Sunday, 22 November 2009

White Album Redux #1: Back in the U.S.S.R.

Some forty-odd years ago today, what is regarded as one of the best albums by the Beatles and one of the most musically eclectic albums ever, the White Album, was released.

In celebration of the sheer diversity of styles presented on the White Album, I've decided to embark upon a little project. I will post, in order, each song reinterpreted in a way I find particularly interesting or unconventional. I'm calling it the White Album Redux.

Are you ready? Put on your headphones, turn up your speakers, and take a magical mystery tour (sorry, couldn't resist) of one of the greatest albums of all time, radically reinterpreted.

Here we go.

1. Back in the U.S.S.R.
As far as openers go, "Back in the U.S.S.R." is a pretty good one. It doesn't give an indication of what's to follow, but that's fine -- the White Album is a journey, in my opinion, meant to be traversed without expectations.

When I first saw this cover, several years ago, I knew it was something special. It's from the 2001 comedy Heartbreakers, starring Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt as a mother-daughter team bent on one thing: enchanting men and, after a sufficient period of time, trapping them in a situation so incriminating that there's really no other option for the male to be sued. It's a good movie.

At one point in the film, Sigourney Weaver's character pretends to be Russian in order to woo a wealthy millionaire played by Gene Hackamn out of his money. He takes her out to a Russian restaurant with live music, and she has to sing a folk song for everyone, like any good countrywoman should. Of course, she doesn't know it.

After grasping at straws for a moment or two, inspiration hits her, and the result has to be seen to be believed.

Here's Sigourney Weaver, with "Back in the U.S.S.R."

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