Butchering the Beatles - Butchering the Beatles: A Headbashing Tribute
Restless Records
Heavy Metal
12 songs ()
Release year: 2006
Reviewed by Tony

Let it be known in the first line of this review that my least favorite band in the entire world is The Beatles. They are possibly the most overrated band of all time. They have minimal instrumental talent, cannot really write decent songs, and their lyrics are reminiscent of an IQ decimated by frequent consumption of psychedelic drugs. They are a novelty act in America, and are loved by my age group. I am convinced The Beatles are to American musical tastes what a red solo cup is to a college party. Everyone is holding one, so if you don’t have one, you’re not cool.

However, this review is not to debate the merits of the Beatles. This is Butchering the Beatles. A shot of metal to some of The Beatles’ greatest tracks. If you are a fan who balances their appreciation of my most reviled band and your love for Heavy Metal, then you are in for a treat. Butchering the Beatles takes these hits to a whole new level. I have noticed that each and every band that has covered the Beatles, even horrible pop artists etc. tend to make The Beatles sound better than themselves. Alas, I have gotten enough out regarding my disdain for this horrible band. It seems as if when an artist puts their own spin on The Beatles the track always comes out beautifully. This is a drastic change from the classic sound of The Beatles, and it is a lot of fun.

The way this album works is each song is given to a famous Metal artists who are then surrounded by a band. Some of the musicians are singers, while others play guitar. Some I have heard of. Some I have not. Each musician puts their own tinge of quality on their assigned song, and all turn out well. The second song is performed on vocals and probably bass by one of the legendary musicians of our genre, Lemmy Kilmister. His “gravelly” vocals certainly provide an interesting twist on Back in the U.S.S.R. This song is one of the highlights of a great compilation. The sound quality is great, the guitars are solid, and Lemmy’s vocals are somehow able to work with the original set of lyrics and rhythm.

When I used to play local shows with my Punk band, we used to do a few Hardcore covers. One of my usual companions that played along with us with her band gave me a solid piece of input on covers: “Take a great song, and make it your own.” We did this with our subsequent and frequently request covers of Slayer’s Mandatory Suicide and Transylvanian Hunger . Yes, we figured out a way to put some cool bridges and even a solo in the latter track. This is the reason why Butchering the Beatles is one of the most successful cover albums. I have always been fond of genre bending covers songs. I thought Children of Bodom’s cover of Britney Spears was hilarious. In fact, why the Hell do I have to bold her name? Honestly is she even considered a musician? There are horrifying mutations such as those compilations where feminine scene kids that call themselves “Punk” cover Pop songs making these songs even worse, but all of that is settled by the innate creativity of Butchering the Beatles .

This is a cool album to listen to while high. It has groovy moments such as Lemmy’s piece, lighter waving moments on Hey Jude, and dazzling guitar soloing on Magical Mystery Tour by Yngwie Malmsteen. Speaking of the last mentioned track, I met Malmsteen at my friend’s Dad’s music store (RIP Tommy) which had some of the best guitars on production as well as custom and vintage gear. Not only was Malmsteen a huge conceited asshole, but he proceeded to hurl insults at both Tommy, his son, and me. I was 12 at the time and Tommy was 11. For this I hate him, but that doesn’t make him an incredible guitarist. Granted, Jon Petrucci came into that store for a clinic and was the nicest guy in the world. (and a better guitarist IMO) What I am trying to discuss here is the meaning behind his cover of Magical Mystery Tour. He is both a virtuoso guitarist and a complete jackass. Both those sides of him are brought out during this cover. He spends at least three fourths of the song shredding. While it is masterful guitar work, it leaves you thinking about how he probably pouted in the studio until he was granted the ability to do whatever he wanted. He is a child stuck in an old man’s body, and that is what you feel when he spends the entirety of the song soloing. This fact still does not take away from the sheer talent Malmsteen holds.

Next are a cover of Revolution, probably one of my two favorite (if only) Beatles songs; and the incredibly popular Day Tripper. I had to learn Day Tripper as a practice melody in 7th grade for Jazz Band, and I hated every minute of it. However, Day Tripper was the first track I heard off of Butchering the Beatles, and it really got me excited for hearing the rest. The only real disappointment is that the penultimate Beatles track, and my personal favorite, Hey Jude, is not played last. Heavy Metal set lists have taught us to open and close with a bang, but George Lynch’s cover of Hey Jude would be a beautiful way to close a live set had this been on stage. As much as I despise The Beatles and their fans west of the pond, Hey Jude was always a masterpiece. Citing creativity reasons, increased talent amongst the covering musicians, and a wondrous premise, Butchering the Beatles gets my vote for the best cover album of all time. There is unbridled beauty, heaviness, and a brand new dimension added to the legendary Brits. For this, Butchering the Beatles gains my admiration, and my approval.

Killing Songs :
Back in the U.S.S.R., Magical Mystery Tour, Revolution, I Saw Her Standing There, Hey Jude
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