Singer extraordinaire Jorn Lande released the first Hard Rock Radio compilation in 2016 and this was a very pleasing album on which Jorn could have a bit of fun and play some of the songs that he has enjoyed and found inspirational in his career. Never an artist allow the dust to settle, he is always busy with his solo, band and project work, so it is nice that he has found time to complete another of these interesting covers albums and it gives us a little insight into what the great man finds interesting too.
As with the first album, each track gets the ‘Jorn’ treatment and he makes each song very much his own even though the selections always contain a surprise or two. Entertainment is guaranteed and part of the fun is seeing how Jorn pulls off a track that you would not expect him to cover. Of course, we are always looking for Dio type tracks and Jorn does indeed excel at these so it is nice to see that he also likes to stretch the selections and move into areas unexpected. The first record did actually cover Sabbath, Purple and Dio but there were some big surprises too in material by Queen, Kate Bush and Abba’s Frida. Again, the big man does not disappoint and he takes a really diverse selection of songs and gives them the full on Jorn treatment. I know and accept that covering other people’s songs is a little like marmite as some love it and others hate it. I had a friend who thought the Yes cover of America was dreadful because he loved the Simon and Garfunkel version so much. However, I do like to see a song given a different take and that is what Jorn has done here. The tracks are Bryan Adams’ Lonely Nights, Winning by Russ Ballard (later covered by Santana), Don Henley’s New York Minute and Needles and Pins, the superior pop song performed and written by Jackie DeShannon and also covered by The Searchers, Smokie and many others (and I do prefer the Smokie version). We then get the song Love which was apparently penned for this album and this is a smouldering ballad that really rocks and then a track I did not know in Pages’ I Do Believe In You; Foreigner’s Nightlife, Deep Purple’s Bad Attitude and then Dylan’s Quinn The Eskimo or, as we know it more in the UK, The Mighty Quinn covered by Manfred Mann. The album then finishes with the obligatory Dio cover in Mystery and then a truly rocked up version of Peter Gabriel’s The Rhythm Of The Heat. To me this is the track of the album but I’m sure some Gabriel fans will be horrified and this is the beauty of covering other writer’s material. Jorn is joined by Alessandro Del Vecchio (who else?) on keyboards, Sid Ringsby on bass with Tore Moren and Jgor Gianola on guitars and Francesco Jovino on drums.
Either treat this as just a bit of fun as Jorn Lande indulges himself as you wait for the next studio album or join in and celebrate a magnificent singer as he puts his own magical touch on a choice selection of material, much of which will be unexpected but all work quite beautifully.