Northern Star Playlist: Covers of The Beatles


Northern Star Playlist: Covers of The Beatles

By Parker Otto, Columnist

There are a select number of tasks that are absolutely impossible. Choosing a number of songs by The Beatles to recommend is one of them. The Beatles, in the 10 years they existed, constantly redefined rock and roll with 13 studio albums, six feature films and 13 tours that, in the words of John Lennon, made them “more popular than Jesus.”

However, The Beatles are so influential that many covers of their songs by other musicians have popped up. Choosing a recommended selection of these tracks makes for a better task. So, just in time for the film “Yesterday,” here are some of the best covers of The Beatles.

  1. “Blackbird” by John Denver – “Blackbird’s” acoustic medley is perfect for John Denver as it matches his folk style. With some original lyrics, Denver makes the track his own and also increases the pace of the track but not to the point where the song loses its roots as a gentle composition.

  2. “With A Little Help From My Friends” by Joe Cocker – Cocker’s entire music career was kickstarted by this track on the album of the same name. His bluesy, gritty voice makes this song completely different from the original Lennon-McCartney composition from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” His live performances were even more impressive due to his wild stage movement and earned him a place at the original Woodstock Music and Arts Festival. Another excellent track to check out would be his version of “Come Together,” from the Beatles jukebox musical “Across The Universe.”

  3. “I Am The Walrus” by Bono – This psychedelic track was given to the frontman of U2 for a special appearance in the film “Across The Universe.” During the film, Bono’s Doctor Robert is speaking at an anti-war demonstration with LSD-laced punch which he and the main characters consume. After drinking the punch, he starts singing “I am he as you are he as you are me” and the track becomes insane ravings. Bono delivers a perfect delivery of some of the most bizarre lyrics The Beatles ever wrote.

  4. “Let It Be” by Ray Charles – “Let It Be” almost sounds like a gospel song or a hymnal from the local church which makes it perfect for the gospel repertoire of Ray Charles. Charles takes the melancholy yet uplifting tone of the original and adds his blues vocals to make this a worthy cover of The Beatles.

  5. “Helter Skelter” by Mötley Crüe – The original track contains elements that would become the foundation of heavy metal so it’s only fitting that “Helter Skelter” was covered by one of the most controversial heavy metal groups of all time. Vince Neil’s vocals paired with Mick Mars’ guitar work deliver a track that will appease both fans and casual listeners as well as pay homage to The Beatles.

  6. “Yesterday” by Himesh Patel – Starring in a film based around The Beatles’ music can’t be easy but doing their songs justice is nearly impossible. Himesh Patel does an excellent job singing one of the greatest songs ever written with a simple acoustic ballad. If his performance in “Yesterday” is as good as his rendition, then this Friday’s release should be a wonderful night at the movie theater.