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Various Artists - 2002 Tribute To Boston



VARIOUS ARTISTS - TRIBUTE TO BOSTON (2002, ESCAPE MUSIC, ESM 081)
Featuring:
Steve Morris - guitars
Tim Hewitt - bass
Frank Baker - drums
Don Airey - keyboards

Vocalists - Steve Overland, Timmy Lewis, Terry Brock, Chris Ousey, Peter Sundell, Per Svensson; Sean Harris, Tony O'Hora
Lead Guitar Spots - Tommy Denander, Vinny Burns, Ronnie LeTekro


Background
Well it's timely isn't? Topical too. What with the new Boston album out around about the same time. In all honesty, if you wanna listen to how Boston used to sound like, then this excellent compilation is the way to go. Forget 'Corporate America' folks.. It ain't Boston.. period, well not the way we'd like to remember them by. Instead, let's focus on those people trying to spin us a different take on their material through the albums 'Boston', 'Don't Look Back' and 'Third Stage'. The Escape Music team have assembled a vibrant team of players, led by Heartland's Steve Morris, assisted by Canadians Frank Baker and Tim Hewitt, while journeyman keyboardist Don Airey adds his hundreds and thousands on keys. The vocal talent is a Yellow Pages compendium of melodic rock. See the list above.

The Songs
As is the case with albums like these, it all depends on what you're looking for. Either the closest representation to the original, or a unique representation that shows the music in a different light. Well, it's definitely a case of the latter rather than the former. It's probably agreed anyway that Boston will always be difficult to reproduce at the best of times, but the guys do a good job and have fun doing it too by the sounds of it. I could pick each track to pieces, but I won't. I'll just give a brief summary as to how 'my ears' interpreted it. My fave tracks are those with Steve Overland singing. Yeah, admitedly he's no Brad Delp (but who is?), but his ever cool voice with a slight blues twinge makes 'Long Time' and 'Amanda' an interesting listen. The other guy who does surprisingly well is Sean Harris. I loved 'Hitch A Ride', perhaps it was the track which came closest to the orignal on this album. 'Peace of Mind' is another highlight. The twin guitars of Morris and Vinny Burns do the Scholz/Goudreau duo thing perfectly. Tony O'Hora does a great job on 'Something About You', even though his voice is probably not a good match. Elsewhere, some of the songs don't quite hit the 'G' spot for me: 'More Than A Feeling' is weak by comparison, while 'Cant'cha Say' doesn't do a great deal either(neither did the original to be honest).

In Summary
A couple of tracks which I thought would have been 'shoe-ins' for this album aren't here: 'HollyAnn' from 'Third Stage' and 'Used To Bad News' from 'Dont' Look Back'. Those two would certainly have added more value to an already interesting venture. The Japanese CD has a version of 'A Man I'll Never Be', sung by Chris Ousey. What did the Japanese do to deserve that privilege I ask? In any case, I'm certain that Boston fans and collectors will snap this up for it's posterity value. But melodic rock fans in general will also see great appeal with it too. So, who's the next band to lampoon?

URL: www.escape-music.com

Track listing (European/North American):
01 Long Time (Vocals Steve Overland)
02 Rock 'N' Roll Band (Vocals Terry Brock. Lead Guitar and Split Lead Guitar Vinnie Burns)
03 Smokin' (Vocals Tony O'Hora)
04 Amanda (Vocals Steve Overland. Keyboards Dave Chapman)
05 More Than A Feeling (Vocals Peter Sundell. Outro Guitar Solo Ronnie Le Tekro)
06 Cool The Engines (Vocals Chris Ousey. 2nd Guitar Solo Tommy Denander)
07 Hitch A Ride (Vocals Sean Harris)
08 It's Easy (Vocals Terry Brock)
09 Somethin' About You (Vocals Tony O'Hora)
10 Peace Of Mind (Vocals Peter Sundell. Split Lead Guitar Solo Vinnie Burns)
11 Can'tcha Say (Vocals Timmy Lewis)
12 Don't Look Back (Vocals Sean Harris/Peter Sundell. Split Lead Guitar Tommy Denander, Outro Solo Tommy Denander)

Japanese CD features 'A Man I'll Never Be' with Chris Ousey on vocals as a bonus track, plus it has a different track listing.

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