and John Belushi
were avid R&B fans who turned their characters from a Saturday Night Live comedy skit into a cartoon version of a living, breathing soul band. It helped, of course, that the musicians they hired to back them up just happened to be Stax Records' A-unit studio band, which means Jake and Elwood Blues could have read haikus from the stage and it would have worked. In retrospect, though, the Blues Brothers
were still more a skit that grew into a movie or two than they were a real band, and only a foolish person would think that Jake and Elwood's versions of songs like the Spencer Davis Group
's "Gimme Some Lovin'" or Sam & Dave
's "Soul Man" were better -- or even as good -- as the originals. This brief sampler in Rhino's Flashback series has each of those songs and a kinetic cover of Wayne Cochran
's "Going Back to Miami," but stripped of the visual of Jake and Elwood doing their routine in front of this great band, it quickly loses luster.