(2005) Fried Glass Onions - Memphis Meets The Beatles

Various Artists

... read moreMemphis musicians recognized the elasticity of Beatles material early on, with Otis Redding tackling "Day Tripper," for instance, and Booker T. & the MG's deconstructing and reassembling the entire Abbey Road album as an instrumental collage on their impressive McLemore Avenue album, while Memphis...

50′:03″ 14 Songs

1
Various Artists
Two Of Us
3:51
2
Various Artists
Get Back
2:51
3
Various Artists
Day Tripper
3:05
4
Various Artists
Happiness Is A Warm Gun
3:09
5
Various Artists
Blackbird
5:03
6
Various Artists
You're Gonna Lose That Girl
4:06
7
Various Artists
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
4:15
8
Various Artists
Drive My Car
3:48
9
Various Artists
Yer Blues
2:30
10
Various Artists
Across The Universe
3:51
11
Various Artists
The One After 909
3:35
12
Various Artists
Old Brown Shoe
3:50
13
Various Artists
A Hard Day's Night
2:15
14
Various Artists
The Long And Winding Road
3:54
Released 01 March 2005, ℗ Inside Sounds

Review

Memphis musicians recognized the elasticity of Beatles material early on, with Otis Redding tackling "Day Tripper," for instance, and Booker T. & the MG's deconstructing and reassembling the entire Abbey Road album as an instrumental collage on their impressive McLemore Avenue album, while Memphis bands like Big Star used Beatlesque guitars and vocals to state their own vision. Fried Glass Onions is a noble attempt to let some contemporary Memphis musicians try their hand at interpreting the Beatles, and the result is always interesting, if not always striking. The problem with covering Beatles' songs is always this: The group's original version continually plays in the back of the listener's mind as a template, and few artists have a chance at bettering it. While the music here is impeccably recorded, and the songs are certainly fun to hear in these new settings, only a few of them actually transcend the original versions. The ones that do, though, are gems. Daddy Mack Orr recasts "Get Back" (which is perhaps the Beatles song that sounded most Memphis to begin with) as a slow, burning North Mississippi blues, complete with slide guitars and some smoldering harmonica work from Billy Gibson, and the song somehow emerges as both more ominous and more insistent. "You're Gonna Lose That Girl," sung by veteran soul singer Bertram Brown, uses that smooth, relentless Hi Records groove to create what sounds like a lost Al Green single, and opens up the rhythmic possibilities only hinted at in the Beatles' version. Guitarist Lamar Sorrento, accompanied by his band, the Mod Saints, turns in a slash and burn instrumental take on "A Hard Day's Night" that crackles with sharpness and energy, effectively drawing and expanding on the driving dynamics of the original. In all, Fried Glass Onions has a fun yet reverent feel, and if most of the covers here fail to chase the original Beatles version from your head, well, that probably wouldn't necessarily be a good thing anyway. One can only dream of what might have come out of a planned Beatles recording session at Memphis' famed Stax studios, a session that unfortunately never came to fruition. ~ Steve Leggett