New Order: 40
A lot closer than I'd expected.
I voted for New Order, and someone told me "You realize you're going to have to justify it."
Well, borrowing a page from simones' response: The Beatles are my musical comfort food, no doubt. I first grew to love their music as a teenager, and it never loses its charm.
However. I've already heard and thoroughly digested most of the Beatles canon. Rarely do I learn anything new from listening -- it's nostalgia.
I always find something new listening to New Order. Either I notice some beat or riff or background rhythm I hadn't noticed before, or the infuriatingly vague lyrics speak to me in some new fashion.
Additionally, while New Order's side projects have been a mixed bag (Electronic is great, Monaco not so much), the misses are statistically insignificant compared to the number of bad songs to come out of the ex-Beatles. I'm sorry, but it's true, the lads from Liverpool revealed themselves to be gods with clay feet after the breakup.
Paul McCartney kept on writing bubble gum and is largely an embarrassment these days. For every brilliant stroke John Lennon painted as a solo artist, he threw a pound of raw sewage against the canvas with Yoko Ono. Ringo Starr: 'Nuff said. George really comes off the best as a solo artist, where he finally got a chance to shine away from Lennon and McCartney's genius (truly a sum that was greater than the whole of its parts).
Like I said: I love the Beatles. I always will. But I ultimately voted with music that challenges me a bit more.
Thanks to all who participated!