Stax Does the Beatles by Various Artists on Apple Music

15 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Stax Records in Memphis was home to some of the 1960s most enduring soul music performers. Their instrumental prowess was world-renowned with generations of musicians attempting to capture their slinky behind-the-beat groove. The Beatles felt their influence and even considered recording what became Revolver in Memphis. This 15-track collection features fascinating interpretations of the group’s catalog, several of which have never been previously released, including an alternate studio take of “Day Tripper” from Otis Redding and a live run-through of “Yesterday” from Carla Thomas. Booker T. and the MGs work up a bare bones instrumental of “Got to Get You Into My Life” and The Bar-Kays expand into a seven-minute instrumental blow-out of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends” that sounds as if it’s influenced by the Joe Cocker version. Of the previously released material, Isaac Hayes draws out George Harrison’s “Something” for nearly twelve minutes, and John Gary Williams takes Harrison’s solo hit “My Sweet Lord” and adds a sweet soul twist. Mostly these are instrumentals, but unlike bland “Lite-FM” interpretations, the playing here is tough and assured, organs, guitars and horns carrying the melody lines without lying too far back. “Lady Madonna” from Booker T. sounds like a roadhouse jam. The heavy melodicism of “Michelle” and “Eleanor Rigby” are emphasized from the hyper-intense bass lines to the various instrumental counterpoints.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Stax Records in Memphis was home to some of the 1960s most enduring soul music performers. Their instrumental prowess was world-renowned with generations of musicians attempting to capture their slinky behind-the-beat groove. The Beatles felt their influence and even considered recording what became Revolver in Memphis. This 15-track collection features fascinating interpretations of the group’s catalog, several of which have never been previously released, including an alternate studio take of “Day Tripper” from Otis Redding and a live run-through of “Yesterday” from Carla Thomas. Booker T. and the MGs work up a bare bones instrumental of “Got to Get You Into My Life” and The Bar-Kays expand into a seven-minute instrumental blow-out of ‘With a Little Help From My Friends” that sounds as if it’s influenced by the Joe Cocker version. Of the previously released material, Isaac Hayes draws out George Harrison’s “Something” for nearly twelve minutes, and John Gary Williams takes Harrison’s solo hit “My Sweet Lord” and adds a sweet soul twist. Mostly these are instrumentals, but unlike bland “Lite-FM” interpretations, the playing here is tough and assured, organs, guitars and horns carrying the melody lines without lying too far back. “Lady Madonna” from Booker T. sounds like a roadhouse jam. The heavy melodicism of “Michelle” and “Eleanor Rigby” are emphasized from the hyper-intense bass lines to the various instrumental counterpoints.

TITLE TIME
3:11
3:34
3:49
5:32
4:35
3:36
3:16
11:45
3:18
2:48
2:23
7:07
3:30
3:14
6:03

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