Facebook has become a major part of my daily routine and it has brought me in contact with many people from my USY days. It’s been a lot of fun. One interesting thing has been these facebook memes that are spreading (whether they are really memes at all is for a different discussion). They are little notes that are being passed from person to person and you have to answer a bunch of questions and then send to friends and they answer the same questions, etc.
One of the more recent of these memes that I have done was called coverama. You had to pick a half dozen of your favorite cover songs. I, of course made mine into a Beatles edition, and it got me thinking about covers of Beatles songs. Now you might remember that I have written here in the past on covers, and I have stated that in general I do not like covers, but listening to a lot of Beatles covers over the past few days has changed my opinion a little. I still don’t really like the idea of covers, but there are some good ones out there, and so for the next few days I am bringing back song of the day and focusing on Beatles Covers.
Today I want to focus on instrumental covers. There are a host of possibilities out there as many symphony orchestras have recorded Beatles songs (first and foremost the London Symphony Orchestra) but I want to feature a few from outside the symphonies.
Perhaps the best I have heard is Jeff Beck’s version of A Day in the Life. Jeff Beck was the second guitarist of the Yardbirds, replacing Eric Clapton when he left. Together with Clapton and Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck completes perhaps the greatest trio of British guitarists (all who played with the Yardbirds). Today he records almost exclusively instrumental pieces. When Sir George Martin, the famous producer of most of the Beatles work, did a “farewell” album of Beatles Songs, he recruited Beck. That album is called In My Life. This song is also prominently featured in the movie Across the Universe.
The other two recordings are also from that album by Martin. First is a beautiful rendition of Because by the amazing violinist Vanessa Mae (there is some choral in this) and the other is an arrangement by John Williams of Here Comes the Sun (he also conducted this as well).