Weekly survey: Do The Beatles still matter?

The Beatles released the 50th-anniversary edition of their Abbey Road album this past Friday and, as expected, there was a tremendous amount of hoopla surrounding it. Well-deserved, I believe–but that’s just me.

This is music that’s 50 years old. The Beatles had effectively broken up by this time in 1969. But not only is the band still part of the music conversation, but they may also be bigger than ever. I have some stats to back that up, too.

  • Since the beginning of the year, Beatles music has been streamed 1.7 billion times on Spotify.
  • 9% of all Spotify streams are of Beatles music.
  • And this is the best: 30% of all streams are by people between the ages of 18 and 24, people who are at least two generations removed from when The Beatles were still around.

And it’s not just on Spotify. Deezer reports that 27% of all Beatles streams are being summoned by people under 25.

Expect an uptick in these numbers through the next few weeks as the new Abbey Road spreads throughout the ecosystem. It’s already the best-selling vinyl album year after year and this new edition will only serve to goose that.

I may have already answered my own question, but I want to hear what you have to say. The Beatles: Do they still (or did they ever) matter to you?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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9 thoughts on “Weekly survey: Do The Beatles still matter?

  • The Beatles will ALWAYS matter! The sheer number of iconic and classic songs they produced in such a short time, combined with the fact that they packed it in when they were still on top and hadn’t started to suck just makes them so classic. There’s just such a universal appeal. It’s why there are still books, documentaries, and now feature films being made about them.

  • Absolutely! My kids, who’s ages are 6yrs through 17yrs, also like them. I still get amazed at the depth of their writing every time I listen to them.

  • Absolutely, what they stood for and people have come close in likeness, have never captured them. We will never see anything like the Beatles again.

  • One problem may be what I call the “Citizen Kane Effect”. You really can’t appreciate what a landmark film it was until you watch some other movies from 1941. Only then can you see all the techniques that Orson Welles pioneered. We’ve just gotten used to seeing them re-used in the years since then.

    Unless you were alive when the Beatles started out (and that number is dropping every year), it is hard to grasp how revolutionary their music was. And we’ve had close to sixty years of imitators since then.

  • Sorry, but they don’t matter anymore. My 16 year old son is unaware of them and to him it sounds like dated music. Similar to Glenn Miller not being very relevant to me but very important to my grandmother.

  • I would argue that the Beatles were the Big Bang of modern music culture. Paul is the father of Pop music and John is the father of alternative. George soaked up influence from both and manage to float down the middle to also become an iconic music creator. The Beatles are and always will be in a league of their own.

    • George kind of added the “world music” influence for modern music too


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