Musical Dice -- Beatles Remakes

     Welcome to the music section of my Musical Dice website! For you music trivia enthusiasts, and those who love to learn about the stories behind the music, you've come to the right place! I love sharing my knowledge of music trivia, so that's why I created this section.

     Without a doubt, the greatest rock band of all time was the Beatles. Indeed, my first real taste of rock and roll came when I was five years old, and I'd heard "Yellow Submarine" by the Beatles. A real testament to how great the Beatles were, is in just how many of their songs have been covered by other artists. Quite a few of them have become hits for those artists. Today's article focuses on those songs originally done by the Beatles, that other artists have had hits with.

     As a bonus, this article also contains a trivia question: What song was the only top ten hit (in the U.S.) by the Beatles to be re-made into a top ten hit for another artist? The answer will be revealed further down in the article, but let's see if you can guess the right song without scrolling down. ☺

     In the meantime, here is a list of some of the most successful Beatles remakes.

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

     The original version of this song, which appeared on the "Sergent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album by the Beatles, was said by songwriter John Lennon, to be about a painting that his four-year-old son Julian made that had a sky with diamonds in it, along with a little girl, that Julian said was named Lucy. However, Paul McCartney, John Lennon's songwriting partner on the majority of the Beatles' hit songs, disputes this, saying that this song was actually a drug reference (LSD). Wherever the truth lies, it still is a great song. It stands as the only Beatles song that was remade into a #1 hit. Elton John spent two weeks at #1 in 1975 with his remake of "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." Maybe one reason why this version went to #1 was because it features John Lennon on reggae guitars.

Fool On The Hill

     The remake by Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66 is quite a different interpretation from the Beatles' original version. While the Beatles' version was never a hit single, the version by Sergio Mendes & Brazil 66, climed to #6 on the U.S. chart in 1968.

I Saw Him Standing There

     Of course, the original Beatles song is "I Saw Her Standing There." Oddly enough, this song was relegated to the B-side of another Beatles classic, namely "I Want To Hold Your Hand." By itself, "I Saw Her Standing There" reached #14 on the chart in 1964. Somehow, Tiffany's remake bested that, by reaching #7 in 1988. Go figure.

You Won't See Me

     I have Dick Clark's Rock, Woll, And Remember to thank, for bringing this version by Anne Murray to my attention. I'd hear the Beatles' original version, from the "Rubber Soul" album,every once in a blue moon, but I never heard Anne Murray's version until I listened to Rock, Roll, and Remember, in 1988. Apparently, Anne Murray's version reached #8 on the chart in 1974.

You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

     I first heard a snippet of the Beatles' original version, as part of the "Beatles Movie Medley" (a #12 hit in 1982), and I later heard the whole version. Apparently, the original version is from the movie "Help!" By contrast, I'd gotten the remake by the Silkie, strictly by accident, when I bought an old record single, and it was one of those special back-to-back hit singles, and the special B-side was the Silkie's version of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away." Apparently, the Silkie's version reached #10 in 1965, just a few months after the Beatles' original version came out.

We Can Work It Out

     Apparently, this is the biggest remake of a Beatles #1 hit. Stevie Wonder's version topped out at #13 in 1970, whereas the Beatles' original version of "We Can Work It Out" spent 3 weeks at #1 in 1966. And 12 years later, Stevie Wonder would team up with Paul McCartney on a huge duet called "Ebony And Ivory." Hmmmm...

Oh! Darling

     After a decade of the Bee-Gees trying to prove that they weren't just second-rate Beatles (as they were panned as when they initially started out), then they, along with Peter Frampton, get pulled into this movie project called "Sergent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," (a project that basically torpedoed all their careers) where they portrayed the Beatles, and the hit song was a cover version of "Oh! Darling" by Robin Gibb of the Bee-Gees. His version was a #15 hit in 1978. But I think the Beatles' original version is far superior. What do you think? Hmmmm...

Here Comes The Sun

     After hearing the Beatles' original version of "Here Comes The Sun," it is really hard to fathom another version of this great song being a hit. Okay, maybe my opinion is biased because this is my all-time favorite Beatles song, but I'm confident that I'm not the only person who feels this way. Why this was only an album track from "Abbey Road," and not promoted as a hit single, is also beyond me. It certainly has become a Beatles classic. I very rarely hear the remake by Richie Havens, which reached #16 on the chart in 1971. I'm sure George Harrison couldn't possibly think the remake was better than the original Beatles version. But I'm also sure that George Harrison didn't object to the money the remake raked in.

Eleanor Rigby

     To think that the original Beatles version of "Eleanor Rigby" was relegated to the B-side of "Yellow Submarine." By itself, "Eleanor Rigby" reached #11 on the chart in 1966. Ray Charles took his version of "Eleanor Rigby" to #35 in 1968, and Aretha Franklin climbed to #17 with her own version in 1969. All this over a nun that Paul McCartney wrote about!

Come Together

     Out of all the Beatles remakes listed in this article, this remake by Aerosmith sounds the closest to original version by the Beatles, which went to #1 for a week in 1969. By comparison, the remake by Aerosmith topped out at #23 in 1978.

Hey Jude

     Not only did the original version by the Beatles spend 9 weeks at #1, enough to become the top song of 1968, it also became the biggest hit of the 60's, and also became the Beatles' biggest hit. Apparently, people loved "Hey Jude" so much that two versions were in the top 40 at the same time. During the Beatles' final few weeks in the top 40, Wilson Pickett came into the top 40 with his own version, topping out at #23. And to think that this was a song written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon's 4-year-old son Julian, whose parents were going through a bitter divorce at the time. Paul's nickname for Julian was Jude.


     What else can be said about this classic song? It, by far, is the most covered Beatles song, not to mentioned the most covered song, period, with over 2500 remakes recorded!!!! The original Beatles version spent 4 weeks at #1 in 1965. Out of all the cover versions, Ray Charles did the most noteworthy cover of "Yesterday," taking his version to #25 in 1967.


     I'm sorry, but in my opinion, nobody can match the energy generated in this original Beatles song from the White Album. Even more unbelievable was the fact that it was Underground Sunshine's version that made the top 40, climbing up to #26 in 1969. Go figure!

Magical Mystery Tour

     When I read that Ambrosia, of all groups, made this song a hit, climbing up to #39 in 1977, my reaction was "Are you serious?" After hearing Ambrosia's version of the song, my reaction is still the same. To me, nobody can do this like the Beatles.

Got To Get You Into My Life

     And now to answer the trivia question, what was the only top ten hit by the Beatles that was re-made into a top ten hit for another artist? The answer is "Got To Get You Into My Life," which originally appeared on the Beatles' 1966 album "Revolver," but wasn't released as a single until 1976. It reached #7 on the U.S. chart that year. Only two years later, Earth, Wind, and Fire re-made the song, and their version peaked at #9. Songwriter Paul McCartney said that this song was actually a reference to marijuana, his drug of choice. I didn't know this until recently. I try not to think about that whenever I listen to this song nowadays.

     Of course, I'd be remiss, if I didn't mention that the Beatles had done remakes themselves. Most notably, they did a version of Chuck Berry's "Roll Over Beethoven." Probably, the most famous cover that the Beatles did, was their version of "Twist And Shout." The Isley Brothers reached #17 with their version in 1962, while the Beatles took their version to #2 for 4 weeks (behind their own song!--"Can't Buy Me Love") in 1964.

     If there's a Beatles remake that I've missed, or if you have any comments, feel free to email me at Until next time! ☺