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markus heuger's



  Abstract 0365
  Riley, Tim (2001), "Drive My Car. 60s Soulsters embrace John Lennon." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 15-24.
  Lennon and McCartney' songs now form so much a foundation of the pop firmament that we rarely question singers' motives in singing them anymore. The songs' mere familiarity can gain your attention the way few other songwriters' can, and there will be catalogues devoted to discographies of "Yesterday"'s by so many Paul Ankas and William Shatners. And yet few covers ever compete with the Beatles' own recordings of their material. Why is this so? Even with singers as great as Otis Redding, Ray Charles, and Aretha Franklin, who all covered Beatie songs, few would rate even these singers' versions of a LennonMcCartney song above the original Beatles' track.
  The Beatles were a master cover band, chiefly during their apprenticeship during their BBC appearances as chronicled on The Beatles at the Beeb, and the Royal Dane bootleg, The Complete Bbc Sessions, which is as detailed a map of their musical nervous system as you could sketch. These sessions trace how the Beatles discovered their own ensemble and songwriting potential through a catalog of stylistic affections in other people's songs. The first and best crop of Beatie covers, from the era's finest soul singers, emerges while they were still writing and performing, and underscores a completely unexpected aspect of their sound. If the crossover from British pop band to American soul reverses the typical rock 'n' roll pattern of white on black, recordings like Wilson Pickett's "Hey Jude", Stevie Wonder's "We Can Work It Out", Jimi Hendrix's "Day Tripper", and Earth Wind and Fire's "Got to Get You Into My Life" provide new perspectives on how the Beatles' sound influenced the best soul acts of their day.
  Why were so many soul singers drawn to Beatles' material in this period? What can the best of these covers tell us about the Beatles songwriting and production skills? Can any of these covers compete with the Beatles' own original recordings? Moreover, these covers provide stylistic commentary on the Beatles' own approach to songwriting and recording, and the emergent concept of the song as a piece of production, and not just music and lyrics. When the very people the Beatles emulated began to emulate the Beatles, a dialogue of influences sprang forth with new clues to how profoundly the craft of songwriting changed during the group's tenure at Abbey Road, and why the Beatles' own recordings of Lennon-McCartney songs remain the model.
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