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Thread: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Let It Be

    Live: Joe Cocker and friends, 1996

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    And then there was also the Ferry Aid version . . .



    Name those singers . . . .
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  3. #123
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    I never thought the phrase "Let it be" was even remotely ambiguous. One of the kids in that video listening to Beatles songs says "Let IT Be. Let what be?", but the "it" refers to nothing in particular, just like the "it" in "taking it all too hard." It's just an expression meaning "Let things be", "Accept things as they are." The Christian term "Amen" means much the same thing, as does the Islamic expression "Inshalla".

    "Mother Mary" could be interpreted in more than one way, but that was probably intentional on Paul's part, exploiting the fact that his mother's name happened to be Mary.
    Jerry Wexler said, "Aretha told us to hold up the release. She liked the melody but wasn’t sure what the lyrics meant.", so I think it was ambiguous to her. And probably others as well.

    I read the other day that what you said, accept things as they are, was what Paul meant. He said he was giving the gist of a dream he had with his mother in it and what she had to say although it wasn't that exact phrase.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    In a way it's surprising there are not more covers of Let It Be, because I expect it would be one of the easiest Beatles songs to play and sing.
    Oh, there ARE dozens. I mention the ones that seem significant to me, and post links to videos of the covers that I think are remarkable, interesting, and notable.

    In the first Let It Be post I mentioned
    Joe Cocker,
    Joan Baez,
    Tennessee Ernie Ford,
    José Feliciano,
    Tori Amos,
    Tom Jones,
    Jennifer Hudson,
    Aretha Franklin,
    Meat Loaf,
    Ike & Tina Turner,
    Bill Withers,
    Elvis Costello,
    Leo Sayer (All This and World War II),
    The Ventures,
    Richie Havens,
    John Denver,
    Ray Charles,
    Spanky Wilson,
    Dion
    and
    Marillion.

    And
    The Nylons,
    Ray Charles,
    Alicia Keys & John Legend,
    Leo Sayer,
    Across The Universe,
    Nick Cave,
    Twin Atlantic
    , and
    Tina Turner.

    And Paul McCartney.

    YesNY posted the Justin Bieber/Carlos Santana NYE version.

    I posted a rather quaint version by Tennessee Ernie Ford. And the Ferry Aid version.

    That's 33 versions, give or take one or two. There's plenty of others. I usually don't mention artists I've never heard of, nor do I usually include Tribute band versions, because they're usually carbon copies of the original - but I'll make an exception for tribute versions of songs the Beatles never performed live. And although I don't think they ever played Let It Be, there's Yellow Matter Custard, the supergroup of Beatles Tribute bands with Dream Theater/Transatlantic's Mike Portnoy, Spock's Beard/Transatlantic's Neal Morse, Paul Gilbert, Matt Bisonette, and Bisonette's replacement Utopia's Kasim Sulton.



    There's also a lot of fan covers . . . you know, like an amateur version performed in their living room accompanying themselves on a guitar . . . . and while there are gems of this sort to be found, most are not all that noteworthy. Some are not also not very good.

    Let It Be


    So, to illustrate the former, here's Alex Goot singing Let It Be.

    He's got a really good voice, and probably also sings the harmonies as well. Since he plays piano, guitar, bass and drums, it's possible he's on all of the instruments. He's actually released 5 studio albums of original songs, as well as 5 albums of covers (called Songs I Wish I Wrote, volumes 1-4 and unplugged)



    According to SecondHandSongs there were 33 versions of Let It Be released in 1970 alone, and another 13 in 1971.
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  5. #125
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    So, so far we’ve posted 11 covers of LET IT BE.

    There are both studio and live versions available from Joan Baez. Both sound exactly how you’d expect: Somewhat folk-y (or is the word "folksy"?), with Joan’s plaintive voice ringing out over her acoustic guitar strumming, drums, bass, an undermixed gospel choir, and towards the end, someone trying desperately to be heard on a lead guitar, maybe in the next county. Her live version from 1973 is actually more compelling, with only her voice and guitar.

    José Feliciano’s version showcases his piercing voice, but the arranger or producer also decided to put their own “stamp” on it, adding oddball brass in altered rhythms and melody in odd places, and a wah-wah guitar wandering in and out. The guitar solo is pretty good, but after that there’s a flute obligato playing over the last verse.

    Tori Amos has covered the song live in 2003, 2005 and 2017 (and probably more than that I'm guessing), so I guess it’s a regular go-to song for her. Her 2003 and 2005 vocal resonates with empathy and pathos as she throws a steady tempo out the window. It works. And she accompanies herself with just the piano, sometimes thick, sometimes tinkly. By 2017 she sounds almost like a parody of herself, turning the subtle vocal and piano nuances of 2005 into over-the-top theatrics. It certainly doesn’t suck, but it seems to bring the song down, rather than elevate it.

    Tom Jones’ version could be on the “worst covers” for it’s self-important vocal. But, then again, that’s Tom Jones, singing like he’s trying to convince us of something very important by shaking us by the shoulders. Again, the arrangement is fairly cookie-cutter, even with Tom finding plenty of alternate notes to keep himself entertained. The good news is that he’s truncated the song down to under 3 minutes.

    Vocal powerhouse Jennifer Hudson released Let It Be as a single in 2010, and her vocal is tremendous. And while the guitar solo is pretty good (although shorter than the original), the backing track is, like many other covers of this song, fairly unoriginal. She also sang this live at President Obama’s 50th birthday party. It’s a great live version, even if the sound quality is a bit substandard.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Considering how much Elton John admired the Beatles, it's a bit surprising that I never heard of him performing the song. It would suit his style perfectly. As a matter of fact when Let It Be came out I remember wondering if the Beatles had been influenced by Skyline Pigeon, two cover versions of which had been released just a year or two earlier.

    That particular style of song - vocals sung over a backing consisting of piano chords - is so common now that it's easy to forget that it was very new at that time. In fact I would credit Elton, along with the Beatles, as pioneering it.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Spoof from the "Sesame Street" childrens show, obviously borrowing heavily from "Let It Be". The band is "The Beetles". Song starts around 43 second mark:


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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Spoof from the "Sesame Street" childrens show, obviously borrowing heavily from "Let It Be". The band is "The Beetles". Song starts around 43 second mark:

    Very clever.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Okay, make that 13 covers of LET IT BE

    Meat Loaf's cover proves that you CAN put too much passion into a song. Strangely enough, there are also backup singers during the choruses that make the song sound pretty sloppy. His version is also truncated down to 2:22, ending the song before what would usually be the guitar solo.

    Bill ("Ain't No Sunshine") Withers covered the song back in 1971, and changed up the rhythm to a boogie, creating sort of a gospel/doo-wop version. Withers also shortened the tune down to 2:36, choosing to also leave off the solo, last verse and choruses. It has great potential but he never really breaks loose like the song hints at.

    I've heard that Elvis Costello supposedly did a cover, but I can't find any record of it online.

    But, speaking of Elvis, Elvis Presley never did a cover of it either. But he did cover Hey Jude, Yesterday, Lady Madonna, and Something. He would also use Get Back to blend with his hit Little Sister.

    Which brings me to the haunting version recorded by Leo Sayer specifically for the fauxdocumentary All This And World War II. His voice seems to suit the song well. In the film they used footage of rounding up American citizens of Japanese ancestry to send to relocation camps.

    Last edited by pianozach; 2 Days Ago at 02:53 AM.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    LET IT BE


    Richie Havens covered Let It Be in a laid back version with either congas or bongos. It's nice, but sort of a throwaway for him.


    And John Denver also covered it in 1971, accompanied by what sounds like just two acoustic guitars. Denver's gentle treatment and clear-as-a-bell voice seem to work well with the song.




    Spanky Wilson's version is, if nothing else, unique for it's arrangement, which opens with only woodwinds and heavy bass drum, but it turns into a faux - big band version. Then it veers into some truly strange arrangement territory, and just as quickly veers back.

    I'm posting that one on the merits of it's arrangement uniqueness alone




    Well, The Ventures recorded an instrumental of the song in 1970, and whoever put this video together found a great many rare photos of the Beatles to do the video.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post

    Meat Loaf's cover proves that you CAN put too much passion into a song. Strangely enough, there are also backup singers during the choruses that make the song sound pretty sloppy. His version is also truncated down to 2:22, ending the song before what would usually be the guitar solo.
    We already knew that the first time we ever heard Meat Loaf sing. :(

    Perhaps he shortened the song as an act of mercy to the listener.

    Did I mention that I can't stand Meat Loaf?

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    How about a cover of "Let It Be" by pianozach? Must be one out there. Am I right?

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    How about a cover of "Let It Be" by pianozach? Must be one out there. Am I right?
    thank you, thank you. I've performed it many times, but never committed it to "tape". My version is based on my hazy recollection of Leo Sayer's version, which, as it turns out, is really not very much like his at all. Besides, he was a 1st tenor, I'm more in Ian Anderson's range vocally.

    My main keyboard moves back home after next weekend (i'm conducting [from the keyboard] a pit band for a production of Chess and my XV-88 is such a monster to move (57 pounds and 57"x17"x5" - it barely fits in the car), I let it live at the theatre for the run of the show. I also have a second XV-88, but it has three broken hammers, which cost bucks to replace. I've discovered videos online with instructions on how to replace them . . . funny thing, but all the white keys are interchangeable, as are the black keys, so I could simply "steal" hammers from the top end of the keyboard to use where I need them more.

    You simply turn the keyboard upside down, remove the screws, turn it right side up again, then pop the new hammers out and in. Sounds easier that it probably is . . . .
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    I actually saw Denver in a little bar called Tallogey's(so?) in Boulder. He was alone just him and his Martin D28 he played Let It Be twice that night.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by MrZuLu View Post
    I actually saw Denver in a little bar called Tallogey's(so?) in Boulder. He was alone just him and his Martin D28 he played Let It Be twice that night.
    That is awesome.

    The man had a set of pipes on him.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    thank you, thank you. I've performed it many times, but never committed it to "tape". My version is based on my hazy recollection of Leo Sayer's version, which, as it turns out, is really not very much like his at all. Besides, he was a 1st tenor, I'm more in Ian Anderson's range vocally.

    My main keyboard moves back home after next weekend (i'm conducting [from the keyboard] a pit band for a production of Chess and my XV-88 is such a monster to move (57 pounds and 57"x17"x5" - it barely fits in the car), I let it live at the theatre for the run of the show. I also have a second XV-88, but it has three broken hammers, which cost bucks to replace. I've discovered videos online with instructions on how to replace them . . . funny thing, but all the white keys are interchangeable, as are the black keys, so I could simply "steal" hammers from the top end of the keyboard to use where I need them more.

    You simply turn the keyboard upside down, remove the screws, turn it right side up again, then pop the new hammers out and in. Sounds easier that it probably is . . . .
    Years ago I once bought a nice (for my stage of playing, which was something like pre-beginner) keyboard at a garage sale for only $5. Trouble it was missing a key - the middle C key! Maybe it was D, anyway the seller had a piece of cardboard in its place. Couldn't play it the way it is, so I gave it to my niece, Since it was toy of sorts to her, I don't think the bad key bothered her.

    Now I have beginner's (I think) keyboard my brother and sister-in-law gave me when she upgraded to a better keyboard. It is an old Yamaha PSR-500. Fine for my stage of playing, but the AC adaptor does not work anymore. I am pretty sure the problem is with the pin in the keyboard AC port, so not worth the expense of fixing. So I just keep loading it with six D cell batteries I get at the dollar store really cheap.

    Funny thing is the first song I learned (a beginner's arrangement with three finger chords on the right hand and single bass notes on the left hand) is "Let It Be." Recently tried playing it how the McCartney plays it (learned it from a very good YouTube tutorial.) Oy vey, a lot more difficult! (And hurts my left wrist and forearm from the four finger chords - I am sure I have bad technique or something.)

    What I love about "Let It Be" is it can be played at any level arrangement, and still sound okay...to the player anyway.
    Last edited by YesNY; 1 Day Ago at 03:53 PM.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Years ago I once bought a nice (for my stage of playing, which was something like pre-beginner) keyboard at a garage sale for only $5. Trouble it was missing a key - the middle C key! Maybe it was D, anyway the seller had a piece of cardboard in its place. Couldn't play it the way it is, so I gave it to my niece, Since it was toy of sorts to her, I don't think the bad key bothered her.

    Now I have beginner's (I think) keyboard my brother and sister-in-law gave me when she upgraded to a better keyboard. It is an old Yamaha PSR-500. Fine for my stage of playing, but the AC adaptor does not work anymore. I am pretty sure the problem is with the pin in the keyboard AC port, so not worth the expense of fixing. So I just keep loading it with six D cell batteries I get at the dollar store really cheap.

    Funny thing is the first song I learned (a beginner's arrangement with three finger chords on the right hand and single bass notes on the left hand) is "Let It Be." Recently tried playing it how the McCartney plays it (learned it from a very good YouTube tutorial.) Oy vey, a lot more difficult! (And hurts my left wrist and forearm from the four finger chords - I am sure I have bad technique or something.)

    What I love about "Let It Be" is it can be played at any level arrangement, and still sound okay...to the player anyway.
    Yes it can!

    LET IT BE

    Dion, who released his first single in 1960, released his cover of Let It Be as the B-side to "Close To It All"

    It's a pretty rare recording these days, but I found a YouTube of it in spite of its rareness.

    It's a fairly stripped down version, and once the acoustic guitar comes in, it takes center stage away from the piano that starts the track. He also drops the key from C to Bb. Dion's voice is unique, but not enough to give the song a new perspective or outlook. It's sadly, just another cover version of a great song.




    Now, Marillion's cover, complete with cello, captures some magic, partly due to it's live setting. I don't know . . . comparing the many different covers is a fairly subjective thing . . . how can similar covers have such disparate ways of being perceived?




    So . . . well, then . . . I swear, there's not a song that Ray Charles covers that isn't somehow inspiring. There's always "magic", soul, and authenticity.

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  18. #138
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    #9.5

    FREE AS A BIRD

    Originally just a demo recorded by John at home, it was taken posthumously by the surviving Beatles, expanded, and made into an official Beatles release.

    So this song hasn't had as many decades as most of their other songs to have covers recorded.

    But here's a version recorded on the sofa, with just a girl (Alzy Jennings) and her guitar. It seems to suit the song well.

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  19. #139
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    #9.5

    FREE AS A BIRD

    Originally just a demo recorded by John at home, it was taken posthumously by the surviving Beatles, expanded, and made into an official Beatles release.

    So this song hasn't had as many decades as most of their other songs to have covers recorded.

    But here's a version recorded on the sofa, with just a girl (Alzy Jennings) and her guitar. It seems to suit the song well.


    That was lovely, thanks! She doesn’t fall into the traps of copying the original too closely, or sing like a Christina Aguilera, or whatever’s the icon these days, or some country singer. It’s very sec and simple, yet she does have a style of her own.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    I can never make up my mind whether I like this song or not. It seems to depends on my mood. Sometimes I can agree with contemporary reviews that found the song "dreary"; other times I think "dreamy" is a better description, and dreamy is good.

    It's quite similar in places to this song:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQR5iDsuud8

    and I wonder if Lennon was inspired by that, perhaps subconsciously.





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