L.A. GUNS - released Rips The Covers Off back in 2004. My Metal research has found that there are some copies of this album titled Rips Off The Covers, how many copies exist with this title I just do not know. (The front cover album pic below shows this alternate title). This is the Phil Lewis – L.A. Guns lineup and no matter how you slice it… this lineup ROCKS… for me. I always state, nothing beats the original, nonetheless, L.A. Guns really gives these cover songs all of their Hard Rock splendor and energy. Original versions aside, Rips The Covers Off is meant to be played LOUD and with a good times spirit flowing throughout your mind and soul.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw is a Hard and Heavy blast… Rose Tattoo created it, L.A. Guns only ignites it with more fiery fuel. How do you possibly cover a Queen classic like Tie Your Mother Down? L.A. Guns pulls it off, with the upmost respect to the original as well… keeping the hardness that Queen initially instilled into this amazing song. Sure, I will admit that the unreal classic Custard Pie covered by L.A. Guns does not come close to the ultra iconic Led Zeppelin original, yet in the end it is not an embarrassment of a cover either… it grooves along L.A. Guns style. Moonage Daydream sounds pretty darn cool, Phil Lewis may not be David Bowie, only how many vocalists have Bowie’s unique and moving vocals anyways?
Wheels of Steel comes fully loaded with a gritty and heavy edged sound from L.A. Guns, the Saxon original can never be topped, still I can’t fib that this cover version is justifiably cool. The cover of I Just Want To Make Love To You is outrageously great… the great Foghat themselves should be proud. Stacey Blades on guitar is all over these cover songs, giving his hardened tone to each. Steve Riley is the man on drums… a W.A.S.P. alumni and L.A. Guns veteran never disappoints me.
The two live tracks – Revolution and Don’t Look At Me That Way are from the 2002 L.A. Guns album Waking The Dead. Both of these live songs are potent with the raw energy and sound you would expect, from L.A. Guns. These live tracks added into the mix is really a Metal bonus. I don’t hesitate for a Metal second, to recommend any Hard Rock or Heavy Metal fan to get their ears into Rips The Covers Off. I admire the fact, that this Phil Lewis led L.A. Guns lineup looks back on the Hard Rock and Heavy Metal roots with undeniable respect. The bands they have covered here are all incredibly influential, this album is a Hard and Heavy celebration of that.
L.A. Guns as they appeared on Rips The Covers Off:
Phil Lewis – lead vocals
Stacey Blades - guitar
Adam Hamilton – bass
Steve Riley – drums
Keri Kelli – guitar on Revolution (Live) and Don’t Look At Me That Way (Live)
Brent Muscat - guitar on Revolution (Live) and Don’t Look At Me That Way (Live)
Track Listing for Rips The Covers Off, With Original Band in Parentheses:
Rock ‘n’ Roll Outlaw – (Rose Tattoo)
I Just Want To Make Love To You – (Foghat)
Tie Your Mother Down – (Queen)
Until I Get You - (Hanoi Rocks)
Wheels of Steel - (Saxon)
Nobody’s Fault - (Aerosmith)
Custard Pie - (Led Zeppelin)
Moonage Daydream – (David Bowie)
Marseilles – (Angel City)
Hurdy Gurdy Man - (Donovan)
Search and Destroy - (The Stooges)
Revolution – (Live)
Don’t Look At Me That Way – (Live)