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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired Fingerstyle Guitar Renditions of Beatles Songs
As a former member of Paul McCartney's latter-day Wings (he appeared on Back to the Egg in 1978), it is only natural that the classically trained Laurence Juber would eventually record a collection of Beatles songs.
Juber covers songs from all of the Beatles except Ringo--"Octopuses Garden" would have been a nice addition. With most of these songs, Juber...
Published on March 10, 2001 by Steve Vrana

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing
I had high hopes of this CD. LJ is a brilliant musician and, as the lead guitarist of Wings, had a very direct connection to the music of McCartney. Sadly, he just doesn't quite do it for me here.

The playing itself is virtuosic - I would be thrilled if I could play one-tenth as well. What I don't like so much is some of the arrangements, which result in...
Published 23 months ago by Sid Nuncius


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspired Fingerstyle Guitar Renditions of Beatles Songs, March 10, 2001
This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
As a former member of Paul McCartney's latter-day Wings (he appeared on Back to the Egg in 1978), it is only natural that the classically trained Laurence Juber would eventually record a collection of Beatles songs.
Juber covers songs from all of the Beatles except Ringo--"Octopuses Garden" would have been a nice addition. With most of these songs, Juber uses altered tunings. Overall, these fourteen acoustic solos, showcase his formidable fingerstyle guitar skills.
I first heard Juber as a solo artist last year when I picked up a cutout copy of his second album Naked Guitar and was stunned by the beauty of his playing. When I saw this loving musical and artistic tribute to the Beatles (Baby Boomers will recognize the cover), I knew this had to be my second purchase. I wasn't disappointed! RECOMMENDED
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and then some., November 16, 2004
By 
T. Bowen (United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
As many of us are, I am a long time and never ending admirer of the Beatles and all they encompassed. Over the years I've taken interest in various tributes, variations etc. of their music and usually am disappointed. Somehow I missed this one and stumbled onto it recently. Halfway through the second track I knew I found one of those great albums that will always stay above the surface. There's too much to go into here...all I can say is I can't imagine anyone past the entry level Beatles fan not enjoying this. Juber has pulled off a great and rare thing here, making tribute to the music we all know and love like a lifelong, irreplaceable best friend, while displaying his inventive arrangement skills and breathtaking talent as a guitarist. There's some twists and turns and depth to challenge us but he's not out to lose us and forget what brought us all here in the first place. Beyond that, or I guess in addition, it's simply an acoustic guitar daydream, perfectly produced. Impressive stuff to put it mildly. I just wish I'd found it a few years earlier...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent musicianship with excellent songs., May 7, 2001
By A Customer
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This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
I first heard Laurence Juber on Al Stewart's "Between the Wars" CD (which I believe is currently unavailable -- a shame) a few years back, and was impressed by his musicianship. When I heard he had released a CD of Beatles songs, I knew I had to acquire it.
I'm not in the least disappointed. LJ's virtuosity shows on all tracks -- the guy can finger-pick with the best of 'em. The fourteen songs he chose to record on the CD cover pretty much the range of the Beatles repertoire -- from early classics like "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Things We Said Today" to later works like "Let It Be" and "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". All the songs except two -- "Here Comes the Sun" and the aforementioned "While My Guitar..." -- are from the Lennon-McCartney penned tunes; as another reviewer mentioned, a Ringo Starr song would've been nice to round out the collection. But that is a very minor nitpick, not worth getting bothered over.
The opening track, "When I Saw Her Standing There", establishes in the first few bars the amazing ability of Mr. Juber on guitar. An intricate bass line over which he (and how does he do this???) plays the rhythm/melody is as fine a finger-picking as one could ever hope to find. What is amazing is how on many songs he not only manages to get the melody and basslines going but also some of those "fills" that the Beatles managed to throw in as well.
Finally, by no means is the technical merit (which is considerable) reason alone to get this CD. LJ's arrangement of many of the songs show a creative approach that makes the songs more interesting than one might think an acoustic solo guitar would provide. For example, his arrangement "Oh Darling" makes it a track I unexpectedly enjoy (the song as recorded by the Beatles never held a whole lot of attraction for me); he takes "Can't Buy Me Love" and plays it not in its familiar pop-rock arrangement, but in a slow, bluesy/jazzy arrangement. Quite interesting.
Bottom line is this CD deserves the five stars it has earned in these reviews. By all means this is one worth the price.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Close your eyes and listen to his guitar sing ..., July 19, 2000
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This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
Only one thing could be better than slipping on the headphones, closing your eyes, and listening to Laurence Juber make his guitar "sing" your favorite Beatles tunes. That is to see him in person, as I had the privilege to do recently at the San Diego BeatleFair. He can make his guitar do things that you wouldn't think possible. Any fan of the Beatles ... or of great guitar playing ... must have this CD. Then you, too, can close your eyes and revel as his guitar gently weeps.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Topper-Most of the Popper-Most, January 22, 2003
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This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
Flawlesslessly executed. You'll be amazed that an acoustic guitar faithfully renders ALL of the subtlties of the Beatles' original arrangments for these tunes. This is better than any of the other acoustic rendetions of Beatles' tunes that are out there. A wonderful selection of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison songs. This disc has stayed in my six-disc player for a year now and it's never tiresome. I can only hope that Juber will continue to cover Beatles' songs. In fact, why not do the whole Beatles' repertoire, LJ? "LJ Plays Abbey Road." "LJ Plays The White Album." "LJ Plays Sgt. Pepper."
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful melodies and muscianship, September 24, 2000
By 
Bradley A Craig (Apple Valley, MN USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
You will be fulfilled -- from the first to the last track on this beautiful record. Juber evokes the best of each song, showcasing the wonderful melodies and complementing each number with his own interpretation. He captures many of the parts played in the originals on other instruments (e.g. the ending bars of "Strawberry Fields Forever", the strings in "Martha My Dear") -- all tastefully woven into the texture of his exquisite fingerstyle playing. And, you'll appreciate even more how lovely are these great songs.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unbelievable Beatles, July 1, 2000
By 
M. Brown (Garden Valley, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
If you are an acoustic guitar or Beatles fan, You have to check this CD out. This is one of the most enjoyable compilations of Beatles tunes I have heard. LJ's incredible style of playing and arranging capture these songs in a really unique and inspiring way. You will have a complete new appreciation for these classics. Get this CD...you'll love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rather disappointing, April 4, 2013
This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
I had high hopes of this CD. LJ is a brilliant musician and, as the lead guitarist of Wings, had a very direct connection to the music of McCartney. Sadly, he just doesn't quite do it for me here.

The playing itself is virtuosic - I would be thrilled if I could play one-tenth as well. What I don't like so much is some of the arrangements, which result in this sounding less like a collection of really fine, heartfelt songs and more like a series of technical exercises which I find admirable but not engaging. For example, George Harrison's exquisite, tender guitar figure at the opening of In My Life really touches my heart on the original but here is just a nice sequence of notes. I had a similar response to For No One; The Beatles made it a lovely, affecting song, but here it is just a pleasant tune which eventually drowns in jazz chords. Something similar happens for me in lots of places and for that reason I found the disc a disappointment - although it has made me more aware of what a very fine, sensitive guitarist George was.

This is a personal response which isn't shared by a lot of other reviewers here, so don't let me put you off. Certainly, LJ's technique is amazing and there's nothing offensive here but I can only give it a lukewarm recommendation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Guitar Great Plays Beatles' Best!, November 27, 2000
By 
"lankyb" (Studio City, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
If you have never heard Laurence Juber play guitar give yourself a treat and buy this disk.
This guy is truly one of rock's greatest guitar players of all time -- I guess that's why Paul McCartney chose him to be the lead guitar player for Wings -- and on this disk, Juber, playing acoustic guitar, gives new life to many Beatle favorites.
Somehow he makes one guitar sound like an entire band and more than once, after listening to a cut, my wife and I have looked at each other and said, "How did he do that?" His playing will blow you away. We have seen him live twice and he holds his own with Clapton and Hendrix both who I also saw twice.
This is also a disk that the entire family can enjoy. My wife and I are Baby Boomers who grew up with the Beatles but our 10 year old son likes this disk too. It is now the first disk we play when we sit down for dinner; both as a family and when we entertain.
Pick this one up. I'm sure after you give it a listen, you will be grabbing Juber's other disks too.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A keeper!, August 18, 2000
This review is from: Lj Plays the Beatles (Audio CD)
I agree with all of the other five-star reviews. I find myself listening to this over and over, something I rarely do with new cds. For you guitarists, LJ plays these tunes mostly in DADGAD, a few in CGDGAD and I think one in standard (I'm at work and don't have the CD here to check for sure).
The album is intriguing on two levels: one, LJ plays many of the intrumental parts off the original albums -- including some amazing bass lines. This is what fingerstyle guitar is all about, but he takes it to another level! Secondly (however), this is not just an attempt to faithfully transpose these tunes to the guitar: his own artistry is quite apparent. It takes more than one listen to appreciate the subtle touches and tonal colorings. In short, a faithful rendition and loving tribute to the Beatles' music, but in the end, a work of art that stands on its own.
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Lj Plays the Beatles
Lj Plays the Beatles by Laurence Juber (Audio CD - 2000)
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