The Beatles went on to influence many bands and artists but who were the Beatles influenced by. In the seventh part of a series we will look at some of the influences who made it on to the Beatles Anthology albums and beyond.

On our mission to find out exactly who influenced the music of the Beatles we have already looked through their studio albums and their Live At The BBC album to find the songs the Beatles covered, as those go some way to showing the bands/artists that the Beatles were influenced by.

Having exhausted those avenues it is now time to turn our attentions to other songs the Beatles covered and are available on various compilation albums.

On the Anthology 1 album the Beatles have covered songs either written by or originally performed by Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Tony Sheridan, Milton Ager, Jack Yellen, Coasters, Leiber & Stoller, Fats Domino, Mitch Murray, Carl Perkins, Barrett Strong, Smokey Robinson, Chuck Berry, Meredith Wilson, Isley Brothers, Little Richard, Shirelles and Johnny Preston. Anthology 2 has the Beatles run through cover versions of songs by Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins, while Anthology 3 has them run through songs by  Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Little Richard and Carl Perkins.

 

Image via Wikipedia

Besides those there are still a number of songs that the Beatles, particularly in their very early career, covered, but with the above information and that already gathered from their studio albums and the Live At The BBC album a  lot can be answered as to who influenced the Beatles.

And this is the whole point, the Beatles music was a huge influence on a number of bands and artists that came after the Beatles and in the main that is because of the uniqueness of the Beatles music and conversely the Beatles uniqueness came from who they were influenced by melding together to become something new and exciting.

We have already noted that it was only really up until the point of recording Rubber Soul that the Beatles would perform cover versions and record them also. After Rubber Soul it wasn’t long before they stopped touring and became a ‘studio’ band and let their imagine run wild to create music that would truly shape the music world from that day forth. But what came later had to have been based on what came before – it didn’t just magically appear from nowhere.

That is the crux of the matter! There is a tendency for people to focus on the Beatles later work and almost disregard the earlier work – how many times have we heard people talk up the Sgt Pepper’s album and the White album – but without their earlier work would the Beatles have been able to progress to doing what they were doing in the latter part of their career?

 

Cover of Rubber Soul (1990)

If the Beatles music from Rubber Soul to Abbey Road was the music that changed the world, the Beatles would not have been able to compose such music had they not already learned the ropes with their previous efforts, which would not have happened as it did had it not been for all of the things they were influenced by influencing them.

The Beatles musical journey from the Quarrymen to Hamburg, from recording Please Please Me to making the two films A Hard Day’s Night and Help!, from stopping touring to becoming a studio band, from releasing Sgt Pepper’s to the White Album, from Let It Be to Abbey Road, and everything else in between, was a journey that progressed quickly and sharply. It is hard to believe that what the Beatles achieved in their career happened over such a short period as 7 years!

Without all of their early influences would the Beatles have been able to hone their craft the way they did and would they then have been able to create their own music to such a high extent as they did? Probably not, and for that reason alone we should not forget that those who influenced the Beatles are responsible for giving us the Beatles in the first place.

P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 26th of September 2011 and can be found by clicking HERE.