“Past, Present & Future” by Rob Zombie

Artist: Rob Zombie
Title: “Past, Present & Future”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 9/23/2003
Genre: Industrial Metal
Rating: 3.75/5

In my musical mind I was never more than the casual supporter of White Zombie and band leader Rob’s solo efforts even though I enjoyed quite a number of the tunes that are presented here in this collection. The opinion had less to do with the quality of the tracks performed and more to do with the state of mind that I was in at the time of their release. I led the Power Metal and Dark Metal lifestyle much more than the Groove meets Industrial Metal vibe that Zombie seemed to not only excel at, but largely perfect to a style that has grown exponentially since his earliest efforts. That being said this CD compilation is the perfect place for the casual fan to begin their journey into the pulsing and infectious groove that has made Rob Zombie such a well-respected performer. It begins with selections from the two major label releases from White Zombie and leaves off the bands earliest efforts by starting with “Thunder Kiss ‘65” and “Black Sunshine” from “La Sexorcisto: Devil Music, Vol. 1.” This was the album that moved the band from the cult level underground outfit that they had been for years and slowly scared the life out of mainstream listeners based on the difference that they were bringing to the table. These particular tracks found heavy presence on the Metal programming of MTV who was still airing videos for this kind of music. We got the favored numbers from “Astro Creep 2000”, which would actually be the bands final release before Rob chose to give it a go as a solo performer. “Dragula” was the first track we experienced from his solo debut “Hellbilly Deluxe” and to me perhaps his biggest tune of them all based on how often you would hear it played on any number of outlets. There are some weird Industrialized Metal versions of Funk/Disco classics like “Brickhouse” and “I’m Your Boogieman”. These are ok in my eyes, and perhaps mean a lot more to other fans. Zombie’s inclusion to the Howard Stern movie is here with “The Great American Nightmare”, a song that finds the radio personality joining in for the vocals.

A booklet is included that delivers plenty of archival photos of the singer and the band over the years and it’s been done in the same unique style that made Zombie albums so appealing. There is a lot of dark imagery and art presented to the fans but no lyrics for the songs. Oh well, I guess you cannot get everything all the time but with this spanning thirty six pages I am sure it will be easy for many who purchase this to forgive the oversight. As mentioned I was always the casual fan and I really enjoyed this compilation so I am sure that many who are in my same space will appreciate the way that this was put together. The diehard fans might find some exception if a sacred track to them has been omitted but then again those are always the hardest group to please. It comes with a bonus DVD of all the videos to date which makes it all the more worth owning, but younger fans should be aware that there is some colorful language here that could offend some and entice others.

DVD: Thunder Kiss ’65, More Human Than Human, Dragula, Living Dead Girl, Superbeast, Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy), Feel So Numb, Demonoid Phenomenon, Return Of The Phantom Stranger, Spookshow Baby.

*** Delivering all of the videos up to the date of the release this is a nice inclusion for the Greatest Hits compilation. I prefer when bands choose to do it in this fashion as opposed to selling us a separate DVD of such films on their own. By doing it this way, the fans get all of the required songs from the artists catalog and the promotional films that are no longer so easily visible on mainstream media and must instead be searched for online. I always liked the Rob Zombie and White Zombie videos because they were a different visual from the likes of what was commonly being delivered as such films of the day. Very artistic in their composition and while sometimes erratic based on the flurry of stimuli being shot through your screen would defiantly find the viewer entertained and banging their head along to them. My favorites include “Dragula” as we find Zombie driving the famous car from The Munsters and “Living Dead Girl” as this one was done as a silent monster movie. My only critique was based on how the menus were laid out, as I found them rather confusing to click about to see where the Hell I was going.

The price for this item has always been very reasonable depending on where you shop so for nineteen songs on the CD and ten videos on the DVD this will not set anyone back all that much even if you are one who is hesitant to look into it. The whole thing comes packaged in a highly decorative fold out digipak.

Track Listing:
1. Thunder Kiss ‘65
2. Black Sunshine
3. Feed The Gods
4. More Human Than Human
5. Super Charger Heaven
6. I’m Your Boogieman
7. Hand Of Death (Burn Baby Burn)
8. The Great American Nightmare (with Howard Stern)
9. Dragula
10. Living Dead Girl
11. Superbeast
12. Feel So Numb
13. Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy)
14. Demon Speeding
15. Brickhouse 2003 (with Trina)
16. Pussy Liquor
17. Blitzkrieg Bop
18. Two-Lane Blacktop
19. Girl On Fire

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

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