A Classic-Rock Rookie From EW Takes the Bait and Rates the Jam Band's Cover Discs
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Forget about plastic masks: Superstar jammers Phish have come up with some truly impressive Halloween getups. When playing live on previous Halloweens, the quintet has traditionally donned a musical ”costume”: They cover one of their favorite artist’s albums in its entirety. On Oct. 29, they released four of these performances — their renditions of the Beatles’ White Album, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light, the Who’s Quadrophenia, and the Velvet Underground’s Loaded — on CD. We were going to write a normal review, but we love these classic records far too much to provide an unclouded assessment. Instead, we turned to EW.com’s associate photo editor Connie Yu, who, believe it or not, has never heard any of the original records. Here’s her totally unbiased opinion. — RB

— Phish, ”Rock and Roll” ”I like this, but I hate long guitar solos. Am I supposed to be high when I’m listening to it? It goes on and on and on.” B-

Velvet Underground, ”Rock and Roll” ”This is better. This singer’s voice is more unique-sounding. He has more conviction. The other one seemed watered-down.” B+

— Phish, ”Sea and Sand” ”It reminds me of Ben Folds Five, but the singer’s vocal chops aren’t there. I don’t know if it’s stupid or just really ballsy, but they’re sort of shining a light on his incompetence. But I liked the song a lot. It’s a nice change.” B

The Who, ”Sea and Sand” ”This time I like the Phish version as much as the original. They really did try to make it their own. I like how they did it as a slower ballad.” B

— Phish, ”Happiness Is a Warm Gun” ”It doesn’t seem so forced. They’re more in their comfort zone.” B-

The Beatles, ”Happiness Is a Warm Gun” ”I almost couldn’t tell this was the same song. It’s clean, and the other version was messy. I really like it. It’s making me rethink what classic rock is. I thought I was going to hate every song, and I don’t.” A

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