Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Meet the Smithereens?

Despite the title this is not the debut album of a "new" band called the Smithereens, no it's actually the seventh studio album from the New Jersey based rock band the Smithereens. A quick history lesson; the Smithereens were formed in 1980, had a string of great (near great?) albums in the mid-eighties (Especially For You and Green Thoughts, 11), kind of coasted through the nineties somewhat under the radar and released several best-of/rarities/greatest hits anthologies in the 00's. Personally I didn't think they were still around, but a quick check to their website reveals they are still alive and touring like it's 1986 again. I remember when their first album came out in 1986 and they swung through Winnipeg virtually unknown. The radio DJ of the I can't-remember radio station (it wasn't a College station because we didn't have one!) announced they were playing that night (I think they were just passing through and we're looking for a place to play) and offered some sort of money back guarantee if you didn't like them (I seem to remember the band drew a sparse crowd). The radio station played their single , Blood and Roses and Behind the Wall Of Sleep, and I was hooked, to this day I regret not attending the show.

Meet the Smithereens! is their tribute to the Beatles album from 1964's Meet The Beatles! The Smithereens have rerecorded song-by-song the album in its entirety, and they have maintained the sound and style of the fab 4 right down to the drum and guitar sound circa '64. At first listen this may sound like a tight Beatles cover band, but if you are familiar with the Smithereens sound, you know they have stayed true to their own sound while giving the listeners a fresh interpretation to this classic. The hits are great, while some of the lesser known songs do tend to drag in spots (blame the Beatles) the overall listening experience is enjoyable, though too short (again blame the Beatles). Meet The Beatles was their groundbreaking album as it was their first release in the US and it contains songs written by Lennon and McCartney instead of covers like on their UK debut, With The Beatles.

THE SMITHEREENS- Meet The Smithereens!
All My Loving
I Saw Her Standing There
I Wanna Be Your Man
I Want To Hold Your Hand

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