Not many places on the internet will you find AC/DC, Johnny Cash, Nirvana and the Beatles all being talked about in the same place, so prepare yourself! In honor of Ron Howard's Beatles documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week being released on Hulu, I wanted to talk about some of the bands who were influenced by the supergroup — even though nobody should ever need a reason to write about the Beatles
The Beatles had plenty of artists to draw their inspiration from, and they certainly passed that inspiration down through the ages. From rock to country to grunge and back to rock, there probably isn't a website big enough to list all the bands that have the Beatles, at least partially, to thank for their success. Here are seven of them!
1. Nirvana - The Grunge Pioneers
Back in 2015, a haunting cover of the Beatles' "And I Love Her" by Kurt Cobain invaded the internet, revealing to many, who may have not known it before, that Kurt was a pretty big Beatles fan. Well, a fan of most of the group: "I like the Beatles, but I hate Paul McCartney," the late musician was once quoted as saying. Here's Kurt's version of the song, from the soundtrack of the documentary Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck.
Not only was Cobain a fan of the boys, but so was another member of his band...
2. Foo Fighters - Carrying On Nirvan
Dave Grohl, the drummer for Nirvana and founder of Foo Fighters, performed alongside Sir Paul McCartney and the surviving members of Nirvana in 2012 at a concert held to raise funds for Hurricane Sandy. Their band name for the event? Awesomely, albeit temporarily, it was Sirvana.
When Grohl was young and just learning how to play, he would grab his guitar and Beatles songbook and go to town. No teacher, a daddy singing bass or mama singing tenor, just the Beatles and a dream.
3. Johnny Cash - The Man In Black
In his American IV: The Man Comes Around album, The Man in Black covered a few songs made famous by other musicians, including "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails. As haunting and almost prophetic as that cover was, Cash also covered the Beatles' song "In My Life." When he released the album, he was suffering from a neurodegenerative disease and diabetes, but that didn't stop him from putting out his few last hits. In "In My Life," he sang of things he loved, none of which compared to the love he had for his wife, the love of his life, June.
4. AC/DC - Back In Black
Like The Man in Black, the "Back in Black" guitarist, Angus Young, says the Beatles were one of his inspirations, gushing about them in a past interview with Guitar World Magazine:
“Even a great band like the Beatles goes off on a detour and does a bit of cabaret for a while. But you’ll find that the truly great ones always come back to playing real rock and roll, I thought [Abbey Road] got a bit glossed over at the time it was released. But those bluesy fills and huge riffs [in "I Want You (She’s So Heavy)"] showed they were still terrific rockers right to the end.”
Who ever would have thought the guitarist who wailed on songs like "Highway to Hell" and "You Shook Me All Night Long" would have listed them as an influence?
5. Pink Floyd - Bricks In The Wall
Most Pink Floyd fans went through life just waiting on that day to arrive when they got to meet the band, or at least see them from nosebleed seats. Hearing that Pink Floyd was once that fan, and the Beatles were the band, is kind of funny. But back in 1967, that's exactly what happened at the Abbey Road recording studio in London. While the Beatles were recording “Lovely Rita,” Pink Floyd was recording “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” and they were just as awestruck as a screaming girl at her first Elvis concert. Who, coincidentally enough, was also influenced by the Beatles!
6. Beach Boys - All-American Harmonizers
Another example of a great band loving another great band, and one of the great bands teaming up with the other great band to record a great song, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson says his inspiration for their album Pet Sounds came from the Beatles' album Rubber Soul. He said that as soon as he started listening to it for the first time ever, he loved it!
A year after Pet Sounds was released, Paul McCartney collaborated with the Boys for their song "Vegetables." Did he sing? Maybe, but the best part was he ate celery, and they used that sound effect for some background sounds:
They love their veggies!
7. Oasis - Sibling Rivalry
To say the band Oasis likes the Beatles is like saying water is kind of wet. From a live cover of “I Am The Walrus” to a picture of John Lennon's childhood home on their album Live Forever, Oasis was very much influenced by the Beatles. One of their biggest songs, if not THE biggest Oasis song, "Wonderwall," was a nod to George Harrison's first post-Beatles album, Wonderwall Music. The list goes on and on, so how about you listen to some "Wonderwall?" Why? Because why not?
Here's to many, many years filled with many, many more awesome bands, who have been, in some way, inspired by the Beatles!