Artist: Motley Crue
Title: “Red, White & Crue”
Label: Motley Records
Release Date: 2/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal/Hard Rock
Motley Crue were always one of the most attention grabbing bands of the 80’s and epitomized the L.A. lifestyle of the rough and tumble musician of the time. They took the world by the balls and seldom let you get them back all that easy or intact. In addition to their career spanning boxed sets called “Music To Crash Your Car By”, they have released this Anthology/Greatest Hits piece “Red, White and Crue”. There is some good and bad stuff to say about this release.
CD 1 is superb as it contains almost every one of the legitimate hits that the band garnered early in their career. Almost everything you expect to find on this one is there, yet they could have included one or two more numbers from their first three albums and pushed the content onto the second CD that is in this package. I felt they should have included “Public Enemy Number One”, “Bastard”, “Red Hot”, and “Tonight” but we don’t get those. Instead when we move to CD number 2, we are given the lesser material or tracks one is not wise to include on a hits piece.
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Title: “The Top 500 Heavy Metal Albums Of All Time”
Author: Martin Popoff
Publisher: ECW Press
Release Date: 4/28/2004
For this tome Martin Popoff really had his work cut out for him, as finding the top 500 Heavy Metal albums of all time could not have been an easy task. However, after an extensive readers poll he gives us this 800 page opus for to enjoy. Popoff took the winners in this list of the “Top 500” and then redid his thoughts of review for each album. He also included the top ten picks of hundreds of other artists he has met while doing the book. I thought this a great part of the book since it gives you a better idea as to what your favorite performers are fond of as their favorites. The book will clearly also spark a little bit of debate among you and your Heavy Metal colleagues as to what is included and what is omitted, I was surprised to see the top 10 line out as it ended up. Yet some of it seems on target. The other interesting aspect is that you will also see some classic rock acts and punk acts among the heavy metal superstars.
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Title: “Back To Basics”
Label: Screaming Ferret Wreckords
Release Date: 8/24/2004
Genre: Heavy Metal
Canadian Metallers Anvil was one of those bands that seem to have never gotten their fair share of touring in the USA. The release of “Back To Basics” comes after a very long absence to the public eye as far as the Metal Industry is concerned. While the release is chock full of steady rolling heavy metal in an old school fashion, there is little impact in any of the tunes. We don’t get anything as musically capable as we did on “Metal On Metal” or “Jackhammer” and “March Of The Crabs”. On the CD there are several decent rockers such as “Keep It Up” , “The Chainsaw” and “Bottom Feeder”. However, the rest is just ok in my opinion. I guess I had expected a little more from them due to the duration in time that I have heard them doing anything. It is still nice to see them able to generate a steady amount of metal in any case. The old school sound or traditional as it is considered nowadays gets continued life because of their efforts.
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Title: “Live From Mount Fuji”
Label: Metal Blade Records
Release Date: 5/31/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
The return to Earth by GWAR is never an event that bodes much good for the Human Race. Their needs are generally base when it comes to us for they either need new Slaves or fodder to dismember during their live performances. Sadly, their return with this CD proves something more insidious, they are giving us a live album. No one is safe now. I know that I am risking my own doom for speaking out of turn on this heralded and awed Intergalactic presence, but I fear I must speak my mind. I was disappointed to find only a live CD and not a visual representation of this show released. GWAR is one of those groups that truly must be seen in person to appreciate in any sense. Otherwise you fail to get the point of what they do and also it makes just listening to them a little difficult to appreciate. There are a lot of jokes going on back and forth between the band members and audience and literally the evening is generally pure chaos when they perform.
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Artist: Judas Priest
Title: “Metalogy” – Boxed Set
Company: Columbia Legacy
Genre: Heavy Metal
The boxed set for Judas Priest has finally arrived and it is worth looking into. It is 4 music CDs and one DVD. How does one best judge a comprehensive boxed set by a band who’s work is a testament to heavy metal music other than with the simple words of “BUY THIS PRODUCT”. The release of this box does come at a good time, for Rob Halford is reunited with his Mates (Tipton, Downing, Hill and Travis) and they are embarking as the pre-headliner for this year’s Ozzfest opening for Black Sabbath. While many agree that Black Sabbath began the heavy metal music sound, there are many who contend that Judas Priest was the first heavy metal band, taking what Sabbath created and introducing it to a larger variety of sounds and styles. Refining it into so many memorable songs that we still find sounding fresh today.
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