After classical guitarist Carlos Bonnell took on Queen songs for his last album, “Guitar Rhapsodies,” he decided to take on maybe an even more challenging target and try the Beatles.
The result, “Magical Mystery Guitar Tour,” is an excellent melodic journey weaving Bonnell’s fluid guitar artistry with the familiar melodies of Lennon-McCartney and George Harrison
Bonnell doesn’t just replay the songs. In “Here Comes the Sun,” which starts the album, he opens with the familiar Harrison melody, but takes off with a enchanting and imaginative guitar riff that builds on the original song.
Bonnell’s style works wonders here. His fingers create a beautiful moody atmosphere. “Penny Lane,” for example, becomes the property of a Renaissance minstrel. The psychedelic effect of “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” is changed to delicate guitar stylings. “Eleanor Rigby” begins with an extended bass riff before the familiar melody is brought in.
And “Yesterday” begins with a classical riff weaved in that gives real power to a song usually called a soft love song.
The album features 12 Lennon-McCartney songs and two by George Harrison. It’s always a pleasure to hear imaginiative interpretations of Beatle songs. “Magical Mystery Guitar Tour” is all that and more.
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Stan is the author of the Beatles Examiner, Paul McCartney Examiner, Vintage Rock ‘n’ Roll Examiner and TV on DVD Examiner columns on joltleft.com.
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