Les Fradkin | While My Guitar Only Plays

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Pop: Beatles-pop Rock: Instrumental Rock Moods: Type: Tributes
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While My Guitar Only Plays

by Les Fradkin

14 Guitar Instrumental Beatles Hits. From the first musician to portray "George Harrison" in The Original Cast Of Beatlemania. Special Guest Nokie Edwards of The Ventures. On RRO-"The Sound Of Your Digital Lifestyle"
Genre: Pop: Beatles-pop
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Here Comes The Sun
3:04 $0.99
2. And Your Bird Can Sing
2:10 $0.99
3. If I Needed Someone
2:23 $0.99
4. I Feel Fine
2:28 $0.99
5. I Saw Her Standing There
2:53 $0.99
6. I Need You
2:42 $0.99
7. Taxman
2:48 $0.99
8. Paperback Writer
2:16 $0.99
9. I Want To Tell You
2:34 $0.99
10. Strawberry Fields Forever
3:37 $0.99
11. While My Guitar Gently Weeps
3:42 $0.99
12. Golden Slumbers
1:32 $0.99
13. Carry That Weight
1:34 $0.99
14. The End
2:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

Les Fradkin has the singular distinction of having been the first musician to portray "George Harrison" in the Original Cast Of the Broadway production of "Beatlemania." Chosen from over 2000 guitarists back in 1976, Les starred in the smash Broadway musical which ran for over 2 years and has toured all over the world.

Now, Les brings you 14 Guitar Instrumentals in a musical tribute to The Beatles. The CD offers 8 Lennon-McCartney tunes and 6 George Harrison compositions. And for Ventures fans, Nokie Edwards participates as a guest guitarist.

Les is offering something new and original here while keeping one foot in traditrional Beatles sound and production values. In particular, his stunning guitar duel, re-creating the "Abbey Road" "Golden Slumbers","Carry That Weight" and "The End" Medley is a must hear. His touching acoustic tribute to George on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" takes the Harrison standard into new territory. "I Feel Fine" recalls The Ventures treatment back in 1965.

"While My Guitar Only Plays" is now featured on "Breakfast With The Beatles" (99.5-The Mountain, Denver, CO.) and on Joe Johnson's "Beatlebrunch" Radio Show across the USA!

Les Fradkin Bio:

Les Fradkin is one of the guitar legends of the 1970's. As well as being a veteran member of The Original Cast of Beatlemania, he has found success as a recording artist, composer and producer with MGM Sunflower, ESP-Disk', Bell, Arista, RCA, and Laurie Records. Les has written the well known French hit "La Chansons Des Souvenirs" ("Song Of A Thousand Voices") for the famous Mireille Mathieu. He has played 12 and 6-string Guitar, Bass, Mellotron, and Piano on dozens of Top 40 hit records throughout the early 1970's , scoring many US and UK chart placings throughout his career.

Les Fradkin was also an original member / singer / guitarist for the pop group California on Laurie Records in the US and RCA Records in the UK for it's entire existence from 1973 through 1985. California had several chart records including the 1981 release "Summer Fun Medley"-a medley of Beach Boys hits, "Jeans On", "He's Almost You" (charting in the United Kingdom) and an appearance on the Dick Clark American Bandstand television show.

In 1976, Les was selected over thousands of other auditioning guitarists to appear in the original cast of the smash hit Broadway musical "Beatlemania" playing lead guitar and the part of "George Harrison" in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Running for two and a half years from May 1977 thru October 1979, every show (including over 1200 in New York alone) was sold out and the musicians quickly became celebrities with magazine cover stories ("Newsweek","Time", "People", "Rolling Stone") and many major television show appearances. With his guitar-playing in the international spotlight from the show, Fradkin developed a cult following that has avidly followed his career and made him a celebrity among guitar fans.

He has enjoyed chart success on the net as well with his songs reaching mp3.com's 1 position 16 times! New Gandy Dancer Rock Magazine named Les' CD "A Day At The Beach" it's 2004 Album Of The Year. In addition, Les has performed with The Ventures as 2nd Lead Guitarist. Nokie Edwards of The Ventures has performed with Les on several occasions and is a featured guest on his "While My Guitar Only Plays" CD. In fact, Les has been acknowledged as a guitar virtuoso for over 30 years and he has been featured in issues of 20th Century Guitar Magazine, Pipeline and New Gandy Dancer Magazines.

Today, Les has released 15 solo CD's on his RRO Entertainment Indie label and has had over 300,000 downloads bringing him several substantial hits on Apple iTunes and other download sites across the Internet.



to write a review


I applaud your excellent covers of classic Beatles songs!
I applaud your excellent covers of classic Beatles songs!
Great Job! Great Music!

Robert Silverstein-20th Century Guitar Mag

The best rock instrumental versions of Beatles classics ever recorded!
There is perhaps no better or more qualified guitarist around today to serve up a CDs worth of rock Beatles instrumentals than Colorado-based guitar maven Les Fradkin. After all it was Fradkin who was chosen, back in 1976 out of a pack of 2000 guitarists, to play the George Harrison lead guitarist part in the original Broadway production of Beatlemania. And with
good reason. On his 2005 Beatles tribute CD—entitled While My Guitar Only Plays—Les and his band (including Joe Rotondo on drums and Dave Stalheim on bass) offer up fourteen of the best rock instrumental versions of Beatles classics ever recorded. And that’s saying something, because over the years there’s been hundreds of artists—from The Hollyridge Strings to Chet Atkins—who’ve paid instro honors to the greatest Fab Four music of the ‘60s. Fradkin puts all the arrangements and guitar parts in the right place and he’s chosen a collection of songs earlier overlooked as possible guitar covers in the past, achieving a fine detail of inlocking melodies with guitar voicings depicting the vocal harmonies and arrangements. Among the highlights on While My Guitar Gently Plays include Fradkin-ized covers of “Here Comes The Sun”—including a guest appearance by Ventures guitarist
Nokie Edwards—instro covers of “And Your Bird Can Sing”, “Strawberry Fields Forever”, a sentimental, mellotron hued “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and a blistering instro rave-up of “I Saw Her Standing There”. Beatles fans who still relish the spirit in which these greatest ‘60s pop classics were first made, owe it to themselves to check out Les Fradkin’s While My Guitar Only Plays.


This is possibly the best cover album I have ever heard.
Les Fradkin's love and respect for The Beetles shows in every note.

Jim Riley

This CD REALLY changes my opinion on covers...
The local Breakfast With The Beatles show on The Mountain (in Denver, Colo.) has softened me up to cover songs with its special features, but as a die-hard Beatles fan I usually won't go out and buy any, but Les Fradkin's CD has changed all that. When I first heard him duplicate the lead guitar effects on 'The End' I rushed to CD Baby and got the CD and, wow, it is great. His guitar and synth (which I usually don't like, but Fradkin takes the classic mellotron route) breath new life into these songs, especially 'And Your Bird Can Sing' and 'Here Comes The Sun.' No one will ever surpass a Beatles original, but Fradkin does the best re-interpretations I've heard since Aretha Franklin's 'Let It Be.'.

John Whelan

A refreshingly breathtaking instrumental album!
Guitar virtuoso extraordinaire, Les Fradkin, performs a refreshingly breathtaking instrumental album of Beatle pop tunes on his new CD entitled "While My Guitar Only Plays." Born and raised in New York city, Les played the role of George Harrison in the original Broadway cast of Beatlemania. On this new album, almost half the tracks are Harrison compositions which is Les's own way of paying homage to the late great Beatle. The remaining album tracks has him giving the nod to the other two composers, John Lennon and Paul McCartney by including some of their great songs that have become well-known to Beatle fans.

Les's cover versions of "I Feel Fine", "I Saw Her Standing There" and "Paperback Writer" are filled with high energy performances with lots of interesting guitar improvisations. Any listener who plays these catchy instrumental tunes will easily come to appreciate and understand the reason why Les had been chosen for the part of Beatle George in the production of "Beatlemania."

Rather than a rocker, Les chose to turn "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" into a light, graceful acoustic ballad almost like a quiet inner reflection of oneself. If this was Les's intention for the listener, then he definitely succeeded.

Featured on "While My Guitar Only Plays" album is special guest Nokie Ewards of The Ventures. Between the two guitarist, they perform a very heart-warming version of "Here Comes The Sun" -- a recording that, if George were alive today, would surely put a smile on the face of the former Beatle (and sure to delight the ears of Beatle fans.)

The medley that closes the album, "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End" has Les and the band pulling out all the stops: THEY ROCK!!! Aided by drummer Joe Rotondo and bass guitarist Dave Stalheim, Les puts in some gutsy guitar licks. If I may use a phrase here from John Lennon, Les can easily "make a guitar speak" and then some, especially his lead guitar improvisations that trade off of each other on "The End" are simply brilliant.

Bill Rose

Every Cut Blows Me Away!
Have you heard Les Fradkin's new CD "While My Guitar Only Plays? Pretty damn good Beatles covers in my book. Every cut blows me away.

Eddy Smit-Rock Of Ages.com

This is a CD I can strongly recommend!
Les Fradkin has a new CD out, called While my guitar only plays. As you can guess it's not only a tribute to George Harrison, it also has all Beatles covers. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not much of a fan of this type of album, but this is one that will REALLY surprise you. In the first place because it's an all-instrumental album, which kinda takes away the urge to compare to the Beatles' original. And with Les' guitar very much taking the lead part in all the songs, you tend to concentrate on that. But there's so much more...there's bits of mellotron, percussion, guitar layers...they all contribute to the fact that this album is a unique listening experience. Each song has its own character, sometimes close to the original, sometimes taking on a life of its own. But Les always makes them his own, not in the least because of his unique guitar sounds. Just listen to that guitar solo in the Abbey Road medley !!
In short, this is a CD I can strongly recommend !!

Damian Eldridge

Unique Beatles covers!
I first heard this album on Archer's 'Breakfast With The Beatles' show and was amazed how Les Fradkin had duplicated the exact sounds of the lead guitar trade-offs in 'The End.' Then, when I got to listen to the CD, I was further impressed by Fradkin's unique interpretations. The moody, soulful 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and the extra-jangly version of 'And Your Bird Can Sing' are truly phenomenal. Plus, the first cut I heard The Mountain radio station play, 'Here Comes The Sun,' features Nokie Edwards of the Ventures. I'm not usually a fan of Beatles covers, but this album really stands out.

Vito A. Calamito Sr.

I love the beatles and I loved this CD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The CD was great and a real easy listen! He did a great job with the production and the sound overall. The song selection was great also. Nokie Edwards is one of my favorite players and it was great to hear him on the CD. Great job by a fine player.