On the day of The Beatles: Get Back release, we look at the enduring legacy of the Fab Four as told through the eyes and ears of emerging British songwriters.
“John, Paul, Ringo, George… just what do they mean to you?” asks our very own Grant Tucker.
“Is that a serious question?” replies Noel Gallagher, the disdain evident. And quite rightly. The Beatles are Britain’s most beloved band. Through their music, recorded over the ten year span from 1960-1970, The Beatles enshrined themselves, leaving a legacy set to stretch through the epochs of our cultural history.
This Beatlemania resides in the lyrical nooks and sonic crannies of contemporary aspiring artists. But in case you needed any more convincing, we spoke to some to find out…Array
My favourite Beatle is Paul McCartney. I love his songwriting and the stories he tells. He also looks quite a lot like my grandma (she’s got those Paul McCartney eyes).
My favourite song is Her Majesty, I’ve always loved it, but I’m annoyed it isn’t longer! It seems so casual and free. But there’s a part of me that respects that it’s so short, just this mad little track that attracted me.
At the end of the day, it’s the simple songwriting. Playing a G and an E and an A7, and just flying away with that, telling the story with simple chords. I’ve always been a huge fan of melody, and the Beatles have some of the greatest melodies ever.
My favourite Beatle is Paul McCartney. I love his songwriting – he also looks quite a lot like my grandma
I find it really hard to place influences because music’s been so filtered down. But I’d say the Beatles are the only one I can place and say, ‘Yep, that is definitely an influence.’Array
I feel like no one grows up without the Beatles being on everywhere, and I don’t think I really indulged in their music until a bit later on, maybe when I was ten or 12. And then actually over lockdown, I really got into them, purely because I’d looped back around and wanted to hear their music again.
I remember the first song of theirs that always really got to me, She’s So Heavy. The outro, I just thought was one of the best things I’d ever heard. It’s changed so many of my songs and made me want to make big productions on my outros.
That specific outro has changed so many of my own songs
There are so many bands that wouldn’t exist without them, and then there’s a lot of acts that would sound different. There’s so much music that wouldn’t be there at all without their influence.Array
My favourite Beatles tracks would probably be Get Back and With A Little Help From My Friends. They’re tracks you can’t go wrong with; timeless classics – I always think a sign of a good track is one that never ages.
The Beatles inspire any psychedelic musician. My music definitely has hints of psychedelia and is definitely inspired by them. I think, as a British person, they’ve always flown the flag high for all of us wanting to write songs. They were so good at making feel-good music.
A musician friend of mine said it’s easy to write a sad song, but it’s so hard to write a feel-good, happy song. And when you do, you feel like you’ve hit the nail on the head. The Beatles just wrote hundreds of them. If anything, I think my most recent album, Reverence, has that same playfulness.
I watched a Beatles documentary and they were explaining how they’d get to the studio and would be given an hour to make a track, writing the whole thing from start to finish. That’s really inspired a lot of the process for my last album because we would just pick up a bass, give ourselves 20 minutes, and smash them out.Array
Tom Rees (Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard)
I came into the Beatles a little bit late. I didn’t really listen to them at all until I was 17 or 18, which is late for people who love them. They’re usually a lifelong affair, but I think it gave me a different perspective on them.
I’m a huge John Lennon fan but pure idealisation in any form is bad. He’s probably my favourite artist of all time, but whilst having a favourite musician like that you have to acknowledge the extent to which they were potentially an awful person.
Favourite song?… Funnily enough it’s a Macca one. It changes all the time. That’s the great thing about The Beatles. Anyone who tells me they don’t like them, come on, they’ve done basically everything (bar reggae!).
I listened to Revolver again the other day and all the tracks on there are amazing. I’m Only Sleeping, and She Said She Said, that’s an absolute bumper.
They were such a powerhouse in how they work together, such a tight knit group of guys who had their own individual personalities but collectively became the Beatles.
It’s like leaving a pretty corpse. They’ll always be The Beatles because they were around for such short stint of time. That’s it. It’s just having that consistent force around you, a father-complex kind of thing: The Beatles are always there.