Before some folks grow hoarse with screams of outrage, let's get this out of the way: Yes, I've owned "Rubber Soul," "Revolver," the "White Album," "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," and "Abbey Road." And there's no question that the Beatles influenced pop music more than any other band in the past half-century. But that's part of the problem. They're everywhere. If you listen to any form of Western pop music, it's almost impossible to escape the Beatles. After so much exposure over the past 40 years, after endless radio airplay, after unmatched aping by scores of lesser lights and outright hacks, the band's songs are essentially woven into the cultural DNA. At this point, there's nothing novel about the Beatles - even if you've never heard them before.
-- Michael Saunders