Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beatles covers, squared

The 50th anniversary of the first single by The Beatles ("Love Me Do") has prompted all kinds of media brouhaha, including a new tribute show in London's West End, an appearance by Sir Paul's son James at Liverpool's Cavern Club, and Enzo Gentile's new collection of 60s and 70s Beatles comics (see end of post for groovy samples). Which are your favorite Beatles album covers? 
"Cover" versions of Beatles songs are innumerable, and I'm especially fond of Allison Krauss's "I Will," both Judy Collins' and Bette Midler's "In My Life," and Aretha's uniquely soulful "Eleanor Rigby" (my sweet Lord, the funk! Ray Charles and Tina Turner were no slouches in that department either.)

 I know you'll have many covers to recommend! Here's a really special one, with Sean Lennon.
Super-mega-cringe/gag-worthy is this crowd-sourced feature on the worst Beatles covers of all time. Below, Beatles covers that charted in the U.S., in order of sales.
From Marvel's Beatles Story to DC Comics' Girls' Romances and The Invisibles, the Fab Four's influence on pop culture is vividly depicted in Ezio Gentile's book The Beatles in Comic Strips. Below, some groovy samples.
A note on "word verification": we are going to try disabling the hieroglyphic gobbleygook for a week to make it easier for y'all to comment. If the spam isn't too overwhelming, we'll keep it up. We do love your thoughts and don't want to disinhibit your sharing them with us and other DG readers!

24 comments:

  1. nineteensixtythreeAugust 28, 2012 at 11:18 AM

    The Beatles had so many moments in their career that changed the music industry forever. I feel that their cataloge and impact on art could fit alongside the likes of Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Mozart etc as one of the greatest artists in world history. I believe their two most influential moments were when they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time and when they disbanded - they existed exactly as long as they needed to and not a day more. Their controversial breakup should be seen as a perfectly timed split- they avoided what I call "Rolling Stones syndrome"

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    1. I for one completely agree with this statement.

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  2. I think my Dad has a tee shirt for almost all of those album covers. My favorites would have to be Revolver or Sgt Pepper. Also have you heard Ben Fold's version of Golden Slumbers? So goooood!

    Anyone else notice that on the cover of that comic "when my dreams come true" John Lennon looks a lot like Donald Trump?! May it's just me.

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    1. I definitely see the Donald Trump comparison.

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    2. I wish I knew your Dad! If they get worn out you can always use them as pillowcase covers. "Golden Slumbers"!!

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    3. Golden Slumbers is covered on a surprising number of kids' lullaby albums It has entered the pantheon of children's music alongside "Hush Little Baby" and "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Not sure if that's what Lennon & McCartney had in mind, but it's just more evidence that the Beatles work is timeless.

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  3. nineteensixtythreeAugust 28, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Favorite cover - Johnny Cash "In My Life"

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  4. 50 years... I still vividly remember seeing them live in 1966 when they came to the US - I was so excited - Mom forced me to take my younger sister and as I'm screaming and crying and running toward the stage her memory was that she was afraid she would lose me! LOL - I was overcome with excitement and just took off to get closer. It was definitely a concert highlight for me... right up there next to seeing Leonard Cohen in Germany and Janis Joplin in C'ville!
    Loved the videos - especially Tina!

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  5. My favorite album cover would definitely have to be Sgt Pepper. I just remember as a kid, looking at it and thinking it was so cool. Turns out it was!

    And those comic books are rad!

    ...I wonder if we made comic books for pop icons today, what would the titles/themes be?

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    1. I have a soft spot for Rubber Soul -- my first LP -- but Sgt Pepper is indeed spectacular and so iconic.

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  6. My favorite Beatles album cover is also my favorite Beatles album - Abbey Road. When I was younger, I oscillated between Revolver and Rubber Soul for my favorite albums, but Abbey Road has always been my favorite cover. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that though there are individual songs on Revolver and Rubber Soul and their other, earlier albums that I adore, the composition of Abbey Road as a whole is unmatched. That album is pure genius and, when I listen to it all the way through, it never fails to make me feel infinite (to borrow a phrase from "The Perks of Being a Wallflower").

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    1. nineteensixtythreeAugust 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM

      I agree, Myrtle. My favorite album is also Abbey Road. Side B is pure genius. "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" is one of the best songs of all time.

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    2. I agree! I also love the transitions, especially between the two sides, i.e. between "I Want You/She's So Heavy" and "Here Comes the Sun" (which is another of my favorite songs of all time).

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    3. nineteensixtythreeAugust 28, 2012 at 1:44 PM

      One of the purest examples of music production - epic tranisitions. Did you see McCartney play part of Side B with friends at the Grammys? It gave me chills.

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    4. Agree with all of this. Abbey Road has always been my favorite Beatles album. Maybe because it the first I ever owned... But either way, it might be one of my top five favorite albums of all time.

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  7. It's difficult to find a better album cover than Sgt.Pepper!! So many great Fab Four memories... My dad would play the White Album REALLY loudly on the weekends:) My favorite cover version would have to be Fiona Apple's "Across The Universe."

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    1. Fiona Apple's interpretation of "Across the Universe" is probably my favorite to tied with The Charles River Valley Boys bluegrass take on "I've just seen a Face" SO GOOOOOODDDDDDD!!!!!

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  8. Wow I can't believe Tiffanys cover of "I saw him standing there" ranked in at #3!!!!! I checked out the worst covers of The Beatles, its seems like a lot of actors of yesteryear loved to interpret the fab four. I have to say I love the Mae West cover of "Day Tripper."

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    1. You've encouraged me to go check it out. I love Mae West too!

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    2. All is can say is, the old gal was game! (Especially her little asides.)

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    3. In fevered nightmare I recall William Shatner singing "Lucy...in the sky...with..DIAMONDS!"

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  9. The Beatles are musical genious. Although I respct all opinions that believe otherwise...The truth of their musical genious is and will always be fact. My favorite album covers are Abbey Road, I rock my Abbey road shirt more than I should. It's now faded. Revolver of course! and Rubber soul is a good one too. maybe that's just me. In all honesty I love them all and am happy that the Beatles will live on forever in our history and children of the future will actually know there was once "good" music. I only put that in quotes cause I'm sure all of us feel this way, but we can't speak for the children of the future.

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