Oh, hey, NR...
Re: FLips covers albums
I thought With a Little Help From my Fwends was a massive let-down with only a few redeeming moments. It was a let-down both because it was a waste of time and energy that the band could have applied to something that was actually new, and because it was just a lazy recording, adding nothing new or interesting to the original record (not my favorite Beatles record by any means, but still a remarkable and near-perfect album.)
About a year ago, I read a list Wayne Coyne did for Spin or Rolling Stone or something of his favorite "psychedelic" albums of all time, and he had some interesting choices. The man has great taste in music, really, so that's not surprising. But what was surprising was that for this list, which featured records by Can and Suicide and Television, he did NOT include Sgt. Pepper's, but did include both Revolver and The White Album. Neither of these albums are "psychedelic" in the traditional neon concept album sense of the word, but they're both weird as hell, and aren't quite as confined to one cultural moment as Sgt. Pepper. If he HAD to do ANOTHER complete cover of a treasured classic, I think either of these albums would have been more interesting and less cliché choices. But still... rarely are cover albums worth a shit. I'd rather have a couple new songs on a SIM card made of stem cells or whatever.
Anyway, back to With a Little Help From My Fwends...
I bought it, of course, because I'm a Lips completist but I feel like it was a missed opportunity. Like I said, I really don't tend to care for covers much. They're goddamn boring, especially when they're covers of big, iconic records and songs. But when I read about WALHFMF I thought, "Holy shit, the Flaming Lips are going to cover 'A Day in the Life.'" In my head, if was going to be so fucking epic. But the end result was extremely disappointing. It just made me want to listen to the Beatles. They turned this beautiful album into a novelty project, and I would rank Fwends below their cover versions of Dark Side of the Moon and the Stone Roses' self-titled (The Time Has Come to Shoot You Down... What a Sound is the oh-so-helpful title they went with for that one, by the way. Still, it at least attempted to preserve the spirit of the original album. Fwends was like an assassination attempt on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and it mostly just pissed me off.
In my opinion it's the worst thing this band I love has ever been associated with. Though I never did hear that Miley Cyrus album they played on, 'cause... why the fuck would I?