White Label – “Jean 1”


Warning: If you’re an obnoxious Beatles fan you may want to stop right now.

White Label actually believed their parents when they were told “You can do anything you set your mind to,” which for them meant playing in a band with John Lennon, Billie Holiday, and David Bowie. Yes, that old adage is a bunch of hogwash that parents spout off to their untalented children but this time someone else’s parental bullshit helped my Spotify and Grooveshark collection!

I’ll let them explain. “It was like: ‘What if we were a band called White Label and our singer was David Bowie or Jimmy Scott or Dennis Wilson?’ Sometimes we had an agenda to work outside of the genre the artist would normally work in: for example, imagining Jimmy Scott singing over a backing track that might have been lifted from Bowie’s Low. Other times, we wanted to be as faithful as we could so that, on David, we were trying to imagine what Bowie’s unused song would have sounded like if it had made it on to Hunky Dory. A lot of the time it was just a lot of fun in the studio, like, ‘Woo, I’m playing drums on Hunky Dory!'”

Soooo their like Girl Talk or any other dance mash-up then?

“The idea was to work entirely outside the dance genre and to take these voices and then give them elaborate, full-band arrangements – drums, Hammond organ, grand piano – way beyond the lengths people normally go to when they’re making bootlegs.”

Simple enough for anyone each of their tracks are titled after the first name of the singer. For a full track list, album download, and explanation for each track jump here.

I’ll stop with the type-type on my computer-computer. Just listen and you’ll understand.

“Jean 1” is a Northern Soul reworking of 5.30 Plane by The Supremes, sung by Jean Terrell and taken from the 1972 LP The Supremes Produced And Arranged By Jimmy Webb. The version here was lifted from a scratchy seven-inch recorded onto a hissy C60.

“John 1” is from the 1968 Esher Beatles demos for The White Album and was originally titled Child Of Nature.

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