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Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney
     

Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney

 
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

Overview

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.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/07/2011
Label:
Ace Records Uk
UPC:
0029667045322
catalogNumber:
6704532
Rank:
22551

Tracks

  1. Back In the Ussr
  2. We Can Work It Out
  3. Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey
  4. Ticket To Ride
  5. Good Day Sunshine
  6. Please Please Me
  7. Eleanor Rigby
  8. And I Love Her
  9. Come Together
  10. Blackbird
  11. Paperback Writer
  12. Rocky Racoon
  13. Drive My Car
  14. Lady Madonna
  15. Help
  16. Yesterday
  17. Day Tripper
  18. Why Don't We Do It In the Road
  19. I Saw Her Standing There
  20. Don't Let Me Down
  21. Get Back
  22. The Long and Winding Road
  23. I Want To Hold Your Hand
  24. Let It Be

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