Shocking as it may seem, not every music journalist thinks the Beatles were the greatest band to grace the earth. Frankly, we at ReadJunk find them to be overrated in every possible way, especially compared to some of today’s excellent bands. Perhaps we took the easy way by choosing Fall Out Boy, whose music is simply incredible. But as journalists, we don’t just look at music, but the age and context in which it’s written, as well as other stuff. So here are 10 reasons why Fall Out Boy is better than the Beatles.
#10. Band Name
I admit this is a superficial way to start the list, but that’s why it’s #10. Yet this is a good point. Fall Out Boy is a Simpsons reference, it sounds cool, and it’s descriptive. The Beatles is just a bad pun. And I mean BAD PUN. Like, ska band bad.
Yeah, I guess The Beatles were well known for their moptops, but those guys were in desperate need of hiring a hair stylist. I mean, come on, this was the ’60s. I’ll bet those hippies didn’t shower or bathe for days on end. Not so for Fall Out Boy! They’re clean and yet rugged – not to mention cool facial hair and muttonchops! And if you’re a girl, you GOTTA love the way Pete Wentz parts his hair. No contest, here.
Ringo was on Shining Time Station. Pete Wentz’ penis was on the Internet. No competition.
#7. The Internet
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that Fall Out Boy is far more connected with their fans than The Beatles ever were. There’s no better evidence of this truth than the way they handle themselves on the internet. Fall Out Boy (especially the charismatic Pete Wentz) constantly blog and acquire meaningful friendships with their fans on websites like MySpace.com and Flicker. I don’t think anyone can argue that The Beatles ever cared this much about their fans, but were just in it to get paid. You never saw Paul or Ringo blog about their relationships and touring and people they care about. Maybe The Beatles answered the odd fan mail letter or two, but seriously who uses snail mail when you could blog to your fans and post some videos on YouTube? Wow, way to harness your creative energy, guys.
#6. Artistic Collaboration
The Beatles weren’t exactly with the times when they were making records. In fact, they had to struggle constantly to keep up with the trends during the ’60s. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for Fall Out Boy. They’re always in touch with many different types of music and styles and always work with the hippest of people. Case in point is their latest album and no doubt their most awesome collaborator: Jay-Z. Jigga himself takes a break from managing Def Jam records to record a brief intro reppin’ his homies, FOB, and giving a middle-finger to all the hataz: this includes YOU, Beatles! Leave it to FOB to get jiggy with it. You never saw The Beatles make any cutting-edge collaborations, right? Besides, who did they have to chill with? Bob Dylan? Pleeeeease.
#5. Better Politics
Fall Out Boy’s politics are more interesting and mainstream. They’re totally against the war and stuff like that, while the Beatles sang about killing people, like Rocky Raccoon and Buffalo Bill shooting people, and that “Happiness in a Warm Gun” song. Oh, and Maxwell beating children with hammers. The Beatles were downright bloodthirsty. Lame.
#4. Modern Relevance
Besides geriatrics with tubes in their face, who remembers the Beatles? Sure, they’re slightly more known than, say, The Hollys and Strawberry Alarm Clock, but who has given a rat’s ass about the Beatles in the past 30 years? Not even the Beatles give a rat’s ass about the Beatles. I mean, the band sold their songs to Michael Jackson. Talk about not giving a shit about your music anymore. So why should anyone else?
The Beatles were simplistic to the point of cartoony. Unless you’re Raffi, you shouldn’t be singing about walruses and yellow submarines. FOB, on the other hand, deliver mature and astute lyrics about the important and relatable complexity of everyday life. The Beatles’ lyrics are a color-by-number set for crayons, while FOB paint a multi-textured, masterful portrait of the human condition.
#2. Cultural Importance
There is no doubt that the Beatles were popular in their time. They had a few #1 hits, and they were good at merchandising with lunchboxes and such. But the Beatles didn’t change the world. Meanwhile, FOB has not only changed and recharged the face of music, they have become a cultural phenomenon, the effects of which will be felt for decades. We may not even be experiencing the full impact now, but it’s obvious that historians will point to FOB as the moment when music became a driving force for our generation, if not the entire 21st century.
#1. Musical Output
We’ve all heard the phrase “quality, not quantity.” That phrase has never been more accurate and applicable than in the comparison between the Beatles and Fall Out Boy. During The Beatles’ limited recording output of 6 or so years, they released something like 300 albums (well, it felt that way, at least), and they were all rife with filler, album after album after album. These guys really needed an editor! Where was George Martin to curb all their self-indulgent sitar and psychedelic influences? To be generous, The Beatles only had maybe 3 or 4 worthwhile songs to choose from in all those albums. Meanwhile, with Fall Out Boy, they show restraint and their fans are all the more thankful for this. Thus far, they’ve only released 4 albums in their 6-year existence and they waste no time when it comes to dishing out quality. When it comes down to it, “Sugar We’re Going Down” is a more culturally significant song about love and teenage angst than “All You Need Love” could ever accomplish. CASE CLOSED.