“There is a whole audience born around 1990 that knows the Beatles, but is wholly unfamiliar with their writing,” says music executive Owen Husney. To solve this all but unimaginable problem, Husney teamed up with a small music publisher to produce Beatles Reimagined, an album of Beatles songs as reinterpreted by current musicians.
The album, which comes out October 1st on Community Music’s Community Projects label, includes covers of early Beatles songs including “She Loves You” and “All My Loving” by indie bands such as Badwolf and the Well Pennies. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the most well-known band featured on the album, recorded a rockin’ country version of the classic “I Saw Her Standing There.”
“We had just recently been in Nashville at some bar behind the Grand Ole Opry and saw a band play there – older guys, just singing it straight and narrow,” says frontman Alex Ebert. “It was that sort of no-frills thing that middle-aged country musicians who can play their asses off do. . . . Something about it made an impression on me – something about the simplicity of it, almost a happenstance feel.
“Later we were in the studio recording an album . . . I thought ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ would be a fun song to do,” Ebert continues. “We learned the song by listening to it a couple times. . . . We decided to do it in that same un-trying way, same as that night in Nashville, just everybody playing at once straight down the line, nothing special – and that’s part of why it was so fun to do.”
That sense of fun, breezy easiness comes across in the band’s cover, with the familiar lyrics bouncing over swingy strings and effortless harmonies.
“I tried to put as little effort into the singing as I could muster, and I think everybody else did about the same – just a bunch of old friends laying it down for no particular reason,” Ebert says.
Check out Rolling Stone’s exclusive preview of the song below.