Various - Liverpool – The Number Ones Album
Paul Cook 17/01/2008
'Liverpool: The Number One's Album' is compilation of 21 of the finest pop, rock and disco tracks from Liverpool's greatest musical legends ever to make it to number one. Similar to the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge format, with well known modern musicians and artists 'doing other people's tracks', it's a hit or miss album on all levels. It will appeal to some but disappoint many and for all those that it impresses, some tracks really can't be saved from the fiery depths of the bargain bin.
One such track that defies all sense of musical quality is 'Starry Eyed' performed by China Crisis. Instrumentally boring and vocally bland, the album hits a low point with this lack lustre performance of Michael Halliday's classic 1960 track. Reinforcing the disappointment is OMD's version of Atomic Kitten's 'Whole Again.' A poor track to start with, OMD's pop/synth reincarnation of a sickly love-loss pop song is another example of the problems embroiled in reminiscent cover-albums.
That said however, 'Liverpool - The Number One's album' does feature a few hidden gems that rejuvenate truly old classics with a zest and respect unseen in most commercially-driven covers of recent times. Liverpool's Shack provide a fantastically fresh rendition of The Beatles' timeless 'Day Tripper.' Instrumentally on-the-nose and full of little twists and turns in the guitars, Shack's version could easily be a successful single if released. This sentiment is continued through to Digsy and the Sums' cover of another Beatles favourite 'Paperback Writer' which thrusts into the distinct riff straight away with some fantastically polished vocals to boot. Elvis Costello feat. Amsterdam also give a credible performance of 'Don't Throw Your Love Away' early on in the record.
Unfortunately these gems really are hidden amongst a lot of filler. X Factor's Eton Road painfully murder The Beatle's first number 1 'From Me To You' and The Real Thing go on to give 'Eleanor Rigby' much the same treatment. To fact is, this album is hard to take seriously as it appears to be a Beatles cover album underneath with a few tracks from The Searchers thrown in as a bad disguise. The good tracks on the album, performed well, rekindle a respect for The Beatles' classics and with a few more, could make quite an enjoyable covers album. Unfortunately, it is the mixture of strangely acoustic versions of 'You Spin Me Round' from Thea Gilmore and a misguided rendition of 'Relax' by Anthony Hannah make the album somewhat of a joke. Overall it's a disappointingly vague and poorly constructed compilation of some brilliant numbers ones from years gone by.
Release date: 04/02/07