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Malleable Beatles

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One of the continuously fascinating things to me about the Beatles is the malleability of those Lennon-McCartney songs. The melodies and chords and composition are so strong that people have been able to get good results out of a wide variety of radical re-arrangements.

I have a Mexican version of “Strawberry Fields Forever” that I really like, and even a good bluegrass version.

Then there’s the “Buddy Holly” version of “A Day in the Life” by Big Daddy. They arranged it with “Peggy Sue” guitars, and it works beautifully. It actually sounds better after the novelty effect wears off.

But I’m writing here to recommend an outfit I only just heard of called The Thurston Lava Tube. They’re an English band that describe themselves as a “psychedelic, experimental surf instrumental group.”

Specifically, they have free downloads of a kind of “Bustin’ Surfboards” arrangement of “I Am the Walrus” of all things. This isn’t the most obvious song for such an arrangement, but I was pretty pleased.

“I Am the Walrus” by The Thurston Lava Tube

“I Am the Walrus-LIVE” by the Thurston Lava Tube
“Help” by The Thurston Lava Tube

Now, this isn’t going to make anyone forget the classic Beatles original, but it’s pretty cool to see how surprisingly well it plays. It’s totally neat-o to see how well such a thing actually works.

Best of all for old time Beatle fans, get into this other arrangement, and ponder on it a few times. Then listen to the Beatles original again. It kind of brushes the dust of over familiarity off the classic.


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  • I have a record of Bing Crosby doing “Hey Jude”–another case where you won’t be forgetting the original. And you don’t get even half of the intended “na-na-na-nas” at the end.

  • Bliffle

    This too shall pass.

  • Yes, I once owned the infamousHey Jude, Hey Bing album. In theory, the Bing voice should have worked well with that particular song, but the old dude just wasn’t in the spirit somehow. That’s probably about the worst Beatle cover I ever heard from a major league singer.

  • bum

    i hate the beatles

  • But Bum, the Beatles LOVE you, and of course ALL you need is LOVE.