Sgt. Pepper Live (2009)


 
1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 2. With a Little Help From My Friends 3. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds 4. Getting Better 5. Fixing a Hole 6. She's Leaving Home 7. Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite 8. Within You Without You 9. When I'm Sixty-Four 10.Lovely Rita 11.Good Morning Good Morning 12.Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Ban (Reprise) 13.A Day in the Life 14.Medley Song

 

The Beatles were a great band. Cheap Trick is a great band. Cheap Trick sounding like the Beatles is a great experience. So we shouldn't be surprised to see something like this emerge. My guess is someone needed the money. Someone decided maybe these guys should perform a series of Vegas-like shows in Las Vegas performing arguably one of, if not the best, certainly the most influential albums in The Beatles' catalog.

Even though Cheap Trick does, in fact, replicate the Beatles' sound pretty well, an experiment like this just doesn't work on many levels. After all, Cheap Trick was a "simple" band, and the more complex they were with their arrangements, the less accessible they became, and not surprisingly, the less their records sold. So, if they're going to do a show such as this, why are they doing the most "complex" Beatle album ever? To be fair, though, it's doubtful that even The Beatles themselves could have done an adequate representation of this album in a live setting (for those who don't know, the original album came out in 1967, after The Beatles stopped touring for good).

So even though they do an o.k. job on the "straight forward" songs, such as the title track and Getting Better, everything else comes across as too labored. Just looking at the credits of this album are overwhelming. They don't even sing lead on Lovely Rita (they recruit Joan Osbourne. I have no idea why.) and how can you expect anyone, let alone Cheap Trick, to adequately cover Within You Without You???

What would have been better would be if they would have done an homage to The Beatles playing more of their straight ahead rockers instead of songs with orchestras, glockenspiels, french horns, and farm animals. Of course, it wouldn't be very Vegas-ish had they chosen this route. To be fair, I've never seen the show, so maybe they make up for this somehow in the "visual" department. Also, why did this come out one month after The Latest was released? It's almost as if they didn't care too much about that effort with such a haphazard release date. The sad thing is they didn't do themselves any favors by taking much of the attention off their brand new album. A neat idea, but probably one that they should have passed on. I hope they were paid well.

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