12 Bands Like The Beatles to Check Out if you Love the 60s Rock

The Beatles are as iconic to music as Ford is to the evolution of cars. The Beatles have inspired countless generations of musicians and are responsible for the greatest innovation in rock music. Here is a list of bands like The Beatles you should check out.

bands like the beatles
NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 8: The Beatles at a photo shoot the day before their first appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW. From left: Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon. Image dated February 8, 1964. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)

From their very beginning, The Beatles’ have been important for the evolution of music. The band was started as a Skiffle group known as ‘The Quarrymen’ by John Lennon in 1956. Lennon was then joined by the iconic Paul McCartney. Eventually, guitarist George Harrison and later the drummer Ringo Starr joined the band during their second stint in Germany.

The band was one of the earliest to play in a jam-packed stadium and after a successful touring career, quit touring to focus on making more music. As a result, The Beatles released one of the greatest albums of all time -Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (#1 until 2003, currently #24) according to “Rolling Stone” magazine. In 1967, Rolling Stone journalist Langdon Winner quoted, “The closest Western Civilization has come to unity since the Congress of Vienna in 1815 was the week the ‘Sgt. Pepper’ album was released.”

The band was known to breaking boundaries. In the 60s era, music videos were completely non-existent and The Beatles were the first artist in the world to create music videos. In their repertoire of 13 studio albums, 36 EPs, and 63 singles, the band didn’t stick to any particular genre and had a wide range of songs. From ‘Across the Universe’ to ‘Helter Skelter’, from ‘Julia’ to ‘Back in the U.S.S.R.’, from ‘Something’ to ‘Hey Jude’, etc. are evident of the fact. The Beatles broke up in 1970. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr still continue to make music and perform worldwide with their respective bands. All the four Beatles had a successful solo career and later on were also part of other bands.

Bands Similar to The Beatles:

  • The Rolling Stones
  • Pink Floyd
  • Queen
  • The Who
  • Beach Boys
  • Led Zepplin
  • Badfinger
  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
  • Electric Light Orchestra
  • Travis
  • Goldspot

Also Check Out: 11 Bands Like MGMT You Should Check Out If You Like Electropop

1. The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones came in existence during the same period as The Beatles and was considered as its fierce rival during a considerable period of time. Both the bands emerged in the U.S in what was known in the music industry as the British Invasion and were massively successful. The difference between the two was simple. The Beatles were a pop group whereas the Rolling Stones were a rock group. There were many rumors regarding the band’s rivalry but the band mates were in fact good friends. Lennon-McCartney even wrote a successful single for the Rolling Stones, “I Wanna be Your man”.

Formed in 1962, the band still exists though there have been few changes in the line-up over the years. The rockstar Mick Jagger is still the band’s frontman. along with living legends like Keith Richards (since 1962), Charlie Watts (since 1963) and Ronnie Wood (since 1975). If you’re looking for bands similar to The Beatles, the Rolling Stones is a good choice.

2. Pink Floyd

Another English rock band from the 60’s, Pink Floyd originated in London in the year 1965. Pink Floyd as one of the earliest psychedelic groups along with The Beatles. Syd Barrett, Nick Mason, Roger Waters, Richard Wright and Bob Klose were the founding members of the band with David Gilmour who replaced Syd Barrett in 1967. Pink Floyd first burst into the UK underground scene with their long psychedelic compositions and released their first album “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” in 1967, which has a cult following, even to this day.

After Waters quit the band in 1985, the band was led by Gilmour until 1994. In 2005, the band performed at Live 8 with Waters, Gilmour, Mason and Wright as Pink Floyd after 24 years. It was the final time the four would play together. The band released their last album in 2014 as a tribute to Richard Wright who passed away in 2008. David Gilmour announced in 2015 that the band was finally dissolved and won’t make a comeback. Pink Floyd is one of the best bands like The Beatles you could listen to.

3. Queen

Queen is another great band that has its roots in the UK. In the late 60s, guitarist Brian May formed a group known as “Smile” along with singer and bass player Tim Stafell and keyboardist Chris Smith. Roger Taylor, the drummer auditioned and joined the group. Two years later Stafell quit the group and in came Farrokh Bulsara, a design student and a fan of the band. The whole world now knows Bulsara as the legend ‘Freddie Mercury’.

The popular rock band was later joined by John Deacon as its bass player. Queen has released 15 studio albums, 11 live albums, 2 EPs and 72 singles till date. In 1991, Freddie Mercury died due to AIDS complications and bassist John Deacon quit the band soon after. The line-up of Taylor and May continue to perform with Adam Lambert as vocalist. The band’s legendary performance at Live aid is considered as the best live performance by any act on earth. Known for crowd favorite tracks like ‘We Will Rock you’, ‘We are the Champions’ etc. the band’s story was depicted in the 2018 movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” which garnered lots of positive reviews and also won four Academy awards amongst others. If you’re looking for bands similar to the The Beatles, you should definitely check out Queen.

4.The Who

Another Brit band in the series and also from the same era, the 60s! Formed in 1964 in London, their classic line-up was formed by Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Genres associated with the band are extensive but most of The Who’s music has revolved around rock and power pop. The Who is often regarded as the band that introduced the use of the synthesizer as a major instrument in music.

In December 1979, The Who became the third band after The Beatles and The Band to feature on the cover of “Time” magazine. In 1983, Townshend announced that the Who has been disbanded. After a few one-off reunions, the band was reformed in 1999. The band has released 12 studio albums, 16 live albums, 4 EPs and 58 singles till date. Daltrey and Townshend are still keeping the band alive. Check out The Who if you’re looking for bands like The Beatles.

5. Beach Boys

A band from the 60s? Yes. Another British band? No. The Beach Boys was formed in California in 1961 by the Wilson Brothers (Brian, Dennis, cousin Carl) and Al Jardine. Known best for their vocal harmonies and genuine music, they are amongst the most influential rock bands of all time. As the British invasion made a huge impact in American pop culture, the Beach Boys were in direct competition with The Beatles and both the bands shared the same record label in the US. The group is best known for their studio album “Pet Sounds”.

“God Only Knows” from “Pet Sounds” was one of the favorite songs of former Beatle Paul McCartney. The Beach Boys have released 29 studio albums, 8 live albums, 23 EPs, and 71 singles. Their last studio album was released in 2012. The band’s current lineup includes Brian Wilson, Mike Love, Al Jardine, and Bruce Johnston.

6. Led Zeppelin

Another English band formed in the 60s consisting of Robert Plant, the legendary Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham, Led Zeppelin’s sound was heavily driven by electric guitar and is one of the most influential blues-rock, hard rock, heavy metal band ever. There is no hiding the fact that Led Zeppelin was as influential in the 70s as The Beatles were in the 60s until their break-up. The band “Queen” is hugely influenced by both The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Known for its flamboyant clothing and attitude, the band has its roots in twelve-bar blues.

The band sadly disbanded in 1980 after drummer John Bonham was found dead due to asphyxiation from vomit in Jimmy Page’s house where the band was rehearsing. The band has released 8 studio albums, 4 live albums and 16 singles. The final album released was “Coda” (1982) which was a compilation of outtakes from their previous recordings. Led Zepplin is one of the best bands like The Beatles you could give a listen to.

7. Badfinger

Badfinger was formed in Wales in 1969. The band was known as The Iveys from 1961 to 1969. They were the first band to be signed by Apple Records, which was owned by The Beatles. The band recorded and toured extensively until 1973 when Apple Records dissolved. Badfinger managed to record 5 studio albums in this period and sold over 14 million copies. They are known as one of the best power pop bands. After Apple Corps. dissolved, the band struggled with their management and royalties, etc. which resulted in the suicide of Pete Ham and Tom Evans. The band still managed to release 4 more studio albums and was disbanded in 1990. It’s relatively unknown band, but quite similar to The Beatles.

8. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

The band originated in Florida in 1976 and as the name suggests was lead by American pop legend Tom Petty. The original lineup comprised Tom Petty, Ron Blair, Mike Campbell, Stan Lynch and Benmont Tench. The band remained active until Petty’s death in 2017 and released 16 studio albums and 68 singles. The band toured extensively and performed for over 40 years. The band also performed 2 songs in “Concert for George”, a tribute concert organized as a tribute to former Beatle George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall in London on Harrison’s first death anniversary.

The band was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. It was their first year of eligibility as well. In an interview in 2016, Petty stated that the band will only disband if one of the members dies or gets too ill to perform and the band eventually broke in 2017 after Petty’s death.

9. Electric Light Orchestra

Headed by legendary producer Jeff Lynne, the band spanned in various timelines (1970-83, 84-86, 2000-01, 14-present). Jeff Lynne has been associated with the Beatles in various projects but is better known for producing two additional and final tracks The Beatles recorded for the Anthology project in the 90s, “Free as a Bird” and “Real Love”. These 2 were recorded with the help of John Lennon demo tapes and all the 3 Beatles decided that Lynne will produce the tracks. According to All Music, their repertoire consists of Beatlesque pop, classical arrangements and futuristic iconography.

Lynne also worked with Harrison when they were part of the “Traveling Wilburys” supergroup along with Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Bob Dylan. George’s son Dhani also tours with the ELO on various occasions and also inducted the group in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

10. Eagles

Eagles are one of the most successful American Bands, formed in 1971 in LA. The band has won six Grammy Awards, five American Music Awards, and has five number-one singles and six number-one albums. The band has made surprising comebacks on more than one occasion (1994 and 2017). The band was formed by Don Henley (1971-present), Bernie Leadon (1971-75, 2013-16) & Randy Meisner (1971-77) and had various changes in the lineup over the years.

The band has released 7 studio albums, 2 live albums, and 30 singles. The current lineup includes Don Henley, Joe Walsh (1975-present), Timothy Schmit (1977-present), Deacon Frey (2017-present) and Vince Gill (2017-present). Other touring members are John Corey, Scott F Crago, Will Hollis, Steuart Smith and Michael Thompson. The Eagles are almost as iconic as The Beatles and you should definitely give them a listen.

11. Travis

Travis is a Scottish rock band formed in 1990 with a lineup of Fran Healy, Dougie Payne, Andy Dunlop, and Neil Primrose. The name of the band is inspired by a character from the movie, “Paris, Texas”. Originally the band was named as “Glass Onion” inspired by the Beatles song of the same name. The band has taken its inspiration from the Beatles and most of its sound could be treated as Beatlesque. Their album “12 Memories” is compared to “Revolver” another masterpiece by the Beatles. The band has released 9 studio albums and a live album along with 24 singles.

12. Goldspot

Surprisingly, a band with an Indian origin! Goldspot was formed by Siddarth Khosla who is now a well-known composer with his background scores and original music for the renowned TV series, “This is us”. The music of the band gained popularity after it was picked by few TV shows and movies in their soundtrack such as “How I met Your Mother”, “Today’s Special”, etc. The name of the band is inspired by a now-defunct cold drink brand that was quite popular in India in the 90s.

The song “Friday” from their album “Tally of the yes men” was so popular globally that a radio DJ hailed it as “a classic and timeless gem… as George Harrison never left India”. The band has recorded 3 studio albums and 4 singles and has toured all over the world. All the albums were well received by the audience and the critics but are quite underrated. But the band has a Beatlesque sound for sure! Give Goldspot a listen if you’re looking for bands like the Beatles.

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