Various Artists

Boston Does the Beatles

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This enormous project was coordinated by the crew who would go on to do a single-disc tribute to Mick and Keith entitled Boston Gets Stoned but, where that album was inconsistent, the 31 tracks here make for a cohesive unit and compelling history of Boston music circa 1988. In his usual deranged fashion, A.J.Wachtel, cousin of guitarist Waddy Wachtel, allegedly lined a hundred bands up for this (same as with Boston Gets Stoned) -- an admirable but implausible goal. Michail Glassman and the late Mickey O'Halloran pulled the reins in on A.J. and, in doing so, helped to realize important versions of Beatles tunes by some Boston artists who obtained major-label deals at different points in time. Berlin Airlift's "Eleanor Rigby" is stunning, and one of their finest moments; Girls Night Out vocalist Didi Stewart, herself a former Kirshner/CBS recording artist, delivers a wonderful "You're Gonna Lose That Guy," changing the gender. Barry Cowsill of the legendary Rhode Island band the Cowsills was making the scene in the late '80s, and he contributes "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey." Powerglide delivers a pretty good "Revolution," but their mainstream leanings make them a little out of place here, and not as hip as the Barry Cowsill madness that follows them. There is so much activity covering the songs of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison that the novelty can wear off. All This and World War II, music executive Russ Regan's vision for a double-LP compilation of major acts performing songs of the Beatles, and Brad Delp, lead vocalist from the band Boston, who tours the region with the Beatles cover band Beatlejuice when he's not performing with Tom Scholz, provide two examples of the success that can be achieved when emulating this popular music. This collection on an obscure and tiny Boston record label actually deserves a place in history as one of the better Beatles collections. Sure, One Four Five isn't Aerosmith covering "I'm Down," but the sheer volume of scenemakers documented by covering familar music, and doing it so well, makes Boston Does the Beatles a real treasure. Mr. Curt's Camaraderie released its exotic version of "It's Only Love" on Curt's solo CD, and other tracks may resurface as the artists see fit, but it would be a shame for this remarkable look at the Fab Four by an important music community to just fade away. Worth seeking out.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 03:49
2 04:29
3 04:07
4 02:47
5 03:10
6 02:32
7 02:05
8 03:12
9 02:27
10 02:37
11 03:02
12 03:25
13 03:59
14 03:19
15 03:25
16 03:11
17 02:27
18 04:35
19 03:10
21 03:19
22 02:08
23 03:23
24 04:08
25 01:40
26 02:10
27 03:05
28 02:23
29 02:55
30 04:00
31 03:30
blue highlight denotes track pick