Wouldn’t it be interesting to look at the Beatles albums as if they were done by other artists? Here we will take a look at cover versions of the songs that made up the Beatles album “Abbey Road”. Track listing is based on the original UK releases.
Abbey Road was the last ‘studio’ album the Beatles recorded but the penultimate one released. The second side of the album was nothing short of a medley of ‘unfinished’ songs that they somehow worked well together. The album itself has certainly stood the test of time – that is testament to the band’s pure genius. Here we will take a look at cover versions of the songs that made up the album Abbey Road.
Come Together – Sugababes
Despite the Sugababes being a ‘pop’ group, they do an excellent cover of what is, in essence, a rock song. This song was released on a John Lennon tribute CD given away in the UK magazine ‘Q’ in 2005 – it was recorded exclusively for that album, although the Sugababes have taken to singing it live at their gigs on occasion.
Something – Leisure Society
There are so many cover versions of this song it was always going to be hard to pick which one to put here – as was, I decided to go for quite a random one but an awesome one nonetheless. This one was taken from a free CD given away with ‘Mojo’ magazine (See below at You Never Give Me Your Money).
Maxwell’s Silver Hammer – Steve Martin
Brilliantly, Steve Martin’s first role in a feature film was in the Beatles music based film Sgt Peppers. This is the song he contributed to the soundtrack – no further comment is needed.
Oh Darling – Hanson
Hanson had all grown up since their pre-pubescent days of ‘Mmmmbop’ by the time they had taken to playing this Beatles cover version live. All being said, it is not a bad cover version really.
Octopus’s Garden – The Muppets
Couldn’t resist putting this in here – the Muppets singing a Beatles song on the Ed Sullivan show, humour at its best surely! The song itself was one of only two songs that Ringo Starr wrote for the Beatles (the other being Don’t Pass Me By from the White Album). Ringo did sing other songs for the Beatles of course (like: Yellow Submarine) but that didn’t mean he wrote them!
I Want You (She’s So Heavy) – Booker T and the MG’s
This cover version by Booker T and the MG’s was released on their album McLemore Avenue. For those of you who don’t know, that album cover was also a spoof of the Beatles Abbey Road cover – it would only have been rude then not to include at least one cover version.
Here Comes The Sun – Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels
Steve Harley and the Cockney Rebels may be best known for their 1975 number one hit ‘Come Up and See Me (Make Me Smile)’ but this cover version was also a huge hit. It peaked at number 10 in the UK charts in the summer of 1976.
Because – Elliott Smith
The original was an overdubbed show case of the Beatles vocal harmonies, this version by Elliott Smith is not too far removed from the original. Not to be confused with a song called ‘Because’ that Julian Lennon released in the 1980’s.
You Never Give Me Your Money – Glenn Tilbrook
This version features Glenn Tilbrook (lead singer of Squeeze) and the band ‘Nine Below Zero’. It featured on a free CD given away with the UK magazine ‘Mojo’ in late 2009, the whole CD was cover versions of the songs from Abbey Road – this one was one of the stand out songs on it.
Sun King – Bee Gees
Not the only Bee Gees cover version of a Beatles song to appear on this list (see below), this performance was taken from the musical documentary ‘All This And World War II’. The original, showcasing Lennon, McCartney and Harrison’s vocal harmonies, is better by a country mile.
Mean Mr Mustard – Frankie Howard
Another song taken from the Beatles music based film Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Comedian Frankie Howard takes on the role of Mean Mr Mustard. As a cover version, what else is there to say really except – odd!
Polythene Pam – Bee Gees
The Bee Gees appeared in the Beatles based film Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – don’t worry if you haven’t seen it, it’s not very good and is best avoided. On this video the Bee Gees (backed up by Pete Frampton) run through ‘Polythene Pam’ before going into ‘She Came Into The Bathroom Window’.
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – Matchbox Twenty
Matchbox Twenty have often covered this song at their live gigs but have yet to put it down on record. This performance comes from a gig at London’s Wembley Arena.
Golden Slumbers – Ben Folds
This version of Golden Slumber by Ben Folds (of Ben Folds Five fame) was included in the soundtrack to the 2001 film ‘I Am Sam’ starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer. All but one of the songs on the soundtrack to the film were Beatles covers.
The End – Tangerine
Had it not been for an ‘error’ (see below) this song would have been the final word recorded on a Beatles album and it really does sum it all up nicely. This live version here comes from the Tangerines who play it pretty much as was.
Her Majesty – Steve Stoeckel and the Longplayers
Her Majesty was originally intended to be inbetween ‘Mean Mr Mustard’ and ‘Polythene Pam’ but Paul McCartney didn’t like it and wanted it removed. Ironically, it was removed but it still existed on the reel and when the final album cut was made, there it was right at the end of it. Her Majesty in this video is from 9 minutes onwards.
P.S. This article was originally published by the same author on Triond on the 14th of March 2014 and can be found by clicking HERE.