"Tribute" Albums Can Die And Go To Hell
I just read of another “Tribute” album, this time to Ozzy. First off, isn’t the millions and millions of dollars he’s made “tribute” enough? I think we’re paying “tribute” to these people by buying their tickets, merchandise, books, posters and albums that “weren’t so good”. Okay, that’s not the point though, I’ll get to that after the jump.
So a bunch of washed up 80′s guitar spankers are putting together a tribute to Ozzy. Why? The basic premise of a Tribute is flawed. Think about this: We love your music so much that we’re going to try to re-record it and make it better. So the basic premise of “tribute” albums is stupid, then you take the fact that in more cases than not it’s a bunch of musicians who are meaningless compared to the original artist. Now, if you can take one or two of these things out of the equation, then you have something that might be worth listening to. In the 90′s there was “Ecomium-A Tribute To Led Zeppelin”. That album was a disaster except for one track-Stone Temple Pilots doing “Dancing Days”. Why that worked is because it took a band that was at the top of their game (and huge) and they took a regular rock song and turned it into a down tempo acoustic grunge number. Recently we had the band Filter doing “Gimme All Your Lovin’” and it worked. Sure Filter is not on the superstar level, but they took the song and changed the genre to industrial metal so it worked. Also on that album is Nickelback doing legs, which worked for the opposite reason-it worked because Nickelback IS so hugely popular.
So to have lesser 80′s musicians doing a tribute to an artist that they were contemporaries with isn’t going to mean anything. There’s also a slew of “tribute” albums out there where a bunch of underground artists salute a nearly underground artist and they once again mean nothing. Musicians as a whole need to realize that if you can’t elevate the art, then you must deviate from the art. Save the “tribute” for your live show; we’ll all get a kick out of you playing a cover. And if you can’t improve on it, then don’t bother recording it. AND YOU LISTENERS…don’t buy a sh!tty tribute album, go pick up some Ozzy or Sab, there’s tons of “gems” on those c.d.s that you probably haven’t heard.
Just for grins, one of my favorite, more obscure Sabbath tracks.