The Inmates were formed in North London in 1977 and soon established themselves as one of the capital's most popular live groups. Their influences included The Animals, The Pretty Thing and The Rolling Stones. They arrived at the tail end of the pub-rock movement, but still managed to find success with their mix of originals and covers of classic R&B and Rock & Roll tunes. Of the latter, a version of the Standells' "Dirty Water," included on the band's 1979 debut First Offence, became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Capitalising on chart success throughout Europe & North America, the early eighties saw the band confirm their international status.
Bill Hurley left The Inmates in 1983 through illness and was replaced by long-time friend Barrie Masters from Eddie And The Hot Rods. In 1985 Barrie departed to reform the Hot Rods and Bill Hurley, fresh from the success of his solo album " Double Agent ", returned to his old position, centre stage.
In 1987, the leading French newspaper Liberation decided to organise a special concert in Paris as part of the Sgt Pepper 20th anniversary and set their choice on The Inmates as the band who would perform an entire concert of Beatles songs. Despite their capability to write excellent original material, The Inmates have never been afraid to experiment with cover versions and make them sound as their own songs. "Meet the Beatles" is a shining example of the band's ability to pick songs and make them into energy-fuelled R&B while still paying respect to the original. It goes without saying that they couldn't help performing The Beatles' songs sounding like The Inmates!
Like most of their albums, "Meet the Beatles" was produced by top English producer Vic Maile (Motorhead, Dr Feelgood, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Guns n' Roses, Hawkwind, Girlschool, The Dogs, Vibrators...) who played a significant part to the distinctive sound of The Inmates.
Thanks to Bill Hurley's fine vocals ("The best British singer" - Robert Plant) and Peter Staines blistering guitar work, The Inmates often excel other bands who play "traditional" Rock & Roll, simply because the band is able to give their songs and live act that extra something. The rhythm section of Ben Donelly and Eddie (also from The Vibrators) together with Tony Oliver's killer rhythm guitar provide an unmistakable "British punky R&B" drive. This is The Inmates at their peak, in their classic line-up and in their natural environment: on stage. From lesser-known songs to classic rockers, their gun-smokin' R&B tribute to The Beatles is electrifying and makes "Meet the Beatles" an absolute classic. The remastered album now includes previously unreleased tracks from the same concert, such as a soulful rendition of "Hey Jude" and an amazing encore of Inmates classics, featuring their hit single "Dirty Water".