Drummers have a speckled history, solo album-wise. From Keith Moon to Ringo Starr and onwards, their work often lacks vocal talent, songwriting ability and much point. But Bun E. Carlos – formerly Cheap Trick’s drummer – has skated round this problem with ease by getting in lots of proper vocalists to sing his favourite songs, on which he drums and, presumably, shouts encouragement.
The result should be something of a hotchpotch, with artists ranging from Hanson to Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, and songs as diverse as Them’s I Can Only Give You Everything and Iris DeMent’s Let The Mystery Be. But it works, as everything is joined up by a loud, powerful, Cheap Trick-like production and a liveliness and enthusiasm that bounces out of the speakers.
Carlos’s original plan of making the album like a series of singles with A- and B-sides still lurks in the background like a phantom jukebox, and this is a joyous, if not entirely essential, collection.