Another day, another Beatles covers set. Today, we're checking out my three favorite versions of "Eleanor Rigby."
Ray Charles has covered tons of Beatles hits, and this is one that stands out. He actually, for the most part, seems to abandon his soulful style in favor of a more direct cover. But not entirely; there are the little conversational add-ons ("I heard him say..."). It's a great one.
Like Ray, Aretha can do no wrong. Unlike Ray, though, she makes this song totally hers. She actually changes it to the first-person ("I'm Eleanor Rigby") which changes the vibe of the tune quite a bit. Her voice is as energetic as ever. There are the requisite back-up singers that make Aretha, Aretha, too. This one strays pretty far from the original, and it's excellent in its own right.
The Jerry Garcia Band
Both because this weekend we officially said goodbye, and because this jam, wordless of "Eleanor Rigby" is so killer. I've also linked to a longer version, which combines "Eleanor Rigby" with "After Midnight." Worth checking out, for sure.