The Late Movies: "Across the Universe" Covers

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Tonight let's take a look back at the Beatles hit "Across the Universe," first released nearly 40 years ago in late December 1969. With its signature opening guitar hook and stream-of-consciousness lyrics, it's an irresistible song for other artists to cover. Below, I present you some of the best covers available online, and at the end, two videos showing you how to play the song on guitar. Enjoy!

Rufus Wainwright, Moby, and Sean Lennon

Sean's the one on the left, in case you were wondering.

Fiona Apple

From the Pleasantville soundtrack.

Wade Johnston and Friends (Ukulele Version)

I'm not entirely sure who these people are, but this is awesome. Stick through the brief false starts for a wonderful performance apparently recorded on a webcam in a hotel room. Note: after the song finishes, they include several minutes of goofing-off, which you can safely skip.

YouTube User "midnightfirefly14"

In the very beginning, it almost sounds like "Imagine."

YouTube User "jptributer" featuring Mariana Casamayor

As I'm posting this, this version only has 218 views. I think it deserves more. From jptributer's description: "A little bit of background: Saturday night, 2 AM, a couple of empty bottles lying aroung (beer), Pizza left overs, my niece who we just couldnt get to sleep playing in the back, new guitar, new web cam, new microphone and old friends coming over made the context of this little video that presents drunk voices and an eternal and incredily mesmerizing Beatles song that never gets old and beats every single song of nowadays."

Kiersten Holine

Another webcam performance, but a good one.

Element of Crime

German rock band Element of Crime covers the song live.

Learn the Intro on Guitar (by Neil Hogan)

Learn the Rest of the Song on Guitar

What Did I Leave Out?

Got any favorite covers -- Beatles or otherwise -- you want to share? Leave 'em in the comments.

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August 19, 2009 - 6:00pm
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