I admit it! I am tired of the "album of cover songs" trend that bands have established over the past few years. Vince Neil's latest Tattoos & Tequila is just the most recent example of this, but off the top of my head, there is also Poison's Poison'd, Def Leppard's Yeah!, (Phil Lewis') L.A. Guns put out both Rips the Covers Off and Covered in Guns, and Stryper and Pretty Boy Floyd have both announced that their next efforts will be albums of cover songs. However, nothing tops the Kiss My Ass album put out by KISS a few years ago (an album that was simply other bands covering KISS classics...an example of KISS getting paid for doing next to nothing). In my opinion, a cover album is nothing more than a band taking a lazy approach to putting out a new product and it is always done under the guise of "paying tribute to the songs and music that influenced their careers."
Let's be honest...an album of covers is a cop out. The most difficult aspect of creating an album is removed from the equation, as there is no 'writing' involved. Now, this becomes a much more stream-lined approach to putting a product out. The bands simply have to walk into the studio and recreate works that others have already made famous. Sure, some artists will make some creative changes to the songs, but ultimately, the framework already exists. I am not against a band putting one or two cover songs on an album. In small doses, I think that it can definitely enhance an album. But, an entire album's worth of songs (or two in the case of L.A. Guns) not written by the band is just not something I am interested in, and I have to believe that overall, most fans agree with me. Sure, you may buy the album when it is released and you may initially think it is 'cool,' but after a month or so, do you really keep listening to it? How many of you listened to the Poison'd album this week? My guess is not many. Really, would you rather hear Grand Funk Railroad sing "We're An American Band" or Poison? To me the answer is clear, and that is most people want to hear songs performed by the bands that wrote them. In this regard, my hat goes off to RATT, who just put out an album of all original songs that were written in the true spirit of the songs that initially made them famous. They could have taken the easy route and recorded some classic rock songs, but instead they put some time and effort in and made an album that their fans will appreciate and enjoy. I will take Stephen Pearcy's goofy lyrics (i.e. "Rock steady/ your lost weekend/ I'm ready for big fun") over another re-recorded version of "Rock n Roll All Nite" any day.
So, what do you think? Are you sick of the cover album cop-out?