Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

We are here with yet another Jeff Scott Soto release and this one is quite unique. It is called ‘B-Sides’ and consists of unreleased tracks, bonus tracks, duets as well as songs used for Tribute albums. It shows as it is an official release from Frontiers Records, but it is very cheap looking. The CDs themselves do say these are “Not For Sale, For Promo Use Only”, but they seem like bootlegs. However, discogs has them on their site and they do not list it as ‘Unofficial’ so everything actually leads me to believe this is a real Frontiers Records release. And yet, the mix of it is not that great as the volume between songs has not been equalized as some songs are louder than others. I don’t know what to think, but I have a copy and I am pretty stoked about it. I am curious as to why the reason behind this product though, so if anyone knows, please let me know in the comments below.

The main reason I’m stoked is that it saves me a ton of money from going and buying all the albums that these songs are on. Most are on an album from another artist that Jeff appears on or Tribute albums where this is probably the only song I would want any way. To have them all in one compilation I would say is big win. One thing that sort of stinks about this is the liner notes on the CD booklet. As you can see from a picture further down the post, there is a fantastic Track List of CD 2 and where the songs originated from, but the left side of the picture does not have the track list for CD 1 and where the songs originated. That is actually a misprint because I have seen pictures of the inner sleeve that have the CD 1 track list breakdown. If the list is there or not, this is still a pretty cool piece in the Soto collection.

The first song was a cassette only bonus track from Jeff’s first band, Panther. “Set Me Free” one of my favorite songs on that album. Soto attacks it with a deeper tone and yet still soars with some high notes. The drumming on it is immense with some great fills. The guitar solo is typical for the time to see how fast he can go, but its great. It definitely takes me back to the 80’s with this one. The next three tracks,”Act of Sympathy”, “Highway to Nowhere” and “Mental Ward” were demos from Jeff’s work with is buddy Gary Schutt on his album ‘Sentimetal’ that Jeff sang lead on. “Act” is pure metal, heavy, dark and Jeff sounds great but a lot of echo…again, this is a demo so not fully polished. Same with “Highway” except it is a little more speed metal, some kickass double bass drum, a real killer track. “Mental Ward” comes off feeling like a leftover track from Jeff’s worker with Biker Mice From Mars soundtrack. It has that same campy, cartoony feel to it.

“Hush” is off the Deep Purple Tribute album called Smoke On the Water: A Tribute. It has Dee Castronovo with both Jeff and Mike Varney singing on it. Production wise a little soft as it doesn’t have punch the song should have. One of the songs that has a softer volume then the rest of the album. “Arms of Love” is a great old school melodic rock power ballad that sounds pure 80’s. The next two tracks are the bonus tracks from the Japanese edition of Takara’s album ‘Blind in Paradise’. First is “Always Be Mine” which is an a cappella track with hand claps and an old school vibe to it. The harmonies are great and it is like nothing else on the album. I love it!! Short and Sweet!! Next is the Van Halen cover of “Dance the Night Away” and it is awesome. Jeff can handle Roth’s vocals with ease. It has the opening cowbell and the great riff, it is a cover that sticks to the original’s essence. 

The next two tracks are two more Van Halen covers and both of the song “So This Is Love”. The first is an electronic remix called “Sheep on Drugs Remix” and it is off the VH Tribute album ‘Hot for Remix: A Tribute to Van Halen’. The second is a pure remake of the song and Jeff can mimic Roth to a “T”. It is awesome and at times I had to remember who was singing and that it wasn’t Roth. Yes, that good. This one is off the ‘Little Guitars – A Tribute To Van Halen’ I believe.

Next up is a cover of Ozzy Osbourne’s song “A Shot in the Dark”. Jeff doesn’t try to mimic Ozzy because why would he as it would sound ridiculous. He sang it as Mr. Soto which makes it a decent cover and I really like it also because it is a favorite of mine with Ozzy. It is off the Tribute album ‘Head Soup: A Tribute To Ozzy Osbourne’. The next cover is “Cryin'” off the Tribute album ‘Tribute To Aerosmith: Let The Tribute Do The Talkin”. Well, I don’t really like this song a whole lot and even less so here. It is Jeff doing Karaoke as he is trying to mimic Tyler to an extent and he can do it, but still ehh. And yet another tribute song is “Desert Island” from ‘Warmth In The Wilderness – A Tribute To Jason Becker Vol. 2’. The production is a little bad, but the drumming is sensational, the guitars are lightning fast and it is a heavy ass song. Really killer track overlooking the production. Jeff sings with Tommy Denander or should I say Jeff sings mostly background for Tommy. This is more Tommy than Jeff, but still killer.

“Love Dominion” is on the Humanimal E.P. ‘Find My Way Home” and has some intense guitar work from Pontus Norgren with some really cool opening riffs and Thomas Broman is pounding away on the drums. The opening gives us a guitar solo as well before Jeff joins in on vocals. The bass is heavy on this one, but not Talisman heavy. Jeff’s vocals aren’t as in your face and seem more reserved with such a rocking track, but it works. Great hooks, riffs and melodies. Then we get “Us and Them” from ‘An All Star Lineup Performing The Songs Of Pink Floyd’. It is a great rendition of the song as Jeff’s soft, emotive vocals are spot on and that Saxophone takes the song to another level. Great cover.

“The Story of Love” is a song from Ken Tamplin featuring Jeff Scott Soto. The song is off Ken’s album Ken Tamplin and Friends – ‘Wake the Nations’. It is nice to get some duets from Jeff and this is a good one. A rock track with a catchy chorus, a great driving drum beat and some fine guitar work. What more could you want. Next up is “Time” which is the bonus track on the Japanese Edition of Talisman’s ‘Cats & Dogs’. A great song, with a little funked up bass and a catchy chorus. Jeff sings this melodic rock stuff the best and he really shines here. The last track on Disc 1 is “Prisoner” which is a duet between Jeff and Bob Harris of the band Edge of Forever. The song is on their debut album ‘Feeding the Fire’. A heavy song and their voices play well of each other. Typical heavy melodic rock song, but has a quick keyboard solo, bass solo and then a great guitar solo. Kinda cool. Marcel Jacob was the producer and how they got Jeff.

The next disc kicks off with “What You Gonna Do”, but really should be called “What You Gonna Do When Your Love is Gone”. It is from Chris Catena’s album ‘Freak Out’. It is a duet between Chris and Jeff and it is a funk celebration. A real attention grabber and that bass line is awesome. A really fun track and great way to kick off the 2nd disc. “In the Final Hour” is from Laudamus album ‘Lost in Vain’. It is another duet with Jeff and Peter Stenlund. They alternate verses and I can’t say I’m a fan of Peter’s vocals and the song is a little lackluster as it has the monotonous riff that gets on my nerves. “All Wound Up” is a Talisman unreleased track that was on Melodicrock.com’s first compilation album ‘Volume 1 Revealed And Revisited’. It is a great Talisman track and sees Jeff attack the lyrics with a wicked veracity. The guitar work is sensational and so is the bass and drums. A fantastic track that is certainly needed for any Talisman fan.

Then we are back to the Tributes and this one is an AC/DC cover of “Problem Child” from We Salute You A Tribute to AC/DC’. Another bad production as most of these Tribute albums are done pretty cheaply. This one is cheesy as Jeff tries to do his best Bon Scott and he can get the grit, but he isn’t Bon. Now, it isn’t bad and I do enjoy it, it’s just not one of his best. Next is an Iron Maiden cover of “Aces High” from ‘Numbers From The Beast – An All Star Salute To Iron Maiden’. And it isn’t Maiden by any stretch of the imagination. It is kind of bad Karaoke, but Jeff does give it his all and earns my mad respect. I’ll still listen to it and won’t skip it. Then we get one of my favorites on here which is a tribute to Sweet with “Love is Like Oxygen” from ‘The Sweet According to Sweden: A Tribute to The Sweet’ It is the band Audiovision featuring Mr. Soto. It is a spot on rendition and really smokes. They captured the energy and excitement of the song and the organ solo is awesome!! 

“Doctor Doctor” is from Michael Schenker’s album ‘Heavy Hitters’. The song has Michael, Bob Kulick and Marco Mendozza some real heavy hitters. Musically, it is phenomenal and vocally, it is Jeff so you know its great. Then we get a bonus track, “Turned the Page” to Jeff’s solo album ‘Lost in Translation’. There were 13 songs recorded for the album, but only released 12. This was added as a bonus track later and is in the same style as most of the album and not quite as good. A melodic rocker with just not the right stuff.

The next batch of songs were all taken from an unreleased Jeff Scott Soto E.P. and are all Queen covers. If this had been released, I would have it. The covers are for “Save Me”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Show Must Go On”, “I Want It All” and “Somebody To Love”. I have read contradicting statements on these songs. One says its the actual backing tracks from Queen with Jeff singing over them instead of Freddie and the other more plausible one are that they are the backing tracks for Karaoke with Jeff singing over them. We know Jeff can sing Queen as we have the live CD of him doing just that. So these are all fantastic with one exception. On “Show Must Go On”, you see where Jeff’s vocals are having a bad day as he can’t do them as smooth as Freddie and not many people can. It was the one time I saw a flaw in his voice. These are all great tracks, but I need to be in the mood for them to enjoy them.

There is another cover of Queen’s song “Save Me” but this one is acoustic and taken from ‘Tie Your Mother Down: A Tribute to Queen’. I really like this one as it highlights Jeff’s vocals and he does Freddie proud with this one. The next rack is “Edge of the Blade” taken from A Tribute to Journey. And we know Jeff can do Journey as he spent some time as their lead singer. This is a cool track even if sound is a little lower than some other songs. Jeff feels right at home here and really kills it with his aggressive attitude and vocal style. Now, what is really great about the last song “Under Fire” is that it is listed as a bonus track on a compilation full of bonus tracks. A little ironic, don’t you think. This one goes back a long time to 1989 with Alex Masi’s album ‘Attack of the Neon Shark’. Alex is another guitar god that Jeff has worked with and he sang this one song on the album. Frankie Banali was on drums. It is an 80’s rock song with some great guitar work liked you’d expect from Alex. A nice bonus track.

And there you have it. What a ton of songs to go through and everyone is welcome in my collection. It is nice to have them all on one set like this instead of spread over around 30 albums. I still think it was put together a little cheap, but it is still totally awesome. It is saving me a ton of dough as I am not a completist in the full sense of the word. I don’t have to have every single album Jeff is on even if it is one song, but I’ll take something like this any day. If you are a fan of Jeff’s this is a sweet and rare one to get in the collection. If you are not, you can probably skip, but you’d be missing out. My Overall Score is a 3.5 out of 5.0 Stars but only for quality of songs. For collectibility, it is a 5.0 out of 5.0 Stars.

UP NEXT: REDLIST – ‘IGNORANCE’ (2007)

THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES:

  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Humanimal – Find My Way Home: Limited Edition E.P. (2002)
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002)
  38. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  39. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  40. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  41. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2004
  43. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  44. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  45. Soul SirkUS – ‘World Play’ (2004/2005)
  46. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  47. Talisman – ‘World’s Best Kept Secret DVD (2005)
  48. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  49. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  50. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  51. Talisman – The Albums Ranked Worst to First
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  53. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  54. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  55. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  57. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  59. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  60. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  61. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  62. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  63. Jeff Scott Soto – The Authorized Biography (2014)
  64. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  65. Joel Hoekstra’s 13 – Dying to Live (2015)
  66. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  68. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  69. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  70. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  71. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  74. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  75. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  76. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  77. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  78. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Complicated’ (2022)
  79. Ellefson/Soto – ‘Vacation in the Underground’ (2022)
  80. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

17 thoughts on “Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

    1. Cassette Only, pretty cool. This is great as it gave a lot of things I was missing that I don’t need to go buy now for 1 Jeff song. I love that! But not all the songs are great, just needed them for the collection.

      Like

    1. Exactly, he never turned down a check. There is a rare bootleg of his called Cover 2 Cover I’m trying to get that holds most, if not all the Tribute albums he has been on. Some repeats with this one, but still a ton more. One of the hardest to find.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I can confirm that Frontiers promos did look all washed out back then, they were a fair bit different from the standard release. This is a pretty cool release, I honestly never picked up the tribute albums so it’s kind of neat to see someone gather a bunch of their work somewhere.

    Liked by 1 person

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