Various Artists

The Exotic Beatles, Pt. 1: Exotica

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If music is indeed the universal language, then the Beatles are Esperanto -- everyone in the world speaks their tongue, albeit with varying degrees of fluency. The first volume in the Exotic Beatles series is proof positive of the Fab Four's global reach: these 26 recordings span the farthest reaches of the musical spectrum, imagining the Beatles' biggest hits in settings as far removed from Liverpool as Los Angeles, Laos, and Lithuania. Apart from William Shatner's monumentally bizarre "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," these songs traffic more in obscurity than infamy -- few of the names will be familiar to most listeners, and many of the performances are washing up on Western shores for the first time. The arrangements veer wildly from ska (Desmond Dekker's "Come Together") to raga (Balsara & His Singing Sitars' "I Want to Hold Your Hand") to choral (the Metropolitan Police Male Voice Choir's "When I'm Sixty-Four") to space age pop (the Moog Beatles' "Good Night"), and even if some of the more far-flung tracks are more interesting in principle than in practice, Exotic Beatles still beats listening to Oasis by a wide margin.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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26
blue highlight denotes track pick