Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The respect the Liverpool lads paid to U.S. soul artists -- by covering tunes early in their career from the Motown, Little Richard, Isley Brothers, and Arthur Alexander catalogs and turning them into Beatles songs -- gets switched around on this immaculately researched and assembled collection. Throughout its 24 tracks, the compilers excavate deep into the archives of American soul to find rare and obscure covers of Lennon and McCartney (no Harrison) compositions. This shows the effect the Fab Four had on '60s and '70s R&B and funk artists, whose often raw approach infused rootsy American grit to the material. Names such as Donald Height (singing a wonderful "Don't ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The respect the Liverpool lads paid to U.S. soul artists -- by covering tunes early in their career from the Motown, Little Richard, Isley Brothers, and Arthur Alexander catalogs and turning them into Beatles songs -- gets switched around on this immaculately researched and assembled collection. Throughout its 24 tracks, the compilers excavate deep into the archives of American soul to find rare and obscure covers of Lennon and McCartney (no Harrison) compositions. This shows the effect the Fab Four had on '60s and '70s R&B and funk artists, whose often raw approach infused rootsy American grit to the material. Names such as Donald Height (singing a wonderful "Don't Let Me Down," one of the Beatles' most soul-inflected offerings), Wee Willie Walker (a driving, Stax/Wilson Pickett-driven "Ticket to Ride"), and Black Heat (getting funky on "Drive My Car") will only be familiar to hardcore fans of obscure soul. But their versions are every bit as incisive and, well, soulful as choices from the more legendary likes of Aretha Franklin (a full-on gospel reading of "Let It Be), Otis Redding (doing his "got-a, got-a, got-a" best on "Day Tripper"), and Little Richard (returning the favor of the Beatles singing his tunes and borrowing his "wooooo" shout with a rollicking reading of "I Saw Her Standing There"). Mary Wells, who opened for the band early on, gets a little schlocky on a Vegas-styled "Please Please Me," a song she probably heard nightly as part of the Beatles repertoire, but most of these selections bring a biting R&B flavor to the songs. The compilers scoured the vaults to find R&B versions of unlikely material such as "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey (Fats Domino), "Rocky Raccoon" (the Moments), and a twist on "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" from Lowell Fulson (arguably the album's most left-field choice) that do these songs justice, placing them in a different context but maintaining the Beatles' lock on melody. That's also the case with "fifth Beatle" Billy Preston's swampy "Blackbird," which shifts the vibe from hushed folk to harpsichord/organ-enhanced gospel. Both Beatles and U.S. soul fans will find plenty of unpredictable, even revelatory surprises throughout this generous 72-minute disc. Creative, Revolver-styled cover art further elevates the package. Enlightening liner notes in a bulging 20-page booklet featuring rare photos explain why these songs were chosen (and why others were not), and set the stage for a second volume of this concept that should be every bit a delight as this one.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/7/2011
  • Label: Ace Records Uk
  • UPC: 029667045322
  • Catalog Number: 6704532
  • Sales rank: 31,307

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Back In the Ussr - Chubby Checker
  2. 2 We Can Work It Out - Maxine Brown
  3. 3 Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey - Fats Domino
  4. 4 Ticket To Ride - Wee Willie Walker
  5. 5 Good Day Sunshine - Roy Redmond
  6. 6 Please Please Me - Mary Wells
  7. 7 Eleanor Rigby - Gene Chandler
  8. 8 And I Love Her - The Vibrations
  9. 9 Come Together - Chairmen of the Board
  10. 10 Blackbird - Billy Preston
  11. 11 Paperback Writer - R.B. Greaves
  12. 12 Rocky Racoon - The Moments
  13. 13 Drive My Car - Black Heat
  14. 14 Lady Madonna - Junior Parker
  15. 15 Help - David Porter
  16. 16 Yesterday - Linda Jones
  17. 17 Day Tripper - Otis Redding
  18. 18 Why Don't We Do It In the Road - Lowell Fulson
  19. 19 I Saw Her Standing There - Little Richard
  20. 20 Don't Let Me Down - Donald Height
  21. 21 Get Back - The Main Ingredient
  22. 22 The Long and Winding Road - New Birth
  23. 23 I Want To Hold Your Hand - Al Green
  24. 24 Let It Be - Aretha Franklin
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