Lana Lana, the "Queen of Symphonic Rock", has traditionally thrown in a cover song or two on many of her releases. With Covers Collection, the singer has chosen to do a full-blown album of prog, metal, and hard rock classics that ultimately turns out to be one of the most enjoyable and classy "covers" collections I have heard in years.
For one, none of the songs tackled here are stadard fare, and she chose all songs that were originally sung by men, which makes this all the more intriguing. Sure, everyone does Led Zeppelin at some point in their career, but how often have you heard "Kashmir" covered? Lana belts out a powerful performance, while hubby Erik Norlander lays down some ominous Mellotron, and combination of Cameron Stone's metallic cello and Mark McCrite's guitar work really gives this song a good working. Of course, you can't go wrong with a rhythm section of bassist Tony Franklin and Gregg Bissonette on drums can you? Kansas fans will be pleased to hear a reworking of "The Wall", as Lana's melodic voice soars above the busy keyboard work of Norlander and viola of Novi Novog. And speaking of soaring, Lana tackles the Aviary classic "Soaring" as well, a lush and dense song that gets royal treatment here. Other highlights include the Argent staple "Hold Your Head Up" (complete with ripping organ solo from Norlander), "I'll See You in My Dreams" from the melodic hard rock band Giant, the seldom heard tear jerker from Queen "Don't Try So Hard", the Scorpion's "Still Loving You", and the Uriah Heep classic "Weep in Silence", which is also going to be included in an upcoming Century Media Uriah Heep tribute album. However, the last track is worth the price of admission alone, a blistering reworking of the Rainbow gem "Stargazer." Featuring the guitar work of Ayreon's Arjen Lucassen, Lana and company do this epic classic total justice, and put in a heavy and thunderous performance. Hearing Norlander's wild synths do battle with Lucassen's guitar and Stone's cello is a pleasure to hear.
The booklet is chock full of Norlander's insightful commentary, including notes on how each song was chosen, as well as wonderful color photographs of many of the players. As always, Lana Lane and the boys have churned out another winner here.