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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Various Artists

Stairways to Heaven

Review by Gary Hill

Stairways to Heaven is one of the wackiest albums ever released. Every song on here is Stairway to Heaven, but all performed in very different styles. The end result is a mixed bag, some versions wonderful, some hilarious, but nearly all very entertaining.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: The Early Years Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Kate Ceberano and The Ministry of Fun
An orchestrated take on the main musical theme of Stairway starts this one off. Eventually a beat track comes in and it takes on a rather nice slow R & B groove. The vocals on this one are a very nice and soulful female R & B treatment. The guitar solo here is rather crunchy and quite tasteful.

John Paul Young
This is a pretty standard rock/dance treatment of the track. Well done, but certainly not a standout cut.

Pardon Me Boys
This rendition is sort of a crooner/big band treatment. This is well done and a nice change of pace.

Rolf Harris
Rolf Harris is the same guy that did that novelty song Tie Me Kangaroo Down, and this version is really a variation on that song. A very funny rendition, this is one of the standout cuts on the album, and includes some really silly asides.

The Australian Doors Show
This is exactly what it sounds like; a very convincing Doors tribute band doing their take on Stairway.

Sandra Hahn and Michael Turkic
Here we have an operatic treatment of the piece. This is a fun rendition, but a bit hard for me to take on repeated listenings, as I have a personal bias against opera. It is done tongue in cheek however.

Robyne Dunn
Starting off in a Lucy in the Skies mode, this one takes on a more varied and modern Beatles approach. However, since this one features female vocals, the effect here is Beatles styled, but not a Beatles rip off.

Neil Pepper(Elvis)
Picture Elvis taking on the Stairway to Heaven, and you have this fun rendition.

The Rock Lobsters
Just what the group name implies, this is Stairway done as Rock Lobster. Quite a well-done version, this is lots of fun.

The Beatnix
An early Beatles take on the song, The Beatnix version is considerably skillfully performed and very fun.

Vegemite Reggae
A very convincing electronic reggae rendition, this one works quite well.

Leonard Teale
This version is a slightly pretensious, spoken word with accompaniment performance.

 
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