The Chipmunks

The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits

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After a successful run of platters beginning with Let's All Sing With the Chipmunks (1959), Ross Bagdasarian scored a major coup for his multi-media franchise when he ventured to London seeking approval to release an entire LP of Beatles' covers. As it turns out, they were familiar with and actually enthusiasts of the Chipmunks and permission was granted. The Chipmunks Sing the Beatles Hits (1964) became the sixth non-seasonal collection to feature the animated antics of Alvin, Simon, Theodore, and Dave Seville -- all of whom were voiced by the multi-talented Bagdasarian. The dozen tunes chosen for the project reflect some of the best-known material from the Fab Four, and the songs were primarily derived from Introducing...the Beatles (1963) and Meet the Beatles (1964), although it also includes a cover of "A Hard Day's Night." From a musical standpoint, there are a number of worthy observations. Most prominently is that the band rises to the opportunity of replicating these pop masterpieces. Sonically, they recall the work of Hal Blaine (drums) and the stable of Los Angeles-based musicians known as "the Wrecking Crew." This aggregate performed on a roster of late-'50s, '60s, and '70s pop classics ranging from the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds to many of the Carpenters' seminal sides. Key and otherwise signature licks from the originals have been incorporated -- especially Ringo Starr's drum fills and pacing. With the vocals, either you love the novelty or you don't. Obviously many did as the album became a Top 20 smash in the fall of 1964 -- even out charting the Capitol Records' repackaging of some of the same tunes on The Early Beatles (1965). There are a few characteristic moments during the instrumental breaks when Alvin raises the good-natured ire of Seville, such as the exchange during "Twist and Shout."

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