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Thread: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

  1. #221
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    I don't believe anyone has yet mentioned this Beatles cover album. What are people's thoughts on this?

    Attachment 25723


    I hadn't heard of this one.

    I'll cruise through the tracks in a little while and let you know what I think.

    It appears to be a 2009 "Dub Reggae" Tribute to Sgt. Pepper's, with each track performed by the Easy Star All-Stars and featuring a different Reggae, Dancehall and Dub artist on each track. I can't say I'm surprised I've not heard of even one of them.

    Before I listen, there's a few reviews on Amazon that give a better understanding. First off, this recording entity have also "Dub covered" Dark Side of the Moon, Thriller! ("Thrillah"), and Radiohead's OK Computer ("Radiodread"), so this sort of thing seems to be working out for them.

    The good reviews mention that it's danceable, has great production values, crisp recording and mixing, and a subtle reggae influence. It apparently has thumping Reggae bass lines, a punchy horn section, lots of echo and reverb, a sitar in places and some trippy extended segments.

    The bad reviews either fall into the "how dare you" category, or deride it for not being very reggae, and because the arrangements are too close to the originals. One 1-star review calls it "poorly conceived, poorly produced, and poorly executed", lacking an emotional connection, being "generic".

    The last 1-star review slams it as 'hey let's just take a fantastic world famous album and slap some reggae beats behind it'.

    I can't wait.

    And, not surprisingly, this actually isn't the first Reggae tribute; in 1999 there was a "A Reggae Tribute to The Beatles", also a compilation of many different artists, although it's a collection of Beatles songs, not a song-for-song album tribute

    But it brings up a small problem with this thread's intent, to bring some notable covers to everyone's attention. I hadn't considered how to, well, review an album cover (as opposed to covers of individual songs). The Smithereens (which I just discussed) did this with their cover of Please Please Me as well, although, of course, it wasn't a "genre-tribute". Argentine Tribute band The Beats also covered Please Please Me in its entirety, and it's a surprisingly accurate note-for-note reproduction, with even the vocals being very close to the real thing, right down to the Ringo and George voices.

    Even Rick Wakeman recorded a pleasant yet often bland elevator tribute to a collection of Beatles songs, unoriginally titled "Tribute To The Beatles". Only a couple of the songs seem to have some inspiration: His take on Eleanor Rigby is fresh, but is still saddled with a disco backing beat. His intro to Come Together is reminiscent of Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, but then just descends into pointless noodling. I suppose you'd have to really be in the mood to get excited over this one.






    But there are others: Of course, there's the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band soundtrack featuring The Bee Gees, Peter Frampton, and several guests.

    And then there's the granddaddy of them all, All This And World War II a superior collection if you can ever get your hands on it (yeah, there's a few duds on it, but overall it's a winner). Tina Turner later re-released her cover of Come Together, mixing out the brilliant ominous orchestra [the version HERE is the original].

    You can hear MOST of it HERE (turn it up!):





    I've heard and seen tributes from many stylistic genres, from bluegrass to tropical, jazz, country, hillbilly, barbershop quartet, choir, military, acoustic, The Boston Pops, you name it.

    Gawd, The Beatles had a huge influence on all genres.
    Last edited by pianozach; 5 Days Ago at 12:49 PM.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Re the Easy Star All Stars: I seem to remember reviewers opining that their Beatles tribute did not work as well as some of the others, in particular the Radiohead one which received its share of praise. There are a few possible reasons for this. Perhaps Radiohead and Pink Floyd lend themselves better to reggae covers. Maybe the Beatles were too mainstream pop, hence the contrast between the cover and the original is not as marked. (I've heard the All Stars' version of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds"; with a little imagination I could almost think I was listening to Elton john's version.) Or perhaps by this time the novelty of giving a famous album the reggae treatment had simply worn off.

    I remember hearing their version of "No Surprises" in a bookstore, and thinking "That's a nice reggae tune", without recognising what it was until I had been listening for quite a while. So the song title was misleading, because it WAS a surprise.

  3. #223
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    I like this thread and check it regularly. My one observation about Beatles covers in general, is The Beatles - particularly from let's say 1965 or 1966 onward - fully exploited the potential of a song most of the time. so the Beatles covers often come up quite short compared to the original recording by The Beatles. They are more curiosity pieces to a listener who is either a Beatles fan, or a fan of a particular artist, often of a niche music genre, covering pop and rock songs that are far removed from their normal repertoire.

    The reason Bob Dylan covers did well as they did is Bob was a talented writer, but his songs, as originally recorded by him, were often raw, with minimal musical embellishment, and so there was room for reinterpretation and especially refinement of a song with the vocals, instrumentation and production wise. Therefore an artist could cover his songs, carrying the ball the final twenty yards, let's say, and get a hit song more popular than the Dylan original that might have been obscure to the most of the record buying public.

    Having said that, getting back to The Beatles, there are some covers I like better than the Beatles original. It may be heresy to some but I think Elton John knocked the ball out of the park with his cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The original by The Beatles, I think, is one one of the weaker tracks on the Sgt Pepper album, but seems almost iconic of the psychedelic music era so gets more praise then it deserves. Incidentally, Dr. Winston O'Boogie guested on the Elton John version, and does a very, very nice job on background vocals.
    Last edited by YesNY; 5 Days Ago at 02:00 PM.

  4. #224
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Now I will partially contradict my own sentiment above. Being a fan of both The Beatles and The Beach Boys, I find this minimalist version (really mostly just Dennis Wilson singing, guitars and tambourine) almost as good as The Beatles original. The Capitol released version can be found on the Beach Boys Party! album, but I like this real live version better than the simulated live at a party version on the Party! album.

    Last edited by YesNY; 5 Days Ago at 02:02 PM.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post

    OK, I listened through the entire thing (which is more than I can say of The Smithereens' tribute covers), and there were definitely some nice moments.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    Now I will partially contradict my own sentiment above. Being a fan of both The Beatles and The Beach Boys, I find this minimalist version (really mostly just Dennis Wilson singing, guitars and tambourine) almost as good as The Beatles original. The Capitol released version can be found on the Beach Boys Party! album, but I like this real live version better than the simulated live at a party version on the Party! album.

    Nice find.

    You see, a good majority of Beatles songs, when stripped down to their basic elements are good music. Of course, this song, presented by the Beatles, was basically identical to Dennis Wilson's version, sans the crowd encouragement to join in, and the over emphasis on the "Hey!".

    Dennis also sings the original double-tracked flute part at the end, which gives the song a more intimate feel.
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  7. #227
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    I like this thread and check it regularly. My one observation about Beatles covers in general, is The Beatles - particularly from let's say 1965 or 1966 onward - fully exploited the potential of a song most of the time. so the Beatles covers often come up quite short compared to the original recording by The Beatles. They are more curiosity pieces to a listener who is either a Beatles fan, or a fan of a particular artist, often of a niche music genre, covering pop and rock songs that are far removed from their normal repertoire.

    The reason Bob Dylan covers did well as they did is Bob was a talented writer, but his songs, as originally recorded by him, were often raw, with minimal musical embellishment, and so there was room for reinterpretation and especially refinement of a song with the vocals, instrumentation and production wise. Therefore an artist could cover his songs, carrying the ball the final twenty yards, let's say, and get a hit song more popular than the Dylan original that might have been obscure to the most of the record buying public.

    Having said that, getting back to The Beatles, there are some covers I like better than the Beatles original. It may be heresy to some but I think Elton John knocked the ball out of the park with his cover of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The original by The Beatles, I think, is one one of the weaker tracks on the Sgt Pepper album, but seems almost iconic of the psychedelic music era so gets more praise then it deserves. Incidentally, Dr. Winston O'Boogie guested on the Elton John version, and does a very, very nice job on background vocals.
    Thanks.

    Yes, it's been working out nicely, and has managed to stay apolitical as well. There's some really nice music embedded in these comments.
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  8. #228
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    [QUOTE=pianozach;2797713]

    Yeah. I mentioned The Smithereens, but ultimately decided NOT to post their cover.

    While it's "nice" ( I particularly like the sound of the rhythm guitar on this one), it really only grabs me because it doesn't suck like the other covers on their two Beatles covers albums. Yeah, that's my opinion . . . I think that lowering the keys on almost every Beatles song gets pretty old really fast. Vocally, I think The Smithereens' take on the Beatles songs is uninspired. I don't like the way their lead vocalist handles the vocals.

    Yeah, well, anyway, this cover, with the exception of the rhythm guitar, is just a well-done note-for-note reproduction of the original. I guess that was their intent, but, really, there's just nothing in their version that really stands out. I just can't give it "Beatles Cover Song Of the Day" status, or even an Honorable Mention.

    Yep, it's certainly noteworthy that they've released two entire albums of Beatles covers, but I'm just not impressed with how they sound. Of course, lowering the key of any really familiar popular song runs the risk of sounding a bit more dull because you can lose some of the brightness. But with these guys it's not just the lower keys; their faithful recordings seem depressing and lacking energy. Maybe it's the production or mixing or mastering.

    And while all their covers seem to be played at the same tempo as the originals, most of them feel like they're slower.

    Anyway, their collection of covers presented a dilemma for me: I love these songs, and they're playing them faithfully. Why do I not care for them? I honestly think it's the vocalist - his tone and timbre are flat. Not flat, as in in "singing below pitch". The vocals are flat, as in "unexciting". The guy doesn't have John's rawness and energy nor Paul's personality and charm; it's just boring. Yawnsville.

    The guitars are missing some brightness and "twang" as well. And while the drums seem to be played spot-on, they're under-mixed and have had the high end EQd out; they're "thud"-dy.

    I waded through several of the covers, and found a couple that I thought were pretty good, though. Their cover of Ringo's It Don't Come Easy sounded pretty good - well, they didn't have to change the key for starters, and it's hard to NOT sing better than Ringo. And the cover of Don't Bother Me, certainly improved on George's strange double-tracked vocal on the original.

    And I do appreciate their appreciation of the Beatles. Releasing two cover albums is really remarkable.[/QUOTE]

    Funny, my feelings as well, the more linear, lower key-ed take on their coverings. Its the novelty, and their appreciation, like you said..., and their from my old stomping ground in NJ! They covered enough Beatles to possibly be a good reference to compare.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Now here's a Beatles cover that's definitely different, one for you to ponder:



    I'd describe it as "bizarre". I have this album; this is probably my least favourite track on it. The rest of it is in Portuguese, not counting a couple of instrumentals, and most of it is brilliant.

  10. #230
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    Now here's a Beatles cover that's definitely different, one for you to ponder:



    I'd describe it as "bizarre". I have this album; this is probably my least favourite track on it. The rest of it is in Portuguese, not counting a couple of instrumentals, and most of it is brilliant.
    I love this sort of thing. This is what I'm talking about.

    They've taken the song and transformed it.

    It reminds me of the TV show Chopped, where contestants are given four unrelated ingredients and told to make a dish. It might be they've been asked to make an appetizer out of blood sausage, shishito peppers, Japanese mayonnaise, and dates. Or it could be an entrée using chicken kebobs, pickled gooseberries, purple cauliflower, and truffle popcorn.

    One of the things the judges critique the contestants on is their ability to transform the ingredients.

    Same with covers of songs . . .

    Way back near the beginning of this thread I did a short diatribe on covers

    In my mind, there are many ways in which to approach covering a song, especially a hit song.

    Many artists will perform a fairly faithful reproduction of the original song, with the only difference being that now it's someone ELSE singing it rather than the original artist(s). Fans love this, and this type of cover is often done by people with universally loved or commercially distinctive voices. Some versions soften the song, others rough it up . . .

    The more artistically satisfying type of cover is when another artist reworks the original, creating a distinctive new arrangement. Think Yes' proggy cover of Every Little Thing, or Joe Cocker's rockin' blues version of With A Little Help From My Friends. Often it's simply converting a song to another genre, like the Barbershop Quartet version above. I've heard bluegrass, country, big band, jazz, punk, metal, choral, disco, a capella and other versions of Beatles songs from practically every genre imaginable.

    And now, since the advent of YouTube and videos made from cellphones, there's plenty of live versions of songs, and young men and women strumming their acoustic guitars and singing songs that are 50 years old.

    Also, there are so many variety shows from decades past, often with TV stars lip-synching versions both lame and spectacular, and now there's also covers by extraordinarily talented singers on competition shows like American Idol and The Voice.

    Oh, and with the Beatles, there are plenty of very faithful versions of varying quality by Tribute bands from all over the world.
    Tribute bands will create copies of the songs. While it's quite nice, both in terms of being able to hear the song performed live, and for the musicians' appreciation of the band and its songs, there's usually very little point in embedding a video of such a performance.

    However, with the Beatles, it is a bit different: Their songs are always scrubbed from YouTube almost as soon as they're posted. If an excellent copy of an obscure Beatles tune is need for demonstration purposes, then that's good news.
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by bob_32_116 View Post
    Now here's a Beatles cover that's definitely different, one for you to ponder:



    I'd describe it as "bizarre". I have this album; this is probably my least favourite track on it. The rest of it is in Portuguese, not counting a couple of instrumentals, and most of it is brilliant.
    This is not a criticism of the song. It is an interesting listen. But I started to wonder, when the tempo, melody, length of notes, feel, maybe even the chord progressions, of the cover are so drastically different from the original song, maybe the band should just scrub the original lyrics so they can add brand new ones of their own, and nobody would even notice that it is a cover. As a bonus, the band gets to keep the songwriting revenues all for themselves. I am being serious.

    In other words, there reaches a point when a cover can become a cover of the lyrics and the song title only. This one came close that point.
    Last edited by YesNY; 3 Days Ago at 02:51 AM.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    This is not a criticism of the song. It is an interesting listen. But I started to wonder, when the tempo, melody, length of notes, feel, maybe even the chord progressions, of the cover are so drastically different from the original song, maybe the band should just scrub the original lyrics so they can add brand new ones of their own, and nobody would even notice that it is a cover. As a bonus, the band gets to keep the songwriting revenues all for themselves. I am being serious.

    In other words, there reaches a point when a cover can become a cover of the lyrics and the song title only. This one came close that point.
    They obviously liked the original of the song enough to keep both the melody and the lyrics, even though they changed the style substantially. That's really the only response I can come up with.

    There are plenty of artists who do nick other people's tunes and not credit the original writer. Sometimes they get away with it, sometimes not. It's called plagiarism, or breach of copyright. Fortunately most artists seem to find it more artistically satisfying either to write their own, or to give credit where credit is due.

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    Pianist/Pandemoniumist pianozach's Avatar
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by YesNY View Post
    This is not a criticism of the song. It is an interesting listen. But I started to wonder, when the tempo, melody, length of notes, feel, maybe even the chord progressions, of the cover are so drastically different from the original song, maybe the band should just scrub the original lyrics so they can add brand new ones of their own, and nobody would even notice that it is a cover. As a bonus, the band gets to keep the songwriting revenues all for themselves. I am being serious.

    In other words, there reaches a point when a cover can become a cover of the lyrics and the song title only. This one came close that point.
    this is actually a songwriting technique.

    Write new lyrics to an existing song, then write a new tune for your new lyrics.

    or

    Write a new tune to some lyrics you like, then write new lyrics.
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  14. #234
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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    Quote Originally Posted by pianozach View Post
    this is actually a songwriting technique.

    Write new lyrics to an existing song, then write a new tune for your new lyrics.

    or
    ...or if you're Lana del Rey, just skip the second bit.

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    Re: Beatles COVER Song of the Day

    #21

    Beatles Cover Song Of The Day

    YOU LIKE ME TOO MUCH



    Originally released June 14, 1965 on the US album Beatles VI (and 2 months later on the UK version of Help!), it was only the second George Harrison-written song to be released. It’s one of the few “forgotten” tracks, recorded in four hours, and never played live.

    Not really one of The Beatles greatest songs, so it's not really surprising that there's not a long of great covers of the song either.

    Here's a hybrid classical guitar version by “troubleclef”. Unfortunately trouble clef has disabled the embed function by request, but here a link. He's gotten over 53,000 views, with 480 "likes" (and 4 "dislikes").

    https://youtu.be/QaGb7s8PzzQ

    There's plenty of home recordings, sound-alike recordings, and plenty of tribute band versions. Some are quite good, some . . . not so much. There's several by foreigners, singing with one accent or another.



    But here's an actual legitimate cover by one of LAs top surf bands in 1964, but they didn't stay there, and were doing B-list gigs by 1965. They were primarily an instrumental band, but, by this time, were forced to sing since they'd get paid more for songs with vocals.

    And this is actually their drummer Richard singing lead, so bass player Randy Nauert ended up on drums.

    Perhaps the strangest thing about this video is the go-go-dancers in the spotlight with only TWO damned dance moves.





    Well, anyway, here's one of the home recordings that I say I avoid posting. Young Claudia Jardine sings the song accompanying herself on ukulele. It's sweet and sincere-sounding. And she gets all the chords right, which is a nice bonus for a fan vid.

    ---Pianozach---

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