It’s safe to say that I have more Beatles cover albums in my collection than official Beatles albums. (I have to make that distinction, as I have a nice sized collection of bootleg albums.) And over the years, I’ve bought some absolute junk.
I have no idea when I picked up Vincent DiCola’s Artistically Beatles. It may have been something I found at Big Lots. I remember when a new music store opened at the mall, and they had a rack of budget CDs; perhaps it was on that rack and one day I found it. Unlike other albums in my collection, I have no firm memories of this.
DiCola is a Hollywood session musician, probably best known for scoring Transformers: The Movie. Artistically Beatles isn’t junk. It’s actually a very competent album. However, it is also a very surprising take on the Beatles, radically reinventing ten of their songs in an 80s synthpop style. The result is something that wouldn’t sound out of place on a soft rock or adult contemporary station next to Steve Winwood’s “Higher Love” or Boy Meets Girl’s “Waiting for a Star to Fall.” I won’t say anything here is a “gem,” but there are nice versions of “Something,” “You Never Give Me Your Money,” and “Norwegian Wood.”
A curiosity in my collection, DiCola’s Artistically Beatles is there for those rare moments when I need to imagine Rodimus Prime and Galvatron battling it out to the music of the Beatles. Roll out!