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Released earlier this year, STAX Does The Beatles compiles tracks recorded between 1966-1972 rounding up Beatles cover versions from the Memphis label’s creative peak. Essential? Not really, but to no fault of the artists, as covering the Beatles is about as close as one can get to musically tripping over your own feet. Having said that the collection is absolutely an interesting listen for STAX/Southern Soul fans as the musicians do impart their own unique stamp on the vaunted material. While the Bar-Kays and Booker T & The MGs cuts are great, they ultimately work better as background music, as the collections real gems are the several spirited vocal renderings (see MP3s below). Otis Redding in particular sounds like he’s vigorously chewing on ever word of “Day Tripper” – really making a meal out of it.

Interestingly, while in Memphis last December, I learned that – while it obviously never happened – the fab four themselves were slated to record the Revolver album at STAX in 1966. Beatles manager Brian Epstein scoped the studio out before pulling the plug citing “security concerns.” The King himself even got involved – offering to put The Beatles up at Graceland during their stay in Memphis. I can only imagine those late-night jam sessions…

Download:
MP3: Otis Redding :: Day Tripper (alternate take)
MP3: Isaac Hayes :: Something
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Amazon: Stax Does The Beatles

www.soulsvilleusa.com ++ www.myspace.com/Stax50

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3 Responses to “STAX :: Does The Beatles (A Compilation)”

  1. [...] Aquarium Drunkard gives us their take on a curious release from this year that seems to be slipping under the radar: Stax Does the Beatles. Included in their assessment is a curious anecdote: Did you know the Beatles were originally slated to record Revolver at Stax, but for security reasons the band opted to stay at Abbey Road in London? [...]

  2. Yeah, I’m a huge fan of cover tunes generally, but covers of Beatles songs rarely work out. Maybe it’s because they’re so perfect in their original form that no other reading is as valid, but no matter how much the artist changes it, you always just sort of want to hear the original.

  3. Syl Johnson does a nice cover of “Come Together” on his Is It Because I’m Black album on Twinight (’71 I think?)
    Nothing earth shattering, but it fits well in Syl’s AMAZING album.

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