Plays Sgt. Pepper
On June 1, 1967, the Beatles released Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to the masses. It has since been hailed as one of the greatest albums in rock history. Many artists have covered songs from this legendary record, including Joe Cocker, whose rendition of “With a Little Help From My Friends” is a classic. Few, however, have had the courage to record a full tribute to this one particular album by the British Buddhas of rock. Andy Timmons, who began his career as the guitarist for the band Danger Danger, who toured behind such big acts as KISS and Alice Cooper, has stepped up to the challenge with Plays Sgt. Pepper.
Timmons tribute to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band recreates each song in the same running order as the original pressing. The release, with its emphasis on the guitar, remains true to the melodies of each song and grabs you with its idea, but loses its novelty shortly after. I found myself listening in for a few minutes to each track then clicking to the next. Your average listener will find this collection interesting but not much else. Essentially, this record was created for musicians by musicians.
Guitar enthusiasts will drool over the way Timmons emulates every melody while adding accents of his own. There is a fluent talent that speaks from these recordings. “When I'm Sixty Four” is fluttery and fun, while “She’s Leaving Home” brings a tender feeling to a heavy room. If you are a fan of the Beatles, I can't say you’ll jump for joy over Andy Timmons' versions of these classics, but it is worth a spin or two.
~ Justin Lee Fox