The Beatles, a band that transformed the landscape of popular music, have left an indelible mark on the world with their music. Their inventive sound, unforgettable melodies, and profound lyrics have paved the way for countless artists to emerge and create music that reflects The Beatles’ influence.
In this article, we’ll delve into 13 bands like The Beatles, focusing on their musical connections and inspirations drawn from the iconic quartet. Join us as we discover bands that echo the spirit and essence of The Beatles. Let’s get started.
1. Cheap Trick
The band Cheap Trick was formed in Rockford, Illinois, in 1973. With their melodic pop-rock sound, they are considered similar to The Beatles, especially their strong emphasis on catchy hooks, memorable choruses, and harmonies reminiscent of The Beatles’ style.
Some of Cheap Trick’s biggest hits include “Surrender,” “I Want You to Want Me,” and “The Flame.” They have released 20 studio albums, including the Platinum hits Dream Police and Lap of Luxury, and sold millions of records throughout their career.
In 2016, Cheap Trick was honored with a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To this day, they continue to influence countless bands with their power pop sound.
2. The Rolling Stones
An iconic name to remember, The Rolling Stones burst onto the music scene in 1962, forever changing the rock music landscape. With their electrifying hits like “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and albums like Let It Bleed, the band captured the world’s attention and solidified their place in rock history.
The Rolling Stones and The Beatles significantly influenced the music in the ‘60s. They both experimented with diverse musical genres like blues, R&B, psychedelic rock, and country, ultimately creating unique sounds.
In 1987, the group received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and with over 200 million records sold, The Rolling Stones gained a well-deserved spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989.
Related: Check out our list of the best Beatles albums here.
3. The Monkees
In the mid-1960s, The Monkees became popular, capturing hearts with their catchy tunes and magnetic charm. The band was first created as a fictional group for a sitcom, The Monkees, inspired by The Beatles.
Since the band was created keeping The Beatles in mind, their music and image were designed to have similar infectious energy and appeal. Despite the fictional aspect, The Monkees rose to fame for many of their hit songs, including “I’m a Believer” and “Daydream Believer.”
The Monkees often interacted with The Beatles, including recording sessions. Thus, the two bands not only had a similar image but a personal connection as well.
The British rock band Badfinger emerged in the late 1960s, eventually releasing some of their memorable hits such as “Come and Get It,” “No Matter What,” and “Baby Blue” in the 1970s.
The band’s music was heavily influenced by The Beatles, with similar melodic songwriting, vocal harmonies, and catchy tunes. Badfinger members also collaborated with The Beatles on various occasions, including John Lennon’s album Imagine.
Additionally, both bands were signed to the same record label, Apple Records. In fact, “Come and Get It” was written and produced by The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, who specifically penned the song for the band.
5. The Beach Boys
Credited with shaping the California Sound, The Beach Boys emerged in the 1960s, charming the world with their harmonious tunes and youthful exuberance.
Consisting of the Wilson brothers—Brian, Dennis, and Carl—along with their cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine, The Beach Boys wove a tapestry of unforgettable hits, including “Surfin’ USA,” “Good Vibrations,” and their groundbreaking album, Pet Sounds.
The two bands had a creative rivalry that led to a fascinating exchange of ideas, with The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds inspiring The Beatles to create their magnum opus, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Both bands experimented with complex arrangements and innovative recording techniques, shaping the future of rock and pop music for generations to come.
6. The Kinks
Hailing from London, The Kinks emerged as one of the most influential and enduring British rock bands of the 1960s. Formed by brothers Ray and Dave Davies, along with Pete Quaife and Mick Avory, The Kinks captivated audiences with their unique blend of rock and pop.
The Kinks, like The Beatles, were known for their innovative songwriting and distinctive sound, with both bands creating memorable hooks and sing-along choruses that resonated with their fans.
Both bands experimented with different musical styles and became some of the most influential rock bands of their time. Some of their classics include “You Really Got Me,” “Lola,” and “Sunny Afternoon.” Give these a listen!
7. The Zombies
Formed in 1961 in St. Albans, UK, The Zombies are known for their haunting melodies and distinctive sound that captured the era’s spirit.
The Zombies created intricate harmonies and memorable songwriting, which helped them gain fame. Hits such as “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No,” and their psychedelic masterpiece “Time of the Season” left a lasting impression on fans even today
Like The Beatles, the Zombies experimented with different musical styles, like how their album Odessey and Oracle incorporated baroque pop, psychedelic rock, and jazz elements. Both bands are remembered as innovative forces in the history of rock music today.
8. Electric Light Orchestra
British rock band Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) was formed in the early 1970s by Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, and Bev Bevan. They rose to fame with their unique fusion of rock, pop, and classical music, incorporating orchestral instruments such as strings, woodwinds, and brass.
ELO’s most notable hits include “Mr. Blue Sky,” “Evil Woman,” “Don’t Bring Me Down,” and “Telephone Line.” Lynne, the primary creative force behind ELO, has often cited The Beatles as his main inspiration for songwriting and arranging.
In the late 1980s and 1990s, Lynne worked closely with The Beatles’ George Harrison on his solo album Cloud Nine. They both were also members of the supergroup Traveling Wilburys.
9. The Who
Another legendary British rock band similar to The Beatles is The Who, formed by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and Keith Moon in the early 1960s. They’re known for their explosive live performances, with a string of hits such as “My Generation,” “Pinball Wizard,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Both The Who and The Beatles experimented with different forms of rock music using various techniques, pioneering the concept album format, like The Who’s Tommy and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. In addition to mutual admiration, both bands occasionally attended each other’s shows.
10. The Byrds
Forming in the mid-1930s, American rock band The Byrds played a significant role in developing folk rock and country rock. Known for their jangly guitar sound and tight vocal harmonies, the band produced hits such as “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!,” and “Eight Miles High.”
The Byrds were often considered the American counterpart to The Beatles during the 1960s. The Beatles heavily influenced them, particularly their early work, which you can hear in The Byrds’ use of 12-string Rickenbacker guitars.
Both The Byrds and The Beatles had a profound and lasting impact on popular music, shaping the course of the 1960s and beyond. These two iconic bands revolutionized the music scene in their own unique ways, leaving a glorious mark on the industry.
11. The Hollies
Another British rock band from the 1960s is The Hollies. Their work is reminiscent of The Beatles in how they utilized harmonies to create engaging songs that resonated with audiences. The original lineup included Allan Clarke, Graham Nash, Tony Hicks, Eric Haydock, and Bobby Elliott.
Both bands focused on melodic, catchy pop-rock songs that appealed to a wide audience, with memorable choruses that made their music instantly recognizable.
The Hollies had a lasting impact on popular music in their over six-decade career. With hits such as “Bus Stop,” “Carrie Anne,” and “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother,” they continue to be cherished and celebrated for their enduring musical legacy.
12. Paul McCartney And Wings
Paul McCartney and Wings, or just Wings, was a rock band formed in 1971 by former Beatles member Paul McCartney, his wife Linda, and guitarist Denny Laine.
Despite the various lineup changes throughout its existence, the band produced hits such as “Band on the Run,” “Live and Let Die,” and “Silly Love Songs.”
There are some obvious similarities and connections with The Beatles, primarily due to McCartney’s involvement in both bands, especially his signature songwriting and distinctive voice
Wings occasionally featured collaborations with other Beatles members. Former Beatles producer George Martin worked with Wings on several occasions, most notably the Wings’ James Bond theme “Live and Let Die.”
In the early 1990s, the British rock band Oasis emerged as part of the Britpop movement, with core members Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher, Paul Arthurs, Paul McGuigan, and Tony McCarroll. They are famously known for their hit songs “Wonderwall” and “Don’t Look Back in Anger.”
The Beatles heavily influenced Oasis in songwriting, melodies, and harmonies. The band’s primary songwriter, Gallagher, often cited The Beatles as his main inspiration.
Oasis frequently paid homage to The Beatles in their music and performances. However, the band faced backlash on some occasions when Gallagher declared that Oasis was “bigger than The Beatles” at the height of their fame. He later admitted to being high when he made the comment and apologized.
Summing Up Our List of Bands Like the Beatles
The Beatles have significantly impacted many bands and musicians across generations. From the British Invasion to the Britpop movement, bands like The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and Oasis have all been influenced by The Beatles’ groundbreaking music and style in one way or another.
Whether you’re a fan of The Beatles or not, you can explore these 13 bands to discover diverse sounds and styles reminiscent of the timeless band. Like us, you’ll probably end up with a couple of new favorites! Enjoy!