Veteran Quiet Riot drummer Frankie Banali and guitarist Alex Grossi are the newest recruits to the upcoming tribute album “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks.” Each lends their talent to a unique interpretation of the title track, originated by Led Zeppelin in 1969. Offering a new twist on the familiar classic, Alex provides a nuanced lead while Frankie brings his trademark Zeppelin sensibilities to the drums, making this the first time the two have appeared together on a studio recording. The track was arranged and produced by Paul LaPlaca (Chris Caffrey, The Great Kat, Zandelle), who also contributes acoustic guitar, bass and additional percussion. All vocals are handled by newcomer Celisa Stratton, a supersized songstress of 6’2″ and 400+ lbs. A big, beautiful woman with a big, beautiful voice, she more than embodies the spirit of the album and brings all new meaning to the phrase “Whole Lotta Love.” A sample of the song is now available at the official “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE” MySpace page.
“Since this is a salute to fat chicks, my intention was to make the song sound FAT,” says vocalist Celisa Stratton. “So I changed the key and utilized my full vocal range to create a whole new version of the song. Hopefully in listening to this track, people will see the point of view of a proud fat woman who has a whole lotta love to give.”
“I put much thought into the best way to approach this,” adds producer Paul LaPlaca. “I ended up with a largely acoustic arrangement with lots of hand percussion and some exotic loops. Interestingly, when Alex and Frankie added their parts, it took the song in a completely different direction that still totally worked.”
“It was a lot of fun providing the drum track for ‘Whole Lotta Love,’” comments Frankie Banali. “To bring some authenticity to this iconic song, I brought in a drum kit of the exact specs used on the original ‘Led Zeppelin II’ sessions, right down to the drumheads. While not copying beat for beat, I played drum parts that are in the spirit of the great John Henry Bonham.”
“I was pretty excited to add my guitars to this song, especially after hearing Frankie’s drums,” continues Alex Grossi. “Overall, I’m glad to be a part of this project, paying tribute to fat chicks everywhere!”
As previously reported, “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks” is a musical homage to the big, beautiful women who make the rockin’ world go ’round. The tribute will feature all-new recordings of popular songs praising the fuller female figure, originally made famous by some of the biggest names in rock and pop music. These anthems to abundance will be performed by renowned rock & rollers from yesterday and today, along with a select few rising stars. In direct opposition to the “no fat chicks” mantra espoused by some, “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE“ will be a star-studded celebration of large and lovely ladies. Songs confirmed so far include Queen‘s arena rock classic “Fat Bottomed Girls” by L.A. Guns singer Phil Lewis, with guitarist Paul LaPlaca and drummer John Macaluso. Also on tap is a high-octane version of the AC/DC concert staple “Whole Lotta Rosie” by Rufus Fontain, featuring Cinderella guitarist Jeff LaBar and original Jackyl vocalist Ronnie Honeycutt. The Poison chart-topper “Unskinny Bop” is ably recreated by party rock outfit Evick, featuring members of the Bret Michaels Band. And the bass-heavy Spinal Tap dirge “Big Bottom” is given a 6-string revamp by Twisted Sister guitarist Eddie Ojeda and his Band of Steel. Additional artists and track listings will be announced as they are confirmed. Samples of all tracks are available at the official “WHOLE LOTTA LOVE“ MySpace page.
“WHOLE LOTTA LOVE: An All-Star Salute To Fat Chicks” is scheduled for an August 31, 2010 release and is now available for pre-order directly from SplitScreen Entertainment. The first 500 pre-orders will receive a free instant digital download of “Fat Bottomed Girls” and a surprise bonus item upon delivery of the album. Further details can be found at the SplitScreen Entertainment website.