Music Review: Enuff Z’Nuff Hardrock Nite (Beatles Tribute)

Enuff Z'Nuff's Hardrock Nite Beatles tribute
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Chicago’s one-and-only Enuff Z’Nuff returns to revisit – and reinterpret – their Beatles’ roots with Hardrock Nite.

What can technically be called a “tribute” is actually a hard rock celebration with a few twists and turns.

Throughout his thirty-plus-year career in rock music, Chip Z’Nuff has always been unapologetic about how The Beatles have influenced his music. The harmonies. Dramatic build-ups. Song structure.

Enuff Z’Nuff’s sound has always had a lot of Beatles’ elements.

But for a rock band to wear their favorite artists’ sounds is nothing new.

After all – every band or rock artist has their influences. The Rolling Stones looked up to Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Howlin’ Wolf.

The Beatles themselves were influenced by the likes of Little Richard, Chuck Berry and the one and only Elvis Preseley.

The Eagles were definitely influenced by The Byrds, Gram Parsons and Gene Clark, as well as the rest of the California country-rock scene – including Rick Nelson, Neil Young, Michael Nesmith, and too many others to mention (as with the legendary acts mentioned above).

Hardrock Nite – a play on words of Hard Day’s Night – turns out to be a Beatles, John Lennon, and Paul MacCartney tribute/celebration with a kick. It’s not just a play-by-the-numbers covers album. It sticks close to the Fab Four blueprint without sounding identical.

Overall, Enuff Z’Nuff picked the right mix of Beatles tunes to interpret: “Helter Skelter,” “Back In The USSR,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “Revolution” (a new, more gritty version – not the B-side recorded years ago), Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” (the album’s first video) and “With A Little Help From My Friends” could be considered the standouts.

Although it could be said that all tracks are clearly tied for first.

Hardrock Nite can be distilled into a simple formula that’s easier to understand than anything learned in high school chemistry class – a bunch of guys performing their versions of a most important influence.

While sonically pleasing – it’s not spoiled with heavy synths or artificial orchestrations.

Here are a few review snippets for Hardrock Nite:

“Take ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, there’s a bite in the chords. A thump in the drums that makes it worthwhile, and the harmonies are pure EZN.” – MaximumVolume.com

“…if you’re a Beatles and Enuff Z’Nuff fan, you will dig their interpretation of some very classic Beatles songs within Hardrock Nite. Recommended.” – Dangerdog Music Reviews

“Performed to perfection by the current lineup, which includes Tory Stoffregen on guitars (the oldest member of this lineup {aside from Chip}, Tony Fennell on guitar as well and Dan Hill on drums – all doing backing vocals.” – ViriAOR

“Many of the tracks – especially the real standouts – seem as if they are performed against a massive backdrop of constant harmonic noise and full-on rock’n’roll choirs. It takes you (pleasantly) by surprise. The musical theatre of ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ and the classically confessional ‘Cold Turkey’ are both translated into epic guitar rock, and both are given a thumping percussive heartbeat.” – GetReadyToRock

“…Enuff Z’Nuff do their job quite well. The quartet is rocking as usual and gives each of the tracks a certain powerful touch that is never too far away from the original.” – Markus Heavy Music Blog

“…it will live on as an outstanding body of work in its own right by a band that continue to surprise and impress in a world where surprises are few and far between.” – HeavyMag

What about original Enuff Z’nuff singer Donnie Vie?

If you are looking for any trace of original singer and Z’Nuff partner Donnie Vie – keep looking.

Although Vie previously delivered an outstanding performance on the 90’s recording of “Jealous Guy” (from the album Tweaked), and would have fit right in – today’s Enuff Z’nuff is clearly Chip’s vehicle.

Hardrock Nite follows the sonic blueprint Z’Nuff laid with his era albums Diamond Boy and Brainwashed Generation.

Production is crisp, radio-ready (if there was rock radio today – not just satellite or streaming), and a cut above a lot of hard rock releases today.

As for Donnie, he can be heard on the recent boxed set Rarities and Demos (available via Cleopatra Records) and on his new single “Party Time” – which also includes an appearance by – you guessed it – Chip Z’Nuff!

Although it appears that a Vie-Z’Nuff reunion would be imminent, Chip’s current roster of players has been touring quite a bit and keeping the legacy alive.

Sorry hardcore Enuff Z’Nuff fans – according to this interview – Donnie coming back doesn’t seem to be in the immediate cards.

What Enuff Z’Nuff fans have today is a line-up that lives up to any expectations – firing on all cylinders. Since history isn’t about to recreate itself in a live setting, that storied past can be celebrated through the boxed set, previously unreleased song collection Clowns Lounge, and a back catalog of twelve studio albums (with a few live outings thrown in for good measure).

Enuff Z’Nuff’s Hardrock Nite (Beatles Music Tribute/Celebration) is available via Amazon.com on vinyl, CD and MP3. And on Apple Music.

More recent music from Chip’s Enuff Z’Nuff:

Classic Enuff Z’Nuff:

Hardrock Nite’s bottom line:

A celebration of Beatles, McCartney, and Lennon songs with a current Enuff Z’Nuff flair. Settle in and HAIL it!