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In My Life

87 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 20, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

There used to be a section in every record store labeled "Personalities." It was where often painful renderings of contemporary pop hits by the likes of Sebastian Cabot and Mae West could be found biding their time until Rhino Records' Golden Throats series could gleefully discover them. In My Life is a Personality Record with two crucial distinctions: a surprisingly low pain threshold and Sir George Martin. Deciding to make a farewell album on his own terms, the gentlemanly former Beatles producer gathered an eclectic crowd of "heroes and friends" (Jeff Beck, Jim Carrey, Phil Collins, Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, Celine Dion, Goldie Hawn, Vanessa Mae, Bobby McFerrin, Robin Williams, and John Williams) to cover a selection of Fab Four tunes.

There are surprising revelations throughout. Carrey displays a vocal prowess as elastic as his face--and a good deal more refined--on "I Am the Walrus". Instrumental showcases include Beck's subtle tonal explorations of "A Day in the Life," and Vanessa Mae and John Williams milking the latent classicism from "Because" and "Here Comes the Sun," respectively. And then there's the overly competent MOR ("Here, There and Everywhere" by Dion, Collins's "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight," and "The End"), and one big disappointment (McFerrin and Williams's "Come Together" succumbs to the latter's incessant vocal mugging). This recording recalls Martin's early larks with Peter Sellers and the Goons one moment (Hawn's breathy nightclub lark on "A Hard Day's Night," Connolly's ringmaster turn on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"), and reveals his own sentimental heart the next (Connery's restrained reading of "In My Life," Martin's own compositions, "Friends and Lovers" and "Pepperland Suite"). An odd, yet decidedly dignified final memento from the man who earned a Knighthood being the "Fifth Beatle." --Jerry McCulley

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Come Together - Robin Williams & Bobby McFerrin
  2. A Hard Day's Night - Goldie Hawn
  3. A Day In The Life - Jeff Beck
  4. Here There & Everywhere - Celine Dion
  5. Because - VANESSA MAE
  6. I Am The Walrus - Jim Carrey
  7. Here Comes The Sun - John Williams
  8. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite - Billy Connolly
  9. The Pepperland Suite - George Martin
  10. Golden Slumbers, Carry That Weight, The End - Phil Collins
  11. Friends And Lovers - George Martin
  12. In My Life - Sean Connery

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 20, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MCA
  • ASIN: B00000DFE9
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,479 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Dan Swan on February 5, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I have been a fan of the Beatles since 1962, and I have always considered George Martin a member of the band. "In My Life" is a magical trip into the essence of what makes the Beatles music timeless; "Quality Entertainment". George Martin has taken a group of unlikely entertainers and put together an absolutely enchanting disc. Backed by an incredible back up band, Robin Williams & Bobby Mcferrin launch in to an amazing reading of "Come Together. Goldie Hawn is luscious on the club version of "A Hard Days Night". Jeff Beck's version of "A Day in the Life" is filled with passion, as is "Because" by Venessa Mae. "Being for the Benifit of Mr. Kite" is done with Billy Connolly as the ringmaster in the circus with great results. Jim Carrey shows off some amazing skills as a vocalist on a wonderfull rendition of "I Am the Walrus", and Phil Collins proves once again that his talents are vast indeed on his performance of "Golden Slumbers, Carry that Weight, and The End". Some reviews I've read have really trashed this disc, but I think they missed the mark. "In My Life" is a loving testimony to the talent of George Martin, and the dexterity of the songs that he was such an influence so many years ago. If anyone has the right to do covers of Beatles songs; It's George Martin. The undisputed master. Thanks George, for such an entertaining and magical disc.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 18, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This album is worth buying for a few tracks, namely Jeff Beck's incredible interpretation of A Day in the Life, Jim Carrey's surprisingly good and hilarious version of I am the Walrus (he could front a rock band, no sweat, on personality alone), Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin's Come Together (if George can make Robin sound decent singing, he can make anyone sound good!), and Vanessa Mae's beautiful take on Because. Goldie Hawn cracks us up w/ her lounge version of Hard Day's Night, as well. However, the rest is either mediocre or mostly fodder (Celine Dion, Phil Collins, Sean Connery--doing spoken word for In My Life! Ouch!). Buy it cheap if you can. Showcases George's amazing production talents, using a plethora of seasoned backup musicians to recreate the Beatles moods relatively well.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By efrex on July 14, 2000
Format: Audio CD
How do you say goodbye to several decades of album production with many of the legends of music and comedy, particularly when you're best known as the "fifth Beatle"? If you're George Martin, you make a Beatles tribute album with your friends and heroes. With musical tongue planted firmly in cheek, "In My Life" offers an astonishing array of takes on classic Beatles tunes. Beck's guitar solos on an instrumental version of "A Day in The Life" is stunning, while Goldie Hawn throws just enough humor into her chanteuse version of "Hard Day's Night" to let us know that she gets the joke while displaying some pretty impressive vocal chops. The winner for "chops," though, has got to be Jim Carrey, who puts his all into "I Am the Walrus." As is de rigeur with albums of this type, nobody's gonna love every cut (I personally do not need to hear Celine Dion or Phil Collins on ANYTHING anymore), but this album, taken with a few grains of salt, provides enjoyable entertainment and makes for a unique swan song.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Doug DeBolt on September 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Shades of "Golden Throats"! Yes, I realize that George Martin was making his tribute to great songs and cherished artists, but one has only to listen to Billy Connolly's version of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" to wonder if Mr. Martin wasn't also partaking in some of the Beatles' non-medicinal experimentations. Jim Carrey is comical on "I am the Walrus" and shows a surprising vocal elasticity, but Robin Williams turn on "Come Together" reveals that his ability to carry a tune sadly lags behind his comic talents. (Bobby McFerrin is simply wasted in his teaming with Williams.)
True fans of the Beatles may be amused by a different take on some of their favorite hits, as well as by a view into the mind of the man who helped establish the greatest band of all time. On the other hand, they may just want their money back.
My suggestion -- listen to previews of the songs somewhere (Apple's ITunes store has 30 second previews of every song) and then decide for yourself. But I'd definitely toe-tag this one with a buyer beware warning label. Know what you're getting BEFORE you spend the money.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Nick on April 11, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I mostly see either complete bashing of or complete adoration for this album, and it really deserves neither.

First of all, the general praise. The concept is George Martin giving his last hoorah proxy a compilation and revisiting of his collaborations with The Beatles. Okay; a safe enough prospect. Years ago, I would have thrown a fit at the mere suggestion that any Beatles songs may ever be changed in any way, shape or form. Now, I am a little older and wiser, and see the value in this. This album is not saying "Here is how it should be." This album says, "Let's get a bunch of people together to have some fun with a recording of some good songs." In My Life accomplishes this.

Now, the specifics:

1. Come Together: The main difference (aside from Robin's showy interpretation of the vocals) is that the bandmates here decided to rock this song out quite a bit more than the original. Deny it all you like, but the original song is really quite bare. The majority of the noise is the bass, drums and John singing. In this rendition, more instruments play, and the instruments are cleaner and louder -- and they have more people singing, which seems somehow appropriate. I have no complaints.

2. A Hard Day's Night: This took me a few listens to adjust, but it is fun, at the least. This song really showcases the attitude of the album, that of a group of adults enjoying their childhoods. Not my favorite, but still quite well-done.

3. A Day in the Life: This will sound strange, but my main complaint here is the lack of anything new. More or less, Jeff Beck plays the melody from the original while a new orchestra plays the old music from years ago. The music from way back when was (and is) fantastic, but faithful reproductions are not the aim of this album.
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