Tribute album

Tribute album

A tribute album is a recorded collection of cover versions of songs or instrumental compositions. It's concept may be either various artists making a tribute to a single artist, a single artist making a tribute to various artists, or a single artist making a tribute to another single artist.

There have been tributes or covers recorded since before the first albums became technically feasible; Enrico Caruso's 1907 recordings of Ruggero Leoncavallo's opera Pagliacci are one early example. The birth of the 'modern' tribute album is often credited to record producer Hal Willner with the Amarcord Nino Rota LP in 1981. He followed up with tributes to Thelonious Monk, Disney cartoons, Kurt Weill, Charles Mingus and Harold Arlen.

Some tribute albums are created with a further conceptual twist than a simple collection of covers. These include:

Some albums titled and marketed as "tributes" to well-known musical figures are effectively sound-alikes or knock-offs, recorded by anonymous session musicians or performers of no distinction.

List of tribute albums


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