Various Artists

Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon

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Working Class Hero: A Tribute to John Lennon was one of 1995's most-publicized tribute albums. It was also one of the most savagely reviewed. Those reviews were justified. Filled with alternative rock superstars, from Mad Season and the Red Hot Chili Peppers through Toad the Wet Sprocket and Flaming Lips, as well as mainstream musicians of all styles (Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, Mary Chapin Carpenter, George Clinton), the album is an incoherent jumble. Few of the artists turn in performances that do justice to the songs -- in fact, several are outright embarrassments, demonstrating no affinity for Lennon's music. And those who clearly love the man are too devoted in their worship, turning in safe and unimaginative performances. Consequently, the whole record is an unqualified mess.

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