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Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band

4.2 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2009 release from the Dub/Reggae tribute outfit, a fab reworking of The Beatles' classic 1967 Sgt. Pepper album. Following the critical success of 2003's Dub Side Of The Moon and 2006's Radiodread, get ready for the Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band! The album features guest vocals from an impressive list of Reggae, Dancehall and Dub greats including Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Michael Rose [Black Uhuru], Luciano, U Roy, Bunny Rugs [Third World], Ranking Roger [English Beat], Sugar Minott, Frankie Paul, Max Romeo and The Mighty Diamonds. Comes complete with a bonus digicard with access to free downloads.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 14, 2009)
  • Original Release Date: April 14, 2009
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Easy Star
  • Run Time: 57 minutes
  • ASIN: B001SZ28VK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,272 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This album is pretty good for what it is, but I kind of wish they had taken the concept further.

Problem is that this disc still sounds too close to the original Beatles songs. I've heard those arrangements a million times, so I was hoping this album would deliver a lot more radically altered, dubbed-out re-interpretations of this material. It's as if too much reverance for the originals seems to have held these guys back from putting more of their own stamp on it. That's too bad.

I also have to compare it against the Easy Star's high-water mark, which was Dub Side of the Moon. That work sounded really different from the original, in part because dub music is so much more light-hearted and relaxed than the angst-ridden, dark Floyd music of the original. Here they are starting from an album that is already very light and sunshiny, so the addition of the dub elements do not sound so out of place. This, in turn, makes the dub versions less interesting, as there is less tension between the feel of the originals and what you are hearing in the cover versions.

Otherwise the musicianship, vocals and overall vibe make this a very very good tribute to Sgt. Pepper's and quite an enjoyable listen. Despite not meeting my personal hopes for this album, it is still a solid work.
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Format: Audio CD
Another thoroughly successful album by the quintessential reggae infused remake band. With Pink Floyd and Radiohead remakes under their belts, why not The Beatles? Let me say they pull it off with the utmost professionalism. With guests like Steel Pulse, Matisyahu, Michael Rose, Bunny Rugs, and Ranking Roger, you really can't go wrong. It's a must have for anyone who has had the pleasure of listening to Easy Star All-Stars in the past. Some fans of The Beatles might be standoffish but I think with Easy Star All-Stars track record, this is a major success!
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I had some doubts about this CD after reading some of the negative reviews, but as most reviews were positive and I'm not a closed minded purist I took a chance. It's always risky covering such a well known, beloved and iconic album, arguably one of the most groundbreaking of the last century, but I really enjoy Easy Star's Lonely Hearts, particularly on a quality sound system. The result is a singable, danceable effort with great production values, crisp recording and mixing, with vocals as good or better than the Beatles. At first I was expecting a radically different cover of the originals but its more subtle. There are however thumping Reggae bass lines, a punchy horn section, lots of echo and reverb, a sitar in places and some trippy extended segments. Free your mind, don't be uptight, relax and enjoy. It's not meant to replace the Beatles.
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Format: Audio CD
I don't particularly like reggae and I didn't think I'd like this at all. In fact, I didn't want to like it because my iPod is already overflowing. But I absolutely loved every track. No kidding, every single track. Some tracks were, (dare I say it?), an improvement over the Beatles originals; quite a statement from someone who has all of the Beatles on vinyl, CD and the remastered mono box set. Every song from Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band through A Day In The Life adds fresh ideas, spot on vocals, and great electronic sound effects to this timeless Beatles classic. This is a very hard thing to do and no one has ever done it better. Cheap Trick made an uninspired attempt to basically copy the album in August 2009 (just a few months after this was released) and their effort was a cheap trick. There was also the Sgt. Pepper's movie of 1978 in which the Sgt. Pepper's songs were interleaved with other Beatles songs, but they passed on Within You Without You. Both the movie and the soundtrack were drivel. I love the Bee Gees, but they should stick to singing their own songs. I never liked the Beatles' own versions of their songs She's Leaving Home, Within You Without You, Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!, and When I'm Sixty-Four, but the fresh new renditions by the Easy Star All-Stars turned me around on those songs. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! is a vast improvement over the original and the song will finally be welcome on my iPod. The extended psychedelic endings for Fixing A Hole and When I'm Sixty-Four are very cool and tasteful. The female vocals and heavy reggae beat for She's Leaving Home are just what this song needed to give it what it was missing--soul. Within You Without you is made much more interesting by combining sitar and tabla with a rock/reggae beat.

I don't give many 5-star ratings and this one is well-deserved.
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Format: Audio CD
This album is solid, in a background music kind of way. Not at all the genius of Dubside or Radiodread, nor is it a good example of what roots reggae music can do; except for one track. Sugar Minott, who is known for putting his touch on music and production no matter the studio or producer, turned "When I'm 64" into an incredible reggae tune. The track uses scales of the heavenless riddim, and has all the stops and drops of great showcase style dub. It is inventive and unique, while the rest of the album seems to have generic dub effects and structure. Other tunes that I thought were pretty nice are "She's Leaving Home," sung by a woman, and Frankie Paul's "Lucy in the Sky"- this dude has a classic voice, and knows how to jam a tune. My main issue with the album is that it is nowhere near as nice to listen to as the original, which can't be said of E.S.A.S's previous cover albums. I'd honestly rather listen to Dubside or Radiodread in most situations (instead of listening to the originals) because these very dark albums are brightened up and yet retain their beauty with the reggae translation. I don't think that the All-Stars should only cover dark albums, but I think it is much more difficult to make a reggae cover album of an already gloriously positive album like Lonely Hearts Club Band. With that said, I still enjoy the album very much and look forward to more of these future classics.
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