Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band: The Soundtrack
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Even if you didn't enjoy the thespian efforts of Frampton, the Bee Gees or Alice Cooper, how could you not like the music? The original soundtrack is available here for the first time on CD, with Sgt. Pepper songs performed by Peter Frampton, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Bee Gees, Aerosmith, Billy Preston, Alice Cooper and more. 24 tracks on 2 CDs.
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The soundtrack album doesn't quite live up to that level of magnificent badness, but retains enough of the movie's campy feel to make it quite an entertaining listen. Much of the album is made up of The Bee Gees and Peter Frampton's perfectly decent, if not lighthearted renditions of Beatles classics. Their shining moment comes during a medley of "Polythene Pam/She Came in Through the Bathroom Window/Nowhere Man/Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Reprise." It's a fun, exciting, foot-tapping track. Say what you will about the Gibb brothers and Frampton, but these guys were some tight musicians and singers.
Other good points include Dianne Steinberg singing a surprisingly good disco version of "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds," Alice Cooper and the Bee Gees (in what must be one of the oddest pairings of musical acts ever) doing an appropriately macabre version of "Because," Earth, Wind & Fire's infectiously catchy "Got to Get You Into My Life" and Aerosmith's now classic cover of "Come Together."
Low points include Frankie Howerd's "When I'm Sixty Four" and "Mean Mr. Mustard." Howerd is funny in the movie, but his shtick doesn't translate to audio-only. Steve Martin takes his "wild & crazy guy" act way too far in "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," and the track is pretty much just annoying. The worst, however, is Sandy Farina, who plays Strawberry Fields in the movie. She sings "Here Comes the Sun" and, not surprisingly, "Strawberry Fields Forever." While she technically can sing, her voice is so insufferably sappy it's like eating a pound of circus peanuts and then drinking a bottle of maple syrup to wash it down. And why even bring up George Burns singing "Fixing a Hole?"
Overall, the album is a fun, lighthearted collection of Beatles covers, none of which (not even Aerosmith) comes close to capturing the magic of the original versions. Still, it's entertaining enough and belongs in the collection of any bad movie buff.
The rest of the album is also outstanding with Aerosmith's cover of "Come Together" and Earth, Wind, & Fire's version of "Got To Get You Into My Life". Billy Preston's cover of "Get Back" is also worth it's weight. I recommend this CD set on it's cover value and it's placement in pop culture history.
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This is one of those times.