10 Beatles Songs That Could Pass For Indie Rock

There are various kinds of sounds that we associate with Sixties music, whether it’s the tinny simplicity of early Sixties Rock & Roll or the keyboardy lugubriousness of late Sixties psychedelia, and the Beatles catalogue is laden with a lot of these sounds. They have a lot of material, as great as it is, that definitely sounds like it belongs to a particular time in history.

Of course there are plenty of Beatles songs that have no such sonic timestamp, songs that sound like they could have been produced this morning, especially given a contemporary music scene that is rife with sonic exploration and adventurousness. Here are some of the tracks that could even fall under the category we know today as Indie Rock. They are all brilliant songs, of course, so when I say they could pass for Indie Rock I mean they could pass for brilliant Indie Rock of the highest order.


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10. I’m Only Sleeping

Not only does it sound a lot like Indie Rock, the subject and theme is also pretty standard Indie fare. I’ve always imagined Alex Turner and Arctic Monkeys swaggering through this one.


9. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey

Of course if someone made this today they would use a cowbell instead of a hand bell for full ironic value.


8. Taxman

Yes but which Indie guitarist could come close to duplicating McCartney’s explosive 12-second guitar solo, one of the best solos ever on a melting-face-per-second basis? Also, do you figure Beck has listened to this track a few times?


7. Sexy Sadie

This one’s got Radiohead written all over it, in fact, Karma Police borrows whole sections of the chord sequence, not to mention the sound and the feel of it.


6. I’ve Just Seen A Face

Marcus Mumford would have sold his grandmother to make a record like this. High-energy folk? Been there, done that.


5. Revolution

What indie band couldn’t make a simple little Rocker like this, right? Could they also deliver such an eternally famous lesson on the dangers of extremism? Not so simple after all.


4. Helter Skelter

People call this track the Father of Metal but I think it’s more like the Father of Grunge. The backing vocals in Queens of the Stone Age sound just like these, because Josh Homme is a very smart man.


3. Here Comes The Sun

This is the most popular Beatles track on Spotify at over 107 million spins, almost 30 million more than the next most popular song, which speaks volumes about its contemporary appeal. You can hear this kind of thing in the Sufjan Stevens wing of Indie Rock.


2. She Said She Said

The best indie rock record ever made. This one must leave hugely-talented Rockers like Dave Grohl and Stephen Malkmus gasping for air. The shifting tempo, the lyrics, that guitar sound, the unbelievable drumming – it just doesn’t get any better than this.


1. Come Together

This is the second-most popular Beatles track on Spotify, and it’s also one of the coolest, hippest songs they ever made, free from all that earnest love love love stuff. It’s got distinctly brilliant elements that couldn’t even come close to being duplicated, ever.


Honorable Mentions

Hey Bulldog
And Your Bird Can Sing
Dr. Robert
Glass Onion
It’s All Too Much
Dear Prudence
Long Long Long
Baby You’re A Rich Man
Getting Better

Photo credit: By Parlophone Music Sweden [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons


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