MOJO Presents… Abbey Road Now! (2009)

MOJO Presents: Abbey Road Now! (October, 2009)
Just In Time For 9.9.9

There are two ways to cover a Beatles song; faithfully or creatively. For decades, many interpreters have followed the faithful route (why mess with a winning formula?), but most of those covers sucked – in large part simply because it wasn’t The Beatles. Younger artists tend to be less reverent, which make for more unusual interpretations. Either way, re-imagined albums like this (the UK’s Mojo Magazine has issued a few of these) tend to be hit and miss affairs. Frankly, Abbey Road Now! is no different, but there are still some interesting choices to appreciate. Jeffrey Lewis gives “Octopus’s Garden” a “Her Majesty”-styled acoustic reading, Loose Salute finds an interesting workaround to The Beatles’ solo-filled finale, “The End,” and Broken Flowers transform “Oh! Darling” into an effective suicide ballad, below. Find it at Amazon.

INVISIBLE Come Together (4:08)
THE LEISURE SOCIETY Something (3:19)
LET’S WRESTLE Maxwell’s Silver Hammer (2:26)
BROKEN RECORDS Oh! Darling (3:01)
JEFFREY LEWIS Octopus’s Garden (1:50)
ROBYN HITCHCOCK I Want You (She’s So Heavy) (7:52)
CHARLIE DORE Here Comes The Sun (3:58)
MARTIN JOHN HENRY Because (3:19)
GLENN TILBROOK/9 BELOW ZERO You Never Give Me Your Money (3:53)
GOMEZ Sun King (3:12)
CORNERSHOP Mean Mr Mustard/Polythene Pam (2:29)
KARIMA FRANCIS She Came In Through The Bathroom Window (3:02)
BLUE ROSES Golden Slumbers (2:16)
NOAH AND THE WHALE Carry That Weight (1:45)
LOOSE SALUTE The End (2:29)
THE LOW ANTHEM Her Majesty (0:30)



  • Pete
    September 4, 2009 - 21:18 | Permalink

    Looking forward to this. I'm not sure if it's fair to make the generalization, but there were some great soul re-imaginings of Beatle songs back in the day — for instance, Otis on Day Tripper, Pickett on Hey Jude, and especially Isaac Hayes totally reconstructing Something into … well, after he threw in the kitchen sink one wondered what would come next. And it did.

  • Paul McClelland
    September 5, 2009 - 01:38 | Permalink

    What Nirvana might have sounded like during the 'unplugged' CD if they covered this one. IMO
    I'm not a BIG fan of changing the chordal structure of a song to do a re-make. , even if the melody remains essentially the same, it sounds like a different song, and if you want to sing a different song, write your own frikkin song. Just my opinion here, guys and gals. I could be called a purist, but if any innovation is to happen within a Beatles remake, it should focus on arrangement or even tempo, not changing chordal structure to make it suit your own vision of a song you wished you'd written. To take it from a major key to a minor…throughout the entire song? …C'mon..just my opinion..this remake gets a thumbs down from me…..Paul

  • Capt. Willard
    September 5, 2009 - 02:14 | Permalink

    I'm just the opposite, Paul. A Beatles cover that's even remotely reverent in style or form to the original, is almost always overshadowed by The Beatles' own version. The only covers I've ever really enjoyed are complete overhauls, like Joe Cocker's "A Little Help From My Friends," for example. Pete (above) likes Isaac Hayes' deconstruction approach. Same idea. I've heard other "Oh! Darling" covers and they've all been forgettable to these ears. This one, at least, offers a twist, giving the lyrics an ominous and threatening menace (you can do the same thing with the lyrics to "You Can't Do That," too. That song is begging for an ominous House mix). I'm not totally against near faithful covers (and can be just as harsh on left field offerings), but I'm sometimes more impressed when an artist finds a new path to take with a tune that's already been chiseled in stone. This one gets a thumbs up from me – with the caveat that The Beatles almost always got it right the first time anyway. Thanks as always for commenting.

  • Art Ducko
    September 5, 2009 - 07:39 | Permalink

    There's a great 3-cd series of Beatles covers from local Memphis artists called "Fried Glass Onions" that's well worth checking out, along with the Stax version called (natch),"Stax Does the Beatles". The Beatles actually considered recording at the original Stax studio, but had to cancel at the last moment. Now that would have been uber-cool. See you guys in line at midnight 9/09. I'll be the one drooling all over my copy of the mono box set.

  • Anonymous
    September 5, 2009 - 09:46 | Permalink

    Very nice, and for those of us with access to Iplayer, you can still catch up with the Radio 2 Beatles bank holiday and this weekends BBC2 Beatles special.

  • Anonymous
    November 25, 2009 - 05:35 | Permalink

    There are few covers of Beatles songs i can tolerate (can't stand "I am Sam") but this sample intrigues me enough to give it a spin.
    Thanks Willard, excellent post as always. Great comments too.

  • W
    May 1, 2011 - 18:55 | Permalink

    Find it HERE.

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