Hello, all! This is TJT, substituting for our great friend Beatle Boy Matt. He is taking a well deserved vacation and asked me to keep up the good Beatles news information in his time away. I will do my best to stay within his tradition and style.
So, I will start off with a new release of Beatles covers for you!
Cover tunes are often not a good thing. I am sure you can all think of many examples that come to mind of some pretty awful cover tunes the Beatles have had. Tiffany’s “I Saw Her Standing There” springs top of mind to me. And of course there is the classic William Shatner version of “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”, but to some that one is so bad it is good; plus, since it is Captain Kirk, it is “camp” at its best. And many may or may not like covers like Celine Dion doing “Here, There, And Everywhere” or Peter Sellars “A Hard Day’s Night”, but you all know about that.
Then there was the ultimate travesty of a cover album, the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” movie soundtrack of cover versions. So, for every good cover versions, there can be 10 bad ones, and only a handful of great cover versions. In fact, the Beatles themselves began as doing cover versions themselves, and were a rare band that could make them their own.
Well, it is not often you get an entire album of Beatles covers. There have been a few instrumental cover versions in somewhat recent years, but not really anyone tackling entire projects. The Smithereens is one such group that has done this before. They had success before from “Meet The Smithereens”, which I heard some stuff off of, and it wasn’t too bad. There were apparently more I wasn’t aware of, but the tracklisting of this new tribute album about to be released looks intriguing.
Here’s what we read:
New Album Is the Highly Anticipated Follow Up to 2007’s “Meet The Smithereens”
NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – July 23, 2008 ) – KOCH Records is happy to announce the release of “B-Sides The Beatles,” The Smithereens’ highly anticipated follow up to their critically acclaimed 2007 release, “Meet The Smithereens.” The album will be released on September 2, 2008.
It’s no secret that The Smithereens grew up listening to The Beatles. Their album “Meet The Smithereens” paid homage to the group’s landmark Capitol debut album by lovingly re-recording “Meet The Beatles” in its entirety. This time The Smithereens dug through their treasure of early Beatles singles and selected a dozen of Beatles B-sides.
The last two years have been an incredibly prolific time for The Smithereens.
“B-Sides The Beatles” is, amazingly, after a ten-year absence from the recording studio, the SEVENTH full-length Smithereens CD released within the past two years. The band also released their first best-selling Beatles Tribute smash hit “Meet The Smithereens!,” “The Smithereens Live In Concert,” “Christmas With The Smithereens,” and “7th Inning Stretch” (the Soundtrack Recording from Smithereens’ singer Pat DiNizio’s ESPN-TV Baseball/Rock and Roll Special “7th Inning Stretch”), all on KOCH. In addition, frontman Pat DiNizio released two recent solo CDs, the pop standards collection “This is Pat DiNizio” and the rocking “Pat DiNizio,” both released in late 2007
When asked about “B-Sides The Beatles,” Smithereens Co-Producer Kurt Reil said, “The project started while we were making demos in preparation for the next new original Smithereens album. As the band warmed up on obscure Beatles B-sides they used to play in clubs, we soon realized there was some unfinished Beatles business for The Smithereens, especially in light of the success of ‘Meet The Smithereens,’ and the idea for a follow up was born.”
The Smithereens have enlisted legendary illustrator Jack Davis, one of the most beloved and talented artists to be associated with Mad magazine, to create the cover of this album. His work for Mad dated back to its inception as an EC comic in the ’50s. Davis’ work has also been featured in TV Guide, Creem, Playboy, Time, Ebony, myriad book covers, movie posters, advertising campaigns, greeting cards, bubble-gum trading cards and on scores of record albums. Now The Smithereens join a distinguished fraternity of artists that includes the likes of Homer & Jethro, Spike Jones, Johnny Cash and The Cowsills, all of whom can boast long-players adorned by the art of Jack Davis.
The album includes some very special surprises for dedicated Beatles fanatics. For “B-Sides The Beatles,” Andy White, who in 1962 played drums on The Beatles’ original version of “P.S. I Love You,” reprises his role as surrogate stickman for The Smithereens in 2008. The September 11, 1962 session that produced “Love Me Do” and its B-side “P.S. I Love You” featured session drummer White, with the newly recruited Ringo Starr relegated to tambourine and maracas duties. Upon release in America, the A-side shot to #1, and the B-side made the top-10 as well.
“B-Sides The Beatles” also includes fantastic in-depth liner notes by Beatles author/historian Bruce Spizer, as well as “Beatle” Tommy Frangione (Joe Johnson’s Beatle Brunch), and the Smithereens’ own Dennis Diken.
At the time Beatlemania exploded, the dominant format was the 45 RPM single — an unbreakable vinyl disc that spun on a turntable at 45 revolutions per minute. One paid anywhere from 69 cents to a buck for these records, and although they were called singles, each disc contained two songs, one on each side.
The Smithereens’ respectful treatment of these B-sides from 1964 and early 1965 re-enforces what we knew all along — The Beatles B-sides were better than most of the A-sides released by other artists.
THE SMITHEREENS "B-SIDES THE BEATLES": 1. Thank You Girl 7. P.S. I Love You 2. There's A Place 8. Happy Just To Dance With You 3. I'll Get You 9. If I Fell 4. You Can't Do That 10. Slow Down 5. Ask Me Why 11. I Don't Want to Spoil The Party 6. Cry For a Shadow 12. Some Other Guy http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Koch-Records-882126.html