Album review: Various – Keep Calm And Salute The Beatles (feat ANN WILSON, TODD RUNDGREN and others)

Keep Calm And Salute The Beatles

Purple Pyramid/Cleopatra [Release date 27.04.15]

Cleopatra are experts in coordinating themed compilations, invariably curated by one-time Yes guitarist/keyboard player Billy Sherwood, and usually featuring a roster of well known artists.

This time they lend their collective hands to a selection of Fab Four songs.  Sadly, there is little information given on the smart if minimalist digi-pak, no liner note or recording information, and in this aspect Cleopatra sell themselves a bit short.

Given the influence of The Beatles the label probably found no lack of takers but evidently some of these recordings are re-licensed (for example, the late Andrew Gold’s version of ‘Norwegian Wood’ appeared on his 2008 album ‘Copy Cat’ and Judy Collins’ ‘I’ll Follow The Sun’ on a 2007 solo album) and it’s a shame there isn’t further clarification.

Ann Wilson from Heart opens up shop with ‘Across The Universe’ and there are contributions from John Wetton (‘Penny Lane’), the late Jack Bruce and a last recorded outing for him (‘Eleanor Rigby’) and Todd Rundgren (‘Hide Your Love Away’).

As a neat collection of big artist takes on a classic songbook  this will be a welcome purchase and the acoustic treatment throughout gives a thematic quality and a unity sometimes lacking.  Moreover, they haven’t buggered about with the arrangements, so what you get is a specific artist stamping their own vocal/persona rather than anything too extreme.   ***1/2

Review by David Randall

David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.


David Randall plays a selection of new and classic rock in his weekly show first broadcast 14 June 2020 including reference to the Feature series “2020 Vision”.


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