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City of heavenly sin

A cover of Rainbow Gates of Babylon done by a neoclassical metal band Lost Symphony with guest musicians, including Dave Abbruzzese (of Pearl Jam fame) on drums.

Fun fact: despite Abbruzzese being in PJ in their heyday and recording two multi-platinum albums with them (Vs., 1993, and Vitalogy, 1994), he was snubbed when the band was inducted into the RnR Hall of Fame. Sounds familiar, eh?

Speaking of Gates of Babylon covers, prog supergroup Sons of Apollo did a cover of it a couple of years ago as well. Jeff Scot Soto, Bumblefoot, Derek Sherinian, Billy Sheehan, Mike Portnoy. Live. In a Roman amphitheater. With an orchestra. Fire and brimstone. Double necked guitar galore. Can it get any more bombastic than that?

Thanks to Gary Poronovich for the heads up.

11 Comments to “City of heavenly sin”:

  1. 1
    Paulo Glover says:

    Stargazer, Gates of Babylon and Kill the King, some of the 70s masterpieces. The first video is ok, I’m in love with the violinist :}. The second video, nice solo with a fretless guitar emulating Ritchie’s bottleneck sound (I know that in this particular solo there isn’t a bottleneck 🙂 but could be in the solo first part). For my taste, Portnoy’s double bass was too much. If master Cozy didn’t play it, it wasn’t necessary. Also is always nice to see Billy Sheehan playing.

  2. 2
    MacGregor says:

    Interesting intro from the violin player & I cannot understand why she didn’t play the ending bit as well. No need for that rhythm guitarist to be there though, one guitarist is all that is needed. A decent version though. In regards to the 2nd version, Scott Soto sounds a little hoarse, struggling to get there in a way. Mind you I haven’t heard him sing for decades, it could be the aging factor that affects certain vocalists, especially the ones who push it hard in their younger days. A good version with the accompanying orchestra, it passes the pub test, so to speak. Good solo from Bumble, not over doing it like many do. Wasn’t he in Asia a year or two back, singing lead vocals at least. maybe some guitar I am not sure. Playing the old school masters work of Steve Howe & Ritchie Blackmore, good to hear. Cheers.

  3. 3
    Adel Faragalla says:

    Please don’t forget David Stone for the amazing intro to the Gates of Babylon.
    I recall the bitterness that RJD used to express in his interviews about the treatment the keyboard players in the first 3 Rainbow albums if only Ritchie stuck with a solid talented members for a long period instead of the hiring and firing business. I wish I can understand his way of seeing things. For me the real Rainbow is the first three albums.

  4. 4
    Coverdian says:

    BUT IT IS, IT IS, IT IS !!!

  5. 5
    Kalle says:

    One of the best songs in the whole Purple family. Both versions well done.
    But the video shows one interesting thing:

    Ritchie always knew exactly how to refine a song with a brilliant solo and make it bigger.

    The awkward solos (organ and guitar) in both versions shown above achieve exactly the opposite. A pity.

  6. 6
    George Martin says:

    Yes, Bumblefoot was in Asia couple of years ago. I saw them with Yes, Carl Palmer’s ELP project and John Lodge from the Moody Blues. He sang and played guitar but with about 4 songs left in the set they brought out Steve Howe to play the last 4. They were really good. I miss John Wetton but he did a good job. I’ll tell you Carl Palmer is still amazing. For a man of his age he is incredible.

  7. 7
    Uwe Hornung says:

    JSS’ voice does sound shot on that performance. Other than that both versions are worthy. It’s not an easy song to do justice to und Ritchie himself chickened out of ever performing it live. (Or is it on some obscure bootleg I missed? Not to my knowledge.)

    The Dio version from the mid-noughties Holy Diver tour with Sarzo and Aldrich was good too.

  8. 8
    MacGregor says:

    @ 6 – yes that is where I read something from my memory regarding Bumblefoot. Carl Palmer certainly still has the chops on the drums, he has always looked after himself, he still looks very fit indeed. One of the greatest drummers. Cheers.

  9. 9
    MacGregor says:

    I have watched the SOA version again & it is a very good version indeed. It takes the song to another level. Epic music performed at this level cannot be surpassed one thinks, well maybe it can vocally, but this version does do GOB justice like no other live versionI have seen or heard as yet. Such a shame Blackmore couldn’t or wouldn’t for whatever reason perform it live with Rainbow. There have been artists over time who do not perform some or even all of their music live, it happens for different reasons. Another masterful version of a great song originally recorded from the same year 1977, is Todmobile the Icelandic band performing Yes’ classic song Awaken. With Jon Anderson on lead vocals accompanied by an orchestra & a choir. Performed in 2013 it takes a song that classic Yes have nailed to perfection many times in a live performance, to another level indeed! Magic in music. Two unique songs expanded upon, uplifting & brilliant. Cheers.

  10. 10
    AnthonyC says:

    Both versions are pretty good. Neither can match the original, though.

  11. 11
    MacGregor says:

    I have to say I always feel for vocalists as they are on a hiding to nothing in many ways. So much to contend with turning up for every performance, things that can get in the way of the vocal delivery, including colds & flu, laryngitis & the proverbial dry ice & smoke filled venue at times. In reality this gig was scheduled for filming with the orchestra, to postpone would have been a financial & logistical issue. Jeff Scott Soto carries on & most probably didn’t want to let anyone down. Kudos to him for that effort indeed! In an ideal situation they may have cancelled or postponed the concert & enabled him more time to recover. Cheers

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