Beatles-sounding songs?
September 29, 2005 7:20 AM   Subscribe

What modern songs sound like they could have been done by The Beatles?
posted by smackfu to Media & Arts (65 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Tears For Fear's Growing the Seeds Of Love (1989) is an obvious pastiche.
posted by jchgf at 7:23 AM on September 29, 2005

It's actually Sowing The Seeds Of Love, yes.
posted by jchgf at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2005

Look What You've Done by Jet - it's kind of creepy how much it sounds like The Fab 4.
posted by iconomy at 7:29 AM on September 29, 2005

Elliott Smith: Memory Lane
posted by RibaldOne at 7:30 AM on September 29, 2005

"She's Electric" by Oasis, at least the last few bars.
posted by beowulf573 at 7:36 AM on September 29, 2005

Second "Look What You've Done".

Also, "Big Me" by Foo Fighters. Maybe.
posted by SuperNova at 7:38 AM on September 29, 2005

The La's have a bunch stuff on their one album, but particularly "There She Goes." And seconding RibaldOne, there's also a whole bunch of very Beatlesque stuff on Elliot Smith's XO album.
posted by Heminator at 7:42 AM on September 29, 2005

The Vinyl Kings produce a lot of stuff that's very Beatlesque, but they're kind of a tribute band, so I'm not sure if that's what you're after.
posted by iconomy at 7:45 AM on September 29, 2005

Echoes Myron or Game of Pricks by Guided By Voices. At the very least, a Beatles demo.
posted by Quartermass at 7:45 AM on September 29, 2005

Tea by Brendan Benson is pure Beatles. N.S. by Sloan (from Between The Bridges) sounds like a long lost Lennon / Beatles track. And the whole "Better Than Before" album by The Singles sounds like very early Beatles.
posted by gfrobe at 7:55 AM on September 29, 2005

The Offspring's "Get a Job" is a deliberate tribute to/rip-off of (depending on who you ask) "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da," but I'm not sure that's what you're looking for.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:55 AM on September 29, 2005

There's always The Rutles, of course. More seriously, Moritaka Chisato has some heavy Beatles influences in her music.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:58 AM on September 29, 2005

If you consider the way the beatles were changing their style and compositions towards the end of the 60s I think if they were still performing their music would sound a whole lot like Wolf Parade and Arcade Fire, but with the trademark Lennon/McCartney singing of course.
posted by cyphill at 8:03 AM on September 29, 2005

Several songs by the now-defunct Odds could pass for Beatles songs. Album reviews always seemt o mention the fab four and the Merseybeat sound, and I also remember reading somewhere that George Martin himself thought that working with the Odds was the closest he's ever come to working with the Beatles again. Particular songs that fit: "We'll Talk", "Nothing Beautiful," and "Anybody Else But Me"
posted by Robot Johnny at 8:04 AM on September 29, 2005

Spoon - "The Beast and Dragon, Adored"
posted by Marquis at 8:10 AM on September 29, 2005

One more. Spoon - Lines in the Suit

On preview - whoo!
posted by iconomy at 8:28 AM on September 29, 2005

Dimes Make Dollars - Lilys
posted by dydecker at 8:31 AM on September 29, 2005

Some of Fiona Apple's melodies sound somewhat Beatles-like to me. The words however, not so much.
posted by SteveInMaine at 8:32 AM on September 29, 2005

The White Stripes' "We're Going To Be Friends."
Many things by the New Pornographers.
posted by librarina at 8:32 AM on September 29, 2005

XTC! Many songs on XTC's Oranges and Lemons CD. The album is unabashedly inspired by the Beatles, especially the track called The Loving. And just look at the cover art! Other XTC songs on other CDs too -- like My Bird Performs and Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead. And many, many more.
posted by nancoix at 8:50 AM on September 29, 2005

Lots of stuff by The Kennedy's.
posted by alms at 8:55 AM on September 29, 2005

Response by poster: The new Franz Ferdinand album has some very Beatle-esque slow songs. I think it's the harmonies plus the accent.
posted by smackfu at 9:02 AM on September 29, 2005

Lots of Olivia Tremor Control. Check also Songs by The Jellyfish and another group called Swag.
posted by sourwookie at 9:10 AM on September 29, 2005

Oh yeah, Dan Castellaneta, yes that Dan Castellaneta, a few years back put out an album of Beatles inspired songs. It's not as bad as you'd think for a celebrity vanity project.
posted by Heminator at 9:12 AM on September 29, 2005

"Songs" should not be capitalized. Normally I would not correct myself but I didn't want you to waste any time looking for a tune by The Jellyfish called "Songs."

posted by sourwookie at 9:14 AM on September 29, 2005

On the subject of Look what you've done - yeah, fab four-esque, but they are esentially a stones-a-like band no?

On the bubblegum side of things. McFly (UK pop band) are a beatles sound-a-like if ever i heard one.
posted by jwhittlestone at 9:18 AM on September 29, 2005

Everything by the Electric Light Orchestra? Ah, not quite so modern ;-) (well the Zoom album is). Some of these are out of left field:

* "La Breeze" by Simian (ultra Beatlesesque, kinda surprised this wasn't mentioned yet)

* "Saltwater" by Julian Lennon (my father suspects John left this to his son to give him a break.. very Lennon sounding, and the rest of Julian's output sucks)

* "Where Has All The Love Gone" off the new Sheryl Crow album.

* "Something to Sleep to" by Michelle Branch.

* Quite a bit of Jon Brion's output, or stuff he's had an influence on.
posted by wackybrit at 9:20 AM on September 29, 2005

A lot of Sloan's stuff is pretty Beatlesque. Particular examples: "Everything You've Done Wrong", "Chester the Molester", "C'mon C'mon (We're Gonna Get It Started)", and perhaps "Dreaming of You."
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:22 AM on September 29, 2005

McFly are more a Monkees cum Archies cum happy-clappy '60s sound rather than a band with depth and musical cleverness like the Beatles, I'd say.
posted by wackybrit at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2005

The Filipino band, Eraserheads, sound rather Beatlesish, except in tagalog.
posted by CrazyJoel at 9:24 AM on September 29, 2005

Most of The Shins sounds very Beatle-y to me.
posted by Sara Anne at 9:27 AM on September 29, 2005

Sloan's One Chord to Another has a few tunes as do other discs. Look through Blur's catalogue, particulary tunes like End of the Century, though they're more in the Kinks camp. XTC has already been mentioned.

Of course, Start, from the Jam is, shall we say, reminscent of Taxman.
posted by juiceCake at 9:28 AM on September 29, 2005

Michael Penn's album No Myth was somewhat beatlesque.
posted by sic at 9:30 AM on September 29, 2005

Cotton Mather, especially "Lily Dreams On"
posted by Alison at 9:48 AM on September 29, 2005

Belle And Sebastian always remind of the beatles. Phil Keaggy sounds like a baptized Paul McCartney.
posted by muddylemon at 9:50 AM on September 29, 2005

Seconding Sloan. Sloan get a bit Rolling Stones-y in places too.
posted by wackybrit at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2005

Hm. I feel like I should have a good answer for this, but there aren't many things I'm about which I'd comfortably say "That sounds like The Beatles." I think it's because The Beatles sounded like so many different things at different times (and sometimes at the same time), that while lots of bands bear a strong resemblance to one particular "Beatle" sound, few share more similarities than that. I can see the logic in most of the answers, though, so I'll offer a few along the same lines:

Of Montreal has some excellent material in the 60's psych-pop vein. There's some good stuff on Satanic Panic in the Attic.

Belle and Sebastian have some excellent jangle/twee/orchestrated pop songs. Along similar lines, Camera Obscura, The Lucksmiths, and Teenage Fanclub.

Sondre Lerche has some excellent Beatles-inflected work, and his album Two Way Monologues has a very retro sound.

The Magnetic Fields have a sometimes-Beatlesque style of songwriting on 69 Love Songs.

In addition to the aforementioned New Pornographers, A.C. Newman.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2005

I'm at work right now, but I've left this thread set to new in Bloglines. I'll have a goodly list this evening.
posted by electric_counterpoint at 10:12 AM on September 29, 2005

Definitely Olivia Tremor Control or Circulatory System.

Pretty much anything on Elephant Six gives off some sort of Beatles vibe.
posted by cloeburner at 10:19 AM on September 29, 2005

The Bees (I think they're known as "A Band of Bees" in North America).
posted by Gortuk at 10:27 AM on September 29, 2005

Oasis's "Live Forever" is pretty much a direct modernization of "Hey Jude".
posted by Tlogmer at 10:42 AM on September 29, 2005

A Shot in the Arm or I'm Always in Love from Wilco's Summer Teeth are both straightforward Beatles pastiche. Saint Simon off of the Shins album Oh! Inverted World fits the bill as well (Mercer's voice, not so much, but certainly the music).
posted by kosem at 10:42 AM on September 29, 2005

Anything by either of the Finn brothers (Tim or Neil) separately or together, or their former band Crowded House.
posted by kindall at 10:49 AM on September 29, 2005

Is Klaatu modern?
posted by mendel at 11:07 AM on September 29, 2005

Anything by Oasis.
Anything by Coldplay.
posted by clh at 11:53 AM on September 29, 2005

the aforementioned Sloan are very beatle-esque in their vocals.

I second the Bees.

and I second Of Montreal - their latest, Sunlandic Twins has some very inspiring vocals and is musically similar to the Fab Four.

XTC, while sounding much like the Beatles, should be listened to for their very own worthwhile merits. I. Love. Them.
posted by ashbury at 11:53 AM on September 29, 2005

Crowded House's "Not the Girl You Think You Are" (from their Recurring Dream compilation) sounds a lot like the Beatles on the White Album. ("Cry Baby Cry" in particular.)

Elliot Smith's "Baby Britain" sounds like The Beatles and mentions Revolver in the lyrics.

Oasis' What's the Story, Morning Glory tries really hard to be a Beatles album.

There was a Beatles-influenced Swedish power pop trend in the 1990s that included The Merrymakers, This Perfect Day (who did an album called Rubber Soul), and The Wannadies. The Merrymakers' Bubblegun is a great album.

The Greenberry Woods mixed Beatles, Byrds, and Monkees influences on their two albums.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2005

The High Dials have songs that sound like they're from Revolver or Rubber Soul — my favorite Beatles albums, and the ones that seem to get imitated the least.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:28 PM on September 29, 2005

Horrendous Disc, by Daniel Amos in 1981, is a wonderfully Beatles-esque record, right down to the inside art.

Their later work is perhaps what the Beatles might have evolved to, given another 20 years of experimentation. Or not. But Mr. Buechner's Dream is pretty great.
posted by bigbigdog at 12:56 PM on September 29, 2005

o look what you've done - jet
sounds like a complete ripoff
posted by at 1:58 PM on September 29, 2005

Del Amitri's "Roll to Me" sounds a lot like the early Beatles.

Elvis Costello, "Veronica"

Not exactly modern, but William Shatner's " the...Sky...with Diamonds"
posted by kirkaracha at 2:56 PM on September 29, 2005

Not quite "modern," but Utopia's album Deface the Music is entirely Beatles pastiches, right down to the production style. My favorite track is "I Just Want To Touch You," which sounds like the lost track from the "She Loves You" session... although it's got a couple of chord changes that are way more Todd Rundgren than Lennon/McCartney.
posted by 88robots at 3:45 PM on September 29, 2005

Elvis Costello, "Veronica"

Well that's cheating! (the song was co-written with McCartney)
posted by Robot Johnny at 4:47 PM on September 29, 2005

Locksley sounds like early Beatles. So much so that my mom went ballistic when I played them for her!
posted by elisabeth r at 5:15 PM on September 29, 2005

Of Montreal has some tracks that remind me of McCartney's toss-off stuff.
Likewise, Pas/Cal
Fruit Bats make me think of the White Album sometimes.

And Walter Ruttman's "Wochenende" clearly informed "Revolution 9." ;)
posted by electric_counterpoint at 5:46 PM on September 29, 2005

The Flamin' Groovies "Shake Some Action" album, although it's only 10 years more "modern" than what it's imitating.
posted by rfs at 7:55 PM on September 29, 2005

The Redwalls' Colorful Revolution. Great album. They almost sound like a Beatles cover band, but with original songs.
posted by ruddhist at 7:57 PM on September 29, 2005

Let's not forget The Dukes of Stratosphere. There's some Beatles in there.
posted by juiceCake at 7:58 PM on September 29, 2005

Clarification: the song is "Colorful Revolution," the album is Universal Blues. Yes.
posted by ruddhist at 7:59 PM on September 29, 2005

The Boo Radleys have always seemed the most Beatlesque of the mid-1990's Britpop bands to me. They wrote songs that crossed genres, had beautiful melodies and soaring harmonies. Many of their songs were innovative sonic experiments in the spirit of the Beatles if not directly evoking the Fab Four's sound. (Oh, and the Boo Radleys being from Liverpool doesn't hurt either!)

A sample of their most Beatlesque songs (and rough equivalences):

- "Wish I Was Skinny" = more understated but thematically similar to and just as catchy as the Beatles' cover of "Money"
- "It's Lulu" = "All My Loving"
- Wake Up Boo! (album version) = "Because" turning into "Eight Days A Week"
- "Wilder" = "In My Life"
- too many to name = "Tomorrow Never Knows"
- "C'Mon Kids" = "Revolution"
- "Comb Your Hair" = pick the Beatles most perfect, inspired melody and this song is its equivalent
- "Kingsize" = "Hey Jude"

The Boo Radleys recently released a two-disc greatest hits album and I can't recommend enough that you check them out - either via this compilation or their albums.
posted by Jaybo at 8:31 PM on September 29, 2005

Pretty much everything by Badly Drawn Boy.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 PM on September 29, 2005

Supergrass's latest album, Road to Rouen, sounds extremely Beatlesque to me—their early work was more punk-inspired, but this one's straight out of the Beatles playbook.

Also, be sure to check out the Wikipedia entry for “Beatlesque”
posted by Acetylene at 4:11 PM on September 30, 2005

LCD Soundsystem's I'm only tired when I'm waking up is a fun John Lennon pastiche. I'll give mention again to bands like The Bees and Of Montreal. I imagine the output of the Elephant Six collective is what the Beatles would have sounded like in the late 90's to present.
posted by carsonb at 7:42 PM on October 10, 2005

Also, CDBaby has a fun Beatlesesque list.
posted by carsonb at 7:45 PM on October 10, 2005

I fifth XTC. Reasons are: the mix of perfect pop hooks with complex arrangements, the love of wordplay, the ability to be politically and socially aware while still having fun, and the ability to actually end a song in a satisfying way, without simply fading while repeating a phrase over and over. (nothing wrong with that - some of the time, but it's lazy to do it all the time.)

My example of a Beatles-like XTC song: "Senses Working Overtime" from English Settlement
posted by lockedroomguy at 10:49 AM on September 20, 2006

« Older Laptop XP Installation Hang   |   Is locking the lug nuts on your tires a deterrent... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.