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Elvis or the Beatles?

I have long believed that everyone (of consequence) in the world is either a Beatles of Elvis person. And the decision between the two expresses a deep insight into the cultivation and state of a person's soul. I was always a Beatles guy, but admit that, as time has passed, to have undergone the sort of inner crisis Allen Bloom would well understand.

Nevertheless, today would be Elvis Presley 75th birthday. 

Powerline runs a must-read annual post on Elvis which pays particular attention to his 1970 meeting with President Nixon. The altruistic patriotism and almost child-like innocence in his letter to Nixon (in which he requests to be secretly deputized by the federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs) permits an endearing and ultimately tragic (given his eventual demise from drug-use) glimpse into his uncanny character.

So here's to the King! If only he'd reigned a bit longer....

Categories > Pop Culture

Discussions - 9 Comments

I always freely admit to being a musical idiot . . . but I think there is something to this dichotomy you present, Justin. They seem to attract different and distinct audiences . . . But where does that leave you if you don't really care for either of the options?

Add The Rolling Stones and Mozart and I think you have all your bases covered.

Sub out Bach for Mozart and we're golden.

But if you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose between the Beatles and Elvis, I'd end up choosing the Beatles. Then I would have to shoot myself.

Best answer yet, Ben! Though you're wrong about Mozart. Leave him . . . sub in Bach for the Rolling Stones, and I'll be happy.

Hahaha...Ben, my first inclination/thought was Bach in place of Mozart, as I actually prefer Bach (but the moon and the sun and the stars aren't really in competition).... but I think Mozart covers more types of souls, and is better appreciated these days.

I can't think of anyone who wouldn't pick one of those four. I have to say, the ambiguity of the Beatles and Elvis comes into play here. If you want rock and rebellion, one must pick the Stones over the Beatles anyhow. But which Beatles? And which Elvis? The Stones have the virtue of being one thing, as I think do Mozart and Bach. Elvis and the Beatles changed drastically throughout their careers. Sun recording Elvis I'll go to the mat for, fatty Christmas album picture on a plate Elvis not so much. Sunny Pop Beatles are drastically different from Phil crazy-haired-murderer-of-B-actresses Spector mixed psychedelic Beatles singing about doing it in the road.

So like Lennon would say, your truth, is, like, your truth...

Actually I was thinking only of 'pop culture' and it would have been the Stones and Buddy Holly.

I agree with the essential dichotomy of "Elvis" or "The Beatles" ... and between those two, over the years, I am ... torn.

The Beatles have aged. Some of their music I still like, but some I just don't care for any more. Ditto Elvis. Certain songs I like, but the idea of 24 hours of nothing but either of them would drive me nuts.

(FYI ... Lennon was a self-indulgent idiot. His song "Imagine" drives me nuts ... sorry, folks ... it's just not that good of a song.)

The Stones remain relatively fresh, and on certain occasions -- a warm summer night with the windows rolled down -- Led Zeppelin reigns.

If I absolutely had to choose ... I'd go "Elvis."

But I have to give props to McCartney for being a heck of an innovative bass player. And that's coming from a big John Entwistle fan.

Mr. Paulette, are you refering to music in general or to Rock and Roll? If you're refering to Rock and Roll, then you would do well to note that for years (decades!) the general agreement of the music world has been that humanity can be divided into Beatles fans or Rolling Stones fans. Just saying . . .

I think Elvis had everything. Yes the Beatles wrote great music but that's all they had. Elvis had the music, the looks, charisma and humility that people just love about him still to this day.

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