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    Three Beatles Cover Albums

    Brandsonsale-store_2271_2930170496I'm not a collector of Beatles cover albums. In fact, I find Lennon-McCartney originals perfectly fine as they were recorded and have no burning need for jazz, soul or rock renditions. But from time to time, I come across Fab Four songbook efforts that are compelling. Here are three that are little known and way cool. Even hard-core Beatles fans will thank me for the tip:

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    Keely Smith Sings The John Lennon-Paul McCartney Songbook (1964). Recorded for Reprise, this album ranks among the very best Beatles tribute albums, thanks to Smith's cool, melodic singing voice and smart arrangements by Benny Carter and Ernie Freeman. Here's Do You Want to Know a Secret...

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    Santo & Johnny—The Beatles Greatest Hits (1964).
    Hailing from Brooklyn, N.Y., the guitar-playing brothers had a hit with Sleepwalk in 1959. Santo played the steel guitar while Johnny played the electric guitar. It's interesting to hear the surf-rock sound applied on this album to songs like Please, Please Me, accompanied by an easy-listening rock orchestra...

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    Mary Wells—Love Songs to the Beatles (1965).
    I'm not quite sure how Wells, a Motown artist at the time, came to record for 20th Century Fox Records in 1965. But she did. This album is a wonderful fusion of the voice behind the #1 hit My Guy, pop-rock orchestration and Beatles melodic magic...

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