The musically influential Beatles had their own sources of inspiration, both predecessors and peers. In reading Steve Turner’s “The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write,” subtitled “the stories behind every song,” this becomes clear.
The members of the group were quite open about how a piece was transformed into their own creations. Sometimes when you know, you relisten to the Fab Four’s take, you say, “Oh, I hear that NOW,” almost never before that, which was their brilliance; they stole very well.
Sometimes they ripped off themselves.
Paperback Writer (snippet):
John called this ‘Son of ‘Day Tripper‘… The bass became the most prominent instrument on the track.
He suggests compare this to music of Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding. From the Wikipedia: John Lennon demanding to know why the bass on a certain Wilson Pickett record far exceeded the bass on any Beatles records.
The backgrounds harmonies were inspired by the Beach Boys’ album Pet Sounds. The Beatles can be heard singing Frère Jacques.
I always felt the Pleasant Valley Sunday by the Monkees had the same story-song feel.
Taxman: (a cover here)
It has been suggested that the theme music to the TV series Batman may have been an influence.
Now that it’s pointed out, I sorta kinda hear it.
Paul had been particularly taken by the shimmering quality of ‘God Only Knows‘ and wanted to write a number that captured the same mood.
The Beach Boys/Beatles competition, of course, is legendary. This is a nice song, but score one for the Beach Boys.
The specific song that inspired it was ‘‘Daydream’, the Lovin’ Spoonful’s first British hit. “Daydream’ itself it was inspired by the Tamla beat on songs such as ‘Where Did Our Love Go‘ and ‘Baby Love‘ that the Lovin’ Spoonful heard while touring America with the Supremes.
That John Sebastian of the Spoonful didn’t realize the theft shows how adept the Beatles were in blending different sources.