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Culture Lust by Angela Carone

Covering the Beatles

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Today on Film Club of the Air , we talked about Across the Universe , Julie Taymor's new Beatles movie. Host Tom Fudge said that he couldn't think of any good Beatles covers, with the exception of Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help From My Friends ."

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Here's Soundgarden's take on "Come Together." There's also Franz Ferdinand doing "It Won't Be Long." I'm not saying these are necessarily "good," although I like the Soundgarden cover, but they are out there. I like Aretha Franklin's cover of "Let it Be." I haven't heard this from Tom Jones but am certainly curious. And I love Little Richard's version of "I Saw Her Standing There."

I also went in search of some Beatles cover bands to see what I could find. The results were slightly disturbing.

I pose the question to all of you... what are some good Beatles covers? Do you think it's especially difficult to cover The Beatles? Shout at me! Pam
September 20, 2007 at 01:13 AM
We're big Beatles fans at our house! For the pure cheese factor, I'm a fan of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" by William Shatner. The girls really love the St. Pepper's movie, starring the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. It's spectacularly awful. Did you talk about the Rutles, the spot-on mockumentary of the Beatles? It's pretty amazing. Also, did you know that the name "Death Cab for Cutie" comes from a Beatles song? That's all for now. -----

Kelly
September 20, 2007 at 02:59 AM
The Breeders' cover of "Happiness is a Warm Gun" is quite good.

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Pam
September 20, 2007 at 03:21 AM
Aaron just reminded me - Aretha Franklin does an amazing "Eleanor Rigby." Also, Candy Flip's "Strawberry Fields Forever" and the many Beatles covers by John Denver. Take that, Tom Fudge!

Jessica
September 20, 2007 at 06:56 PM
Um, what about 'The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles Hits'? Genius.

Rob
September 20, 2007 at 08:53 PM
Pam writes "did you know that the name "Death Cab for Cutie" comes from a Beatles song?" The song "Death Cab For Cutie" was recorded by The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band in 1967 on their "Gorilla" album. Both the song and the Doo Dah Band (with future Rutle Neil Innes on piano) were featured towards the end of "Magical Mystery Tour" film.

Pat
September 21, 2007 at 03:28 AM
My most interesring Beatles cover is a vinyl (anyone remember what that is?) album on Elektra records 1963 called The Baroque Beatles Book", with Beatles songs sung in the style of Bach, and Handel with orchestra. Pat

Pam
September 21, 2007 at 04:59 PM
Oops. Should have said "movie." Thanks for the clarification, Rob!

Lauren
September 23, 2007 at 05:00 AM
I like Rufus Wainwright's Across the Universe actually. Also Judy Collin's My Life - total comfort music for me.

Michelle Wilson
September 25, 2007 at 03:14 AM
here's a web site that lists Beatles covers songs. http://www.iro.umontreal.ca/~ratib/beatles/songs.htm A personal favorite of mine is Oasis covering "I am the Walrus".

joanne faryon
September 27, 2007 at 08:42 PM
i second Rufus Wainwright's Across the Universe with the upmost enthusiasm. this song, sung by Wainwright is stunning!!!!!!

Mike Gann
October 02, 2007 at 03:58 AM
Hi folks! I just stumbled across this site. I started collecting Beatles covers about three years ago. I have so many CDs, LPs, and 45s amassed that I haven't had a chance to hear all of them! Rufus Wainwright's version of "Across The Universe" is very, very good. I also like Paul Westerberg's version of "Nowhere Man". I think the worst cover of "Nowhere Man" that I have is the one on an old album by Vikki Carr. Some runner-ups would also come from vinyl. "A Hard Day's Night" by Peggy Lee, "Yesterday" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, "Hey Jude/Yesterday" by The Ed Sullivan Singers, "Here, There And Everywhere" by Johnny Mathis, and last but not least "Hey Jude" by Bing Crosby. One of the coolest Beatles cover albums that I have is "Moog Plays The Beatles" by Marty Gold. One of the absolute worst that I own is "Harmonica Beatles" by Billy Lee Riley. The guy is so over the top in his playing that songs like "I Cry Instead" are rendered almost unrecognizable, and his backup band can't handle the lead guitar parts. I'm new here, so let me know if I need to bring coffee and donuts, or beer and pretzels!

Vancover from Vancouver
April 04, 2009 at 08:16 PM
I'm going to say great read!!! I haven't heard a lot of these. For me Soundgarden rocks it out big time. Gotta love it. What about Motley Crue helter skelter?