Charity records are always a difficult hurdle to negotiate but when you set out to cover the songbook of arguably the most influential band in the world using a largely unknown crop of talent, the chances of failure are surely even higher. If so, no one told the artists involved in the Minnesota Beatle Project, which is set up to benefit music and art education in Public Schools in the area.
As is so often the case with covers, there’s a risk:reward ratio to get right and the key is often to do justice to the original without being too reverential and also putting your own identity on the song. To this end, Cloud Cult combine countrified vocals and Christmassy arrangements for their version of ‘Help’ and Solid Gold re-imagine ‘Love You To’ as a trippy road movie soundtrack. Also worthy of special mentions are White Light Riot’s and Red Pens’ spirited run throughs of ‘Hey Bulldog’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ respectively, whilst Dark Dark Dark’s inevitable choice of ‘Long, Long, Long’ adds a new shade of beauty to this melancholic number.
It would be remiss not to mention Anoka Middle School For The Arts who – as the first beneficiaries to appear on one of these compilations- evidence that the proceeds have been well spent as they tackle ‘A Hard Day’s Night’. All in all, this is an enjoyable experience which not only emphasises the enduring appeal of The Beatles but also the talents of the Minnesota acts who have contributed.
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