Various Artists - Plastic Soul: Exotic Beatles IV

While the brief fad for easy/lounge faded like a pair of Mike Flowers' velvet strides left too long on the line, the musical archaeologists continue in the quest to unearth the bizarre and the weird from the bargain bins of second hand stores across the world. Exotica's series of curious Beatles covers has lain dormant for several years; as compiler Jim Phelan comments in the sleeve notes, further volumes would have simply diluted the impact of the first three - although he had around 5000 covers to potentially pick from. But a few new key discoveries revived his interest, hence this fourth installment. In all honesty, once you've heard one death metal cover of a Beatles song, there's no real desire to hear a second, so the likes of Boney Nem are an excuse for the skip button to get some action and The Beatle Barkers were surely a mistake even at the time. But there are still some highlights: Baba Yaga throw Russian throat singing into the mix for 'Back In The USSR'; Assagai's rare African take on the songs of Lennon/McCartney bring 'Hey Jude' to life while the obsessive cut'n'paste creations of Germany's fifth Beatle Klaus Beyer prove that enthusiasm is sometimes all you need (apart from love, of course). The disc is fleshed out with snippets of Beatles interviews and TV appearances, making this a fun investment for the collector who thought they had everything.

Overall

5

out of 10

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