#1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 April 2003
This set was compiled from the British labels Pye, Piccadilly, Transatlantic and Immediate, so is necessarily restricted in what it includes, yet such is the abundance of Beatles covers that there is plenty to enjoy in this eclectic compilation. The covers are presented in Beatles date order, although it does not follow that the actual covers were recorded in that order. The tracks from Let it be precede those from Abbey road. There are also a few songs that the Beatles wrote but did not record themselves, one of these being Step inside love, a UK top ten hit for Cilla Black, but here covered by Nina Baden-Semper, an actress best known for her role in the seventies TV series Love thy neighbour.
The big hit here is Michelle, with which the Overlanders had a UK number one. It was the only hit they ever had. Having heard the rest of their music, I can understand why – their other music is fascinating, but it’s not hit material.
Petula Clark, the most famous artist featured here, opens this set with Tu perds ton temps, her French version of Please please me, and also puts in a second appearance with her cover of Rain. Of the other names featured here, the ones with greatest recognition are Max Bygraves (A hard day’s night), PP Arnold (Yesterday), Sacha Distel (We can work it out), Jackie Trent (Got to get you into my life), Todd Rundgren (Strawberry fields forever), Joe Brown (With a little help from my friends), Kenny Ball (Your mother should know), Justin Hayward and Mike Batt (Blackbird), Amen corner (Get back) and Anita Harris (Octopus’s garden). There’s also the England 1970 World cup squad, but their inclusion shows that not all of this compilation is to be taken seriously.
The second track, There’s a place, features the Kestrels, who did not have any hits themselves but whose members went on to have success later. Two of them, Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway became the duo David and Jonathan, while they also became very successful songwriters. Roger Cook later became a member of Blue mink. Another member, Tony Burrows, worked his way through several groups, including the Ivy League, Edison lighthouse, Brotherhood of man and First class.
These are not always the best covers of these songs, but most of them are very enjoyable. This is an intriguing set for fans of Beatles covers and there is a companion volume, Help!, culled from the same record labels, for those who can’t get enough. I liked this set enough to buy Help! as soon as it was released.