Why Nobody Sang the Beatles Like Aretha

Saturday, August 18, 2018

From singing “Eleanor Rigby” in the first person to why “The Long and Winding Road” is the best Beatles cover of all time
Aretha Franklin’s genius took so many forms — as a singer, a songwriter, an album-crafter, a live performer. But the Queen was also one of history’s most audacious Beatle fans. Nobody ever sang the Beatles like Aretha. Since she was one of the few Sixties musicians as famous and revered as they were, she felt free to take any approach she pleased to a Fabs song — sometimes radically reworking it, as when she sang “Eleanor Rigby” in the first person. When Aretha sang any song, even a Beatle song, she claimed it as her own — and the Beatles knew it. Nothing could make them prouder than getting one of their songs stolen by the Queen. When Paul McCartney wrote “Let It Be,” he sent an acetate demo to Aretha in hopes she’d record it, knowing full well she’d outsing him on it. (Needless to say, she did.)

Source: Rob Sheffield/


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