Do you have rock god level knowledge of rock & roll? The Beatles and David Bowie created some of the most influential music in the world. While The Beatles changed popular music forever over the course of what was about a single decade, David Bowie spent the whole second half of the 20th century reinventing himself and his sound again and again. While these are some very different musicians, they both have had a massive influence on a global scale. Both have massive followings and have had a huge influence not only on music but on pop culture as a whole.
The Beatles was, of course, a band of four men: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. All are rock and roll legends in their own right who made unique and important contributions to the band and continued to make music after The Beatles split up. The Beatles are known for making the idea of a band writing and performing its own music and experimenting artistically mainstream. Before them, singers and bands would perform music, but it was usually old standards or things written by others. David Bowie pushed their legacy even further with intellectual thematic lyrics and boundary-pushing sound and vision.
If you are a rock fan who knows their stuff, see if you can tell Bowie and Beatles lyrics apart with this HowStuffWorks quiz.
"Space Oddity" is a 1969 song by David Bowie, and was his breakthrough. Major Tom is a recurring character he created who appears in other songs.
The song "Heroes" is by David Bowie from the 1977 album of the same name. This is one of his most famous and acclaimed songs.
"Yesterday" is a Beatles song off of their 1965 album "Help." Paul McCartney dreamed the melody of it.
"Diamond Dogs" is the title track of Bowie's 1974 album. Initially, he wanted to create a musical based on the Orwell "1984," and those songs became parts of this album after that didn't work out.
This line comes from "Nowhere Man." It is off of the 1965 Beatles album "Rubber Soul."
"Five Years" is the opening track of the 1972 David Bowie Album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars." This song is thought to be partially inspired by a dream Bowie had where his father warned him that he would die in five years if he ever flew again.
"Lazarus" is a song off of David Bowie's final album before his death in 2016, "Blackstar." Many think he included clues of his impending death from illness on the album.
This song was written by Paul McCartney for The Beatles and released in 1970. McCartney wrote it as the band fell apart.
While this song was later covered by David Bowie, it was written by John Lennon for The Beatles. He came up with it while trying to fall asleep.
"Blackbird" is a song written by Paul McCartney off 1968's "The White Album." He wrote it in sympathy for Black Americans struggling during the Civil Rights Movement.
"Starman" is a track off of the Bowie album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars." This album defined glam rock.
"In My Life" is off of the 1965 album "Rubber Soul." Lennon began writing it about a bus trip through his hometown of Liverpool, England.
"Hey Jude" is a 1968 Beatles song. Paul McCartney wrote it to cheer up John Lennon's son after his parents announced they were getting a divorce.
"Time" was written by David Bowie on the New Orleans stop of his Ziggy Stardust tour. It appeared on the 1973 album "Aladdin Sane."
"Suffragette City" is a song off of the 1972 Bowie album "The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars." This iconic glam rock song has been covered by bands ranging from Alice In Chains to the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"All You Need Is Love" is off of the 1967 Beatles album "Magical Mystery Tour." It was written by John Lennon.
"Rock N Roll Suicide" is the closing track of Bowie's famous album "The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars." This song is simultaneously hopeful and tragic, offering sympathy to the listener.
"Strawberry Fields Forever" is from the 1967 Beatles album "Magical Mystery Tour." John Lennon wrote it during a period of depression and feeling isolated.
"The Jean Genie" is a song off of the early '70s Bowie album "Aladdin Sane." It is considered a pioneering song of early punk.
"The End" is a song from the 1969 Beatles album "Abbey Road." Paul McCartney says its ending couplet was inspired by Shakespeare.
"Get Back" is a Beatles song off of 1970's "Let It Be." As a single, it reached #1 around the world.
"Life On Mars?" is a song from the 1971 Bowie album "Hunky Dory." It has roots in chanson, a type of melancholy French song.
"Modern Love" is a popular song off the Bowie album "Let's Dance." This album was his biggest commercial success and made him a pop idol in the 1980s.
"Taxman" is a song off of the 1966 Beatles album "Revolver." It was written by George Harrison to protest high taxes.
"A Hard Day's Night" is a song, album, and film of The Beatles. As a single, it topped US and UK charts.
"Come Together" is the opening track of the 1969 Beatles album "Abbey Road." The song began as John Lennon's attempt to write a song for Timothy Leary's failed campaign for governor of California against future president Ronald Reagan.
"Young Americans" is a song off the 1975 Bowie album of the same name. It shows Bowie's departure from glam rock and into experimentation with R&B, Jazz, and Soul.
"Here Comes The Sun" is one of the Beatles most well known songs. It is also one of George Harrison's most well known compositions.
"Station to Station" is the title track from Bowie's 1976 album. He worked on this album at the height of addiction, and hardly remembered completing it.
"The Bewlay Brothers" is a classic example of David Bowie's habit of writing interesting but incomprehensible lyrics. This was largely due to a cut and paste method of writing he used largely throughout the 1970s.
George Harrison wrote this song inspired by the Chinese fortune telling method known as I Ching. "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is from 1968's "The White Album."
"The Stars Are Out Tonight" is a song from David Bowie's 2013 album "The Next Day." Its music video features Tilda Swinton.
This was the title track from the Beatles' 1967 album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." It bridged the gap between popular music and high art and was the first rock album to ever win the Grammy for Album of the Year.
"Breaking Glass" is a song off of the 1977 Bowie album "Low." This album is part of Bowie's Berlin Trilogy.
"Blackstar" is a song off the Bowie album of the same name. At nearly 10 minutes long, it is the longest song to ever enter the Billboard Hot 100.