Fiercely independent and always strong on composition, it is not usual practice for recognized Progressive Rock artists to cover songs originally released by other artists. Nevertheless, it has been known to happen, and on some occasions the result has been a dramatic improvement on the original, or perhaps a more proggy take on the song. Neal Morse and Mike Portnoy (often in the company of Randy George) have made it their regular practice to record a series of covers with almost each album they release, whether with Transatlantic, Neal Morse solo albums or the stand-alone Morse, Portnoy & George cover albums. On occasion, there has even been the odd cover song included on a studio album’s main release. Sometimes the covers are faithful to the originals, and at other times they offer entirely new interpretations. Whatever the purpose and intention, it is very often immensely pleasing to hear Prog artists interpret the work of other people. As they get ready to release the new Neal Morse Band album, we wanted to take a look at some of the creative versions of classics from Neal, Mike and friends.
10- Morse, Portnoy & George “Come Sail Away” by Styx
This cover of the Styx classic appears on the second Cover 2 Cover album that Mike, Neal and Randy released in 2012. They would perform this live on the Momentum tour.
9- Transatlantic “And You And I” by Yes
This appeared on the Kaleidoscope album Special Edition bonus disc in 2013 and the band would perform it with Jon Anderson on the Prog Nation at Sea Cruise in 2014.
8- Transatlantic “Indiscipline” by King Crimson
This crazy King Crimson track also from Kaleidoscope Special Edition bonus disc in 2013, this was performed with Adrian Belew on the Cruise.
7- Transatlantic “Watcher of the Skies/Firth of Fifth by Genesis
Known genesis freaks, it wasn’t a surprise to hear Transatlantic perform this Genesis medley on their first tour back in 2001/2002.
6- Transatlantic “Return of the Giant Hogweed” by Genesis
This studio cover of another Genesis track appeared on The Whirlwind Special Edition bonus disc .