On 5 October 1962 – fifty years ago next week – The Beatles released their first single, Love Me Do b/w P.S. I Love You. The single entered the UK charts on 11 October and stayed there for 18 weeks, peaking at #17. Follow-up Please Please Me did better, reaching #2; that was followed by 11 straight #1s – bizarrely the group’s greatest single, Strawberry Fields b/w Penny Land, broke the streak (six chart-toppers would still follow). And apparently that was only because the BBC counted the record as two individual singles.
So, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ beginning their recording career, here’s the first of two Covered With Soul mixes of Beatles songs. One of the tracks here, ‘Til There Was You, was a song The Beatles themselves covered, but it I presume that The Smith Connection used the Beatles version, and not the original from the 1957 musical The Music Man, as their inspiration.
These being soul versions, they tend to be quite different from their originals. I believe it is a sign of a great song if it can be interpreted well in many different ways. Every song here is beautifully re-interpreted, in some cases almost re-invented (check out Charles Wright’s take on Here Comes The Sun for that). Even Marvin Gaye’s take on Yesterday uses the composition’s flexibility to great effect. A great example of that flexibility is in We Can Work Out, which had been covered brilliantly by Stevie Wonder; his version is in every way the original’s equal. Valerie Simpson takes a rather different approach to the song, and produces a soul version that is very different from Stevie’s – and quite brilliant in its own right.
And if Paul McCartney would sing Hey Jude (as he does seemingly at every opportunity somebody hands him a mic) like Wilson Pickett does, I’d gladly hear that blasted song over and over again.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, for which homebaked covers are included. I’m afraid passwords are now necessary; you’ll find it in the comments section.
1. Otis Redding – Day Tripper (Alternate Take) (1966)
2. Dionne Warwick – A Hard Day’s Night (1969)
3. Four Tops – Eleanor Rigby (1969)
4. David Porter – Help (1971)
5. Black Heat – Drive My Car (1975)
6. The Supremes & The Temptation – Got To Get You Into My Life (1968)
7. Marvin Gaye – Yesterday (1969)
8. The Smith Connection – ‘Til There Was You (1972)
9. Valerie Simpson – We Can Work It Out (1971)
10. Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Good Day Sunshine (1968)
11. Ike & Tina Turner – Come Together (1970)
12. Aretha Franklin – The Long And Winding Road (1972)
13. Grady Tate – And I Love Her (1974)
14. Natalie Cole – Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (1978)
15. The Main Ingredient – Get Back (1970)
16. The Moments – Rocky Raccoon (1970)
17. Wilson Pickett – Hey Jude (1968)
18. Ronnie Dyson – Something (1973)
19. Charles Wright – Here Comes The Sun (1972)
20. Gladys Knight & The Pips – Let It Be (1971)
21. Booker T and the MG’s – I Want You (1970)
GET IT! (PW in comments)