Jun 192013

Fight the Beatles traditionalist power

Fight the Beatles traditionalist power

Hey, just enough time to post and split— but I did want to showcase two strong Beatles covers, and let you guys duke it out on the topic of which is better, or whether they both represent the triumph of Beelzebub over good taste. Anyhow, here they are. First, “Blackbird,” by Billy Preston:

01 Blackbird

And second, a dreamy interpretation of “Julia” by Ramsey Lewis.

01 Julia

I look forward to your responses.



  13 Responses to “Thrifty Music: Beatle-Rama”

  1. BigSteve

    #1: Nice and funky, but I never want to hear that song ever again.

    #2: I like the piano trio, but those strings have got to go.

  2. hrrundivbakshi

    Hey, BigSteve: do you mean you never want to hear any rendition of “Blackbird” ever again, or just Preston’s?

  3. hrrundivbakshi

    Oh, and — I really like those strings. The net effect of combining a funky urban jazz trio with a swooping, gigundo Hollywood string section sounds good to my ear-hole. Inneresting.

  4. I am a big fan of the 2012 comp Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon and McCartney.

    It’s not all great (OK some of it stinks) but there are some cool moments.

    Speaking of, my favorite track is by THE MOMENTS. I am friends with the daughter of The Moments’ Al Goodman, but I never knew that they had recorded Rocky Raccoon!

    Here is the song with a very strange video (ignore it) http://youtu.be/QR2NQHIqtMA

    Rocky is now from the Ghetto! classic!

  5. hrrundivbakshi

    A Moments RTH connection — so cool! My next Thrifty Music post will involve the Moments, the Whatnauts, and an extraordinary musical coincidence that may verge on theft, featuring The Purple One himself. Look for it soon.

  6. I read it as the former, or at least that’s how I feel about that song. I keep thinking I’ll eventually be a nice enough person to like the song “Blackbird” as much as so many other people do, but that time is not happening. This version, despite the promise of not having the fingerpicking guitar part that every young guitarist but I ever learned, still stinks. I love what I think of as a “terraced” song structure, but “Blackbird” is too terraced, like a Frank Lloyd Wright house on an overly terraced property, with a bunch of little walls and lawn gnomes and fake deer. Yuck!

  7. As for this version of “Julia”…why bother? Did Ramsey Lewis owe Lennon and McCartney money? I couldn’t tell what song it was until the arrangement got to the bridge. This is fine elevator music, but it’s times like these that jazz guys should learn how to write lyrics.

  8. I like the concept of a Ghetto Rocky, but the music should have gone further in an urban direction. This sounds like a black guy singing over the Beatles’ faux-hillbilly arrangement. My man Don Covay would have nailed this subpar Beatles song.

  9. Natalie Cole does a funky version of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. This is a slow burner and she gets it going about 1:45.


    I saw her a few years ago, she’s still puts on a great show — and still looks fantastic!

  10. misterioso

    That version of “Julia”–blecch. I don’t have too much use for Ramsey Lewis’ mostly watered-down jazz stylings and just about any jazz interpretation of the Beatles that I have heard is pretty weak. It may well be that I am too invested in the originals in a way that I am not invested in earlier American pop standards as endlessly reinterpreted in jazz’s heyday. I’d certainly rather hear Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” or Miles Davis’ “Surrey with the Fringe on Top” than straightforward performances.

    I do like this fine and funky interpretation of–of all things–“Hey Jude” by the Overton Berry Trio, which I know from the excellent compilation Wheedle’s Groove. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9bjPNYYd_8 Really, it is just working variations on the singalong part but I find this quite good.

  11. cherguevara

    I like Jimi LaLumia’s version of Eleanor Rigby:

  12. BigSteve

    I never want to hear anyone play Blackbird, including Paul McCartney.

  13. cherguevara

    Is it me or does that Billy Preston version just never quite get into its pocket? The harpsichord seems not locked in and like a trite tip of the hat to psychedelia and the Beatles. Would probably have been better without those baroque moments.

    Ramsey Lewis… what you all said. Interesting how loud and grooving the drums are, though.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube