George Martin, Various Artists (MCA)
The producer who helped the Beatles create some of pop’s most memorable music has now created the sort of CD you’d take to a desert island only if you planned to bury it and catch the next boat home. The best moment on this collection of Beatles tunes—performed by the likes of Sean Connery, Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Goldie Hawn—occurs at the end of “I Am the Walrus” with a Carrey aside: “I defiled a timeless piece of art. For my next trick, I will paint a clown face on the Mona Lisa…” The low point in Martin’s final production (now 72, he says he’s retiring) comes with Hawn’s supper-club version of “A Hard Day’s Night.” When she adlibs “I feel okey-dokey,” you can hear John Lennon thrashing in his grave.
Bottom Line: Swan song is a lame duck