An Incomplete History: Notable Paul McCartney Covers and Tributes

From Cher's "My Love" to Jack White's performance for the First Family.

October 1973 Frequent borrower Cher includes a growly, tigerish version of "My Love" on her Half-Breed album; the song was originally a #1 hit from Wings' Red Rose Speedway that year.

1991 Macca says no to Weird Al Yankovic's request to record "Chicken Pot Pie," his parody of "Live and Let Die," because of his and Linda's vegetarianism. "He had a logical reason, which I could respect," Yankovic told Icon magazine in 1997.

June 2001 "Silly Love Songs" is included in "Elephant Love Medley" in the florid Baz Luhrmann film musical Moulin Rouge!, in which Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman sing each other silly love songs.

October 2001 Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney is the first recorded tribute to McCartney's post-Beatles career and features a handful of artists who are no longer as popular—Semisonic, Sloan, Barenaked Ladies, They Might Be Giants.

November 2008 Japan's favorite girl-punks Shonen Knife include a rackety cover of Band on the Run's "Jet" on their Super Group LP.

2009 The Guinness Book of World Records says that "Yesterday" is the most recorded song in pop-music history, with more than 1,600 versions by everyone from Dylan and Sinatra to Elvis, Liberace, and Boyz II Men.

2009-ish The Melvins insert a cover of Band's riff-a-riffic "Let Me Roll It" into their live set list, a song also covered by Brendan Benson, Jerry Garcia, and Mandy Moore.

June 2010 In a White House ceremony honoring McCartney, Jack White performs a sweetly oddball version of "The White Album"'s "Mother Nature's Son" that includes a snippet of McCartney's "Wouldn't It Be Something." Macca watches from the front row with the First Family. The evening also features performances by Dave Grohl, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Stevie Wonder, and the Jonas Brothers.

August 2010 KISS announces that they've recorded a cover of "Venus and Mars/Rockshow" for a forthcoming McCartney tribute album that also features Billy Joel and Garth Brooks. Via Facebook, KISS says, "We consider it an honor to be asked to participate: Wow!"

September 16, 2010 The Seattle Symphony will debut "Live and Let Die: A Symphonic Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney": orchestral arrangements of McCartney's Beatles, Wings, and solo songs. The event's arranger, Martin Herman, will conduct, Broadway star Tony Kishman will provide vocals, and a band of guitar, keys, and drums will play along. A classy tribute for rock and roll's classiest icon.

ethompson@seattleweekly.com

 
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