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Beatles covers that eclipse the original
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TOPIC: Beatles covers that eclipse the original

posted 17-11-2012 20:45
Over on the covers thread Jah Womble said that Emmylou Harris achieved a rare thing by producing a cover of a Beatles song that eclipses the original, with her recording of "Here, There And Everywhere".

Now, I believe that Beatles songs are particularly adaptable, so there are many covers that are practically new songs (extreme examples: Isaac Hayes' version of "Something", Al Green's version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and Bobby Taylor's "Eleanor Rigby").

There are some covers that I would regard as superior, apart from the two obvious ones, Earth, Wind & Fire's "Got To Get You Into My Life" and Joe Cocker "With A Little Help From My Friends.

Definitely better:
Wilson Pickett - Hey Jude
Marvin Gaye – Yesterday

Possibly better:
Spooky Tooth - I Am The Walrus (possibly)

Depending on my mood:
Ray Charles - Eleanor Rugby
  • Commodore
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posted 17-11-2012 21:29
I've always thought that Stevie Wonder's rendition of 'We Can Work It Out' was vastly superior to the original. Jimi Hendrix Experience also did a fine 'Day Tripper' on his Radio 1 session of '67 and Sergio Mendes's 'Norwegian Wood' is quite sublime.
  • Calvert
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posted 17-11-2012 21:35
Bowie's version of Across The Universe on Young Americans is probably musically superior, even though I love the original's weirdness .
posted 17-11-2012 21:48
Commodore wrote:
I've always thought that Stevie Wonder's rendition of 'We Can Work It Out' was vastly superior to the original. Jimi Hendrix Experience also did a fine 'Day Tripper' on his Radio 1 session of '67 and Sergio Mendes's 'Norwegian Wood' is quite sublime.


Oh yes, I forgot to include Stevie Wonder's "We Can Work It Out" under "Definitely better".
posted 17-11-2012 21:51
George Harrison said he wrote 'Something' with Ray Charles' voice in mind - but when he finally heard Charles' version he was disappointed.

However he thought James Brown's version of the song to be the best Beatles cover version he had ever heard.
posted 17-11-2012 22:16
Most Beatles covers are crap. For whatever reason, they don't transfer well. Not as well as, say, Bob Dylan's music. Anyway, one stands out - Joe Cocker's With A Little Help From My Friends.

Karen Carpenter's cover of Ticket To Ride is pretty damn good too, I'll add.
posted 17-11-2012 22:19
Well, it's not really better, but The Damned's version of Help! is miles speedier.
Last Edit: 17-11-2012 22:19:57 by Cal Alamein.
posted 17-11-2012 23:51
Now, this is probably one of those maaaaaaan-I-wish-that-were-true moments, but the The Beatles went out to celebrate the release of Sergeant Pepper by having a few drinks, showing off their moustaches, taking in a band, etc. Now, said band piqued their interest, then said band played the entirety of Pepper, note for note. <cut to an aghast Macca and co.> Said band was the The Jimi Hendrix Experience. The Fab Four were gutted/impressed. I could Google this to see if it’s true, but it feels better not knowing for sure.
  • multipleman78
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posted 18-11-2012 00:02
No cover version is better than the original. More enjoyable perhaps but superior, never.
posted 18-11-2012 00:11
multipleman78 wrote:
No cover version is better than the original. More enjoyable perhaps but superior, never.


So I’m right in assuming you’re not Joe Cocker’s life-coach?
  • Wyatt Earp
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posted 18-11-2012 01:30
posted 18-11-2012 01:36
Wyatt Earp wrote:


Exhibit A - no way.
Exhibit B - a darn good effort.
  • evilC
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posted 18-11-2012 01:55
posted 18-11-2012 02:23
This version is too accurate, but I like it.
  • Amor de Cosmos
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posted 18-11-2012 06:16
Whenever this subject comes up, I always nominate this version of Every Little Thing. The band when downhill rapidly afterwards.
Last Edit: 18-11-2012 06:17:10 by Amor de Cosmos.
  • MsD
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posted 18-11-2012 08:43
Wyatt Earp wrote:

Can't open those but I'm guessing they are Siouxsie and Co doing Dear Prudence and Helter Skelter, both terrific.
posted 18-11-2012 09:41
This thread has been open for more than 12 hours and no one has mentioned Yellow Submarine?

And yes G Man the Marvin Gaye cover is brilliant.
  • Andy C
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posted 18-11-2012 11:51
This is unexpected, and unexpectedly pretty good. Not as good as the original, of course, but it adds quite a lot of its own:

Petula Clark: Rain
  • Commodore
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posted 18-11-2012 13:39
Andy C wrote:
This is unexpected, and unexpectedly pretty good. Not as good as the original, of course, but it adds quite a lot of its own:

Petula Clark: Rain

That channel opens a whole new world of covers. Bill Cosby doing Sgt Pepper is mental. Keith Moon doing In My Life less so, surprisingly.
Last Edit: 18-11-2012 13:45:15 by Commodore.
  • Andy C
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posted 18-11-2012 13:57
I didn't post the Petula Clark out of any sense of irony, and I don't think it's in any way mental. I think it's a very good shot at pulling off something that is very difficult indeed.
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