Peter Lipa & the Blues Five – A Day In The Life
from compilation “Beatová horúčka 1965-70”, 1989, Opus 90132113
original 1989 compilation LP sleeve
Last November I’ve promised you another track from the Slovak compilation Beatová horúčka 1965-70 (Beat Fever) and here it is. A well known Beatles song that originally closes their Sgt. Pepper album; yes, the one with the never ending final chord.
Now, on to the Blues Five version from 1969. It seems that obviously everyone else who has ever covered this song – including such experienced funksters like War, Brian Auger or Peter Herbolzheimer – didn’t dare to go too far beyond the original psychedelic arrangement, let alone the given chord progressions. On the other hand, Peter Lipa and his gang turned the song upside down and all around, digging so much funk out of the Blackburn, Lancashire potholes that you could not only fill the Royal Albert Hall with it, but the Gherkin as well. From the first crispy snare hit on, the song keeps on rolling, the Hammond keeps on boiling and Lipa is singing his ass off. Interestingly, according to an online interview with Lipa (in Polish!) they were actually reworking a Wes Montgomery version, while another source (a Slovak article by Fedor Frešo about Marián Varga) points out that it was only a “rip-off” of Brian Auger’s live arrangement he played on his Slovakia gig in 1968… Whose nose, as my wife would say.
Whatever it was, I won’t go much into further trivia. You can learn a lot about Lipa directly from the English section of his official web site. Just a few interesting highlights: Lipa’s long discography includes many Bratislava Jazz Days live compilations, he is also one of the festival initiators. In the 1980s he worked intensively with ex-Energit and ex-Framus Five guitarist Luboš Andršt whom we already met on this blog. And in 2002 Lipa recorded a nice blues-jazz album full of Beatles songs, albeit without A Day In The Life.
The Beatová horúčka compilation occasionally pops up on eBay and it’s still available overthere. CDs by Peter Lipa are available online and on eBay, too. A Day In The Life also appeared on the out-of-print Bonton CD compilation Bigbít 1968-1969, however that was most likely the live version from the 2nd Czechoslovak Beat Festival in December 1968 in Prague which was originally released on a Panton EP. On cojeco.cz you can listen to a short snippet of it.
Last but not least, I have the rare double LP compilation Bratislava Jazz Days 1981 for sale, with Lipa singing the Ray Charles standard Tell All The World About You.