Guitar-shredding virtuoso George Lynch has reteamed with former DOKKEN bandmate Jeff Pilson for a set of new studio recordings that turn pop music classics into powerful metal anthems. The two have previously made metal magic together as a duo on the 2003 album "Wicked Underground", which was recently reissued on vinyl, as well as with other projects such as T&N and THE END MACHINE. But this new batch of recordings, titled appropriately enough "Heavy Hitters", stands apart not only for its outstanding roster of players and vocalists, including BULLETBOYS' Marq Torien, FISHBONE's Angelo Moore, New Zealand native Wil Martin and drummer Brian Tichy (WHITESNAKE, OZZY OSBOURNE) but for the jaw-dropping song selection. If you've ever wondered what an amped-up, full-throttle version of Carole King's "I Feel The Earth Move" or Prince's "Kiss" or OASIS's "Champagne Supernova" or Madonna's "Music", then this is the album for you.
As a special treat, the band has released the first single from the album — a powerful rendition of DURAN DURAN's "Ordinary World" — featuring Martin on vocals, offering just a small taste of what's in store.
As Lynch himself explains: "I was never a huge DURAN DURAN fan, but I always loved this song. It was just so majestic and emotional. It was an honor and a challenge to cover it in that we had to thread the needle between respecting the original vision of the arrangement but putting our stamp on it as well."
Pilson, meanwhile, says: "The purpose of this whole record, besides having a lot of fun making it, was to take amazing hit songs and interpret them in a way that was true to the greatness of the original but that also brought something new and fresh to the song. 'Ordinary World' is such a great melodic and emotional song, a song I think George and I have always loved. We just wanted to add some heaviness, a little George Lynch soulful playing and then let Wil fly with that phenomenal voice."
"Heavy Hitters" will be available on both CD in a deluxe digipak and on limited-edition colored vinyl starting December 18, courtesy of Deadline Music, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.
01. One Of Us (originally by Joan Osbourne)
02. You Got The Love (originally by Rufus & Chaka Khan)
03. I Feel The Earth (originally by Carole King)
04. Ordinary World (originally by DURAN DURAN)
05. Music (originally by Madonna)
06. Apologize (originally by ONEREPUBLIC & Timbaland)
07. Nowhere To Run (originally by Martha Reeves & THE VANDELLAS)
08. Kiss (originally by Prince)
09. It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine) (originally by R.E.M.)
10. Champagne Supernova (originally by OASIS)
Bonus track (CD only)
11. Lucille (originally by Little Richard)
George discussed the "Heavy Hitters" project in a recent interview with Audio Ink Radio. He said: "I've got another project I did with Jeff Pilson called 'Heavy Hitters', which is really interesting. It's two songs from [each of] the last five decades that we re-interpreted and reimagined, again, and had a lot of fun with. So we have everything on there from Little Richard to Madonna to Timbaland to DURAN DURAN — just all kinds of different music that we had fun with. And so there may be a series of those records. We just finished the first volume, and we may be doing a series of those."
In a 2019 interview with Guitar World, Lynch talked about his musical bond with Pilson. "Jeff and I have remained close ever since the DOKKEN years, and that writing chemistry we had back then is still alive," he said. "And we like to feed it and collaborate. So over the decades we've done a few projects together, including things like LYNCH/PILSON [which released 'Wicked Underground' in 2003] and T&N [which released 'Slave To The Empire' in 2012]. And [more recently] we've got THE END MACHINE, which is another effort toward fine-tuning our approach."
George elaborated on how his musical output with Pilson has progressed, saying: "Jeff and I keep evolving in our tone selection and our compositional skills. We listen to our old records and there's a lot of things about [them] that we don't like, and we try to improve upon them. And we talk about that a lot. We say, 'How can we get the guitars to sound like this?' 'How can we get our records to sound more dynamic?' We're always chasing that musical dragon, and so every record we do together is another step toward that."