What Beatles song changed pop/rock music the most?

Written by on June 28, 2020

Ely Matawaran · Writer – Artist (1982–present)

“Eleanor Rigby”

In a 1967 interview, Pete Townshend of The Who commented:

“I think ‘Eleanor Rigby’ was a very important musical move forward. It certainly inspired me to write and to listen to things in that vein.”

This was a unique, fully formed sound and very distinctive. A grim song about alienation – a lonely woman who died alone and the lonely minister who presided over her burial.

In 1966, when the song was released, it was a surprise to Beatles fans, and to all music lovers at large, who were used to the Fab Four’s upbeat love songs.

The Beatles had become more ambitious with their music, and with the help of their record producer, George Martin, had shown their mastery of conventional multi-track recording technique.

And so it changed music: Rock songs don’t always need to be cheerful and optimistic – or feature traditional drums and guitars – to become hits.

This song spent four weeks topping the British charts. More than 60 pop artists have covered the song since then.

This song clearly announced the dawn of a new pop/rock musical era.

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