“They Came From Hollywood” by Warrant

Artist: Warrant
Title: “They Came From Hollywood”
Label: Cleopatra Records
Release Date: 11/11/2008
Genre: Glam Rock
Rating: 3/5

Even though I hardly considered Warrant to be of any importance to my own music appreciation when they first came into their biggest prominence I had to say that looking back on these days were rather interesting to see so many years later. The band was one of the many acts that fell into the “Hair Metal” demographic and thanks to the machinations of MTV, we got a healthy dose of them and their videos “Down Boys” and eventual juggernaut “Cherry Pie”. During these years I leaned to a heavier and more aggressive level of Hard Rock and Metal and always groaned when the Warrant tunes came on and hence my level of original disdain for what they did. Despite me and other fans that followed suit, the band was popular and got radio and video play a whole lot more than bands I was passionate about. This DVD takes you on a journey to the bands past but it is not a documentary retrospective and instead a bunch of loosely stuck together live concert moments, some backstage footage and of course a bevy of bonus features. If you were never a fan of the band or only briefly recall the band that was fronted by singer Jani Lane, it will surprise you a little to see the films beginning as the band hits the stage for a headlining arena show in the USA. Back in the day, bands like this were headlining arenas all the time and this is not so much the case nowadays due to the dramatic changes in the music industry. The adventure back to the 80’s begins with this USA tour and in my opinion this is the cleanest and best sounding footage. The band actually sounds good live and is not as lame as I would have expected them to be in my Metal youth. The tunes crunch a little harder in the live sense and my thoughts are had I been there as well, I would have very likely had a decent time. This 1988 show is followed by a 1991 appearance in Japan and as expected the crowd is going crazy for the American Glam Boys. We also get one tune from an appearance in Italy. It might have been better to see these full shows presented on a single DVD since they were from two different touring cycles and would have given the fans something a little beefier. Of course I am sure that the legacy Warrant fans are not complaining based on the limited video product for the band that is available for their enjoyment.

The bands first two releases were remastered not that long ago and I had to say that as an adult fan of Heavy Rock and more that they sounded better to my ears than they did when I was younger when I gave them a listen for review purposes. I guess the statement that my Dad says all the time about times and tastes changing over the years is true after all. Its safe to say that if you ever had any curiosity about what Warrant was all about on the concert stage then this film gives you a good glimpse into the show. This is also a reasonably useful DVD for those musical historians who like to focus on the particular time for the genre. It could have been done a little better but it is not terrible and hence the rating that I set for this one.

Bonus Features: “Road To Heaven” (1986 Intro Tape), “Heaven” (The Country Club 1985), “Not The Size That Counts” live at Gazzari’s, “Sad Teresa” @ The Troubadour 1987, “D.R.F.S.R.” @ The Troubadour 1987. 2008 Photo Shoot, Slide Shows with music from “Medicine Man”, “Keeping Up With The Joneses” and “Pop Music”.

*** As far as bonus features go these particular ones were nice inclusions and brought a little more “oomph” to the overall package of tunes being presented. The use of very old footage from the clubs is always something that is interesting to see even if the quality is not up to par and while I am not usually a fan of photo shoot or slide show features unless it’s a band like KISS, there are those that will lose themselves in waves of happiness as they see them. There are also a couple of unreleased tunes that I think will interest the legacy fan very much.

In today’s music scene the band Warrant is still touring and entertaining their fans but doing so with Jaime St. James formerly of Black ‘N Blue as their front man. Jani Lane did try to come back to the lineup a couple of times, but is sadly a man that is plagued by too many demons to make a proper go at this line of work anymore. Clearly the Rock and Roll lifestyle charges a heavy price and all who wish to walk this path should be aware of that.

Track Listing:
1. Intro
2. Inside Out
3. Down Boys
4. Rainmaker
5. Cherry Pie
6. Uncle Toms Cabin
7. So Damn Pretty
8. Jam In Japan
9. Hole In My Wall

Official Website: http://www.warrantrocks.com

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