Big Takeover Review - Who's Not Forgotten
schrade at akrobiz.com
Sun Jul 25 16:33:27 CDT 2004
A friend of mine brought to my attention two Who-related reviews
in the latest issue (#54) of Big Takeover magazine. Big Takeover is
kind of like a giant fanzine offering articles & reviews dealing with
major acts as well as many smaller, relatively unknown bands.
The two Who-related reviews were for the Who tribute album,
WHO'S NOT FORGOTTEN, & the TOMMY DELUXE release.
Both CD's made main reviewer Jack Rabid's (real name?) "Top 40"
section, which is, I was told, reserved for the outstanding stuff.
Here's what he had to say about WHO'S NOT FORGOTTEN:
We hate tribute LPs so much, we're shocked when one's any good
at all, let alone superb like WHO'S NOT FORGOTTEN. That its
proceeds go to H.E.A.R., the hearing loss prevention charity created
with a large grant from Pete Townshend, makes this all the more
worthy. But it's the nearly unwavering performances, mostly from a
bunch of no-name power-pop groups from New Jersey & Pennsyl-
vania, that make it such a find.
As usual, half the groups stick to the customary singles & radio tracks,
but most of them do great, unique versions. The Lolas put ringing
pop guitars into a sharp "The Kids Are Alright" without sacrificing
the weighty ballast, & man, do The Dipsomaniacs do a hot garage
rendition of WHO'S NEXT's "Bargain!" The Smithereens Pat Din-
izio brings poignancy to "Behind Blue Eyes" live, Tommy Conwell &
those Dipsomaniacs hit the R&B stomp highs of "Long Live Rock,"
Cordalene wrench the comedy out of "I'm A Boy," Taggart has high-
octane fun with the Dr. Ruth-ian paternal advice of "Pictures of Lily,"
& Blank Pages hit "Substitute" hard.(Guided By Voices' live "Baba
O'Riley" is alas poorly recorded, but the spirit is manifest. And Glow-
friends unplug & slow down "I Can't Explain" even more than David
Bowie did on PINUPS 30 years ago, but win with lullaby harmonies.)
The nicer surprises are by big fans that know which non-hits to
pluck. Don't miss the opening, crushing version of John Entwistle's
finest tune, the immortal b-side "Heaven & Hell" by Photon Band.
You'd be forgiven for mistaking it for an original Who outtake, &
that's saying loads. Likewise, kudos to Bigger Lovers for a choice
look at the obscure WHO SELL OUT outtake "Glow Girl" with
a coda snatch of TOMMY's "It's A Boy." The Bastards of Melody
really crank on QUADROPHENIA's "The Real Me," Nancy Fal-
kow's TOMMY track "1921" is likable, & you can't go wrong with
Townshend's three earliest masterpieces of pure pop, SELL OUT's
"Maryanne With the Shakey Hands" by Chris Richards, A QUICK
ONE's often-covered "So Sad About Us" (with some of "A Quick
One While He's Away") this time by Steve Brown, & PLAYS MY
GENERATION-era (sic) "Substitute" b-side "Circles" as psychedelic
pop by Jeremy.
On the "forget it!" side, The Contractions wreck "My Generation"
with a pointless monotone reworking that's as welcome as last month's
milk, & Grand Fabric must be blind, deaf, & dumb to think anyone
wants a fifth-rate post-Keith Moon-era dud like 1982 IT'S HARD's
"Athena" again! Not so bad, but less galvanizing are Jim Basnight's
too duplicative if decent "I Can See For Miles" & J. Horndog's ho-
hum "Boris the Spider" (the late Entwistle kicked this much harder),
while The Commons boogie-rock on the double entendre "Squeeze
Box" is a little too trad bar band.
But with few taps of the skip button, the LP rates high marks. Lord
knows it's usually hopeless to take on the towering originals of this
incredible rock band & make then sound so fresh. It could only be
done by committed fans who understand The Who's real fire/genius,
to give us such a rousing one. WHO'S NOT FORGOTTEN is a
gas, maybe the best tribute LP since the 1994 Seattle-ified Zombies
- SCHRADE in Akron
John Kerry For President
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