I recall back in the 1980s having a conversation with a young woman who was in a '60s-style garage band who told me that she didn't care for the Beatles. Pushing aside for a minute that to my ears that's like being a baker who doesn't like bread, i do recollect that she did cop to enjoying one Fab Four song: "Tomorrow Never Knows." A revolutionary recording in so many ways, this number, basically the Tibetan Book of the Dead marinated in LSD, is still the go-to Beatles tune for those music types normally too cool for that "yeah-yeah-yeah!" teenybopper candy. And if we've learned anything in these Fake Beatles posts, it's that distinctive means easily copied. (All songs MP3)
Los Shakers: "Espero Que Les Guste 042" The title of this track from 1966's Shakers for You LP translates to "I hope you like it 042" (and no, they probably don't know what the 042 refers to, either). As for the Fabuloso Cuatro de Uruguay, i've been gathering Fake Beatles for about 30 years, and Los Shakers are, hands down, the greatest synthesizers of both the early Fabs and the later psychedelic era. Surely done with a tenth of the time and budget expended on the original, "Espero," thanks to Los Shakers' Spanish-accented English lyrics, comes off as just as lyrically obtuse as those mystical insights John Lennon cribbed from a book whilst tripping.
Matthew Sweet: Lost My Mind From 1995's 100% Fun album, this bit of neo-psych musing from this pop prince has all the requisite trippy trappings. That includes lyrics such as "We follow the same sound / Standing on the ground," which would mean less than nothing if you've never had a Love Special Delivery from Alice Dee and didn't spend your £sd to acquire a London Social Degree.
Squire: No Time Tomorrow This '80s mod revival band, as befitting the resurrected '60s genre, worshiped all things Who and Small Faces. Yet leader Anthony Meynell also displayed a serious Beatles hankering, with songs veering from the "Please Please Me" rewrite of "The Face of Youth Today" to 1982's "No Time Tomorrow," on which his phased vocals and droning guitars and McCartneyesque bass line justifies the tipoff word "tomorrow" in the title of this tune that doles out about 25 percent to the "Taxman" as well. Extra points for the Beethoven's Ninth intro; points deducted for introducing too much melody (and a bridge) into the track.
The Rutles: Joe Public Of course, Neil Innes had to introduce a little Ron Nasty-ness into the mix. "Joe Public" is an Innes solo composition that he Rutle-ized for 1996's Archaeology comeback album. A lovely and lovingly rendered addition to the Pre-Fab Four canon, the song's lyrics are of a soicopolitical instead of metaphysical bent. More funny-peculiar than funny-ha-ha, "Joe Public" carries on the Rutles' winning streak and marks Innes' completion of every Beatles archetype.
The Chemical Brothers: Setting Sun and The Chemical Brothers: Let Forever Be If you held a Revolver to their temples, this electronic music duo would be forced to admit to owing their entire existence to "Tomorrow Never Knows." Therefore, it's unsurprising that they have turned off their minds, relaxed and floated downstream on two separate musical occasions. It also surprises no one that they employed the vocal assistance of one Noel Gallagher, a man who surely knows a thing or two about faking the Fab. "Setting Sun," from 1996, got them sued by Apple, who mistakenly accused the Chem Bros. of sampling the original. How did they celebrate their victory? By going at it again with 1999's "Let Forever Be," once again using the Oasis leader to season their song.