The Beatles are awesome (Sgt. Pepper is #2 in my Top 300 Albums for Pete’s sake!). Nobody does it like the Beatles…except when they do…and they do it better. Here are 5 instances where bands made songs that sound JUST LIKE THE BEATLES, only better.
1) Dave Clark Five, “Because” (1964)
There are five of them, so that should be our first hint. Aside from that, Dave Clark Five (affectionately referred to as DC5) sound EXACTLY LIKE THE BEATLES, especially their early stuff. I’m thinking the goods off Please Please Me and Twist and Shout (particularly “From Me to You”). Earlier in 1964, DC5 had a little single called “Glad All Over” which knocked “I Want to Hold Your Hand” out of the UK Singles Chart. BOOM! Alas, they did not have the staying power our beloved mop-tops did. “Because” remains with us though as one of the lost Beatles gems…that wasn’t by the Beatles.
2) The Monkees, “Last Train to Clarksville” (1966)
The first time I heard “Last Train to Clarksville” I thought, this is the coolest Beatles song I’ve ever heard! Only, I hadn’t ever heard it. Not by the Beatles anyway. Because it’s by The Monkees. It has serious echoes of “Paperback Writer” though, and I think you could slot it into A Hard Day’s Night and no one would notice. Better yet, stick it on Help!. That album needs all the, ahem, help it can get.
3) The Kinks, “A Well Respected Man” (1965)
From the 1965 album Kinkdom, it’s a little more obviously on the snarky side than we’re used to with the Beatles…because it’s The Kinks. Ray Davies wrote the song after a nasty run-in with some snooty upper-crusters at a fancy-pants hotel left a bad taste in his mouth. “Well Respected Man” was Davies’ way of deriding their smug behavior and affectations. Message received, Ray!
4) The Hollies, “Bus Stop” (1966)
Ahh, the Hollies. One of Remo’s favs. This song is straight from the grooves of Beatles for Sale. Maybe even Rubber Soul. And not that this has anything to do with anything, but “Bus Stop” was written by Graham Gouldman, future member of 10cc!
5) Swinging Blue Jeans, “The Hippy Hippy Shake” (1962)
This one was so spot-on that the Beatles themselves actually did a cover version of it in a BBC session! It also has the distinct honor of being featured in the 1994 classic, Angels in the Outfield. If you don’t want to watch Danny Glover play coach (why wouldn’t you want to do that–weird), skip to 1:34 when Adrien Brody hits the ball (possibly for the first time ever?). Classic.
*Honorable Mention: Badfinger, “No Matter What” (1970)
This song could be a later Beatles jam but it’s basically too hip. We’ll leave it to Badfinger at this point. Just as an aside though, the version that was released on the album No Dice was recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Just sayin’…
Thanks for sampling the Sauce! Stay tuned for more.