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Morse/Portnoy/George: Anthology (Vol. 1-3)
Morse/Portnoy/George - Cover To Cover Anthology (Vol. 1-3) Album Art

Morse/Portnoy/George: Anthology (Vol. 1-3)

Classic Pop/Rock/Prog Covers
5.0/5.0

The history of the Neal Morse, Mike Portnoy and Randy George Cover To Cover project dates back to 2003 through 2005 when Morse was working on several solo albums. When the trio had extra time they decided to cover some of the songs that influenced their musical journey. Largely from the 60's and 70's, the songs traverse the spectrum from pop to rock to prog. This month the trio will release the third installment Cov3r To Cov3r. But they're also releasing an anthology that includes all three albums, the first two newly remastered. We'll consider the anthology in this brief review. If you don't have the former two editions (which I don't), then you should buy this excellent package.

Mike Portnoy Neal Morse Randy George - Click For Larger Image

Mike Portnoy Neal Morse Randy George (L-R)

Within the genres, the artist and bands covered are varied, eclectic, and interesting. I'm not going to attempt to list everyone. You can go to InsideOut Music's artist page for a complete listing of the songs.

On the pop side of things, you'll find artists like The Monkees, The Osmonds (yes, you read that right), Squeeze, Chicago, and The Police. For more rock, there's Blind Faith, Cream, U2, Tom Petty, and Lenny Kravitz. On the prog side, listen for Yes, King Crimson, and Styx. Some artists get the double treatment from MPG such as Jethro Tull, Squeeze, David Bowie, and King Crimson.

Moving on to the songs, MPG stray little from the original arrangements, not really messing with melody, harmony, or vocal arrangements. However, some songs can be divergent and livelier like The BeeGees Lemons Never Forget or heavier like Neil Young's Southern Man/Needle And The Damage Done/Cinnamon Girl.

Now to pick some personal favorites. This was kind of hard to do with 36 songs to choose from, but I leaned more to my favorite artists. Here's my short list: George Harrion's What Is Life, The Monkees' Pleasant Valley Sunday (perhaps my favorite Monkees song), The Moody Blues' Tuesday Afternoon, Joe Cocker's The Letter (but I kind of missed Cocker's raspy voice), Todd Rundgren's I Saw The Light, The Police's Driven To Tears, Ringo Starr's It Don't Come Easy, Lenny Kravitz' Let Love Rule, and, finally, The Osmonds' Crazy Horses. Again, you read that right. That song is the most over-the-top Osmonds song and MPG make it even more razor sharp and, well, crazy.

All said, if you like covers of classic pop, rock, and prog songs, done by exceptionally talented musicians who have respect for the artists covered, then you will completely enjoy Morse/Portnoy/George's Cover To Cover Anthology. Quite recommended.



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The Bottom Line

If you like covers of classic pop, rock, and prog songs, done by exceptionally talented musicians who have respect for the artists covered, then you will completely enjoy Morse/Portnoy/George's Cover To Cover Anthology. Quite recommended.

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