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Point One. I agree entirely.
Point Two. For the most part you make the integral points for why the Beatles should lauded at #1. You state “people are happy with the Beatles being the archetype for what a pop band should be” and “they offered only pure entertainment – remarkably pure – which laid the foundation for today’s largely vacuous pop industry” , I agree, thats why they win. But whats more is, the fact we engage pop music on serious artistic terms is due to the accomplishments of the Beatles.
As far as Beatle lyrics go you make a valid point. But encourage you to remember the staggering youth of the Beatles before their isolating fame. By 1963 John and Ringo were 22 and Paul and George were 19. At that point they ceased to live “real” lives. That kind of fame warped Michael Jackson, had Tom Cruise jumping on couches and bitching about psychiatry, and made Britney Spears shave her head. As such, they had to make it up. Some things they did well, others not so much. They were young when they wrote that stuff, and we love it when we are young. But the Beatles do not grow old (the were done before 30) and we do. We look at these lyrics with older/wiser/jaded/ eyes. When we do it seems simple, idealistic, inconsequential, dare I say juvenile.
John in particular really suffers from bing stuck as an adolescent. Imagine, which might his best lyric would have a hard time winning an 8th grade poetry contest. That being said he stopped producing music/art in his early thirties (with the exception of Double Fantasy). His career is permenanty frozen in that stage of life. But we get older, and our view changes with our aging.
Paul and George continued to produce over the years and as such grow into adult artists. One wonders what the Beatles would have been had the Beatles remained a single productive unit.
I whole heartedly believe that they would have resolved their lyrical shortcomings if they had remained in tact.
Bon Jovi is exactly where they belong. On the shelf with the rest of the hair bands. Popularity is not the criteria here, If it were David Cassidy, Donny Osmond, and the Backstreet Boys would be present. They are not. The criteria is, subsequent influence, of which Bon Jovi had none. Exactly what is the thumbprint Bon Jovi sound that can not be found anywhere else, or that has been copied by other bands. The same applies Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, Dokken, Ratt, Honeymoon Suite, Night Ranger, or, Extreme, all of which sold very well in their time, which is why they are not on the list either. Every band I have listed has sold twenty times the amount of recordings sold by the Velvet Underground (of which I am not a fan) but their influence is twenty times as wide. (Witness the NY punk scene of the mid to late 70′s as an example) . Thats why no Bon Jovi. No merit