"This is a song Charles Manson stole from the Beatles.
We're stealing it back!" - Bono
To what extent have U2 been influenced by the Beatles? Certainly U2 do not
have many songs that sound much like the Beatles. Yet, the influence of
the Beatles, and more specifically John Lennon, is considerable. It would
seem that U2 have been more influenced by the Beatles story, or history as
a group, than they have been by the Beatles music, or sound. Then again,
what band hasn't been effected by the career of the Beatles? For they
practically laid out the blueprint on how a successful rock band operates.
Perhaps when U2 have made some 'Beatlesque' reference, it has been done
more as an hommage or tipping of the hat, than as the result any direct
influence. At any rate, here are some of the more subtle, and not so
subtle references U2 have made to the career of the Beatles, and John
Lennon as a solo artist.
* The Beatles filmed themselves playing live on the rooftop of the Apple
records building, for the film 'Let It Be'.
# U2 filmed themselves playing live on the rooftop of a Los Angeles liqueur
store for the video 'Where The Streets Have No Name'.
* John Lennon posed nude for the cover of his 'Two Virgins' album.
# Adam Clayton posed nude for the cover of U2's 'Achtung Baby'.
* On John Lennon's 'Sometime In New York City' album, there is a song
entitled 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'.
# On U2's 'War' album there is song entitled 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'.
* The Beatles' 'A Day In The Life' features the opening line, "I read the
news today, oh boy".
# U2's 'Sunday Bloody Sunday' features the opening line, "I can't believe
the news today".
* The Beatles promoted the single 'All You Need Is Love' with a worldwide
television appearence that included the word 'love' translated into
various languages appearing on posterboards worn by the studio audience.
# U2 promoted the single 'One' with a video that included the word 'one'
translated into various languages appearing during the video.
* John Lennon's 'I'm Losing You' has a chorus that consists of the phrase
"I'm losing you" being repeated twice.
# U2's 'Sweetest Thing' has a chorus that consists of the phase "I'm losing
you" being repeated twice.
* John Lennon's album 'Plastic Ono Band', features a song he wrote
# U2 wrote a sequel to the above song for their 'Rattle And Hum' album,
entitling it 'God Part II'.
Last but not least, are the Beatle/Lennon songs that U2 have been known
to cover in concert: Help!, Rain, Helter Skelter, Norwegian Wood and
Gimme Some Truth.