Friday, December 16, 2011

Weekend Listomania (Special Familiarity Breeds Contempt Audio/Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Michelle-ma-belle Fah Lo Suee and I are off to (insert joke here).

[Seriously, I'm drawing a blank on the traditional gag this week, so consider this an audience participation sort of thing. Thank you in advance for your diligence in this regard. -- Ed.].

That being the case, and because -- if all goes well -- things will be a little quiet around here until Monday, here's a fun and hopefully thought provoking little project to help you wile away the idle hours:

Beatles Song You Wouldn't Totally Hate to Hear in a New Cover Version By Somebody!!!

No arbitrary rules whatsoever, you're welcome very much, but I should mention that this theme was inspired by a conversation I had online last week with somebody who said, and I'm paraphrasing, "You know, I like the Beatles and their music, but frankly I've heard every one of those songs so often I really have no interest in hearing any of them again ever."

To which I can only add that, although I disagree, I know the feeling. In fact, I've been saying publically, since the late 70s at least, that if I'd been exposed to Bach's Mass in B-Minor as often as I've heard Sgt. Pepper, I probably wouldn't want to encounter that sublime masterpiece again either.

And my totally top of my head Top Five is/are:

5.Long Long Long

Arguably the most obscure/unloved song on the White Album, and I find it utterly haunting nonetheless. Come to think of it, it's one of my top five George songs.

4. Misery

"It's gonna be a drag..." Words fail me, except to say that this one remains my favorite of their early Brill Building emulations.

3. Sexy Sadie

John's falsetto at the end of this is possibly the all-time greatest use of that vocal device on a pop record, and I say that knowing full well that both Smokey Robinson and Brian Wilson remain alive.

2. I Saw Her Standing There

Teenage lust, perfectly expressed and embodied, and thus timeless.

And the Numero Uno recycled fab-fourness of all time would simply have to be somebody or other's cover of...

1. Every Little Thing

John at his simultaneously pop-iest and most soulful, plus that great guitar riff. Seriously, I think it would be all but impossible to do a bad remake of this, although I don't want to encourage Justin Bieber to actually try.

Alrighty then -- what would your choices be? [Bonus points if you posit the artist(s) who could plausibly do the song's justice.]


Sal Nunziato said...

Well, I have "Long Long Long" by The Posies somewhere, as well as Paul Weller's "Sexy Sadie." If you're not a Yes fan, then you may find that it is possible to do a bad remake of "Every Little Thing," though I admit, I love it.

My choice--

"Baby You're A Rich Man."

This song rarely gets mentioned. Bass line alone makes it qualify as one of the best. Would love to hear it, same arrangement, just given even more punch by, as you said, somebody.

dave™© said...

Here's an absolutely electrifying cover version of "Hey Bulldog" featuring Elvis Costello with a Beatles cover band called the Fab Faux:

I'd love to see Elvis do an elpee of John covers - he may be Lennon's best interpreter.

dave™© said...

BTW, the Tubes did a great cover of "I Saw Her Standing There" about a hundred years ago. Done as a sort of punk/new wave parody, but with 100% integrity and conviction.

Shriner said...

I would like to see Gene and Paul from KISS cover Two Of Us.

buzzbabyjesus said...

"Long, Long, Long" is the last song by the actual Beatles I can still listen to.

Baby You're A Rich Man" is an excellent call.

Here are some worthy mentions already in existence:

"I Am The Walrus"- Spooky Tooth
"Yer Blues"- Shiina Ringo
"Paperback Writer"- Tempest (1973- Ollie Halsall singer guitarist, and "Paul" in The Rutles)
"Hey Bulldog"- Boxer (1979 more Ollie)
"It's All Too Much"- Steve Hillage
Honorable mention goes to:
"Come Together"- Aerosmith
pushing it:
"Cold Turkey"- The Soft Boys

Shriner said...

I'm always surprised by the number of artists who didn't release a Beatles cover. REM, for example.

Gummo said...

This is a good place to mention,

an ongoing project by 2 Brooklyn, NY musicians and a whole lotta friends and guests.

Their goal is exactly as stated, to do covers of every Beatles song, with a ukelele base. However, that doesn't mean they all sound like Hawaiian luau versions of Beatles songs. The ones I've heard cover the musical gamut from noise to soul to folk to rock and back again.

pete said...

I used to do a Springsteen-style cover of Every Little Thing that worked pretty good. I should dig that one out of the box someday - perhaps for Peapack? Jan. 7? There's a plug for ya! Ain't too proud to beg!

Do instrumentals count? A lot of their songs (When I'm 64, Your Mother Should Know, Yes it Is, Strawberry Fields Forever, Help, Please Please Me, Eleanor Rigby) make terrific fingerpicking guitar pieces.

But enough about me....

A big second on Baby, You're a Rich Man. Is that the last of John's social-comment numbers that was sly and subtle? It worked great in Social Network.

I just heard There's a Place for the first time this week. A New Wave/Blondie arrangement would fit that one nicely. And The Word always struck me as a good fit with one of those COGIC gospel choirs - throw in a double-time break at the end, as in Ticket to Ride....

Anonymous said...

The Persuasions did an all Beatles album. JUst find it and listen.

The Kenosha Kid said...

Husker Du covered 'Ticket to Ride' - why didn't they also cover 'Rain' and 'He said she said' ?

Also, shout out to the Jerry Garcia Band for their cover of Dear Prudence - better than Siouxsie and the Banshees version.

steve simels said...

Husker Du covered "Ticket"?

Why didn't I get the memo???

buzzbabyjesus said...

Dwight Twilley made a whole album of Beatles covers I haven't listened to yet except for a pretty cool version of "Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey".
Slowed way down.

Noam Sane said...

Garcia also covered "I Saw Her Standing There." Kinda works. And Al Green did "I Want To Hold Your Hand" very early in his career.

"I Me Mine" would work as one of those Pixies/Nirvana loud-quiet-loud tunes. I love that song, the guitar tones in that one are fantastic.

FD13NYC said...

JZ, try to find and checkout Think For Yourself by Peter Bruntnell. It's a good one.

steves said...

It's scarcely Saturday, and there are already lots of great suggestions here so far. I'll add one more vote for "Baby You're a Rich Man," too, although the next best thing may be the remix of the original sans clavioline that's out there.

Back in the 80s, I did a letter-perfect cover of "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" with the guy who played Paul in Beatlemania. (And now that I think about it, I'm amazed Elvis C. hasn't done that one yet.) I'm guessing the Trucks Tedeshi Band covering "Yer Blues" could sound pretty sweet, too.

My other top cover candidates--as of this minute--would be "Tomorrow Never Knows," "I Call Your Name," "You're Going to Lose That Girl" and "Don't Bother Me" (an early gem from George).

By the way, if you're wondering how many Beatles covers are already floating around out there, here's an incomplete listing:

edward said...

Billy Bragg has a sweet version of She's Leaving Home.

I would love to hear Tom Waits do While My Guitar Gently Weeps, with Marc Ribot handling the guitar on that cut.

Libby Spencer said...

Love the choices already made, so trying to not duplicate and having no idea if there are already covers out there, here's some more I think are ripe for new cover versions.

You Can't Do That


You Never Give Me Your Money

And Drive My Car, which I think has almost certainly been covered more than once.

No idea who might cover them today. Lady GaGa maybe for You Can't Do That.

Phillip B said...

Years ago, an artist in Milwaukee named Sigmund Snopek III did a live version of "I am a Walrus" which always pleased a crowd. Don't know if he ever recorded it...

And I'd like to convince Alison Kraus to simply record a complete performance of Revolver.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Seems like the weekend isn't complete without acknowledging the excellently clueless William Shatner version of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds".

Anonymous said...

Imagining a Reggae version of
You Won't See Me

swboy said...

and The Cars could reunite and play "Birthday". It really sounds like them...

Nosmo King said...

Radiohead (whom I don't actually like all that much) could do a killer version of "If I needed Someone". George's songs (except for "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun") seem to be fertile ground for this.

On the (related) subject of Most Disappointing Beatles Cover, I nominate the version of "I want you (she's so heavy)" on Eddie Hazel's solo album. It's my favorite Beatles song, it's the guy who recorded the greatest guitar solo in the known universe (long-form division), it's a lotta P-Funk regulars in the backup band-- what could go wrong? A whole lot of ingredients there, just to get to "Meh".