Monday, February 11, 2008

The Beatles Covered

The numbers of Beatles covers are astonishing. 'Yesterday' alone has over 1000 cover versions and is the most covered song in history. Amongst Beatles covers are some great ones, along with the obscure and the down right dreadful.

For instance why would anyone attempt to cover 'A Day In The Life'? It certainly is a question Shirley Bassey didn't ask herself -gave it her best shot. If it’s a laugh you want try Jimmy Tarbuck’s version of 'All My loving' or Peter Sellers take on 'A Hard Days Night'. For the truly dire there’s William Shatner’s, 'Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds' on his Transformed Man album. For wimpy then check out Plastic Penny’s attempt to improve on 'Strawberry Fields Forever'.

Many Beatles songs have been snapped up by the Muzak makers, like the Soulful Strings mellow version of 'The Inner Light', 'Yellow Submarine' by Enoch Light and His Light Brigade or 'Eleanor Rigby' by the Mystic Moods Orchestra. To prove they probably travel better than they arrive there’s Marta Kubisova’s 'Hey Jude' with Czech lyrics or Renato & His Blue Caps and 'Love Me Do'. Worst is always subjective but Frankie Howerd’s 'Mean Mr Mustard' or Pinky & Perky’s, 'All My Loving' vie for the honour….but then again they may be so bad they’re good!

8 comments:

r morris said...

The only Beatles cover that improved on the original was Earth, Wind and Fire's 'Got to Get You Into my Life'.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I've even got a Petula Clark version - in excruciating French - of "Love Me Do". [Well, I think it's that song - 2 am here and a bit late to have everything fall out of the cupboard. It's definitely of that era!]

Richard Evans said...

I don't think there is a single act or band who ever improved on a Beatle song. Not one.

On the other hand, The Beatles and the individual members did some fantastic covers. John's version of 'Stand By Me' on his Rock'n'Roll album knocks spots off Ben E King's original - and The Beatles' version of Larry Williams' 'Bad Boy' is pretty much an equal, if not better, of Williams'.

r morris said...

I'd agree, Richard---EXCEPT for "Got to Get You Into My Life".
You are right, John's Stand by Me is better than the original.
Through the years, I've actually collected some Beatles cover albums. They are mostly bad, but lots of fun.

r morris said...

By the way, Richard E. Thanks for the addresses of places a pilgrim must visit on a Beatles pilgrimage. I plan to follow it this June.

jams o donnell said...

Two of my favourite Beatles covers are Danielle Dax's Tomorrow Never Knows and I Wanna Hold Your Hand as done by the 13rh Floor Elevators (featuring a beardless, pre ZZ Top Billy Gibbons)

Trubes said...

One of my favourites of a Beatles cover was Ella Fitzgerald`s version of Money Can`t Buy You Love. My opinion, of course, could be biased, as I am also a great fan of Ella Fitzgerald too. Brilliant version, though!

Ms Baroque said...

I know you say "a laugh," but you haven't made quite clear how genius Peter Sellers' version is! He was doing a specific thing that wasn't just about covering the song - he was doing A Hard Day's Night in the style of Olivier's Richard III. It stands up today and it isn;t even quite possible to say WHY it works so well - it just does.