Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Part three of our White Album cover series tours the world and elsewhere, with selections from Down Under, Asia, Europe, and whatever planet the Feelies came from.
MP3: Ruby Suns – Birthday (The Beatles cover)
When Mojo was putting together its own all-cover White Album, they went all the way to New Zealand for their “Birthday” boys. That’s where the Ruby Suns are based, and their Polynesian pop stylings made for a unique opener – they touch on the song only occasionally as they perform it, and if their take doesn’t become a radio mainstay, at least it’s nice music to make wishes and blow out candles by.
MP3: Elliott Smith – Yer Blues (The Beatles cover)
Rawkblog did the Lord’s work by putting together this collection of Elliott Smith’s live covers. Like most of us, Smith was a big Beatles fan; unlike most of us, he had the tools and the talent to pay truly worthy tribute to them with his multiple covers of their songs. His version of “Yer Blues” matches the original’s intensity, and it doesn’t take a genius to imagine how truly blessed the crowd felt to witness it.
MP3: Chihiro Onitsuka – Mother Nature’s Son (The Beatles cover)
Singer-songwriter Chihiro Onitsuka is very, very big in Japan, inspired by Western music (she names Jewel as a major influence) and selling millions of her own compositions. In recent years she’s had a rough go of it – polyp on vocal cords, eating disorder, violently abusive boyfriend – but in 2012 she bounced back with Famous Microphone, a collection of covers that included her take on “Mother Nature’s Son.” The “Cecilia”-esque rhythm track gives the song a propulsive feel, which gives her a leg up on millions of campfire singalong versions.
MP3: The Feelies – Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey (The Beatles cover)
1980’s Crazy Rhythms was the debut album of the Feelies, four boys with perpetual nervousness and a way with unusual percussion instruments. For instance, on their cover of “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” Glenn Mercer plays coat rack – and very well, it must be said. It certainly adds to the atmosphere of the track, played with a wound-up, jittery feel and powered by an engine that may be smaller than the Beatles’, but is pushed just as far into the red.
MP3: Die Geschwister Pfister – Sexy Sadie (The Beatles cover)
Die Geschwister Pfister (German for “The Pfister Siblings”) won the Prix Walo, the most important award in Swiss show business, in the comedy/cabaret division in 1996. That’s all Wikipedia knows about them; go to their webpage and Google Translate gives you sentences like, “Who does not know, at least in terms of lives cabaret obviously behind the Uranus moons: the Pfister siblings have determined sung in recent years, with shrill-angle-funny-beautiful programs in the hearts of lovers and relevant played. Any recommendation is similar to the classic attempt to carry coals to Newcastle.”
Quite. Let’s just enjoy their churchlike take on “Sexy Sadie,” shall we?
MP3: Bonerama – Helter Skelter (The Beatles cover)
This is the song that Charles Manson stole from the Beatles. Over the years, a lot of artists have stolen it back – Thrice, Motley Crue, and Siouxsie & the Banshees, to name just a few. Add Bonerama to the list; a funk rock brass band from New Orleans, they take “Helter Skelter” to the top of the slide trombone, before stopping, turning, and taking it on one hell of a ride.
MP3: Yim Yames – Long, Long, Long (The Beatles cover)
Yim Yames (jes, jou know him from My Morning Yacket) recorded Tribute To a few days after George Harrison’s death. The EP’s opener, “Long, Long, Long,” sets the tone nicely – solemn, reverent, and full of grace, Yames makes a beautiful noise unto the sweet Lord.