With both Poison and Tesla set to release cover albums, I thought this topic might be relevant. Covering another band's material isn't anything new as plenty artists did this back forty years ago or more. However I think that during the 1970's and through much of the 80's there was a little less of it. You might have someone doing one or two covers on an album, but normally not a whole lot more than that. Van Halen did several cover songs on Diver Down and received some complaints about it because the album was short, but then it was almost half covers. I really think that when Metallica's $5.98 ep came out in the summer of 1987 that things changed. Here was a band certainly on the way up doing an album of covers. They said they wanted to record something between lp's because they figured it was a while until their next lp. They also covered bands that were more obscure to metal fans like Killing Joke and the Misfits. Most importantly it caught on for the most part. People accepted it. However the fact that Metallica were working on another lp right after this and it was out about 13 months after this ep. Still I think around this point more bands started doing more cover songs. Yet it wasn't until the 1990's that cover albums started to really explode. Now it seems like almost every other older hard rock/metal band has done a cover album. Some have been good...
....while others have not been that great.
Nowadays most bands will say something "we are paying tribute to our influences". I would actually rather they pay tribute to their fans by putting out some new matrtial. Cover albums feel a little like a cheat to me in some ways. It's a reason to tour without doing new material. There are some good covers, but there are some that just sound like the bands are going through the motions. Maybe that makes me sound like a spoiled fan, but that's the way I feel about it sometimes. As far as Tesla and Poison's new albums go I have little doubt that Tesla will do a good job and Poison will be lame. Yet I likely won't buy either one because I am just not that big on cover albums.
**What do you think of cover albums?