Title - 'Keep Calm and Salute The Beatles'
Artist - Various
Aside from being an all-star gathering of musical luminaries, Keep Calm and Salute The Beatles is one heck of a solid album! I mean, there is not one let down track here, not one sloppy cover, and it even contains some Beatles covers that I myself - as an Englishman and Beatles lover - have never heard of!
Including heartfelt and very welcoming contributions by Heart’s Ann Wilson, Todd Rundgren, Asia’s John Wetton, Judy Collins, KC of KC & The Sunshine Band, and a very special appearance by Jack Bruce (his final recorded performance), Keep Calm and Salute The Beatles also has those "hidden gems," that I alluded to above.
More on that later, as we begin with a vocally distorted, manlyish (if truth be told) 'Across The Universe' from Heart's Ann Wilson. That is followed by a delightfully acoustic guitar rendering of 'Penny Lane' from ASIA's John Wetton, which in turn is backed by the aforementioned Jack Bruce cut, 'Eleanor Rigby,' Irish singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Liz Madden's delicious 'Blackbird,' a simplistic guitar and microphone rendition of 'Norwegian Wood' from Andrew Gold, and then both Todd Rundgren's standard 'Hide Your Love Away' and a quite brilliant 'All You Need Is Love' from Helen Reddy.
Bringing their most heartfelt approaches to these classic Beatles tracks one by one, the 16 acoustic renditions continue onwards with a truly stunning ethereal vocal performance from Judy Collins on 'I'll Follow The Sun.' Next up is the first of those unexpected delights (for me, at least), and that's Howard Jones' rendition of 'And I Love Her.' Never have I heard him cover such a thing, and it is a pure delight to hear on this collection. The fun and upbeat 'Ticket To Ride' by Felix Cavaliere is yet another highlight, and is backed by both 'Let It Be' (from KC, minus his Sunshine band) and then 'Yesterday' from Grammy Award-winning Canadian musician, singer and songwriter; and best known as the lead vocalist for the American band Blood, Sweat & Tears, David Clayton Thomas.
The album then rounds out nicely with a touch of Tamala Motown with Martha Davis' 'Nowhere Man,' singer-songwriter, actor, and guitarist Stephen Bishop brings us a subtle, no muss no fuss 'All I Gotta Do,' and then comes 'Something' from musician, record producer, and engineer Billy Sherwood, before finally the other surprise cut on the album, the diminutively great Leo Sayer on a stunning 'Hey Jude.'
1. Across The Universe - Ann Wilson
2. Penny Lane - John Wetton
3. Eleanor Rigby - Jack Bruce
4. Blackbird - Liz Madden
5. Norwegian Wood - Andrew Gold
6. Hide Your Love Away - Todd Rundgren
7. All You Need Is Love - Helen Reddy
8. I ll Follow The Sun - Judy Collins
9. And I Love Her - Howard Jones
10. Ticket To Ride - Felix Cavaliere
11. Let It Be - KC
12. Yesterday - David Clayton Thomas
13. Nowhere Man - Martha Davis
14. All I Gotta Do - Stephen Bishop
15. Something - Billy Sherwood
16. Hey Jude - Leo Sayer