Beyoncé’s “Blackbiird” uses original Beatles backing track

Blair Caldwell

One of the standout songs on Beyoncé‘s new album, Cowboy Carter, is a cover of The Beatles‘ 1968 classic song “Blackbird.” Bey has changed the title to “Blackbiird” with two “i”s, but she literally hasn’t changed much else about the song.

Variety reports that according to a rep for Paul McCartney, the backing track of her take on the song uses the instrumental elements from McCartney’s original recording: specifically, his acoustic guitar and foot tapping.  He’s actually credited as playing guitar on the track, but as Variety points out, it was not clear if he rerecorded any of the guitar parts for the record.

Many reviewers have noted that it’s especially fitting that Bey recorded a cover of “Blackbird,” given that McCartney has said the song was inspired by the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and in particular, the struggle of Black women.

In addition to Beyoncé’s singing and McCartney’s guitar, the song features vocal harmonies by Black female singers working in the country space: Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts and Brittney Spencer.

“Blackbird” originally appeared on The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 double album, which is commonly known as The White Album.

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