8 Awful Pop Culture Offerings to Dread in the New Year
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8. Ex-Beatles Doing Cover Songs
It's bad enough that the beloved Beatles are probably one of the most-covered bands in history (and that said covers are usually limited to "Yellow Submarine"). But this year, both Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney will release brand new albums, with two conspicuous things in common: two of the supposed greatest songwriters in the history of rock are doing cover songs. Ringo Starr's 2012 will include his versions of Buddy Holly's "Think It Over" and Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line," but since the rest is comprised of original works he's slightly less infuriating in this rubric. Even more obnoxious is Paul McCartney's forthcoming Kisses on the Bottom, an album of covers that range from "More I Cannot Wish You" to "Bye Bye Blackbird." He says: it's an album meant to show his fans exactly which individual songs influenced his career. We say: it's a little late in the game for that, buddy. We don't expect him to write another Wings album (or, say, "Yesterday"). But when a king of the rock-pop canon resorts to standards, it's a depressing message that maybe things aren't the way they used to be. And if we're sick of people who aren't the Beatles singing "When I'm 64," why would we be excited for people who are the Beatles singing tracks from Guys and Dolls? So depressing!
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd is an associate editor at AlterNet and a Brooklyn-based freelance writer and editor. Formerly the executive editor of The FADER, her work has appeared in VIBE, SPIN, New York Times and various other magazines and websites.