Column: Five great Beatles cover songs

Adam Tumino

Some covers can sound like boring retreads, but some great artists can take someone else’s song and make it feel as fresh as an original composition.

As one of the most popular bands ever, the Beatles have had many of their songs covered over the years. Here are five of the best.

Stevie Wonder- “We Can Work It Out”

If there was one thing the Beatles lacked as a band, it was soul.

Luckily, that is something that Stevie Wonder has plenty of.

His 1970 version of the Beatles’ classic has all of the staples of a great Stevie Wonder original, and he is able to remove all traces of the Beatles’ version and make the song entirely his own.

Jose Feliciano- “In My Life”

This song is near the top of the list of the most beautiful songs by the Beatles.

Feliciano’s 1968 cover is mostly straightforward, featuring just strings and acoustic guitar in addition to his excellent voice.

The arrangement is more complicated here than in the original. Feliciano is also a more skillful guitar player than any of the Beatles, but he keeps it simple for the most part in this song.

Earth, Wind & Fire- “Got to Get You into My Life”

Wonder wasn’t the only one to provide a funkier take on the Beatles.

In 1978, the great band Earth, Wind & Fire covered this song from “Revolver.”

It feels less like a cover and more like a complete reconstruction of the song.

This is not only one of the best Beatles’ covers, it is one of the best Earth, Wind & Fire songs as well.

Joe Cocker- “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window”

When most people think of Joe Cocker and the Beatles, his cover of “With a Little Help From My Friends” comes to mind.

But a better Cocker cover of a Beatles’ song is his version of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.”

His take on the song has a bit of a country flare to the guitar work, and of course Cocker’s signature raspy voice is in full effect.

Frank Sinatra- “Something”

Most great Beatles covers were done by artists that came later, but their work sometimes managed to catch the attention of great artists that came before.

Sinatra covered it in 1970, and at one point called it “the greatest love song of the last 50 years.”

Sinatra’s version features a wonderful score over which one of the great vocalists of all time does his thing. It is a great cover, and a departure from the usual remakes of Beatles’ songs.

 

Adam Tumino is a senior journalism major. He can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]