It’s fair to say that any musician, or certainly, any rock band of the last few decades, owes a great debt to The Beatles (whether they praise them or not). There may be no need to acknowledge them with a cover, but it’s always good fun to hear a reworking of any song so dear to the collective heart as one from the Beatles’ catalogue–that is, if done for passion and not financial gain (i.e. Fuck 2007’s Across the Universe). And though some covers may be pure blasphemy, others can pump fresh blood into aging gems (or veins?.. I think I lost the metaphor…). With this sentiment I’d like to share some of my favorite Beatles covers. This is not a best-of, but a collection of the great and novel, some of my favorites of Beatles fandom.
First is The Breeders’ rendition of “Happiness is a Warm Gun” off 1990’s Pod. The album was produced by Steve Albini.
The Feelies, “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except for Me and my Monkey”
Stevie Wonder, “We Can Work it Out.” I saw this on the PBS website, I think, a few months ago. A bunch of famous people got together to appreciate McCartney, at the White House.
I’m not quite sure if you could define this as a cover: Chumbawumba’s “Her Majesty.” It’s more their attempt at completing an unfinished thought, with their old anarchic leanings.
Johnny Cash, “In My Life.” Old and mourning.
Earth Wind and Fire, “Got to Get You into my Life.”
Joe Cocker, “Something.” This may not be as well-known as his covers of “With a Little Help From my Friends” and “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window,” but it may be as great.
The Pixies, “Wild Honey Pie.” Of all Beatles songs to cover…
It’s not a cover. It’s a tribute. Daniel Johnston’s “The Beatles.”
And if you’ve ever doubted his passion: Daniel Johnston covers “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away.”