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Billy Pepper & the Pepperpots: Merseymania

Album Notes

Rumored to include contributions from a pre-Velvet Underground Lou Reed and John Cale during their respective stints on the Pickwick assembly line, Merseymania is thus the most infamous of the myriad exploito records issued at the apex of Beatlemania. While the Knickerbockers' expert forgery "Lies" proved the public would embrace faux-Beatles done right, Billy Pepper & the Pepperpots' leaden melodies and tuneless harmonies are anything but fab. For the most part, the songs merely ape the sound and sensibility of the Lennon/McCartney catalog, but even the two genuine covers ("I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Here Standing There") are laughably bad, rendered with all the limited enthusiasm and verve you'd expect from anonymous studio hacks. It's worth noting that Billy Pepper was supposedly the alias of Billy Shepherd, who Beatles conspiracists know as the man who reportedly replaced Paul McCartney following his 1966 death. What? You didn't know McCartney died? Do an online search for "Billy Pepper" and "McCartney" and prepare to be blown away -- or not. ~ Jason Ankeny


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