Beatles Covers

I think The Beatles are the best rock band ever. That’s no secret. Paul, John and Ge

The Beatles

orge were each incredible songwriters with the ability to take something simple and make it into an amazing song. There are plenty of likewise talented songwriters, but no one band ever has had three fantastic songwriters like the Beatles. Along the same lines, there are a lot of singers who can take a Beatles song and make it their own. Today’s column is my list of the best covers of Beatles songs.  

  1. (TIE) “Come TogetherMichael Jackson’s version is stunning. There’s no other word really – this live performance of Come Together by the King of Pop is that good. Jackson doing what Jackson could do, make a song pop like no other.    Aerosmith’s cover of Come Together is likewise fantastic. It is hard for me to pick either of these as the best, each is incredible. Steve Tyler’s vocals, with the instantly recognizable riff, is initially indistinguishable from the Beatles tune.
  2. Joe Cocker’s version of “A Little Help From My Friends”. With his raspy voice and unique intro to the song, Joe’s version of this song is as popular as the Beatles original. Joe added some soul, serenading us with his unique voice. It didn’t hurt to have Jimmy Page on guitar and BJ Wilson on drums, plus the background singers were amazing.  RIP Joe.
  3. Elton John’s cover of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” is a soaring masterpiece that pays homage to the original in vocals, but has a unique musical background that distinguishes the song from John’s version. It’s beautiful.
  4. Had the Beatles had the time to work up “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, they’d have done it Al Green’s way. The Beatles were cranking out albums every six months as they unleashed their catalog on the world. Given some time, they might have done as good as Al.
  5. Elvis covered “Something” in 1973 during a gig in Hawaii. The greatest love song of all time could have been Elvis’ own, had he had George’s songwriting talent. The video of his prep to sing the song is fun to watch.
  6. Latin Band’s cover of “Get Back”, recorded on a rooftop in New York, adds a salsa sound to the song. They had such joy playing the song, you get happy just watching, and listening.
  7. Earth Wind & Fire did a funked up version of “Got To Get You Into My Life”. Coupled with their dancing, this version is classic EW&F. They play the song like they are having fun.
  8. Macon’s own Otis Redding did a “Hard Day’s Night” and put some soul into the song. Wow! This could have been a great blues song, probably where the Beatles got their inspiration.
  9. John Denver’s cover of “Mother Nature’s Son”. John is so natural doing this song, it fits his persona of living the good life outdoors. Too bad John didn’t turn the fuel line to the “on” position a few years ago, he could still be entertaining us to this day.
  10. Country singer Johnny Cash did “In My Life”. At the end of recording career, he recorded this song and gives it a different sound than a 20ish John Lennon. Something about singing the song at the end of one’s life instead of the start makes this song more powerful.
  11. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by William Shatner, better known as Captain Kirk. Shockingly, yes, this is really good. Maybe because Shatner is so bad, he makes this unique. It’s really not singing, it’s more like he’s talking, but it works.  Think MacArthur Park by Richard Harris, so bad it’s good.
  12. Fiona Apple’s version of “Across The Universe”. She’s a messed up girl, but her cover of this song is fantastic. She puts a soft woman’s touch on a beautiful song. 
  13. Ike & Tina Turner sang, hammered really, “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”. Tina may have renounced her U.S. Citizenship, but when she was here, she could belt out a song and this is absolute proof. She gives it more BANG than the Beatles version.

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