Best Musical artists of all time
Although the term "best artists of all time" is pretty subjective, no one can doubt the merits of the Fab Four and their influence on popular music. One could go on and on about the unique dynamic between Lennon and McCartney, or Ringo Starr's drumming style or George Martin's producing, and all of these things are wonderful, mind you, but I think overall they were in the right place at the right time. This allowed them to have a powerful impact on society and the music industry. But I would also argue that they were good musicians and deserved the attention that they received. Consider the following:
Their time was incredibly short-lived. I think a lot of musicians peak and then fade, perhaps releasing music that they shouldn't have released when they were WAAAAAY past their prime (see AC/DC). "Meet the Beatles" was released in 1964 and "Let It Be" was in 1970. They accomplished some tremendous things in those short years and made major transitions in their sound. They captured their peak musicianship and went out with a bang.
They weren't afraid to experiment. Although they clearly had their influences, the Beatles and George Martin were not afraid to experiment. A classic example of this is "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" in which they assumed a completely different persona. The goal was to make an album as the Beatles that sounded like a different band. This album also used unique instruments such as the and innovative recording techniques like, and .
They could pump out hit songs with ease. Think of how many Beatles songs you know off the top of your head. The Beatles had a knack for writing catchy, melodic, and relevant songs, and they did this over and over again. A lot of people can appreciate that the root of almost all of the Beatles songs is what's beautiful, not the production. That's what keeps their songs relevant today, because they can be reproduced and rearranged and still maintain their quality.
So although there were plenty of great musicians at the time, The Beatles had a particularly important role in history, not just for their persona and political activism, but for their timeless tunes. I've always had such a fascination with the art of songwriting. It may take Lennon and McCartney an afternoon to come up with a song, yet here we are, 50 years later and the whole world still singing it.