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Morse/Portnoy/George - Cover to Cover Anthology (Vol. 1-3) Award winner

Cover to Cover Anthology (Vol. 1-3)
by "Metal Mark" Garcia at 09 July 2020, 4:08 AM

There are musical works that are extremely hard to understand the main reason for their existence. It’s not a matter if they’re good or not, but why in the blazes one band or project would want using monetary resources for releasing such albums, as a triple cover album. For 99% of bands, one could say it’s a total loss of time, but in the case of MORSE/PORTNOY/GEORGE (the band with Steve Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George), “Cover to Cover Anthology Vol. 1-3)” can be said as a good release, indeed.

On this three CDs, the fans will find the volumes I and II, along with a new one. And the essence is the same: versions that they play for names as U2, George Harrison, CREAM, Paul McCartney, THE WHO, CHICAGO, David Bowie, THE POLICE, STYX, THE BEE GEES, Joe Cocker, JETHRO TULL, Neil Young, KING CRIMSON, YES, Lenny Kravitz, to name a few. It’s obvious that in the hands of these three gentlemen, all the songs gained new life, and some versions are better than the originals. The best to do: to hear and decide for yourselves if these words are real or not.

Disc 1 (called “Cover To Cover”) and disc 2 (called “Cover 2 Cover”) were remastered for this release, to have a friend and fresh sonority in the same way of disc 3 (the new one, and its name is “Cov3r To Cov3r”). With such famous musicians in the project, the clean and defined sonority is something normal.

The material on these CDs shows the diversity of musical influences of these guys. From “Cover To Cover”, “I’m the Man”, “What is Life?”, “Day After Day”, “Tuesday Afternoon”, “Can’t Find My Way Home”, the medley “I’m Free/Sparks” and “Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide” are the best ones. On “Cover 2 Cover”, it’s a fun experience to hear “Lido Shuffle”, “Driven to Tears”, “Come Sail Away”, “Lemons Never Forget”, “The Letter”, and the medley for Neil Young’s “Southern Man/Needle and the Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl”, and “Starless” need to be heard and enjoyed. And these songs from disk 1 and 2 don’t need comments, for they’re already know for the fans, just are with a better sonority due the new mastering that was done.

On “Cov3r To Cov3r”, the experience of hearing their personal versions for songs as “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed” (an YES song, that here gained a heavier approach), “Hymn 43” (from JETHRO TULL, here in a modern and abrasive version), “Life on Mars” (David Bowie would be honored with such modern and defined approach on his old and lovely song), “It Don’t Come Easy” (this song belongs to Ringo Starr’s career, and bears a cleaner and technical approach), “One More Red Nightmare” (from KING CRIMSON, here in a version that could make the original band proud, with excellent technical work), and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” (a nasty Rock ‘n’ Roll song of Tom Petty with a Pop scent, here presented with a new energy) are the best ones.

As last words, it must be said that “Cover to Cover Anthology (Vol. 1-3)” is really a great release, for grant the new fans with older material, to give a new freshly insight for the older fans, and some new material for both. But MORSE/PORTNOY/GEORGE is the kind of band that could offer outstanding material of its own instead of covers.

But 36 songs to be reviewed is a spine-breaking work, you know…

Musicianship: 10
Songwriting: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Disc 1 (Cover To Cover)

1. Where the Streets Have No Name
2. I’m the Man
3. What is Life?
4. Badge
5. Maybe I’m Amazed
6. Day After Day
7. Pleasant Valley Sunday
8. Tuesday Afternoon
9. Can’t Find My Way Home
10. I’m Free / Sparks
11. Where Do the Children Play
12. Feelin’ Stronger Everyday
13. Rock ‘N’ Roll Suicide

Disc 2 (Cover 2 Cover)

1. (Whats So Funny About) Peace, Love & Understanding
2. Lido Shuffle
3. Crazy Horses
4. Driven to Tears
5. Come Sail Away
6. Rikki Don’t Lose that Number
7. Lemons Never Forget
8. The Letter
9. I Saw the Light
10. Teacher
11. Southern Man/Needle and the Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl
12. Starless

Disc 3 (Cov3r To Cov3r)

1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed
2. Hymn 43
3. Life on Mars
4. Baker Street
5. It Don’t Come Easy
6. Baby Blue
7. One More Red Nightmare
8. Black Coffee In Bed
9. Tempted
10. Runnin’ Down a Dream
11. Let Love Rule  
Neal Morse - Vocals, Keyboards, Guitars
Mike Portnoy - Drums, Vocals
Randy George - Bass, Keyboards
Record Label: InsideOut Music


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