Better Than The Beatles

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Every week we give away a voucher worth TWENTY FIVE euros to use at your LEISURE at any of the 14 Golden Discs stores nationwide.

All we need from you is love (and a tune).

This week’s theme: Beatles covers

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper’s, what original song from John, Paul, George and Ringo was significantly improved upon by another artist/band?

To enter, please complete this sentence.

‘The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would  have to be_________________________by___________________________’

Lines MUST close at 6.15pm MIDNIGHT! Deadline extended until Midnight Sunday due to popular demand.

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76 thoughts on “Better Than The Beatles

    1. mildred st. meadowlark

      Jesus Bert that’s only gorgeous.

      Love Aimee Mann. She’s a fab singer.

    2. Brother Barnabas

      That’s a cracking one – like especially that they didn’t try to make any big statement with it. Simple and low-key.

      Same reason I really like Elvis Costello’s Penny Lane – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVcfPzoXWnY

      And for the polar opposite reasons, I fupping love Sonic Youth’s Within You Without You. Not so mad about Sonic Youth other than this

  1. sqoid

    “The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be Yesterday by Marvin Gaye”

    Just goosebumps

  2. Cool_Hand_Lucan

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be “With a Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker. Because it’s soulful, clawing, desperate and despite Joe Cocker’s appearance, it’s a damn sexy tune.

      1. Shayna

        I don’t think they ever did – although I did hope. Fred Savage (Kevin) directs “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”.

    1. scottser

      and also ‘she came in through the bathroom window’ – cocker does a belting version of it.

    2. It Was All A Dream

      This is the only song that meets the criteria of being better than the original. Originally written as a throwaway song for Ringo, who refused to sing it unless the lyrics “would you stand up and throw tomatoes at me” were changed (the line became “stand up and walk out on me”). Cocker did something very special with it and it became a genuinely emotional song.

  3. Big Macca from SuperMacs

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be Dear Prudence by Siouxsie and the Banshees.

  4. David J

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be Real love by Regina Spektor – love that version!

  5. kid jensen

    the best example of a Beatles cover would have to be ‘here comes the sun’ by Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel.

  6. f_lawless

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be “Harry Nilsson – You Can’t Do That”.
    Nilsson took what was an average song by Beatles standards and masterfully blended 14 other Beatles songs into the mix, at the same time taking the original Beatles harmonies to a new level. My personal favourite is the alternate take of the song. See here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJmAQWe_4zc
    As the story goes, that song led to a meeting with George Harrison whereupon Nilsson gave him his demos. Soon after the rest of the Beatles all phoned Nilsson indvidually to give him praise with Lennon saying ““Hello, Harry. This is John. Man you’re too f***ing much, you’re just great. We’ve got to get together and do something.”

  7. Yep

    The best example of a Beatles cover being better than the original would be Fiona Apple and Across the Universe. The tripped out whimsy of the original is built upon with a more earnest and understated vocal performance that very few others can deliver quiet like Ms. Apple.

  8. Leopold Gloom

    ‘The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be While my Guitar Gently Weeps by Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood, Dhani Harrison and Prince (+ a few more) at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    Sadly it doens’t feature George singing, but his son is present. Jeff Lynne has paid homage to the beatles throughout his career and he Petty and Winwood all lend their distinct voices to it giving it enough respect without making a mess of it,

    It is at about 2 minutes when we get a taste of what is to come from Prince however, he hints at the sounds he is about to release. From 3.30 on, he takes over unleashing an absolutely astonishing display of guitar playing. There are times when the others on stage don’t look as if they can believe what he is doing, and what he is capable of. In those few minutes he snatched the solo from Clapton’s bigoted hands and made it his own.

    A masterpiece of a song, improved by a genius.

    ’https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y

      1. mildred st. meadowlark

        Snap.

        My fave tribute to them by far. A phenomenal performance.

        I also think Paul’s song Here Today is utterly glorious. Beautiful and heartfelt.

        1. ivan

          it’s when the little fella just fecks away the guitar with such élanthat you get the feeling that THAT’S what the coves who coined the word had in mind…

  9. andy

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be Something by Shirley Bassey

  10. mildred st. meadowlark

    The best cover of a Beatles song is While My Guitar Gently Weeps, by Tom Petty, Jeff Lynn and the unbelievably talented Prince, because sweet jesus it’s only an amazing tribute. And Prince utterly rips up the stage with his solo.

    https://youtu.be/6SFNW5F8K9Y

  11. RuilleBuille

    ‘The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be ‘With a little help from my friends’ by Joe Cocker’. It’s hard to better an original but to put the original in the halfpenny place is some achievement.

  12. Happy Molloy

    I’m not going to claim it’s better than the original but certainly worth a look is While my Guitar Gently Weeps on the ukulele.

    you’ve never seen the uke played like this. please get me one.

    https://youtu.be/puSkP3uym5k

  13. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    Yeah I do like that Earth Wind and Fire one

    However I’m going to enter 3 times

    All widely different interpretations heck even Janet might like one of these

    First is Ella Fitzgerald singing “Can’t Buy Me Love”.
    Ella achieves an amazing feat of quite brazenly rewriting the vocal line from the second verse on while at the same time never moving away from the meaning of the song and lyrics. Her breakdown at the end as well is top class

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=30_Uu8dIdgM

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=30_Uu8dIdgM

  14. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    Here’s another great one from Ruben Blades
    Baby’s in black

    Not a particularly well know one by Beatles standards but I liked how Ruben broke it down to a neat salsa rhythm and the interesting harmonies in the bridge

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=m2HR8QFFgEQ

  15. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

    This is my personal favourite though

    Hey Jude by De Danann

    I liked the way they held their shape, meter and position for a whole 2:30 minutes before going ah feck this we’re a fupping trad band!

    Happy weekend folks

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vNYDsjZtcQA

    1. :-Joe

      Yes this for the win..

      They did the whole album…. and it’s awesome.

      lol.. classic…

      :-J

  16. Otis Blue

    Somewhat off topic but in the general ball park is Jim James’ (My Morning Jacket) tribute album of George Harrison songs. It’s a thing of spectral beauty.

      1. I'm "alright" Jack. Mad Jack is on annual leave.

        That sounds great but technically not a Beatles song!

  17. ivan

    Hell’s teeth. Whither Candy Flip? Or Billy Bragg doing She’s Leaving ‘Ome…

    I’ll go for Rufus Wainwright doing Across the Universe. I think we’ve nearly had all of the I Am Sam Soundtrack now, have we? :)

  18. Baron von Botter III

    Not strictly a cover, but DJ Dangermouse’s meshing of The White Album’s Long, Long, Long and Jay Z’s Public Service Announcement from his Black Album highlights the quality of this generally overlooked track. Supposedly a hymn to Harrison’s spirituality, Dangermouse somehow manages to make Jay Z recollecting his coke dealing days (“I used to move snowflakes by the O-Z”) fit like a glove.

  19. Odockatee

    This is a beautiful thread

    The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be Here comes the Sun by Richie Havens’. Just open tune that acoustic and lash away, no chords or nothin’. Sweet as

  20. AnAccountant

    Trick question! Although, while I’m here, Brian Ferry doing Jealous Guy was pretty decent.

    1. Otis Blue

      Ferry knows his way around a cover in fairness. I was listening to his fine version of Carrickfergus earlier.

    1. Brother Barnabas

      Never heard that before that. Thanks. (Wouldn’t say it’s the BEST ever, though :) )

      (Ps some trivia – Husker Du are Therapy?’s Andy Cairns’s favourite ever band. I could say he told me but really I overheard him telling someone else. I was trying to get into the conversation at the time – and when he said that, I gave a loud scoff – I thought that might work. It didn’t. Gave me a sneering look and turned his back on me)

  21. :-Joe

    ‘The best example of a Beatles cover sounding better than the original would have to be….
    ALL OF THEM !!…( or “Ticket To Ride” ) by….
    ANYONE AND EVERYONE !!!…( or “The 5th Dimension” )

    From The Album ” The Magic Garden 1967 ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LzAieK0IXIk

    Here’s a cool hip-hop remix of the remix from just last year… (The song has yet another new life)
    https://soundcloud.com/miklan-1/5th-dimension-ticket-to-ride-hip-hop-remix

    I chose this because its funky as hell and like many of the original songs they transcend genres and can be played in almost any style of music with different timings and still work as almost a completely new song.

    The original was the first song I heard that I liked after my first listen to a complete Beatles album(The singles / hits compilation called the Red Album) At the time, I was in a bad place, sitting on a bus taking f-ing forever to go a very f-ing long way round to end up f-ing nowhere, I mean it was literally the most pointless, depressing journey I have ever taken and it felt like time was going backwards. I needed a distraction and wanted to get to know the Beatles properly from the beginnning but I was underwhelmed and disappointed with(life) most of the first side of this compilation album and the Beatles in general until I heard this song.

    It really made me stop and rethink everything at the time. Almost immediately after that moment, everthing was sudenly flipped over, I had turned a corner and time was speeding up again. I was now on the journey through all the albums one by one, song by song chronologically… and since then when my outlook changed I haven’t got enough of hearing them ever since….

    Good times in a much slower world that left room for sony walkmans, headphones and hour after hour fiddling with cassettes and cases and winding the tapes back in tight so the quality would be good and they wouldnt get damaged and spoil the journey or a couple of days trying to find a replacement…..

    You’d never have noticed at the time but it really was a big deal for me to be able listen to their albums from start to finish all in one go. I still don’t like to listen to one of their albums out of sequence and mess with the original design and production magic…

    More favourite songs:
    DEAD KENNEDYS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUEn5ZRfmb4
    SOUNDGARDEN
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2pNjgGdU7M
    WHITE STRIPES
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zneQ5UQFSg
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BXV1_D5eXA
    TENACIOUS D -havin a goof…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mMUJMHqr-E
    GO JAPAN!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVW9aY8UrEA

    10 year old plays all the Beatles songs together as one remix on one instrument!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsC4kf6x_Q0&feature=youtu.be&t=136

    Thanks for the links. Good luck to the winner.
    Keep trying to come together on the helter skelter…

    :-J

  22. f_lawless

    Another Beatles cover thats better than the original in my opinion: “Cry Baby Cry” by Ramsey Lewis. A real slce of funky moogy coolness! Great arrangement and production by Charles Stephney. It’s off a covers album of White Album tracks – loads more gems on it – made all the more impressive considering Lewis recorded the album (called “Mother Nature’s Son) just a few weeks after the White Album was released
    [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIYQr-a0ktA&w=640&h=360%5D

  23. Harry

    The very best cover of a Beatle song is “Hello Goodbye” by The Cure, a glorious joyous version,most importantly the always wonderful Robert Smith gave it a straightforward treatment respecting the original song, watch out for Macca’s son playing keyboards!

    https://youtu.be/uDxDW9jEjHg

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