The Inmates were part of the punk and new wave scene and when it came to going back to the music of the 1960s and putting their own spin on it you will be hard pressed to find a group as retro as these guys. If anything, they sound like a bar band in the 1960s, putting a little harder edged rock and roll sound on any song from that period they cover. On June 20, 1987 the Inmates were invited to perform a concert in Paris celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of the Beatle's "Sgt. Pepper" album. In terms of the music scene of the 1960s this concert was basically doing familiar Beatles songs but if they were being played by the Rolling Stones or the Kinks (more so the latter because the Inmates are definitely more R&B influenced rather than anything else).
The Inmates annouce their agenda with authority by starting the evening off with "Little Child," an early Beatles song that is from "With the Beatles" if you are from the U.K. but "Meet the Beatles" if you live in the U.S. This is such an early Beatles song that you might think it was another one of the Fab Four's covers like "Roll Over Beethoven," but it is an early song by Lennon & McCartney. It also makes it clear to the Paris audience that the Inmates are hear to play rock and roll rather than Merseybeat or anything lighter. That is why most of the songs at the start of the concert are early Beatles: "I'll Get You," "She's a Woman," "You Can't Do That," and "Day Tripper." The common denominator is that the rhythm section is carrying most of the load while Bill Hurley's vocals are more earthy than John Lennon's (and he is not going to even try to compete with Paul McCartney's higher pitcher warbling).
Ironically given that the point of the concert is to honor the Beatles for "Sgt. Pepper," the only song from the seminal album the Inmates perform is the title track (as a hard rock song, of course, that launches right into the next song). There are also limited in picking songs that post-date that album, with rockers "Back in the U.S.S.R." and "Birthday" from the "White Album," and "Get Back" and "Hey Jude" from the final days. That last song is obviously picked because the audience gets to join in on the chorus and provide a big finish to the evening's festivities. Otherwise, the focus is clearly on early songs (pre-"Revolver"/"Rubber Soul") and not the big hits (only four of these songs reached #1 for the Beatles). If the thought of hearing early Beatles songs done as hard rock with an R&B twist (e.g., "I Saw Her Standing There"), then you should find "Meet the Beatles: Live in Paris" a worthwhile listening experience.
For the three-song encore the Inmates come back and do three of their own songs, beginning with their most recognizable tune, a cover of the Standells' "Dirty Water." But there is nothing wrong with taking a bow as yourselves after rockin' hard all night doing a tribute to the music of another band. Let me end by introducing the boys in the band. Eddie Hedges on drums, Ben Donnelly on bass, Peter Gunn on lead guitar and vocals, Tony Oliver on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Bill Hurley on lead vocals