Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Phil here, with a post about my favorite band, The Beatles. They are also, thanks to me, my son's favorite band. It didn't take much effort on my part to convince him of the greatness of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

All I had to do was play a couple of songs. The best one to start with, of course, is Yellow Submarine. That's almost a no-brainer when it comes to children. Both my kids fell in love with that song the first time they heard it. Oh, and they love the movie too. I've made several Beatles mixes for my son, and he is happy to declare that "The Beatles are the greatest band in the history of the world!"

No, you are not going to hear any Beatles songs in this post. You've heard them all anyway. What you will find below are songs that are Beatlesque, or that which have a sound that is obviously inspired by The Beatles... Songs with strong melody, quirky or positive lyrics, orchestral flourishes and the like. I've sought these out to make mixes for the kids since they enjoy this style so much. It wasn't hard for me to find so many Beatlesque tunes... my collection is naturally full of them. The Beatles were the first rock band I ever started listening to, and now my kids can say the same.

First, a few songs from a disc called Two Lips by Dan Castellaneta. If that name sounds familiar, then you must watch The Simpsons. Dan is the voice of Homer, Krusty the Clown, Barney Gumble, and so many other characters. He's also a singer who loves The Beatles...

Dan Castellaneta - "Take A Little Time"
Dan Castellaneta - "Tulips"

Next, a group of studio musicians who got together to share their love of The Beatles. The Vinyl Kings recorded their "love letter" to the Fab Four in the form of A Little Trip and had so much fun (not to mention success) with it that they released a follow-up disc last year, Time Machine. These songs are from the former...

Vinyl Kings - "Here We Go Again"
Vinyl Kings - "Chocolate Cake"

Next we have Jon Brion, a singer who is becoming better known for his film scores and his producing skills, having worked with artists such as Aimee Mann, Dido, Evan Dando, and Rufus Wainwright. When he does step in front of the microphone, his songs always have a Beatlesque sensibility to them. These tracks are from his scores to the films I Heart Huckabees and Punch-Drunk Love...

Jon Brion - "Knock Yourself Out"
Jon Brion - "Overture to Punch-Drunk Love"

Last, Candy Butchers, a power pop band led by singer-songwriter Mike Viola. In a better world these guys would be superstars. All they've done is release three near-perfect albums of thoughtful, intelligent, and catchy songs, but they're always mentioned as "the guy who sang That Thing You Do in that movie." Here are tracks from their CDs Hang On Mike and Play With Your Head... I must warn you, the song "Sparkle!" is incredibly infectious...

Candy Butchers - "Sparkle!"
Candy Butchers - "Ruby's Got A Big Idea"

Oh, and here's that song that gave Mike his big payday. It was written by Adam Schlesinger of Fountains Of Wayne...

The Wonders (Mike Viola) - "That Thing You Do"


deb in sf said...

Phil! What a totally great post! What a beautiful bunch of songs! So awesome. Thanks!

Veronique said...

Love this post :-)
It always cracks me up to see what the kids will glom on to. For us it's been the Beastie Boys, Queen, and the Ramones ("I wanna be sedated!" -- they belt that one out at top volume in the most inapropriate places...)

Mike said...

Great post thanks. On a Beatles theme, and with December 25th coming over the horizon, a must for Beatles fans large and small is The Fab Four. They do carols and traditional xmas tunes in the style of the Beatles. They are hard to get hold of over here in the UK but I believe they are readily available in the US. Worth investigation.

Hannelie said...

Loved it Phil. I got to know the Beatles because they were my mum's favorite band too, dad was a drummer in a band and many Beatles songs got played too.
I love songs that 'tell a story' or have a meaning. Many pop songs got the beat but at the end you wonder now what were they singing about again?
Congrats again for a wonderfull post.