Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Top three cover versions of Beatles songs?

There have several thousand covers of Beatles songs but a relatively short list of those which work well. Here are my top three (in no order)

Golden Slumbers - George Benson

The Other Side of Abbey Road is an extraordinary achievement for the (then) young guitar prodigy and Golden Slumbers is a highlight.  A magnificent vocal over a strange, ethereal arrangement, it manages to avoid the syrupy 'Beatles with Strings' clich├ęsThe LP cover is great, too.

With a Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker

The best known interpretation of a Beatles song, performed in sensational fashion at Woodstock in 1969. Paying tribute to the late Sheffield singer Paul McCartney said:  

I remember him and [producer] Denny Cordell coming round to the studio and Saville Row and playing me what they recorded. It was just mind-blowing. He totally turned the song into a soul anthem, and I was forever grateful to him for doing that."

Got to Get You Into My Life - Earth, Wind and Fire

One of Paul McCartney's most exuberant compositions, an homage to Memphis soul and Motown. Earth, Wind and Fire give it the treatment, amplifying the horns and harmonies in an exhilarating arrangement.

Wisely, they do not draw attention to the writer's revelation that the 'she' in the lyric is marijuana. "It's actually an ode to pot," McCartney explained, "like someone else might write an ode to chocolate or a good claret."

The Beatles Digital Teaching Pack  (£3.99) 

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