Start spreading the news ­ bogus Beatles lose out to fake Frank

Their music has been an enduring force since "Love Me Do" took them into the charts four decades ago, but now The Beatles seem to be losing their touch.

Their music has been an enduring force since "Love Me Do" took them into the charts four decades ago, but now The Beatles seem to be losing their touch.

A new study suggests people would prefer to swing along to "Forever in Blue Jeans" than "Strawberry Fields Forever", with more Neil Diamond soundalikes touring the UK's pubs and clubs than Fab Four imitators.

The Beatles ­ whose copyists include The Bootleg Beatles, The Cavern Beatles and The Beatalls ­ are plummeting down a hit parade of tribute acts. The last time a top 10 was compiled they were the second most common band on the beer-and-supper circuit, but in the past two years they have slipped down to number seven.

The list was assembled by MCPS-PRS Alliance, the music industry body which monitors live performances to collect royalty payments.

A spokesman said: "The figures are compiled so we can get payments to songwriters more accurately. We do the survey in 7,000 pubs and clubs across the UK, so it is a fairly substantial sample and gives a pretty accurate picture."

Elvis Presley earns the dubious honour of being crowned king of the tribute acts, holding on to the top slot with a slew of imitators such as Chinese Elvis, Suspiciously Elvis and Elvin Priestley.

Among the big climbers in the list is Robbie Williams who is at number three. Two years ago he was down in seventh position but he has now armed his copyists with a set of big band numbers to woo audiences after the success of his Swing When You're Winning album.

Tribute acts paying homage to the Stoke-born star ­ who played to more than 300,000 fans at Knebworth last summer ­ include Robbing Williams, Live Thru a Lens and Probably Robbie.

Neil Diamond is fourth in the list, despite not even making the top 10 last time.

As well as showing the downturn in Beatles bands, figures suggest the bottom has fallen out of the George Michael market. He was at number five in the previous chart but fails to make the top 10 this time, although a new lease of chart success with comeback album Patience could put him back in the nation's clubs.

Australia could be considered the birthplace of tribute bands. The country has produced the likes of the imaginatively named The Australian Pink Floyd, Elton Jack (an antipodean Elton John tribute act) and The Australian Doors Show. But its greatest success has been Bjorn Again, the best known of at least 100 Abba tribute bands around the world. The Swedish group has the most imitators of any pop act.

THE TOP 10

Previous position in brackets:

(1) Elvis Presley

(3) Abba

(7) Robbie Williams

(-) Neil Diamond

(4) Queen/Freddie Mercury

(-) Frank Sinatra

(2) The Beatles

(-) Meatloaf

(-) Rod Stewart

(6) The Blues Brothers

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Call The Midwife: Miranda Hart as Chummy

tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of Downton Abbey in the 2014 Christmas special

tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas

Arts and Entertainment
Dapper Laughs found success through the video app Vine

comedy Erm...he seems to be back

Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)

tvReview: No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Arts and Entertainment
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly flanking 'Strictly' winners Flavia Cacace and Louis Smith

tv Gymnast Louis Smith triumphed in the Christmas special

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that? The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year

    Aren’t you glad you didn’t say that?

    The worst wince-and-look-away quotes of the year
    Hollande's vanity project is on a high-speed track to the middle of nowhere

    Vanity project on a high-speed track to nowhere

    France’s TGV network has become mired in controversy
    Sports Quiz of the Year

    Sports Quiz of the Year

    So, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry, his love of 'Bargain Hunt', and life as a llama farmer

    Alexander Armstrong on insulting Mary Berry and his love of 'Bargain Hunt'

    From Armstrong and Miller to Pointless
    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on after Giroud's moment of madness

    Sanchez helps Gunners hold on

    Olivier Giroud's moment of madness nearly costs them
    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect