The Beatles are an ubiquitous, omnipotent presence in the world of music, and you’ve only got to glance through a book like the fantastic Isle of Noises by Daniel Rachel to see that pretty much every successful contemporary songwriter still cites the Fab Four among their influences. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery – supposedly…
Perhaps most notably, Noel Gallagher of Oasis and others from Britpop-era bands – many of them also originating in the north of England – happily admit the huge impression which the Beatles made on their musical direction.
But there are some songs out there where the connection is beyond blaring, and the artist(s) behind it would be hard-pushed to deny a hat-tip to John, Paul, George and Ringo. For #BeatlesWeek, Brandish has put together a list of song comparisons – have a listen and see for yourself.
1. Coldplay – The Scientist (2002) | Influence: Hey Jude
Although Chris Martin can be a bit stuck up when it comes to admitting his artistic influences, The Scientist‘s drawn-out ending and repetition of ‘ooooh’s has got to be partly credited to the ‘na na na na’s stretching out at the end of Hey Jude.
2. James – Laid (1993)| Influence: Twist and Shout
Okay, so the Beatles didn’t write Twist and Shout - but the upbeat guitar and high vocals of this song are undeniably similar.
3. Red Hot Chili Peppers – My Friends (1995) | Influence: You Never Give Me Your Money
Both amazing songs, you can hear the blatant similarities in the riff at 1:02 (and in each subsequent chorus) in My Friends and the fadeout beginning at 2:48 in You Never Give Me Your Money.
4. Radiohead – Karma Police (1997) | Influence: Sexy Sadie
Modelled on the same chords, the piano in Karma Police is remarkably similar to that in Sexy Sadie. Listen out particularly for the line ‘this is what you get’ in Karma Police to see what I mean!
5. The Rolling Stones – Child of the Moon (1968) | Influence: Rain
Rain was released in before Child of the Moon in 1966, and it’s easy to hear where the Stones got their ideas from – the melodies of the verses are identical. Both songs even mention the weather!
6. AC/DC – Whole Lotta Rosie (1977) | Influence: One After 909
Skip to about 0:45 to hear the similarities in rhythm and vocals.
7. The Offspring – Why Don’t You Get a Job? (1999) | Influence: Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da
It’s impossible not to hear how akin the chorus of the former is to the latter.
8. Oasis – Whatever (1994) | Influence: Octopus’s Garden
Just listen to the similarities in those strings! Noel Gallagher has spoken of how he compares every song he ever writes to the Beatles – a tough act to follow.
9. Velvet Underground – Candy Says (1969) | Influence: Julia
Released just one year after Julia appeared on The White Album, this song bears resemblance in its guitar sound and gentle vocals.
10. The Knickerbockers – Lies (1965) | Influence: early Beatles!
Take your pick of any early Beatles song – She Loves You, Can’t Buy Me Love are two examples – and you’ll swear that’s what you’re listening to with the Knickerbockers’ Lies from a similar period. They certainly did a good job convincing us…