How The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ Started The Chemical Brothers’ Career
The Beatles‘ “Tomorrow Never Knows” was a big influence on The Chemical Brothers. One rock star discussed watching The Chemical Brothers work “Tomorrow Never Knows” into one of their electronic dance music sets. The Chemical Brothers also released a tune that sounds a lot like the Fab Four’s track.
The Chemical Brothers wanted to deconstruct The Beatles’ ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
Wayne Coyne is the frontman of the psychedelic rock band The Flaming Lips, most known for their 1990s hit “She Don’t Use Jelly.” The Flaming Lips also released a track-by-track remake of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band called With a Little Help with My Fwends. During a 2014 interview with Newsweek, Coyne named “Tomorrow Never Knows” as one of his favorite Beatles tunes.
“I remember talking to the guys in The Chemical Brothers, and it’s almost like their whole existence is built on ‘What the f*** is happening in that song?'” he said. “It’s such a compelling recording. It really is uncanny to think if The Beatles are primarily a vocal group and then suddenly they’re songwriters. There are a billion tricks about how to be expressive and how to write songs.”
Wayne Coyne discussed how the song encapsulates The Beatles’ greatness
Coyne noted that “Tomorrow Never Knows is, in one significant way, repetitive. “And one of their greatest songs is just one note,” he said. “It’s a beat that repeats and it’s one note on the bass and it’s not even something a songwriter would even need to write. It just f****** blows your mind. They did that!
“They were already experimental, but it’s as experimental a song as there ever is, but it’s done by this group that’s really a pop group!” he continued. “I think that’s why people love The Beatles. It almost seems like anything is possible. You just have to f****** go for it.”
What Noel Gallagher said about The Chemical Brothers and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’
Coyne wasn’t the only rock star to discuss the connection between “Tomorrow Never Knows” and The Chemical Brothers. During a 2021 interview with Mix, Noel Gallagher of Oasis said he went to a club and saw The Chemical Brothers play a tune by Spoony D followed by “Tomorrow Never Knows” at a dance music venue. Hearing “Tomorrow Never Knows” alongside electronic music blew Gallagher away.
Gallagher went on to craft a song with The Chemical Brothers called “Setting Sun.” The tune sounds an awful lot like “Tomorrow Never Knows.” Oasis was known for releasing tunes that were reminiscent of the Fab Four, but “Setting Sun” is a whole other level of derivative.
Gallagher considers “Setting Sun” one of the best songs he ever wrote. He was also proud that it knocked “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” by Deep Blue Something off the No. 1 spot in the United Kingdom. That was poetic justice considering “Setting Sun” is so abrasive while “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is as middle-of-the-road as it gets.
“Tomorrow Never Knows” was a huge deal to The Chemical Brothers and that’s yet another testament to the Fab Four’s massive and enduring influence.