Covering a Beatles song is like taking up residence in the Great Pyramid: The foundation is unshakable, but anything you bring along for decoration is bound to lower the property value. Of the thousands of artists who have tried, only a few have made themselves at home in the band's music.
The Jam, 'And Your Bird Can Sing'
The Clash may have chided "phony Beatlemania," but in the punk era there was more than enough Beatlesque melodicism to go around. The Jam's Paul Weller was more Fab than most of his peers, acknowledging the debt with this spirited, well-chosen homage.
Elliott Smith, 'Because'
The carbon-copy cover is usually pointless, but Smith was born to record his own solo, multi-tracked take on this gorgeous 'Abbey Road' chorale, which showed up on the 'American Beauty' soundtrack. The Beatlemaniac singer-songwriter was especially fond of covering the group members' solo songs (notably George Harrison's) in concert.
The Brothers Johnson, 'Come Together'
Aerosmith's version is a spinal cracker, too, but this underappreciated family affair -- George "Lightnin' Licks" and Louis "Thunder Thumbs" Johnson -- took John Lennon's absurdist wordplay and downplayed it into a slinky space-funk mood piece that came grooving up slowly.
Aretha Franklin, 'Eleanor Rigby'
Father Mackenzie would have no trouble attracting folks to his lonely sermons if he only had the Queen of Soul singing the gospel of the Beatles. In Aretha's hands, one of
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