Friday, July 27, 2012

Can You Take Beatle Love Too Far?

I suppose we all have hundreds of songs that would fit on a post such as this, but these are three examples of taking the Beatle influence to almost ridiculous heights. Still, I'm a sucker for the "Mop-Top" sound, and I have fallen for many songs from the following bands.

Puffy AmiYumi (or Puffy, as the band is known in their native Japan) is a female duo known as much for their TV work as their music, but I'm not familiar with any of their shows. I got into them because I'm a big Jellyfish fan, and former band member Andy Sturmer is the musical puppet master behind these gals... as both a writer and a producer. Guilty pleasure, to be sure, but I highly recommend the compilation 'An Illustrated History.'

The Spongetones have somehow managed to produce power pop for the past three decades, but I only know the band's early output. The first album, 'Beat Music,' is a real keeper, but you would think it came out of Liverpool in 1964, not North Carolina circa 1982.

For much of his career, Todd Rundgren has been paying homage to the Fab Four. A couple of his widely known covers have come from the Beatles' later years, such as "Rain" and "Strawberry Fields Forever." In 1980, however, with his band Utopia, he created 'Deface the Music,' an entire album of originals that sounded like 'Please Please Me' outtakes.

Is Beatle love all you need? Can you take it too far? Is it acceptable for bands to wear musical influences so far up their sleeves? Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? Are these just imitations? Tributes? What do you think?

Puffy AmiYumi - That's The Way It Is/Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi (mp3)
The Spongetones - She Goes Out With Everybody (mp3)
Utopia - I Just Want to Touch You (mp3)

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