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
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Each week David Randall presents ‘New to GRTR!’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, with the emphasis on independent artists and labels. During December he replays favourite tracks including power plays featured during the year. This show covers the period January-March and was first broadcast on 1 December 2019.
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