Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Modifying the Mopheads.

I thought it would be fun to share a bunch of Beatles covers that I love. I figured we'd begin with two wildly differing covers of "Eleanor Rigby:"

"Eleanor Rigby" - the Nite-Liters
"Eleanor Rigby" - the Ventures

The Nite-Liters' version is characteristically funky, with a heavy emphasis on horns. The Ventures' version, however, is understandably guitar-based. The track begins with the original's famous string arrangement, but their cover comes into its own as soon as the lead guitarist engages his fuzz pedal at :38.

In the early 1970s, Randy California took a break from Spirit to record the succinctly titled Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirlybirds, his first solo effort. Upon its release in 1972, the album's druggy acid rock seemed badly dated and the record promptly sank without a trace. California recorded a number of covers for Kapt. Kopter, including James Brown's "I Don't Want Nobody" and Paul Simon's "Mother and Child Reunion." Neither of these touch his wonderfully deranged cover of the Beatles' "Rain," however:

"Rain" - Randy California

In contrast, Davy Graham's subdued take on "Mother Nature's Son" combines the folky atmosphere of the original with a distinctly impromptu, after-hours feel:

"Mother Nature's Son" - Davy Graham

And what kind of post would this be without a samba-fied Beatles track?

"Michelle" - Os Sambeatles