The world of popular music would not have existed if it weren’t for the Beatles. Though we may have only had them for a handful of years, the songs that the Fab Four gave to the world have become some of the most essential rock music of the 20th century. This kind of band only seems to come once in a lifetime, but when you have success that big, there are always people who want to copy it.
Ever since the Beatles’ breakup in the late ‘60s, bands have been coming to the forefront brandishing guitars and trying to write in the same vein as John Lennon and Paul McCartney. While some might write in this style for just a one-off song or side project, some of these bands have made an entire career out of trying to repeat the same formula of the Greatest Band That Ever Lived.
That doesn’t really mean that these songs should be hated for their similarities. In fact, most of these songs don’t seem like carbon copies but are more of an homage to the music that made many of us love music to begin with. There will never be another band like the Fab Four, but it’s still fun to see people trying to put a spin on that classic sound.
10. Paint It Black - Rolling Stones
Ever since both of their beginnings in the ‘60s, The Beatles and the Rolling Stones always seemed to be in an interlocked battle. Though both bands had very different approaches to their craft, their rises to fame were so close together that it seemed almost inevitable for them to be rivals. The Stones may have been more of a blues outfit than their Liverpudlian counterparts, but it’s not like they weren’t listening to their competition.
As the ‘60s turned a corner, the Beatles helped usher in a new era of psychedelia, with songs like “Norwegian Wood” featuring the first use of Eastern instruments like sitar in popular music. Not to be outdone, The Stones’ “Paint It Black” was a dark trip into psychedelic wonder, with Brian Jones brandishing a sitar just like George Harrison.
It seems like blatant copying to see these guys holding a sitar right after the Beatles played one, but “Paint It Black” fits quite comfortably into the Stones’ model, with the hypnotic sounds feeling much more sinister when paired with Mick Jagger’s vocals. People will probably never stop comparing the Stones and the Beatles, but in the case of this song, this is a one-to-one comparison that is able to please both sides of the argument.