QUEENSRŸCHE's collection of covers, "Take Cover", has sold 5,500 copies in the United States in its first week of release to debut at position No. 173 on The Billboard 200 chart.
Singer and chief songwriter Geoff Tate, guitarists Michael Wilton and Mike Stone, bassist Eddie Jackson, and drummer Scott Rockenfield put their stamp on 11 classic tracks with "Take Cover".
Not known for playing many covers live, Tate says the album gave the band a chance to relax and have some fun. "During soundchecks, Stone and Michael like to play 'name that riff,' and sometimes the whole band joins in. That's really the way this album came together too. We got together and started playing songs to each other, and then we picked our favorites."
The eclectic list of songs reflects the members' divergent tastes and includes a few surprising selections such as "Heaven On Their Minds" from the hit musical "Jesus Christ Superstar", the O'JAYS R&B classic "For Love Of Money" and an operatic epic originally performed by the Italian duo of CARLO MARRALE & CHEOPE, "Odissea". Recognized as an accomplished vocalist, Tate says he enjoyed the song's demanding arrangement. "I really like this song because there is a lot for a singer to sink his teeth into, plus I got a chance to sing in Italian, which was interesting considering I don't speak a word of it."
The set covers a lot of ground both lyrically and musically, opening with "Innuendo", QUEEN's epic song about life and death; "Almost Cut My Hair", CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG's paean to freedom; and the medieval metal of BLACK SABBATH's "Neon Knights".
"Take Cover" also features QUEENSRŸCHE's distinctive arrangement of PINK FLOYD's "Welcome To The Machine", an acoustic version of BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD's "For What It's Worth", and a highly charged live version of U2's "Bullet The Blue Sky". "We'll never top the originals; they're classics for a reason," Tate says. "We were more focused on finding different approaches that took the songs in unexpected directions."
Singing PETER GABRIEL's "Red Rain" and THE POLICE's "Synchronicity II", Tate says, were opportunities for him to explore music he'd previously overlooked. "I'd heard these songs on the radio before, but I didn't really appreciate them before the guys suggested we record them. It was a rewarding experience doing this album because it gave us all a chance to pay tribute to some of the bands that have meant so much to us over the years, and we all discovered new songs to love."
"Take Cover" track listing (original artist in parenthesis):
01. Innuendo (QUEEN)
02. Bullet The Blue Sky - Live (U2)
03. Synchronicity II (THE POLICE)
04. For What It's Worth (BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD)
05. Welcome To The Machine (PINK FLOYD)
06. Red Rain (PETER GABRIEL)
07. Neon Knights (BLACK SABBATH)
08. Almost Cut My Hair (CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG)
09. Heaven On Their Minds ("Jesus Christ Superstar")
10. For The Love Of Money (THE O'JAYS)
11. Odissea (CARLO MARRALE & CHEOPE)
Fan-filmed video footage of QUEENSRŸCHE performing a cover of PINK FLOYD's "Welcome to the Machine" on September 15, 2007 at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida can be viewed below.