Mark Menghi of Metal Allegiance released a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s classic 1975 track “Rhiannon,” along with Charlie Benante from Anthrax and Alex Skolnick from Testament. They were also joined by Jennifer Cella of Beauty In the Machine and Randy McStine.
Menghi wrote in the Youtube description for the accompanying video that a few months ago, he was driving and the song came on the radio and he thought to himself, “it would be amazing to cover this tune in tribute for my Mom and release it on the one year anniversary of her passing” since Fleetwood Mac was her all-time favorite band.
He immediately called his fellow musicians to be a part of the song with him and, when they heard his reasoning behind the cover, they all enthusiastically said yes, Menghi wrote.
The cover is very close to Fleetwood Mac’s original, but features some extra vocal improvisations from Cella and, toward the end of the song, goes into what Menghi describes as a “little improv Skolnick jazz/fusion style.”
In the last couple minutes of the song, Skolnick dives into a guitar solo that brings an element of harder rock to the folksy song while Cella vocalizes and McStine improvises on a Rhodes piano. The guitar later slows and becomes soft and ethereal as the musicians fade out of their two-minute long improvisation.
The song is accompanied by a black and white video cutting between scenes of each musician playing, all of them appearing to be in different places.
The cover was released on the one year anniversary of Menghi’s mother passing, and at the end of the video words appear across the screen saying “Dedicated to my loving mother, Rosemary Menghi, February 8, 1942- October 9, 2019.”
Benante said on his Instagram: “I’ve been a fan of #fleetwoodmac for many years, there is something about that #rumors lineup that just excites me . When @markmenghi asked me about doing this song I immediately was down. It’s personal to him and I understood why.”
“Rhiannon” was written by Fleetwood Mac lead vocalist Stevie Nicks and released on the band’s eponymous album in 1975. The song was a big influence on Nicks’ style and inspired the flowing shawls and black outfits she began wearing in performances, according to Songfacts.
In July, Peter Green, a founding member of Fleetwood Mac, passed away in his sleep at age 73.
Benante has appeared on many covers lately, most recently joining Megadeth bassist David Ellefson, Thom Hazaert and Al Jourgensen in releasing a video for their cover of Cheap Trick’s “Auf Wiedersehen.” He also covered Mother Love Bone’s “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” with members of Death Angel and Metal Allegiance and U2’s “City of Blinding Lights.”
Other recent Benante covers include Kiss’ “C’mon and Love Me,” Massive Attack’s “Teardrop,” a Run-DMC medley,” Billie Eilish’s “bad guy,” Living Colour’s “Funny Vibe,” Tom Petty’s “Yer So Bad,” and Rush’s “Red Barchetta,” which also featured Skolnick.
Menghi appeared on Mother Love Bone’s “Chloe Dancer/Crown of Thorns” along with Benante.
Scott Ian, Anthrax’s guitarist, said recently that the band is working on a “faster and riffier.” album. The band in June announced a 30th anniversary reissue of their fifth studio album Persistence of Time.
Skolnick recently released a jazz-inflected rap protest song called “Trump sucks.” It was announced in August that he and his band Testament will perform at the Six String Salute virtual benefit concert in support of Crew Nation.
Featured image: Marv Watson