Beatles tributes come in many forms and guises, but look-alikes are arguably the most popular type. Because of their focus on replicating the band’s iconic costumes and hairdo, they usually limit themselves to an easily reproducible core repertoire, forgoing the elaborate post-1966 studio productions. By contrast, sound-alikes strive for complete aural accurateness, often recreating the heavily produced compositions the Beatles never performed outside of the studio. One of the industry’s top-tier Beatles sound-alikes are the Analogues. Neglecting all mimetic visual effects, they re-animate the albums created after 1966, using the same orchestrations and instrumentations as the Beatles, including rare vintage instruments such as the Mellotron.
Their approach bears parallels to historically informed performance (HIP), a common practice in Early Music, yet it operates within an entirely different framework. Informed by sound recordings, the Analogues deconstruct and re-record the Beatles’ music to construct their own performance, in the process conceiving a modern technology-based type of HIP. This article begins by establishing a typology of Beatles tributes before examining the process of staging an Analogues performance. It argues that the Analogues’ approach to historical recreation allows them to transcend criticism typically aimed at tributes and, paradoxically, lay claim to an “authentic” performance of what is inherently inauthentic, a live imitation of a recording. Overall, this article demonstrates how HIP can be used effectively outside of its mainstream classical context as a tool for popular music researchers and performers.