Roberta Flack’s Beatles album is ready. I think I first reported this project in the 1870s. But it turns out, it was worth waiting for. The first “single,” an ingenious cover of “We Can Work It Out,” is ready tomorrow. You can hear it at this website address for now: http://www.429records.com/sites/429records/pressclips/newreleases/robertaflack/newreleases.html.
The Flack-Beatles project came about as an idea with Sony/ATV Music to help revive Beatles songs in new formats. At first there was talk of it coming out on Sony, or on a Sony/ATV label. But now Flack is signed to 429 Records, the same indie company that released Robbie Robertson’s excellent new album, “How to Become Clairvoyant.” Their other artists include many faves like Marshall Crenshaw, Joan Armatrading, Dr. John and Steve Cropper’s current rave up of Five Satins’ songs, produced by Jon Tiven.
One of the principals of 429 is Strauss Zelnick, who was head of BMG Group ten years ago and got snarled up in the whole Clive Davis-J Records saga. Zelnick left and became a star in the video game world. The Beatles album–which will be released by Sony in Japan–hits stores next February. In the meantime, there are three terrific tracks.
By the way, among Roberta Flack’s greatest accomplishments is her Arif Mardin produced album with Donny Hathaway on Atlantic Records. If you don’t know it, get it now from amazon or ITunes or wherever. Their version of “You’ve Got a Friend” is the best of all.