Aaron Neville / Allen Toussaint :: Hercules (1973)

As Brett Ratner’s Hercules wallows in the steroid-spill of yet another summer blockbuster season, it's an opportune time to think about the nature of myth. Sure, the classic image of Hercules is all brawn and virility, thrashing his way through obstacles–but myth is a flexible, amorphous thing forever being retold. New spins on old yarns.

Take for instance the hero of Allen Toussaint’s "Hercules" (1973). As embodied by Aaron Neville on the Toussaint-produced single, the character is . . .

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