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We Can't Work It Out: The Worst Beatles Covers Ever

Ron Howard's Eight Days a Week - The Beatles documentary focussing on the Fab Four's touring years - is officially a hit. The film, which can be streamed on Hulu as of Saturday, has a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, making it one of the most successful tributes to the iconic rock band.

But not every Beatles project is successful. In fact, some are downright embarrassing for everyone involved - even the listener. So while enjoying Howard's brilliant doc on this weekend, check out some of the more regrettable attempts to pay tribute to The Beatles.

1. William Shatner's 'Lucy'

According to Rolling Stone, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the best album of all time. So it's hard to imagine that anyone would try to improve upon perfection. But William Shatner tried to do just that on his 1968 album The Transformed Man, which included  cover of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Somehow he managed to make the psychedelic tune even more bizarre - in a bad way. Shatner's distorted, spoken word rendition of the song sounds like he's narrating a bad LSD trip from within a padded room. In fact, if you took away the music, it would probably sound surprisingly similar to Colonel Kurtz describing his nightmares in Apocalypse Now.

2. Tiny Tim's 'Nowhere Man'

Unlike the other tracks on this list, Tiny TIm's ukelele-driven cover of Nowhere Man was actually released by The Beatles. In the 1960s, the Fab Four released Christmas albums to members of their fan club. And in 1968, the special recording included the novelty singer's take on John Lennon's brooding ballad.

3. Tom Jones' 'We Can Work It Out'

The Beatles were known for transcending genres with their innovative songs, drawing inspiration from folk, blues and even Indian music. But they didn't do much with funk. So Tom Jones seized on that gap in their discography by doing the Tom Jones-iest rendition of We Can Work It Out you can imagine. And his version came with a video featuring him grooving with a group of backup dancers who look like a herd of cows bred with jigsaw puzzle patterns in their fur.

4. Jim Carrey's 'I Am the Walrus'

When fans heard that Beatles producer George Martin would be producing a compilation of Beatles covers, they probably thought the definitive Fab Four tribute album was on its way. Instead, Martin gave them an assortment of songs that ranged from the dull to the disastrous. One that stood out the most was Jim Carrey's manic rendition of I Am the Walrus

Some actually like this version of the song, but it was denounced during its recording by the singer himself.

"There, I did it. I've defiled a timeless piece of art," Carrey says toward the end of the song. No argument there.

5. Jonas Brothers' 'Hello Goodbye'

Okay, we're not saying the poppy single Hello, Goodbye is The Beatles' magnum opus. It's no Hey Jude. But The Jonas Brothers somehow managed to make the fluffy song seem even more vapid when they covered it on the album A Little Bit Longer.  

Banner photo: Beatles Square in Hamburg, Germany (Aija Lehtonen/Shutterstock).


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