Vol. 2-Lj Plays the Beatles Import
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The follow up (10 years in the making) of our all time best seller and legendary record "LJ Plays the Beatles Vol. 2" by two time Grammy winner and former Wings lead Guitarist Laurence Juber.Laurence tours year round and there will be extensive press and radio servicing as well as a PR firm hired to specifically promote this release as it is follow up to our all time best seller.
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After ten years since the release of his popular and brilliant album "LJ Plays The Beatles"Lj Plays the Beatles, Laurence Juber is back with a most fitting follow up to one of the most flawless acoustic albums ever.
"LJ Plays The Beatles Volume 2" is a MUST for any Beatles fan as well as any fan of Juber's incredible musical talents. I can't believe I'm writing this, but this man's musical virtuosity has evolved to a new high - and I didn't think that would be possible since he's definitely the Master of the Acoustic Guitar Domain, and has been for more than a few decades.
The album starts out with the lovely and lilty "Penny Lane" and segues into "Elenor Rigby" which though still haunting, has a really cool rhythm behind it, making it more introspective than depressing. "Drive My Car" rocks and Juber's version of "Here, There & Everywhere" is heartfelt and easy to imagine as "the" song used in any wedding ceremony/celebration; just beautiful.
"You Can't Do That" and "I Feel Fine" are expertly interpreted and LJ makes them both his own.
Don't get me started on "Blackbird" which I personally never thought could be improved upon, but by God, when you listen to the nuances LJ brings to this classic (and is there any guitarist who hasn't tried to master this one?!), you hear some very sweet and sublime layers that could only be created by someone as gifted as Juber.
Confession: There are a few Beatles songs that I usually fast forward through given my affinity for the music from their "starting out days" - and "Michelle," "Dear Prudence" and "I Am The Walrus" fall into this category (sorry, lads!) but I am happy to say that LJ's versions of all three of these tunes keep me from skipping over them; all new interpretations and all truly great. They converted me, anyway....
That said, my personal favorites on this album are "I Feel Fine," "All I've Gotta Do," "Please Please Me" and "No Reply" - for my obvious allegiance to the group's early days. But, boy, do I love "When I'm Sixty Four" - it's absolutely contagious in its sweetness and simplicity.
The album "winds" up perfectly with Juber's flawless "The Long and Winding Road" which will bring tears to your eyes. This song means so much to so many and LJ brings heart, soul, and clearly the depth of someone who has traveled many a long and winding road to where he, as a talent and a human being, has arrived as one of our greatest musical artists.
This album is a joy and a pleasure to have on my iTunes and in my car at all times.
Whenever one of these tunes pops up on my iPod Shuffle, it brings a smile.
Thanks, LJ, for yet another gem.
Penny Lane is amazing on the CD, almost as exciting as seeing him do it live. Getting the trumpet solo down pat along side the bass and rhythm parts made everyone burst into applause right in the middle of the song. "Please Please Me" was also a true highlight, as was the surprisingly low-keyed rendition of "You Can't Do That." And, as stated in the previous review, "The Long And Winding Road" is a tear-jerking but fitting conclusion to the album that doesn't stray very much from the original, but doesn't need to.
The only low point for me was "All I've Got To Do," which doesn't bring out the beauty in John's melody. That's me though.
I absolutely loved "Vol. 1" and, while this new release may not quite equal the splendor of the first (as most sequels don't), this comes darn near close. Every Beatles fan and lover of great acoustic music HAS to have this in their collection.
I highly recommend all three of these CDs, as well as this excellent Beatles sequel, LJ Plays The Beatles Vol. 2, which is as good, if not better, than the first.
Trivia: In addition to his work with Wings, LJ also played on Ringo Starr's excellent 1981 album, Stop & Smell the Roses, which, sadly, is no longer in print. LJ also worked with George Harrison on the Shanghai Surprise (Special Edition) soundtrack album. That soundtrack was never released as a commercial record or CD, but two tracks, the title song, and the jazz instrumental "Zig-Zag," originally the B-side of "When We Was Fab," appeared as bonus tracks on the 2004 reissue of Cloud Nine. In addition, the George Harrison - Dark Horse Years 1976-1992 DVD contains three songs from that film: the title song, "Hottest Gong In Town," and an early take of "Someplace Else," which George later re-recorded for CLOUD NINE, along with another song originally from SHANGHAI SURPRISE, "Breath Away From Heaven." I don't know if LJ ever worked with JL - John Lennon, but he may have played on one of Yoko's solo albums.