The best Beatles cover songs we're listening to now
These 5 re-imaginings would make the Fab Four proud.
Beatlemania may be over, but the impact of this groundbreaking band is everlasting. Their massive hits like “Love Me Do,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Yesterday” revolutionized rock 'n roll – no small feat for four scruffy guys from Liverpool, England. Roughly 50 years after they famously burst onto the scene, The Beatles are still the best-selling band in history and the best-selling musical artists in the United States, with more than 178 million albums sold. In the U.K., the Beatles hold the record for most singles sold, and have more No. 1 albums on the British music charts than any other musicians. With that kind of track record, it's rare to find anyone in music today who hasn't been inspired or influenced by The Beatles, which is why so many of them end up covering the songs that made the Fab Four famous. Time to swing those moptops as we bring you five of our favorite Beatles covers.
'Real Love' covered by Regina Spektor
Russian-American songwriter Regina Spektor puts a light and airy spin on this relatively obscure late-era Beatles tune. Born into a musical family, Spektor learned how to play the piano at age 6. She moved to the United States with her family at the age of 9, and her love for music continued to grow. She is most known for her songs “Fidelity," “Us” and the theme song for "Orange is the New Black." She puts the same character into this cover. “Real Love” was written by John Lennon but wasn't released until 1988, eight years after he died. It was one of the final songs the Beatles ever released.
'Strawberry Fields' covered by Tatran
The Israeli trio Tatran released this Beatles cover in 2014 on their debut album. The three-member band out of Tel Aviv includes a guitarist, drummer and bassist. Tatran adds a jazzy post-rock flair in this all-instrumental version of the classic song. It was originally written and performed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and was released in 1967 on the album “Penny Lane.” The song peaked at No. 8 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and it is considered by many critics to be one of the Beatles’ best recordings.
'Across the Universe' covered by Rufus Wainwright
Canadian-American composer Rufus Wainwright gives an emotional rendition of “Across the Universe” in this cover. Written by John Lennon, the song was originally released in 1969 on an album for charity called “No One’s Gonna Change Our World.” It was later re-recorded and released on the Beatles’ final album “Let It Be.” This song has also been covered by numerous artists including David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper and Fiona Apple – and was the title of the Beatles-inspired musical movie in 2007. Wainwright’s cover is particularly personal, because he toured with Sean Lennon, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
'Happiness is a Warm Gun' covered by U2
Irish rock band U2 gives an edgy take on the original version of this song. Bono and his merry mates are one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time, and have actually won more Grammy Awards than the Beatles (U2 has 22, while the Beatles have 10). “Happiness is a Warm Gun” was written by John Lennon and was released in 1968 on the album “The Beatles” (better known as “The White Album”). A diverse crop of acts has covered the song, including Phish, Marilyn Manson and Alanis Morissette.
'With a Little Help from My Friends' covered by Joe Cocker
This friendship anthem got the blues-rock treatment via British singer Joe Cocker. With his gritty voice and fantastic rearrangement, the cover version actually reached the No. 1 spot on the U.K. singles chart, just two years after the Beatles released the original. Joe Cocker went on to perform the song at Woodstock in 1969, and his version became the opening theme song for the popular TV show "The Wonder Years." The song was originally written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and was released on the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album.
Have a favorite Beatles cover that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments below!
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