Oh boy, the psychologists could have some fun with this one... Glancing moodily down from the back cover is a familiar figure: hair and shirt of jet black, Fender Stratocaster in his hands. Yes it’s Blackmore, but it’s not Ritchie, it Jurgen ‘JR’ Blackmore, Ritchie’s son from his first marriage.
Not only is JR a lookalike guitarist, he has also assumed the role of his father in tribute act Over The Rainbow, and in Voices 1 has produced a record heavily in debt to the classic rock sound of the 1970s that his old man did so much to create. JR’s no nipper, either – he’s a man in his mid-40s – so it is hard to appraise his music without its attendant Oedipal baggage.
The Friends are a variety of vocalists, including Oliver Hartmann and Michael Bormann, who wail their way through these wordy epics. Bormann has his work cut out during Beethoven, where he has to cram in the couplet ‘Gershwin, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Zep/Wouldn’t have been here without him’.
Yes, JR shares a classical bent with his father, as well. It’s all a little too close for comfort.