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An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks
Whole Lotta Love
An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks
Split Screen Entertainment
Hard Rock
Mark Balogh
4.0 stars

After successfully pulling of an “outside the box” tribute with “"Kiss My Ankh" – A Tribute To Vinnie Vincent”, Split Screen Entertainment and A.J. Confessore are back at it with WHOLE LOTTA LOVE – An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks.

This time around you get exactly what the title suggests… A tribute to the big and beautiful women who make the rockin’ world go ‘round! I mean a tribute to a somewhat obscure musician like Vinnie Vincent is one thing but a rockin’ tribute to big gals is really thinking outside the box!

Just like on “Kiss My Ankh” you get some well-known names in the 80’s hard rock world and some newcomers added into the mix. One thing is for sure, you can tell there is some well thought out planning behind these tributes by Split Screen and it really does make for a cool listen as the quality effort can be heard throughout.

So when one does a tribute to a certain artist or band, it’s easy as one just needs to decide what tunes by that artist need to be included. But when doing a tribute to certain female form where does one get his ideas? Well just one look at the songs included and you see it makes total sense, as there have been plenty of “tributes” to big girls by a number of big time names in the rock world.

Leading off the record you get one of the most obvious “big girl” tributes ever written; QUEEN’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” is given the tribute treatment by Sir Phil Lewis of L.A. GUNS and he’s helped out by John Macaluso (ARK, TNT, etc.) and Paul LaPlaca. Lewis does a fine job with the song.

Next up you get POISON’s “Unskinny Bop” as done by EVICK, who just happen to feature members of none other than Bret Michaels touring band. The production is a bit thin (no pun intended) on this one and the vocals aren’t the strongest but the version is pretty faithful overall.

The AC/DC classic “Whole Lotta Rosie” is covered next by Rufus Fontain who feature CINDERELLA’s Jeff LaBar and vocalist Ronnie Honeycutt. Honeycutt’s vocals have sort of a Tom Keifer (CINDERELLA) meets Bon Scott flair, so it works well with the song and the version is another solid one on the record.

Up next is a fairly obscure (but brilliantly included) song titled “All Lips n’ Hips” by 80’s Swedish rockers the ELECTRIC BOYS. Tackling the track is the duo of Ted Poley (DANGER DANGER) and Vic Rivera CRUNCH. I’m not so sure the song was originally intended to be a tribute to big chicks but the title certainly works and Poley and Rivera turn another solid effort.

The rock n’ roll fruit himself C.C. Banana makes a return appearance as he was featured on the “"Kiss My Ankh"” disc as well. This time he let’s his love for big girls be known by taking on “Split” (as in banana split!). The song is basically “Spit” by KISS and C.C. gets some help from David Z of ZO2 and TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA fame and Angus Clark (also of TRANS SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA). It’s fun version sung as only C.C. could!

The LED ZEPPELIN classic and title track “Whole Lotta Love” is taken on by a true big girl, Celisa Stratton, who is an indie artist from Vermont. Stratton does mostly Americana sounding music but she jumps into “Whole Lotta Love” with help from QUIET RIOT’s Frankie Banali and Alex Grossi (QUIET RIOT and ADLER’S APPETITE). She certainly turns in a solid rendition on the song and she’s got quite a voice too.

One of the most fun tracks on the record follows with “Baby Got Back” from the not exactly hard rockin’ SIR MIX-A-LOT. The tune is done with equal parts of hard-edged guitar riffs and fun vocals by the one and only Don Jamieson (of VH1 Classic’s That Metal Show). Jamieson even starts it of with a bit of a tribute of his own by throwing in the opening line of “Yankee Rose” by Diamond DAVID LEE ROTH. It’s even completed with some revised lyrics to fit the proceedings at hand – “She look wide, wide, WIDE”. Brilliant!

A mini super group of sorts is enlisted to take on the Uncle TED NUGENT classic “Thunder Thighs”. Stevie Rachelle of TUFF, Jay Jay French of TWISTED SISTER and STET HOWLAND (formally of W.A.S.P. and currently WHERE ANGELS SUFFER turn in a great version of this tune. And French certainly rips it up on the guitar too.

A newcomer act named TRIANGLE EXCEPTION covers an obscure tune by a band named THE COMPULSIONS (?). A quick listen to the original on iTunes reveals the TRIANGLE EXCEPTION version as a very straightforward and faithful version.

Another returning artist from the “"Kiss My Ankh"” album is Steve Brown of TRIXTER. Brown turned in one of the best performances on “Ankh” with a re-worked version of “A Million To One” and he does it again with “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” from pop star MIKA. In his hands he makes the song into a power pop classic! I gotta hand it to Brown as he seems to have put a good amount of thought and effort into his song choices and arrangements for the two Split Screen releases he’s contributed to.

Sandwiching (I guess a pun is intended!) the Steve Brown track are two original songs by Candye Kane with “You Need A Great Big Woman” (with a bluesy meets swing rock approach) and DOGWHISTLE with “BMW”.

Closing out “Whole Lotta Love” is “Big Bottom” which was originally done by SPINAL TAP, but it’s done here by EDDIE OJEDA’S BAND OF STEEL which of course features Eddie Ojeda of TWISTED SISTER fame. Again, it’s a pretty faithful rendition of the song.

But it doesn’t quite end there as you get another brief appearance from C.C. BANANA and possibly the biggest star of the whole album… MISS PIGGY of the Muppets!!! It’s a funny (and brilliant) minute or so of banter between the two that needs to be heard!

Split Screen Entertainment has done it again with another well thought out tribute album and so that makes it two for two. More tribute albums should have this type of flair and passion instead of just being about a quick buck. If you liked “"Kiss My Ankh"” for what it was or if you simply have a sense of humor you should check out “Whole Lotta Love – An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks”.

Track Listing:
  1. Fat Bottomed Girls (originally recorded by QUEEN) (w/ Phil Lewis, Paul LaPlaca & John Macaluso)
  2. Unskinny Bop (originally recorded by POISON) (by Evick featuring members of BRET MICHAELS BAND)
  3. Whole Lotta Rosie (originally recorded by AC/DC) (by Rufus Fontain featuring Jeff LaBar & Ronnie Honeycutt)
  4. All Lips N’ Hips (originally recorded by the ELECTRIC BOYS) (w/ Ted Poley & Vic Rivera)
  5. Split (originally recorded as Spit by KISS) (w/ C.C. Banana, David Z & Angus Clark)
  6. Whole Lotta Love (originally recorded by LED ZEPPELIN) (w/ Celisa Stratton, Frankie Banali & Alex Grossi)
  7. Baby Got Back (originally recorded by Sir Mix-A-Lot) (w/ Don Jamieson)
  8. Thunder Thighs (originally recorded by Ted Nugent) (w/ Stevie Rachelle, Jay Jay French & Stet Howland)
  9. Big, Fat, Sexy Mama (originally recorded by THE COMPULSIONS) (by TRIANGLE EXCEPTION)
  10. You Need A Great Big Woman (original recording by Candye Kane)
  11. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) (originally recorded by Mika) (w/ Steve Brown)
  12. BMW (original recording by DOGWHISTLE)
  13. Big Bottom (originally recorded by SPINAL TAP) (by EDDIE OJEDA’S BAND OF STEEL)


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