My Hand" (intro) The Rutles
"You Told Me" (intro) The Monkees
One, two, three, four, one, two
Sound Affects!; 1980
The characteristic features of Taxman:
* The bass
line: Now that the Beatles had managed (with Paperback Writer)
to get the EMI boffins to make the bass audible, they really started showing
it off. Theres an occasional tendency in some quarters to
pooh-pooh George Martins production work with the Beatles -- he
didnt necessarily work the same magic with, say, America -- but
at the very least he and the EMI engineers always got good sounds; listen
to a record like Taxman and its very impressive how
much great noise comes out of just four instruments. Of course,
the guys in the band could play, too
* The signature
rhythm guitar on the backbeat: Beatles nouveau funk. How much does Taxman
owe to I Feel Good?
* The wild
eastern guitar solo of Pauls.
The Jam emulate
most of those features here not only the huge Taxman bass line,
but also Paul Wellers interpretation of the guitar solo, aided and
abetted by the horns. Not a trace of cowbell, though.
Hour Cleaners - The Bluethings
B-side to The Orange Rooftop Of Your Mind;
Recorded September 1966
this. The first guys to pounce on this bassline -- and link it with Last
Train To Clarksville. Which was even quicker work, since that had
just come out in August. The Bluethings were formed in Hays, Kansas from
a bunch of ex folk-rockers, who like many others gave that up for electric
guitars and that damn rocknroll in 1964.
My Own Time" The Bee Gees
Bee Gees 1st; July 1967
The title Bee
Gees 1st wasnt exactly truth in advertising; as weve
seen, theyd already put out quite a bit of material by the time
it was released; a couple of albums, in fact. But the album was their
international, major league debut -- with a Klaus Voorman
cover, no less. (What greater stamp of legitimacy?)
A bit more
rocky, a bit less funky than Taxman, but it has the key guitar
honk, and in each chorus they drop in the bass line and the
big group vocals. Garnished with groovy, cryptic lyrics about hot cross
buns and the United Nations.
Man" Hermans Hermits
Blaze; October 1967
Hermits final and finest album, for which the band members got to
contribute some original, mostly Beatles-influenced songs. Like In
My Own Time, this too moves along in a bouncier sort of way than
"Taxman," but it still has the definitive bassline and the guitar honk
on the downbeats.
In Line" The Bangles
From the Bangles
very first EP (still unavailable at present -- write your Congressman!),
from back when they were being touted as the Female Beatles.
In addition to the signature Taxman bass/rhythm guitar combination,
theres another Beatles-ism in the final tacked-on guitar chord,
an editing device like the one used at the end of It Wont
But hey, wont
anybody play a cowbell on one of these?
Man" Paul Revere & The Raiders
Spirit of 67; November 1966
In the search
for material for this project the nuggets can be few and far between,
but every once in a while you hit the mother lode. The Spirit of
67 is one such album, with nearly everything on it seeming to match
up to one Beatles song or other. Undecided Man couldnt
follow the Eleanor Rigby blueprint any more closely, and the
influence also extends to the lyric: Look at them, look at you,
look at me.
on this are very well recorded, too; theyre even richer than Eleanor
Rigbys, with lots of resonance in the lower range -- great
on headphones. Paul Reveres songs may have been somewhat transparent
at times, but they were another band who got great sounds. (Incidentally,
when the Beatles first began recording at Abbey Road in 1963, the mixing
board apparently had a big switch for either Classical or
Pop. Makes you wonder what kind of dilemma Eleanor Rigby
would have presented if that had still been the case in 1966.)
At Me Now" Electric Light Orchestra
No Answer; 1972
tape effects, the big sonic innovation of 1966 was the use of strings
as a rhythm instrument; specifically in Eleanor Rigby and
Good Vibrations. The staccato strings -- and the absence of
a band -- that defined Eleanor Rigby are the essential element
of all these songs as well. With No Answer, the first ELO album,
Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne were generally working in the baroque-rock genre
that had developed in the wake of Yesterday, Eleanor
Rigby and For No One, but they pulled the sound back
towards rocknroll by recording the strings with tremendous
bite, giving them the muscle to compete with the electric
rock instruments. It wouldnt seem that their approach inspired a
lot of imitators at the time -- but perhaps it did eventually give us
Setting Sons; 1979
Not much of a match in its musical elements, but it does fit the Rigby prototype: A song by a rock band minus the band, just
a rhythmic string section, chugging away like the 8:15 from Uxbridge.*
Its also lyrically correct, depicting about a lonely company
man, no doubt some kin to both Eleanor Rigby and Ray Davies Arthur. And even though this is one of the few Jam songs not written by Paul Weller (it's a Bruce Foxton song), theres still some Who in here, the melody recalling part of I
Cant Reach You.
* Now, "Eleanor Rigby" set the unmistakeable standard for biting cello-driven "rock" songs, but does that mean that every song that uses cellos this way is automatically a
"Rigby" derivative? Yes. The answer is "Yes." Thank you for playing.
Goes On" Utopia
Deface The Music; 1980
Rigby tribute is complete in every detail; the only shortcoming
being that the strings are synthesizer-generated instead of the
real thing, but hey, real strings (and real string players) cost real
money. One must work with the tools one has.
Demo recording; 1967
sounds amazingly like Neil Innes playing it straight, so his recordings
serve as the perfect companion piece to the Rutles. The Kirkbys recorded
this song as a demo for and with George Martin, who -- presumably because
it sounded too reminiscent of the Beatles -- passed on signing them.
material used to be incredibly difficult to find, but now there are 23rd
Turnoff/Kirbys and Rockin Horse collections available on Bam-Caruso
and Rev-Ola Records, respectively; yet another void filled by the digital
revolution.(Now if only someone would re-release the Brains.) Dreaming
is also on Viper Records Unearthed Merseybeat CD which
also has many other rare gems grab it if you can.
Know What I Mean - Justin Heathcliff
Justin Heathcliff; 1971
band with the English sound -- and the English-sounding name. Perhaps
not even a band; it seems that this was a project by present-day Japanese
new-age artist (Dr.) Osamu Kitajima, who lived in England in 1971, rubbing
shoulders with notable rockers such as Barry Gibb and Paul Rogers and
soaking up the 60s Anglo sound. This rare album was probably one
of the first overt Beatles tributes, long before the Rutles trademarked
the genre. Some of the tracks from this have been released on the Love,
Peace and Poetry series of CDs on Normal Records.
Luthers Assistant - Elvis Costello
New Amsterdam EP/Taking Liberties; 1980
reissue on Rhino includes this song as a bonus cut, instead of them giving
us a Taking Liberties CD, mores the pity. In the liner
notes Elvis tells us that it lifts melodically from the Byrds 5D,
but he doesnt mention the Im Only Sleeping connection;
the rhythm, the backwards instruments, the way it swims away on sea of
fading backwards guitars in the tag. Guess it went without saying.
Cage The Dukes of Stratosphear
Psychedelic Psunspot; 1987 ("Chips
From The Chocolate Fireball" CD)
CD is an indispensable addition to -- and sidetrack from -- the rest of
the XTC catalog. A palette cleanser, as it were. (Were still
awaiting their Colins Hermits album.) As with Im
Only Sleeping, backwards instruments are the hallmark of Shiny
Cage -- the lead guitars, the verses that fizzle out into the breaks,
the upstrum on the guitar even the bits that arent
backwards sound backwards. And another sea of guitars to end it.
Inside Smack The Pony
Smack The Pony; ITV Television,
Smack The Pony
was, and were, Sally Phillips (of the Bridget Jones movies), Fiona Allen
and Doon Mackichan, in a quirky sketch comedy program shown on Englands
ITV between 1999 and 2002. In addition to the comedy, each episode finished
with a little music video skewering some recent pop trend or other. Pity
that there isnt a CD release of the music (done by Jonathan Whitehead)
-- all that remains is a Best Of DVD...not currently available
in the U.S., worst luck.
Im not sufficiently up on the British pop scene of the time to know
if this song was a parody of some specific contemporary group, but who
-- or what -- ever it was, it was ultimately Im
Tree Ben Kweller
Sha Sha; 2002
Well, Ben Kweller
fell into a vat of rocknroll as kid, didnt he; raised
in a musical household; immersed in Beatles music; family friend Nils
Lofgren no doubt teaching him a musical trick or two in between gigs with
Bruce Springsteen. Ben showed an early aptitude for writing -- and rewriting
-- music; hes said that when he first learned how to play Heart
and Soul as a kid he immediately set about reconstructing it into
a new song. Like XTCs Andy Partridge, he seems to be one of those
people who has a huge catalog of music in his head, like a big box of
tinker toys which he can reassemble in endless ways. He also bears a striking
resemblance to Pete Townshends nose, which surely counts for something.
Only Sleeping comes through in many ways here; in fact, the lyric
even seems to allude to it. Add vibes to this and youd have the
very version thats on the Beatles Anthology.
Reflections of the Marmalade (U.K.)/Reflections
of My Life (U.S.); June 1970
a rather two-sided career, with straight pop fare like Ob-la-di,
Ob-la-da on the one hand, and more creative, psychedelic things
like this (or I See The Rain) on the other. After 1966,
everybody had to have some kind of drony Indian thing, in one of two styles:
Driving pop (a la Love You To) or slow and stately (a la Within
You Without You). This is one of the former. There are several good
Marmalade collections out there; one which focuses on their more artistic
side of their catalog is a CD called Kaleidoscope, available
on Castle Music/Sanctuary Records.
Arabian Nights Paul Revere & The Raiders
Spirit of 67; November 1966
everybody had to have some kind of drony...Arabian thing? This actually
falls into the slow and stately category -- although it obviously
predates Within You -- but its verse melody is straight from
the chorus of Love You To.
There and Everywhere:
Told Me The Bee Gees
Much of the
resemblance here may be a matter of feel, such as the gentle pace or the
background oooohs, but there are also some specific correlations
between the two melodies -- like Birdie told me, I must get...
compared with I want her everywhere; or Knowing my mind
vs. Knowing that love... Little things.
however, uses quite a rich orchestral arrangement -- the kind of thing
that Paul was adamant about avoiding when he did Yesterday
and Eleanor Rigby. Not a problem for the Bee Gees, apparently.
Sunday - The Doors
Morrison Hotel; February 1970
Seem to keep
stumbling across little Beatle-isms in the Doors work, of all people;
bits of melodies embedded in their otherwise other-worldly sound. Here its
the little repeated melody line: My girl is mine, she is the world...
much like Love never dies, watching her eyes... Then the whole
song seems to take on the same feel.
On My Shoulders John Denver
Poems, Prayers & Promises;
The guitar intro is from Ive Got A Feeling, but
the bridge (If I had a day
) uses the same rising four
chord progression as the verse of Here, There... There is
also a general similarity in its main melody pattern; it ascends for several
notes and then comes back down a step, as in Sunshine, on my shoulders
and Here, making each day. And again, the feel of the song
is not dissimilar, as the English say, especially if you substitute
sun for girlfriend in the lyric. This song apparently struck a chord with
returning Vietnam veterans in the early 70s, which can give it renewed
emotional cache. As with Birdie Told Me, though, its rich
string arrangement probably accounts for its treacly reputation.
was considered to be country, but it doesnt really feel
right to describe this song that way; its more a kind of soft pop-rock.
Country music was affected by the Beatles, too, and this is kind of thing
we got in the 1970s. Thank you very mooch.
The Pink The Scaffold
Single; October 1968
Mike McGear! If only hed make another album with brother Paul
"McGear" was as better than many of Paul's solo albums.
The Scaffold, though, was Mikes group with fellow Liverpudlians
Roger McGough and John Gorman, and they formed another part of the Beatles/Bonzos/Python
constellation of music-comedy. Their material bore a resemblance to the
comic end of the Beatles' output, such as their Christmas records....or,
say, Yellow Submarine. Now, the Scaffold didnt write Lily The Pink
-- its a traditional song -- but it certainly comes off as Yellow
Submarine Part Two, with its great big singalong atmosphere and
galumphing two-step rhythm.
many other rock celebrities featured on this song, Graham Nash is present,
singing the Jennifer Eccles verse (almost unrecognizably,
hes so far below his normal range); as well as...Ringo? In the liner
notes to the See For Miles Records compilation LP, Mike gave credit here
to Ringos bass drum, but he doesn't say who was actually
playing it. (Which raises the question: Did the Beatles have to clear
their instruments out of Abbey Road when they weren't recording? I'm sure
Mark Llewisohn would know.)
To Sing Papas Fritas
a big singalong, in the same kind of two-step rhythm...sort of. They drop
out a step or two, making it a 5/4 step or a 9/7 step. Something, anyway.
This also borrows the lyrical theme; your basic kid's song about a jaunty
voyage to sea. Full speed ahead, Mister Bosun.
Said She Said:
The Clique, 1969
REM did the
definitive version of this song as far as most of us are concerned, but
the original dates back to 1969 and the Clique, a group of L.A. studio
musicians under the direction of wiz-kid producer Gary Zekley. When you
check out the original, you find that its...just about exactly the
same as REMs. Just a little lower tech, and perhaps a little more
charm as a result. Zekley described the song as being pretty much a throwaway
based on the Sgt. Pepper riff, but the melody is all She
Enough For Us XTC
a family resemblance here -- a couple of generations removed. Theres
a melodic pattern in She Said where it walks up and down the
scale (I know what it is to be sad, or You dont
understand what I said, or When I was a boy), reinforced
by the lead guitar. Similar thing going on in Earn Enough:
the Glad that you want to be my wife and At work and
on the bus lines. (A big chunk of the chorus melody, however, is
I Dont Know How To Love Him -- perhaps to throw us off
lick in the intro, the chord changes, the waltz-time finish; this just
seems to come from the same stock. Andy Partridge has a ton of influences
rattling around in his head, but he only gives himself away when he wants
to; this makes an interesting contrast to the Dukes of Stratosphears
overt homages. But what are "Purple Comics from the Bus?"
In Your Mind The Ten Foot Faces
Daze of Corndogs and Yo Yos; 1987
Faces as in wave faces. Surfer talk. These guys
werent actually surfers (I threw up on a beach once,
their bass player once remarked), but they were part of the L.A. music
scene for several years in the mid-80's. Not sure where to find any of
their stuff these days, except rare vinyl dealers. They had one album,
"Daze of Corndogs and Yoyos" which was on the Pitch-a-Tent label
in 1987 - it didnt ever make it to CD, so youd have to search
the net. Great cover of Henry Mancini's "The Party."
Know The Real The Greenberry Woods
Yellow Pills Vol. 3; 1995
From the renowned
Yellow Pills series; the magazine isnt around anymore, nor are any
of the 4 compilation CDs they put out. The liner notes dont
say much about the band, but this is described as a bit of Lennonish
psychedelia. And you know I know you know just how I feel.
And you should know by now that youre not me.
A Day Buffalo Springfield
Unreleased; January 1968;
As their box
set reveals, the Springfield had a tremendous amount of unreleased material.
However, the booklet that comes with it, while richly filled with old
photos and clippings, is nearly impossible to read, since they went for
such a soaked-in-turpentine look. So Im not certain, but it doesnt
appear to give us any background information about this song, although
I have been able to ascertain that it was written by Richie Furay, and
produced with Jim Messina. The only musicians credited are Richie and
Stephen and L.A. studio bass ace Carol Kaye. In essence its proto-Poco,
with the banjo, dobro and fiddle in its novelty breaks.
One of the
key hooks of Good Day Sunshine is the dropped beat in the
chorus; What A Day does a similar thing, and includes other
key elements such as the drum-build intro, the piano/bass riff, the repetitive
coda, the Good Day theme itself.
Braff The Bee Gees
Horizontal; Recorded April 1967
samples the piano/bass build from the intro, and then uses
it as the basis for the verses. As the song develops it rocks harder than
Good Day ever does, but it has the key chorus vocals (Good-bye
instead of Good Day) and the dropped beats in the chorus.
Plus soaring bass fills, overlapping vocals and the Eastern-tinged vocal
trills which pervade so many of the songs on Revolver. Everyones
crying (out) for Harry Braff: he sounds like a regular David Watts.
Hello - Sopwith Camel
Single; December 1966
When the term
Psychedelia expanded to include Vaudeville and Music Hall,
you knew the end couldnt be far off. These guys shared a producer
(Erik Jacobsen) with the Lovin Spoonful, so perhaps not coincidentally,
their sound is Spoonful-redux; and to tell the truth, this song may actually
be more Daydream than Good Day Sunshine. (Paul
McCartney has also described how Good Day Sunshine itself
was his rewrite of Daydream, so obviously theres a lot
of back and forth among going on here.)
A Day and Harry Braff take their cue from Good
Days chorus, Hello Hello is more reminiscent of
its verse and piano break. However, Nandi Devam (aka Terry MacNeil, the
Camels piano player), has pointed out that the intro was a lift
from Chet Atkins Trambone, as interpreted on piano instead
of guitar. (Neil Young would use the same piece of music much later in
his Winterlong, for what thats worth.) So this could
well be as much Atkins/Sebastian as Lennon/McCartney. But it did come
out just a few months after Revolver, so theyre not off the hook.
Single, October 1966
just as logically be placed under Yellow Submarine; its
another song of the same color, it has a party in the middle, and it too
has both Donovan and Paul as vocalists. But Yellow Submarine
is a rollicking march, while Good Day and Mellow Yellow
are much more...well, mellow. More specifically, theres a similarity
to Good Days chorus thats apparent, especially
in Mellow Yellows instrumental section; in the descending
melody line and jumped beat of the horns. (At about the 2:10
insider position with the Beatles, he had probably been familiar with
Good Day Sunshine ever since it was recorded in June -- just
a few months earlier.
Your Bird Can Sing:
Kind of Love Buffalo Springfield
Unreleased; January 1967
variation of the guitar riff from Bird, but instead of tandem
guitars in harmony, its one frenetic lead, which sounds like it
may have been recorded at a slower speed and sped up on playback -- another
trick the Beatles taught everyone. (However, Neil did have a pretty wild
pickin hand back then, so you never know.) Underneath the
solo is the same basic chord progression as Bird, and the
lyric is similar as well in its subject and rhythm -- kind of a vocal
outpouring. The song also ends on the same unresolved chord you
half expect to hear Pauls little bass ellipsis as it
Carol Im So Sad Rockin Horse
Yes It Is; 1971
One of the
iconic aspects of Revolver is the guitar sound. The EMI techs had
just created Artificial Double Tracking, an electronic process
which, as the name implies, replicated the effect of a double-tracked
vocal or instrument. Lead vocals had been double tracked on pop songs
ever since multi-track recording first made it possible a few years earlier,
but that always had to be done manually, by having the singer
repeat the performance -- a tedious and exacting process. (On Day Tripper,
you can hear how the Beatles manually double tracked the lead guitars,
which occasionally drop out of the mix.) With ADT, or whats called
chorusing now, they no longer had to waste a track on double
tracking (they only had 4 back then); they could simply apply the effect
to the track during mixdown. And since it was so easy to do, they started
applying it to everything. On Revolver the guitars have a kind of ringing,
shimmering sound to them, which is the effect that ADT has.* (Its
actually probably most apparent on She Said She Said.)
other songs mentioned in this group, this Jimmy Campbell song doesnt
have an And Your Bird-style guitar lick, but it does have
the ringing Revolver guitar sound down. It also has the same drive
and rhythmic feel, complete with Lennon-esque change of tempo at the end
of each verse. And of course, Jimmys John-like vocal delivery.
Just to note: Were not talking about the riff of And Your
Bird here; thats double tracking (in harmony) of the manual
kind. In fact, Joe Walsh once described how, as a kid, he taught himself
-- with extreme difficulty -- to play the riff in harmony all by himself,
and how, years later he met John, who explained to him that it was actually
George and himself playing the two lines together simultaneously. Doh!
Think I Know Vinyl Kings
A Little Trip; 2003
a proper variation of the riff, although the song itself seems to bear
as much of a resemblance to Pauls Get Out of My Way.
And then, to shake things up still further, theres a kind of Abbey
Road/Beach Boys thing going on at the end. The members of this band
are all pros who've been around and done it all, backing a lot of rock
greats; now theyve put together a couple of ace rock tribute albums
(available at cdbaby.com). A Little Trip, their Beatles homage,
deftly touches all the bases.
Will Tell On You - The Rock Club
Yellow Pills, Vol. 3; 1995
This song is
modeled more on the Byrds and the Searchers than the Beatles, but it likewise
has a reworking of the Bird guitar riff. This is another from
Yellow Pills Vol. 3; however, that disc doesnt tell us much about
the band, so I really have nothing to offer in that regard.
- The Beach Boys
"Smile" Recording Sessions;
August 25, 1966
No One is based on a kind of baroque piano motif consisting
of a single note followed by a little triplet. (Daaa-dit-dit-dit. B
in Morse Code, for the cryptically-minded.) Same thing applies to
the songs mentioned here. Interestingly, many of them are quite different
from For No One in their melodies and chord patterns, but
the keyboard motif is always unmistakeable.
music always seemed to come from his own home planet -- and as often as
not, he set the pace for the Beatles anyway -- but were just a few
weeks after Revolver is released here, and Brians recording his
own variation of a baroque keyboard theme.
Rose For Emily The Zombies
Odessey and Oracle; 1968
knowledge now that Odessey and Oracle is one of the great
albums of the sixties -- pity that people didnt realize it while
the band was still around. Its also common knowledge that the Zombies
reworked the Beatles sound on more than one occasion, as here.
Soft Parade - The Doors
The Soft Parade; July 1969
from the Doors, during the first section of this suite. Another
harpsichord -- same baroque motif.
- Justin Heathcliff
Justin Heathcliff; 1971
band with the English sound and English sounding name. Did we mention
Deja Vu; 1970
the 1970 edition of the American Beatles, with Graham Nash
as the all-important English connection. The piano track here is a virtual
ringer for No One; but with trademark CSNY harmonies in lieu
of French Horn. Lyrically, its the very picture of domesticity
-- i.e. A love that should have lasted years -- before the
acrimony sets in; I think the relationship on which this song was based
was over before Déjà Vu was even released.
Tomorrow Comes The Redcoats
Meet The Redcoats! Finally; 1966/2001
The vocal is
all John, but the rest is all Paul. The you wont miss her
and you dont need her lines put it squarely in this
Call My Woman Hinges Steve & The Board
Steve & The Board And The Giggle Eyed
Goo; Single; June 1966
shes something to adore. Fa-dum bum. Several members of this
Australian band had or would go on to have other notable showbiz credentials:
Guitarist Carl Keats who wrote much of their material, would later write
Status Quos hit Down The Dustpipe; Colin Peterson had
been a child star on Australian TV and would go on to join the Bee Gees;
and (Chairman) Steve Kipner would have a career on the 70s and 80s
L.A. music scene as a performer, producer and writer, penning fellow-Australian
Olivia Newton-Johns Lets Get Physical. More significantly
for our purposes, however, he was the son of Nat Kipner, an American expatriate
whod been living in Australia since the 50s, and who had become
a producer-songwriter-entrepreneur on the Sydney music scene during the
early days of rocknroll. Among other things, he created the
Spin Records label just in time to nab the Bee Gees and produce their
first big hit, Spicks And Specks. (Nat also produced much
of the other early Bee Gees Beatles-flavored material we discuss
in this book, such as Where Are You; Tint of Blue
In early 1966
Nat made friends with a bloke whod just opened a small recording
studio in Sydney called St. Clair, which for its one year existence became
essentially synonymous with Spin Records. Steve & The Board were the
first artists to record there, and the Bee Gees virtually took up permanent
residence. (See www.hurstville.nsw.gov.au/beegees/index.htm
for more about the studio and Nat Kipner.)
Now, back to
I Call My Woman Hinges; the verse is a kind of juiced up bossa
nova (think the Kinks Everybodys Gonna Be Happy)
befitting its novelty lyric, but in the tail of each verse it goes into
a real Dr. Robert segment, with that distinctive Revolver
guitar sound. At least, that's how it had seemed to my ears; but then
I learned that this song was released in June of 1966 - more than a month
before Revolver came out. Hmmm.
we noted, Nat Kipner owned and ran Spin Records, and had great industry
connections -- not just within Australia but around the world -- including
some to Brian Epstein and EMI. Now, the Beatles had recorded Dr.
Robert in April, and EMI did a mix of it in the middle of May for
Capitol to release on the American album Yesterday...And Today, along
with a couple of other preview tracks from the forthcoming
Revolver album. Which creates just enough of a window of plausibility
here. So a possible scenario would be that Nat got a hold of the early
mix of Dr. Robert, and Steve and Karl Keats got a listen and...well,
who, if they had the chance, wouldnt nick something from a Beatles
song that nobody else had heard yet? Never underestimate the power of
label (Ascension) put out a compilation of all of Steve & The Boards
material just a couple of years ago, but it already seems pretty hard
to find; I had to dig it up on the Giggle Eyed Google.
* Now, the slender thread from which this entire discussion hangs is whether or not you agree with me that the guitar actually sounds like Revolver in general and "Dr. Robert" in particular. See how the subjective aspect of aesthetics always gives me an "out"?
Against The D-Coys
Single; September 1966
Here are those
Revolver guitars again, and theres a similarity in the riff as well.
The D-Coys were products of the Adelaide rock scene, which also gave us
the Twilights and the Masters' Apprentices. (It was all those British
immigrants Adelaide had in the 50s. Refer to the Kinks Arthur
again for more on that.) Research shows that the D-Coys performed this
song on the Go! Show (an Australian pop television program patterned after
Englands Ready Steady Go!) on September 19, 1966 -- 6 weeks after
Revolver came out. (Although, as we noted, Dr. Robert had
also been released on Yesterday...And Today in early June, so theres
even more possible wiggle room.)
left just a few singles as their recorded legacy, some of which have shown
up on collections on the Raven label.
Want To Tell You:
To Fly Status Quo
This is a groove
based on the I Want To Tell You riff, with the same three
chord pattern, stretched out to twice the length -- and in case you dont
pick up on it, they go ahead and quote the riff directly at the end of
the song. Apparently its just too much fun to resist.
To Fly was an unreleased recording which first came out on the LP
Fresh Quota in 1981, but the song dates from earlier than
that; its now available on the CD re-release of the Dog of
Two Head album originally released in 1971, so that would appear
to be the time frame.
a Week With You Last Night The Records
put out 3 albums in the 80s, and mainmen Will Birch (www.willbirch.com)
and John Wicks (www.johnwicksandtherecords.com)
are still going at it these days, with new projects and old (www.therecords.com).
As for this
song, it switches those three chords around, but theres no mistaking
the ghost of Georges classic riff.
Open Your Heart; 1987
prolific Jeremy (Morris), mastermind of Jam records (www.jamrecordings.com),
purveyor of fine powerpop. In addition to I Want To Tell Yous pounding
rhythm, this features the Indian-style vocal intonations that were characteristic
of many of the songs on Revolver.
A Memory - The Smithereens
Green Thoughts; 1988
those three chords just as the Records song did (and puts them to a straight
4/4 beat, too), but you cant hide a great riff.
To Get You Into My Life:
Had a Good Thing Goin' The Cyrkle
Single; March 1967
for Got To Get You Into My Life includes the big beat, with
insistent one-note bass, and the brass section with Spartacus-style fanfare
to kick it off. Those elements are in this Neil Sedaka song, although
heavily disguised -- lots of key changes and varispeed effects. And while
the intro fanfare is there, its done with clarinets; more Donald
Duck than Spartacus. The lyric in the coda hints at the connection as
well; Got to get that good thing goin, as it were.
Doors John Fred & His Playboy Band
Love My Soul; 1969
John Fred is
an obvious candidate to have done a rewrite for this, since his big brass
soul band would almost seem to have been assembled for the very purpose.
And, good man, he didnt let us down. Big beat, great big opening
horn riff and a brief guitar build a la Georges solo. It works a
similar subject matter as well: John Lennon told us that Got To
Get You came out of Pauls mind-expanding LSD experience, and
this continues in the same lyrical -- if not necessarily pharmaceutical
There Anyone There? The Direct Hits
The House of Secrets; 1986
Records compilation of the Direct Hits material didn't include this song,
and they never got around to doing a Volume Two. So I suppose the only
source for this is your usual rare-records outlet. Go forth and Google.
This time we
have a big synth-horn intro -- it was 1986, after all.
Hope You'll Like It 042 The Shakers
Shakers For You; November 1966
lib cough might be a little forced, but the song itself is a great
piece of jazz raga. The Shakers had come from a jazz background
before discovering the Beatles, so their chops were good and their chordal
knowledge extensive, as illustrated here.
that's what it says.
One Receiving Brian Eno
Before And After Science; 1977
Boy, for someone
who claims not to be a musician, Brian Eno really is a master of pop when
he decides to do music you can listen to outside of airports. This gets
good mileage from the mantra-like feel and D-C-D chord change that make
up the foundation of Tomorrow.
Light That Shines In The Direct Hits
The House of Secrets; 1986
loops and guitars, droning offbeat rhythm, tape effects, audience noises
-- the whole shebang. And what would a pastiche of Tomorrow
be without some cryptic, surreal philosophizing? Dont look
at what youre seeing.
My Mind - Matthew Sweet
100% Fun; 1995
well-known 60s-pop channeler and member of Austin Powers Ming
Tea -- who really do owe us a full album, by the way.
Public The Rutles
of the subject matter; Tomorrow Never Knows quotes Eastern
philosophy (from the Tibetan Book of the Dead) so naturally Neil espouses
the Western Everyman's philosophy: I put my faith
in the powers that be. Same thing really, I suppose.
Sea The Gurus
All The Children Sing; 2002
The Gurus are
another band from the crop of Beatle-esque powerpoppers coming out of
Spain these days; theyre available from Jam Records and Not Lame.
All the necessary musical elements here, including screeching seagulls,
but with enough power to actually reach the cheap seats in Che Stadium.