October 13, 1997 12:00 PM

Various Artists

This frighteningly earnest (and pathetically funny) collection of Beatles covers proves that talent and common sense don’t always go together. Among the better known singers—ahem—showcased here are Joe Pesci, Mae West, Tennessee Ernie Ford, George Burns, Telly Savalas, William Shatner and Xaviera Hollander. Pesci’s lounge-lizard-on-amphetamines rendition of “Got to Get You into My Life” will leave you eternally grateful for his acting success, while Hollander’s version of “Michelle” demonstrates that some things simply can’t be faked. And then there are the real vocalists—like Bing Crosby and Theo Bikel—who wandered off course. Irwin Chusid’s scathingly witty liner notes help explain how this score of notables landed on such a shabby road. (Rhino)

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