WORKING MAN is a Rush tribute album.
Personnel: Sebastian Bach, James LaBrie, Jack Russell, Mike Baker, Eric Martin, Mark Slaughter, Devin Townsend, Gregoor Van Der Loo (vocals); Steve Morse (classical guitar, guitar); Robert Berry (guitar, bass, keyboards, background vocals); James Murphy (guitar, keyboards); Jake E. Lee, Brendt Allman, Michael Romeo, David Townson, George Lynch, John Petrucci, Richard Chycki, Marcel Coenen (guitar); Chris Ingles (piano); Mike Pinella, Gary Wehrkamp, Matt Guillory, Trent Gardner (keyboards); Billy Sheehan, Stuart Hamm, Sean Malone, Carl Cadden-James (bass); Mike Portnoy, Brad Kaiser, Deen Castronovo, Sean Reinert, Jeff Brockman (drums); Fates Warning.
Fates Warning: Ray Alder (vocals); Jim Matheos (guitar); Joey Vera (bass); Mark Zonder (drums).
Engineers include: Larry Brewer, Joe Franco, Rich Chycki.
Includes liner notes by Steve Streeter & Stewart J. Gilray.
This is part of Magna Carta's Tribute To The Titans series.
Personnel: Devin Townsend, Eric Martin , Mike Baker , James LaBrie, Ray Alder, Sebastian Bach, Jack Russell, Mark Slaughter (vocals); Steve Morse (guitar, classical guitar); Robert Berry (guitar, keyboards, background vocals); James Murphy (guitar, keyboards); Michael Romeo, George Lynch, Dave Townson, Jake E. Lee, Jim Matheos, John Petrucci, Marcel Coenen, Richard Chycki, Brendt Allman (guitar); Chris Ingles (piano); Gary Wehrkamp, Mike Panella, Matt Guillory, Trent Gardner (keyboards); Deen Castronovo, Jeff Brockman, Mark Zonder, Sean Reinert, Brad Kaiser, Mike Portnoy (drums).
Audio Mixers: Robert Berry; Terry Brown.
Liner Note Author: Stewart J. Gilray.
Recording information: Andy Brauer's Studio; Beat Street Productions, N.Y.C., NY; Bill's Place, N. Hollywood, CA; Cairo West Studio; Morrisound Studios, Tampa, FL; Prairie Sun Studios, Cotati, CA; Shadow Gallery Studio, Easton, PA; Soundtek Studios, Campbell, CA; Studio RS29, Waalwijk, The Netherlands; The Advanced Audio Group, Toronto, Canada.
Unknown Contributor Role: Tim Gennert.
As far as tribute albums go, this homage to seminal Canadian rockers Rush is hard to beat. For one thing, Magna Carta has made an inspired decision to have each song recorded by an all-star lineup rather than letting one band handle all the chores (with one exception -- Fates Warning get sole credit for "Closer to the Heart"). Often projects of this magnitude are doomed to failure from the start as a result of inadequate rehearsing, a shoestring budget, and sometimes a lack of talent capable of handling the songs with the respect they deserve. Working Man is a rare instance of everything going right. Terry Brown has done an incredible mixing job considering nearly all of the songs were recorded in different studios. The musicianship rivals the original versions -- occasionally besting them, particularly where the vocals are concerned. That, combined with the fact that many of these songs will be unfamiliar to casual Rush fans (hint: there's no "Tom Sawyer"), would lead one to believe that the musicians involved were already quite familiar with the material. Complaints are few (singers such as Jack Russell of Great White and Mark Slaughter don't really belong here), but commendations are nearly overwhelming: instrumental tour de force "La Villa Strangiato" is given an amazing rendition by Steve Morse and James Murphy; Sebastian Bach and James LaBrie turn in the most inspired singing of their careers; and mention should be made of Jake E. Lee's amazing leads as well as the solid drumming skills of Mike Portnoy and Deen Castronovo. Arguably the best tribute album ever made, Working Man will make a Rush fan out of many who may have written the band off based on their spotty '80s output. ~ Jeremy Ulrey