Enuff Z'Nuff is one of those classic hard rock bands from the Eighties that I can recall, but if asked anymore about them, I couldn't tell you a thing about. They had two Billboard hits and two gold albums yet, except for a largely cult following that includes the likes of radio personality Howard Stern, the band lives in obscurity. They do retro shows, like throwback Thursdays for 'what are they doing now' bands.
The thing is that Chip Z'Nuff and company always had some talent and creativity, somewhat eccentric but classic melodic rock nonetheless. Steven Van Zandt once said of the band, "Enuff Z'Nuff is one of the most underrated bands in the world!" Now they put their hand to a covers albums, music that influenced them from the start. Doing a cover album can be problematic. Will they cover songs familiar, or those more eclectic and obscure that the normal person would largely ignore? Will they give the arrangements, hooks and melody, credible justice or simply toy with them into something pathetic and unlistenable? The answer to both questions is the former.
The song selection appears at the right, and it's a good one, covering an interesting breadth of influence. And the band doesn't butcher a single one. They all sound pretty darn great. Some of the best include Everything Works If You Let It, All Apologies, The Stroke, and The Jean Genie, which gets Bowie's early glam punk rawness. Drawing the the Eighties hair band of their youth, they give a tip of the hat to the genre with David Lee Roth's Yankee Rose, making both energetic and gritty. As much as I gag at anything by Prince, Enuff Z'Nuff does a nice job with When Doves Cry, getting that right mixture of vocal arrangement and synth, yet giving it an edgier rock sound.
Other songs didn't always inspire. I wasn't sure what to make of the quintessential The Cult song, She Sell Sanctuary; both the vocals and guitar seemed 'off' some way. But I still liked it. The same thing for the Queen song, Stone Cold Crazy. I wanted to hear the timbre of Freddie's voice. I've never been a fan of John Lennon, so I basically ditched Jealous Guy. The novelty song here is Believe It or Not, theme song from 70's American television show, The Greatest American Hero. The show was goofy, but the song was pop catchy. EZ does little to vary that formula. Bottom line: if you're a fan of Enuff Z'Nuff, or like cover albums in general, you'll want Covered In Gold for your collection and hope to hear them play them at the next live show.
If you're a fan of Enuff Z'Nuff, or like cover albums in general, you'll want Covered In Gold for your collection and hope to hear them play them at the next live show.
1. Everything Works If You Let It (Cheap Trick)
2. Stone Cold Crazy (Queen)
3. She Sells Sanctuary (The Cult)
4. All Apologies (Nirvana)
5. Believe It Or Not (The Greatest American Hero theme)
6. The Jean Genie (David Bowie)
7. Run For Your Life (The Beatles)
8. When Doves Cry (Prince)
9. Tears Of A Clown (Smokey Robinson & The Miracles)
10. The Stroke (Billy Squier)
11. Yankee Rose (David Lee Roth)
12. Jealous Guy (John Lennon)
13. You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (Live on Howard Stern)
14. New Thing (Live Unplugged In London)