Watch these 1970s stars mangle Beatles songs on this TV special

God damn, 70s me felt like I couldn’t even change the channel without seeing him on some TV special somewhere. Halloween, tribute, whatever.

Nowadays I wonder if he had some deep blackmail on some very high-up executives.


The most I could do was scan through that until I hit Ray Charles. He was as expectedly great as most the rest of it was mind-blowingly aesthetically wrong.

They should have just had him do the entire show.

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Good lord, that was awful. I love the Beatles; this ain’t the Beatles.

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Ray Charles’s Yesterday is great

Not only was the misty eyed close up hilarious, but then they ruined the one great cover song they had by cutting into it to give us the absolute WORST rendition of Eleanor Rigby of all time, complete with some modern dancing, then cut back to Ray to finish his song. Which was A Choice (bad one). The two songs and their relevant performances had zero in common thematically, musically, or in quality.

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I tried to skim through out of love for the goddess Bernadette….

You can’t just inject circus music into any song, people, it doesn’t always work.

But you can inject Rock and Roll into the circus. How about Lennon playing a trombone with every other rock star of the time surrounded by circus acts. Or Jethro Tull being introduced by a clown.

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Had they known then…


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Yes, but they did shelve it for decades.

Sadly, Phyllis Diller’s rendition of Revolution Number 9 was cut for time.


I would have watched that.


Now I want to see a sketch with Rodney Dangerfield as John and Yoko’s marriage counselor.

This is always my go to for batshit insane 70’s Beatles arrangements.


That seemed to be the “70s way” when mainstream television tried too hard to be avant garde. The more jarring, the more it must be art!

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That seemed to be the “70s way” when mainstream television tried too hard to be avant garde.

That is a very interesting point.

It’s like a lot of 70s TV tried to split the difference for all audiences. Hip enough for the groovy youngsters but covered in comfortingly familiar Hollywood schmaltz for their elders - and the older advertising execs whose ad money kept the lights on.

Since there were only 3 main channels nationwide, and usually only one TV per house. So, lowest common denominator - soften all the edges and paint it softer pastels until you have Nerf counterculture.


I was raised on 70’s variety shows, so these aren’t even remotely the worst Beatles covers I’ve heard. And I disagree about Anthony Newley. I groaned whenever he appeared on TV when I was a child (and he appeared all the time), but his droning, creepy-guru rendition of Within You Without You really shines here. It’s quite compelling. And his falsetto in She’s Leaving Home is pretty good, too.

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