Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted by Spinner
It's always been a tall task to cover the Beatles. Frank Sinatra called 'Something' "the greatest love song ever written," then went out, night after night, and put a hurting on it: "You stick around, Jack, it might show." If the Chairman of the Board couldn't do the song justice, where does that leave Telly Savalas?
Goldie Hawn, 'A Hard Day's Night'
For misguided Beatles covers, look no further than producer George Martin's retirement tribute to his own work, which featured the likes of Robin Williams and Jim Carrey mangling the Fab Four canon. Here the mother of Kate Hudson attempts a kittenish lounge version of a rambunctious rocker. At one point she ad-libs the word "switcheroonie." Seriously.
Ozzy Osbourne, 'In My Life'
After a lifetime of convincing Satanic dalliance, Ozzy reveals himself as just another sentimental old goat, with a voice to match. "Some undead and some are living ..."?
Sean Connery, 'In My Life'
Can't resist a second dip into the hapless George Martin tribute: We'll go with this sublimely ridiculous soliloquy by the real-life Groundskeeper Willie. Seems James Bond's voice is also licensed to kill.
William Shatner, 'Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds'
Just like Steve Allen's absurd recitation of rock 'n' roll lyrics like 'Be Bop a Lula,' Shatner's spoken-word rendition of 'Lucy' made a complete (if inadvertent) mockery of John Lennon's psychedelic imagery. Consider this the gateway to Shatner's all-time YouTube classic, his televised performance of Elton John's 'Rocket Man.'
San Francisco's late superstar-in-drag turned Paul McCartney's kindly tribute to civil-rights fortitude into a disco fiasco. Angry mobs destroyed Beatles records in the mid-'60s; they destroyed disco records at Comiskey Park in the '70s. They should have destroyed just this one.
Sarah Vaughn, 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)'
Where to begin? The great jazz voice's sadly conceived 1981 disco-era album 'Songs of the Beatles' could fill half of our 20 spots. We'll go with Sassy's befuddling take on John's bluesy plea from 'Abbey Road,' reimagined as a fourth-rate wedding band playing for two 'Biggest Loser' contestants.
Michael Jackson, 'Come Together'
From Michael's 'HIStory: Past, Present and Future, Book 1' set. Can't we just put it behind us?
Issac Hayes, 'Something'
Known to a later generation as Chef on 'South Park,' the soul balladeer cooked up a musical career noted for simmering crock-pot stews of pop hits. Hayes' 12-minute 'Walk On By' was inspired, but his meandering arrangement of George Harrison's perfect little love song was all but unrecognizable.
Brave Combo and Tiny Tim, 'Hey Jude'
Tiny Tim, known to his mother as Herbert Khaury, ditched his trademark falsetto for much of this 1996 "comeback" outing backed by the polka cheeseballs in Brave Combo. Besides grinding 'Hey Jude' into a cha-cha, they offer a disturbingly straight version of John's 'Girl' and, as a bonus, a brutal cover of 'Stairway to Heaven.'
Leo Sayer, 'I Am the Walrus'
One of three Beatles cuts (including 'Let It Be' and 'The Long and Winding Road') bludgeoned by Sayer for the weird 1976 documentary 'All This and World War II,' a feature-length montage of newsreel footage and clips from old war films. Won't make you feel like dancing, unless we're talking the Spandau ballet.
Keith Moon, 'When I'm Sixty-Four'
Also culled from the rightfully buried 'All This and World War II' documentary, the drunken Who drummer makes like 1920s crooner Rudy Vallee as he savages one of the few Beatles songs that was a little annoying the first time around.
George Burns, 'Fixing a Hole'
In the ill-fated 'Sgt. Pepper' movie of 1978, the antiquarian comic plays Mr. Kite, the Mayor of Heartland, who narrates the ludicrous tale. His tone-deaf turn features a soft-shoe performance that looks like the poor old coot might want to invest in some Depends.
Lena Horne & Gabor Szabo, 'Rocky Raccoon'
The perennially classy Miss Horne had a rare lapse in judgment when she agreed to record Paul's goofy White Album Western with the renowned jazz guitarist. With each word she chews off, she sounds less and less amused.
The Bobs, 'Helter Skelter'
Somehow, the New Wave a cappella group managed to earn a Grammy nomination for this skin-crawling vocalized version of the Beatles' bid to notch the first heavy metal song. If the original inspired a certain serial killer, this version should have been locked up for life as a menace to society.
Barry Manilow, 'The Long and Winding Road'
It's not all his fault: 'The Long and Winding Road' was kinda sappy when Paul sang it and Phil Spector larded on the strings. Hey, we can appreciate the occasional greatness of Barry (please give it up for 'Could It Be Magic') as much as the next guy. Just not right now.
Alice Coooper, 'Hey Bulldog'
As the lead track on the aptly titled compilation 'Butchering the Beatles,' Cooper's 'Bulldog' needs to be humanely destroyed. This "headbashing tribute" to the Fab Four also includes Motorhead's Lemmy croaking out McCartney's 'Back in the USSR' and Billy Idol painfully paired with Lennon's mind-expanding 'Tomorrow Never Knows.'
James Taylor, 'Day Tripper'
Some of us think Sweet Baby James could make beautiful music out of the phone book. Then we're reminded that even the most decent musicians fell prey to the tasteless production techniques of the late 1970s. We know the guy likes to sail, but this pseudo-disco version is yacht rock all the way.
The Carpenters, 'Nowhere Man'
Poor Karen Carpenter's maudlin version of a song that was, let's face it, kind of a downer to begin with. It works on the nervous system like a dangerous dose of sedatives.
Linkin Park With Jay-Z & Paul McCartney, 'Yesterday'
Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the song with the most cover versions of all time, which means there are countless terrible renditions of Paul's sad-sack ballad. But Linkin Park's Grammy-night performance, with special guests in white: Yeah, boyeee!
'Mrs. Miller, 'Yellow Submarine'