The Best Cover Version of Every Single Beatles Song

We picked the best rendition of each of the Fab Four's 184 songs
The Best Cover Version of Every Single Beatles Song
If you conceivably require more proof that the Beatles were, and continue to be, the most influential rock musicians, consider this: every single one of the 184 songs the quartet wrote, recorded and released during their eight-year run has been covered. Many of these songs have been reinterpreted dozens or even hundreds of times (and in the case of "Yesterday," thousands of times). This is a distinction that essentially no other non-classical, non-musical theatre artist can lay claim to.

Although many artists merely covered the Fab Four's music in search of a Top 10 hit — which has been achieved by countless artists, from bossa nova king Sérgio Mendes ("The Fool on the Hill") to teen popstar Tiffany ("I Saw Him Standing There") to Dutch novelty act Stars on 45 ("Medley") — many of the most important artists of the 20th and 21st centuries have paid tribute to the Beatles. This includes Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Little Richard, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Tina Turner and the Rolling Stones (kinda). 

Careers have been made by musicians who exclusively cover the music of the Beatles (Beatallica, the Punkles, Yellow Matter Custard). There have been dozens of albums dedicated strictly to Beatles covers (Count Basie's Basie's Beatle Bag, the Smithereens' B-Sides the Beatles and the Flaming Lips' With a Little Help from My Fwends) and countless tribute albums, musicals and soundtracks.

There's no question that covering the Beatles is as good an artistic statement as it is a financial statement. In recognition of the phenomenon of the Beatles cover song, here's the greatest remake of each of their 184 tunes.

Scroll down to begin the list in 1962–1963, or skip ahead by year at the following links:


"Love Me Do" (1962)
Daniel Johnston (1994)

Considering that this is the song that kicked it all off for the Beatles, there are surprisingly few covers of "Love Me Do." Perhaps because of the song's underlying vulnerability, it's perfect fodder for Texas outsider musician Daniel Johnston.
"P.S. I Love You" (1962)
Santo & Johnny (1964)

From the start, artists realized that the Beatles couldn't put out every song as a single. This led Brooklyn instrumental duo Santo & Johnny to release a swinging cover of this "Love Me Do" B-side.

"Please Please Me" (1963)
Matt Dusk (2004)

John Lennon credits the influence behind the Beatles' second single to Roy Orbison and Bing Crosby, originally imagining it as a ballad. Here, Toronto crooner Matt Dusk elegantly intensifies the track's romantic undertones.
"Ask Me Why" (1963)
Litto Nebbia (2008)

This track features John playing guitar sevenths reminiscent of flamenco. That may be why the few covers that do exist come from Latinx musicians, including this tender and stylish ballad from Argentina's beloved rock god.  
"I Saw Her Standing There" (1963)
Little Richard (1970)

Once you hear McCartney howling "whoooo," there's no doubt that this is a Little Richard rip-off. That's why, when Richard returned from a decade-long sojourn into gospel, he took his jubilant howl back.

"Misery" (1963)
Flamin' Groovies (1976)

Shake Some Action is a stone-cold power pop classic. This chiming two-minute Beatles album cut fits perfectly into the San Francisco band's oeuvre of brash, fast and grimy guitar rock.  

"Do You Want to Know a Secret" (1963)
Count Basie (1966)

Count Basie was such a fan that he released two Beatles covers albums in the '60s. No song better fits his style than this strolling, big band arrangement of Harrison's first vocal lead.
"There's a Place" (1963)
The Dickies (1998) 

With its plodding harmonica and verses, Please Please Me's penultimate track ached for a redo. Pop-punk originators the Dickies give it a much-needed boost in snottiness, even shaving 10 seconds from its 1:50 runtime. 

"From Me to You" (1963)
Del Shannon (1963)

Shannon's version of this song hit No. 13 on the Canadian charts, becoming the first Lennon-McCartney song to chart in North America. Here, Shannon does a extraordinary job at mimicking the Beatles' shaggy sound.

"Thank You Girl" (1963)
The Smithereens (2008)

Covering the Beatles was practically a side gig for the Smithereens. Near to the end of their career, they doubled down on this, reinterpreting the band's often-overlooked B-sides with a healthy heaping of adulation. 

"She Loves You" (1963)
Brenda Lee (1965)

Lee's astonishing run of 11 Top 10 Billboard hits happened before she even turned 20. Only 21 here, Brenda sound like a veteran while managing to inject a shot of youthful exuberance to this single. 

"I'll Get You" (1963)
The Inmates (1988)

John sang some menacing songs disguised as upbeat pop rockers. Glass-chewing British pub rockers the Inmates add some much-needed grit to this disquieting stalker-fantasy B-side, recorded on their live album of Beatles covers. 

"It Won't Be Long" (1963)
Redd Kross (1984)

Moving from hardcore to power pop (and changing their name from Red Cross), these Californians discovered the splendour behind a fantastic melody, keeping the punky call-and-response chorus intact while almost verging on hair metal.

"All I've Got to Do" (1963)
Susanna Hoffs (2012)

The former Bangles vocalist has recorded multiple covers, mostly from the paisley '60s. On her 2012 Beatles tribute EP, From Me to You, Hoffs matches her stylish, sleek vocals to this chic Lennon-sung track.

"All My Loving" (1963)
Darlene Love (2014)

From Smokey to Elvis, many idols of the Beatles would go on to return the adoration. It took Darlene Love over 50 years to give her own brassy retelling of this quaint Canadian chart topper.

"Don't Bother Me" (1963)
Gregory Phillips (1964)

The first Harrison-written track to appear on a Beatles album is an underrated gem. Former child actor Gregory Phillips did this song justice, giving it a swinging makeover and releasing it as a single.

"Little Child" (1963)
Wreckless Eric and James Nicholls (2013)

Beginning in 2013, British magazine Mojo included Beatles cover completions to celebrate each album's 50th. Here, new wave pioneer Wreckless Eric delivers a ripping, no-nonsense cover of this With the Beatles cut.

"Hold Me Tight" (1963)
Les Baronets (1964)

Before managing (and marrying) Celine Dion, René Angélil had his own career with Les Baronets. Mostly taking on English hits, their fantastic shouty cover of "Hold Me Tight" — "C'est fou mais c'est tout" — was a French-language hit. 

"I Wanna Be Your Man" (1963)
The Rolling Stones (1963)

This one's a bit of a cheat. After writing this for the Stones as a single, the Beatles later recorded it themselves. Knowing they couldn't match Mick's intensity, they buried it on side two.
"Not a Second Time" (1963)
Pretenders (1990) 

This penultimate With the Beatles track has become popular cover fodder. But no one does it better than Chrissie Hynde's slinky, sexy version she recorded with a fractured version of her band.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" (1963)
Al Green (1969)

Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney is a treasure trove of classic covers. Green's reimagining may just be the best from this two-volume compilation. Here, he complements this straight-ahead rocker with a galloping melody.

"This Boy" (1963)
Keely Smith (1964)

Finding fame in the '50s with then-husband Louis Prima, Keely Smith rekindled her career with a Beatles covers LP. Her velvety big band take on this B-side — changed to "This Girl" — allowed the Greatest Generation to appreciate those four mop-tops. 

Click "Next" to go to 1964.