For 50 years, popular culture has been paying tribute to The
Beatles. Innumerable covers of all qualities litter YouTube. Entire television specials are dreamt up, even now, to honor their contributions to music history. Every album anniversary is an opportunity for nostalgia of some sort, be it a tribute record, a Cirque du Soleil production, a video game, or a big-budget movie musical. And that’s not even counting the cover bands, with their cheap Liverpudlian accents and their even cheaper suits.
Last week, The Flaming Lips “reimagined” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in full with some famous “fwends” including Miley Cyrus, Moby, and Tegan and Sara. On November 18, a mega-star-studded tribute album celebrating Paul McCartney, entitled The Art of McCartney, will be released. Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Billy Joel, The Cure’s Robert Smith, The Who’s Roger Daltrey, and many more are featured on it.
Frankly, it’s kind of nuts how much time and energy has been devoted to saluting The Beatles, but the results sure are fun to pilfer through
if you’re a big Beatles fan. Some homages, like Danger Mouse’s The Grey Album and Eric Idle’s Rutles characters, are inventive and bring something new to the iconic band. Other tributes, like those from Glee and Big Time Rush… well, not so much. Here are 19 of the biggest tributes to The Beatles ever, ranked from best to worst.