I just happened to have time to watch some of the video links above, and I was so pleased with some of them that I wanted to comment on them, just for fun.
Eurythmics, "Sweet Dreams" -- man, that video is creepy as all ... get out. :) Haven't seen it in more years than I can recall! Somehow I never managed to purchase that album ... which means it just moved much higher in my "need to buy" list, after that video. This is the sort of thing that makes me miss MTV and the way you could run into cool stuff on it sometimes in between the thousands of commercials that used to drive me nuts ...
Postmodern Jukebox: I wish it was a little less slick in terms of production, but the style grew on me immediately, after the initial surprise of how unconventional it all was. Loved the weird looks the vocalist kept giving the camera. Favorite part: the unexpected and whimsical instrumental solo! Fun stuff!
Gorillaz, "Clint Eastwood" (Live) -- EFFIN' AWESOME. F***! I forgot how cool this stuff was -- haven't heard it in a decade, I'll bet. The dancers, the animation, the characters, the juxtapositions of live performance with video -- all super, super cool. Does anyone know who the rappers are? Neither looked to me like Del, the rapper on the studio track. Does anyone know if Gorillaz uses prerecorded tracks live, or if the music is being played by actual people who aren't visible on the stage? All points of curiosity.
You've succeeded in convincing me to find Demon Days sooner or later!
The Beatles, IMO, were much more than a "valuable contribution to the genre" of rock ... they literally created or popularized most of the enduring conventions of the artform. Not only did they originate many characteristics of rock that everyone else picked up on, but they themselves picked up on the work of their contemporaries (Hendrix and Dylan and the Stones, especially) and helped to spread their artistic innovations throughout the world. (I mean, they birthed entire genres of popular music; the "world music" genre, for example, which they literally kickstarted by promoting Ravi Shankar's work. Also: they made stereo sound into a viable popular technology that would succeed mono as the universal standard for the next several decades.) The album format, the recording processes, the instrumental components typical of the genre, the concept of ultra-rapid evolution in style and appearance coinciding with fearless experimentation from one album to the next -- all these elements of rock and roll were either established or redefined entirely by this one band, and that list is much, much longer than what I've listed so far. Rock would have headed in such a different direction without the Beatles that there's literally no telling what it would sound like now ... and it's not just a question of whether or not you like their music, but whether or not you realize the cultural impact the group had in a very, very broad way. No band before or since has come remotely close to getting as much popular attention or wielding as much cultural influence, and that will not change any time in the next few decades, until and unless popular music trends allow once again for a single group to command the attention of the masses all at once in the way that was possible prior to the internet.
Sorry for the giant mouthful, but I love opinionating about music, is all. :) Holy "wall of text"! It's interesting to speculate whether you could subtract the Beatles from history and still end up with similar popular music, but that's like asking if the Civil Rights Movement needed MLK Jr. in order to happen the way it did. Anyone who studies the history long enough would conclude that the key figures were essential and irreplaceable, IMO.
Inkidu, you sound like you have an informed opinion that differs from mine on that subject -- I'd love to hear more details about your views and how you formed them.
Kate Bush video: I LOVED the moment, after about 3 minutes, when the video went from being vaguely interesting to suddenly being incredibly f***ed up! I was totally unprepared for that! What fun. The creature image reminded me of something Bernie Wrightson might have done in the comic-book "Swamp Thing," which might have been out around the same time period or a few years before that video. What year was that, anyway?
The other thing that struck me was how much the music and video pre-figured or anticipated 90s artists, especially Tori Amos and Bjork, or at least, those were the first two that came to my mind.
That's probably only the 3rd time I've heard solo Kate Bush, and the first time in a good 20 years, so thanks for that. Her famous duet with Peter Gabriel on So is one of my favorite songs ever (one of hundreds, I mean, but what a great track) ... I found her voice off-putting for a while, but then I got seduced by its uniqueness.
I love hearing covers that are very different from the originals, generally speaking, so the Postmodern Jukebox track worked for me, but the style is very ... different, that's for sure!