Over the years
there have been a great many covers album released by the various record
labels with their bands paying homage to their heroes. Some have
been good, some bad. Now the trend seems to be for bands to do their
own cover albums with Jorn Lande, Poison and Shaw/Blades all doing cover
albums this year and another band to pay homage to their hero’s are
Sacramento’s own Tesla, a band that simply refuse to lay down and die.
The first thing you do when you pick up a covers album is you peruse the track listing to see if they've covered a personal favourite of yours and perhaps put this track on straight away to see what it sounds like. I for one have done this with more than one track and I can tell you all the new renditions are superb, with Jeff Keith showing the versatility of his vocals as he captures the mood of the original recordings without trying to come across as a Karaoke singer.
Things get underway with Deep Purple’s ‘Space Truckin’ and straight away the band have it nailed with Troy Luccketta hitting it note perfect as he emulates Ian Paices original drums to a tee and Frank Hannon and Dave Rude doing their best Ritchie Blackmore.
The nostalgia trip continues with The James Gangs ‘ Walk Away’, another stirring rendition as is the next one 'Guess Who’s Hand Me Down World’, before things really pick up as Keith and the boys pay tribute to a couple of the worlds best rock songs Thin Lizzy’s ‘Bad Reputation’ and Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’, both great covers.
Then the unforgivable to many, a Beatles cover 'I've Got A Feeling'. Well covering the Beatles is like covering Elvis, if you're gonna do it you better do it well and they do just that. This may not be one of the more recognisable Beatles songs but the band did it proud.
The album also boasts a couple of my all time favourite tracks and I wasn’t disappointed with the excellent Robin Trower (the first band I saw live) song ‘Day Of The Eagle’ and the Temptations ‘Ball of Confusion’, which leads the way nicely to one of my all time favourite songs UFO’s ‘Rock Bottom’. The song selection is mixed with both well known classics and some a little more obscure, which makes this album something very special. Things just get better as they ripped through ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ the Derek And The Dominoes classic with Dave Rude and Hannon mastering even Clapton’s grace, but track of the album has to be the cover of the Rolling Stones ‘Honky Tonk Woman' with Keith matching Jagger’s gravel tones.
The album closes with Traffic’s ‘Dear Mr Fantasy’ which rounds off a really great covers album and with the band doing a 'Real To Reel 2', which apparently will only be available to those showing up at their live shows, it further boasts covers from Alice Cooper, Mott The Hoople, Montrose, ZZ Top and Peter Frampton to name but a few. A few copies of which are sure to find their way onto Ebay very shortly for those not available for those shows.
1. Space Truckin'
2. Walk Away
3. Hand Me down World
4. Bad Reputation
5. Thank You
6. I've Got A Feeling
7. Day Of The Eagle
8. Ball Of Confusion
9. Rock Bottom
11. Bell Bottom Blues
12. Honky Tonk Women
13. Dear Mr. Fantasy
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