"Still Wish You Were Here: A Tribute to Pink Floyd" (Insterscope Records; 2018)

Reviewed by Snidermann

There are more than one reason to record a tribute album. 1) Because it's a lot of fun for a group of musicians to come together and play music that inspired or, in fact, that they grew up with. 2) A tribute album by nature is tied in with the original artist so you audience is built in. 3) To build upon and play around with the original work to make your own version of the original recording.

I'm certain that the musicians involved with "Still Wish You Were Here: A Tribute to Pink Floyd" (more on that later) had a great time putting this album together. It's a cover version of Pink Floyd's classic "Wish You Were Here" album, performed in its entirety. I know how much fun I have playing the four notes that make up most of Deep Purple's "Smoke on the Water" (the only thing I can really play on guitar) and I can only imagine what hanging out with a group of your talented buddies would be like, playing music that you all love and respect. So Reason #1 checks out.

Reason #2 is more of a record label benefit because—despite the fact there are some pretty legendary performers on this album (as promised, more on that later)—there's no one here who's bigger than Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd was one of the biggest bands in the history of rock'n'roll. The very fact this is a tribute to an album that sold thirteen million copies guarantees it'll grab some consumer attention. So Reason #2 checks out.

Reason #3 is where I think "Still Wish You Were Here" lacks a little bit. For the most part, this is a note-by-note carbon copy of the original album. Sure, it's got different vocals and an instrumental flare-up here and there but, for the most part, it doesn't deviate much from Pink Floyd's original recording. I get that, to a certain degree. You always want to respect the original classic. But I would have liked a little more experimentation here, a little more derring-do, especially considering the talent that appears here. Eventually, more of that happens as the album progresses, but not as much as you'd expect from the level of talent involved.

And, finally, we get to that part: "Still Wish You Were" features an astonishing collection of musicians including Rick Wakeman, Ian Paice, Todd Rundgren, Geoff Tate, Joe Satriani, James LaBrie, Bootsy Collins, The Damned's Rat Scabies, PiL's Jah Wobble, David Ellefson, Edgar Froese and more.

The bottom line is that, if you're a Pink Floyd fan, or a cover tunes fan, or a fan of anybody listed above, then this album is certainly worth a listen. It may not do much more than remind how great the original record was but, hey, that's enough, isn't it?

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

  Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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