Saturday, April 07, 2007

all of this has happened before...

anyone who thinks this is a good idea...

Oasis, The Killers and Razorlight are to cover songs from The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to mark the album's 40th anniversary.

James Morrison, The Fratellis, Travis and the Kaiser Chiefs are among the other acts taking part in the special recording sessions for BBC Radio 2.

The engineer in charge of the original 1967 sessions will use the same equipment to record the new versions.

The results will be aired on Radio 2 on 2 June, a day after the anniversary.

probably hasn't seen this:

Music-biz impresario Robert Stigwood, head of the now-defunct, mostly-disco label RSO, produced several glitzy or garish movie musicals in the 1970's, this one being by far the worst. Half-hearted attempt to turn music by the Beatles (including the songs and bizarre-mod look of their album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band") into some kind of screen story ranks right up there with the very worst ideas to leak from Hollywood. A highly out-of-place George Burns turns up as the Mayor of Heartland, narrating this "plot" about a resident rock group and their struggles with fame and fortune. Bringing together the Bee Gees with Peter Frampton may have seemed like a good idea when this was in pre-production; truth is, 1978 saw a decline in both acts' popularity, and the movie was pretty much dead on arrival (the soundtrack sold better, but wasn't the blockbuster expected). Not showcasing the Bee Gees' best attributes (doing their sultry mix of disco and soul, and performing it live) and instead trying to make the three of them actors almost killed their career. A few stray engaging moments, but mostly just embarrassing. A wash-out.

virago & i sat down to watch this movie a few months back, and i dusted it off again today to take some screenshots... and it's a pretty dreadful affair. personally, i enjoyed the scenes with the villanous "mean mr mustard" and his black vinyl fembots, steve martin's thoroughly bizarre performance of "maxwell's silver hammer", and of course the atrociously ill-conceived george burns musical number ("digging a hole"). but i liked these for their camp or outsider value, not because they ever should have been committed to film. aside from that and the scenes with alice cooper and aerosmith, the movie is virtually unwatchable. no, scratch that—aside from the songs by alice cooper and aerosmith—their scenes were as bad as everything else.

all of this has happened before, and will happen again. in the '70s, they tried to re-create sgt pepper using the bee gees, peter frampton, and steve martin. 30 years later, they're trying again with oasis, the killers, and the kaiser chiefs. i'm not sure it's possible for this new tribute to go as awry as the first one did, but it seems headed on a similar path.

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