Year of Release: 1976
I'm enough of a Beatles bore to continue to find the cornucopia of cover versions of their work fascinating. True, most are flawed and a horrible waste of vinyl, but once every so often I stumble on a relatively obscure cut which is actually worthwhile.
This version of "Come Together", for instance, sounds like The Beatles in a parallel seventies universe. The original was reasonably raw and rugged, but there's a smooth and slithering creepiness here which highlights a sinister side I never sensed in the "Abbey Road" cut. The piano chimes, the guitar wails a new riff which wouldn't sound out of place in an early evening crime drama, and the backing rhythm cooks a tauter, meaner groove. Perhaps more crucially, the changes to the template are subtle rather than dominating, meaning you're nudged closer to what "Come Together" might have become as opposed to listening to a complete reinvention.
The B-side "Dear Prudence" is less successful, but attempts to psychedelicise the original, adding rumbling analogue synths and vocal effects into the mix. For all its efforts, you can't help but be reminded that Siouxsie and the Banshees did the same to far greater effect in 1983. Still, you can't win them all.
I'm a bit confused about who Graffiti were. There is still an Iron Mountain, Michigan based covers band operating on the gig circuit going under that name, who boast that they can copy the styles and sounds of any number of popular bands, The Beatles included. It would seem that they are one and the same, but how they came to record a version for "Come Together" for the BBC, who then issued it on their subsidiary label Beeb, is a mystery at the moment. A few enquiries online lead me to believe that an entire album of Beatles covers by the band was planned and then dumped, but all this is lacking what Wikipedia would naggingly refer to as "citation". If anyone has any further clues or even hard facts, I'd love to hear from them.