Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Side four of the Beatles’ White Album has some of the widest stylistic swings on one side of one record, ever – there’s music hall (“Honey Pie”), there’s chaos (“Revolution 9”), there’s what John himself called “possibly overlush” (“Good Night”). We close our four-part salute by matching the shifts in sound stride for stride, and believe us, we have a fine time doing it.
Reckless Kelly – Revolution 1 (The Beatles cover)
Reckless Kelly is one of those bands that sound great in the studio (their latest proof of that, Long Night Moon, was just released this week), but sound sensational onstage. Here’s proof of that – a ten-minute version of “Revolution 1” that sounds, if anything, too short.
The King’s Singers – Honey Pie (The Beatles cover)
The Beatles give “Honey Pie” soft-shoein’ twenties-style instrumentation. The King’s Singers go one better by giving it no instrumentation at all. They’re one of the world’s premier vocal ensembles, and the way they sing the last four words make a perfect bow to attach to this gift of a performance.
Ella Fitzgerald – Savoy Truffle (The Beatles cover)
Ella Fitzgerald is one of jazz’s greatest vocalists, but in the late ’60s her label wanted to see if she could attract a younger audience, and steered her toward songs that would appeal to the youth of the day. “Savoy Truffle” probably made the cut on account of the sax section letting rip in the original, but even Ella can’t keep this cover from finishing a distant second.
Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps – Cry Baby Cry (The Beatles cover)
There are currently four volumes of Minnesota Beatle Project releases; this cover of “Cry Baby Cry” comes from the fourth album and features Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps, a self-described post-folk band. They do justice to the Alice-in-Lennonderland song, making sure not to forget Paul’s “Can You Take Me Back” snippet at the end.
Gameboymusicclub – Revolution 9 (The Beatles cover)
“Revolution 9” regularly wins polls as the worst Beatles song ever; just as regularly, it’s defended as a work of avant-garde genius, a mansion of musical concrete. This cover comes from Wanna Hld Yr Handheld, a tribute album by the collective 8-Bit Operators that consists of Beatles songs created with old-school computer-chip music. If anything could seem a natural fit for “Revolution 9,” it’s this, and Gameboymusicclub don’t disappoint the listener, no matter what the listener’s viewpoint coming in.
Matthew Sweet – Good Night (The Beatles cover)
For the Kids is a series of CDs with songs aimed at children, but with artists aimed at their parents – Tom Waits, Barenaked Ladies, and Sarah McLachlan are just a few of the artists who show up on the first volume. The second, For the Kids Too!, features this version of “Good Night,” with Matthew Sweet offering a perfect mix of love and lullaby. Album closers don’t get any better than this.