Give the huge corpus of work devoted to picking apart the music, lyrics and cultural significance of the Beatles, critic David Quantick was justified in writing that:
The story is overtold now: even unborn children know, at some deep genetic level, how Paul McCartney met John Lennon at Woolton Fete and showed him some chords … and universities now teach courses on how the respectable band members who were able to mix with royalty became drug-using psychonauts who pushed the barriers of popular music so far back that they collapsed.
Carys Wyn Jones has identified slight currents in popular music academic discourse seemingly devoted to placing the Beatles alongside traditional high cultural practices of yore — for instance, via the
series of conferences/books, which sought to apply traditional (classical) musicological methods to the band. Jones points out the niche carved out by such endeavours, and their determined ignorance of other forms of (less widely intellectualised) popular music — “it is easy to image that
might be regarded as the next desirable step” (Jones 113). In the aftermath of — amongst other things — cultural phenomena such as
The Beatles Anthology
television series (with subsequent VHS and DVD releases), the 2009 mono reissuing of most of their records, and the extensive three-hour documentary by Martin Scorsese devoted to their third song-writer, George Harrison (
Living in the Material World
), this “overtold story” can seemingly still be told, and retold.