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Meet the Smithereens! (Beatles Tribute Album)

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iTunes Review

Forty-three years after the release of the Beatles’ first album for Capitol Records in the U.S., New Jersey’s Smithereens (“Blood and Roses,” “Behind the Wall of Sleep”) have re-recorded the album track by track, faithfully rendering the Merseybeat classic — clearly a novelty for the Beatles-obsessed. The original Beatles album was an energetic tour de force that culled tracks from their second British release With the Beatles alongside the “I Want to Hold Your Hand” / “This Boy” single and  “I Saw Her Standing There” from their first album, Please Please Me — all in “re-processed stereo,” adding an extra layer of reverb and extreme instrument / vocal separation. The Smithereens opt for modern production, no hard pans. The three remaining Smithereens don’t try to imitate Lennon or McCartney, but they remain close to the original arrangements. There are no stunning reinterpretations. But what the album obviously lacks in ingenuity is made up for in its caring spirit and the simple fact that these are some of the strongest tunes in the Lennon-McCartney songbook.

Customer Reviews

A Treat For Smithereens And Beatles Fans Alike!

It’s the Smithereens. It’s the Beatles. To paraphrase that old “New Jersey and You” state catchphrase, “The Smithereens and the Beatles – perfect together!” This is the Smithereens’ excellent and reverential homage to the entire January 20, 1964 U.S. release “Meet the Beatles”. Who better to put their own spin on this album from start to finish other than the band once described as “AC/DC meet the Beatles “? (Or should that now be revised to: “AC/DC Meet the Beatles Meet the Smithereens”?) This is clearly a labor of love (from a band who has often said that this is the album that inspired them to become rock musicians) and it shows. The Smithereens infectiously recreate and re-imagine the entire Beatles album from start to finish. They remain faithful to the spirit of the original arrangements while still sounding like The Smithereens. It’s the best of both worlds. Whether it’s the joyous introductory explosion of “I Want To Hold Your Hand” or their melancholy yet beautiful take on “This Boy” or even the power pop crunch that they contribute to “Hold Me Tight”, it all works. The Smithereens’ inimitable Dennis Diken plays a powerful backbeat along with Pat DiNizio’s perfectly matched home-grown American (by way of “British Invasion”) “romp ‘n’ roll” vocals, “the Thrilla’s” thrilling basslines and Jim Babjak on fab-ulous guitar. If you’re a Smithereens fan or a Beatles fan (or both), you’re bound to enjoy this album.

Meet The Smithereens - A Fitting Tribute

On first hearing the idea of re-recording any album by the Beatles, one would think, "Why Bother?". But, on first listening to New Jersey's own Smithereens take on the The Beatles first Capitol Records release, it's easy to see why they bothered. "Meet The Smithereens" is a lovingly recorded tribute to the "Meet The Beatles" album. When you listen to the Smithereens versions of these songs, the first thought that comes to mind is that the songs don't sound like a band trying to sound like the Beatles. They sound like The Smithereens. Drummer Dennis Diken, & bassist Severo "The Thrilla" Jornacion have faithfully & accurately reproduced the lines, licks and fills that Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr laid down back in 1964. Pat DiNizio's vocals sound as youthful & energetic as both The Beatles did originally, and as HE sounded on "Especially For You" in 1986. In addition, this album features the first-ever (on a full Smithereens album) vocal performances of Jim Babjak on "Don't Bother Me" and Dennis Diken on "I Wanna Be Your Man". The album art features great liner notes from noted Beatles Historian, Bruce Spizer, as well as Dennis Diken, Beatles Concert promoter Sid Bernstein, and others. If you are a fan of The Beatles, or The Smithereens, or both, Meet The Smithereens is a MUST-HAVE for your CD Collection. Don't hesitate to MEET THE SMITHEREENS, again!

I'm so glad they did this!

I had the opp to see The Smithereens at Abbey Road on the River in Louisville back in 05 when they did an entire set of Beatle covers (and threw in some of their own songs at the urging of the audience). I'm so glad they decided to do this. Their version of Hold Me Tight absolutely rocks, and I love to hear it live! My only regret is that they relegated themselves to just Meet The Beatles. I would have rather they pick selected songs from all the Beatles' albums to cover. I do love their versions of I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There on this album as well. Great job guys and keep up the great work. This album is a marriage of two of my fave all-time bands and for all you haters out there, you don't know what the heck you're talking about! I love the Beatles as much as anyone, but they're not "above" being covered. It's music for cryin out loud; not sacrilege.


Formed: 1980 in Carteret, NJ

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Dressed in leather, brandishing heavy guitars, and exhibiting an unabashed fetish for British Invasion pop, the Smithereens were an anomaly in the American college rock scene of the late '80s. Lead singer/songwriter/guitarist Pat DiNizio stood out not only with his strange beatnik goatee, but also because his catchy hooks were haunting, not punchy, and because his lyrics were morose. As time wore on, the group became more straightforward, turning into an excellent bar band, one that attacked pop...
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