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The least flattering photo of the Beatles ever...
Yesterday is one of the most covered song of all time, with over 1600 different versions recorded. In fact, it hold the position of most covered according to Guinness. It is also, perhaps, one of the most defining songs of the 20th century. John Lennon said that he “never wished [he'd] written it” even though it’s widely accepted as a McCartney track. But you can’t deny it’s staying power, its genre-defining influence, and it’s simple, sweet melody. It’s easy to argue over whether the song is intrinsically perfect or fatally flawed.
It’s a beautiful, simple song, using only McCartney’s Epiphone Texan steel-string acoustic guitar and a sweet string bed on the original recording (FYI stings are not present on the take featured in the Beatles anthology). A simple, melancholic guitar part sweeps you away in to a sorrowful 4 chord ballad about break-up nostalgia – somehow condensing a quintessential human experience down in to two minute suite.
This conversation boils down a lot of The Beatles’ internal antagonism in to two statements.
George Martin: “You know this is Paul’s song… shall we call it Paul McCartney?”
Brian Epstein: “‘No, whatever we do we are not splitting up the Beatles.”
The Beatles - Yesterday
In the mean time, I’ve assembled a list of the most notable covers of Yesterday. They are stylistically different and feature an interesting take on the classic song. Let us know which one you like the best!
Marvin Gaye - Yesterday
Bob Dylan - Yesterday
Frank Sinatra - Yesterday
Boyz II Men - Yesterday
Ray Charles - Yesterday
The Mamas & The Papas - Yesterday
The Seekers - Yesterday
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