The Beatles Songs Joe Pesci Covered on His 1st Album
When Joe Pesci dropped out of the acting game in the late ’90s, word was he’d be playing more golf and might get back to his first career, music. Before making his name as an actor in Martin Scorsese movies, Pesci played guitar and sang in bands around New Jersey and New York.
In fact, Pesci played in a band called Joey Dee and the Starliters that later featured a guy named Jimi Hendrix on guitar. But Pesci had already made his mark on music history when he introduced Frankie Valli to Bob Gaudio, basically launching the Four Seasons in 1959.
Now, decades after Pesci released the absurd Vincent LaGuardia Gambini Sings Just For You (1998), he has a new record coming out in time for the arrival of The Irishman on Netflix. And it includes not one but two duets with Adam Levine of Maroon 5.
Pesci’s latest features mostly jazz standards, which is a slight departure from his first record, 1968’s Little Joe Sure Can Sing! That obscure album went out with three covers of Beatles songs.
Pesci covered tracks from the ‘Revolver’ and ‘Sgt. Pepper’s’ era
Beatles fans have likely heard some out-there covers of Fab Four classics, but Pesci’s take on the fabled band is something special. For the second track on his debut record, Pesci went with “Got to Get You Into My Life,” a Revolver (1966) classic penned by Paul McCartney.
Though there’s no way Pesci could have known, McCartney wrote the song about getting into marijuana. Regardless, Little Joe belts his way through the track with a rocking arrangement behind him.
To close out the first side, Pesci again turned to a Lennon-McCartney tune, “Fool on the Hill.” That track, which was also written mostly by McCartney, appeared on the band’s soundtrack to the Magical Mystery Tour (1967).
But he wasn’t finished with the Lennon-McCartney songbook. To kick off the second side of Little Joe Can Sing! Pesci chose “Fixing a Hole,” one of McCartney’s most psychedelic recordings from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967).
Pesci’s new record finds the star embracing Latin jazz
In a track from his new album (Still Singing), you can hear Pesci tackling a jazz vocal over a Latin jazz (cha cha) arrangement. Pesci made the record with Cuban trumpeter and composer Arturo Sandoval.
Since coming on the scene in the 1970s, Sandoval has recorded with Dizzy Gillespie, Tony Bennett, and the Chairman of the Board himself, Frank Sinatra. But this time it’s Pesci’s turn.
Other standards on Still Singing include “I Remember April,” “How About You,” and “Round Midnight.” Sorry, Beatles fans, you won’t be able to hear more of Little Joe covering the Fab Four.
You can’t blame anyone for that, though. Judging what it cost the producers of Yesterday to cover Beatles tracks, it couldn’t have made financial sense. But speaking of expensive music, try to to find a copy of Little Joe Sure Can Sing! for less than $50.