Album Remarks & Appraisals:
American pop group Cheap Trick, in a reprisal of their widely successful sold-out concerts, salute the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' seminal Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album with a dynamic track-by-track rendition that features the New York Philharmonic orchestra, an Indian music ensemble and an array of very special guests. At the helm is none other than the legendary Geoff Emerick, who engineered the Fab Four's definitive album in 1967, and brings an exciting authenticity to the celebration. Cheap Trick genuinely infuse their brand of Beatlesque power pop into a live tribute that pays homage to their musical influences, by capturing the essence of an album that changed music history.
Personnel: Robin Zander (vocals, guitar); Rob Laufer (vocals, acoustic guitar); Ian Ball, Joan Osborne (vocals); Rick Nielsen, Bill Lloyd, Tom Petersson (guitar, background vocals); Danny Louis (keyboards, background vocals); Bun E. Carlos (drums, background vocals).
Audio Mixers: Geoff Emerick; Jim Beeman.
Ensembles: Chris Parker ; Dave Sharma; Craig Johnson; Steve Armour; Laura Bontrager; Patrick Pridemore; John Putnam; Maxine Roach; Bill Lloyd; Tom Christensen; Stephanie Cummins; Chris Komer; Belinda Whitney.
Illustrator: John "Snakehips" Johnson.
With the success of the LOVE, a Beatles-based Las Vegas show/multimedia collaboration between George Martin and French circus troupe Cirque de Soleil, demand was high for another Sin City Fab Four-related event. The result was SGT. PEPPER LIVE, an in-concert re-creation of the Liverpool lads' most famous work (a work they themselves never performed live). Unlike LOVE, however, which employed a recorded sound collage culled from original Beatles master tapes, the SGT. PEPPER LIVE show tapped veteran power pop band Cheap Trick to perform the music. The result is a joyous and reverent celebration of the legendary record delivered by a band of avowed Beatles fanatics. Amazingly, though Rick Nielsen and company stay remarkably true to the arrangements, instrumental textures, and even guitar solos of the original disc, the concert still sounds exactly like Cheap Trick. Whereas the Beatles were more than capable of rocking hard, Cheap Trick has always been at its core a hard rock band, and that aspect of the group's sound is subtly apparent in the bristling energy and chugging forcefulness of its performance; the spooky delicacy of Paul McCartney's autumnal-sounding verses on "Fixing a Hole" are replaced by a soaring vocal and muscular rhythm section kick, and even "When I'm Sixty-Four" has a certain driving quality that reveals the performers are American rockers and not, like Sir Paul, devotees of jaunty pre-war English dance hall music. As a bonus, the Chicago chaps add a version of "The End" medley from ABBEY ROAD, which allows them to briefly stretch their own musical muscles while still remaining true to the Beatles template.
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