July 24, 2013

I take issue with “The Beatles: Let them be” [Outlook, July 21]. The Beatles remain the archetypal rock band. Justin Moyer argued that other bands, such as the Rolling Stones and the Doors, were just as good. That is not true. The Stones were an occasionally inspired blues-based band that followed the Beatles’ footsteps at every turn. At times, the Doors were embarrassingly bad. The Who and the Velvet Underground belonged to somewhat different genres and had overblown musical visions that exceeded the Beatles’ view of their own music. The Beatles knew how to write a song and deliver it in a way that has rarely been equaled.

Jay Jackson, Crozet, Va.

Justin Moyer’s disjointed criticism of the Beatles cited cynical quotes, the obsolescence of record albums and the splintering of mass culture without really saying anything about the quality of the Beatles’ songs.

Why should it surprise Mr. Moyer that the Beatles can still charm, excite and move modern listeners? As good as the music of the Rolling Stones and the Doors is, it doesn’t match the range of songwriting and musicality that the Beatles exhibited.

Mr. Moyer opined that something is “either wrong with pop culture or wrong with teenagers.” I suggest the problem is with today’s music industry, which produces the soulless, heartless, mindless, machine-generated sounds that I hear in the gym.

Mr. Moyer asked, “Can’t another artist become the gold standard of aesthetic success?” That there isn’t one seems answer enough and a justification for the Beatles’ continuing popularity.

Walter Albano, Washington

All the successes the Beatles achieved were a result of their myriad talents. Whether it was writing, singing, instrumentation or personality, they were lightning in a bottle — and no artist has been able to capture that since. I, too, have been waiting since February 1964 with ears and eyes wide open for a group to supplant the Beatles — but I refuse to lower the bar, as Justin Moyer suggested.

Chuck Wortman, Herndon