When I was growing up, during my very formative years, ’80’s metal and the death knells of disco was what was played on the radio. A mixture of Whitesnake and a smattering of John Denver was what I grew up with. My mother listened to the folk and country music, like my most dreaded artist Anne Murray. My father was a little heavier and I heard some Led Zeppelin mixed in there. Trust me, that was the heaviest my father got. It was my uncle that introduced me to the darker aspects of rock n roll with artists like AC/DC and Alice Cooper. Clearly, my heart went the darker route and I ended up a student of rock n roll, with a soft spot for the ’80’s metal and metal in general. So why am I telling you this? Because you need to understand where I’m coming from with my complete and utter fascination with this band. I honestly don’t think I’ve heard an album this great in some time.
I discovered Tragedy about the same time as the rest of you, with the viral video they released of their cover of You’re the One That I Want from Grease. Initially I wanted to call the song a Black Sabbath version of the Grease track, but the more I’ve listened to it I find that it reminds me more of a Type O Negative version of the song. The slow intro, with the wind blowing and the caw of a crow reminds me more of something that Type O Negative would have conceived rather than Black Sabbath. Once the sped up chorus hits, it certainly brings to mind Pete Steele and company. Honestly, who in the hell would have come up with something like this? Despite the lack of the deep, guttural vocals of Pete, the music certainly brings to mind images of the goth punk band.
That’s not even the best song on the album. I’m about to type something I never, ever thought I’d type in a million years. The best song on the album is the cover of John Denver‘s Take Me Home Country Roads. I can’t believe I have just typed that a John Denver song is the best on an album. But I did. And it’s true. The song is a power ballad, of sorts, with love and care given to the song, much like the rest of the album. The band is clearly paying loving homage to these tracks and the strength of their musicianship elevates what could be a one note comedy album to something more. Sure, as you hear these tracks for the first time, you kind of chuckle to yourself. I mean, come on, John Denver‘s song as a power ballad? You’re the One That I Want as a goth punk hybrid? There is an initially inherent comedic value. The songs demand to be taken seriously, though. Until the last few, that is.
This is what is so great about Tragedy. None of the songs on the album are just thrown together and sound exactly like the original. The love and care I spoke of earlier is given to every track. They take these songs that we all grew up hating, or loving and just won’t admit it, and make them fresh and new.
I absolutely adore this album. Trust me when I say there are a few surprises on here as well. If you are a fan of rock n roll, ’70’s disco, ’80’s metal or any combination of the three, you will love this album. Hell, if you are planning on having a party, this is the best compilation of party rock EVER! Do yourself a favor and click the cover to shoot over to Amazon and pick this bad boy up.
On a side note, Tragedy actually made MacArthur Park listenable. That takes talent. And be sure to check out Crazy Train in the Wind, a combination of Ozzy Osbourne‘s Crazy Train, Kansas‘ Dust in the Wind, and another song I won’t ruin for you here.