Cathy Berberian "Ticket To Ride" (1977)
I thought I had heard every imaginable cover version and reinterpretation of The Beatles' music but this operatic rendition of the Fab Four's "Ticket To Ride" by Cathy Berberian, which is done in all seriousness, outdoes them all in absurdity as well as in sheer entertainment value. It reminds me of when I first heard Mrs Miller who in the 1960's recorded a series of high-pitched, off-key covers of popular songs of the day. Mrs Miller's music promptly got filed under "novelty" while the Dutch operatic singer Berberian, who recorded the above Beatles cover for the Dutch TV show Cathy's Songbook in 1977 with Harold Lester on piano, is definitely a better singer - but no less entertaining than Mrs Miller.
Watching/listening to Cathy Berberian's version of the song prompted me to dig for some other covers of "Ticket To Ride" which, with production by George Martin, was originally released by The Beatles on their 1965 album, Help! as well as a single. These covers of "Ticket To Ride" (videos of a few of which appear below) range in quality and include The Carpenters' 1969 slowed down ballad version and Hüsker Dü's mid-eighties true to the original live version - my two personal favorites. Other versions, done from the years immediately following the original up until recently include The Bee Gees, Vanilla Fudge, Sly and Robbie who renamed it "Free Ticket To Ride," The 5th Dimension, Atomic Kitten, The Punkles, Kids Incorporated, and Chris Cornell of Soundgarden fame who did a concert (not a recorded) version on his solo acoustic tours both last year and earlier this year.