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The Rolling Stones‘ songs sometimes sounded like The Beatles’ songs. John Lennon once called a Rolling Stones song a Beatles rip-off. On the other hand, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger didn’t give much of an answer when someone asked if the Fab Four influenced one of their albums.

The Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger in black-and-white
The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger | Joe Bangay / Stringer

5. ‘She’s a Rainbow’

The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is a psychedelic album that came out in 1967. The Rolling Stones’ Their Satanic Majesties Request came out a few months later. Many fans felt The Rolling Stones were taking influence from The Beatles. 

According to the 2013 book 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of The Rolling Stones, Keith Richards wasn’t sure if Sgt. Pepper inspired Their Satanic Majesties Request. Mick Jagger said he wasn’t sure either, since he didn’t remember anything that happened in 1967. Regardless, the most famous track from Their Satanic Majesties Request, “She’s a Rainbow,” has a lot of the vibrancy of Sgt. Pepper.

4. ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’

“You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is a long power ballad that functions as a sort of secular hymn. It’s not that different from “Hey Jude,” a tune that came out earlier. That major difference is that “Hey Jude” is G-rated while “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is much darker.

“Hey Jude” is about getting trying to win a woman’s heart while “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is about drug addiction. In a way, this makes “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” the superior song because it’s about finding the bright side of a much more desperate situation.

3. ‘Ruby Tuesday’

The name “Ruby Tuesday” has a lot of the same British whimsy as “Eleanor Rigby.” In addition, “Ruby Tuesday” is one of many songs to jump on the baroque pop bandwagon after the success of “Eleanor Rigby.” While “Eleanor Rigby” is completely bleak, “Ruby Tuesday” has a ray of hope for the title character, if not for the narrator.

2. ‘We Love You’

The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love” is a song with very simple lyrics about the importance of love. “We Love You” is also a song with very simple lyrics about the importance of love. According to 50 Licks: Myths and Stories from Half a Century of The Rolling Stones, John Lennon said “We Love You” was a rip-off of “All You Need Is Love.” If anything, “We Love You” feels more like a parody of The Beatles’ song as Jagger’s vocals feel sarcastic. In addition, the lyrics are so grammatically incorrect that they feel insincere.

1. ‘Paint It Black’

The Beatles brought the sitar to Western audiences with songs such as “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown.” The Rolling Stones just so happened to work the same instrument into “Paint It Black,” which came out after the aforementioned song.


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“Paint It Black” doesn’t sound much like The Beatles’ songs, but it’s dubious The Rolling Stones ever would have used the sitar without the Fab Four’s influence.

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