Cover 2 Cover
Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George
Label: Radiant Records
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Review Date: May 20, 2012
Doing covers of great songs can be a dicey proposition for a band but not so with prog greats Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George. Cover 2 Cover is the follow up album to 2006’s Cover to Cover by MPG and, boy, is it ever chock full of ear tingling, memory provoking music from over the years. Immediately recognizable and, yet, distinctly different, Morse, Portnoy and George have made these musical jewels all their own.
What I found oddly coincidental about this album involves Crazy Horses (and one of the Boomerocity favorites off of this album), originally recorded by the Osmond Brothers back in 1972. Just before I received my review copy of Cover 2 Cover, I was listening to satellite radio while driving around and this song came on. I wondered to myself why the tune hadn’t been picked up and covered by another artist or group. I then received Cover 2 Cover and was immediately in love with it – even though Portnoy’s scary vocals had me looking under my bed for monsters for three nights after I first heard the cover.
Another favorite off of this album is the guys’ treatment of Styx’s Come Sail Away. Not only is this an outstanding cover of classic great, it just may be the version needed to rid my mind of the South Park version so cruelly planted in my mind when my daughter played the video for me. There’s hope yet.
Choosing a third favorite out of an album full (twelve, to be exact) is difficult if not impossible. So, what I had to do was close my eyes and let my finger fall on the track list in order to make my choice. That choice? Their cover of Todd Rundgren’s I Saw the Light. Wow! What an incredible version of that iconic hit!
If you were to have to pick one song to turn your friends on to the album, you couldn’t go wrong with picking any of the tunes from it. Morse, Portnoy and George are master artists, creating audio perfection with everything they undertake. Cover 2 Cover is yet another example of that perfection.
I encourage you to order this CD if for no other reason than the excellent musicianship displayed on it. And, if you do order it, I encourage to order one of the cool packages directly from NealMorse.com. Why? I’m glad you asked! If you do, you’ll get a “making of” DVD that goes behind the scenes of the making of Cover 2 Cover. You’ll see the fun they had making the album as well as their thoughts on what went into the song choice decisions. If you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall of those kinds of things, then you’ll definitely want that DVD.
As a total package or individually, you’ll enjoy Cover 2 Cover.
Written by Randy Patterson