Tragedy hit the UK again (prepare for decimation) later this month and have shifted the release date of their new album up so that it’s out before they get here. Having rockified many disco classics, and then done a reverse on their last album taking “Crazy Train” from metal to disco, the band have focussed on a new target for their new release: the cinema.
Many of the tracks are of the band’s original era for material: “Aquarius”, “Fame”, “Summer Nights” and “9 to 5” for instance. However, Bond theme “Skyfall” also gets the Tragedy treatment, as does “Brandy (You’re A Fine Girl)” from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (although the original song was actually recorded in 1972, it just took until last year to appear in a film!). So how does it hold together?
Honestly? Great. They’ve picked some great tunes, most of which will be known by many people… especially old farts like myself who lived through many of the original releases. The variety in style of the original tracks makes the adaptation of them a less simple task than it could have been. I mean, you have Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”, The Beatles’ “Got To Get You Into My Life” and “Jedi Rocks” from Return of the Jedi. There really couldn’t be a wider spread of source material.
OK, so some tunes “work” better than others but it’s not through lack of trying – and also I think it’s often down to how familiar you are with the original, and how much you like it. For instance, I think they’ve done a belting job with “Got To Get You Into My Life” even though it’s really not changed all that much. It’s a rock’n’roll song – it doesn’t take much to rock it up and Tragedy haven’t overdone it.
“9 to 5” is another one of the best, kicking off – as it trademark Tragedy – with a lick from another song (Poison’s “Unskinny Bop”). Maybe not up there with “Raining Men”, but certainly giving it a run for its money. “Skyfall” just works. I had to look up who did the original (someone called Adele) and I confess it’s as memorable as any Bond film theme post-Moore, so as far as I was concerned Tragedy may as well have done this as an original. On this basis I nominate them to record the title track for the next Bond film.
As ever, Tragedy haven’t just produced a nice “novelty covers” album. They’ve released another great collection of genuinely good music, with a twist on the original songs. There are definitely some prime targets for the live show in here as well. I look forward to seeing them in the next couple of weeks!
Goes To The Movies is out on February 11th