Various Artists

The Exotic Beatles, Pt. 2

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If music is indeed the universal language, then the Beatles are Esperanto -- their songs are like some kind of rock & roll Esperanto, spoken by everyone with varying degrees of fluency. The second volume in The Exotic Beatles is proof positive of the Fab Four's global reach: these 30 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 Mae West's monumentally bizarre "Day Tripper," 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 Motown (the Velvelettes' "It's for You") to cabaret (Maurice Chevalier's "Yellow Submarine") to rhumba (Los Fernandos' "All My Loving") to polka (Johnny Prytko's "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"), and even if some of the more far-flung tracks are more interesting in principle than in practice, The Exotic Beatles, Pt. 2 still beats listening to Klaatu by a significant margin.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
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blue highlight denotes track pick