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Al Di Meola

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Al Di Meola All Your Life - A Tribute to the Beatles album cover
3.50 | 19 ratings | 1 reviews | 11% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2013

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. In My Life (3:51)
2. And I Love Her (4:30)
3. Because (4:07)
4. Michelle (5:12)
5. I Will (2:52)
6. Eleanor Rigby (2:51)
7. Penny Lane (5:42)
8. Blackbird (4:39)
9. I Am the Walrus (4:04)
10. Day in the Life (3:01)
11. Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite (3:09)
12. With a Little Help from My Friends (4:15)
13. If I Fell (2:59)
14. She's Leaving Home (3:22)

Total Time 54:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Al Di Meola / guitars, percussion, arranger & co-producer

- Hernan Romero / percussion, handclaps, co-producer

Releases information

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney, arranged with additional music by Al Di Meola

Artwork: Laura Wilson (photo & art direction)

CD In-Akustik ‎- 9128 (2013, Germany)

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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AL DI MEOLA All Your Life - A Tribute to the Beatles ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (32%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (16%)

AL DI MEOLA All Your Life - A Tribute to the Beatles reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
4 stars One of the most respected fusion guitarists all time, Al Di Meola first received fame in Chick Corea's group Return To Forever before launching his solo career in the mid-70's. His musical style is very flexible, combining elements of jazz, rock, classical and ethnic music. Doing a tribute album of The Beatles songs had been a long-time dream for him. "It simply was a search to find a way to combine my world (whatwver that is) into theirs, as I set out to do when I recorded the soo guitar CD of Piazzolla in 2006", Di Meola writes in his liner notes in which he praises the personal and universal importance of The Beatles, his excitement to work in the Abbey Road studios and his haphazard meeting with Paul McCartney in Hampton in May 2012. The over-usage of exlamation marks in his text underlines Di Meola's sincere passion for the project!

So, this is a solo guitar work. Some tunes also feature his co-producer Hernan Romero on hand claps and chaca rhythm. The selection of 14 Lennon/McCartney songs (no George Harrison compositions included) is in my opinion fairly nice if not truly ideal. The early catchy hits are mostly absent. Sadly there aren't much from the two final Beatles albums either, only 'Because' from Abbey Road. The selection is emphasized on the c. 1965-67 era; for example four pieces from Sgt. Pepper. The originals such as 'A Day in the Life' and 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite' are are so rich and perfect sonically that a solo guitar interpretation may feel rather inferior in comparison.

That's simply the price to pay in a project like this, especially when dealing with such well-known classic stuff that many a listener has a very close relationship with. Without a doubt there are more cover recordings of The Beatles compositions than of any other band, both sung and instrumental, in every imaginable style/genre I suppose, from Baroque to smooth jazz. And it's safe to say that most of them fail to impress deeply. I think this album is easily among the most succesful artistically of those -- not so many -- I've listened to. Al Di Meola's skills on the acoustic guitar are awesome, and his arrangements are inspired and as rich as pieces for a solo instrument can possibly be. If I felt somewhat disappointed by the opening track 'In My Life' featuring the hand clapping, during the near 55-minute album I began to enjoy it more and more. A special mention for 'Eleanor Rigby'. I don't know how its arrangement was done but it sounds like there was a string section. Elsewhere it's often the ripped-down approach that brings up the song's melodic essence in a fresh way, for example the closing piece 'She's Leaving Home'.

And despite the above mentioned risk of feeling inferior to the original songs, it's a certainty that knowing the compositions helps me to enjoy this album. I mean, a regular solo guitar album of unfamiliar compositions would probably tire me on the long run.

This is a sincere labour of love by an extraordinary musician. The ideal setting for listening to this album would be with a sweetheart sharing your interest in both The Beatles and peaceful acoustic instrumental music, more or less as a background music for your cozy time together.

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