The Beatles are undeniably one of the most renowned and influential bands in music history. Their impact on popular culture cannot be quantified, and their songs still resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds across the globe. It’s no surprise that countless musicians have covered their music over the years, as hearing a fresh interpretation of a classic Beatles tune is always thrilling. What’s fantastic about others covering The Beatles is that it ensures their music remains current and significant. Every artist infuses their distinct style and perspective into the songs, creating something novel and exhilarating for fans. Whether it’s a faithful rendition or an innovative reimagining, these covers demonstrate the persistent allure of The Beatles’ music. Additionally, other people covering The Beatles introduces their work to new audiences. Younger generations can discover their music through the covers of contemporary artists, leading them to delve into The Beatles’ discography and explore their sound further. It’s also a fantastic way for people who weren’t initially fans of the band to appreciate their music from a new perspective. Ultimately, other people covering The Beatles is a tribute to their legacy. Decades after their peak, their music still inspires and influences musicians worldwide. Each cover serves as a reminder of the incredible impact The Beatles had on the music industry, and their enduring popularity is a testament to their timeless significance.
As featured on my Verso’s Home Run show on Felixstowe Radio on Tuesday April 11th 2023
10] Al Green – I Wanna Hold Your Hand
Green takes “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and gives it his own unique twist, infusing the song with soulful and melodic elements. He adds a layer of emotion and depth that was lacking in the original, transforming it into a tender and passionate love ballad. Green’s smooth and silky vocals are perfectly suited to the song, effortlessly hitting every note with precision and grace. The instrumentation is equally impressive, with a lush and full-bodied sound that complements Green’s vocals perfectly.
09] Emmylou Harris – For No One
As someone who loves music, I’ve always been fascinated by how various artists can rejuvenate a familiar song. Emmylou Harris’s rendition of The Beatles’ “For No One” is a prime example. Her performance is a showcase of exceptional vocal and instrumental skills. From the first note she sings, the listener is transported into her realm where every lyric and melody is infused with sincerity and feeling. Harris’s voice is both comforting and commanding as she effortlessly navigates the intricate composition and lyrics of the song.
08] Jeff Beck – She’s a Woman
Beck’s guitar playing is simply incredible, bringing a new level of energy and excitement to the song. The driving rhythm and powerful vocals make it impossible not to dance along. This version of the song is a prime example of Beck’s immense talent as a musician and his ability to elevate a classic song to new heights.
07] Joe Cocker – With a Little Help From My Friends
The Joe Cocker version of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends” is a timeless classic that never fails to lift our spirits. From the soulful vocals to the upbeat rhythm, this song is the perfect reminder that we all need a little help sometimes and that it’s okay to ask for it. Cocker’s rendition adds a unique flavor to the already iconic track, making it one of the most beloved covers of all time.
06] Billie Eilish – Something
The young singer’s version of the song brings a fresh and modern twist to the timeless classic. Eilish’s hauntingly beautiful voice adds a new layer of emotion to the already powerful lyrics. The stripped-down production allows her voice to shine, making for a truly captivating listening experience. While some may argue that classic songs should remain untouched, Eilish’s take on “Something” proves that a new interpretation can be just as impactful.
05] The Cure – Hello Goodbye
The haunting and beautiful version of The Beatles’ classic hit “Hello Goodbye” by The Cure pays tribute to the original while also highlighting the band’s individual sound. The melancholic tone of Robert Smith’s unique vocals enhances the song’s ethereal synthesizers and atmospheric guitar riffs.
04] Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Here Comes the Sun
George Harrison penned Here Comes the Sun, which is among his well-known works from his time with the band. The song came to fruition when Harrison skipped a meeting at the Beatles’ Apple Corps organisation and spent the day at Eric Clapton’s country home. The lyrics convey the composer’s relief at the advent of spring and the brief respite he experienced from the band’s business affairs. Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, a British rock group, covered the song in 1976, releasing it as the lead single from their fifth studio album, Love’s a Prima Donna. It was their first time recording a cover version, and it became their last top 40 hit.
03] Oasis – I Am the Walrus (live)
The Oasis rendition commences with a straightforward guitar riff that eventually explodes into a wall of sound led by Liam Gallagher’s distinct vocals. The famous “goo goo g’joob” line is delivered with such fervor that it’s impossible not to be swept up in the performance’s sheer energy. The Oasis version’s extended instrumental section towards the end is one of its highlights. The band genuinely lets loose here, with guitarist Noel Gallagher unleashing a scorching solo that perfectly captures the song’s chaotic spirit. The entire piece culminates in a frenzied climax before abruptly coming to a halt, leaving the listener breathless and craving more.
02] Petty, Winwood, Lynne & Prince – While My Guitar Gently Weeps
When George Harrison was posthumously inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, many of his friends and collaborators attended as expected. However, it was Prince, also being inducted, who stole the show with a powerful performance of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” on March 15, 2004, alongside Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne – both of whom had worked with Harrison in the Traveling Wilburys. Other notable attendees included Steve Winwood, who had participated in the recordings for Harrison’s 1979 album, and George’s son, Dhani Harrison. Despite being known for his pop and soul music, Prince exceeded expectations with his impressive tribute to the late musician.
01] Candy Flip – Strawberry Fields Forever
Since its release in 1967, The Beatles’ psychedelic masterpiece “Strawberry Fields Forever” has been covered by countless artists. One of the most notable versions of the song is by a group called Candy Flip. Released in 1990, Candy Flip’s rendition quickly climbed the UK charts, reaching the top 5. What sets this version apart is its use of electronic elements and a dance beat, providing a fresh and energetic take on the classic song. The opening of the song features a sample from the movie Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, with Willy Wonka stating, “We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.” This sets the tone for the dreamy and otherworldly sound of the Candy Flip version, making it stand out. The electronic beat is infectious and captivating, paired with the haunting vocals of lead singer Danny Spencer, which adds an emotional layer to the song. The nod to the original Beatles version is seen through the incorporation of the sitar, adding to the trippy and psychedelic vibe. Despite initial skepticism from fans of the original, the Candy Flip version won them over with its unique sound and catchy beat. This is a testament to the timelessness of the song, as it can be reinterpreted and remain just as impactful as the original.