5 Songs that Sound Like They Were Made by The Beatles, but Weren’t

When the Beatles arrived on the scene in the United States in 1964, many have said it was like a Wizard of Oz moment; before them, popular music was black and white but after, it was technicolor. Yes, the former Mop Tops changed everything when it came to pop and rock and roll—and the band continued to flip the script, evolving from simple tunes to very intricate, sweeping offerings on later albums.

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But given their enormous musical impact, it was inevitable some bands along the way were going to imitate The Beatles’ sound. Imitation, after all, is the highest form of flattery. But which bands (and songs) at the time sounded so much like The Beatles that many often confused them with the original? That’s what we’ll investigate here below.

[RELATED: 3 Beatles Songs That Will Make Any Listener Tear Up]

“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra

Sounding a lot like the Beatles’ 1966 song, “Good Day Sunshine,” this song was released in 1977 by Electric Light Orchestra on their album Out of the Blue. ELO were known to honor The Beatles, as frontman Jeff Lynne was a big fan. In fact, both Paul McCartney and John Lennon have commented on how “Mr. Blue Sky” sounds like an extension of their own songs. The rhythms, bass, and vocals on “Mr. Blue Sky” are ripped from The Beatles’ aura.

“Happy Together” by The Turtles

This 1967 song by the Turtles sounds like it could have been penned by the melodic McCartney, complete with harmonies and Ringo Starr-like snare-drum staccato hits. Background horns meet soaring, bright vocals. After all, The Turtles were known for covering other artists, including Bob Dylan, having broken out in part thanks to their rendition of his “It Ain’t Me Babe.” The California band might as well have been called The Chameleons.

“Without You” by Badfinger

This 1970 song from Badfinger’s album No Dice opens with strummed acoustic, bouncy melodic bass, and a voice that sounds like a McCartney clone. The Welsh band Bandfinger was first named The Iveys but renamed itself after the working title for The Beatles’ 1967 song “With a Little Help from My Friends,” which was originally titled “Bad Finger Boogie.” And the connections don’t end there. The group also recorded on The Beatles’ Apple Records label from 1968 to 1973.

“Lies” by The Knickerbockers

This song is straight out of The Beatles’ sound. If you squint, the music video here below even looks like the Fab Four, except there is a saxophone involved. The song also sounds like the inspiration for the 1996 movie song, “That Thing You Do.” Still, the pop-blues-rock sound The Beatles brought to the U.S. in 1964 seems to be a big inspiration for this song, which was released by the New Jersey-born band a year later in 1965. In fact, the band’s guitarist Beau Charles copped to the likeness, saying, “We desperately tried to write something that sounded like the British Invasion. We wrote ‘Lies’ in less than one half hour. We demo-ed it in New York.”

“Please Don’t Feel Too Bad” by The Hollies

This song from the 1964 album In The Hollies Style, which was recorded just two months after The Beatles hit the U.S. and released nine months after, sounds more like The Beatles’ style than The Hollies’. But that may be a coincidence since the band is from Manchester, England, just an hour east of Liverpool, the blue-collar home of the Fab Four. Still, if you didn’t know better and you heard this song on classic radio, you could easily think it was The Beatles.

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Photo by Les Lee/Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

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