While My Guitar Only Plays Reviews


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LES FRADKIN: While My Guitar Only Plays
Guitar virtuoso extraordinaire, Les Fradkin, performs a refreshingly breathtaking instrumental album of Beatle pop tunes on his new CD entitled "While My Guitar Only Plays." Born and raised in New York city, Les played the role of George Harrison in the original Broadway cast of Beatlemania. On this new album, almost half the tracks are Harrison compositions which is Les's own way of paying homage to the late great Beatle. The remaining album tracks has him giving the nod to the other two composers, John Lennon and Paul McCartney by including some of their great songs that have become well-known to Beatle fans. Les's cover versions of "I Feel Fine", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Paperback Writer" are filled with high energy performances with lots of interesting guitar improvisations. Any listener who plays these catchy instrumental tunes will easily come to appreciate and understand the reason why Les had been chosen for the part of Beatle George in the production of "Beatlemania." Rather than a rocker, Les chose to turn "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" into a light, graceful acoustic ballad almost like a quiet inner reflection of oneself. If this was Les's intention for the listener, then he definitely succeeded. Featured on "While My Guitar Only Plays" album is special guest Nokie Ewards of The Ventures. Between the two guitarist, they perform a very heart-warming version of "Here Comes The Sun" -- a recording that, if George were alive today, would surely put a smile on the face of the former Beatle (and sure to delight the ears of Beatle fans.) The medley that closes the album, "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" has Les and the band pulling out all the stops: THEY ROCK!!! Aided by drummer Joe Rotondo and bass guitarist Dave Stalheim, Les puts in some gutsy guitar licks. If I may use a phrase here from John Lennon, Les can easily "make a guitar speak" and then some, especially his lead guitar improvisations that trade off of each other on "The End" are simply brilliant.

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LES FRADKIN: "WHILE MY GUITAR ONLY PLAYS" (RRO-1005) Les Fradkin's latest release, "While My Guitar Only Plays" A collection of Beatles instrumentals in Les' distinctive guitar play'n style. Beatles fans this is a GREAT CD!


LES FRADKIN: "WHILE MY GUITAR ONLY PLAYS" (RRO-1005) I first heard this album on Archer's 'Breakfast With The Beatles' show and was amazed how Les Fradkin had duplicated the exact sounds of the lead guitar trade-offs in 'The End.' Then, when I got to listen to the CD, I was further impressed by Fradkin's unique interpretations. The moody, soulful 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and the extra-jangly version of 'And Your Bird Can Sing' are truly phenomenal. Plus, the first cut I heard The Mountain radio station play, 'Here Comes The Sun,' features Nokie Edwards of the Ventures. I'm not usually a fan of Beatles covers, but this album really stands out.


LES FRADKIN: "WHILE MY GUITAR ONLY PLAYS" (RRO-1005) The local Breakfast With The Beatles show on The Mountain (in Denver, Colo.) has softened me up to cover songs with its special features, but as a die-hard Beatles fan I usually won't go out and buy any, but Les Fradkin's CD has changed all that. When I first heard him duplicate the lead guitar effects on 'The End' I rushed to CD Baby and got the CD and, wow, it is great. His guitar and synth (which I usually don't like, but Fradkin takes the classic mellotron route) breath new life into these songs, especially 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'Here Comes The Sun.' No one will ever surpass a Beatles original, but Fradkin does the best re-interpretations I've heard since Aretha Franklin's 'Let It Be.'.


LES FRADKIN: "WHILE MY GUITAR ONLY PLAYS" (RRO-1005) Les Fradkin has a new CD out, called While my guitar only plays. As you can guess it's not only a tribute to George Harrison, it also has all Beatles covers. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much of a fan of this type of album, but this is one that will REALLY surprise you. In the first place because it's an all-instrumental album, which kinda takes away the urge to compare to the Beatles' original. And with Les' guitar very much taking the lead part in all the songs, you tend to concentrate on that. But there's so much more...there's bits of mellotron, percussion, guitar layers...they all contribute to the fact that this album is a unique listening experience. Each song has its own character, sometimes close to the original, sometimes taking on a life of its own. But Les always makes them his own, not in the least because of his unique guitar sounds. Just listen to that guitar solo in the Abbey Road medley !! In short, this is a CD I can strongly recommend !!