Even if you didn’t grow up in the 60’s, you’ve probably heard the song “Time of the Seasons” at some point in popular media. Some people think the actual title is “It’s the Time of the Seasons” which is the song’s main chorus line. The song has an unforgettable beat and a really different lyrics composition. It is probably one of the more memorable songs from its era and its distinct sound is very characteristic of the 1960’s. But if you are a true music connoisseur, you may have noticed a similarity between “It’s the Time of the Seasons” and another famous song from that decade. The Beatle’s “Things We Said Today” has a composition and style that is very akin to ‘Seasons”. Part of it may be due to the sound of the 19650’s, which is when both songs were recorded. The songs are not a direct copy of one another, like many rock songs tend to be, but it is easy to see how someone who wasn’t listening closely might get them confused. Let’s take a closer look at the two songs and see what makes them so similar.
“Time of the Seasons” by the Zombies
“Time of the Seasons” was released only at the urging of Columbia Records representative Al Kooper. The song features a heavy bass riff which sounds very similar to the song “Stand By Me” by Ben E. King (but that is where the similarities end). Another distinct part of the song is the repetition of the verses by the band members. Its starts out with lead singer Colin Blunstone singing the first two verses. By the third verse the band members are repeating the lyrics “What’s your name (What’s Your name)/Who’s Your daddy (Who’s Your daddy)”. This repetition goes all throughout the rest of the song and makes for a really interesting composition.
Another key component to “Time of the Seasons” is the distinct psychedelic sound from Mellotron, an electric keyboard. The Mellotron was suppose to electronically re-create different symphonic sounds but in the end sounded nothing like an orchestra. This was an instrument that was in wide use and very popular of music from that era. It came to represent the psychedelic sound of the 60’s.
“Time of the Seasons” has appeared in many forms of media from television shows to movie soundtracks. It has also been covered by several bands throughout the years such as The Dave Mathews Band and The Guess Who. Despite the song’s success overseas, it was never a hit in The Zombies native Britain.
“Things We Said Today” by the Beatles
“Things We Said Today” was recorded by the Beatles in 1964. It was credited as written by John Lennon along with Paul McCartney’s assistance and was recorded as part of the soundtrack to the Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. Paul McCartney actually wrote the song during vacation with his girlfriend. He and band member Ringo Starr had rented a yacht and taken their girlfriends out for a cruise. While on the boat, McCartney wrote the song as a tribute to his girlfriend to express that even when they were apart, they would have their memories of each other. The song was one of three that McCartney wrote for the soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night. The other two were “And I Love Her” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”.
“Things We Said Today” was recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. The song features a fast strumming on the guitar. Unlike the song “Time of the Seasons” the Beatles’ tune does not have that characteristic psychedelic sound from the electric keyboard. What makes the two songs similar is the musical composition of the lyrics. McCartney’s voice on the verses sounds similar in pitch and progression to The Zombies’ song. The rhythm of the song is faster than “Time of the Seasons” and the chorus sounds different (“Things We Said Today” does not have that pause in the chorus like The Zombies song). But the similarity in the verses of the two songs is still pretty easy to see (or in this case, hear). Unlike The Zombies album, the soundtrack to A Hard Days Night went on to become an instant hit in both Britain and overseas.