Arctic Monkeys, ‘Come Together’ (Beatles Cover) – Song Review
The Arctic Monkeys‘ cover of ‘Come Together’ at the Olympic Opening Ceremonies last Friday means a third generation will get to experience the Beatles‘ 1969 hit. The song’s continual rebirth is a testament to the staying power of the original, written and sung by John Lennon for the ‘Abbey Road’ album.
Like other famous recreations of the cut — most notably Aerosmith’s 1978 cover — Friday night’s version stayed true to the original, with Alex Turner wisely avoiding the vocal calisthenics of Steven Tyler. One could argue his band’s version was nothing more than a karaoke version of a classic, but anything else would have been inappropriate on the world stage. After all, the Arctic Monkeys were far down on a list of things to celebrate last weekend.
Jamie Cook’s guitar solos are photo copies of the originals, with the rest of the band doing their most sincere impressions of Paul McCarthy, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. This version is a bit faster and definitely shorter than the Beatles’ original, but the Olympic committee no doubt wanted to speed things along to get to the real Beatle and other songs scheduled for what turned into one great rock concert.
The Arctic Monkeys’ version of ‘Come Together’ instantly became one of the most downloaded songs on iTunes, with the entire soundtrack from the ceremony receiving heavy attention as well. It’s difficult for longtime classic rock fans to believe a generation hadn’t yet immersed themselves in this song (or Beatles’ music in general), but we must realize it’s been over 40 years. When modern bands provide respectful tributes to English heroes, everyone wins.