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The Romantics and the Beatles (Read 1493 times)
Ken_Cheng
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The Romantics and the Beatles
Feb 18th, 2005 at 3:41am
 
The Beatles were among the greatest influences on the Romantics.  From the Romantics' sound to their image to their choice of musical instruments, it's clear that the Fab Four were their primary inspiration.

We know that the Romantics were admirers of the Beatles.  Do you think any of the Beatles have heard the Romantics' music?  What would their opinions have been on the Romantics?  John Lennon lived long enough to possibly have heard the debut album.  I wonder if he, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr heard echoes of their early sound in the Romantics' records?

Being a fan of both bands, I would've loved to have heard the Romantics cover a few early Beatles tunes.  Imagine Romantics versions of "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "I Saw Her Standing There", "I Wanna Be Your Man", and "All My Loving".   Smiley

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Rob
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #1 - Feb 18th, 2005 at 6:48am
 
I think the early Romantics were compared to the Beatles because of that pop sound, and the fact 3 of the 4 (Wally, Jimmy, Rich) could sing lead.   Wally didn't like the comparison, and once commented a song like I Am The Walrus could never be done by the Romantics.
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Ken_Cheng
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #2 - Feb 18th, 2005 at 11:11am
 
Quote:
I think the early Romantics were compared to the Beatles because of that pop sound, and the fact 3 of the 4 (Wally, Jimmy, Rich) could sing lead.   Wally didn't like the comparison, and once commented a song like I Am The Walrus could never be done by the Romantics.


Wally's reservations can be understood.  Being compared to the Beatles is an extremely heavy albatross for *any* other band to bear...be they the Romantics, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, the Eagles, Nirvana, or anybody else.  Who in their right mind would want to go up against the legacy of rock's greatest band ever? 

And indeed, "I Am The Walrus" was something a bit beyond the scope of the Romantics.

That being said, I think the Romantics are probably one of two bands (the other being Badfinger) that most accurately captured the sound and spirit of the Beatles' pre-RUBBER SOUL sound.  Like the Beatles, the Romantics were a unit of solid songwriters, singers, and performers.  In many ways, the Romantics were the 1980s heirs of the early 1960s Beatles Merseybeat sound, albeit filtered through the pub rock sound of the 1970s. 

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oldfriend
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #3 - Feb 18th, 2005 at 11:28am
 
I don't think that the Beatles in particular were the Romantic's primary influence. I think it was the british invasion in general. I know fore sure that back then Wally was listening to more records by the kinks, Yardbirds, Stones, and Pretty Things than Beatles records, although Wally was certainly a Beatles fan. In the late 60s Wally turned me on to the Move, another influence but a band that was really under appreciated in the states. I remember in the real early days the Romantics would cover "Boys" once in a while with Jimmy on lead vocal, and although it isn't a Beatles original, the Beatles version is probably the most familiar. They also covered "Hippy Hippy Shake", (Meet The Romantics) probably a result of  hearing the Beatles recording for the BBC rather than the Swingin Blue Jeans version. In the early days they did also cover tunes by the Yardbirds, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and the Dave Clark Five.
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Ken_Cheng
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #4 - Feb 18th, 2005 at 11:46am
 
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I don't think that the Beatles in particular were the Romantic's primary influence. I think it was the british invasion in general. I know fore sure that back then Wally was listening to more records by the kinks, Yardbirds, Stones, and Pretty Things than Beatles records, although Wally was certainly a Beatles fan. In the late 60s Wally turned me on to the Move, another influence but a band that was really under appreciated in the states. I remember in the real early days the Romantics would cover "Boys" once in a while with Jimmy on lead vocal, and although it isn't a Beatles original, the Beatles version is probably the most familiar. They also covered "Hippy Hippy Shake", (Meet The Romantics) probably a result of  hearing the Beatles recording for the BBC rather than the Swingin Blue Jeans version. In the early days they did also cover tunes by the Yardbirds, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and the Dave Clark Five.


I can understand the appeal of covering "Boys" and Dave Clark Five songs from Jimmy's point of view.  Smiley

Jimmy, in some ways, was/is like Ringo Starr and Dave Clark on steroids.   Smiley
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Web_Girl
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #5 - Feb 19th, 2005 at 3:17am
 
Actually, The Romantics used to perform "I Wanna Be Your Man" and "Money" quite frequently.  Cheesy
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dennis
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #6 - Feb 19th, 2005 at 11:01am
 
... and their finale for one of the first concerts I saw   was "Last Time" by the Stones.
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dennis
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #7 - Feb 19th, 2005 at 11:08am
 
Oldfriend,

Wally has said on numerous occasions that MC5 was a great influence.  I have listened to MC5's best of cd and feel stylistically they are worlds apart.  In your opinion, was Wally influenced by their music or by their live performances?  Or both?
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BrillBaby
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #8 - Feb 19th, 2005 at 8:40pm
 
This may be taking the Beatles / Romantics comparison a bit far, but has anyone else ever noticed the striking similarities between the pose on the cover of the Romantics debut and the cover of Meet the Beatles? 

If you were to black out everything but the Romantics' faces on their debut, you basically have the cover of Meet the Beatles; even to the point of where each band member is positioned.  Wally (rhythm guitar) is in the same spot as Lennon, Mike (lead guitar) is in the same spot as George, Rich (bass guitar) is in Paul's spot, and Jimmy (drummer) is in the famous foreground-and-slightly-to-the-right Ringo spot.  Even the back of each album finds the band in a similar "standing" pose. 

Coincidience?  You be the judge.  Maybe I'm just over-thinking this one.  And if you play "Stone Pony" backwards, you can faintly hear talking at the end of the track that sounds like "I buried Wally".
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Timster2
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #9 - Feb 20th, 2005 at 12:05am
 
Maybe it's a blessing that there was no Beatles/Romantics comparisons in the press.  Look at what happened to The Knack.  They dressed similar to the Beatles, were signed to Capitol Records like the Beatles, and had a major publicity campaign behind them.  I think that there was even hype calling them the next Beatles.  Eventually it blew up in their faces and they disbanded after three albums in two years or so.  Even though The Knack has since reunited and received some critical acclaim, it's not like it was before.

That's a big shadow (Beatles comparison) to be cast under and I'd imagine the pressure would be intense and maybe even unrealistic.

After listening to the Meet the Romantics and first album, it would've been interesting to see what would've happened had the Romantics been signed to Capitol Records.
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Kevin64
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #10 - Feb 20th, 2005 at 5:47am
 
Here's a little trivia for you.Nat Weiss,the president of The Romantics first record label Nemperor Records,was one of Brian Epstein's (The Beatles Manager) closest friends.
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Ken_Cheng
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #11 - Feb 20th, 2005 at 6:46am
 
Quote:
Maybe it's a blessing that there was no Beatles/Romantics comparisons in the press.  Look at what happened to The Knack.  They dressed similar to the Beatles, were signed to Capitol Records like the Beatles, and had a major publicity campaign behind them.  I think that there was even hype calling them the next Beatles.  Eventually it blew up in their faces and they disbanded after three albums in two years or so.  Even though The Knack has since reunited and received some critical acclaim, it's not like it was before.


With all due respect to the Knack, the Romantics had much more songwriting and singing talent at their disposal, and (at least in my opinion) more individual charisma at their command than the Knack ever had.  I think the Romantics also would have suffered from overt Beatles comparisons (who wouldn't?), but I don't think the Romantics would've endured as great a backlash as the Knack did because the Romantics had much more talent to back up the comparison.


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« Last Edit: Feb 20th, 2005 at 8:11am by Ken_Cheng »  
 
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pinkbubelz
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #12 - Feb 20th, 2005 at 2:24pm
 
Well, I definitely hear Beatles influences in "Meet the Romantics" in Tell it to Carrie.... at first I was surprised by the "Ohs", but the more I listen to it, the more I wonder what would have happened if they had released it with the "Ohs" in the background vs. without.  It's really become one of my favorites to listen to.... Smiley  I think what is so likable about these tracks is that they all are much "fresher" and less "produced" sounding... The energy definitely comes through, especially when you play the older version of Tell it to Carrie vs. the one that was released to the public. The original tempo was dramatically faster....  (Definitely shows their youthful energy at the time!) 
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oldfriend
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #13 - May 4th, 2005 at 9:55pm
 
Dennis, I think the raw energy of the MC5 was more of an influence on Wally than the actual style of music. Of course, anyone from Detroit who had a band could not help but be at least a little influenced by the MC5, and don't forget that the Romantics do peform "I Can Only Give You Everything" once in a while, which was one of the MC5's very early singles. In fact, the Romantics have even recorded a studio version of that song which has yet to be released.
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Kevin1
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Re: The Romantics and the Beatles
Reply #14 - May 5th, 2005 at 2:17am
 
In response to BrillBaby's observation about the cover of the first album, take a look at the cover to "Little White Lies" from the early days. That IS "With the Beatles." That was obviously an homage, although it's still true the Romantics owe way more to the Kinks and the Pretty Things than to the Fab Four, in terms of influence.

Man, though, I would kill my entire family to get a copy of that "I Can Only Give You Everything" recording ...
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