OK, I'm about to blow some people away, I know. And nobody is more confused or horrified than I am regarding what I'm about to say.
Fact is, I heard the Donny Osmond recorded version of DDIO last night and being absolutely, painfully objective about it, I have to say I LOVE it. (In making this determination I asked myself, had I heard this and not known the name of the person who was doing it, would I like it and want to know who did it, and the answer was yes.)
He included enough musical homage to the original version to bring back echoes of the original (ie. kept the Hammond solo intact and the Maori strum, guitar solo), but added some more modern and (for lack of a better term) new-agey instrumentation and licks to give it enough of his own style that it was a new, hip version of an old favorite. The vocal nuances where he played with the melody were not over the top, but done at appropriate and believable times.
(Speaking as a keyboardist, I have to say if I were covering DDIO I'd do a lot of the same things done on this track, a lot of the breathy flute-oriented stuff for rhythm.)
The single most important test for me in judging any DDIO cover (and Sixpence failed this, btw...) is how intensely they capture the chord coming out of the guitar solo, into the third verse. That chord adds SO MUCH to this song, and on so many levels, that to simplify it is to do a major disservice to the song. Donny Osmond's version not only wisely perceived that the chord was more complex than a simple C-sharp major, but he added this absolutely GHOSTLY guitar slide thing in there, in two-part harmony. This showed me, unequivocably, that the producer understood and respected the soul of the original song. It's like, YES! He KNEW!
You hear some covers and may be like, "that guy doesn't deserve to sing that song." But in this case, he totally does. It's embarrassing to admit, but he does. Now whether I like it enough to buy the CD is a different question I can't answer yet.