MP3 Spotlight: Under The Covers With The Beatles

Beatles fans, this post is for you. There have been some great Beatles cover albums over the years, but since none of them are entitled “Beatles Cover Album” you may not have heard of them. Here are a few of the more noteworthy examples:

I Am Sam – Music from and inspired by the Motion Picture (4/5 stars, currently priced at $8.99 for 16 tracks)

Yes, it’s a motion picture soundtrack, but it consists of nothing but Beatles songs.

Highlights from this album include Rufus Wainwright’s cover of Across the Universe, Eddie Vedder’s take on You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away, The Black Crowes’ appropriately trippy and stripped-down rendition of Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds and Sarah McLachlan’s lovely, minimalist cover of Blackbird.

Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign To Save Darfur (4/5 stars, currently priced at $11.49 for 23 tracks)

This album consists entirely of John Lennon covers. Highlights include Green Day’s cover of Working Class Hero, U2’s cover of Imagine, Matisyahu’s version of Watching the Wheels, Ben Harper’s take on Beautiful Boy and The Flaming Lips’ tremulous interpretation of Falling In Love Again.


Let It Be Roberta – Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles (Amazon MP3 Exclusive Version) [+Digital Booklet] (3.5/5 stars, currently priced at $6.99 for 14 tracks + digital booklet)

As you would expect, Flack’s interpretations of Beatles favorites are much more grounded in her R&B roots. Flack’s beautiful, rich voice and the original arrangements on this album may not be to the liking of Beatles purists, but for those who are open to more creative covers, this album is definitely worth a listen.


Vitamin String Quartet Performs The Beatles Vol.2 (no reviews yet, currently priced at $8.99 for 11 tracks)

This album contains all-instrumental, string quartet versions of such Beatles classics as Yellow Submarine, The Ballad of John and Yoko, We Can Work It Out and Paperback Writer.

It’s always fun to put on a Vitamin String Quartet album (they have covered a LOT of popular music) around friends and wait for recognition and realization to dawn on everyone’s faces.


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