Join 3,519 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Beatles Complete on Ukulele
May 24, 2010 1:46 PM   Subscribe

The Beatles Complete on Ukulele is a surreal collaboration between Roger and Dave, some ukuleles, 185 other artists (many yet unknown!), and The Beatles. New tune and essay every Tuesday through July 2012.
posted by carsonb (19 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Learn Beatles songs on ukelele, previously.
posted by carsonb at 1:48 PM on May 24, 2010


oh fudduggle. ukulele.
posted by carsonb at 1:54 PM on May 24, 2010


Ukelele is an acceptable spelling; I think it's favored in the UK.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:55 PM on May 24, 2010


Collaboration, yes.
Surreal, no.
posted by LSK at 1:58 PM on May 24, 2010


George Harrison was a great fan and player of the ukulele, which is just one a billion reasons why he was secretly the coolest Beatle. Another one would be that he produced Monty Python movies.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:02 PM on May 24, 2010


Surreal, no.

When faced with scathing winds and torrents pouring forth stain, your mind thinks cleverly to the leprous angels found in all train crashes.
posted by carsonb at 2:14 PM on May 24, 2010


Ukelele is an acceptable spelling; I think it's favored in the UK.

You mean "favoured in the UK."

Keen stuff, both for the covers and the extensive write-ups on the songs and the cover artists.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:26 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


You mean "favoured in the UK."

Well, in that case:

Oi, if yer spelling it in England, mate, it's ukelele, innit?
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:40 PM on May 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It wasn't surreal until I started listening to some of the most bizarre tracks.

The production is very pretty.
posted by Rory Marinich at 2:51 PM on May 24, 2010


Judging this concept before listening I was pretty sure that this was going to be a tedious listen at best. But out of the five or six I've already tried all were worth hearing, several good enough to make it to my MP3 shuffle rotation for repeat listens. Thanks.

A Day in the Life
sounds like it could be off of a Neil Innes album.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 3:08 PM on May 24, 2010


Obligatory Jake Shimabukuro. (Listen to the whole thing for Ukulele insanity at the bridge.)
posted by The Bellman at 3:12 PM on May 24, 2010


This is good. A very interesting way to explore the Beatles, and the production values are not bad at all. It's weird when you are used to layers of instruments in some songs, and are instead confronted by a single voice and a uke or two. And then, at other times, almost the opposite. But I don't think these renditions are any more surreal than the Beatles themselves; just different. Which is how a cover should be, I think. Make it your own; otherwise, why bother?
posted by mysterpigg at 3:13 PM on May 24, 2010


Gosh, I really hate to be that guy, but I love The Beatles and ukuleles so I just listened to three of these (She Said She Said, Here Comes the Sun, and Magical Mystery Tour) and I thought they ranged from bad to terrible. I couldn't make it to the end of any of them. Any cover needs to bring some kind of fresh perspective to the song in order to be interesting, and that applies most of all when you're recording something as well-worn as a classic Beatles tune, but I didn't hear that in any of these.

I also didn't hear any interesting or surprising use of the ukulele concept, which, to be honest, isn't much of a concept to begin with. I play uke and I think it's a nice instrument, but it's basically like a tiny guitar, and playing Beatles songs on a tiny guitar just isn't that much of a stretch, especially when you record a bunch of other rock instruments too.
posted by ludwig_van at 3:44 PM on May 24, 2010


Ludwig_van, try Why Don't We Do It In The Road? or I Am the Walrus or Getting Better. It seems that some of the more recent covers are a bit more standard.
posted by Rory Marinich at 3:58 PM on May 24, 2010


...and Eric Clapton on Ukulele!
posted by ovvl at 7:59 PM on May 24, 2010


Beatles covers can range from the sublime to the atrocious, of course, although given the quality of the songs, they are generally pretty good.

(I remember seeing the "second best" Beatles cover band in Tokyo. One singer sounded almost exactly like John Lennon. The band wasn't bad at all.)

What's amazing about this compilation is the commentary...I've only delved into a few songs, but the hyper-emotional complexity of the musicians' written analyses of the songs are unbelievable. (No judgment: people are free to interpret artists as they wish, although Manson's interpretation of Helter Skelter tempers my enthusiasm about fans' freedom...)
posted by kozad at 9:58 PM on May 24, 2010


A perfect compliment to Pickin on Pink Floyd.
posted by Balisong at 11:06 PM on May 24, 2010


George Harrison was a great fan and player of the ukulele, which is just one a billion reasons why he was secretly the coolest Beatle. Another one would be that he produced Monty Python movies.

I saw Paul on tour back in 2002, not quite a year after George passed on, and he did tributes to both George and John. His tribute to George was playing 'Something' on the ukelele, solo. Just Paul, the ukelele, and the lyrics.

'Surreal' would indeed be a good way to describe it.;)
posted by spirit72 at 5:38 AM on May 25, 2010


I'm only a uke beginner, but Ukulele Mike has taught me many a crowd-pleasing song, simplified for my skills (he has a non-Beatles account as well).
posted by Gordafarin at 6:37 AM on May 25, 2010


« Older The Brave and the Bold...Lost Issues! - in which B...  |  Sorry I'm Late! is one of many... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments