Covers albums. They can be hit and miss. Although I could list a bunch of misses…. figured I’d keep it positive and list some hits instead. Adrenaline Mob – Coverta, Halestorm – Reanimate, Reanimate 2.0 and Reanimate 3.0, Stryper – The Covering, Joe Lynn Turner – Undercover and Undercover 2 and Yngwie Malmsteen – Inspiration come to mind as definite hits. That being said, the album just released by Great White/XYZ singer Terry IIous is a covers record but not what you may normally hear on these types of albums.
Gypsy Dreams by Terry IIous (Released in April 2017 by Fyco Records)
Produced by Terry Ilous and Chris Flores
So, the different spin….is that Terry presents these classic favorites with a Latin and Flamenco edge. Also, the chosen tracks range from pop to heavy metal and it’s refreshing to see a rock singer embrace different genres of music.
The opening track “Whole Lotta Love” immediately shows that Terry isn’t messing around. A powerful vocal delivery (without any worry that he’d be compared to the legendary Robert Plant) shows that he has the pipes to deliver greatness. Musically there is no doubt that we are hearing top tier musicians. The composition is beautiful and is one of the standouts on the album.
The three top 40 (some may classify as easy listening, some as yacht rock) tunes “Boys of Summer”, “Wicked Game” and “Ride Like The Wind” are refreshing new twists to songs that honestly, I was sick of. The original recordings were not only overplayed on radio but you constantly still hear them at your local grocery store or handy-dandy elevator. Maybe radio can start playing these new versions instead? Oh, wait a minute, radio sucks! Guess I’ll have to count on the incredible rock and roll podcasts out there (i.e. Decibel Geek) to help me out.
“In Your Eyes” and “Long Train Running” being mid-tempo rockers fit the Flamenco/Latin feel well and the band did a fantastic job of preserving the hooks and emotion of the original. In these two songs, in my humble opinion, Terry’s vocals sound better than the original recordings (as I duck the tomato thrown at me…).
The vocal prowess continues with the originally heavier tunes “Heaven and Hell” and “Kill the King” that were both originally sang by the late Ronnie James Dio. Terry and crew do an excellent job of putting a new spin on both songs while staying true to the greatness of the original. Diehard Dio fans will have a tough time believing this but I encourage you to give a listen before judging. Terry has publicly shared his admiration for Dio and pays homage to the rock God very well.
1. Whole Lotta Love – (Led Zeppelin)
2. Boys Of Summer – (Don Henley)
3. In Your Eyes – (Peter Gabriel)
4. Long Train Running – (The Doobie Brothers)
5. Wicked Game – (Chris Isaak)
6. Heaven And Hell – (Black Sabbath)
7. Ride Like The Wind – (Christopher Cross)
8. Love Bites – (Def Leppard)
9. Kill The King – (Rainbow)
Al Velasquez – Drums / Percussion
Ben Woods – Flamenco Guitar
Mike Bennett – Drums / Percussion
Jesse Stern – Bass
In closing, this is not an acoustic album. It’s not as simple as just unplugging and recording a bunch of covers. Instead, these are beautifully composed renditions that are rich in sound. That’s what you get when you are teamed up with Grammy award winning (and nominated) musicians.
Who is brave enough to tackle the likes of Robert Plant, Don Henley, Peter Gabriel, and Ronnie James Dio? The extremely underrated Terry Ilous is. Will you be brave enough to give this album a chance? If you’re not, then you are missing out on some incredible pieces of music.
Thanks for reading! Pooni out!