VA – Still Wish You Were Here – A Tribute To Pink Floyd (2021)

VA - Still Wish You Were Here - A Tribute To Pink Floyd (2021) full

Cleopatra Records is doing a lovely campaign this 2021: tribute recordings of Pink Floyd classic albums performed in it’s entirety.
Pink Floyd’s 1975 multi-platinum masterpiece, ”Wish You Were Here”, is brought to life once again with an all-star line up of rock/metal royalty including performances by keyboard wizard Rick Wakeman, Deep Purple’s Ian Paice, Rock Hall nominee Todd Rundgren, ex-Queensrÿche vocalist Geoff Tate, guitar god Joe Satriani, Dream Theater vocalist James LaBrie, spacebass super genius Bootsy Collins, Triump’s Rik Emmett, Carmine Appice, ex Megadeth David Ellefson, Billy Sheehan and many more.
Just having Rik Emmett doing lead vocals on the title track worth this album alone…

The opening of “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” in contrast to the slow pulse of original, dances with Mel Collins’ flute work that recalls the beauty on King Crimson’s “Lady of the Dancing Water” or “Formentera Lady.” He also adds additional warmth with his saxophone grace and ups the jazzy buzz of the Pink Floyd original.
Two minutes on, the distinctive David Gilmour guitar enters – here provided by Steve Hackett(!) – while that flute continues to haunt this song. Geoff Tate provides the vocals; Billy Sheehan is on bass; Geoff Downes hovers and pulsates with keyboards, and Ian Paice (of Deep Purple fame) is in the engine room.
Let’s just say this is 13 minutes of sonic-prog ecstasy that certainly deserves the title of really great “Jugband Blues” because, as “crazy diamond” Syd Barrett once sang: “It’s awfully considerate of you to think of me here.”

“Welcome to the Machine” continues to up the dramatic heartbeat, with the talents of newly minted Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Todd Rundgren, Rick Wakeman, and Tony Levin. Look, I love the original Wish You Were Here album, and have often cited it as my favorite by Pink Floyd, but these guys shift to a sudden prog rock Land of Oz colorization. Perhaps, despite all these superstars, after all these years, the isolation of these songs has finally found some sort of reconciliation.

Then there’s the sublime “Have a Cigar.” James LaBrie, the awesome Steve Stevens on guitar, Patrick Moraz, Rat Scabies, and bass guitar guru Jah Wobble push the tune into a rather nice “interstellar overdrive.”
The title tune, “Wish You Were Here,” featured legendary Carmine Appice on drums, Joe Satriani on sinewy guitar, Rik Emmet on vocals doing a terrific job, David Ellefson on bass, and (holy cow!) Tangerine Dreamer Edgar Froese on keyboards and electronics! Again, this glance at the classic tune (with its profound lyric!) ups the colorful drama. And, yeah, Satriani’s guitar work, once again, plugs into that “interstellar overdrive.”

And then it’s Bootsy Collins’ funky bass that drives the reprised “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and proves Einstein’s theory that heavy gravity (with the aid of Ian Paice’s percussion!) can indeed bend spacetime. Not only that, but Rod Argent’s keyboards and Steve Hillage’s “octave doctoring” guitar manage to warp the original into a courtly space dance ritual.

Sometimes, these tribute albums don’t work and end up as disparate songs sung by solo performers. Not the case with “Still Wish You Were Here – A Tribute To Pink Floyd”, a re-interpretation of this classic album but standing on its own musical – and quite melodic – importance.
One of the best tribute albums in many years.
HIGHLY Recommended


1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5)
Geoff Tate, Steve Hackett, Billy Sheehan, Mel Collins, Geoff Downes, Ian Paice

2. Welcome To The Machine
Todd Rundgren, Rick Wakeman, Tony Levin

3. Have A Cigar
James LaBrie, Steve Stevens, Patrick Moraz, Rat Scabies, Jah Wobble

4. Wish You Were Here
Rik Emmett, Joe Satriani, Edgar Froese, David Ellefson, Carmine Appice

5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 6-9)
Rod Argent, Steve Hillage, Bootsy Collins, Ian Paice



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