Jack Nitzsche

Dance to the Hits of the Beatles

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In 1964, the Beatles were the single most unavoidable presence in popular music, and nearly every record label on the face of the Earth was looking for a way to cash in on the success of the Fab Four. Since only a tiny handful of companies had access to bona fide Beatles tracks, a dizzying variety of Mop Tops knock-offs flooded the market, and even Jack Nitzsche, the brilliant producer and arranger who would work with some of the biggest names in pop through the '60s and '70s, got into the act at the behest of Reprise Records. Dance to the Hits of the Beatles features a horn-led band under Nitzsche's direction playing seven early Lennon and McCartney tunes, three covers the Beatles had also recorded (including "Twist and Shout" and the Tony Sheridan-era indiscretion "My Bonnie"), and two Nitzsche originals which lift Beatles riffs with no audible shame. Anyone looking for a work of lost genius is best off searching elsewhere; while the performances are peppy and were doubtless the work of some first-call session pros, most of the time this sounds a trifle rote, and this is one of those rare occasions where Nitzsche really couldn't improve on the originals (hey, they were the Beatles). Dance to the Hits of the Beatles is an inoffensive curio from the year the Beatles took over, but all these years later, it doesn't have much to offer besides nostalgia and curiosity value.

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