Few songwriters have been so thoroughly covered as Lennon/McCartney, and the diversity of Beatles covers is a tribute to the Liverpudlians unmatched mark on pop music.
As with the 50 Best Bob Dylan Covers of All Time, I’ve selected only one version of each song for our list, and each artist only appears once. I’ve also tried to limit the selections from any one album like the I Am Sam soundtrack or Rubber Soul anniversary tribute. And if I’ve missed your favorite Beatles cover, add it in the comments section—hopefully that just means there’s plenty for you to discover among the 50 that did make the cut (or you can use it as an opportunity to question my sanity).
50. Belarus – “Here, There And Everywhere”
The now-defunct Swindon band recorded the first Beatles cover that would have been home on Grey’s Anatomy (not that there’s anything wrong with that; it’s lovely, really).
49. The Feelies – “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey”
A full-on bar-rock-guitar onslaught every time they played it—the Feelies don’t even bother to with the mics when they scream the chorus.
48. Junior Parker – “Taxman”
Mr. Blues’ languid take was sampled by Cypress Hill for “I Wanna Get High” but California won’t be taxing that anytime soon.
47. John Denver – “Mother Nature’s Son”
When Denver sung this on his show in 1973, it sounded like The Beatles had written it specifically for him.
46. Brandi Carlile – “I’ve Just Seen a Face”
Brandi turns into into a sing-along hoe-down.
Runner-up: Slow Runner
45. Florence and the Machine – “Oh Darling”
Florence gets lounge-y on this track from the Absolute Abbey Road, radio stations sessions recorded at the studio made famous by The Beatles.
Runner-up: Bela Fleck, Bruce Hornsby and John Cowan’s version
44. Steve Martin – “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”
Originally recorded on Abbey Road, Steve Martin sings the song as Maxwell Edison, a serial killer-turned-plastic-surgeon in the 1978 Sgt. Pepper film.
43. The Pixies – “Wild Honey Pie”
Nobody harmonizes their screams quite like Frank Black and Kim Deal. This is a cover only in the loosest sense of the word.
42. Ben Harper – “Strawberry Fields Forever”
Harper stays close to the original, but his silvery voice is a nice fit for the trippy ballad.
41. Echo and the Bunnymen – “Ticket to Ride”
Uncut released a CD with two dozen Beatles covers, but it’s Echo’s song that stuck with us.
Runner-up: Vanilla Fudge’s version