5 Jun. 2010

Laibach-Let It Be

Laibach-Let It Be
Year: 1992
Lable: Mute U.S.
Having successfully polarised opinion between those who thought they were a deeply sinister claque of Balkan neo-fascists, and those who had concluded that Laibach were an amusing but rather silly situationist prank, Laibach trumped all expectation and belief with Let It Be: a cover version of the entire Beatles album of the same name, with the exception of the title track. The sleeve was also a pastiche of the original: Laibach's four core members glowering into the middle distance with the grim determination of Eastern Front foot soldiers determined to see out the Russian winter and storm Moscow when the snows melt; inside is a grisly black-and-white representation of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

A response to the situation in Slovenia in '88, Laibach transcended the limitations of statist politics and classic rock stereotypes by reworking the only Beatles album not arranged by George Martin. By presenting the first cultured interpretations of the compositions, Laibach moved into the realm of Haydn and Dvorak.

There may well have been some sort of point to it all--Laibach always gave the impression that there was, even if it was likely to be lost on anyone outside the group--but it hardly matters. Let It Be is one of the most hilarious albums ever made. "Get Back" is rendered in Laibach's trademark style, reworked as a gruff, Germanic marching song. "Two Of Us", "Dig A Pony" and "For You Blue" are similarly riotous fun, and "The Long And Winding Road" is barely recognisable, a ghostly, atonal and oddly beautiful lament, back-dropped by ominously chanting crowds. The crowning achievement, however, is a startlingly gorgeous "Across The Universe", delivered absolutely straight-faced by an angelic female chorus.

That Laibach are as mad as trombones is beyond doubt. But they are never boring. Definitely worth checking out.

01 Get Back 4:25
02 Two of Us 4:04
03 Dig a Pony 4:43
04 I Me Mine 4:15
05 Across the Universe 4:40
06 Dig It 1:31
07 I've Got a Feeling 3:43
08 The Long and Winding Road 4:35
09 One After 909 1:48
10 For You Blue 3:20
11 Maggie Mae 5:09

pw: cuddlefish

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