Various Artists

Butchering the Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute

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Assembling tribute albums has grown in recent years into somewhat of a cottage industry, and most of these tributes quite truthfully perform better on paper than they do in execution. Butchering the Beatles, which brings together what are essentially heavy metal supergroups to tackle several Beatle tunes, fares a little better than most tribute albums, but it still falls way short of being anything like an essential or even necessary collection. Having Alice Cooper, Steve Vai, Duff McKagan, and Mikkey Dee tackle "Hey Bulldog," for instance, sure sounds like a cool idea, and it works to a degree, but in the end one gets the funny feeling that nothing has really been gained here, and the fact remains that no one sings a John Lennon song like John Lennon. Still there are some interesting pairings, like Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top and Def Leppard's Vivian Campbell giving "Revolution" a coat of hard rock paint, or Jack Blades and Tommy Shaw making sure the world knows what "Day Tripper" sounds like shot full of steroids and amped up to 11, a trick Kip Winger repeats for "Drive My Car." It's fun while it lasts, but when the whole set ends, there is no overwhelming need to hear it again. One does, however, feel like putting on the Beatles, which, when you think about it, is how a tribute album should make you feel when all is sung and done.

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