Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Beatles' Musical "influences"

From the book: 
(With a few additional notes by me)

*The bassline for I Saw Her Standing There is a note-for-note copy of Chuck Berry’s I’m Talking About You

*The “la la la la” outro in Misery alludes to Pat Boone’s Speedy Gonzales, a hit at that time

*The lyrics to Please Please Me were inspired by Bing Crosby’s Please which plays around with the words Please and Pleas. And the harmonica intro is based on Frank Ifield's hit "I Remember You".

*Do You Want To Know A Secret was inspired by a song sung by Snow White in the Disney film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which starts out with “Wanna know a secret? Promise not to tell?". George said the inspiration was from the 1961 hit I Really Love You by the Stereos

*Paul claims the inspiration for There’s A Place is from There’s A Place For Us from West Side Story.

*Ask me why is reminiscent of Smokey Robinson’s What’s So Good About Goodbye?

*The title From Me To You was from the "From You To Us" letters’ column in the weekly pop newspaper Music Express

*The final chord in She Loves You was never used in rock music up to that point, but Glenn Miller often used it in the 1940s.

*I’ll Get You uses a D to A minor chord change used by Joan Baez in her version of All My Trials. (Also note the lyrics, “Imagine I’m in love with you, it’s easy ‘cause I know”. And “Imagine there’s no Heaven, it’s easy if you try”.)

*All I’ve Got To Do is reminiscent of Smokey Robinson’s You Can Depend On Me.

*Little Child has a similar melody the 1950’s Elton Hayes’ song Whistle My Love.

*Music critic William Mann compared part of Not A Second Time to Gustav Mahler’s Song of the Earth.

*The “record-skip” pattern to “I can’t hide – I can’t hide – I can’t hide” in I Want To Hold Your Hand was inspired by a technique used by a French experimental musician introduced to John by the photographer of the With The Beatles album cover.

*I Call Your Name is modeled after the song My Boy Lollipop.

It's not uncommon for musicians to borrow ideas from other musicians. But at this extent, makes them really look like hacks.


*John said Any Time At All was a remake of It Won’t Be Long. And that Yes It Is is a rewrite of This Boy. He also said he rearranged the chords to Del Shannon’s Runaway to write I’ll Be Back.

*The guitar riff from I Feel Fine is inspired by the riff on Bobby Parker’s 1961 track Watch Your Step.

*No Reply was based on the story told in the 1958 song Silhouettes by The Rays

*There are similarities between Yesterday and Nat King Cole’s Anwer Me. The lyrics to Answer Me were written by Carl Sigman, the music is from the German song Mutterlein. Sigman also wrote Just Yesterday in 1965, which contains the line "... only yesterday, now it all seems so far away." Sigman also wrote the lyrics to the 1966 hit A Day In The Life of a Fool. The music of which is from 
Luiz Bonfa'Manha de Carnaval or Black Orpheus, from the film of the same name.

*The bass line to Day Tripper owes much to the bass line in Roy Orbison’s Oh Pretty Woman. And the guitar riff is based on the riff from I Feel Fine.

*The bass line in Drive My Car was patterned after the bass line in Otis Redding’s Respect.

*The bass line in You Won’t See Me was modeled after the bass line from It’s The Same Old Song by The Four Tops.

*The finger picking style used in Michelle was inspired by Chet Atkins’ Trambone. The concept of two lovers speaking different languages was previously explored in such songs as Chuck Berry's La Juanda (Espanol), and Nat King Cole's Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup.

*The Bouzouki guitar style in Girl was influenced by Zorba’s Dance from the soundtrack to Zorba the Greek. And the background vocals ("tit tit tit...") were modeled after the bg vocals in the Beach Boys' You're So Good To Me.

*Many lyrics from In My Life were most likely inspired by a poem by Charles Lamb titled The Old Familiar Faces.

*If I Needed Someone was inspired by two Byrds' songs; The Bells of Rhymney and She Don’t Care About Time.

*John says he developed Run For Your Life around the line “I’d rather see you dead little girl, than see you with another man” from Elvis Presley’s single Let’s Play House – originally written & recorded by Arthur Gunter.

Nothing too incriminating on it's own, per se. But in context with the rest of this thread, if what I'm hearing is correct, seems to shed a new light on the band that is always touted as the most creative and original group of musicians of our time.


*John also says Paperback Writer is “Son of Daytripper”, and Get Back is a rewrite of Lady Madonna.

*The chorus at the end of “Taxman” sounds just like the theme song to the then new Batman TV show.

*In 1966 John Lennon started to adopt many of John Sebastian’s fashion ideas. (Lovin’ Spoonful).

*The chorus to Good Morning, Good Morning is from a Corn Flakes commercial.

*The piano riff to Lady Madonna is almost a carbon copy of Humphrey Littleton's Bad Penny Blues (also produced by George Martin).

*Author Kevin Courrier says the melody to Hey Jude borrows from The Drifters' Save the Last Dance For Me.

*The melody to The Inner Light is from the 1938 tune September Song.

*The final section of Happiness is a Warm Gun emulates Angel Baby by Rosie & the Originals.
(Linus: Though it sounds to me like Bach’s famous Tocatta & Fugue in D minor).

*The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill adapts the melody of Mack Gordon and Harry Revel’s Stay As Sweet As You Are.

*Paul says the guitar style used in Blackbird is based on Bach's Bouree in D minor.

*The piano riff for Birthday is based on the introduction to Rosco Gorden’s Just a Little Bit.

Some say it is also modeled after The Tune Weavers’ Happy Happy Birthday Baby.

*Mother Nature’s Son is modeled after Nat King Cole’s Nature Boy.

*Long, Long, Long uses the same chord progressions as Bob Dylan’s Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands.

(Linus: And uses the line, "It's been a long, long, long time." from the song It's Been A Long, Long Time, made famous by Perry Como, written by J. Styne & S. Cohn).

*Sexy Sadie is modeled after Smokey Robinson’s I’ve Been Good To You.

*The melody to I Will is largely inspired by Stan Getz’s 1964 hit The Girl From Ipanema.

*The opening lines to Julia quote the poet Kahil Gibran’s 1927 collection of proverbs Sand and Foam, where Gibran says, “Half of what I say is meaningless, but Is say it so the other half may reach you.”

*The rapid “Come on, come on, come on…” chorus in Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey is similar to a section from a song called Virgin Forest by The Fugs. 

*Sexy Sadie adapts the line “Look what you’ve done, you made a fool of someone” from Smokey Robinson’s I’ve Been Good To You.

*Cry Baby Cry is partly based on the nursery rhyme Sing A Song Of Sixpence.

*The melody for Good Night is based on Cole Porter’s True Love.

*Rocky Raccoon is inspired by the Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster song Black Hills of Dakota, which was sung by Doris Day in Calamity Jane. The song also has its roots in the Robert Service poem The Shooting of Dan McGrew. Marty Robbins’ 1959 tragic western allegory El Paso is also an influence for the song.

*George says I, Me, Mine was inspired by Johann Strauss Jr’s Kaiserwalzer.
Though it sounds to me a lot like the opening melody to the William Tell Overture. It also begins with the line, "All through the day" like the song All Through The Day, made famous by Perry Como, written by Kern & Hammerstein).

*Chuck Berry sued John Lennon for lifting words from his song You Can’t Catch Me and using them in Come Together.

*A year before George wrote Something, fellow Apple musician James Taylor recorded a song called Something In The Way She Moves.

*In February of 1968, the American pop group The Sunshine Company had a song titled Look, Here Comes The Sun on their self-titled album and it charted #56 in USA.
*The guitar intro to George's Here Comes The Sun sounds very similar to the intro to Cole Porter's True Love.

*Because is based on Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

*By 1969, John had become highly interested in the music of Beethoven, rather than Elivs & Chuck Berrry.
(Linus: By 1969? So many of his songs throughout the ‘60s are direct copies of Beethoven melodies. If he wasn’t highly interested in Beethoven back then, somebody else who was Had to have been writing his songs).

*The music to Sun King was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s Albatross.

*“And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” from The End, is in the same couplet form Shakespeare used to signal the end of his plays.

*In later interviews, John regarded a large portion of The Beatles’ songs (including his own) as “garbage”.


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