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Watch Broken Bells Kick Off Beatles Week With Synths on ‘Letterman’

Broken Bells, the Beatles, 'Late Show With David Letterman,' "And I Love Her," cover, Ringo Starr

Late Show With David Letterman is honoring the Beatles all week, and Broken Bells started the festivities on a mellow, retrofuturistic note last night with a cover of “And I Love Her.” The duo of James Mercer and Danger Mouse, whose new album After the Disco is out today, did the 1964 A Hard Day’s Night ballad on acoustic guitar and synths, backed by a vintage-TV Ringo Starr drum loop. Occasionally the visuals would blossom into fuller Beatles footage, and to give you an idea of the unperturbed mood here, snippets resembling the psychedelic orchestration from “I Am the Walrus” occasionally intruded.

The Late Show tribute marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, which took place on February 9, 1964, in the same theater where Letterman’s show is currently shot. Sting, Lenny Kravitz, and a combo between Sean Lennon and the Flaming Lips are on deck the next few nights. CBS’ The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles follows on February 9, with Paul McCartney, Starr, Dave Grohl, Stevie Wonder, Pharrell, Katy Perry, and more.