Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band
Easy Star All Stars
Easy Star Records
May 4, 2009

Easy Star All-Stars - Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (Bonus Track Version) Track list
  1. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - Junior Jazz
  2. With A Little Help From My Friends - Luciano
  3. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Frankie Paul
  4. Getting Better - Mighty Diamonds
  5. Fixing A Hole (Extended Dub Mix) - Max Romeo
  6. She's Leaving Home - Kirsty Rock
  7. Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite - Ranking Roger
  8. Within You Without You - Matisyahu
  9. When I'm Sixty-Four (Extended Dub Mix) - Sugar Minott
  10. Lovely Rita - Bunny Ruggs & U Roy
  11. Good Morning Good Morning - Steel Pulse
  12. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
  13. A Day In The Life - Michael Rose & Menny More
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Cast your vote below.

Essential -Votes: 3-
Very Good -Votes: 0-
Good -Votes: 3-
Average -Votes: 2-
Disappointing -Votes: 1-
A Waste Of Time -Votes: 0-

Total votes : 9
Rating : from 5 (excellent) to 1 (poor)
Vocals : 4 Backing : 4/5 Production : 4/5 Sound quality : 5 Sleeve : 4
In 2003 NYC's Easy Star All Stars first struck with the release of their critically acclaimed and commercially successful adaptation of Pink Floyd's "Dark Side Of The Moon", aptly re-titled "Dub Side Of The Moon", which was followed by the 2006 released "Radiodread", a quite cracking reggae interpretation of Radiohead's "OK Computer". And now, three years later, the Easy Star All Stars return with another reggaefied take on a classic concept album as they tackle The Beatles' magnum opus, the legendary "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

When the original album was released in 1967, we were in our teens and after all those years we still can recall the serious impression the incredible "Sgt. Peppers" made upon us. We played the entire album over and over again, and sang along with songs such as "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy In The Skies With Diamonds", "Fixing A Hole", "When I'm Sixty-Four" and "Lovely Rita". So it's obvious that we're hugely familiar with the original album.

It took founding member and producer Michael Goldwasser -- together with people like Victor Axelrod a.k.a. Ticklah and Victor Rice -- about sixteen months to get the musical arrangements done for this new Easy Star All Stars album. Putting so much time and effort in it, indicates the level of carefulness Goldwasser puts in such a (risky) project. And indeed, compared with the original the attention to detail is truly remarkable and scary as well.

The Easy Stars All Stars are accompanied by an impressive list of much respected Reggae names such as Steel Pulse, Michael Rose (ex-Black Uhuru), Luciano, U Roy, Bunny Rugs (Third World), Sugar Minott, Frankie Paul, Max Romeo and The Mighty Diamonds and lesser-known artists like Junior Jazz, Kirsty Rock, Ranking Roger (English Beat) and Jewish/American artist Matisyahu. It's a joy to hear Luciano, Frankie Paul, Max Romeo and Sugar Minott in truly fine renditions of songs like "With A Little Help From My Friends", "Lucy In The Skies With Diamonds", "Fixing A Hole", and "When I'm Sixty-Four", with furthermore nice vocal contributions from Junior Jazz, Kirsty Rock and the combination Michael Rose & Menny More.

However after having played this album quite a few times, we have come to the conclusion that in the end this collection lacks a certain something. True... the craftsmanship of the musicians is excellent, the dedication shines through in all tracks, everything is done so well and stays very close to the original, but in contrast with their two previous projects this one is perhaps too much of a perfectly executed "cover" affair. It might be our over-familiarity with the original material that leads to this conclusion, but on the other hand there's a great track like Max Romeo's "Fixing A Hole" with its extended dub outro and also a tune such as Kirsty Rocks' "She's Leaving Home" that show how good it all could have been when things would have been stretched out a bit more.