Various Artists

Rubber Souled

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This collection, which was compiled by Barry Feldman and Leo Sacks and originally appeared as an LP in 1972, features deep soul versions of Beatles tunes and it proves two fairly obvious things: Beatles songs are infinitely adaptable; and soul artists like Al Green, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett can take any song and make it their own. Green's revision of "I Want to Hold Your Hand," the lead track here, is nothing short of revelatory, as Green takes it to church and back again, and then there's the live track of Redding turning "Day Tripper" into an exploding, double-timed deep soul sermon on the forces and foibles of love, and these two selections alone make this set burn hard and long. There's also sort of a bait and switch ringer track here, too, Arthur Alexander's 1962 original single of "Anna (Go to Him)," which the Beatles covered a year or two later using pretty much the same arrangement, so it can hardly be said that Alexander was "doing" the Beatles when he recorded this song, but it's still wonderful to have it included. What brings everything full circle is that the Beatles drew more than a 4/4 beat from Southern R&B, so it should come as no surprise that these pieces work so well in the milieu of pure soul.

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