Monday, May 24, 2004

Because it is Sunday and I had the weekend shift 'til 1 a.m. today, it was a lazy kind of day. Besides weeding the back yard and making funny faces at baby Peter to see his reaction, the most arduous thing I did was play with our groovy Christmas-gift CD burner, and tossed together an entire CD of Beatles song covers culled from the CD collection and various mp3s. The Beatles have the distinction I would think of being "covered" more than probably anyone else in history -- there's more Beatles covers out there than Beatles songs I imagine.

One of the things that has made the Beatles so durable is the timeless quality of their work, and how pliable it can be. It's been covered and reimagined by everyone from hardcore punk bands to bluegrass singers. Here's 22 tracks I found to make a Beatle-esque mix CD:
1. Because (By the late, bittersweet voice of Elliott Smith)
2. Two Of Us (By Aimee Mann and her husband, the underappreciated Michael Penn)
3. Penny Lane (By David Bowie, a curious cover from 1967 before he was really known)
4. And I Love Her (The King's Singers -- from an entire CD of Beatles covers done a capella called "The Beatles Connection." This kind of thing could be horrible -- and often is -- but the King's Singers manage some breathtakingly beautiful, almost hymn-like reinterpretations of pop classics. I was turned on to this CD in high school and it's still one of my favorites)
5. Strawberry Fields Forever (Peter Gabriel)
6. In My Life (Dave Matthews Band, a live concert bootleg)
7. Blackbird (Foo Fighters, another live song and a rather short one)
8. She's Leaving Home (Billy Bragg puts his unique stamp on this one)
9. A Day In The Life (an instrumental, by Beck of all people)
10. Across The Universe (David Bowie from "Young Americans," one of the top 5 Beatles covers ever IMHO)
11. Here Comes The Sun (Belle and Sebastian, live)
12. Happiness Is A Warm Gun (The Breeders, with Kim Deal wrapping her sexy voice around one of the Beatles' most disturbing tracks)
13. Ticket To Ride (Hüsker Dü)
14. Dear Prudence (Siouxsie and the Banshees)
15. Hey, You've Got To Hide Your Love Away (Pearl Jam, with Eddie Vedder doing a great vocal)
16. I Am The Walrus (A completely wacked-out live concert version by Frank Zappa)
17. Within You Without You (Sonic Youth puts their spin to this trippy song)
18. Wild Honey Pie (Probably one of the worst Beatles songs, but given an unforgettable death-punk/pop treatment by The Pixies)
19. Got To Get You Into My Life (Another King's Singers track -- you wont believe the a capella noises they make to recreate this song)
20. Tomorrow Never Knows (a live version with Cornershop and Oasis singer Noel Gallagher)
21. With A Little Help From My Friends (By Joe Cocker, best known as the "Wonder Years" version, and possibly one of the few Beatles covers that may be better than the original)
22. Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da (No Doubt, not one of my favorite bands but a magnificent live cover version nonetheless)

Anyone else out there recommend favorite Beatles covers not mentioned here? (I would've included Johnny Cash's "In My Life" but didn't want the same song twice)

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