Vasco Rossi

Tracks, Vol. 2: Inediti & Rarità

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As its name plainly states, Tracks 2 is the second collection of rarities by legendary Italian rock star Vasco Rossi, after 2002's Tracks -- by the way, the reference to Bruce Springsteen's similarly titled collection of rarities is no coincidence but a tribute to one of Rossi's main influences. Contrary to Springsteen's mammoth box set, Tracks 2 gathers a modest 13 tracks, only a handful of which could be truly considered rare. Among these are the first three tracks, two fairly good new songs, and a very odd version of Radiohead's "Creep," with brand new lyrics in Italian that bear no relation to the original whatsoever, thus missing (or altering) the point of the song entirely. The bulk of this compilation is then taken over by previously unreleased live performances of several album tracks (but no big hits), including concert staples such as the hilarious "Colpa d'Alfredo," and a beautiful acoustic rendition of "Sally." Tracks 2 comes full circle as it ends with three live covers of iconic Italian artists, I Corvi, Lucio Battisti, and Fabrizio de André, of which only the latter's "Amico Fragile" is truly memorable. All in all, Tracks 2 is an entertaining collection of less well-known Vasco Rossi songs that makes for consistent listening; in fact, it plays better than some of his latest studio records -- but it is hardly essential, as there is no shortage of Rossi's live albums. Among Rossi fans, many voiced their discontent at what they perceived as a tossed-off bunch of "almost rarities" thrown together just in time for Christmas, providing further proof of the creative decline of the once untouchable Rossi. His popularity with the nostalgia-fueled CD-buying audiences, however, remains strong, as Tracks 2 quickly became the biggest-selling release of the 2009 Italian Holiday season.

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