Here’s something to make us all feel old — today marks the birth of the one and only Sir Paul McCartney, who is now 70 years old. And while the youth of today may be trying to figure out who he is, those of us who have been following this artistic legend’s career can appreciate just how much this man has shaped the history of music. And his band The Beatles (you might have heard of them) didn’t do so poorly either.
All-in-all, McCartney has experienced a rather extraordinary career throughout his lifetime, so it should come as no surprise that celebrities and reality show contestants of all ages have covered a wide variety of his songs — some good, and some not-so-good. So in honor of this musical great’s birthday, here’s a look back at seven of the best and worst covers of McCartney’s most iconic songs.
Bob Dylan — “Yesterday”
This Beatles’ classic has been covered by over 2,200 artists, which is more than any other song in the history of recorded music. But Dylan somehow manages to do the song justice.
Ike & Tina Turner — “Get Back”
Turner uses her vocal, howling chops in the best way possible for this popular hit song, proving that she doesn’t have to be rolling on the river to earn a spot on our iTunes list.
Steven Tyler — “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window”
This American Idol judge may act a little strange at times, but he still knows how to properly rock out a song. Tyler performed this tribute to McCartney at the 33rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors. Now if only his wardrobe could be as good as his singing.
Jack White — “Mother Nature’s Son”
Jack White performed an absolutely awesome cover of this song at The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize ceremony in 2010, where McCartney won for Popular Song.
Ray Charles — “Yesterday”
Many people believe Ray Charles performs the best cover of “Yesterday” amid all of the other celebrity talent. But then again, pretty much everything this artist has ever done has been magnificent. You’ve definitely got the right one, baby!
Jim Sturgess — “All My Loving”
The dreamy Sturgess proves very effective at making the ladies swoon in this 2007 musical drama. This song in particular leaves you especially weak in the knees and gives you a great chance to enjoy the superb lyrics.
Billy Joel — “Back In The USSR”
Come on, this is Billy Joel we’re talking about. Of course he’s going to be amazing. Granted, nothing can compare to McCartney’s original vocals, but this comes in a close second.
Next: While some covers are hot, others are not.The Worst:
Crystal Bowersox (Idol contestant) — “Maybe I’m Amazed”
Though she was definitely a fantastic singer in general, this song was just not the right choice for her, especially since she didn’t sing the lyrics correctly. A big reality show no-no if there ever was one.
Katie Stevens (Idol contestant) — “Let It Be”
She’s got great vocal moments, but those high pitched screeches just aren’t the type of quality you like to hear in a McCartney song.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt — “Hey Jude”
Can anyone get on board with this song rendition?
Jonas Brothers — “Hello, Goodbye”
This poorly redone version of such a classic song is enough to send someone right over the edge on a Monday morning. Hello and Goodbye to this cover!
Alvin and the Chipmunks — “I Saw Her Standing There”
Just let the pitch speak for itself on this one…
Bing Crosby — “Hey Jude”
This guy has such a unique voice and sound that it’s hard to associate him with anything besides Christmas music. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas when you listen to this cover?
Siouxsie & The Banshees — “Helter Skelter”
We saved the very worst one for last. The video quality in this one far exceeds that of the vocal quality of the performance.