Watch a young Amy Winehouse covering The Beatles backstage at Glastonbury 2004

Steeped, as she was, in the jazz tradition, the late Amy Winehouse, who would have turned 40 today, often reinterpreted other artists’ music.

Her cover of The Zutons’ Valerie - a collaboration with Mark Ronson - has arguably become the definitive version of the song, while Tears Dry On Their Own, from 2006 album Back to Black, lifts the musical backing from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s recording of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough pretty much wholesale.

Did Winehouse ever follow the example of many other great soul/jazz singers and cover The Beatles, though? Well, it turns out she did.

Back in 2004, when she was just 20 years old, Winehouse performed on the Jazz World Stage at that year’s Glastonbury Festival, sandwiched on the Sunday evening bill between Mikey Dread and Bonnie Raitt. Also playing at Worthy Farm that year was one Paul McCartney, who’d headlined the Pyramid Stage the previous night.

Which is perhaps why, in a backstage BBC studio at the festival, Winehouse took the opportunity to perform a heavily adapted version of The Beatles’ All My Loving, with different chords and an almost unrecognisable melody. It’s just her and a guitar, leaving the singer plenty of space to fill with that extraordinary voice.

It’s not known what McCartney thought of the cover, but he did meet Winehouse several years later at the 2008 MTV European Music Awards in Liverpool. This was the same evening that the former Beatle would first encounter Kanye West, who he would later collaborate with.

McCartney told GQ in 2018: “The other person I met at the same time was Amy Winehouse, walking down the corridor. And I knew she had a problem, and I ended up just saying hi, she said hi, but afterwards I thought I really should have just run after her - 'Hey, Amy, listen, you're really good, I really hope you…' - and say something that broke through the despair. And she'd remember and think, 'Oh yeah, I'm good, I've got a life to lead.' But you always have those little regrets.” 

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.