Friday 16 March 2012

First Dance Friday: A Confession

Are you ready?

I don't get the Beatles.

I just don't get them.

Sweep away for a second the White Album and a few songs on Revolver, and you might say I actually dislike them. They're so boring. Yellow Submarine? Please. It's nursery rhyme music, and I don't understand it. And it's SO ANNOYING because there are so many Beatles songs that are appropriate for a wedding: Here, There & Everywhere, In My Life, 221e82djhq0e8128rh9823&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

Sorry, I dozed off for a minute there.

I fully acknowledge the debt that modern music owes to them (would Take That have existed without them? No!) And I appreciate the consistency of their output over the years. But I ...ahhhhh.... no, I just can't do it. If we really have to do 60s twee, I'll take the Carpenters any day.

Have you ever noticed how the covers of Beatles songs are often better than the orginals? That's because they're all well made, but a bit passionless. Like a Volvo. Give them to a great artist however, and the music becomes magical. If, like me, you enjoy the sentiment of their songs but find the originals a bit bland, there are some tasty tributes out there you could use on your wedding day. Here are just a few.

 This may make you cry, and makes the original sound pointless in comparison:

 And this will fill your heart joy. Completely:

But if we're going on a non-wedding tip, I think this is still my favourite:

 What are your favourite Beatles covers?


  1. Fuck me, that Al Green cover is amazing.

    I do like the Beatles, and absolutely love some of their stuff (Tomorrow Never Knows is an all-time favourite), but what
    you said about their stuff often being well-made but passionless is a definite nail-on-header for me. I'd much rather listen to the host of garage thumpers from the same era. All the pop hooks and 10 times the passion. The Sonics, for example:

    It's not really a Beatles cover, more of a cover of the same original, but give me the Sonics' wailing over the Beatles' more mannered approach every time.

    1. Isn't it great! Love the Rev Al.

      The Sonics are on a lengthy list of garagey bands I need to spend some proper time listening to (file with Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys). That's a very nice version, although I'm with Linds on the Flying Lizards - obvious but brilliant.


  2. Yes yes yes! Once again I'm in COMPLETE agreement with you!! They bore me to tears too, but I tend to like people covering their stuff. I could never quite put my finger on why, but you've nailed it. The other people manage to put passion into it where The Beatles just leave you cold.

    Of course my mind has gone blank now I'm trying to think of favourite covers, but I do like Joe Cocker and The Flying Lizards (although I think Money is a cover of a cover!).

    Where do you stand on Wings? I'm not a fan exactly but I do like Band On The Run and the Bond theme (mind blank again!).

    1. I love that Joe Cocker version. I love Joe Cocker full stop, he's one of my vocal idols. Do you know I'd never been bothered about Wings but Sam's got me into them. We had Jet on our wedding playlist - great song!


  3. I like the Beatles, but often find myself ignoring the lyrics and just concentrating on the music.
    If I had to pick my favourite cover though it would definitely have to be Joe Cocker's version of A Little Help from My Friends. He took a song that had little passion (because let's face it, with his limited range Ringo Starr would be lucky to sing his way out of a wet paper bag) and really gave it life. I feel every word of the song when delivered with Cocker's signature rasp, like he's bleeding out all his emotions all over the floor.
    I also like Fiona Apple's cover of Across the Universe, but I think that has more to do with where I was in my life when I heard it rather than it being the kind of thing that blows you away.

    1. Yes! I love the Joe Cocker version, although it does make me think of the Wonder Years now and forever will do. Not necessarily a bad thing. The Rufus Wainwright version of Across The Universe is good too (as pointed out by @cyclingbride this morning on Twitter).


  4. God knows what is on the videos you sorted Penny, I'm on my shit tiny phone (you've seen it). My favourite Beatles cover is I've Just Seen a Face by Japanese instrumental folk band, the Kuricorder Quartet. Don't know if I prefer it to the original, but it's ace and, despite leading with a PENNY whistle, some how gets me a little pumped, like what Eye of the Tiger does in films. Check it out! My name is called Jarv. X

  5. This is brilliant. I don't know much about music, but have always thought the Beatles and Rolling Stones are overrated. My Dad would disagree.

    My favourite groups of all time would be, in order:

    Queen - big Freddie Mercury fan
    Bon Jovi
    The Kinks - Sunny Afternoon, favourite song of all time.
    The Drifters - I love Under the Boardwalk, and Kissin in the Back Row of the Movies.
    The Smiths
    The Pogues - seen them live in Manchester. They were brilliant.

    I have an eclectic taste! I never tire of Cher's greatest hits album. Nobody gets my love for Cher, I especially love Gypsies, Tramps and Queens; and Fortune Queen of New Orleans.

    I'm sure I've heard Amy Winehouse do a Beatles cover, on the radio, and preferred it to the original. Can't remember which one it is though. Sorry.

    Great post Penny.


    1. To be fair to Winehouse, she pretty much owned everything she covered. Impressive lady. As Cher still is(!)