My Favourite Beatles Covers

The Beatles filming the promotional videos for 'Rain' and 'Paperback Writer' -- also hiding behind cellophane... The back cover of 'Revolver' is from the same group of shots.

The Beatles filming the promotional videos for ‘Rain’ and ‘Paperback Writer’ — also hiding behind cellophane… The back cover of ‘Revolver’ is from the same group of shots.

When I first became a Beatles fan, I hated Beatles covers more than I hated One Direction. I vehemently detested them. But as I slowly realised that I was being rather hypocritical as I was making really bad (Really. Bad.) covers myself using the Smart Instruments on GarageBand (this was before I started playing guitar), I began to appreciate good Beatles covers more and more^. And over the past few months, I’ve discovered that plenty of my other favourite artists have done Beatles covers. And now I really love listening to reinterpretations of some of my favourite songs! I decided today that I would compile a list of my favourites, an idea I’ve had for a while, and so here it is. I’ll start off with my favourite Beatles cover of all time…

‘She Said, She Said’ — The Black Keys

This gem came off The Black Keys’ — made up of Dan Auerbach (guitar and vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums) — very first album, The Big Come Up, which was released in 2002. (The album was recorded in the basement of the house that Carney rented, by the way.) ‘She Said, She Said’ is my favourite Beatles song, and I love how the Keys turn the psychedelic masterpiece into a wonderful bluesy rocker. The guitar is amazing, and Auerbach’s distorted vocals match the style very well. This was also the song that introduced me to The Black Keys in the first place, so I have two things to thank it for! This is not the first time the Black Keys have been mentioned on this blog, and it certainly won’t be the last…

‘Run For Your Life’ — Arcade Fire

This is a live cover, but it’s still damn good, in my opinion. It highlights the heaviness of the original (something which isn’t really shown all that much) and they really rock it. Well done, Arcade Fire. (Arcade Fire are an indie pop/rock band from Canada, by the way. They rose to notoriety with their first album, Funeral, though I think the 2010 The Suburbs is their best.)

‘I Saw Her Standing There’ — Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes

Sort of a bluegrass reinterpretation of the first song off The Beatles’ first album, I really like this cover. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes (an indie folk band from Los Angeles) covered this song as a part of an album titled Beatles Reimagined. As with The Black Keys’ cover of ‘She Said She Said’, Edward Sharpe’s (a.k.a. Alex Ebert) voice really lends itself to the style of the cover. A job well done, I must say.

‘Oh! Darling’ — Florence and the Machine

I found this cover whilst bumbling around YouTube one day, and it’s really good! Florence and the Machine stay quite faithful to the original, but Florence Welch’s amazing voice gives the song an entire different feel. The lead guitar runs with that awesome reverb are also really enjoyable… 🙂

‘Hey Bulldog’ — Dave Grohl

This cover came out of a certain Grammys tribute from about a year ago (was it really that long ago?!), and this is definitely my favourite cover to originate from the night. Dave and the backing band really rock one of my favourite Beatles songs out really hard. Those drums, the guitar, the keyboard… It almost could be a Foo Fighters song!

‘Happiness is a Warm Gun’ — The Breeders

The only Breeders song I’ve heard is this particular cover, but it certainly makes me want to go and check out more of their stuff! This cover gives the song a more grungy feel, though — as with Florence and the Machine — still stays quite close to the original. And a female singer! Yay!

‘I Wanna Be Your Man’ — The Stones

Is this really a cover, or is it not? Of course, John and Paul wrote it, but The Stones released the song first. For the purpose of this list, I’ll call it a cover. But anyway, The Stones’ version of this song has the distinction of being the only Beatles cover I prefer to the original, though The Black Keys’ cover is my favourite cover. (Sorry, Ringo.) That really awesome slide guitar shows how good a lead guitarist Brian Jones was. (I wish I could play like that!) And Mick Jagger’s vocals are completely wild. Really groovy version. (This was also the song that gave The Stones their first hit. George recommended them to Decca after good ol’ Dick Rowe of the same record company told Brian Epstein a couple of years earlier, ‘Guitar groups are on the way out, Mr Epstein…’ Hmm… No comment.)

And finally, the last cover…

‘Dear Prudence’ — Siouxsie and the Banshees

I have many music-related things to thank my mum for. (Introducing me to The Velvet Underground and The Violent Femmes would be two examples.) This cover is another example. Almost a year ago, I was listening/playing ‘Dear Prudence’, and Mum remembered that Siouxsie and the Banshees had covered it. We played the cover on YouTube. I believe it was the first Beatles cover I ever liked. So thank you, Mum!

And so here we go! Got any other Beatles covers you like? Feel free to use the comments section below! And ’till my next post, good day sunshine! 🙂

^ Of course, there are still some really bad ones — not mentioning any names, *cough*OneDirectionJustinBieberMileyCyrusblahblah*cough*…

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Haddy Grimble* to y’all! (A Christmas post…)

very odd

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas time, in case you haven’t noticed. It’s Christmas Eve down here in our rather large, isolated corner of the globe known as Australia, so I decided I should do a post wishing all my followers a very haddy Crimble and a merry New Year**!

Most of you who are reading this might be freezing in the Northern Hemisphere, and experiencing a White Christmas! But it is Summer in Australia, and as usual, Christmas in Adelaide will be in the mid-twenties. (Which is surprisingly cool for Summer…) And I haven’t been in a very Christmassy mood this year. We only put up a few Christmas decorations on the weekend. I haven’t listened to any Christmas songs of my own will, excepting The Beatles’ Christmas Records and ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’. Bah humbug. But anyway, I thought I would prove I am not the Grinch in disguise and do a post on how to celebrate a ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’-style Christmas with an ‘All You Need Is The Beatles’-style Christmas playlist! So here goes…

Those of you who've watched 'George Harrison: Living In The Material World', you'll remember that story about the Apple Christmas Party and the Hells Angels. (Google it.) This is from the same event...

Those of you who’ve watched ‘George Harrison: Living In The Material World’, you’ll remember that story about the Apple Christmas Party and the Hells Angels. (Google it.) This is from the same event…

 

‘Christmastime (Is Here Again)’ — The Beatles!

A Beatles Christmas song! With Beatle harmonies! Yay! tangerinetrees’ perfect Christmas song…

For those of you who don’t know anything about this song, The Beatles released Christmas records every year. But these records were only available to their fan club. This song is from the 1967 Christmas Record, which was originally about seven minutes long. This edit was used in 1995 as the B-side to ‘Free As A Bird’. The Smithereens did a very enjoyable cover, which I will post below:

 

‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’ — John Lennon

Hands down my favourite officially released and easily obtainable Christmas song! (The above is my favourite of all time.) The song was based off a 1969 Johnandyoko campaign using billboards reading ‘WAR IS OVER!’ in 11 cities. The mantra chanted by the children’s choir/Yoko is all the more relevant today — war will be over, if we want it. Clearly the governments don’t want it to be over…

But on a less serious note, I need to deal with the subject of Yoko. So Yokes, I love your contemporary art, and I think you were a great influence on John, but you and singing… Erm, you and “singing”… Let’s just say that I wouldn’t encourage to give up your day job.

John sings wonderfully, though. In fact, ‘Happy Xmas’ is one of my favourite Lennon vocals. (Among everything else he ever sang! 🙂 )

‘Wonderful Christmastime’ — Paul McCartney

Okay, so this isn’t exactly Paul’s best. (And yes, I like Wings a lot more than I did six months ago. ‘Band On The Run’, ‘Mrs Vandebilt’ and ‘Call Me Back Again’ are three of my favourite songs. And pretty much all of their good songs are really dance-able.) Yes, it’s a bit cheesy. Yes, I think the lyrics are a bit limited. But anyway, it’s Christmas. And it’s Paul. I’d rather listen to Paul sing a bad Christmas song than, say, Wham! (*shudders*). And I guess I do like this song. 🙂

‘Oh, Little Town Of Bethlehem’ — Belle and Sebastian

Belle and Sebastian are a Scottish indie-pop band that wrote one of my favourite films, God Help The Girl. And they did a Christmas hymn! And it sounds good! Festive sounding guitar…

The Yeah Yeah Yeahs — ‘All I Want For Christmas’

I’ve just started to get into The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and I found this whilst trying to find a nonexistent Black Keys Christmas cover. (The Black Keys are one of my other favourite bands, by the way.) I dig it! Christmas songs sound strangely good when recorded indie-style…

The Kinks — ‘Father Christmas’

I love The Kinks. And whilst I’d rather listen to ‘All Day and All Of The Night’ or ‘Sunny Afternoon’ than I would the above, I have to admit that it’s pretty damn good for a Christmas song. The overdriven guitars are pretty awesome, too.

‘Jingle Bell Rock’ — Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire sound drunk, but I don’t really care. I really like Arcade Fire, and this is just how I’d imagine an Arcade Fire Christmas song to be.

(And finally…)

The Beatles’ Christmas Records!

Every year from 1963 to 1969, The Beatles recorded a short “Christmas record” which was distributed among their fan club. I’ve already posted part of their 1967 Christmas record above, but here are all seven in their entirety. My personal favourite is the 1966 record known as ‘Everywhere It’s Christmas’, which begins at 15:40. But I, of course, enjoy all of the records… John’s wit is in full bloom, and George is also very, very funny. They must have had a lot of fun making these records!

And there you go! tangerine’s Christmas playlist in a (you guessed it) nutshell! And now I’ll take the opportunity to wish you all a merry Chrimble, haddy Grimble and a festal Christmas! Hope you all have a really gear holiday season. Good day sunshine until another day 🙂

*No, I have not lost my ability to spell. I’m referencing a poem in one of John’s books — In His Own Write — called ‘Haddy Grimble, Randoob!’

**Referencing The Beatles’ 1963 Christmas record.