Queensryche pays homage to some of its musical idols on “Take Cover,” a covers album due Nov. 13 via Rhino, Billboard.com has learned. The Seattle group is putting its stamp on such numbers as Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine,” U2’s “Bullet the Blue Sky” and Peter Gabriel’s “Red Rain.”
“We’ll never top the originals; they’re classics for a reason,” singer Geoff Tate says. “We were more focused on finding different approaches that took the songs in unexpected directions.”
He explains that the album gave the band a chance to have some fun. “During sound checks, [guitarists Mike Stone and Michael Wilton] like to play ‘name that riff,’ and sometimes the whole band joins in. That’s really the way this album came together. We got together and started playing songs to each other, and then we picked our favorites.”
Queensryche has only released a few covers, one of them being a powerful interpretation of “Scarborough Fair” in the early 1990s. Some of the 11 selections naturally fit the band’s progressive rock influences, particularly Pink Floyd and “Innuendo” by Queen, one of Tate’s favorite bands. Others will definitely raise eyebrows. The group is giving Broadway a spin by performing “Heaven on Their Minds” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as well as the O’Jays’ R&B classic “For Love of Money,” the operatic “Odissea” by Italian duo Carlo Marrale and Cheope and an acoustic version of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth.”
Tate says he enjoyed the demanding arrangement of “Odissea.” “I really like this song because there is a lot for a singer to sink his teeth into,” he reports. “Plus I got a chance to sing in Italian, which was interesting, considering I don’t speak a word of it.”
He considered singing “Red Rain” and the Police’s “Synchronicity II” opportunities to explore music he’d previously overlooked. “I’d heard these songs on the radio before, but I didn’t really appreciate them before the guys suggested we record them,” he admits. “It was a rewarding experience doing this album because it gave us all a chance to pay tribute to some of the bands that have meant so much to us over the years, and we all discovered new songs to love.”
In July, Queensryche entered Billboard’s Top Music Video chart at No. 1 with the live double-DVD/double-CD set “Mindcrime at the Moore”; it was the first time in its 20-plus year career Queensryche debuted atop a Billboard chart. On Aug. 28, EMI is releasing the group’s second greatest-hits album, “Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensryche.”
The band is also touring with Heaven And Hell for a month of North American concerts starting Sept. 5 and is currently writing its next studio record.
Courtesy of Billboard.com
Comment: JORN, Tesla (2) Poison, Axel Rudi Pell, and now Queensryche. 6 Covers discs in one year?! COME ON. I would rather these bands hire an outside writer and put out a disc with quality new tunes. This cover disc thing has gone way too far, in my opinion.