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Various Artists (Tributes) - Working Man (A tribute to Rush) CD (album) cover

WORKING MAN (A TRIBUTE TO RUSH)

Various Artists (Tributes)

 

Various Genres

3.16 | 29 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Tribute albums ? Who needs them right. Well i've owned this baby for many years and even to this day I like to give it the odd spin. I'll be the first to say that tribute albums are a waste of time and money. Why listen to covers when you can hear the real thing right ? Well there's something different about this particular album of cover songs. First of all it's a tribute to my favourite band so I love all these tracks. Second these songs are performed by the Metal community most of who are huge fans of RUSH, so we're getting some hero worship here. It was mixed by Terry Brown, and Mike Portnoy was the creative consultant, which if you know anything about Portnoy means everything was done as close to perfection as possible.This album "sounds" really good and the bass and drumming in particular are deep and in your face.These guys play their hearts out, and there are some spine tingling moments on this recording. Jeremy from "All Music Guide" says that this record is "Arguably the best tribute album ever made". We get 13 songs over almost 73 minutes. Remember this was released in 1996 and they decided to focus on RUSH's earlier albums right up to "Signals". Oh they also do "Mission" from "Hold Your Fire" which is my least favourite. Apparently these guys aren't into RUSH's "synth" years either. So many highlights here but i'll touch on each track briefly.

"Working Man" with Toronto's own Sebastian Bach on vocals is mean and heavy. Check out Portnoy and Billy Sheehan's groundshaking work. Jack E. Lee lights it up on the guitar. It blends into "By-Tor And The Snow Dog" where we get the same lineup except James LaBrie takes over the vocal duties.The first half of this song kills instrumentally. "Analog Kid" is so freaking impressive with the two SYMPHONY X guys on lead guitar and keyboards.This is without a doubt one of my favourite covers. GREAT WHITE's Jack Russell is so good here. Ripping guitar from Pinnella before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. Amazing ! "The Trees" features the late Mike Baker on vocals and his band-mate from SHADOW GALLERY Gary Wehrkamp on keys. Love the rhythm section of Portnoy and Sheehan before 3 minutes. "La Villa Strangiato" is a ride with Steve Morse on classical guitar and the main solo. James Murphy does the closing solo. Some incredible moments on this one.

"Anthem" absolutely hits us in the face right away with Geddy-like vocals from Mark Slaughter (he puts on a show) and ripping guitar from the great George Lynch. Stuart Hamm provides the bass. "Jacob's Ladder" has some killer drum work early from Portnoy while bandmate Pertucci takes the lead after 2 minutes on guitar. Sheehan is again huge on bass. Nice job by Bach on vocals. "Closer To The Heart" is done by the whole FATES WARNING band. Nice. Matheos, Zonder, Vera and Adler do it justice. "Natural Science" is where Devin Townsend gets his turn on vocals and he doen't disappoint. What a theatrical performance ! He screams, growls and sings. One of my favourites on here. "YYZ" has James Murphy on lead guitar and Stuart Hamm on bass putting on a show. Powerful cover. "Red Barchetta" has the CYNIC rhythm section of Malone and Reinert. Nice. LaBrie on vocals and Steve Morse on lead guitar all shine. "Freewill" is different with LEMUR VOICE's singer Gregoor Van der Loo doing the vocals. He puts on an impessive performance, especially 4 1/2 minutes in.

I still prefer the originals on all these tracks but this is just such a blast to hear all these amazing players give it their all for the greatest band ever.The energy, passion and lights out performances are all so uplifting. This simply reminds me why I love RUSH so much.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |

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