Amidst the sounds of bongs gurgling, horns blaring, and rhyme words, snares, and shakers ridiculously reverberating, that catchy, funny accent that can only be deemed “Rasta” heralds the long-awaited Beatles tribute album from Easy Star All Stars: Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Dub Band.
The third album of its kind, Dub Band follows up tributes Radiodread (Radiohead, OK Computer) and Dub Side of the Moon (Pink Floyd, Dark Side of the Moon), and features the likes of Matisyahu, Luciano, The Mighty Diamonds, Ranking, and more.Dubbing out this album aka making it distinctly Reggae are the rolling, persistent Reggae bass lines, incredibly distinct horn sounds, fills and drills and accents of all sorts of percussion instruments. And of course, the slight vocal rearrangements, as in the dubbed Lovely Rita when the Easy Star All Stars belt out, “When are you free to smoke some tea with me?!”
How different is this than the original Sgt. Peppers? Well, just different enough to be called a creative reimagining of the work that won’t offend the Beatles purists out there, but just similar enough to have your little old heart beating with all the nostalgia of the first time you listened to this legendary album, which is rumored to have made Brian Wilson go into full mental collapse (although, I have heard that the sight of Bill Brasky nude is what pushed Mr. Wilson over the edge).
Yes, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is on there. Yes, Day in the Life. Yes, Good Morning, Good Morning. Yes, Benefit of Mr. Kite. Only this time, your head is going to nod enough to give you whiplash. Your arms will rise of their own volition in front of your body and begin waving to the rhythms as well. Hell, by then end of it you’re going to be wearing a Jamaica flag tanktop, have dreadlocks tucked up in one of those woven basket hats, and walk around with a natural bouncy beat in your step. The slight twist is that you’ll be singing to yourself, “We shall (we shall) scrimp and save! Granchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck, and Dave.” (You know you sing the front parts and backup parts. We all do.)
The Easy Star All Stars are on a massive, mostly European tour for the summer. All the Easy Star All Stars albums are available on their record label, Easy Star Recordings (www.easystar.com).