It was 50 years ago today. Well, give or take. But make no mistake, next month, the fab four are gonna be all over you like a collarless suit.

May 1962. The Beatles are slogging away at the Star Club, Hamburg, and they get a telegram from their manager, Brian Epstein,with the news “Congratulations, boys, EMI requests recording session. Please, rehearse new material.”

Stuart Sutcliffe had died a month earlier. At the beginning of May, they were recording with Bert Kaempfert. At the end of the month, Epstein had a plan…and the lads started to dust down one of Macca’s earlier compositions, allegedly written while playing truant from school aged 16. It was called Love Me Do…

The single was released on October 5th. And the rest is magical history, mop-top wigs and Mathew Street Festivals.

To celebrate, the weekend of October 5th will be Love Me Do weekend. On October 5th 2012 Beatle lovers from all over the world will come together in Liverpool for a mass participation singing of their debut hit.

We’re just giving you advance warning, really. It’s at the cruise liner terminal, should you wish to add your voice to the proceedings.

We love the Beatles. Of course. But instead of 1,000 fans singing more or less in unison, we’d like to introduce you to seven Beatles covers we really shouldn’t like, but kinda do. For a variety of strange and esoteric reasons. You might hate them all, you might love others. Maybe. You’ll not have heard all of them, definitely.

Boney M: Two Of Us

That German calypso shuffle. Give it time and it will, we promise, find a place in your heart. Especially when Liz Mitchell sings: “You and I have memories/longer than/the road that stretches out of here…” We’ll even forgive that bloke’s dancing for a vocal that spine tingling.

The song was originally titled “On Our Way Home”. McCartney claimed it was about Linda, but the lyrics suggest otherwise – that it’s about his relationship with Lennon.

The Carpenters: Ticket To Ride

If you’re going to do it your way, do it like the Carpenters did it. As perfect as 70’s easy listening ever got, Karen’s deep dark vocals imbued this song with a wistful sadness missing from the perky original. The song was credited to Lennon–McCartney, although Lennon said that McCartney’s contribution was limited to “the way Ringo played the drums”. What a cad.

Earth, Wind and Fire: Got To Get You Into My Life

Funky as fuck. What more do we need to say? A Revolver stand out, the track was a big 1966 hit for Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, but we say this mid 70s smooth as silk translation is every bit as horny. It’s all about the horns.

The Fall: A Day In The Life

Stripped down, simple, honest. Yep, Mark E. Smith poured his heart into this powerful and moving tribute. The final track on Sgt. Peppers, the song is – famously – a genetically modified composition: grafting Macca’s ‘Woke up, got out of bed…’ into the middle of Lennon’s grandiose pop opera. And, of course, it works a bloody treat. My how they loved to turn us on.

Grandaddy: Revolution

Sounding straight outta the Sumday sessions, Jason Lytle wears his heart (and his influences) on his sleeve for this sunny Californian paean to the summer of love. They’re back and touring this year. We doubt this’ll make the set list. So enjoy this typically Lennon manifesto-in-waiting (and the first Beatles song to be licensed for a TV commercial: for Nike) here instead.

Emmylou Harris: Here There and Everywhere

Oft covered, but never bettered, we don’t think, than this sultry backwoods workout (with a sublime instrumental bridge) – another stand-out from Revolver, this McCartney tune was ranked the 4th greatest song in the world by Mojo. It’s hard to think of three better, really. And hard to believe this was recorded just four years after Love Me Do. Kinda sends shivers down your spine, really.

Bjork: Fool on the Hill

A baby Bjork, and far from her finest moment, but Icelandic sounds so bloody good sung it’s hard to pass this curio by. Recorded by Bjork when she was still a pre Sugarcubes child star, in 1977, the song’s a McCartney composition about Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: “His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously,” he said of the track.

New Musik: All You Need Is Love

Just to prove how one song can be pulled in completely contrasting directions, here’s a version of the track Lennon composed for the world’s first live global TV link up (watched by an estimated4 400 million in 26 countries) by London’s New Musik – one of the 80’s most interesting synth pop bands (check out the backwards vocals of ‘altogether now/everybody’ at the end. Love it or hate it, it’s fair to say they went down with all hands on their Linn Drums and Korgs and did it their way. And segued into Greensleeves. Because it was the 80s, yeah?

11 Responses to “Seven Beatles Covers We Shouldn’t Like…But Do”

  1. Sir Duke

    I’d say they all showed one thing – the boys songs still sound fresh and relevant 50 years on. How many people will be covering the Kings of Leon or Kasabian in half a century’s time? We had giants amongst us with those boys.

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