Mats Trondman

Open access

Comment on Colin Campbell/2. "My Head Is Filled with Things to Say." How Can Those Words that Slipped Away Explain the Popularity of The Beatles?

  • Abstract

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Keywords: The Beatles; Popular Culture; Cultural Sociology; Meaning of Music; Pop Song Lyrics.

The paper is an answer to Colin Campbell's intriguing paper "'All Those Words They Seem to Slip Away': How the Intentional Fallacy Prevents Serious Study of the Beatles' Lyrics". Two questions, it is argued, drives Campbell's paper. One is about genius: Why is the art of Beatles so great? The other concerns their popularity: Why is the art of Beatles so popular? To Campbell it is the genius of their art, not to forget the lyrics, that explains their popularity. The paper's critical examination of Campbell's explanatory turn, to let art explain popularity, is being conceived of as a well-needed cultural sociological one. However, the paper argues, there is a lot more we need to understand if we want to have the art of the Beatles to explain their popularity. Thus, it is a too thin of a description to move from intrinsic qualities of lyrics to affects of listeners.

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