100 Favourite Songs – 96 Get Back – Laibach

Probably the band’s most famous release, at least in the English-speaking world, Laibach’s  Let It Be didn’t just name itself after the Beatles’ swan song, it fully covered the whole shebang! The only notable exception is “Maggie Mae” which is oddly substituted for a Slovenian folk tune substituted for it.  As a late night DJ during those halcyon University day this was my wake up tune after a night along with the turntables – and a bottle of meths.  Having spent some time beforehand drawing any number of parallels of right-wing extremism with their home country’s government and the West alike, especially when it came to the resemblance of big rock concerts to totalitarian rallies, all Laibach had to do was tackle what they felt was the Beatles’ worst album. In some respects, Let It Be wasn’t that hard.  Songs like “Get Back,” “I Me Mine,” and “One After 909” simply had to be made over by an industrial Miner’s orchestra to go from ethereal pop to Nuremburg’s warm up sing-songs (growled vocals, martial drums, chanting choirs, overpowering orchestrations, insanely over-the-top guitar solos). The sheer creepiness of hearing these numbers is more than enough reason to listen in — “Dig It” in particular becomes a full-on Third Reich chant, only to be trumped by the meta-metal fake-live recording blast of “I’ve Got a Feeling.” In a more subtle way, “Across the Universe” easily trumps the original, only a female choir, harpsichord, and organ turning it into a disturbed anthem of acquiescence. Meanwhile, other efforts like “Two of Us” have a smooth, strong passion to their arrangements — the sheer appeal of the commanding delivery in its own way helps explain the appeal of stage-managed demonstrations and performance. It’s a joke endlessly folded in on itself, a killing joke and then some.  If the Marx brothers were a Slovenian version of the Beatles then, after too much vodka and weekly diet of Trotsky pamphlets it would sound like this.  Long live the peoples turnips!

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