For those of you who aren’t familiar, Robert Pattinson is a British actor and singer. He’s best known for his portrayal of emotionally-distant rich kid, Chris O’Dell, in the indie comedy-drama series, The Crouching Tiger…Hidden Dragon! He’s since gone on to star in several other popular films, including the live-action Beauty And The Beast, Grand Tour and Midnight Sun.
Pattinson has also recorded several songs. And though he isn’t generally considered to be a musical actor, he actually has a quite a rich, diverse voice. He’s covered several songs by other artists and even penned a few himself. Although most of his work isn’t available for free, you can find his entire catalogue, including rare early demos, on the internet. Let’s take a look at his songs and the stories behind them!
The Romantics (1967)
The Romantics were a British pop group who had several hits in the late 60s and early 70s. They’re best known for their songs “Two Of Us” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
The group was founded by John Valentine in 1967. Valentine had previously been a member of the group The Jets, which featured Chris Burnett, who went on to join The Romantics and write several of their biggest hits. The group’s name comes from the fact that most of the songs were written by Valentine and Burnett using their initials as song titles. For example, “TVR” and “JTV” stood for “The Valentines” and “The Jets.”
“Two Of Us” was first released in 1967 and became one of the biggest singles of the year. It was followed by several Top 5 hits in the UK and is still well-remembered for its bouncy bass line and fluttering organ sounds. The song was originally inspired by a poem by Walt Whitman called “Song of Myself” and was interpreted to be a protest song against the Vietnam War. The lyrics go:
“I think that it’s time for us to separate,
‘Cause two heads are always better than one,
I’ve had enough of your complaining,
You just need to find your own way!“
Burnett had previously been in a band called The Creation with singer Helen Shapiro. After hearing their demo, singer/songwriter George Harrison asked them to join his newly-formed group, the Beatles. They initially turned down the offer, but they later changed their mind and went on to play several shows with the Apple Family, including a rooftop concert that was filmed and released as Let It Be.
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the final single from The Romantics’ debut album, Arriving. It was written by George Harrison and recorded with the group in 1970. The song was inspired by an actual event that occurred when a fan asked the musician for his autograph and then invited him to hold her hand. Harrison declined, but he did end up holding hands with several women during the show. The song was famously covered by Harry Nilsson and it went on to become his biggest hit. The Romantics also covered the song and it became their biggest hit in Austria and Spain. You can’t talk about George Harrison without talking about his love of all things exotic, so it’s fitting that this song talks about his love for women from all over the world. He’s also quoted as saying that “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the first pop song he ever wrote after completing his military service in India during the early 1960s.
The Beatles (1968)
Yes, The Beatles were originally a band. They first came together in the early 1960s and were soon signed to a record label by George Harrison, who was then the group’s manager. After some initial reluctance, the foursome eventually ended up embracing the idea and decided to go for it. Their famous album, Abbey Road, was a turning point in their career. It’s considered to be one of the most influential rock albums of all time and it’s certainly had a lasting impact on the genre. Its influence can be heard in bands like the Grateful Dead, BTS and Bring Me the Horizon.
After their breakup in the mid-1970s, John, Paul, George and Ringo worked together on and off for several years before officially getting back together in the late 1970s for some shows. They last played live together in 1980 and soon after broke up for good. While they may have gone their separate ways, their music lives on and they remain among the most famous and influential artists in history.
The Who (1969)
The Who are one of the most famous and influential bands of all time. They’re best known for their manicue-swapping, guitar-strangling antics. The band got their start as the “quasi-official house band” for the television program, Tommy, which was hosted by the father of guitarist Pete Townshend, Richard. The group subsequently appeared on several other TV shows before going on to headline their own Festival Express train tour in 1969. The line became a thing because people wanted to travel to see them play. That same year, they released their famous album, Tommy, which featured an album cover that featured the bandmembers playing cards while sitting around a table. The album was named after the protagonist in their movie, Tommy, which was released a few months earlier. The movie focused on the rivalry between the four bandmates, specifically between Pete and his three brothers, as they navigate the music scene in the 1960s. It was an early example of an “anti-hero” movie and remains one of the most iconic images of the band.
Townshend went on to establish himself as one of rock music’s greatest guitarists, famous for his use of unconventional tunings and unique playing styles. When asked about the tone of his guitar, he’s often quoted as saying, “It’s not a Gucci tie. It’s a Savile Row suit.”
The Moody Blues (1969)
The Moody Blues are another legendary English group who had a string of hits in the 1960s and early 1970s. They’re best known for their string of hit singles, “Nights In Cairo” and “Go Now,” which was covered by the Grateful Dead. Their song “Nights In Cairo” has been covered by several other bands over the years, including the Irish rock band, The Corrs. Frontman Justin Hayward went on to co-found the band Badfinger with members of the Spencer Davis Group. The other bandmembers have stayed active in the music industry as well. They released several albums in the early 1970s and continue to make comeback shows every few years. Though they’ve reformed several times since their peak in the 1970s, they’ve never quite recovered the commercial success they found in the 1960s and early 1970s. Nevertheless, their songs still endure and live on as some of the most classic and iconic of all time.
Elton John (1969)
Yes, Elton John was one of the most iconic singer/songwriters of all time. He began his career as a musician in the early 1960s and went on to have one of the most successful careers of any kind. He scored several critical and commercial hits in the ‘60s and ‘70s and has continued to be one of pop music’s most popular and well-known figures ever since. He’s had several iconic songs, including “Your Song,” “Funeral” and “Candle in the Wind,” which was covered by the Beatles and many more. He’s also collaborated with some of music’s greatest artists, including the legendary David Bowie and the legendary George Harrison.
Since the 1970s, he’s had several hit albums and continues to sell out shows around the world. He’s also released several songs specifically for movie and TV soundtracks, including “Hello, Goodbye,” which was used as the theme song for the movie, Goodbye John, and several more. He’s still one of the most recognizable and influential figures in pop music today.
The Beach Boys (1969)
The Beach Boys are one of the most influential American bands of all time. They’ve had several iconic members and their music lives on today as some of the most memorable and recognizable songs of all time. They were one of the first supergroups, featuring several of the most successful and iconic artists of the time. These men were geniuses at working with and supporting each other’s careers. It was common for all of them to appear on each other’s albums and for members to contribute to each other’s songs. That’s not to mention that they were responsible for some of the greatest cover songs of all time! That’s an impressive feat, considering how many artists they collaborated with throughout their long career.