Sgt. Pepper Live

Cheap Trick

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Sgt. Pepper Live Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Starting in 2007, Cheap Trick made it something of a habit to perform a full-length in-concert cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, celebrating the album's 40th Anniversary and getting them ever closer to their goal of actually being the Beatles. Orchestras were hired, guests invited, a splendid time was had by all, and now in 2009, the December 12, 2007 show is available as either a CD or DVD, mixed by Geoff Emerick himself, the engineer who worked with the Beatles on Pepper. This unabashed, unapologetic fan worship results in a record that sounds pretty much exactly like the original, only with a little more aggression in the rhythms and some funny accents in the vocals, including Joan Osborne sounding like Chrissie Hynde on "Lovely Rita." Everything, including the encore of Abbey Road's album-closing medley, is fun enough, but there's a big difference between seeing this live in concert and listening to it at home where you have the option to spin the Beatles instead.

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