I wish all tribute albums were as brilliant as the songs they covered but that’s rarely the case and as the saying goes, “if wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we’d all have a bowl of granola“.
Just Tell Me That You Want Me – Tribute To Fleetwood Mac comes out Tuesday and while the artist list is impressive, it’s not going to replace the brilliance of the originals, nor will I think you’ll give it a second listen after the first curiosity pass through. Here is a curiosity listen of Best Coast covering “Rhinanon”
I think the tribute albums that succeed are of lesser known artists or artists that may seem superficial at first glance and the tribute album helps expose the greatness of the artist and songs.
With that in mind, here are my top 5 tribute albums that I still listen and enjoy even more with repeated listenings
1) Return Of The Grievous Angel: A Tribute To Gram Parsons: Emmylou Harris, who worked with Gram has her fingerprints all over this project which helps make it a warm and lovely tribute.
2) If I Were A Carpenter: The Carpenters Tribute-I never gave The Carpenters a second thought until I heard these sincere interpretations of songs that I always thought were too cheesy.
3) When I Was Awake: Stay Awake: Various Interpretations of Music from Vintage Disney Films- Producer Hal Wilner brings together an eclectic array of talent and reinterprets these classic we remembered as children and brings them into adulthood.
4) Serge Gainsbourg: Monsieur Gainsbourg revisited-Great interpretations from an artist I was not familiar with when this came out but have since come to love
5) Sweet Relief: A Benefit For Victoria Williams: Another artist I did not know but thanks to Pearl Jam’s version of “Crazy Mary” grew to love
Bonus! The ultimate tribute is of course Tenacious D’s tribute to the greatest and best song ever written.