The more familiar you are with a song, the less reason you have to shell out any cash for that song. And I feel very familiar with a lot of Beatles tracks. This is partially because my parents listened to their music a fair bit while I was growing up, but I can't put all the blame on mum and dad - those songs are everywhere, and unless you've been living under a rock since the day you were born, you're already so well-acquainted with the band's catalogue that it's barely worth investigating any further.

  2. They're too expensive
    Most Beatles albums - and certainly the good ones that you're expected to have in your library - cost far, far too much. I don't think I've ever seen Revolver or Sgt. Pepper on sale for less than £13, which would otherwise be enough to buy me a CD that came out last week and return enough change for a quick jaunt to the nearest charity shop afterwards. With this in mind, why on Earth should I blow all of that money on a dozen songs that are almost half a century old?

    And don't say "because The Beatles are better than any modern artists", because...

  3. Frankly, their music does very little for me
    Okay, I have to make some honourable exceptions here: Something is great, as is Ticket to Ride, and I like Rufus Wainwright's cover of Across the Universe quite a lot too. By and large, though, the Lennon/McCartney hitmaking machine produced very little to get my motor running. Sure, I can see that A Hard Day's Night and A Day in the Life are decent songs, but they don't really elicit any particular response from me other than 'Oh, it's The Beatles'.
The real reason for my distinct lack of Beatlemania is a combination of the three points listed above: I don't want to waste money on mostly mediocre rock songs that I've heard a million times when I could buy something new and interesting that really excites me. In the '60s, I'm sure I would have been all over The Beatles, but now they're just an overpriced heritage act with nothing much to offer me. I'd rather continue my slow and steady journey through Bruce Springsteen's back catalogue - you can get his CDs for, like, £5 each!


  1. Massively with you on this. I just always feel that modern bands have taken the best aspects of the Beatles and developed them. And for every Helter Skelter there is a Yellow Submarine.

  2. Not trying to change your opinion but have you ever heard side 2 of Abbey Road? Its astonishing by any standards. I hugely respect them and their undoubted influence, and i idolised them in the 90s when i was just a kid! but the early albums are very patchy, sgt pepper is overrated and a lot of the britpop bands improved on a lot of what the Beatles did.

    1. For example id pick Taxloss by mansun over Taxman anyday!