1/29/10

Beatles Covers #6: Ten Great Covers


There's really no way to write a decent post covering all the great Beatles covers - even a top 20 list wouldn't satisfy me. So, instead I'll just continue to periodically post on Beatles covers, and hopefully in ten to twenty years, it'll be fairly definitive.


In the meantime, I'd like to just list ten Beatles covers in no particular order that I happen to enjoy. Beatles music is almost sacred to me, so I take no cover version lightly, and I'll refrain from choosing the obvious ones like "With a Little Help from My Friends" by Joe Cocker and "Come Together" by Aerosmith.


Personally, I feel that covers that don't bring anything new to the table are a waste of time. Paint-by-numbers imitations like "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by Elton John, "Mother Nature's Son" by Sheryl Crow, and "I'm Only Sleeping" by The Vines offer nothing new, and are therefore pointless.  At least kitchy covers like "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" by Steve Martin and "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by William Shatner made it interesting by injecting their unique styles into their renditions. When Sinatra covered a song, he made it his own.  That's what I expect out of a Beatles cover.

  1. "We Can Work It Out" by Stevie Wonder
  2. "I'm Down" by Aerosmith
  3. "Come Together" by The Brothers Johnson
  4. "And Your Bird Can Sing" by The Charles River Valley Boys
  5. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by Al Green
  6. "Help" by Deep Purple
  7. "I Am the Walrus" by Spooky Tooth
  8. "Here Comes the Sun" by Peter Tosh
  9. "The Fool on the Hill" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66
  10. "Got To Get You Into My Life" by Earth, Wind and Fire 
Here's an Amazon playlist in case you're curious about how some of these sound. I promise I'm not using it just to get you to buy the songs (I'd probably get a ha'penny for every thousand songs purchased). I'm growing increasingly frustrated with ways to post music on Blogger, and the Amazon widget is quick and easy. You get what you pay for..... and, well, Blogger is free.




Update: The Wire song "I Should Have Known Better" on the Amazon playlist is not a Beatles cover, it just shares the same title.  I'm not sure why it got stuck on there - one day I plan to proofread my posts before I publish them.

10 comments:

  1. Somewhere on a Beta tape from the early eighties I have video of Sinatra singing George's SOMETHING. I swear he sings, "Something in the way she mooooves....Jack!" and then afterwards he says, "Lennon and McCartney wrote that song, laysngennlmen, Lennon and McCartney."
    AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

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  2. I read George was so amused by Sinatra's "Jack" in "Something" that when he performed "Something" live in Japan in the early nineties he said it too as a sort-of private joke!

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  3. Kudos to Aerosmith for choosing an obscure (but awesome) Beatles song!

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  4. One that you left off your list, from the "All this and World War II" soundtrack, was Earth, Wind, and Fire's "Gotta get you into my life."

    It was all over the radio in the late 70s and was an excellent rendition. The group "made it their own" as you stated.

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  5. Looks like from that album cover, the Walrus was Gilligan. One cover that I liked was BS&Ts treatment of "Got To Get You Into My Life" from the album "New City". Not dramatically different than the original, but still different enough.

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  6. You know, the only cover I'd like to add is that of Siouxsie & The Banshees' cover of Dear Prudence. Why? Because as a New Waver Child of Parents that only allowed Country & Western music in their home... I didn't know it was a cover song until I was well into my early 20's (Somewhere around 1992). I loved that song!

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  7. Hi, Gilligan! I've nominated you and your fabulous blog for a Kreativ Blogger Award.

    http://marcharshbarger.blogspot.com/2010/01/kreativ-blogger-award-ive-been-touched.html

    Marc

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  8. Thanks, Marc! I'll have to check that out when I get home. Much appreciated!

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  9. The Wire song isn't a Beatles cover, it just shares the title. Did you even listen to the song??

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  10. Anonymous - Yes, I did, but at 1:00 in the morning things get kinda hazy.

    Thanks for pointing this out - I've fixed the list.

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