RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Who Are You – An All Star Tribute to the Who
Cleopatra Records


Rating: B

Cleopatra Records are famous for their tribute albums, sometimes hitting the mark and other times making one wonder what they were thinking. Lately, however, they have been hitting home runs every time they step up to the plate. Their newest effort sees them taking on the best of the Who, one of the best bands to ever grace the stage.

What makes this one work so well is the mix of performers that appear on the album. Each song is true to the original, yet each artist really lays down their original stamp on each tune. Each performer also respects the band and is a fan of the music. There is no going through the motions here at all.

Just check out the names on this sucker: Dave Davies of The Kinks, John Wetton of Asia, KK Downing of Judas Priest fame, the MC5’s Wayne Kramer, Iggy Pop, Todd Rundgren, Ginger Baker, Peter Banks, Brad Gillis, Joe Lynn Turner, Leslie West, Pat Travers, Gretchen Wilson, Randy Bachman, 38 Special, Ian Paice, Carmine Appice, Joe Elliot, Rick Wakeman and Derek Sherinian of Black Country Communion.

From start to finish there is not a dull moment. The album opens with “Eminence Front” featuring Wetton, Downing and Sherinian. English Prog rockers Nektar take on “Baba O’Riley” while Mark Lindsay and Wayne Kramer kick out the jams big time on “I Can See for Miles.” Todd Rundgren is just a damn cool dude and his version of Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere” is one of the shining moments on the tribute.

“Who Are You” features Country superstar Gretchen Wilson with Bachman Turner Overdrive’s Randy Bachman. This is the best thing on the CD as Gretchen makes this song hers. She may be on the Country charts but deep down this girl wants to rock. She takes off her boots and hat and delivers a performance worthy of leather and studs.

The other track that is over the top outstanding is “The Seeker” with Joe Lynn Turner delivering the vocal goods while Leslie West bashes out a killer guitar.

At the end of the day, the Who are done proud by this cast of superstars. This is a great one from start to finish.

By Jeb Wright