Meet The Covers!

Meet The Covers!

Classic Interpretations of Beatle Songs

Hip-O/MCA

The difference between a tribute album and a compilation of covers is nowhere as evident as it is here. Neither is better than the other; it’s just that there is such a marked difference between the results of assigning musicians their idol’s tracks and tossing together a series of one-offs from distinguished careers.

When it comes to cover compilations, the Beatles make things both easier and harder. For one, you can’t swing a cat without smacking someone who has at one time or another “done” the Beatles. Also on the plus side, the Beatles wrote songs so well that they can hold some musical dignity after been dragged through the mud. Sadly, they’re dragged through the mud frequently.

Most of the tracks here are top-notch interpretations — though you won’t find their names on one of the young `uns playlists, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Richie Havens, Ike + Tina Turner, and Wilson Pickett all brought the Beatles into their particular genres with good results. Still, they wear the songs like ill-fitting suits. Faring better are Todd Rundgren’s “Rain,” Siouxsie & the Banshees’ “Dear Prudence,” and the Flamin’ Groovies rendition of “There’s a Place.” All are interesting, energetic and faithful representations of the original. The only interesting point on this album happen with and Nilsson’s “You Can’t Do That,” which playfully mixes lyrical themes from the Beatles’ career into something approximating the structure of the original.

For hardcore Beatles fans only. Well, maybe not.

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