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Author Topic: The Beatles Vs. the Beach Boys  (Read 2171 times)
Amy B.
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« on: February 10, 2019, 08:09:38 AM »

The Beatles Vs. the Beach Boys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMO52VyClLk
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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 08:16:46 AM »

That's a cool video. I kind of wonder if this continued when the Beach Boys went back to roots with Wild Honey in late 67. The Beatles followed with the white album.
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 08:47:38 AM »


Thanks, Amy! Hadn't seen this prior to your posting it. Some great mini interviews by both of them.
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2019, 02:28:27 PM »

The great irony. The average age of the BB in 1966 was 2 years younger than the average age of the Beatles.
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2019, 05:01:38 PM »

Related, I've become convinced McCartney stole - consciously or subconsciously - Here There and Everywhere from You Still Believe in Me. The songs are way too similar, and the BB song came out just as the Beatles were recording Revolver.
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2019, 11:38:20 PM »

Honestly, I hear "God Only Knows" in "Penny Lane". "Penny Lane" is sped up.
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2019, 05:00:13 PM »

Related, I've become convinced McCartney stole - consciously or subconsciously - Here There and Everywhere from You Still Believe in Me. The songs are way too similar, and the BB song came out just as the Beatles were recording Revolver.

Out of curiosity, I'd like to know how do you find these two songs similar (besides that both are ballads) since the chord progressions are quite different and the melodic lines  just in some few intervals coincide. Not sayin' that Paul could have have been inspired by the overall mood of Pet Sounds (in fact he have declared so I think). But I don't hear any direct resemblance between those particular songs.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 06:36:45 PM »

Doggone it! I'll never learn! I clicked on the link to watch this and got a message that the video was removed.
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2019, 07:24:31 PM »

Try this. Same video, different link--for some reason. (ETA: I should have read the video description: "sorry for the RE-UPLOAD - got hit with a few copyright claims, so I swapped out some music.")

The Rivalry of Brian Wilson and Paul McCartney
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh7yI9Z6BvQ
« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 07:39:56 PM by Amy B. » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2019, 09:18:37 PM »

Thanks! I stayed up and watched it. Now off to bed.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2019, 06:19:47 AM »

Related, I've become convinced McCartney stole - consciously or subconsciously - Here There and Everywhere from You Still Believe in Me. The songs are way too similar, and the BB song came out just as the Beatles were recording Revolver.

I don't think the songs are particularly similar. As someone else pointed out, there are a few intervals where one could say there is a bit of overlap, which I'm guessing has more to do with both songs being ballads of not-too-dissimilar tempos.

"Stole" is a pretty strong word. There's *obviously* a BB influence on the vocals/vocal arrangements, and even there it's a pretty limited influence in that the harmonies on the song are pretty basic compared to something like YSBIM.

But the two songs are far from "way too similar" in my opinion. This is far from a "Girl Don't Tell Me/Ticket to Ride" situation.

There is also some debatable information that McCartney may have *written* "Here, There, and Everywhere" before he heard "Pet Sounds." McCartney tells one anecdote about having written the song while filming "Help" in early 1965. But even if we discount that story and assume McCartney is conflating things from his memory, it's entirely possible McCartney wrote the songs before "Pet Sounds" came out, and before Johnston played the album for McCartney/Lennon.
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2019, 06:42:36 AM »

Yes I don't hear YSBIM in HT&E either. EDIT: He has suggested in an interview that it's only the intro that is inspired by The Beach Boys. I can see potentially the "To lead a better life" opening bit as being inspired by the opening bit on YSBIM. But beyond that, I don't see much of a connection.

That said, I'm more inclined to believe the argument that Paul wrote the song in late May/early June of 1966, after the May 17th listening party of Pet Sounds. To me the May 17th listening party/June 14th recording makes more sense than Paul writing the song pre-March 1965 and then sitting on it for over a year (maybe even a year and a half) before recording it.

EDIT: In one of the Stern interviews, McCartney seemed to be under the impression that Revolver was before Rubber Soul. If he's been under the impression for a while, it would stand to reason that he might place the HT&E demo story around the Help! period.
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2019, 06:51:22 AM »

If "Here, There, and Everywhere" was influenced by the PS listening session, then I'd say that even more strongly indicates the song was informed by a more general BB vocal influence than specifically trying to sort of rip off one specific track.

I'm sure McCartney and Lennon had great musical memories, but I'm not sure McCartney would retain *so* much from specifically YSBIM from only that listening session to the point of, I guess the accusation above is something akin to "subconscious plagiarism" (not sure whether "stole" is meant to be more or less serious than plagiarism).

Much like "Ram" in 1971 was informed by "Sunflower" and to some extent "Pet Sounds" and BW vocal arrangements in general, I think a hand full of McCartney tracks from 1966 and 67 in particular have a clear BW/BB influence. But there isn't anything in the Beatles catalog that even approaches the level of having "stolen" a BB song. Further, very few McCartney tracks, either in the 60s or in later solo years, have obvious, stand-out direct melodic/compositional influences from BW/BB material. That is, while there are a few cases where the influence is quite obvious and strong ("Dear Boy", "Vintage Clothes"), the influence was usually more subtle in the instances where it was a factor at all. "Penny Lane" would be a good example of that. That's a song that doesn't immediately scream "Oh, that's totally such-and-such specific Beach Boys song", but has arrangement and recording touches that come from that BW/BB influence.
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« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2019, 07:04:43 AM »

I agree.

One other thing I will suggest - I do believe it has been overstated that Paul was the only Beach Boys-loving Beatle. George had Let Him Run Wild in his jukebox (along with California Girls though he made it clear that he only had the single for LHRW). There are accounts of John loving both The Little Girl I Once Knew and Pet Sounds as well.

However, I would acknowledge that if there was any Beatle who would use the Beach Boys as an inspiration, it would be Paul. But Paul would use others' music in a way that was quite different than John. John would have no problem with directly lifting - You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine, Run For Your Life, Come Together all directly take from Hitch Hike, Watch Your Step, Baby Let's Play House, and You Can't Catch Me. There are other examples too that I haven't confirmed but to name one, I am positively certain that the intro Revolution is based on Pee Wee Crayton's Do Unto Others. George did similar things. Both ended up being sued for this sort of thing.

Paul was a bit more subtle than this - You Won't See Me is inspired by It's The Same Old Song; Good Day Sunshine is inspired by Daydream. But Paul transforms the inspiration so much that you can barely hear it. As far as I know, he's never been accused of/sued for plagiarism. I can't say I particularly find John's way of doing things worse than Paul's. I am merely pointing out that they both had such different ways of drawing inspiration that I don't think it is easy to ever accuse McCartney of stealing.
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« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2019, 07:20:23 AM »

Also important to note regarding Paul (and the other members) and their interest in the Beach Boys/Brian was that it was not anywhere near "hardcore fan" status.

I think the other members had even less specific interest in the BBs than Paul. Sure, George knew a few of the tunes and John had some words of praise in an interview or two, and I think it's very interesting to see/hear/read those comments. But George and John weren't thinking much about Brian or the BBs back then, and for that matter, even McCartney's interest in Brian and the BBs was pretty focused on PS and then later "Sunflower" more indirectly. I've never heard McCartney talk about the "Today" or "Summer Days" album. McCartney apparently wasn't even a big fan of "Good Vibrations" for whatever reason.

In short, whether good or bad, I would guess folks like Carl or Brian or Dennis probably listened to *every* Beatles album more or less at one time or another. Whereas, I highly doubt any of the Beatles listened to more than a few BB albums. I don't even think McCartney likely ever regularly tracked the entirety of "All Summer Long" or "Surfin' USA", etc.

As Howie Edelson once pointed out, the deal with the Beatles (and specifically McCartney) was that they recognized Brian as one of their very few true peers. But they weren't obsessively listening to every scrap of music the Beach Boys were releasing in the mid 60s.
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« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2019, 07:31:48 AM »

This is true. But I might also add that I don't think any of The Beatles were albums-people. Yes, they bought albums - lots of them. But I think at the end of the day, they were mostly fans of the single. This may have been especially true for John, who admits several times that his attention-span did not allow him to spend much more time on anything other than a single. Paul probably spent a bit more time with some albums, but I don't think many - some Dylan LPs, Pet Sounds, etc. But at the end of the day, I would imagine that even Paul would be more prepared to make a favourite songs list than a favourite albums list. For that reason alone, I think there just weren't many bands/artists that The Beatles would devour every bit music they made.

That said, I do think "You're So Good To Me" was an influence. Every time Paul talks about "We were inspired by the Beach Boys harmonies," he then proceeds to go into the "You're So Good To Me" background vocal. Now it's quite possible that The Beatles knew this song specifically because of the single Sloop John B (released in March of 1966) or perhaps they had heard the Summer Days album, which might explain the the background vocals on Rubber Soul (You Won't See Me, Nowhere Man, Girl, etc.).
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« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2019, 08:42:31 AM »

I agree.

One other thing I will suggest - I do believe it has been overstated that Paul was the only Beach Boys-loving Beatle. George had Let Him Run Wild in his jukebox (along with California Girls though he made it clear that he only had the single for LHRW). There are accounts of John loving both The Little Girl I Once Knew and Pet Sounds as well.

However, I would acknowledge that if there was any Beatle who would use the Beach Boys as an inspiration, it would be Paul. But Paul would use others' music in a way that was quite different than John. John would have no problem with directly lifting - You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine, Run For Your Life, Come Together all directly take from Hitch Hike, Watch Your Step, Baby Let's Play House, and You Can't Catch Me. There are other examples too that I haven't confirmed but to name one, I am positively certain that the intro Revolution is based on Pee Wee Crayton's Do Unto Others. George did similar things. Both ended up being sued for this sort of thing.

Paul was a bit more subtle than this - You Won't See Me is inspired by It's The Same Old Song; Good Day Sunshine is inspired by Daydream. But Paul transforms the inspiration so much that you can barely hear it. As far as I know, he's never been accused of/sued for plagiarism. I can't say I particularly find John's way of doing things worse than Paul's. I am merely pointing out that they both had such different ways of drawing inspiration that I don't think it is easy to ever accuse McCartney of stealing.

John also dipped into Ketty Lester's LOVE LETTERS for GOD and I DIG A PONY.
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« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2019, 08:56:08 AM »

I agree.

One other thing I will suggest - I do believe it has been overstated that Paul was the only Beach Boys-loving Beatle. George had Let Him Run Wild in his jukebox (along with California Girls though he made it clear that he only had the single for LHRW). There are accounts of John loving both The Little Girl I Once Knew and Pet Sounds as well.

However, I would acknowledge that if there was any Beatle who would use the Beach Boys as an inspiration, it would be Paul. But Paul would use others' music in a way that was quite different than John. John would have no problem with directly lifting - You Can't Do That, I Feel Fine, Run For Your Life, Come Together all directly take from Hitch Hike, Watch Your Step, Baby Let's Play House, and You Can't Catch Me. There are other examples too that I haven't confirmed but to name one, I am positively certain that the intro Revolution is based on Pee Wee Crayton's Do Unto Others. George did similar things. Both ended up being sued for this sort of thing.

Paul was a bit more subtle than this - You Won't See Me is inspired by It's The Same Old Song; Good Day Sunshine is inspired by Daydream. But Paul transforms the inspiration so much that you can barely hear it. As far as I know, he's never been accused of/sued for plagiarism. I can't say I particularly find John's way of doing things worse than Paul's. I am merely pointing out that they both had such different ways of drawing inspiration that I don't think it is easy to ever accuse McCartney of stealing.

John also dipped into Ketty Lester's LOVE LETTERS for GOD and I DIG A PONY.

I'm not sure I hear it in Pony but it's definitely there in God. I wasn't thinking of John's solo work but, yes, there are explicit references there too. I think Working Class Hero is definitely inspired by Masters of War by Dylan. Isolation takes from Oh, I Apologize, the B-side to Barrett Strong's Money. And, of course, Happy XMas (War is Over) is essentially a re-making of the folk song Stewball.
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« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2019, 04:24:19 PM »

OK, "stole" was a strong word, but I think he was trying to copying the overall vibe and feeling of YSBIM, at least subconsciously, and a lot of the patterns on the song are similar. Obviously I don't think Paul would be so blatant as to directly make his own imitation of it, but it seems to me he was maybe trying to make his own "impression" of it.

I had read Paul wrote HTAE while waiting for John to wake up one day while he was hanging out beside the pool at John's house, sometime shortly after Pet Sounds had come out
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here,_There_and_Everywhere
Quote
McCartney began writing "Here, There and Everywhere" at Lennon's house in Weybridge, in early June
Pet Sounds came out in mid-May, of course. Plenty of time for Paul to give the album several listens.

Anyway, they both have introductions which, while different, could be said to be similar. But after that, line by line here's where I see the similarities ...

Part 1:
Paul: Here, making each day of the year
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: I know perfectly well I'm not where I should be
Brian: I've been very aware you've been patient with me

Here, Brian repeats the melody twice while Paul does it just once, but notice both melodies generally ascend up, "peak" in the middle of the verse and then descend back down, like a mountain. That's the main part I think is very similar. Next ....

Part 2:

Paul: Changing my life with the wave of her hand || nobody can, deny that there's something there
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: Every time we break up you bring back your love to me || and after all I've done to you how can it be?

In both cases here we have a much longer melodic line (that is actually 2 lines strung together). The first half of this (the part before my "||") the melody "peaks" on the 3rd word in both songs ("life"/"we"). In both songs after the "||" we have a melody that sort-of asks for a "resolution" ...

Now, the parts immediately after that do differ. Brain does a refrain ("You still believe in me!") while Paul goes right into the verse again. Then both songs repeat the above.

I also think the "I wanna cry!" is sort-of what like Paul used as a bridge ("I want her everywhere ..."). I'm not sure what you'd call the "I wanna cry" on the BB song but it's sort-of like a bridge anyway, maybe a bridge before the coda. These two parts are definitely different.

Imagine that Paul took Brian's first two lines, got rid of one of them, took the "I wanna cry!" and made it into a regular bridge (which is really almost like a chorus), changed the melody a bit, and - bingo! - you've got a new song.

Again, "stole" was probably a strong word. I don't even think he was probably consciously stealing/copying anything, I'm guessing it was more subconscious, more along the lines of George and "He's So Fine."

I once wrote a song that, when I played it to somebody, they told me, "That sounds like a Beatles song." I was never trying to copy anything, it was just a tune that came to me. But when they pointed that out to me, I realized, yeah, it sounded like a Beatles song (particularly Yellow Submarine). Sometimes you "copy" things without consciously intending to copy anything. IMO this is a case of that.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 05:29:54 PM by SMiLE-addict » Logged
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« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2019, 04:56:53 PM »

Also, Paul has stated that he's a big fan of YSBIM:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/You_Still_Believe_in_Me
Quote
"I love that melody. That kills me, that melody. [ hums the first verse, bursts into song at 'I wanna cry.' ] That's my favorite, I think. The way that's arranged, where it goes away very quietly. I was in the car the other night, and I was telling the kids, saying, 'wait, wait, here it comes.' And then it comes back, and it's so beautiful right at the end, comes surging back in these multi-colored harmonies. Sends shivers up my spine. That's one of my favorite tracks."
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« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2019, 07:00:49 PM »


Wondering if John or Paul had any reaction to Good Vibrations as they never came up with anything quite as inventive as that. It was like a double barreled cannon with Pet Sounds and then GV right behind it. Strawberry Fields was very good but it wasn't on the same level whatsoever as GV which was a complete game changer at the time.
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« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2019, 07:08:36 PM »


Wondering if John or Paul had any reaction to Good Vibrations as they never came up with anything quite as inventive as that. It was like a double barreled cannon with Pet Sounds and then GV right behind it. Strawberry Fields was very good but it wasn't on the same level whatsoever as GV which was a complete game changer at the time.

I know that Paul has said that it didn't leave the same kind of impression on him as Pet Sounds did. I'm unaware of any of the others commenting on it.
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« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2019, 07:17:27 PM »

Pet Sounds came out in mid-May, of course. Plenty of time for Paul to give the album several listens.

Possibly but I don't know what the lapse was between US and UK release dates in those days. John and Paul attend the private Pet Sounds listening party the day after Pet Sounds is released in the US, which suggests that the album hadn't been released yet. It's actually possible that Paul hadn't heard the music again after that night before writing the song.
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« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2019, 10:20:46 PM »

OK, "stole" was a strong word, but I think he was trying to copying the overall vibe and feeling of YSBIM, at least subconsciously, and a lot of the patterns on the song are similar. Obviously I don't think Paul would be so blatant as to directly make his own imitation of it, but it seems to me he was maybe trying to make his own "impression" of it.

I had read Paul wrote HTAE while waiting for John to wake up one day while he was hanging out beside the pool at John's house, sometime shortly after Pet Sounds had come out
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here,_There_and_Everywhere
Quote
McCartney began writing "Here, There and Everywhere" at Lennon's house in Weybridge, in early June
Pet Sounds came out in mid-May, of course. Plenty of time for Paul to give the album several listens.

Anyway, they both have introductions which, while different, could be said to be similar. But after that, line by line here's where I see the similarities ...

Part 1:
Paul: Here, making each day of the year
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: I know perfectly well I'm not where I should be
Brian: I've been very aware you've been patient with me

Here, Brian repeats the melody twice while Paul does it just once, but notice both melodies generally ascend up, "peak" in the middle of the verse and then descend back down, like a mountain. That's the main part I think is very similar. Next ....

Part 2:

Paul: Changing my life with the wave of her hand || nobody can, deny that there's something there
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: Every time we break up you bring back your love to me || and after all I've done to you how can it be?

In both cases here we have a much longer melodic line (that is actually 2 lines strung together). The first half of this (the part before my "||") the melody "peaks" on the 3rd word in both songs ("life"/"we"). In both songs after the "||" we have a melody that sort-of asks for a "resolution" ...

Now, the parts immediately after that do differ. Brain does a refrain ("You still believe in me!") while Paul goes right into the verse again. Then both songs repeat the above.

I also think the "I wanna cry!" is sort-of what like Paul used as a bridge ("I want her everywhere ..."). I'm not sure what you'd call the "I wanna cry" on the BB song but it's sort-of like a bridge anyway, maybe a bridge before the coda. These two parts are definitely different.

Imagine that Paul took Brian's first two lines, got rid of one of them, took the "I wanna cry!" and made it into a regular bridge (which is really almost like a chorus), changed the melody a bit, and - bingo! - you've got a new song.

Again, "stole" was probably a strong word. I don't even think he was probably consciously stealing/copying anything, I'm guessing it was more subconscious, more along the lines of George and "He's So Fine."

I once wrote a song that, when I played it to somebody, they told me, "That sounds like a Beatles song." I was never trying to copy anything, it was just a tune that came to me. But when they pointed that out to me, I realized, yeah, it sounded like a Beatles song (particularly Yellow Submarine). Sometimes you "copy" things without consciously intending to copy anything. IMO this is a case of that.

I would agree. Truthfully I think they inspired each other
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« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2019, 10:40:21 PM »

OK, "stole" was a strong word, but I think he was trying to copying the overall vibe and feeling of YSBIM, at least subconsciously, and a lot of the patterns on the song are similar. Obviously I don't think Paul would be so blatant as to directly make his own imitation of it, but it seems to me he was maybe trying to make his own "impression" of it.

I had read Paul wrote HTAE while waiting for John to wake up one day while he was hanging out beside the pool at John's house, sometime shortly after Pet Sounds had come out
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Here,_There_and_Everywhere
Quote
McCartney began writing "Here, There and Everywhere" at Lennon's house in Weybridge, in early June
Pet Sounds came out in mid-May, of course. Plenty of time for Paul to give the album several listens.

Anyway, they both have introductions which, while different, could be said to be similar. But after that, line by line here's where I see the similarities ...

Part 1:
Paul: Here, making each day of the year
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: I know perfectly well I'm not where I should be
Brian: I've been very aware you've been patient with me

Here, Brian repeats the melody twice while Paul does it just once, but notice both melodies generally ascend up, "peak" in the middle of the verse and then descend back down, like a mountain. That's the main part I think is very similar. Next ....

Part 2:

Paul: Changing my life with the wave of her hand || nobody can, deny that there's something there
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Brian: Every time we break up you bring back your love to me || and after all I've done to you how can it be?

In both cases here we have a much longer melodic line (that is actually 2 lines strung together). The first half of this (the part before my "||") the melody "peaks" on the 3rd word in both songs ("life"/"we"). In both songs after the "||" we have a melody that sort-of asks for a "resolution" ...

Now, the parts immediately after that do differ. Brain does a refrain ("You still believe in me!") while Paul goes right into the verse again. Then both songs repeat the above.

I also think the "I wanna cry!" is sort-of what like Paul used as a bridge ("I want her everywhere ..."). I'm not sure what you'd call the "I wanna cry" on the BB song but it's sort-of like a bridge anyway, maybe a bridge before the coda. These two parts are definitely different.

Imagine that Paul took Brian's first two lines, got rid of one of them, took the "I wanna cry!" and made it into a regular bridge (which is really almost like a chorus), changed the melody a bit, and - bingo! - you've got a new song.

Again, "stole" was probably a strong word. I don't even think he was probably consciously stealing/copying anything, I'm guessing it was more subconscious, more along the lines of George and "He's So Fine."

I once wrote a song that, when I played it to somebody, they told me, "That sounds like a Beatles song." I was never trying to copy anything, it was just a tune that came to me. But when they pointed that out to me, I realized, yeah, it sounded like a Beatles song (particularly Yellow Submarine). Sometimes you "copy" things without consciously intending to copy anything. IMO this is a case of that.

I would agree. Truthfully I think they inspired each other

Ok. Still, as others have already mentioned, the only sort of  ascertainable resemblance is in the intro of HT&E.
 "To lead a better life" starts with the fith grade of the main key (and first chord ) using the notes of the second inversion of G chord for that phrase. "I need my love to be here" uses again the second inversion of the corresponding chord (Bb)

YSBIM starts the verses with the fifth grade ( F# in this case, the song main key is B) and uses the second inversion of B chord too, though with notes out the major chord to resolve the melody.

The duration of notes in the melody of each of the verses you quote song are different too.
YSBIM basically being quarter notes mainly (I know perfectly well...)  while Paul uses long notes, whole notes even (Here...year...)

Finally, the chord progressions of each song are very very different:
In the verses, HT&E uses the form: I, ii, iii, IV
 
On the other hand, YSBIM uses a two chord pattern in the verses (B and E and then E ,A ) with an obstinato three note bass, that gives the song that cool hypnotic feel I think.

 So the "similarities" if you rummage a bit so to say, can be found between the intro of one song and the verses of the other, especifically in the selection of a form of chord to develope a melody.
Again, the mutual inspiration and respect for each other is undeniable, after all we're talking about some of the most talented an competitive songwriters of all time!

Anyway, I guess sometimes our brains and ears just makes us hear whatever we convince ourselves to hear.
By the way, I find way more similar melody lines between Til I die and You never give me your money, or Where is she? and She's leaving home for that matter.
Thanks for the great thread! Smiley

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