Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Miles Away from Ordinary

No this isn’t a post about Corona…a beer that’s made it’s living on a fictional ideal rather than it’s taste - kind of like the Mexican version of Bud Light. I’ve just decided to make this post about something other than sports.

One of my projects lately has been to load all of my CD’s into iTunes. Why am I doing this? Well other then having a shocking amouny of free time, I figure if I have them all on the computer (and backed up) I can get rid of the cd's and clear out a ton of space in our office / temporary bedroom.

I just burned all of our Beatles CD’s and that led me to ponder the following questions. What are the best Beatles songs of all time? Then I realized that idea has been done to death. Just go ahead and do a quick internet search for that and let someone else tell you what the best is.

Not wanting to let go of the topic I decided to go with a slightly different question. What are the five best Beatles covers out there?

Now I know what the purists will say - no one did it better than the Beatles!!!!! Excellent point, but not what we’re talking about here. Trust me I’ve heard enough bad bands playing bad versions in bad bars to know that the original is better than a copy. What we’re looking for here are known performers that do justice to the original and offer their own take of the classic songs.

So without further adieu - here we go!

Honorable Mention:

Floyd from the Muppet Show - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I found this one during my search for another version of this song. The only reason it didn’t make it to the top five was the fact that it was only about a minute long. This did lead to about 30 minutes of watching Muppet versions of songs. Have I told anyone how much I love youtube?

Number 5 - Jeff Healy - While My Guitar Gently Weeps

The aforementioned video that I was looking for. A gloriously 90's update to the George Harrison penned classic by the blind guy from Roadhouse. It wasn’t until after I saw Roadhouse that I realized Healy was a pretty respected musician in his own right. He definitely knew how to rock the mullet back in the day.

Number 4 - Jim Sturgess - I’ve Just Seen a Face

From the Beatles inspired motion picture Across the Universe. If there is a better song ever written about the early moments of falling for a girl I haven’t heard it yet. Say what you will about the movie (personally, except for Bono’s performance’s I liked it) you can almost hear the smile in Sturgess’ voice as he sings this.

Number 3 - Michael Jackson - Come Together

I was more than ready to slot Aerosmith’s version here until I stumbled across this forgotten gem. It comes from the greatness that was “Moonwalker” Michael Jackson is at the apex of his career here. I mean leather pants and a championship belt? You cannot get better than that. He also injects a swaggering snarl into the stream of consciousness John Lennon lyrics that makes the song his own. In case you didn’t know Lennon had written this song for Timothy Leary’s campaign for governor of California. Leary was soon busted for pot possesion, Ronald Regan won and this song reached number one in the US Billboard Charts.

Number 2 - Noel Gallagher - Help

One half of the volatile brothers from Oasis does true justice to the lyrics of one of Lennon’s most revealing songs. Of course the studio didn’t think that it would be good for the hottest band in the world to release a slow ballad of insecurity and helplessness so they had the band play it as the up-tempo hit that everyone has come to know and love.

Number 1 - Eddie Vedder - You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away

The first song I ever downloaded from iTunes, Vedder lends his unique voice to Lennon’s ode to a mistress (or Brian Epstein's sexual orientations depending on what legend you choose to believe). Some covers veer too far away from the original and others are carbon copies that don’t add anything to the original. This one, through Vedder’s ragged voice, seems to enhance the intimacy of the song.

Feel free to discuss amongst yourself. Do you like the list? Are there others out there that I missed?

1 comment:

life of the beatles said...

Great list! I'd have to add "With a Little Help From My Friends" by Joe Cocker and one I just recently heard, Fats Domino's "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me And My Monkey."