Sweden’s finest, Last Autumn’s Dream, have a firm foothold in the Scandinavian AOR/melodic rock scene, having released a healthy 13 studio albums. They have a penchant for the odd cover, such as a reworking of Wizzard’s “See My Baby Jive” from the album A Touch Of Heaven or “Take It On The Run” by REO Speedwagon which can be found on the Paintings record.
In light of this, it should be no surprise that the band should wish to release a full album of favored tracks, in the form of In Disguise.
Out on Escape Music, the album contains 11 of the band’s favorite tracks which they have felt deserve the full LAD treatment. On this occasion, however, there seems to be little of this treatment in evidence. This is a collection of faithful reproductions, sticking firmly to the script of each song even down to the vocal inflections.
I am sure Last Autumn’s Dream’s intention was to recreate each track in such a manner as to make a tribute to each artist but I feel that is not enough. For me, to do somebody else’s work justice you have to put your own mark on it. Take Iron Maiden’s version of “Cross-Eyed Mary” by Jethro Tull for example, it is completely Maiden-ized and all the better for it. 1 song, 2 versions, perfect.
And there’s also one of my personal favorites, “Whiskey In The Jar”, by Metallica, the Irish folk song made famous by Thin Lizzy. Raw and edgy, Metallica’s stamp is all over it.
Having said all that, the choices of songs for the album are brilliant. They are not a bunch of especially famous songs and most I’d say are deep cuts.
One such deep cut is “All The Way”, originally by Kiss. From the quality Gene Simmons impersonation on vocals to the great Ace Frehley-like solo this version would not be out of place on Hotter Than Hell.
On occasion, Last Autumn’s Dream does deviate from the formula, such as on “Jet Airliner”, the best-known version of which is by The Steve Miller Band. They decide there is no need for a one minute intro and cut it down to 15 seconds, a good decision I reckon.
The vocals on “When I Kissed The Teacher” clearly had to differ as nobody could reproduce the twin female vocals of Agnetha and Anni-Frid of compatriots ABBA and to be fair they do rock it up a fair bit from the original.
With tracks like City Boy’s “Need A Little Loving” and Headpins “Just One More Time”, In Disguise shows that a covers album does not have to be full of songs like “Yesterday” or “Hallelujah”.
Last Autumn’s Dream certainly show their versatility with all the styles they cover but on a personal level, I just wish they showed more of themselves.