Eugene Chadbourne: Eleanor Rigby


Eleanor Rigby


Eugene Chadbourne (banjo, vocals)


The Jack & Jim Show Presents: Hearing is Believing (Boxholder 053)

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Eugene Chadbourne (banjo, vocals),

Jimmy Carl Black (drums, vocals), Pat Thomas (keyboards, cheap electronics)


Composed by Lennon/McCartney


Recorded: Slovenia, May 2005; Freiburg, Germany, June 2005


Rating: 59/100 (learn more)

I listened to this version of "Eleanor Rigby" and couldn't figure out if Chadbourne & Co. were playing it in major or minor. I listened again, and still couldn't decide. I'm not sure Eugene Chadbourne ever quite made up his mind. Maybe we should check with Paul and Yoko. Then again, fidelity to the original spirit of the music is not a high priority with this band. Elsewhere on the same CD, for example, we are regaled with "The Girl from Al-Qaeda" set to the music of your least favorite cocktail lounge song. (At least, Chadbourne is generous enough to credit "Getz / Jobim" as co-composers.) I might be old-fashioned . . . but I still think you should make sure your bandmates agree on the chord changes before you record the song. Nonetheless, Chadbourne will have his fans, especially among those who prefer Joseph Spence to Wes Montgomery, and Ed Wood to Orson Welles. If you fall into that category, you better not tell Paul and Yoko. They might want to put a stop to all this fun.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia

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  • 1 Eugene Chadbourne // Aug 14, 2008 at 03:59 PM
    The banjo version of Eleanor Rigby was played in a C banjo tuning with the fourth string establishing the C root, with various chord alterations a minor feel is also established. Pat Thomas does not seem to want to learn all the chord changes, I will mention your apprehension to him. cheers, best Doc Chad