Is Glee good for music?

Story by Eric Christenson

Well, no it isn’t.

OK, I love The Beatles. I seriously love The Beatles. They were revolutionary and astoundingly influential in not only music, but also the worlds of politics and history. Not to mention, their songs are so good, so catchy and at the same time, they pushed almost every boundary of the time. I love them.

Obviously, when I heard that the cast of the mega-ultra-super popular Fox series, Glee recently surpassed the “Fab Four’s” number of Billboard 100 singles, I was upset.

I am indifferent towards Glee as a TV show. I’ve tried to watch it several times, and each time I do, I end up leaving or doing something else because I just don’t care. I really don’t. I don’t feel a connection to the characters or the story.

I don’t hate it; I just don’t care.

Yet the fact that Glee’s songs hit the chart so high every time isn’t a huge shocker. Firstly, the show is crazy enormous, so in its giant audience, there’s bound to be a couple fans that want to take the music home with them. Secondly, they take already existing, already established hits that people already love and revamp them in a sort of glorified karaoke. Songs that have seen success once are bound to see it again in a glossy, repackaged form.

Again, I may be cynical about it, but I think it’s fine that people are genuinely excited.

But the fact of the matter is I don’t think The Beatles and Glee should even be judged on the same scale. This is mainly because I think it’s a bigger deal for The Beatles to have 71 singles in the Top 100 in the ’60s than for Glee to have 75 singles in today’s age.

This is especially so when they release half a dozen singles every time the show airs that are digitally available immediately. Also, they’re not even their own songs.

Granted, The Beatles saw early success with songs like “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music,” both by Chuck Berry, but they also had original songs to back them up followed by an entire career of unmatched originality.

But what’s astounding is that it’s only Glee’s second season. I respect a cultural phenomenon like the next guy, but it does seem like they should be in their fourth or fifth just because the Glee frenzy has been so intense and has been going on for so long. But I wonder how long it can last.

Certainly, it can last long enough to take top honors beating out James Brown with 91 hits and Elvis Presley who holds the record with 108 songs.

It’s just frustrating to know that such a young show is almost definitely going to hold such a huge record for a long time beating out every other artist to come before them, including some of the ones they happily cover time and time again.

It’s not all gloom and doom though, as Paul McCartney, who had been pretty resistant towards Glee getting its greedy paws all over The Beatles songbook, recently opened it up for them.

Unfortunately, this means that probably sometime soon Glee will do (instead of a Glee episode) a Beatles episode, which will receive mostly excitement. But it’s nice to see both phenomena coming together for a phenomenon of phenomenal phenomination.

I respect it for showcasing songs that our generation may or may not have already been exposed to, but I think it would be nice of the show to shed light on some songs that aren’t already tremendously huge. Now that it’s such a big deal, it can use its bigness to help songs that actually need it.

But maybe in a few years, there won’t even be a need for original artists and original songs as Glee will become such a giant inflated star that it covers anything within its gravity’s infinite grasp. If this happens, hopefully it’ll one day implode in a supernova and new idea nebulas can start swirling around and the world can return to normal.