Queensryche has long been one of my Favorite bands. With exception to some of the stuff on DVD I have most of the stuff that they have released since the band was formed in the early eighties including some of the LPs still sealed.
Their newest endeavor is a covers album entitled accordingly ‘Take Cover’. It is currently available online through their web site at Queensryche.com as well as on iTunes and most likely Amazon.
Queensryche is not known for being a cover band. They don’t normally play many live so this was definitely something new for them.
I am about halfway through listening to the album right now and I like it, but this is NOT an album for the casual heavy metal or rock listener. If you are not a ‘ryche fan then this album may or may not be to your taste.
The track list is pretty eclectic. Below is the list of tracks, original artist, as well as why they chose to include each song.
‘Welcome To The Machine’ – PINK FLOYD
“Pink Floyd is one of the biggest influences on us as a band, and we all wanted to play one of their songs. This track meant a lot to all of us growing up. It really captures that feeling of shock at lost innocence when the curtain is pulled back and you realize what the world is really like. We didn’t want to mess with the original, so we gave the song a totally different arrangement.”
‘Heaven On Their Minds’ – Jesus Christ Superstar
“Stone had been playing this to me since he joined the band and, coincidently and so had his predecessor Kelly Gray. I liked the song, but this was one of the rare cases where I thought we could improve on the original recording. Stone put together a really cool arrangement. I think people will be surprised by this song.”
‘Almost Cut My Hair’ – CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG
“I thought this would be a great song for us to do. Musically, the guitar and vocal harmonies are amazing, and lyrically, it’s right on the money. It was a lot of fun arranging this song.”
‘For What It’s Worth’ – BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
“When we’re touring, a lot of radio morning shows invite us to the studio to talk about the tour and have us play a couple of songs on acoustic guitars. This is one of the songs we like to throw in every once in a while.”
‘For The Love Of Money’ – THE O’JAYS
“This was one of the most challenging and enjoyable songs to record and another track that will probably catch people off guard. The vocal phrasing is impeccable and the whole song has such an irresistible groove.”
‘Innuendo’ – QUEEN
“Michael brought this song in and the idea about how we should approach it. I love Queen, but I didn’t know much about this song. I found out later that this was one of the last songs Freddie Mercury recorded before he died. He sang it from a wheelchair like his life depended on it. It’s such an impassioned performance. When I was in the studio recording, I pictured Freddie and tried to imagine what it must have been like for him to sing this song facing his own mortality. I could never hope to top it; I just wanted to pay tribute to his performance.”
‘Neon Knights’ – BLACK SABBATH
“Ronnie [James Dio] took us out on our first European tour and he’s always been good to us. He’s singing with Black Sabbath right now and we’re going out on the road together again. With the tour coming up, this seemed like a nice way to pay tribute to him. I hope he likes it, or I’m sure I’ll hear about it every night of the tour.”
‘Synchronicity II’ – THE POLICE
“This is another song I didn’t know much about. Not sure how I missed it, because that album was everywhere. Our version has a great dark vibe that I really like.”
‘Red Rain’ – PETER GABRIEL
“This is another song I overlooked when it came out. One of the guys played it, and I knew immediately that we had to do it. The melody of this song is flawless. It could go on and on and never get old.”
‘Odissea’ – CARLO MARRALE & CHEOPE
“I really like this song because there is a lot for a singer to sink their teeth into, plus I got a chance to sing in Italian, which was interesting considering I don’t speak a word of it.
‘Bullet The Blue Sky’ – U2 (Live)
“This is one of the rare times that we played a cover live. I don’t remember exactly when or where we played this, but I do remember that we were locked in. Everything came together just right musically, and I evidently had a lot on my mind that night because I wasn’t shy with my social commentary.”
I still haven’t completely finished listening to the album in it’s entirety but once I get home from work I will get it finished. Unfortunately the songs are not among those on iTunes that are ‘iTunes plus’ or unprotected mp3 format, so I cannot listen to them on my PDA while I am in the car. Knowing how much Queensryche have embraced technology and the Internet during their career I must say that I am surprised at this.
Thus far, having listened to about half of the stuff, I must say that Neon Knights, the Black Sabbath/Dio cover is my favorite, as well as Bullet the Blue Sky. U2 is OK and while not one of my favorites I enjoyed this cover as well.