VA – Rub-A-Dub Soul
LP / CD / DR
October 20, 2023
Website Record Label
2. Help – Gentleman
3. Michelle (Featuring ALA.NI) – Pierpoljak
4. Hey Jude – Danakil
5. Let It Be – Patrice
6. With A Little Help From My Friends – Tarrus Riley
7. Taxman – Nai-Jah
8. Here Comes The Sun – Barry Biggs
9. Norwegian Wood – Little Roy
10. Blackbird – The Tamlins
11. We Can Work It Out – Qyor
12. Strawberry Fields Forever – ALA.NI
13. Revolution – Yaniss Odua
14. Eleanor Rigby – Dave Eggar
Jamaican artists and producers possess extensive experience in covering a wide range of songs, including both popular and lesser-known tracks. Cover songs have been a popular choice since the 1950s, and Jamaican musicians have been particularly enthusiastic about putting their own unique spin on timeless classics, such as those by The Beatles. The Fab Four’s music has served as a source of inspiration and creativity for Jamaican artists, who have released entire albums of Beatles covers over the years. One such project is the recent reggae makeover of Rubber Soul by Clive Hunt, a seasoned producer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and composer who collaborated with artists from around the world to create a fitting tribute to this iconic album.
sense of familiarity
Throughout their extensive musical journey, the renowned reggae veterans, The Pioneers, have expertly crafted numerous covers. Their version of The Beatles’ classic, You Won’t See Me, seamlessly incorporates reggae elements, resulting in a captivating and delightful interpretation. Conversely, the German reggae artist, Gentleman, has solidified his position as the go-to artist for Help, delivering a nice rendition of this upbeat hit. His vocal delivery could have used a bit more energy, however. With an impressive career spanning over two decades, the French band, Danakil, has garnered a devoted fan base and an impressive collection of awards. Their performance of Hey Jude exudes a sense of familiarity, embracing the timeless essence of this track in a truly classic manner.
Pierpoljak, the French artist known for his turbulent life, had previously collaborated with Clive Hunt in the late 1990s to create a remix of the song La Music. Here Pierpoljak is joined by the talented and unique singer ALA.NI, who is heavily influenced by jazz and possesses a voice that strongly resembles that of Billie Holiday. Together, they deliver a relaxed and seemingly carefree rendition of the song Michelle, in an arrangement, with accordion, in which the French chanson tradition comes through. Additionally, ALA.NI showcases her vocal artistry in her interpretation of the originally psychedelic track Strawberry Fields Forever, infusing it with her own personal touch.
Patrice Babatunde Bart-Williams, widely recognized as Patrice, is a highly accomplished German singer/songwriter and producer, who was instrumental in the realisation of this project together with Clive Hunt. With his interpretation of Let It Be, it becomes clear that he perfectly senses the emotional intention of the song. Meanwhile, Joe Cocker’s dynamic interpretation of With A Little Help Of My Friends undeniably stands out as the most awe-inspiring rendition of this piece. In this context, Tarrus Riley takes the helm and delivers a noticeably smoother version, although the presence of guitar solos towards the end somewhat diminishes the impact of his rendition.
distinctive reggae flavor
Nai-Jah, an Nigerian-French reggae singer, impresses with his spirited and dub-esque version of Taxman, which stands out from the rest. Reggae veteran Barry Biggs showcases his vocal prowess in his rendition of Here Comes The Sun by George Harrison, emphasizing his status as a seasoned performer. Norwegian Wood was picked up long ago by Jackie Mittoo, who turned it into Darker Shade Of Black, which riddim served as the basis for several hit tunes for years afterwards. Here reggae icon Little Roy adds his distinctive reggae flavor. The Tamlins’ rendition of Blackbird is refreshing, beginning with a captivating acapella introduction. Revolution relies on a light ska beat and Yaniss Odua’s solid vocal delivery. Unfortunately, we found the closing track, Eleanor Rigby, to be less appealing. Dave Eggar, an accomplished American cellist, pianist, and composer, showcases his skill and creativity in his free-style, cleverly arranged instrumental version. However, it feels somewhat disconnected from the reggae genre in our opinion.