Watch Regina Spektor’s Fabulous Beatles Cover

reginaspektorI’ve always been a big fan of Regina Spektor. She brings a quirky originality into the crowded singer-songwriter field, mostly managing to avoid the usual tropes through a cunning turn of phrase or twist of melody. And she is blessed with a beautiful, versatile voice made even more appealing by her hint of Russian accent.

Her evocative singing style puts her in high demand for compilation and soundtrack projects, and here’s the latest, a cover of George Harrison’s “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. The song is from the upcoming blockbuster 3D animated movie Kubo and the Two Strings, the story of a young Japanese boy battling monsters and nasty gods as he tries to find his father’s magic suit of armor.

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It’s amazing how this song translates so seamlessly into a treatment featuring obscure Japanese string instruments. It speaks to the greatness and the universality of Harrison’s songwriting, which frequently borrowed tones and melodies and instruments from Eastern cultures.

I guess my only reservation about this cover is that they cut the bridge from two lines to one, which hurts the pacing of the melody, but I guess they wanted to avoid using the word “perverted” in a kids’ movie.

Regina Spektor was born in the Soviet Union as the daughter of classical musicians who also scrounged and treasured Beatles records off the black market. Those influences obviously run deep through her. Her cover of the Beatles’ 1996 swan song Lennon reconstruction “Real Love” is one of the most achingly beautiful things I have ever heard.

She has the perfect approach to cover songs, and I wish everyone who covers somebody else’s music shared this perspective, as she told Paste Magazine:

I think that the thing with covering a song, to me, is you’re walking the fine line of there has to be a reason why you’re doing it. There has to be something of you that’s in it, but it’s not just “me, me, me,” and not just about the song, and not about the original person who created it or whose version you really love, but somewhere in there, in that murky little in-between world, that’s my aim every time.

With an attitude like that, is it any wonder her covers are always so good?

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One comment to “Watch Regina Spektor’s Fabulous Beatles Cover”
  1. Incredible cover! The only thing that’s missing is a little Eric Clapton reverse shamisen solo. Have to say that movie looks pretty sweet.

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