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I've always heard comparisons of Neil's songwriting to the Beatles but other than the fact that both have a knack for writing perfect pop songs I didn't really see it. That is until I received the Recurring Dreams CD last week and heard "Not the Girl You Think You Are" for the first time. That song more than any other I have heard sounds like something that the Beatles could have produced so that has prompted me to ask what other CH (or solo, Enz, etc.) songs remind you of the Beatles.
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Instinct has a very "Strawberry Fields" instrumental part near the end. I always think of the Beatles when I hear that. And I'll also agree with Not the Girl You Think You Are as something similar to what the Beatles might have come up with. Other than that however, there's not much in CH that really brings the Beatles to mind for me.
I thought the exact same thing, too, about Not The Girl. I saw the video online before I got it on cd and that was my very first thought! "Hmmm...very Beatle-y".

Often times I hear Lennon nuances in both CH and Neil solo. I've read on this board lots of people see McCartney influence, but I'm always just seeing Lennon.

There's something about Lester that sounds Beatlesque to me, too.
quote:
Originally posted by Martine:
[qb] Everything is Good for you and lately, I've been thinking Now We're Getting Somewhere---that just sounds so much like George Harrison circa 63/64 to me, it's uncanny. [/qb]
Oh right - I forgot about this. There's that little Paperback Writer guitar (or is it bass?) riff in Now We're Getting Somewhere. Ok, I stand corrected. Wink I still don't really think of the Beatles that much when I listen to CH though - I think the CH songs have a unique sound. Definitely very melodic like the Beatles, but not to the extent that I'm always being reminded of them. And I really don't hear the similarities to John Lennon in the vocals that a lot of people have mentioned.
quote:
Originally posted by Rain00:
[qb] Oh yeah, the piano intro of Left Hand always makes me think of Why Don't We Do It In The Road? ~! [/qb]
Seems I'm a completly music bonehead.
The intro of "left hand" always reminds me of "You can leave you're head on" from Joe Cocker...

please don't laugh about me Wink hahahahah
quote:
Originally posted by Sandra:
[qb] [QUOTE]
The intro of "left hand" always reminds me of "You can leave you're head on" from Joe Cocker...

please don't laugh about me Wink hahahahah [/qb]
Uh, Sandra, other than the Freudian slip, I am not laughing at you. I am laughing with you. Tell yourself that and all will be well with the world.


It's "You Can Leave Your Hat On"
Sandra - I would LOVE to meet you sometime. You crack me up, usually when I need a good laugh.

I can see definate Beatle influences in Neil's music. The thing that really strikes me is that Neil, like Paul M. has a happy talent for melody that is sadly lacking from most others. At the same time I can see Lennon's style in Kill Eye, Mansion in the Slums amoung others, but Neil Finn/Crowded House is Neil Finn/Crowded house. They have left their OWN indelable mark on the world. Just like John, Paul, George and Ringo.

I still contend that the Beatles were the most influential band ever.
quote:
Originally posted by Evvie:
[qb] No question for me--"I Love You Dawn" sounds amazingly like a Beatles tune, both in songwriting and in the very McCartneyesque vocal.

Evvie [/qb]
I second that, Evvie. The first time I heard it I stopped short for a moment and thought: wow...he sounds very much like Paul...
Taunt, tease and poke fun at me if you will, but I strongly believe that two songs Neil Finn performed live, Something and Norwegian Wood sound remarkably like something The Beatles would write! Ironic! Eeker

I agree with the comments about i love you dawn. And not the girl you think you are - a classic song I have finally got (understood) is brilliant & I sort of see the comparisons, but I never really thought of it. I'm more enclined to compare stuff TO Neil.

Also, never be the same, a song I have also FINALLY got (understood) is (IMO) somewhat Beatle-esque, especially (or only) in the backing vocals near the end where Neil (and possibly others) sing: "And everytime I hear you" and "And everytime I mess up" - that's classic Beatles harmony! Thoughts?
This topic of searching for the Beatles' sound in Crowded House songs is a most fascinating one and one that I have given a lot of thought to. I have always thought that "Better Be Home Soon" was an attempt to match the Beatles' "Yesterday"; "Something So Strong" seems to match up with "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "Let It Be" and "Fall At Your Feet" consist of very similar chords in similar order. There are others and one of the neat things that you could try is to mix your own cd switching off between Crowded House and Beatles' songs and the similarities will become apparent right away.
There are so many options in answering this question. Neil has always had McCartney-esque overtones to his writing, in his Enz work, his CH material, and also his solo stuff. But there are Lennon-overtones as well, particularly on the final album.

But what of it? The Beatles are influences on almost everyone, even those who don't like them all that much . . . Better the Beatles than the Stones, though.

So let's see . . .

"Kill Eye" is the most obvious example, from the separated stereo mix, the drumming, the guitar work, to the vocal -- the whole package screams REVOLVER-era Beatles.

There are some nice McCartney solo-era comparisons on TRY WHISTLING THIS, especially in the song structure of pieces such as the title track and "Loose Tongue," where things don't necessarily follow a verse-chorus-verse-chorus pattern. McCartney loved to piece together little bits and pieces into a song. Certainly, the liner notes of AFTERGLOW indicate that Neil was fond of the same method. When you listen to a 70s McCartney song like "Band on the Run" or "Uncle Albert / Admiral Hasley," the story line of the songs isn't really coherent, and one musical bit doesn't seem to go with the next, but it all seems to work in the end. And obviously Tim and Neil were listenning -- their cover of "Too Many People" being proof of that. And picking "Two Of Us" as a covertune too shows impecable good taste on the part of Neil as well.

Besides, what is the first FINN BROTHERS album but a tribute to the lo-fi, ramshackle spirit of McCartney's RAM album anyway? All they're missing is a big ol' sheep on the front cover.

"In My Command" and "Not the Girl You Think You Are" drift towards Lennon-land, but those are really diversions. Neil's heart seems to be with Sir Paul, and that's alright with me.
I've never really been convinced of the comparison with McCartney. Everytime I've heard echoes of The Beatles in Neil's music its been similarities to John. I agree with others on "Kill Eye", "In My Command" and "NTGYTYA", especially the latter. And then there's "Last Day Of June" and "SWHHW" where vocally I think he's uncannily like John. "SWHHW" even employs a similar delay effect that John liked to use.

Also "Try Whistling This" and "Addicted" both remind me slightly of solo Lennon, parts of the piano-playing echoing "Jealous Guy" and "God".

More than the songs themselves though I think its the qualities in Neil's voice that bring out the comparisons. He has that slightly rough, intimate quality to his voice that John had and both can convey genuine emotion in a more subtle way than most singers when required.
I thought I would bump this topic up....alot of good points here especially from Rabbi18:

This topic of searching for the Beatles' sound in Crowded House songs is a most fascinating one and one that I have given a lot of thought to. I have always thought that "Better Be Home Soon" was an attempt to match the Beatles' "Yesterday"; "Something So Strong" seems to match up with "I Want To Hold Your Hand"; "Let It Be" and "Fall At Your Feet" consist of very similar chords in similar order. There are others and one of the neat things that you could try is to mix your own cd switching off between Crowded House and Beatles' songs and the similarities will become apparent right away.
quote:
There are so many options in answering this question. Neil has always had McCartney-esque overtones to his writing, in his Enz work, his CH material, and also his solo stuff. But there are Lennon-overtones as well, particularly on the final album.


Thats pretty good .. not too far off being nail on the head stuff.

Would it be also fair to say that there was pretty much Beatles overtones running through a fair percentage of everything the Enz did from the word go?

The huge admiration certainly does appear here on Neil's face at the end of the Concert for Linda .. it's almost a "GOD!! i'm standing on the same stage as McCartney .. and there he is standing right in feckin front of me!!!..kinda looks.... He's just beaming. :-)




Concert For Linda - Finale
The most overtly Beatle-y CH song has to be Pineapple Head, which segued with near perfection into Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds during the 2007 tour. And In My Command is pure Lennon. But the most Beatlesque recordings Neil has done were solo recordings: Anytime, which seems in its studio version to be trying to sound like something from the White Album (to its detriment, actually--the live 7 Worlds version is so much better), and SWHHW, which takes its guitars, drums, and vocals straight off Revolver.
A big part of what makes "Not the Girl..." sound Beatlesque has nothing to do with the song - it's the double-tracked vocal. The Beatles were very fond of that technique, especially John, so I think many of us equate that vocal sound with the Fab Four. That's not to say that the song doesn't have Beatles elements - virtually all pop music does - but that's why this particular track sounds more overt than others.
quote:
'Not the Girl'' is the one for me.


I find myself agreeing .. I always loved this version of the song from Hessie's Shed

quote:
it's the double-tracked vocal. The Beatles were very fond of that technique, especially John


Yes thats true .. also he (John) hated the sound of his voice .. he thought his voice had too much nasal resonance .. he loved to add echo when recording .. this is very evident on the most brilliant album - The Beatles - Sgt Pepper Multi-tracks seperated .. especially the lead vocal on A Day in the life.
In addition to NTGYTYA and FSIOD, for some reason Mean to Me always sounded a little Beatlesey to me. Not sure why - maybe that scream before "I could not escape..." Wink But also when I played a concert cd of theirs during a car trip with my mom last year, my mom heard the similarity during the same song (and being the Americans that we are, the only songs she'd ever heard beforehand were DDIO and SSS, so hearing the Beatles was unexpected for her).
'Not The Girl' always reminded me more of Elliott Smith than the Beatles. To me, Neil sounds his most McCartneyesque during the bridge on English Trees.

I think Neil/CH aren't all that Beatlesque apart from their knack for crafting melodic songs. Chocolate Cake might be the closest I've heard them come to sounding like the Beatles.
A bit left of field this one, but I always hear Macca in All I Ask.
Definitely always heard Lennon in Kill Eye and Fame Is, as did a friend of mine way back that didn't know much Crowdies stuff.
I'm a big Beatles fan too, but something in me hates to think of the influence - i know that's weird and it's a personal thing with me. I must have some sort of condition.
This is a fun thread. My response, though, is to turn it around and wonder: which Beatles song is most Crowded House-esque?

Cry Baby Cry gets my vote. The acoustic guitar, the vocal phrasings, the melodic lines coupled with the weird minor and 7th chords, even the harmonium, all sound like elements of a Crowded House song ... I can hear in its DNA elements of Better Be Home Soon, She Goes On, Walking on the Spot, Nobody Wants To.
You know, it's funny. I used to think of Crowded House as "Beatle-esque" until I actually thought about it.

And now? Not at all.

The problem is, there are many shades and grades of Beatle-esque. In many ways, it's a Rohrschach Test of the listener (and of the band that's being compared, I guess). There are different ways that a group or an artist can be compared to the Beatles. There's the Lennon Beatles (a comparison with the style of song that he wrote and performed). There's the subset Lennon Vocals Beatles (where you compare the sound and quality of someone's voice with John Lennon). There's the psychedelic Beatles (where held A chords on the piano fade into nothingness or sound effects drift in and out of the musical landscape like so many leaves down the street drain, or backwards tape loops compete with snippets of musical fragments or a sitar plucks an odd musical scale while swirling phased effects zip from left ear to right). There's the McCartney Beatles (the dance hall vaudvillian or the wistful romanticist or the rather keening vocals that he was famous for). There's the '65 era Beatles where they played wooden music and told tales of post-adolescent love affairs and made certain chords that remain with us as rock and roll icons (such as the famous Fadd9 add McCartney's high D add George Martin's Steinway D2-G2-D3 opening of A Hard Day's Night), There's the way the Beatles put together Abbey Road, The white Album or Sgt. Pepper's. there's the chimey George Harrison or the mystic George Harrison or the Carl Perkins wannabe George Harrison and the goofy but sincere Ringo. There's the odd anti-syncopated beat that only Ringo could make when propelling a song, the odd miss-hit string that Harrison might deliver, that characteristic high lopey sound on bass that McCartney made famous.

Well, you get the idea.

While there are whispers (and moans) of Beatles, I really find it hard to call anything that CH or Neil Finn has done "Beatle-esque" (yeah, "Not the Girl..." might come the closest) . I'm not surprised that Neil seems just a shade puzzled when people talk about him being "Beatle-esque". He always seems to come off as not wanting to dismiss the idea completely, but I think that, as a musician, he has a hard time seeing anything past the obvious idea that most modern rock/pop acts owe more than a little of their gestalt to the Beatles.

Wow, all of that seems rather ponderous, and for that, I apologize.

Now, if you want to hear some "Beatle-esque" stuff that folds together some of the above concepts, you might try the first album from Future Clouds and Radar (Robert Harrison - ex. Cotton Mather). It's obvious that he sounds a lot like John Lennon, but the double album concept owes more than a small debt to The White Album and some of the songs sound, to my ears, quite "Beatle-esque". Of course, he's rather tired of the comparisons as well, but sorry Jocko, they are warranted. And my ears might be quite whack. That's always a possibility, especially since I haven't listened seriously to the Beatles in ages.
"Not the girl you think you are" does remind me of the Beatles and John Lennon sound, but not of any song of theirs in particular.

However, having said that I agree with your point Dave that the Beatles music was varied and often experimental. Therefore what sound is Beatles and what part of them can anyone or group be compared to?

I think Neil simply stands alone as himself as a great talent who is blessed with the ability to write great music, does fantastic arrangements and unusual and 'out of the square' lyrics. IMO Neil's ability to write words to songs is under appreciated. He doesn't necessarily follow the usual pattern of making things fully rhyme and doesn't necessarily have a timed pattern or sometimes in fact make total sense. But it works!!! Brilliant!!

I think he is one of the great songwriters of the world and the most correct analogy with the Beatles is that they could churn out brilliant song after song on any subject and so can he.
Been on a Beatles kick this last week... my love and interest waxes and wanes. Anyhow, "Not the Girl" is one of my least liked Ch songs, so I keep wondering if someone can find a Beatles-que song to compare that I actually like.

If I were to suggest one, off the top of my head I would go with "Now We're Getting Somewhere" as far as a straight ahead story told simply and well, like early period Beatles.
quote:
Originally posted by Martine:
"Now We're Getting Somewhere" has ALWAYS reminded me of a combination of George's "Everybody's Tryin to be my Baby" and Ringo's "Honey Don't"

I just go straight to those songs in my head whenever I hear NWGS, so Carl Perkin-ish/George Harrisongs-ish. Wink

Perhaps not lyrically or even musically, but the same swing


Most of that probably has to do with that guitar lick he plays going into the chorus. I've always thought that it was very Beatles For Sale/Beatles '65.

I was listening to a live version of See My Friends from Ray Davies "Storyteller" and was surprised to find the raga guitar part reminding me of some of Neil's live improvs for some reason (which seems weird to me). And he's been sounding awfully Neil Young-ish when it comes to solos at times recently.
Ok since we are all on the bandwagon. I'd have to admit that "Don't dream it's over" beginning reminds me of George Harrison's "while my guitar gently weeps." beginning, but it doesn't remind of it for long and digresses quite quickly.

And "Instinct" reminds me of INIXS.

Come to think of it, the words at the beginning of "Love you till the day I die" and the entire "There goes God" reminds me of .... some bible bashers I ran into once.. Does that count? Big Grin

<==== And while I'm here on my soapbox, I'd just like to mention that I don't think a cute little ducky like me should be referred to as a "pitted rino". No, does not fit my cutie persona. No, really. Razzer
quote:
Originally posted by Fluffee Duckee
the words at the beginning of "Love you till the day I die" and the entire "There goes God" reminds me of .... some bible bashers I ran into once


- not unless it was Reverend Lennon and Cardinal McCartney.

Pineapple Head V (god there I go again when 'and' would do) Norwegian Wood.

Apologies if this was suggested earlier but I haven't got time to wade through 4 pages - supposed to be doing online banking but got sidetracked. TMI.
quote:
Originally posted by BART:

Pineapple Head V (god there I go again when 'and' would do) Norwegian Wood.

Apologies if this was suggested earlier but I haven't got time to wade through 4 pages - supposed to be doing online banking but got sidetracked. TMI.


I did suggest this back on page 2, but it's really nice to have somebody agree with me at last! Big Grin
I have always found the white album similar to many Finn songs. Now I've come up with an (unfinished) album with tracks by the Finns that closely match the white album song of the respective position. Beatles track names are in initials. This is partly inspired by Frenz comments.

Key
M: Similar melody
E: Simlar effects or instrumention
L: Similar lyrics
F: Similar feel

1. Shark Attack (BITUSSR) (F,L)
2. Falling Dove (DP) (F,M,E)
3. Souvenir (GO) (L)
4. Fraction Too Much Fiction (OLDOLD) (F)
5. Mental Notes (WHP) (F,E,L)
6. ? (TCSOBB)
7. Fingers of Love (WMGGW) (F,L,E)
8. Faster Than Light (HIAWG) (L)
9. My Mistake (MMD) (F,M,E)
10. ? (IST)
11. Time Immemorial (BB) (F,L)
12. ? (P)
13. ? (RR)
14. Evelyn (DPMB) (F,M,E)
15. Left Hand (WDWDIOTR) (F,M,E)
16. Lester (IW) (F,E)
17. A Sigh (F,L)
18. Weather With You (B) (F)
19. ? (MNS)
20. ? (EGSTHEMAMM)
21. ? (SS) If I'd included Finn friends, I would definitely pick Karma Police
22. Abu Dhabi (HS) (F,L,E,M)
23. Addicted (LLL) (E,F)
24. Chocolate Cake (R1) (L)
25. Late Last Night (HP) (F)
26. Dr. Livingstone (ST) (F,E)
27. Italian Plastic (CBC) (E)
28. Under The Wheel (R9) (F)
29. I Found It (GN) (F)
quote:
Originally posted by stuartjb:
I always think It's only Natural would fit nicely on Rubber Soul.

I agree that the harmonies sound like something from Rubber Soul. But don't you think the bassline is too prominent for a Rubber Soul track? It sounds more like what Paul McC. was doing around the time of Revolver, playing melodic octave figures that intertwine with George's (or John's) arpeggio guitar notes in songs like Rain or And Your Bird Can Sing ... but that's just pedantic old me!

Here's an outlier for a Beatles sound-alike: Heaven That I'm Making. With its sitar, acoustic guitar, and Fender Rhodes organ-sounding hurdy gurdy, it almost sounds like a first cousin-once-removed of a lost Rubber Soul track.
quote:
Originally posted by Beajai:
quote:
Originally posted by BART:

Pineapple Head V (god there I go again when 'and' would do) Norwegian Wood.

Apologies if this was suggested earlier but I haven't got time to wade through 4 pages - supposed to be doing online banking but got sidetracked. TMI.


I did suggest this back on page 2, but it's really nice to have somebody agree with me at last! Big Grin


I've thought that as well since the very first time I heard Pineapple Head.
quote:
Originally posted by adidasman:
A big part of what makes "Not the Girl..." sound Beatlesque has nothing to do with the song - it's the double-tracked vocal. The Beatles were very fond of that technique, especially John, so I think many of us equate that vocal sound with the Fab Four. That's not to say that the song doesn't have Beatles elements - virtually all pop music does - but that's why this particular track sounds more overt than others.


Sorry, but I think it's got a lot to do with the chord structure,melody and harmonies !

My wife once heard ntgytya on a crowdies Mix tape I had, and wanted to know why I had put a Beatles song on a crowded house tape.for me that says it all really .help/or rubber soul era for me .
The most Beatlesque song is obviously "Something" (So Strong....)



*rim shot*



Yes, I went for the joke, but how could I not? Especially when shortly after George Harrison's death Neil performed their "Something" after a fan called out for it. (The fan could have been asking for SSS, but the world will never know for sure.)

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