October 17, 2021

I doubt there are many out there who have not heard of the velvet voiced rock vocalist Jeff Scott Soto; a most prolific artist with a huge number of albums in his back catalogue and a list of guest credits as long as your arm. Let’s face it, if you have been the voice of Yngwie Malmsteen, Talisman. W.E.T., Sons Of Apollo, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Journey (even if only for a short while) then you deserve your place at rock’s top table. Soto’s soul infused voice is simply perfect for hard rock and his power, range and sense of melody make him one of the truly outstanding singers of his generation. As such, he is allowed a little luxury and this very well thought out and exquisitely played album of Soto favourites is a fine testimony to a truly remarkable singer.

As the title suggests, this is the first volume of Soto classics which he has re-recorded with a sublimely talented team of musicians to make a thoroughly enjoyable and essential duets album. Of course, this is a well trodden path but it is so nice to hear some old favourites given a new lease of life and to hear Soto in partnership with a team of brilliant singers who push him all the way so we are treated to an album that is a real vocal masterclass. You can see the songs and vocalists below and it truly is a collection of some great material and the special performances with an amazing list of talent truly does whet the appetite.

Soto’s band is special too with Jorge Salan, Leo Mancini and Howie Simon on guitar and Simon also supplies some bass alongside Tony Dickinson. Drums are courtesy of Edu Cominato with Soto himself also playing bass and keyboards. If you think this is one of those easy to knock out contractual albums then think again as this is one truly classy record with Soto and team playing storming versions of song you will most certainly know.

As should be expected, the golden and honey dripping ballads sit comfortably alongside the more raucous and energetic hard rock tracks; it doesn’t matter which style Soto pursues as he always delivers the perfect performance and The Duets Collection Vol.1 gives us all another chance to savour this truly gifted rock god.

The Duets Collection Vol 1

  1. Livin’ The Life (Rock Star) with Erik Mårtensson (Eclipse/W.E.T.) (3:14).
  2. Don’t Let It End (Yngwie Malmsteen) – with Dino Jelusick (4:33).
  3. Mysterious (Talisman) – with Eric Martin (Mr. Big) (3:23).
  4. Believe in Me (JSS) – with Nathan James (Inglorious) (5:09).
  5. Coming Home (Soul Sirkus) – with Deen Castronovo (Revolution Saints, ex-Journey) (3:54).
  6. I’ll Be Waiting (Talisman) – with Alirio Netto (Shaman, Queen Extravaganza) (2:56).
  7. Callin’ All Girls (Eyes) – with Russell Allen (Symphony X, Allen/Lande) (4:15).
  8. Colour My XTC (Talisman) – with Renan Zonta (Electric Mob) (4:37).
  9. Warrior (Axel Rudi Pell) – with Johnny Gioeli (Hardline, Axel Rudi Pell) (4:37).
  10. Holding On (JSS) – with BJ (SOTO, Spektra) (5:21).
  11. Again 2 B Found (Humananimal) – with Mats Leven (Candlemass, Trans-Siberian Orchestra) (4:32)