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VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES)

Various Genres • Various


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Various Artists (Tributes) biography
This section contains albums which pay tribute to bands, artists or albums listed on the site. The artists who recorded the tracks on these albums may or may not be listed on the site themselves.

Note - Only tributes to bands and albums listed on this site should be included. Tributes to bands classified as proto-prog and prog related bands should not normally be added. If the title of the album does not include the name of the band or album, this should be added in brackets to the title, for example "A tribute to a great band" would be shown as "A tribute to a great band (URIAH HEEP)".

Bob McBeath, October 2006

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VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) discography


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VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.56 | 20 ratings
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performs the best known works of Rick Wakeman
1978
4.00 | 8 ratings
The Alan Parsons Project Played By Andrew Powell
1983
2.83 | 6 ratings
Beyond The Wildwood - A Tribute To Syd Barrett
1987
4.08 | 4 ratings
Royal Philharmonic orchestra and Great Empire plays Monuments: 12 Hits Of Queen
1991
3.89 | 17 ratings
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra Plays Hits Of Pink Floyd
1994
2.72 | 13 ratings
Nativity In Black - A Tribute To Black Sabbath
1994
3.13 | 5 ratings
Black Night, Deep Purple Tribute According To New York
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Carlotto & Cucciolo Giŕ Dik Dik
1995
2.83 | 22 ratings
Us and Them - Symphonic Pink Floyd
1995
2.45 | 46 ratings
Suppers Ready (Genesis tribute)
1995
3.11 | 48 ratings
Tales From Yesterday: A View From The South Side Of The Sky (Yes tribute)
1995
2.32 | 22 ratings
The Moon Revisited (Pink Floyd tribute)
1995
3.05 | 12 ratings
A Saucerful Of Pink: A Tribute To Pink Floyd
1995
3.75 | 9 ratings
In From The Storm
1995
2.44 | 16 ratings
Encomium - A Tribute To Led Zeppelin
1995
3.28 | 32 ratings
To Cry You a Song: A Collection of Tull Tales (Jethro Tull tribute)
1996
3.19 | 47 ratings
Working Man (A tribute to Rush)
1996
3.52 | 27 ratings
Zarathustra's Revenge
1997
3.50 | 4 ratings
Giant Tracks: A Tribute to Gentle Giant
1997
3.03 | 12 ratings
Schizoid Dimension - A Tribute to King Crimson
1997
3.63 | 41 ratings
Encores, Legends & Paradox - A Tribute To The Music Of ELP
1999
3.00 | 4 ratings
Thousand Days of Yesterday: A Tribute to Captain Beyond
1999
2.41 | 8 ratings
Nativity in Black II
2000
3.09 | 9 ratings
Tuonen Tytär - A Tribute To Finnish Progressive
2000
3.00 | 5 ratings
In Too Deep - A Tribute To Genesis
2002
3.11 | 24 ratings
Pigs and Pyramids: The Songs of Pink Floyd [Aka: A Special Tribute to Pink Floyd]
2002
3.15 | 26 ratings
Easy Star All-Stars: Dub Side Of The Moon (Pink Floyd)
2003
3.50 | 4 ratings
A Return to Fantasy - A Tribute to Uriah Heep
2003
3.67 | 6 ratings
The Hits Of Pink Floyd: Darker Side Of The Moon
2004
3.80 | 5 ratings
Giant For An Hour: music inspired by and in tribute to Gentle Giant
2005
2.05 | 4 ratings
A Tribute to Pink Floyd
2005
4.71 | 13 ratings
Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
2005
2.69 | 11 ratings
Subdivisions (RUSH)
2005
3.25 | 9 ratings
21st Century Schizoid Band (King Crimson alumni group) - Official Bootled v.1
2005
2.50 | 2 ratings
The Royal Dan: A Tribute
2006
2.33 | 3 ratings
Higher And Higher - A Tribute To The Moody Blues
2006
3.87 | 4 ratings
Viva Carlos! A Supernatural Marathon Celebration
2006
3.92 | 33 ratings
Return To The Dark Side Of The Moon
2006
3.05 | 3 ratings
Radiodread (Easy Star All - Stars)
2006
0.00 | 0 ratings
Maestros of Cool: A Tribute to Steely Dan
2006
3.00 | 2 ratings
Giant for Another Hour: More Music Inspired by and in Tribute to Gentle Giant
2006
2.58 | 8 ratings
String Quartet Tribute to Dream Theater
2007
4.14 | 63 ratings
Rewiring Genesis - A Tribute to The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway
2008
4.40 | 6 ratings
Paolo Chiarandini Plays Genesis
2008
3.86 | 5 ratings
Mahavishnu Re-Defined; A Tribute to John McLaughlin and The Mahavishnu Orchestra
2008
2.40 | 5 ratings
Abbey Road - A Tribute To The Beatles
2009
4.38 | 8 ratings
Hur! Hommage ŕ la Musique de Christian Vander
2009
3.71 | 17 ratings
Rökstenen: A Tribute to Swedish Progressive Rock of the 70's
2009
2.98 | 17 ratings
The Flaming Lips and Stardeath and White Dwarfs With Henry Rollins and Peaches Doing The Dark Side of the Moon
2009
2.25 | 5 ratings
Top Musicians Play Genesis
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Undercover
2009
4.50 | 4 ratings
Easy Star All-Stars: Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (The Beatles)
2009
3.96 | 5 ratings
Orchestre National de Jazz: Around Robert Wyatt
2009
4.00 | 3 ratings
Saraswathi-Lounge ... No One Flies Around The Sun (Pink Floyd)
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Hawkwind Triad
2010
3.00 | 2 ratings
Mahavishnu Re-Defined II - a tribute to John McLaughlin & Mahavishnu Orchestra
2010
3.58 | 3 ratings
In Search Of Hawkwind
2010
4.35 | 16 ratings
Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1
2010
3.88 | 16 ratings
Honor Thy Drummer - A Tribute To Mike Portnoy
2010
3.08 | 4 ratings
Dubber Side Of The Moon
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Roqueting Through Space
2011
4.08 | 13 ratings
A Flower Full of Stars: A Tribute to The Flower Kings
2011
3.25 | 9 ratings
A Collection of Delicate Diamonds - A Tribute to Pink Floyd
2011
4.00 | 3 ratings
Sorrows Children: The Songs of S.F. Sorrow
2012
3.14 | 5 ratings
Playing Hide and Seek with the Ghosts of Dawn (King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King)
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Spirit Of Talk Talk
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Songs of the Century - An All-Star Tribute to Supertramp
2012
3.25 | 4 ratings
Symphonic Theater of Dreams - A Symphonic Tribute to Dream Theater
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Everything You Did: The Music of Walter Becker & Donald Fagen
2013
3.71 | 7 ratings
Family Snapshot - A Tribute to Genesis solo careers Peter Gabriel
2013
4.33 | 12 ratings
More Animals At The Gates Of Reason - a tribute to pink floyd
2013
3.67 | 12 ratings
The Many Faces Of Pink Floyd: A Journey Through The Inner World Of Pink Floyd
2013
3.50 | 2 ratings
Family Snapshots. A Tribute to Genesis Solo Albums: Steve Hackett
2013
3.22 | 9 ratings
A Psych Tribute to the Doors
2014
4.00 | 1 ratings
In the Land of Geese, Ghosts and Confusion. Tribute to Genesis Solo Careers
2014
5.00 | 1 ratings
Shine on Magic Hotel - Procol Harum Tribute
2014
3.38 | 8 ratings
Echoes of Secrets - A Pink Floyd Tribute
2014
2.50 | 2 ratings
Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors
2014
3.73 | 2 ratings
Weasels Re-Ripped
2015
3.93 | 14 ratings
An All Star Tribute To Pink Floyd: The Everlasting Songs
2015
3.10 | 10 ratings
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Plays Prog Rock Classics
2015
2.67 | 6 ratings
The Many Faces Of Genesis - A Journey Through The Inner World Of Genesis
2015
3.50 | 4 ratings
Many Faces Of Emerson Lake & Palmer: A Journey Through The Inner World Of ELP
2015
0.00 | 0 ratings
Scandinavia Tributes
2015
1.00 | 1 ratings
Forro In The Dark Plays Zorn
2015
4.00 | 6 ratings
Savoldelli - Casarano - Bardoscia: The Great Jazz Gig in the Sky (Tribute to Pink Floyd)
2016
4.40 | 5 ratings
Tales from the Edge 2 - A Tribute to the Music of Yes
2017
3.75 | 4 ratings
Yesterday and Today - A 50th Anniversary Tribute to Yes
2018
2.86 | 7 ratings
A Life in Yes: The Chris Squire Tribute
2018
4.00 | 1 ratings
Histoires sans paroles - Harmonium symphonique
2020
0.00 | 0 ratings
Miniatures 2020
2021
3.89 | 9 ratings
A Tribute to Pink Floyd - Still Wish You Were Here
2021
3.29 | 7 ratings
Animals Reimagined - A Tribute to Pink Floyd
2021
2.50 | 2 ratings
A Light on the Hill (Tribute to Anthony Phillips by The Ant Band)
2022
3.00 | 1 ratings
Celebrating the Dragon - A Tribute to John Wetton
2022
4.00 | 1 ratings
Hispasonicós: Tributo a Vangelis
2022
4.00 | 3 ratings
Hispasónicos: Berlin School
2022
3.50 | 4 ratings
Tubular Bells - 50th Anniversary Celebration
2022
5.00 | 1 ratings
Meddle Reimagined - A Tribute to Pink Floyd
2023
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Tubular All Stars - Rare and Reworked - The Music of Mike Oldfield
2023

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 9 ratings
1979 - Il Concerto - Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos
1979
3.09 | 4 ratings
Zappa's Universe
1993
2.52 | 38 ratings
Symphonic Music of Yes
1993
4.00 | 2 ratings
Soupsongs Live (Robert Wyatt tribute)
2000
1.00 | 3 ratings
Omaggio a Demetrio Stratos
2001
5.00 | 2 ratings
This Was: the first album of Jethro Tull performed by the original member Mick Abrahams
2001
2.00 | 2 ratings
Live In Tour: Teatro Romano Di Verona (performed by Big One, official Italian Pink Floyd tribute band)
2006
4.92 | 7 ratings
21st Century Schizoid Band (King Crimson alumni group) - Pictures Of A City: Live In New York
2006
3.90 | 10 ratings
Celebrating Jon Lord: The Rock Legend
2014
4.33 | 6 ratings
Celebrating Jon Lord: The Composer
2014
4.00 | 3 ratings
Fido Wird 10 Und Feiert - Live At Gare Du Nord & More
2014
4.04 | 8 ratings
Marillion's Script Revisited (by Mick Pointer Band)
2014
3.83 | 6 ratings
The Official Keith Emerson Tribute Concert: Fanfare for the Uncommon Man
2021
3.95 | 2 ratings
Vesa Aaltonen Prog Band: Studio Live
2022

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.03 | 4 ratings
Rock Aid Armenia: The Earthquake Video
1990
4.02 | 8 ratings
21st Century Schizoid Band (King Crimson alumni group) - Live In Japan (DVD)
2002
2.22 | 4 ratings
A Classic Rock Tribute To Genesis
2003
4.00 | 4 ratings
Un Biglietto Per L'inferno-Concerto Tributo
2005
3.52 | 4 ratings
Moogfest 2006 live
2007
2.90 | 2 ratings
FIDOplaysZAPPA Live On The Dental Floss
2009
4.00 | 6 ratings
Script Revisualised - Mick Pointer Band
2016
3.90 | 2 ratings
Rock Theatre Plays Genesis 1970-77
2019

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.08 | 7 ratings
Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix
1993
4.26 | 18 ratings
Mannerisms - A Celebration Of The Music Of Geoff Mann
1994
2.50 | 2 ratings
A propos d'ange
1994
3.00 | 2 ratings
Eyewitness: A Tribute to VdGG
1995
4.00 | 3 ratings
Unsettled Scores (Tribute to Cuneiform bands)
1995
3.91 | 2 ratings
Eyesore: A Stab At The Residents
1996
3.90 | 16 ratings
The River of Constant Change; A Tribute to Genesis
1996
2.33 | 6 ratings
Harbour of Joy: A Tribute to Camel
1996
3.25 | 4 ratings
Giant for a Life: A Tribute to Gentle Giant
1997
4.00 | 5 ratings
Fanfare for the Pirates - A Tribute to ELP
1998
2.90 | 15 ratings
The Fox Lies Down; A Tribute to Genesis
1998
5.00 | 3 ratings
A Homage To Neu!
1998
2.11 | 8 ratings
Voices- A Tribute To Dream Theater
1999
3.88 | 7 ratings
To Canterbury And Beyond: A Tribute to the Canterbury Scene
1999
3.33 | 6 ratings
Signs of Life: A Tribute to Pink Floyd
2000
4.00 | 3 ratings
Celebrating The Music Of Weather Report
2000
2.71 | 11 ratings
Wonderous - A Tribute to Yes [Aka: The Revealing Songs of Yes]
2001
2.17 | 3 ratings
Justin Hayward & Friends Sing The Moody Blues Classical Hits
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Moody Bluegrass: A Nashville Tribute To The Moody Blues
2004
3.92 | 7 ratings
The Letters: An Unconventional Italian Guide To King Crimson
2004
3.62 | 26 ratings
Back Against The Wall (A Tribute To Pink Floyd)
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Black Sabbath A Tribute (performed by Ozzy Osbourne)
2005
2.98 | 9 ratings
Progressive Rock Covers
2006
3.95 | 3 ratings
Theme Of Appreciation - A Worldwide Tribute To Eddie Jobson
2006
3.12 | 6 ratings
Hamtaď! Hommage ŕ la musique de Christian Vander
2007
3.54 | 10 ratings
Tuonen Tytär II
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Assemblage de pičces comeladiennes du plus bel effet
2009
3.00 | 1 ratings
Guitars Dancing in the Light (A Tribute to Santana)
2010
3.60 | 5 ratings
Recital for a Season's End: A Tribute to Marillion
2010
3.96 | 11 ratings
Tales From The Edge - A Tribute To The Music Of Yes
2012
4.00 | 2 ratings
Side Effects
2015
3.00 | 1 ratings
Mappa Zappa
2018

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.05 | 7 ratings
The Symphonic Music of Yes (sampler)
1993
3.00 | 1 ratings
A Visit to Newport Hospital
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Shrunken Head Music
2013
4.00 | 1 ratings
A Momentary Lapse of Vinyl (Pink Floyd Tribute)
2014
4.00 | 2 ratings
Mappa Zappa EP
2019

VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Vesa Aaltonen Prog Band: Studio Live by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Live, 2022
3.95 | 2 ratings

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Vesa Aaltonen Prog Band: Studio Live
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Vesa Aaltonen is undoubtedly Finland's most legendary prog drummer. His memoirs were released in 2019 when he had already founded the project Vesa Aaltonen Prog Band to play live the music of the prog acts he was involved in. This "studio live" album contains new recordings of compositions originating from the albums of Tasavallan Presidentti, Pekka Pohjola, Made In Sweden and two more.

The versions are pretty faithful to the originals (I believe you can better tell them by the clean production rather than the musical interpretation itself, but I admit I didn't make concentrated listening comparisons), so the most notable differences concern the vocals. This 12-track album is roughly half sung, half instrumental. The prog maestro Jukka Gustavson -- who also plays the organ on the first piece -- sings on the vocal tracks of Tasavallan Presidentti (originally sung by either Frank Robson or Eero Raittinen). Seemingly Gustavson's vocal credits are mistakenly marked also to the instrumental fusion piece 'Vapour Trails' (from Pekka Pohjola's Visitation, 1979). Ella Tepponen sings on two tracks originating from the album Where Do We Begin (1976) by Made In Sweden, where the vocalist was Tommy Körberg. For me the addition of female vocals is the most welcome fresh detail.

The compositions of Tasavallan Presidentti get the lion's share on the set list. My favourites from them would have been quite different, but generally this album functions very well as a coherent collection of the 70's prog/fusion of the artists in question. For the older generation who experienced that original prog era (or who have found it retrospectively decades ago like me), this project is surely filled with nostalgia, but this music itself is timeless, and this album may open new paths for the young prog-friendly generation to explore further. I'm hesitatingh between 3 and 4 stars; let's say it's 3˝ rounded upwards.

P.S. Of the "two more" artists mentioned earlier: The Group was a mid/late-70's fusion group of seasoned prog/jazz musicians. 'Gado-Gado' from their sole album sounds very good and dynamic here. The final piece is 'Peaches En Regalia' originally from the Frank Zappa album Hot Rats (1969). No, Vesa Aaltonen didn't play on Zappa's albums; I suppose this choice refers to Pori Jazz 1982 where Aaltonen momentarily played with Zappa. [This is my educated guess regarding the CD label, sadly it's not easy to affirmate it by googling.]

 Mappa Zappa EP by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2019
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Mappa Zappa EP
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Mappa Zappa EP was the follow-up to the LP of the same name (2018). Curated by IdiotBastard.com for release by Cordelia Records, both compilations cover Zappa material that has something nominally to do with geography. You can see a bit more context on the above orgs. respective websites, or check out my review of the aforementioned LP for further details. This EP certainly proves concentrated is [often] best.

This Mappa Zappa begins with an apparently extended version of the already-covered "Been to Kansas City in A Minor" as [already] performed by Fred Handl (this recording is nearly 3 minutes longer than their same submission to the LP). Now, if that 7-minute version was way too Blues for way too long to be all that enjoyable to me, how else am I to greet a nearly-10-minute version?... I believe this angry monologue is the same as from the first release. Low and slow, it starts with an acoustic piano solo. Still the saving graces to this track are the later solos, first via mallets, then a crunchy and apparently greatly improved guitar solo. I just don't recall enjoying the latter, at least, as much that first listen. Either way, the song itself is still quite meh to yours truly. Up next is the Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra's more hurried, modernist take on the Over-Nite Sensation (1973) classic: "Montana Revisited". I'm really enjoying it! Perhaps comparable to some of the renditions by Dweezil's earlier Zappa Plays Zappa group. Their outright embrace of synths in particular, I will add, is extra fresh here. They use an interesting tone approaching the middle that sounded like early-70s Todd Rundgren. Lovely. This is followed by a not-so-extended guitar solo, played most 'Frankly'. I feel this version is an absolutely wonderful addition to Zappa's legacy; and it's not like they did anything way out there, either.

Up next is a very unique version of "Aybe Sea", from the wonderful Caballero Reynaldo. This is such a happy departure for me from the already-fun and -quirky Burnt Weeny Sandwich original (1970). The melody is entirely sung, group-style! Just some fun. And finally, starting off most reminiscent to me of Zoot Allures at large, "Bognor Regis" is most jammy, performed here by the only group not present on the previous LP (though I recognize them from other Cordelia releases), Jerry Outlaw and Friends. I think they kept with the general Zappa plot: plenty of interest herein, from delicious little trills on what I assume synth to the horn arrangement throughout. And then we get this absolutely searing guitar solo, made duet with an equally fiery sax. Fantastic stuff, and a helluva closer! These are true Zappaheads, as this was released later this same year for the first time in the Zappa catalog on The Hot Rats Sessions (2019).

True Rate: 3.75/5.00

 Mappa Zappa by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2018
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Mappa Zappa
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Time for another Zappa tribute(!!!) released by Cordelia Records, and, from what I've surmised, so thankfully compiled and curated by the good people at IdiotBastard.com. This LP and their subsequent Mappa Zappa EP were apparent companion pieces to Amaretto Mick Zeuner's The Zappa Tour Atlas, an apparently remarkable and, to quote them directly, "most comprehensive listing [ever] of every concert date and venue". Semi-Zappa-Band-frontman and multi-instrumentalist Bobby Martin provides the Atlas's foreword. For me, this is the third Idiot Bastard release I've heard, following a smattering from 2004's Lemme Take You To The Beach (I didn't realize R. Stevie Moore covered "Cruising For Burgers" and that's just amazing) and their 2015 full-album cover Weasels Re-Ripped. Numerous bands and artists from those return for this geography-based compilation.

We're purportedly taken to Romania with our opener, "Transylvania Boogie" as performed by The Todd Grubbs Group (originally on Chunga's Revenge, 1970). And this is a markedly heavy rendition! This is a song that Frank would play frequently live until his last tour, and of course, if you know as I do, those '80s bands would go hard at times on this'n. What's brought to the table more prominently here is a more directly Metal approach to lead guitar. It's married with some fantastic, fresh drums and what sounds like a Hammond organ. To follow, originally on YCDTOSA 5 (1992) and later on Buffalo (2007), "Dead Girls of London" is covered by Gabba Zappa Hey!, with a distinctly Punk sound (I frankly don't remember this one by title). To say the least, I can do without. Unsurprisingly, I'm truly haunted and disturbed by the next [thank god], a clattering avant-garde rendition of the already-eerie "Wolf Harbor" by Evil Dick. The song was originally released on the not-much-earlier Dance Me This (2015). And no one can do this better, in my experience. Evil Dick rules. Fantastic.

Another well-known for its original live performance, "The Purple Lagoon" (orig. Zappa In New York, 1978) as covered by Hans Annellsson follows. Great, natural juxtaposition from "Wolf Harbor" in its avant nature, though switching then to a Synclavier-Zappa-inspired electronica (is this Midi?). If their name didn't inform and prepare you, Tante Tofu ('Aunt Tofu' auf Deutsch) have a very German delivery, offering an equally reverent Doo-Wop version of the certainly-more-famous title track "Tinsel Town Rebellion" (orig. 1981). Happily changing hands to not only an apparently live-recorded group, but also a sizeable group, at that, Bogus Pomp covers another live favorite, "Let's Move to Cleveland" (performed as early as '76, see FZ:OZ; orig. available via its solos on Guitar, 1988). Just a very nice, straight-ahead cover of a great song. Another I'm not quite familiar with (randomly Country-Western Zappa isn't exactly the side I'm most well-versed), "Poofter's Froth Wyoming Plans Ahead" as performed by Muffin Men next--and naturally featuring Mother Jimmy Carl Black(!)--was originally on Bongo Fury (1975), played live with Captain Beefheart, and the vocals here are well-befitted.

Another on the obscure side, though one I'd defend as Zappa Essential to the grave, next is "Phyniox" as performed most acoustically by String Trash. This is another more recent addition to the overall, readily available Zappa catalog, then-just-released in 2014, opening Joe's Camouflage. Frankly, what they do with the track is shockingly boring [Obviously check out the original]. Onto a definite essential, Action Zappa covers "Village of the Sun". All's fairly well-performed, yet these vocals are just... not ideal. Kinda yuck?... Sorry. Though significantly too soft for my tastes, they did manage to get a guitar tone quite resembling of Frank. Regardless, I'm a bit disappointed. A rare acoustic guitar strums along, met with folksy viol on Spannertate's "Cucamonga" (another from Bongo Fury). I like these vocals (even when they get a little... dissident haha)! Anything over that "Village" cover... Still in questionable territory if you're looking for my recommendation (although best of the mid-album 'meh's).

And a thankful turn to the dark and the electro, Fuchsprellen performs "Outrage at Valdez", a return to eerie tune, this time from his overtly Classical catalog (orig. The Yellow Shark, 1993). Highly minimal. Back into the rarer tracks, Fred Handl covers the seemingly-only-available-via-Imaginary-Diseases (2006) "Been to Kansas City in A Minor", starting off with a very aggressive monologue. We cool on down as the instruments come on in, chill and groovin'. This is the Blues, maybe you've heard. It's this purely American phenomenon that's really sweeping the nation /s. The one saving grace to me is the midsection mallets solo. This is followed by the crunchiest guitar solo you might ever done hear. Not bad, but one that's a little too boring-old-Blues for my taste.

Coming to the close, "D.C. Boogie", another title I'm actually unfamiliar with first glance, is performed most excellently by Guranfoe; a sorta soft, post-progressive thing, perhaps? Another rarity of rarities, this instrumental is also only available on Imaginary Diseases. I do recall that being one of the strongest posthumous Zappa releases I've heard (and I've heard most, to gloat, obviously). Coolest thang on the release since... track 6, "Let's Move to Cleveland". Yee... haw... One I'm frankly shocked to hear acoustic, made more folksy-old-timey plus a lil Latin influence, is "San Ber'dino" as performed by Caballero Reynaldo (orig. One Size Fits All, 1975). To me, this is quite fun. And its production is distinctly better than much on the album. Finally we have "What's New in Baltimore?", one of the most satisfying Zappa compositions out there to me, covered by Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra. And they are being so true to the Frank Zappa Meets The Mothers Of Prevention original (1985). Delicious stuff. They embrace more synthesized sounds here. And likewise of great interest is the special feature of a much older Ike Willis(!). True indeed. Stick around for the surprise, and surprisingly fitting Yes lift from the ending of their song "The Fish" off Fragile! Color me happy.

And that's it! I would warrant this album overall is decent, certainly worth hearing by fans of Frank Zappa, with or without his Mothers. When you have various artists coming together, you're going to have some highlights, and you're going to have some skips.

 Hispasónicos: Berlin School by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2022
4.00 | 3 ratings

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Hispasónicos: Berlin School
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars Berlin School is that kosmische cousin of Krautrock that jettisoned the rock aspects of the scene and was the precursor of ambient electronic music unlike the rhythm focused Düsseldorf School scene that spawned Can, Cluster, Kratwerk and Neu! and would become the precursor to synthpop and techno. The style has remained popular throughout the decades with Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching serving as veritable gods in the genre.

It was sad to lose one of the pioneering legends, Mr Klaus Schulze in 2022 but while he may have joined the great Cosmic Jokers in the sky, it's quite a honor to find a release like this one emerging in the same year as a tribute to his legacy and the music he helped bring to fruition. HISPASÓNICOS: BERLIN SCHOOL was released in September 2022 a mere few months after Schulze's passing to the great kosmische party in the afterlife. This compilation provides the perfect celebratory mood lift that honors his musical contributions although i don't think this was actually intended for that purpose.

This massive album that features 15 tracks, each done by a different artist was the result of a Berlin School music contest that was held at the website hispasonic.com and is available on Bandcamp to be downloaded digitally and the best part about it is that it is totally free if you are too stingy to make a contribution. This collection of retro enthusiasm exceeds the 125 minute mark takes more than a few cues from the legends of the past and adds various modern interpretations of the classic Berlin School scene without losing all the magic that keeps it in its own little nook of the electronic music world.

Each track features the classic ambient elements combined with the squiggly sequenced runs of notes accompanied heavy use of mellotron and familiar tones and timbres based in spacey tripped out repetitive clusters of sound. An all instrumental album except for what sounds like synth-created angelic choir sounds projecting wordless vocalizations, HISPASÓNICOS: BERLIN SCHOOL unleashes the youthful creativity of the modern age while paying tribute to the past masters. The result is a surprisingly excellent album's worth of original Berlin School music interpreted by electronic musics from Spain.

Going into this i wasn't exactly thrilled to check out over two hours of Berlin School music but once i pushed play i actually sat through the entire thing in one go finding myself enthralled by the modern takes on a retro sound. The music on here is very much steeped in all the Berlin School elements that keep the genre well defined but liberally uses the building blocks to construct hitherto unheard musical edifices. The album's range shifts from the spaced out abstract trippiness of tracks like "Angular Momentum" and "Dark Matter" to more melodic numbers such as "Jane Apocalypse" which are more in the vein of Jean Michel-Jarre.

Overall i am blown away by the music on this one as there is not a single bad track on board and it was all done by students who were simply competing in an online contest. It is clear that the Berlin School branch of electronic music is in no way in danger of going extinct now that Klaus Schulze and Manuel Gottsching have left this Earthly plane and the fact that Tangerine Dream's days are numbered as well. The thing most striking about this one is the perfect balancing act of keeping it all traditional while adding new elements and ways of putting it all together. No matter what the intention of this one was, it turns out to be the ultimate tribute to the entire Berlin School scene just as Klaus Schulze checked out. Well worth checking out and as a free download you will definitely get your money's worth!

 Weasels Re-Ripped by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.73 | 2 ratings

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Weasels Re-Ripped
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I can no longer recall how this album came to my attention, but I'm glad it did. This is a full-album multiple-artist cover of the great (truly) Avant-Rock album Weasels Ripped My Flesh. That album, released in 1970, following its sister-album Burnt Weeny Sandwich (also 1970), was the final recorded statement by the original lineup of The Mothers of Invention. In addition to Avant-garde stylings mixed with Rock (for a classic and popular example, see "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama"), Weasels was a statement of early Jazz-Rock Fusion and even Free Jazz (see the hilariously named "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue").

Our first two tracks are performed by Spanner Jazz Punks, the opener, "Didja Get Any Onya?" having an immediately very interesting approach to the song. Unique is their utilization of the violin here, as a solo instrument. There are quirky group vocals, very jazzy elements (nearing minute 3, it swings hard, for instance). It is refreshing hearing this track I've heard many times before done in a unique and more modern way. To quote the original Mothers: "MOO-AHHH!" Interestingly enough, it was the spacy reed(?) solo in the latter half and other elements that reminded me here of Gong. And just as I said, Spanner Jazz Punks continue on, violin of course at the ready, with "Directly from My Heart To You". I can't say I'm anywhere remotely a fan of the Blues as Frank was, but with Sugarcane Harris' vocals and especially his Blues violin solo (Who's heard of such a thing?!), "Directly" is one of my favorite Zappa tracks, end of the day. The vocals in this cover are distant and weird, and... my mind is going there once again with Spanner (apparently the vocalist here)... he sounds like Daevid Allen (again, of Gong)! Like... you can't make this up, right? Then again, who knows? Perhaps another notable influence for them. There isn't a wild solo on this one and the overall accompaniment is just par-worthy to me, but there's some interesting ideas and effects that were used here.

Up next is "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Sexually Aroused Gas Mask" as performed by Inventionis Mater. Very minimal, this song starts off with arpeggiated acoustic guitar and a soft, distant clarinet. It's really quite beautiful, though minimal throughout. At most, it picks up and then comes right back down. Two vocalists then perform the ridiculousness to follow. Ya know, all the crazy sh*t Roy Estrada did originally. The homage deepens, as they thank the guest vocalists "for the voices inside the piano". We couldn't have a more rightly stark juxtaposition than in Gumbo Variation's rendition of another favorite of mine, the unspoken Conceptual Continuity of "Toads of the Short Forest". This is quite the cacophony! The lead guitar work is quite nice, performed against the loud, wall-to-wall booming from the rest. This ensemble blast dies down around minute 3. We seem to be back into spacy territory on this one, too. Really lovely track, but I was bummed it didn't feature the seemingly Proto-Metal insanity of the original's second half, a favorite Zappa moment, for sure.

First off, until I heard the next, "Get a Little" as performed by Jerry Outlaw and Friends (feat. Todd Grubbs, I had no idea what in the hell Motorhead was saying in the beginning. Oh me, oh my... As for the song, this could almost be a Zoot Allures-era rendition. It's booming and metallic (certainly modernized, in the very least). And then... Evil Dick does "The [aforementioned] Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue" and... this sh*t is weird!!!!! Very electronic, and done so in a way I feel Frank would have really been honored. Some of the underlying rhythms (like in minute 1) are almost trance-like. The keyboards play in stride with the mallets (whatever they are specifically). Then we have some... really wildly effected vocals and some... spacy farts? haha. I'm very entertained. What the original Mothers accomplished here was a certain feeling of unsettled, but here, this at times can be downright frightening. Well done.

An even less expected comparison was made in my mind when Fuchsprellen's version of "Dwarf Nebula Processional March & Dwarf Nebula" came on: Gentle Giant?! Around minute 1 it reveals to be more Zappa- brand maximalism than theirs, but the feeling is definitely present (which I love). Wait! Is that an actual sample of Frank's voice I just heard? They really brought a lot of special out of this composition. And there is a lot to take away from and hear out of this cover. Impressive end product, especially as your ears might latch onto the wild multi-performer soloing at one moment and then onto the underlying bluesy rhythm section the next. I really got brought back to reality on the straight playin' of "My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama", an interesting and unique rendition by Muffin Men, the first band (with two others) here I had heard of prior. Perhaps this is more inspired by the later bands' plays on the song or performances from alums such as Steve Vai. Hard to say. It's slowed and real cool. If I can say anything at all, I'm not sure I feel this version needed to exist, but, like the others, they did manage to pull interesting elements from the original.

Up next is The Zappatistas' performance of one of the greatest Zappa compositions ever, "Oh No". And right off the bat, totally unlike the original, as a solo and deeply reverberating guitar--performed by the great John Etheridge of Soft Machine Legacy(!!!)--plays on into oblivion. Piano enters in before minute 1 and the theme is continued on the guitar. I'm surprising myself by saying it, but I could go for more minimal Zappa covers like this. Like a stripped down Guitar Fusion (no wonder). Stripped down, that is, until 3 minutes, where percussion enters in and the piece lifts and quickens to a rhythm more discernibly "Oh No" than before. Man, though... I really could have gone for more of what they had there at the end. Either way... And wow!!! The vocals thereafter, on "Son of Orange County" (from Roxy and Elsewhere), are sung in a classical style over the slower ("original") "Orange County Lumber Truck"! A great song, and the version here by Zappa Early Renaissance Orchestra is lively and modern and exciting. I am soooo about this. The drums, I was excited to see, are performed by the excellent Prairie Prince (The Tubes, Journey, Todd Rundgren). Absolutely loved this one. Finally, Zappatika covers the NOISE of our title track, "Weasels Ripped My Flesh". And I honestly love what they chose to do here. Where there was very little to latch onto on the original, they add apparently found-sounds, for instance, to wonderful effect.

I am pleased to report Re-Ripped is a very well performed and fresh take on a wonderful album. I think they all did a great job in honoring the man, Frank Vincent Zappa, here. And I look forward to digging just a little bit (right now, actually) into some of the bands featured here.

True Rate: 3.75/5.00

 Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Mahavishnu Orchestra) by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2005
4.71 | 13 ratings

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Visions Of An Inner Mounting Apocalypse (Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Very glad I read up on this so I, too, could be enraged by this false advertising haha. Good God. They really were like, "Oh yeah, the excellent Allan Holdsworth, one of the greatest guitarists of all time, is on this album" and he straight up wasn't... Woof. Fortunately, here is a tribute to Mahavishnu Orchestra (and specifically to John McLaughlin) featuring, still, some of Holdsworth's (and McLaughlin's) peers. Released in 2005, the main band throughout features the impenetrable Vinnie Colaiuta on drums, and I can't think of a better person to also honor both Billy Cobham and Narada Michael Walden; a giant to fill the shoes of fellow giants. Vinnie's consistent bandmates on this effort are Jeff Richman, a notable fusion guitarist in his own right, bassist Kai Eckhardt (associated with McLaughlin, Cobham and Vital Information), and Mitchel Forman (associated with McLaughlin and numerous other Jazz greats, including a feature here, Mr. Mike Stern... and Wayne Shorter!). And from song to song there are some phenomenal features, some of the most notable and greatest guitarists of Jazz Fusion (and other Rock idioms, interestingly specifically from Jam bands), as well as Mahavishnu violinist Jerry Goodman on 4 of the 10 tracks. So exciting. Couldn't miss this one.

Our first track is the forever Fusion classic "Birds of Fire" with Steve Lukather... And from the start... this is, indeed, fire. Lukather is of course the guitarist of Toto, likely understating his outstanding ability and expertise on the instrument for those unaware. This track is, unsurprisingly, a refreshingly modern Guitar Fusion take on the original; blazing, beefy and excellent. Crazy good drum solo over the main underlying riff from Vinnie... yeesh... Followed by another low blaze from Forman on synth. Oh f*ck! Goodman's solo to start off "Can't Stand Your Funk"... What am I supposed to say?... This is a much groovier rendition (yes, slinky as hell haha), so therefore, being an excellent song anyways, super fresh! Even still, as to be expected, Goodman's second solo, if you wouldn't have known, straight up sounds like a guitar... Honestly though, Mike Stern, the guitar feature here, plays what I feel is frequently less than inspired...

A much more metal, well-rounded guitarist is up next on "Celestial Terrestrial Commuters", Dixie Dregs' Steve Morse (also of Kansas, Deep Purple and Prog supergroup Flying Colors). This is another funkier rendition compared to the original. The whole rhythm section (of course) is just... crazy haha. And also meeting my expectations, blazing soloing from Morse here. The second half is more of a blues thang, with laxed rhythm and widened organ. Super cool syncopated playing toward the end! Very nice! Super spacy on this version of "Meeting of the Spirits", this'n featuring Jimmy Herring, whom I know (yet don't quite know) from Southern-Fusion Jam giants Widespread Panic. He plays an impassioned solo here... like... wow... I must check out his solo stuff (and... whatever else!). Always great, as McLaughlin did originally on this one, when performers bring out the absolute potential of something that would be otherwise slow and merely 'feeling'. Another one where Vinnie, even in quietness, is just on fire. And then this Hammer-worthy, though super-effected solo from keyboardist Forman! Everyone is matching his energy perfectly during this section... My word...

"Jazz" is actually the first track that I was utterly unfamiliar with, released on the significantly later album Mahavishnu (1984), which originally featured our keyboardist here, Mr. Forman (worth a mention every time) alongside Cobham and the great Jonas Hellborg. This is more explictly a track to more prominently feature the main band member here, guitarist Jeff Richman. Great performances all 'round. Back into exceeding prominence with Frank Gambale on "Dawn". Super upbeat intro here, they get right down to business. And here we have Goodman's next feature (what an awesome opportunity to perform these tracks again afresh). And it's here I must say, excited to dig deeper into Gambale's material. I know very little still. He and Jerry are such a great match. And also here, another opportunity to the rhythm section to shine bright over something low, slow and sweet. Then we're in for the groove and of course more soloing on the backend (freakish soloing). How could I forget?! God, Mahavishnu was something so special.

Next we have "Lila's Dance" featuring latter-day Allman Brothers' Band and Gov't Mule's own Warren Haynes (our second predominantly Jam Band feature). Such a beautiful song, I always wish Visions of the Emerald Beyond didn't feel so unsung. Love it. I find this Goodman feature super interesting as for that album it was the equally untouchable Jean-Luc Ponty on violin originally [I believe this is one of 3 tracks with Goodman playing what were Ponty-features]. This track is... perfect for Haynes. Soulful, feeling and groovy. And yet another honor for him, I'm sure, to play alongside Vinnie and Jerry. I can't imagine it. Excellent performance, excellent soloing. One of the first tracks that feels super true to the original. "Faith" is a little less true, and yet just as great [if not significantly greater], a feature of guitarist David Fiuczynski, one of the youngest performers here, of Screaming Headless Torsos and Hasidic New Wave. I'll be rectifying my ignorance thereof as soon as possible, as this guy is incredible. I mean, this is what I think of when I think 'Guitar Fusion'. Contemporary to guys like Garsed and Helmerich. Excellent, excellent rendition. Everyone is bringing their A(+++) game. One of the many absolute must-hears here.

Coming to the close of the album, Greg Howe is ablaze on "Dance of Maya", and good Lord!!! He is matched with Goodman on his final feature of the album... Again, goodness gracious... These guys... One of the most prominent featurings of bassist Kai Eckhardt. Greg Howe is yet another of the now-renowned, younger players here. Fantastic stuff. To close things out, we have one of my favorite guitarists ever, John Abercombie on "Follow Your Heart", the second track I [thought I] didn't know before. It was originally released in 1970 off the excellent must-hear Jazz release Joe Farrell Quartet, also featuring Chick Corea, Dave Holland, and Jack DeJohnette! If you're a fan of Mahavishnu, and you somehow don't know Abercrombie, highly recommend his debut Timeless, featuring Jan Hammer(!) and DeJohnette (1975), the first Gateway album (1976), Crosswinds (Billy Cobham, 1974), and Lookout Farm (Dave Liebman, 1974) for some of the greatest (earlier) Fusion albums ever. Anyways, a grooving, feeling song to end things out. Overall, a phenomenal tribute. I can't recommend it enough.

A rare, but more legitimate round-up from my True Rate of 4.5/5.0. [I believe I calculated it as ~4.65.]

 Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1 by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2010
4.35 | 16 ratings

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Leader of the Starry Skies: A Tribute to Tim Smith, Songbook 1
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I'll come right out and say it, and prepare for the flak. The Cardiacs are a band I'm excited to continue to delve into, but I still have an elementary, basic understanding of who they are and what exactly they do. But here I am, delving into their music, specifically in tribute to their frontman, Tim Smith. As slowly as I've delved into this iconic group, it's not like I'm delving any slower than with most any other band or artist haha. Even more timely, 10 years after this album's release, Smith has unfortunately passed away, in 2020, at 59.

The album opens with "Savour" as performed by Smith's Cardiacs bandmate William D. Drake, a sort of psychedelic, even Baroque number. This is certainly grand. Next is Ultrasound's performance of Big Ship" , a big sound, fit for a Britpop band, actually. Super quirk, with horns and interesting synths. And this track in and of itself makes sense of specifically Andy Partridge's later feature [You'll see, too, though, that Partridge's feature makes less sense than what I'm making it out to be here...]. Then we have Psychedelic band Oceansize's take on "Fear", which is such a great song. Grandiose and memorable.

"Let Alone My Plastic Doll", here performed by another fellow Cardiac, Mark Cawthra, is another big song. Next is the rhythmically alluring "Day Is Gone" as performed by The Trudy, a female-fronted Post-Punk group founded(?) by The Cardiacs' drummer Peter Tagg. This is starkly juxtaposed by the soft, balladic "Founding" performed by Stars in Battledress. My mind honestly immediately goes to early GG, like something penned by the great Kerry Minnear. Another stark juxtaposing is the wild, if not unhinged (if not Zappa-esque, though innately Bri'ish) "WIll Bleed Amen" as performed by Max Tundra and Sarah Measures (the latter apparently of The Monsoon Bassoon). So fun. Definitely going to be checking Tundra out.

Then we have the much more minimal (not a difficult task) and ethereal "Shaping the River", performed by Julianne Regan. Then we have the seemingly great-purposefully RIO Knifeworld (though identified generally as Crossover Prog here) performing the ever-quirky "The Stench of Honey"! Next is the at first very very minimal "A Little Man and a House", performed by The Magic Numbers, it then shifts to a very... highlands-like lilting waltz. One of my least favorites. Then Mikrokosmos covered "Is This the Life", a large, noisy number with scurrying and buzzing synths. Sort of Industrial?

Next is "March" as performed by North Sea Radio Orchestra, a modern Chamber band. Quirky, but classically poised, of course. Then is the Andy Partridge feature on Robert White's rendition of "Lilly White's Party". Am I an idiot? I can't find out who White is or what he's known for... This'n's super minimal, creeping yet optimistic. Not at all the type of song that I expected from Partridge. Very seldom do we hear this sort of quietness from him... Interesting. The creep really is the draw to the song. Relatively static and yet offering much in texture.

Then it's "Wind and Rains is Cold", performed by Rose Kemp Vs Rarg... Interesting... No clue... This song is industrial as well. Very electronic-forward. Almost reminds me of PC Music or the harshest of Hyperpop (like Sophie).... What the hell... Is someone in my house?! haha. Anyways, Sophie is better. Listen to her haha. More minimal Gothic Rock representation [I just realized I didn't mention the other artist that fits this bill, though I don't feel like going back and figuring that out... Sorry?] is in the form of Katherine Blake's "Up in Annie's Room"... Not sure what to say on it.

Next we have "Stoneage Dinosaurs" [Why is that a single word?...] as performed by probably the most recognizable name of the whole lot, Steven Wilson. Super minimal as well. It was pretty anyways... And finally "Home of Fadeless Splendour" was performed by The Scaramanga Six, an Art-Alternative... Rockabilly band?! haha. Huge song! Pretty great track to end it all off, really. To sum it up, the strengths of this tribute can be found largely in the front half.

 Encomium - A Tribute To Led Zeppelin by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 1995
2.44 | 16 ratings

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Encomium - A Tribute To Led Zeppelin
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars When I saw here that there was a very-90s tribute album to the late, great Led Zeppelin, I just had to hear it and know. I almost didn't care if it was good or bad--it seems here, thus far, the consensus is mixed (there is no consensus). This is no slight of hand on Atlantic's part by compiling these cover songs by these very disparate and mostly quite famous bands/artists. I simply say, "Well, played". For those who somehow did not grow up, as I did, with the pleasure of spinning (and flipping) these original vinyl records by Zep, the circular paper label on the disc always read "ATLANTIC" over their classic green and orange. I'll get into the details henceforth, but brought together are artists from (mostly) Alternative/College Radio Rock (4 Non Blondes, Hootie & The Blowfish, Sheryl Crow, STP and Blind Melon) to other such poppy staples of the time (Duran Duran and Tori Amos, if I may separate them) to brutal, then-watershed fusion groups (Helmet, David Yow of the Jesus Lizard, and Rollins Band). Awesome in and of itself that Tori Amos's feature, the final track, is a duet with Led Zeppelin's own frontman, Robert Plant.

The 4 Non Blondes [Oops! the bassist is platinum-headed...] makes an immediate call-back to another off the same album, the intro to "Black Dog", on their cover of "Misty Mountain Hop". And honestly, I think they pretty much crushed this song. There are so many things that are expectedly over the top (vocally), and yet... we're talkin' about something Robert Plant originally did here... haha. The official music video for this version is available on YouTube and it's very worth checking out.

Next, Hootie & The Blowfish are doin' it expectedly Country on "Hey Hey What Can I Do", the B-side to "Immigrant Song" which I have never heard before. Thought I'd know it. It's... fine. Kinda not fine haha.

Next from half-Country, we have "D'yer Mak'er" as performed by Sheryl Crow, who I admittedly have a soft spot for for some of her hits back when. This is pretty straight-ahead and true to it, were it not basically an 'unplugged' version. Not sure it really offers up anything new, though that shouldn't surprise anyone.

Next, we have the less-surprisingly half-unplugged "Dancing Days" by a band I definitely do like, Stone Temple Pilots, this cover since appearing on their 2019 remastered 'Super Deluxe' Purple (originally 1994). I think they sound great, but I'm sure we're going to run into the problem of 'new' and interesting throughout this, aren't we?

From the biggest songs in their discography, Big Head Todd and the Monsters, a band I'm really ignorant of, does a soft Alt thing. But also... bluesy Southern Rock? Anyway, first taste of their stuff brought Gin Blossoms to mind... Take that as you will, but "Tangerine" seems like a logical match, really, on paper and, yes, in practice. Lotta country-adjacent stuff on this album, which I find more surprising than I should feel. Certainly Led Zeppelin's historied adjacency to folk traditions in the least should clue me in that this all makes some sense.

I would think most famous for their early-80s Synth-Pop/New Wave output and hits like "Hungry Like the Wolf", "Rio" and "Girls on Film", Duran Duran actually (and not really surprisingly) very nicely covers the beautiful "Thank You" (off my favorite Zeppelin album, Led Zeppelin II, 1969). What's not surprising is that this would have come out/been recorded just after their superhit from the early '90s, "Ordinary World", which is itself a beautiful and lush song.

Blind Melon heads off most confidently and strong on their cover of "Out on the Tiles", a sure highlight from Led Zeppelin III. It's such a great cover, honestly. Super heavy, true to the original, and yet not uncharacteristic of the post-Grunge world in which we found ourselves when this album was released. A world in which bands like Blind Melon thrived.

Cracker, to those whose name-recognition software is on the fritz as mine was, are known for their superhit "Low", but... I don't know what else. Ya know the one: "A million miles, a million miles / I'll be with you girl / Like being low / Hey, hey, hey like being stoned", etc. You know it. They cover here the delicious proto-Metal opener from Led Zeppelin's debut, "Good Times Bad Times". Instrumentally, it's good, not necessarily fresh, and unfortunately the vocals are lackluster. Another that doesn't offer much 'new'... Decent rehashing, at best.

Next is one I was quite excited for, "Custard Pie" performed by Helmet (In The Meantime is honestly one of my favorite albums, a must-hear for fans of Alt Metal) and Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow. I'm far less familiar with the latter, but he's a weirdly good match. He has an interesting, nearly atonal vocal delivery. Helmet on the other hand is just a phenomenal collective of musicians (I saw them live in 2014 for a birthday of mine and it was seriously one of the best shows I've seen). Good stuff; vocally an acquired taste.

Another favorite, for their one album alone, The End of Silence (1992), Rollins Band (fronted by Henry of the same surname, of course) are the other Alt Metal representatives. They cover the classic "Four Sticks" and I think they offer a lot on this one, not that I'm surprised. These guys can play, and if you're not familiar with their early-90s output, highly recommended. Bluesy, at times jazzy, always brutal, and always well done.

I guess to be expected, but the female-led Never The Bride is one I've never heard a lick from (until just before this). Is this what the kids call 'Adult Contemporary'? hahaha! Actually some wild classical guitar soloing on their song "Web of a Stranger" from a 2019 album. Here, they perform the lovely "Going to California", here transmuted into a piano ballad. This lady sounds like... she could easily front a Hair Metal band, so... Hmmm. Regardless, pretty good.

Finally, we have the sort of cowboy "Down by the Seaside" as performed by Robert Plant and Tori Amos. I think, once again, on paper and (mostly) in practice, they're a natural fit. The verse sections feature lead vox from Robert with a sort of oddly placed call-and-response from Tori. Unsurprisingly, piano-led. The drums are very of the time, in the best of ways. Unplugged-ready! A lot easier on the ears is Tori's lead vocals in the middle section. I'm quite a fan of her album Under the Pink from 1994. Oft minimal but occasionally complex. Regardless, that album has a lotta earworms.

Wow... this was a long review haha. Surprised to be giving it a 3, given how it started off... i.e. a strong enough ending, for sure.

 Giant for Another Hour: More Music Inspired by and in Tribute to Gentle Giant by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.00 | 2 ratings

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Giant for Another Hour: More Music Inspired by and in Tribute to Gentle Giant
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by DangHeck
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Right off, this is a helluva way to be introduced to a well-established internet community of Gentle Giant fans! This album was compiled and released by GORGG, Global On-Reflection Giant Gathering. On first glance, I'd guess they were formed in 1999. This is the second Giant For An Hour, as the title of this suggests. Not a tribute, as I usually think them (cover songs), but a tribute in diligent, reflective reference and likeness (at least most of the time). As I made note of recently, this is, I tend to agree, the greatest form of flattery: and no surprise that a group devoted to celebrating GG would do so (again, for the most part) most respectfully.

"Let Truth Reveal The Beast" no doubt has GG in the bones (maybe most like Free Hand era?), as you'd hope, but Helena Josefsson here honestly sounds like a singer-songwriter in the post-Alanis age (a compliment, for me). Certainly, of course, this is 2006; with modern sounds and production. The soft, glassy synth around 1:30 is quite nice. And so are the melodies. "As Young As I'm Old" is very well done. More the "troubadour" style of earlier GG. Ultimately, a great song. Next is the beautiful, flowing "Eternal River", an acoustic instrumental with bright guitars thanks to Glenn Liljeblad.

They 'honor the music of the boys in the band' on the quieted, personal "Come To My Land", another near-acoustic number, this time led by Tomas Stark and piano-forward. Nice guitar solo here--this is really where the Giant shines herein. "Giantique Quartet" is the first of four "Giantique" minute-ish interludes throughout the album, all performed by Dan Bornemark. This track gives way to the sort of jazzy/fusiony "Look Out John", performed by Joe Brozio [like Pat Metheny?]. Certainly well performed and tasteful; to my ears, though, only occasionally Giant-esque. Certainly, still, a highlight to me so far.

Ant Bowles' "The Blitz", the second longest track at over 7 minutes, starts off creeping and spacy. It features a synth lead melody and Eastern percussion. The guitar is a little shaky, in my opinion. The vocals aren't a whole lot better (sorry). A low-light unfortunately. Charmed by the sampling on its bookends, if anything. Apparently Ant is a homebrewer and has some very cool looking beer labels that are available for viewing on the GORGG website.

The first and only glimpse into the band Dionysus, "Randy Searches", is a very convincingly Giant-esque number. But it also has some other somethings to offer sonically. Certainly fits the bill with the mid-70s era of Eclectic Prog at large. This is starkly juxtaposed by the dark and moody "November Twisted". It rises and falls. More synths herein. The next interlude is "Giantique For A Day", striking me most immediately as innately Post-Progressive and not necessarily Giant-esque at all. It gives way to another acoustic number, "Fragile Hearts", like a darker "Classical Gas" [I mean, perhaps if it were just the guitar] or something?

Riding right along, we have the upbeat "Adventures in Syncopia", performed by Tomas Stark. In Gentle Giant fashion, the instrumentation rolls over and over, instrument on top of instrument. But as is to be expected, yet another track that, sure, fits the bill of our expectations, but in modernity. The Moog solo is great. Where it's at, though, is the soaring guitar solo for me. Especially the bits after the solo, it strikes me as video game-ready. "Giantique Giant" to follow is a pretty cool track, definitely the better of the interludes.

Liljeblad brings it back around on "House In November", a short, feeling number with acoustic guitar and twirling lead electric guitars. In stark juxtaposition is the next, "East And West", with wild, crashing percussion, once again leading to something overtly Eastern in nature. And then this bass comes in and it sounds like Jaco?! Around 2 minutes, this creepy sort of circus bit comes in and... immediately falls away and is replaced with lovely acoustic guitar. A better track than expected.

What follows is a very dark, very... modern interlude, "Sarcastic Iconoclasts", in darkness and dissonance; not exactly in a super great way, though... In stark contrast is the quieted "The Prince and the Fox". It's eventually triumphant in a docile(?) sort of way. At 9 minutes, it's unfortunately rather static. It does build fairly nicely toward minute 7. But for what? Next is "From the Bottom of My Shoes", another more modern number... I just don't feel a lot for these tracks unfortunately. I'd rather suggest Michael P. Dawson for something a little more fresh and interesting in this vein. It's not until minute 3 that something of interest happens. It's chaotic, for sure, and I guess, in some way, a bit like GG, but... for worse, that was nowhere near my first thought. Maybe go listen to Jazz From Hell instead?...

As the name implies, "Giantique Aspire" actually references "Aspirations"! That was a nice little treat, especially after the disappointing prior 3 tracks. It is followed by our closer, "A Farewell", a soft, acoustic number, with what sounds like mandolin. Also one of the few tracks with vocals on the whole album. It's... alright in this department. And that's it.

Very much worth checking out for fans of Gentle Giant, for sure, but also for fans of, as mentioned above, their contemporaries in the 'Eclectic Prog' movement. And this fortunately applies, for the most part, though there are plenty of weird additions/choices throughout. The worst offenders were either very poor representations of what GG accomplished in their time and were therefore grating or just plain bad and uninteresting (again, not a characteristic of GG at their oft-best).

 Encores, Legends & Paradox - A Tribute To The Music Of ELP by VARIOUS ARTISTS (TRIBUTES) album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.63 | 41 ratings

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Encores, Legends & Paradox - A Tribute To The Music Of ELP
Various Artists (Tributes) Various Genres

Review by JazzFusionGuy

3 stars If there was some form of progressive CD release recognition like Prog-Grammy or the "Gilded ELP Award" gala event, this tribute album would surely have easily earned "Best of . . .", "Best Tribute", "Most Artist . . .", and "People's Choice . . .", etc., etc. It is warming to this old progger heart to hear so many talented artists paying homage to one of the foundational giants of the progressive rock genre. For those who have never heard of ELP, yes they exist, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and Carl Palmer pulled off some of the most imaginative, inspiring, maddening, and daring rock ever recorded. Nothing else like it had been heard before. Perhaps snippets, maybe a phrase or a bar had been dabbled with by others earlier but ELP solidly infused art into art-rock and thankfully had the wisdom to keep it rocking. Wild keyboard solos, polyphonic Moog synth covers of classical music, mean bass runs, golden guitar, strong vocals, and drumming beyond description, giant gong and all, ELP fused it together into interesting compositions, moving ballads. Fugues, overtures, movements, and live shows full of spectacle kept ELP fans thirsting for more.

And now the review . . . selections from Tarkus, Trilogy, the ELP debut Emerson, Lake, and Palmer, and the extravagantly ambitious Brain Salad Surgery are each crafted expertly afresh by such artists as these; Peter Banks, Martin Barre , Robert Berry, Marc Bonilla, Geoff Downes, Trent and Wayne Gardner, Jerry Goodman, Matt Guillory, Glenn Hughes, Igor Khoroshev, James LaBrie, Pat Mastelotto, Erik Norlander, John Novello, Doane Perry, Simon Phillips, Mike Portnoy, Mark Robertson, Jordan Rudess, Derek Sherinian, John Wetton, and Mark Wood. "Whew!" Ah, but the diversity of talents and styles mesh nicely on each track.

Best tracks overall, earning 10 out of 10, (a hard choice), were the 10:16 "The Endless Enigma", simply a monolithically incredible piece of work, "Hoedown", "Tarkus", and "The Barbarian". All the other tracks were each at least 8 or 9's out of 10 in excellence except for "Knife Edge" where Glenn Hughes' vox strained and strayed way too far into bluesy-rock, nite- club crooning angst and left progressive rock boundaries we expected on such a tribute release. My subjective call, of course here.

So, grab this, and if you haven't sampled the real deal of ELP before now, this CD will definitely attract the attention due to the immortal music of Emerson, Lake, and Palmer. This is a must-have release for all keyboardists and fans of the 88-stepped, ivory staircase to blissdom.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition. and to easy livin for the last updates

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