Various Artists

A Tribute to Journey [Cleopatra]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Bradley Torreano

The weird part about the hard rock scene in the late '80s and early '90s was that despite its overwhelming popularity, many of the bands had very limited singers. These bands protected their singers well, but when the well ran dry and they were forced to move on, many of these musicians found themselves out of their element. It wasn't that they were bad singers, they just needed that specific environment around their voice to be effective. It seems as though many of these singers found their way onto A Tribute to Journey, another one of the many tribute albums filled with hard rock musicians from that era performing in big super group jams. The band itself is made up of members of Warrant and Bang Tango, with each track featuring a different singer. Because of Journey frontman Steve Perry's original vocals, these tracks require a very powerful voice to carry them along. Kelly Hansen (of Hurricane) is the first to sing, and his rendition of "Seperate Ways" is a winner that sounds almost identical to the original. Alex Mitchell of Circus of Power is next to step into the magnifying glass that is this album, and he is the first to find himself miles away from his own talents. His awful rendition of "Any Way You Want It" is not helped by the band at all, sounding like Rammstein if they attempted to cover this song. Marq Torien (of Bullet Boys) and Eric Dover (of Imperial Drag) both put in competent versions of their songs, but then the album hits Jizzy Pearl. The former Love/Hate singer is one of the few who manages to take his unique voice and change his singing style to fit both types of music. What results is a decent cover that sounds like a good hair metal ballad more than anything else. Former Mötley Crüe singer John Corabi and Mark Knight (of Worry Beads) are the next two singers, and their terrible performances make the whole thing sound like a karaoke contest. These two choices are already quite odd, as Corabi obviously doesn't have the gentle croon to handle "The Girl Can't Help It" and Knight doesn't have the range to tackle "Only the Young." Chaz West (Jason Bonham Band) tries to redeem everything with his version of "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'," and they even drag Hansen back out for a good reading of "Wheel in the Sky." Ralph Saenz (Atomic Punks) does an okay "Be Good to Yourself," Warrior Soul's Kory Clarke struggles through "Who's Crying Now," and Stevie Rachelle brings back the karaoke vibe on his slurred and thin take on "Lights." If the organizers of this album were to simply give this lineup more thought, or even reassign songs to different singers, this may not have been that bad. But really, even the good songs here aren't as good as the original Journey versions, and the bad songs rival the worst that hair metal has to offer. These albums usually suffer from the use of inappropriate musicians, and this album is no exception. Fans of these artists may want to check this out just to see what these singers are up to, but Journey fans and even curious listeners should simply avoid this album.

blue highlight denotes track pick