A&M Cover Versions 1965-70: "With A Little Help From My Friends"

Which cover version is your favourite?

  • Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass

    Votes: 6 40.0%
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • Joe Cocker

    Votes: 3 20.0%
  • Roger Nichols & The Small Circle of Friends

    Votes: 4 26.7%

  • Total voters
    15

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Vote for your favourite cover version and tell us a bit about why you made your selection. (The selections are listed in release order.)

 

Bobberman

Well-Known Member
Another Tough one Here i was torn between Herb's Version and Brasil 66 since Herb's version was the first of the covers I voted for him Brasil 66 was a very close Second place Joe Cocker's version was overused on a certain TV series some time back and to me it wasn't my Favorite cover ( However Joe cocker did better songs later on)
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Going with Sergio here. Herb's rigid tempo doesn't quite do it for me.

Changed - see below.
 
Last edited:

LPJim

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Moderator
Voted for Joe because of the sheer audacity of this version.

Point of information: Roger Nichols & Small Circle of Friends also covered this tune on A&M.

JB
 

rockdoctor

Well-Known Member
I had to go with Sergio Mendes and Brasil'66 on this one. I have never liked Joe Cocker's version and I was not overly impressed with Herb Alpert's version.
The first version of this song that I heard on the radio was by a woman whose last name was Curry and Brasil'66 then started getting the airplay and Curry's version was gone from the airwaves.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Point of information: Roger Nichols & Small Circle of Friends also covered this tune on A&M.
Oh, good grief! My apologies for my major blunder, fellas.

Harry or Rudy: Can we amend the poll to: (1) add the Nichols version; and (2) allow previous contributors the option to change their vote?
 

Harry

Charter A&M Corner Member
Staff member
Site Admin
Oh, good grief! My apologies for my major blunder, fellas.

Harry or Rudy: Can we amend the poll to: (1) add the Nichols version; and (2) allow previous contributors the option to change their vote?
Done.

And I'm changing mine to Roger Nichols.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
Thank you, Harry and LP Jim.

I similarly changed my vote to Roger Nichols.

Herb having Pisano play that 4-beat-to-the-measure strum is simply monotonous. I don't fancy Cocker's singing style. Sergio's is good, but Nichols gives it that relaxed swing that the Beatles had, which I prefer for this piece.
 

bob knack

Well-Known Member
There's something about Herb's sparse playing and the added strings (that seemed to be after the fashion of the day) that grabs me. Julius' vibes fills and that bowing of the bass at the end (they also did that on a Pete Jolly album I think) made for a terrific arrangement.
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
I will agree in that aside from Piasno's part, Herb's arrangement is memorable for all the reasons you pointed out. I just wish that Piasno's guitar was mixed deeper. It's clear Herb's going for a simple 4/4 back beat; Herb's should have had him either double up on Nic's snare on the back beat -- or play on 1 and 3. I like the call and response between Julius and the ensemble. Unfortunately, this was a low point where Herb was obviously having horn playing issues as exhibited with both his tone and articulation (embouchure problems or lack of practice...the jury remains out).
 

lj

Well-Known Member
My nod is in favor of Brasil 66. The rhythm section is really cooking. Also like the rotation of piano and organ. And of course the vocals are top notch.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
I am not a big fan of Brasil '66 doing cover versions but this one kind of rises to the top. I've felt the TJB version was too plodding, and the Nichols version too much like a direct copy of the Beatles version (I often skip it). Joe Cocker's version is notable for totally changing up the song, so that's a strong #2 in my list.
 

tomswift2002

Well-Known Member
None of the above. I’m going with The Beach Boys cover that, while not released until 1983 on their Rarities album, was recorded sometime between 1967 & 1970.
 

Rudy

¡Que siga la fiesta!
Staff member
Site Admin
Can't say I even like the song all that much, but I had to pick something... 😁
 

DAN BOLTON

Well-Known Member
I always thought Herb's version was what the Seven Dwarfs marched to when they went to the bar after a day in the mine...
 

Cuyler

Bright colored pinwheels go 'round in my head.
The only version I had heard before this was the Joe Cocker version. However, my vote is with Roger Nichols. There are many who probably prefer Herb Alpert's or Sergio Mendes's reimagining of the song, but I personally appreciate that Roger Nichols really maintained a similar "feel" of the Beatles' song. The stereo separation is so wide -- it feels roomy :)

Joe Cocker's version is okay, but if I had to choose between Joe Cocker and the Beatles, sorry -- I have to go with the Beatles. (Heresy on an A&M Records forum!)
 

JOv2

Well-Known Member
Thread Starter
None of the above. I’m going with The Beach Boys cover that, while not released until 1983 on their Rarities album, was recorded sometime between 1967 & 1970
According to the book, The Beach Boys, by Keith Badman, it was recorded in Brian's newly built home studio (you know -- where they recorded Smiley Smile) on 23SEP1967 during the Wild Honey. Bruce takes a rare lead vocal. I like it too...I imagine all six guys in someone's living room performing the spartan, easy-swaying, come-as-you-are arrangement.
 
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