Carry That Weight: The Best Bands Pegged As The "Next Beatles"

Laugh now, but remember when Definitely Maybe came out?
Laugh now, but remember when Definitely Maybe came out?

How much pressure must it be to have someone, probably some flacky music journalist running out of metaphors and superlatives, call your band the "Next Beatles" just as you start your rock career? That's like being called the next Jesus Christ, the next Michael Jordan (right, LeBron?), or the next Madonna (sup, Gaga?). It's hard enough trying to keep a group of four or five men or women together without worrying about trying to attain the standards of a band that will be lauded as biblical heroes for the next few hundred years.

But alas, every few years, someone gets an itchy typing finger and throws the "next Beatles" tag on some gang of fresh-faced rockers who have a clean, meaningful, power-pop sound and a few million screaming female fans. Hell, we remember a few voices calling the Jonas Brothers the next coming of the Fab Four, even if they only comprise three members. Now a few years removed from JonasMania, that's seems kinda cute and alarmist.

We hate to sound like Beatles fanatics, but that sweet swing the Beatles had will not be conjured ever again. It was a perfect storm of rock-starved youth, Baby Boomers under a spell, and a brave new world that is now gone forever. Just like there will never be another Nirvana, Madonna or Bruce Springsteen, no matter how hard anyone tries.

These "Next Beatles" were all products of their moment in time, like asteroids that actually touched down onto land. Instead of missing the Earth, they smashed into us head-on and created "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and changed the landscape, and killed a few hair-sprayed dinosaurs.

The cool thing about all these bands these past these five decades that have been given the Beatles tag, is that they are all amazingly catchy and timeless. Big Star are godhead, Electric Light Orchestra painted with colors we never knew existed, and Oasis didn't just give us a handful of great albums, they also came with a helluva tabloid sideshow in the brothers Gallagher.

Here are just ten of the bands that were to be the next John, Paul, George, and Ringo, including Badfinger, who even had the magic touch of Paul McCartney himself early on in their career.


Carry That Weight: The Best Bands Pegged As The "Next Beatles"

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