Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band [RSO, 1978]
At first I felt relatively positive about this project. I'm not a religious man, I liked the Aerosmith and Earth, Wind & Fire cuts on the radio, and I figured the Bee Gees qualified as ersatz Beatles if anyone did. Well, let's hope clones aren't like this. From the song selection, you wouldn't even know the originals were once a rock and roll band. Most of the arrangements are lifted whole without benefit of vocal presence (maybe Maurice should try hormones) or rhythmic integrity ("Can't we get a little of that disco feel in there, George?") And what reinterpretations there are are unworthy of Mike Douglas. George Burns I can forgive, even Peter Frampton--but not Diane Steinberg, Sandy Farina, Frankie Howerd. I never thought Alice Cooper would stoop to a Paul Williams imitation. I never thought Steve Martin would do a Nerd imitation. Get back, all of you. Back I say. D+