American Idol Contestants 'Haven't Heard Of The Beatles'

To a certain demographic of American Idol hopefuls The Beatles don't figure too highly on their top influences list.

logo
Ultimate Guitar
1

For many years, they have been considered the most important group of all time. To a certain demographic of American Idol hopefuls, however, The Beatles don't figure too highly on their top influences list. According to a report from misformusic.com, American Idolhost Ryan Seacrest has revealed that some of this year's hopefuls had never heard aBeatlessong before they entered the competition.

One of this season's episodes will feature contestants performing the hits of the Fab Four in Las Vegas, something that a number of the would be pop-stars found more of a challenge than others: They went to perform Beatles songs, about 60-something [of them]. A handful of them, I asked, What do you think about the songs?' and they said, I've never heard a Beatles song before in my life!'

This report comes in spite of what has arguably been a period of renewed popularity for the Liverpool born legends. Rock Band: The Beatles was released in 2009 to rave reviews and mega sales, while the band's back catalogue was finally re-mastered and distributed through iTunes in 2010. A May edition of 2007's American Idol show even dedicated an entire episode to the songbook of Lennon and McCartney, making the admission of contestants' ignorance towards the band even more surprising.

You'd hope that the contestants would at least know some of the words to Yesterday, even if they hadn't heard the original. The Guinness Book of Records reports that it is the most recorded popular song of all time, with over 1,600 cover versions recorded to date.

Trending stories

383 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    Barkeeper
    SyN005 wrote: Why am I not surprised ?
    Because the contestants' IQ is equal to the amount of fingers you have.
    BigSpence
    Fail on my part I'm not a fan of The Beatles, but I still know how their songs go. Another reason why American Idol contestants are tools
    Lion_Slicer
    If I was Ryan Seacrest, my reaction would be: "Yeeeah... you can just go home, we won't be needing you anymore." I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should listen to the Beatles occasionally, if only so that they have SOME point of reference for, you know, every piece of pop or rock music since then. I just threw on Sgt. Pepper yesterday. Aside from being influential/revolutionary/bigger than Jesus, there are some damn good songs. I'm definitely more partial to their later, more progressive/experimental/awesome work than the early poppy songs they wrote for teenage girls.
    Krieger91
    I guess you can't really be openminded about this..this is just annoying. This is proof that everyone whop hates this stuff are to a certain extent right.
    barden1069
    DDJJ wrote: Who cares? F the Beatles, I hate their music
    But you've at least heard them. If someone hasn't heard the Beatles then I have no interest in their musical opinions.
    Iliekgitaz
    they probably know full well who justin bieber and ke$ha are. This is why I hate reality television. We have so many idiots on tv that is actually getting popular by even bigger idiots that watch them.
    snow...
    Lets be fair now. How many of us are surprised by this fact? They shouldn't even dedicate certain live shows to the likes of The Beatles like they do, if they don't know who the band or the person is, what's the point? It's not even a dedication.
    2611mp
    ..and how do I know that music I listen to is not influenced by the Beatles? Because 95 percent of my music collection is pre 60's doo wop and rock and roll. The i VI IV V progression is the best thing that has ever happened to music as far as I am concerned
    EpsilonJSTC
    What I want to know is how it's even possible to live that long and not have heard a Beatles song.
    2611mp
    I find it more annoying that they are expected to know who the Beatles are. Yeah a lot of them probably are amazingly stupid but who cares if they know who the Beatles are? I would be the same musician as I am today whether or not I had heard a single Beatles song in my life.
    SkepsisMetal
    Tarsplitter wrote: It's funny how all of the comments like these are coming from metalheads. And what the hell are you judging a hugely influential band based on one single song.. a song which was written by Ringo. Shit, typical metalhead attitude towards the Beatles.
    I'm not judging in a negative way. I just don't like that song, and don't care for that particular style of music therefore I feel no need to get myself into them. It is just pretentious to make yourself like a band just because elitist idiots put you down for not liking them. And if we're going by you're logic, who are you to judge a) either every metalhead by one person, or b) someone who is a fan of metal as a purist who listens to nothing else? I'm currently half way through writing and producing my own ambient dub album, waiting for an acoustic to arrive in the post so I can record an acousto-brit pop album and yes, I also like metal. My point was simply aimed at people who think its absolutely necessary to kiss the ass of a massively overrated band just for the sake of it.
    mosh_rocker2006
    Im not even going to read the comments. I know there are some moron Beatles haters that have no argument as to why the don't the like them aside from them being "overrated." They ARE the most influential...AND greatest piece of rock and roll history there is. I dare anyone to say otherwise. This debate I'll take to my grave!
    derpdragon
    I don't even really like the Beatles (nor really dislike them mind you) but I could at least name a dozen or so song and like 2 or 3 albums. Thats just sad.
    kennydabomb
    my friend has been trying to get me into the beatles for months. the way i see their music is people will either love it or hate it. i personally dont like it but i understand why people love it. lots of people love the beatles, so to avoid any drama if you dont have anything nice to say, dont say anything at all. =D music is about self expression. quit judging and go listen to YOUR favorite band.
    AaronianKenrod
    Darth_Pietrus wrote: Lol, American tards. Don't group all Americans together just because these *****s don't know The Beatles.
    i'm not american but i agree, everyone groups americans as 'idiotic obese morons' and english people as 'posh people with bad teeth who always drink tea'. i'm probably very much the same as any centre left american 19 year old and i'm proud of that.
    [ LiAm ]
    Jasonbts wrote: Well... the title says that they haven't heard "of" the Beatles, but the article says that they simply haven't heard any of their songs... and I'm not surprised. The Beatles never get any airplay where I live (Atlanta), and unless you go searching, you're not really liable to hear any. I don't even like the Beatles,but I've still heard the music.
    way to contradict yourself there
    ShadowPitch
    I wonder if they were so bland to think that they meant if they've ever heard actual beetles perform music. But contrary to my knowledge, beetles don't make any sounds.
    Root Beer
    EpsilonJSTC wrote: What I want to know is how it's even possible to live that long and not have heard a Beatles song.
    I second this. They must be even more buried in shit music than I thought.
    MetalMullet
    Dear 2nd_silent_star, do I understand you correctly? Do you call me close-minded because I don't like Beatles? Why not tell me what bands should I like? It'd make my life a lot easier. Who is really close-minded: the one who can't accept that not all the people share the same taste of music or those who simply don't like the Beatles? Also, where the hell did I assert that Beatles wasn't influential? I simply stated that I can't name any of their songs, that doesn't mean I don't appreciate their contribution. So to sum up, next time read the whole comment you ignorant fool!
    YorkshireMinor
    It will be a sad day when people of reasonable intelligence forget about the beatles. Perhaps its a foretelling of what is to come.
    Bearded_Seth
    The Beatles are a band from the 60s, it's no surprise that some 18 year old hasn't heard of them. It isn't law to love The Beatles either. I never really liked the Beatles and I've listened to several of their albums (no I couldn't really tell you which) in the car with my dad over the years.
    Fearless(Times)
    Darth_Pietrus wrote: Lol, American tards.
    Don't group all Americans together just because these *****s don't know The Beatles.
    GuitarDomen
    PirateMetalFan wrote: now this is sad. the fact that the beatles are in our american history books. and the only band that is, it's crazy
    I agree with you!
    007dude
    SkepsisMetal wrote: Tarsplitter wrote: It's funny how all of the comments like these are coming from metalheads. And what the hell are you judging a hugely influential band based on one single song.. a song which was written by Ringo. Shit, typical metalhead attitude towards the Beatles. I'm not judging in a negative way. I just don't like that song, and don't care for that particular style of music therefore I feel no need to get myself into them. It is just pretentious to make yourself like a band just because elitist idiots put you down for not liking them. And if we're going by you're logic, who are you to judge a) either every metalhead by one person, or b) someone who is a fan of metal as a purist who listens to nothing else? I'm currently half way through writing and producing my own ambient dub album, waiting for an acoustic to arrive in the post so I can record an acousto-brit pop album and yes, I also like metal. My point was simply aimed at people who think its absolutely necessary to kiss the ass of a massively overrated band just for the sake of it.
    Calling a band massively overrated is not negative? I can't believe you openly admit you only heard one song by them and still criticise them. Gee, idk, try some of their highly influential songs like "A Day in the Life" and albums like "Revolver". It was those types of songs/albums that set the Beatles' legacy in solid concrete. And who here said they only like the Beatles because everyone else did? I'll admit I only checked them out because of their strong legacy, but I have a genuine liking of them since I first heard them and Abbey Road remains my favourite album of all time. I've never met people who forced themselves to like a popular band. What sort of people do you hang around with?
    jas6nq
    It is sad, but not entirely impossible. The generation who grew up on Britney Spears and the pussycat dolls, have no reason to even accidentally come across The Beatles. There is only a matter of time before every band slips from scope forever.
    Chronic1e
    true_bacon22 wrote: You can't be serious!? You mean the same people making music of questionable taste have musical tastes which are questionable!?
    Nice.
    stoltobot
    How does someone claim to want to be a professional pop singer and not know A SINGLE BEATLES SONG? That's like me going to Mexico to audition as a Newscaster without even taking Spanish 101!
    Tarsplitter
    Lion_Slicer wrote: And hey, "A Little Help From My Friends" is a great song.
    I agree, but my point was that judging The Beatles by a song that wasn't written by the more major songwriters in the band is just stupid.
    The9
    LedZepFan543 : Haha! about time. lets move one people. POSTED: 01/14/2011 - 11:45 am / quote | AGREED
    thedevil
    mezman wrote: why the helllll are we talking about american idol on ultimate guitar.....
    because guitar is the MTV of the internet, but for musicians.
    Fenderlicous
    It's not even liking them. It's understanding the importance. I'm not really a fan of The Beatles, but I at least understand what they did for music.
    thedevil
    mosh_rocker2006 wrote: Im not even going to read the comments. I know there are some moron Beatles haters that have no argument as to why the don't the like them aside from them being "overrated." They ARE the most influential...AND greatest piece of rock and roll history there is. I dare anyone to say otherwise. This debate I'll take to my grave!
    this
    beau05
    Barkeeper wrote: SyN005 wrote: Why am I not surprised ?Because the contestants' IQ is equal to the amount of fingers you have.
    soooo, 7 then? most kids probably dont realise how much pop music is either sampled or covered from music made 20-40 years ago i agree with others about not being surprised
    xpt93
    OK... I'm usually the kind of reasonable guy and stuff but seriously... WHAT'S WRONG WITH THEM!? I mean they're The Beatles!! The most influential and important band of all time, and they say they don't know them... what the... I don't even... I've officially lost the faith in humanity.
    kgesme21
    Barkeeper wrote: SyN005 wrote: Why am I not surprised ?Because the contestants' IQ is equal to the amount of fingers you have.
    win
    simpro14.5
    It's ridiculous...the Beatles are unevitable, especially if you want to make a career in music, you have to at least know they exist...god!
    omgitsblake
    EpsilonJSTC wrote: What I want to know is how it's even possible to live that long and not have heard a Beatles song.
    +1 I doubt that they've never heard a Beatles song, they've probably heard them but never knew who it was.
    sound of us
    that guy must a fool not knowing at least a little bit its hard to believe i once met a 3 year old playin i feel fine he knew half the song and now i hear this.. that person probobly lived under a rock :/
    PirateMetalFan
    now this is sad. the fact that the beatles are in our american history books. and the only band that is, it's crazy
    sludgegarden69
    Aah, that's a little ridiculous. I can understand not being a fan, but everybody who lives in a civilized country has heard a good number of Beatles songs. They're not really a band you need to research and look for - in fact, you could never turn on a radio and still be familiar with their music.