The Beatles' influence on rock music and popular culture was—and remains—immense. Their commercial success started an almost immediate wave of changes—including a shift from U.S. global dominance of rock and roll to UK acts, from soloists to groups, from professional songwriters to self-penned songs, and to changes in fashion.
Prior to the Beatles' influence, record albums were of secondary consideration to singles ("45s") in mass marketing. Albums contained largely "filler" material (unexceptional songs) along with one or two hits. The Beatles rarely incorporated singles as part of their albums, thus defining the album as more important.
Several Beatles album covers have been copied or parodied, for example:
"Strawberry Fields Forever" was made in 1967. It used many techniques previously only seen in experimental film, including intricate jump-cuts that rapidly alternated between night and day, reversed film, and other avant-garde devices. These techniques were later copied and the use of such film and videos started the now common practice of releasing a video clip to accompany singles.
Dick Lester got a formal letter from MTV declaring him the father of the modern pop video, for the work he did directing both of the early Beatles films, “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!". His revolutionary camera techniques together with short lines of dialogue and rapid editing cuts were all seen as the precursor to the modern rock video.
In May 1966, John Lennon said of people covering their songs, "Lack of feeling in an emotional sense is responsible for the way some singers do our songs. They don't understand and are too old to grasp the feeling. Beatles are really the only people who can play Beatle music.
Although many artists have performed covers of songs by The Beatles, the following are among the most notable.
Hendrix opened the show with his own rendition of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", which he had learned in the few days leading up to the show. Harrison and McCartney were extremely impressed by this, especially because it was played on the Sunday after the release of Sgt. Pepper the previous Friday. McCartney had publicly endorsed Hendrix for months, before Hendrix broke into the UK music scene. Hendrix also played Day Tripper which can be found on the live albums "Radio One" and "BBC Sessions".
Cocker's version was later used as the theme song for the TV show The Wonder Years.
Moon once approached the Beatles' table at a London nightclub. "Can I join you?" he asked. "Yeah, sure," said Starr, as he pulled up a seat for Moon. Moon then said, "No, can I join you?", implying that he wanted to join the band. Ringo replied with, "No, we've already got a drummer." The last photo of Lennon and McCartney together was owned by Moon.
Moon's final night out was as a guest of McCartney at the preview of the film The Buddy Holly Story. After dinner with Paul and Linda McCartney, Moon and his girlfriend—Annette Walter-Lax—left the party early and they returned to his flat in Curzon Place, London. He later died in his sleep.
He deliberately changed the tempo and dynamics of the original lyrics to make them comical. He left definite pauses between words, such as:
"But when I get home to you... I find the things that you do... will make me feel (pause) all right."This version was re-issued in 1993, and reached Number 52 in the UK Top 75 Singles chart. He covered several other Beatles hits, including "Help!" and "She Loves You".
Sellers had casual friendships with Harrison and Starr. Harrison told occasional Sellers stories in interviews, and Starr appeared with Sellers in the anarchic movie, The Magic Christian (1970), whose theme song was Badfinger's cover version of McCartney's "Come and Get It". Starr also gave Sellers a rough mix of songs from The Beatles' White Album. The tape was auctioned, and bootlegged, after his death.
As a schoolboy in the mid '50s, Jürgen Vollmer had left his hair hanging down over his forehead one day after he had gone swimming, not bothering to style it. John Lennon is quoted in The Beatles Anthology as follows: Jürgen had a flattened-down hairstyle with a fringe in the back, which we rather took to. In late 1961 Vollmer moved to Paris. McCartney said in a 1979 radio interview: "We saw a guy in Hamburg whose hair we liked. John and I were hitchhiking to Paris. We asked him to cut our hair like he cut his." McCartney also wrote in a letter to Vollmer in 1989: George explained in a 60s interview that it was John and I having our hair cut in Paris which prompted him to do the same…. We were the first to take the plunge.
Because of the immense popularity of the Beatles, the haircut was widely imitated worldwide between 1964 and 1966. Their hair-style led toy manufacturers to begin producing real-hair and plastic, "Beatle Wigs". Lowell Toy Manufacturing Corp. of New York was licensed to make "the only AUTHENTIC Beatle Wig". There have been many attempts at counterfeiting, but in its original packaging this wig has become highly collectible.
At a press conference at the Plaza Hotel in New York, shortly after the Beatles' arrival in the United States, Harrison was asked by a reporter, "What do you call your hairstyle?" He replied "Arthur". The scene was recreated in the movie A Hard Day's Night with the reporter asking Harrison, "What would you call that, uh, hairstyle you're wearing?"
Mikhail Safonov wrote in 2003 that in the Brezhnev-dominated Soviet Union, mimicking the Beatles hairstyle was seen as extremely rebellious. Young people were called "hairies" by their elders, and were arrested and forced to have their hair cut in police stations.
In 1967, most memorably on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, all four of the Beatles sported moustaches. This look signaled a new, more mature image for the "mop tops." By the late 1960s, the Beatles generally had much longer hair than they had during the Beatlemania era, and often wore full beards.
Later, during the psychedelic era of 1966–1968, the Beatles popularised bright colours, and wore paisley suits and shirts and trousers with floral patterns. The Beatles also popularised Indian-influenced fashions such as collarless shirts and sandals.
By the late 1960s, the Beatles had adopted trends toward more casual fashions, with t-shirts, blue jeans, and denim jackets. Lennon also popularised wearing solid white suits, reflecting an interest in minimalist design that also influenced the cover of the White Album. This mixture of casual wear and unconventional formal clothing could be seen in The Beatles' later years as they grew beards and drifted towards more hippie and Indian clothing.
Beatle boots are tight-fitting, cuban-heeled, ankle-length boots with a pointed toe which originated in 1963 when Brian Epstein discovered Chelsea boots while browsing in the London footwear company Anello & Davide, and consequently commissioned four pairs (with the addition of Cuban heels) for The Beatles to complement their new suit image upon their return from Hamburg, who wore them under drainpipe trousers.
A long scene was filmed in the Abbey Road Studios: Joanna Lumley pressed the record button by mistake on the reel-to-reel recorder while she was looking for a second bottle of champagne in the control room. In the meantime, Jennifer Saunders unknowingly sang over the tapes, and they were lost forever. When Robert Lindsay played the tapes at the party and realised that they were lost forever, he promptly collapsed on the floor.
In the Season 7 episode, "Lisa the Vegetarian", Paul McCartney and then wife Linda McCartney appear at the roof of the Kwik-E-Mart to give Lisa guidance of being a vegetarian. In the end they ask her if she like to hear a song, Lisa is thrilled and agrees. But in a twist they go to Apu to sing a song (on a tabla and out of key version of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) while they snap to his beat.
In the Season 8 episode "Bart After Dark", the couch gag is a parody of the cover of the Beatles' album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, featuring a large crowd of regular characters, and the family standing in front of the couch, front and centre; Homer turns to look at the crowded scene behind him.
In the Season 14 episode "Bart of War", Bart and Milhouse break into Flanders' house when chasing after their fly-on-a-string and stumbling into Ned's private collection of Beatles memorabilia, which included a DIY book titled Learn Carpentry with the Beatles (with John Lennon on the cover saying, 'I'm fixing a hole ... in my drywall!'); a Yellow Submarine standing cardboard cut-out; a Mop-Top-Pop featuring the flavours 'John Lemon,' 'Orange Harrison,' 'Paul McIced Tea' and 'Mango Starr'.
Bart later takes a drink of a 'John Lemon' flavored can of Mop-Top-Pop and sees a psychedelic transformation of Milhouse through John Lennon's career; from the early years of a suit and mop-top to the "Sergeant Pepper"-era uniform to a more rebellious hippie-look with grannie-glasses to the controversial Rolling Stone magazine cover with a nude John Lennon next to Yoko Ono. Afterwards, Bart quotes 'Yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dog's eye' from The Beatles' song "I Am The Walrus".
After Bart and Milhouse destroy the Beatles room, the police catch them. Chief Wiggum claims they're taking the "Last Train to Clarksville". Lou corrects him that that was a Monkees' song. Ned and Homer have a conversation, during which Homer mentions he never knew Ned was such a Beatles fan. Ned answers "Of course I am! They were bigger than Jesus. But your boy went Yoko and broke up my collection." This is a reference to the infamous "We're bigger than Jesus," quote of John Lennon and the common belief that the breakup of the Beatles was due to John Lennon's relationship with Yoko Ono. The Show has also referenced post Beatle bands including Plastic Ono Band and the Traveling Wilburys. Homer says that Yoko Ono ruined Plastic Ono during one of the episodes. In season 14 episode 8, he asks Lisa who her favourite Traveling Wilbury was before guessing Lynne. The three Beatles who were alive in 1990 recorded their voices for The Simpsons. Ringo appeared on Brush with Greatness, Paul and Linda McCartney on Lisa the Vegetarian, and George on the Homer's Barbershop Quartet episode. The John Lennon song "Mother" appeared in one episode (My Mother the Carjacker), so all the Beatles have made a vocal appearance on the Simpsons (Lennon also was seen during the bed-in for peace in an episode where Homer ruins the rock & roll wax museum.)
In the season 3 episode The Thin White Line, Peter makes a reference to having once worked as a security guard for George Harrison. It then goes to a cutaway of Peter watching the 1980s sitcom Charles in Charge while an intruder breaks into Harrison's house. This was in reference to the December 30, 1999 incident where Harrison was attacked by an intruder. The episode aired just months before Harrison's death.
Later in season 3 in the episode Ready, Willing, and Disabled, Stewie threatens to do to Brian "what he did to John Lennon". It then goes to a cutaway showing Stewie introducing Lennon and Yoko Ono to each other at the Indica Gallery in November 1966.
In the season 6 episode Stewie Kills Lois, Brian gives Lois two cruise tickets for her birthday, only for Lois to take Peter with her. Brian, who had intended for Lois and himself to go on a cruise instead of Peter, then responds that the present was about as worthless as Ringo Starr's songwriting. It then goes to a cutaway of the band in their early days with Ringo walking in during practice with "a song he just wrote" on a piece of paper. Paul McCartney then says unenthusiastically to the rest of the band that Ringo has just written a song, with the rest of the band "congratulating" him. He then takes the song from Ringo and tells the rest of the band that he'll hang it on the fridge, much to Ringo's excitement. While this is in reference to Starr having the fewest songwriting contributions to the band, it does appear to have his intelligence dumbed down in the cutaway as well.
Beatlesque is a term used to describe rock and pop bands and musicians who were influenced by The Beatles and make music that is very similar. New bands are promoted as being "The next Beatles" or "The new Fab Four", and members of the media refer to musical acts as being "Beatlesque". This practice has itself been parodied; for example, the band Type O Negative often refer to themselves as "The Drab Four".
Badfinger was a Welsh rock/pop band that formed in the late 1960s. They became closely associated with The Beatles due to their close work relationship with Beatles members and producers. The Beatles' producer George Martin was also their producer, and the band released their records on the Beatles' Apple Records label. Their interpretation of the song "Come and Get It" was based on Paul McCartney's demo version. Their song "No Matter What" is Lennon-inspired. George Harrison also worked with Badfinger, not only producing much of their music but also contributing the slide guitar solo on the song "Day After Day". The band was even named after "Badfinger Boogie", the working title for the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends".
Electric Light Orchestra
The Electric Light Orchestra, also known as ELO, was a successful British rock music group of the 1970s and 1980s. ELO grew out of a former band known as The Move, and when the remaining members decided to regroup as ELO, they announced their intention to "continue where 'I Am the Walrus' left off." They recorded a tribute song called "Beatles Forever", but it is still unavailable, as band member and Beatles fan Jeff Lynne was reportedly embarrassed by it. "Can't Get It Out Of My Head" (on The Mike Douglas Show) with a quartet and horn section is very Lennon-like and included the line, "I saw the ocean's daughter", a play on the name of Yoko Ono, whose name means "Ocean child".
Frontman Jeff Lynne later produced George Harrison's Cloud Nine album, worked with him on the Traveling Wilburys albums, and completed Harrison's final work Brainwashed. Lynne also produced the new songs for the Beatles' Anthology.
Julian Lennon is the son of John Lennon. The songs "Valotte", "Saltwater", and "Too Late for Goodbyes" are all Beatlesque. The music video for the song "I Don't Wanna Know" features Julian and his band dressed up as the Beatles. Julian also covered "When I'm 64", which was originally sung by Paul McCartney.
There was wild media speculation that a Beatles reunion might take place with Julian Lennon in his father's place, even though neither Lennon nor the remaining Beatles ever endorsed the idea, and the remaining Beatles denied that there had ever been any truth in the reports. (Anthology.)
The Monkees were a pop-rock quartet specifically created by U.S. television in 1965 in order to replicate the style and music of the Beatles at the height of Beatlemania. At the peak of their success, the Monkees outsold the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined, selling over 35 million records, and having four consecutive Number 1 albums in the year 1967 alone. The craze has become known as 'Monkeemania', as the remarkable teenage craze had not been seen since the peak of Beatlemania. Much controversy has been put down by the "Pre-fab" four as the public believed they did not play their own instruments; but aside from their first two LPs, this was not the case. ''(See The Monkees#From TV to stage) "Randy Scouse Git," a song written by Monkee Micky Dolenz about partying in London with the Beatles may be the first song reference to the Beatles in the line "the four kings of EMI," EMI being the Beatles' label. The song title was censored in England and it was released as a single there as "Alternate Title."
Oasis have often cited the Beatles as a strong influence.
Oasis have covered numerous Beatles songs during their career. The first was a live performance of "I Am The Walrus", first released on the 1994 single "Cigarettes & Alcohol" and later released on the B-sides compilation The Masterplan. Since then they have released studio covers of "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" and "Helter Skelter". Noel Gallagher himself performed "Help!" on some of his 1998 acoustic sets.
Noel has also been involved in a number of collaborations of Beatles songs, beginning in September 1995 with "Come Together". The song was recorded with Paul McCartney and Paul Weller under the guise of the Smokin' Mojo Filters and was recorded at Abbey Road and released on the HELP album. In May 1996, Noel and his brother Liam were guests on a live cover of "Day Tripper" at an Ocean Colour Scene" gig. In 1999, he provided acoustic guitar for Claire Martin's cover of "Help!". In September 2000, he sang and played guitar on performances of "Tomorrow Never Knows" (with Johnny Marr and Cornershop) and "All You Need Is Love" (as part of a group finale) as well as backing vocals and acoustic guitar on a cover of "I'm Only Sleeping" with the Stereophonics. These three performances were part of a John Lennon tribute show, performed at George Martin's AIR Studios, and broadcast on Channel 4 in September 2000. In August 2002, he was recorded singing parts of "Eleanor Rigby" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" during a soundcheck for a live performance on Late Night with Conan O'Brien show. Noel also performed "Strawberry Fields Forever" on November 2006, with Gem Archer and Terry Kirkbride, for a charity gig at Koko in Camden, London and continued to perform it for the remainder of the Stop the Clocks semi-acoustic tour.
Oasis have also occasionally slipped in small parts of Beatles songs in live performances. They have regularly ended live performances of "Whatever" by singing parts of "Octopus's Garden". Bits of "Got To Get You Into My Life" found their way into a couple of October 1995 performances of "Round Are Way". A riff based around the vocal melody of "Tomorrow Never Knows" was integrated into an extended intro for live performances of "Cigarettes & Alcohol" in 2000 and 2001.
Their current semi-official drummer Zak Starkey is the son of Ringo Starr. Starkey joined in early 2004 after Oasis longtime drummer Alan White left the band. He performed on their latest album Don't Believe the Truth (2005) and subsequent 2005–2006 world tour, but he wasn't signed as a new bandmember and didn't participate in interviews and photoshots, due to his commitments as drummer for The Who.
Noel Gallagher sat on a panel in 2004 to decide on the most influential of pop artists to be included in the UK Music Hall of Fame, and was quoted as saying "They [the Beatles] inspire me more now than they did when I was a kid and are still the greatest.
Other artists having a Beatlesque musical style