Who Are You - An All-Star Tribute to the Who

Published: Mar 29, 2013 Filed under: Rock & Heavy Metal

Who Are You - An All-Star Tribute To The Who by Various Artists

Label: Cleopatra Records
Release Date: October 2, 2012

Rating (out of 5):

Sometimes Shot By Shot Remakes Aren't So Bad

The problem with tribute compilation albums is that they usually either offer some combination of terrible covers, unimaginative remixes, or some form of these two. "Who Are You" manages to evade both of these cliches and actually offers some fresh takes on classics that fans will either love or hate.

The recent Bob Dylan tribute from Amnesty International took people from all over the landscape, who grew up wanting to be Dylan, and let them give their own take on his songs. "Who Are You" finds just as large a variety of musicians, but simply giving moving modern versions of the songs. The music means just as much to these musicians than it did to The Who in some cases and it shows. This is Carmine Appice, Iggy Pop, Dave Davies, John Wetton, K.K. Downing, Joe Elliott, Rick Wakeman, Todd Rundgren, Pat Travers, Ginger Baker, Leslie West, among many others putting all of their energy into the very songs that inspired them to become musicians.

The album isn't perfect, though. Iggy Pop seems to have left his punk at home for his take on "I Can't Explain." Fans of complete makeovers of classic songs will also leave a little disappointed. Neither one of these are necessarily bad, but like The Who, there is something for everybody.

Faithful Who fans will more than likely enjoy the album. Casual listeners might not be able to appreciate the attention to detail that many of the musicians have in the tracks. The only thing that is for sure is that without The Who there would be far fewer rockers, and this album is them giving a little bit back.

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