Category Archives: Lists

Top 10 Stone Temple Pilots Singer Candidates

Assuming there is no reunion tour with Scott Weiland in the future, and that Chester Bennington doesn’t return for a High Rise 20th anniversary tour in 2033, Stone Temple Pilots are in need of a new singer following Scott Weiland breaking news of Bennington’s exit from the band in an interview with Alternative Nation. Below are ten candidates (not counting last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live guest singer Joss Stone) who would be perfect to keep the $tone Temple Pilots cash cow going for the DeLeo brothers and Eric Kretz for years to come. We’ll try not to repeat too many from our December 2012 list we made when rumors of Weiland’s firing initially came out.

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10. Scott Stapp

Creed don’t want him, he’s charging 200 bucks for fans to go on his tour bus, so he would probably say yes. The myth that the singer of Stone Temple Pilots rips off Eddie Vedder could also finally come true.

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9. Mike Shinoda

Maybe STP picked the wrong Linkin Park member? A rap version of “Plush” is what will put butts in the seat.

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8. Donald Trump

Maybe Donald Trump can Make STP Great Again? He can build a wall to keep out Scott Weiland, which Weiland will pay for, of course.

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7. Eric Kretz

STP drummer Eric Kretz can finally pull a Phil Collins/Dave Grohl and show he is the true star of the band.

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6. Fans Who Pay

Stone Temple Pilots could take pricey meet and greets to the next level by charging fans money to sing with the band. STP’s list of former members on Wikipedia would become so large Scott Weiland would be lost in the shuffle.

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5. Guy Pearce

He looks just like Weiland. Put him on promotional posters and many fans could be bamboozled. He even played a character named ‘Weyland’ in Prometheus, so he could definitely learn to play Scott Weiland.

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4. Axl Rose

The circle will be complete!

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3. Jason Hurley

Remember that guy who impersonated Scott Weiland last year when he got arrested for possessing meth, who the Beverly Hills Police Department insisted was really Weiland? He fronted an STP tribute band, maybe it’s time to let him get a second chance at being a Scott Weiland imposter.

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2. Gary Cherone

Stone Temple Pilots III, coming in 2018 to mark the 20th anniversary of Van Halen III?

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1. 1994 Scott Weiland Hologram

Everybody wins. The fans get to see the original Stone Temple Pilots, Scott Weiland gets paid, and Weiland and the rest of the band don’t have to see, or play, with each other. STP + Scott Weiland hologram + Zordon + Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers = $$$$$$$!

Stone Temple Pilots Albums Get Ranked Up!

It is my firm opinion that Stone Temple Pilots’ discography is the most underappreciated mainstream rock catalog of the past 25 years of music; the band always managed to keep things fresh and shook up their formula every single album. Here, for your clickbait pleasure, is Alternative Nation’s ranking of STP’s records, from Core to High Rise.

In addition to STP’s six studio albums and E.P. with Chester Bennington, I’ve included Scott Weiland’s solo material and the various side projects of the Deleo bros (plus or minus Eric Kretz). Not included is Delta Deep, Robert Deleo’s newest project with Phil Collen of Def Leppard, or Art of Anarchy, which Weiland claims he was never truly part of in the first place.

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14. Talk Show (1997)

The first attempt at replacing Weiland in the classic STP lineup, Talk Show saw Dave Coutts, whose vocals sort of combined the alternative sound of the mid-90’s with 80’s pop rock. As one who thinks none of the STP members have ever been involved with an awful record, Talk Show starts off strong before spiraling off into filler territory and does not really leave a lasting impression on the listener. Dave Coutts is an underrated vocalist, however, and he recently resurfaced after disappearing for many years, interacting with STP fans on Below Empty under the name “Cave Doutts” and performing some Talk Show material live in California.

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13. Happy in Galoshes (2008)

There’s a solid album buried within the sprawling double-disc Happy in Galoshes, a cathartic concept album dealing with Weiland’s failing marriage with Mary Forsberg and his relationship with his brother Michael. However, like most double albums, the project collapses under its own weight. “She Sold Her System”, “Killing Me Sweetly”, and a very emotional rendition of “Be Not Afraid” are the highlights here, while the album lost a huge opportunity for a collaboration with pop icon Pharrell Williams: the original version of the singer’s seminal hit “Happy”, which leaked earlier this year, was conceived for Happy in Galoshes.

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12. Army of Anyone (2006)

The DeLeo brothers’ collaboration with Filter frontman Richard Patrick and future Korn drummer Ray Luzier was a solid effort with masterful production and some great songwriting, but, like Talk Show, the songs lacked the extra “punch” and chemistry that Weiland and even Chester Bennington possess with their STP bandmates. Key tracks include “Non Stop”, “Goodbye”, and “A Better Place”. Note: Army of Anyone’s tourmates, Hurt, are a vastly underrated band to check out. Frontman J. Loren at one point joined Dean DeLeo on stage for a rendition of an original song, “Used To Know Her“.

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11. High Rise (2013)

Chester Bennington always wore the Weiland influence on his sleeve and is doing a solid job thus far at STP’s live shows, but the High Rise EP was a bit too rushed and underwhelming as a mission statement by the new lineup. “Out of Time” and “Tomorrow” are the standout tracks here while the rest of the EP more or less goes through the motions. The new incarnation of STP desperately need to release a follow up with at least one heavy-hitting hit to really convince everyone they mean business in studio.

VRLibertad

10. Libertad (2007)

The second and final Velvet Revolver album before Weiland’s departure from the band in March 2008, Libertad takes a poppier turn from Contraband. “She Builds Quick Machines” and “The Last Fight” represented the record on rock radio, though Libertad failed to have the same impact as its predecessor in 2004. The record continues the weird Weiland trend of keeping the strongest songs off of the retail release of the record; the rarity track “Gas And A Dollar Laugh” appears on the Japanese import of Libertad, while “Messages” appears on the iTunes edition.

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9. Stone Temple Pilots (2010)

The last album to feature Scott Weiland on vocals, 2010’s self-titled “Peace” record was the only set of recorded material released by the classic STP lineup following their 2008 reunion. Stone Temple Pilots opted to push forward with their pop-rock style found on the band’s later records rather than appeal to grungeheads looking for Core 2.0. That’s not to say the record doesn’t have solid tunes: “Between The Lines”, “Take A Load Off”, “First Kiss On Mars”, & “Maver”, but the record doesn’t possess the longevity of the classic five albums and is ultimately an epilogue to the classic STP’s legacy.

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8. Blaster (2015)

A solid comeback for frontman Scott Weiland with his new backing band, The Wildabouts, marred by the tragic death of guituarist Jeremy Brown at the age of 34. Blaster sort of represents a back-to-basics rock and roll record for Weiland after the divisive and experimental Happy in Galoshes. The record is front to back rock music with a focus on, as Weiland touted in many interviews, “filling the space between the notes” for a compact and fuzzy sound. The highlight of the record is the surreal Dylanesque rabble of “Parachute”.

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7.  Contraband (2004)

The debut album from Velvet Revolver, featuring Weiland on vocals and Slash, Duff Mckagan, Matt Sorum, and Dave Kushner supplying the music. The music is tight and the production on Weiland’s vocals is as strong as ever. It’s a shame the band never truly followed up on the success of “Slither” and “Fall to Pieces”.

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6. No. 4 (1999)

Producer Brendan O’Brien’s work on No. 4 was admittingly his weakest in the band’s catalog with its “wet towel” production, but the record is at its strongest during its more sentimental moments: the Billboard pop hit “Sour Girl”, the psychedelic-country love (or drug?) ballad “I Got You”, and the epic and soaring “Glide”, and the acoustic “Atlanta”, where Weiland completely channels his inner Morrison. Te latter two are two of the greatest songs in STP’s catalog of deep cuts. The other pole of the record is that of heavy-hitting rock tunes like “Down”, “Heaven & Hot Rods”, and “No Way Out.

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5. Core (1992)

Core was the record that effectively started it all, blending contemporary alternative rock music with record-oriented mindset and classic rock riffs. The record blasted the bar band known as Mighty Joe Young to worldwide fame with tunes that are still relevant on rock radio to this day like “Plush”, “Wicked Garden”, & “Sex Type Thing”. While Core arguably has the strongest string of radio heavyweights, it’s still the band’s most generic outing as far as guitar-rock goes, and their sonic heights were not truly achieved until records like Tiny Music and Shangri-La Dee Da were released.

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4. Shangri-La Dee Da (2001)

Choosing the slightly hokey “Days of the Week”, originally written for Sheryl Crow, as the lead single of STP’s fifth studio album sort of misrepresented the final product: Shangri-La Dee Da is easily STP’s most experimental album. After plowing through rockers “Dumb Love”, “Coma”, and “Hollywood Bitch”, the record descends into moody weirdness, from the manic melody of “Bi-Polar Bear” to “Transmissions from a Lonely Room”. The band found themselves at a junction when Dean Deleo and Scott Weiland reportedly got into a fist fight during their tour in support of Shangri-La Dee Da and scrapped their pending sixth album, reportedly a return to the sound of Core.

scott weiland

3. 12 Bar Blues (1998)

Easily Weiland’s strongest solo record and one of this writer’s personal favorites of all time, 12 Bar Blues is the work of a creative genius in the deepest throes of addiction, and every inch of the album drips with the paradoxical desperation and manic highs Weiland was experiencing at this point in his career and personal life. From the slinky salsa-influenced “Desperation No. 5” to the ethereal closer “Opposite Octave Reaction”, 12BB is saturated with dark yet joyful melodies and psychedelic textures. Sadly, the album was too experimental to effectively kickstart a solo career, as if Scott skipped the Major Tom/Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars phase and went straight for the Berlin trilogy.

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2. Purple (1994)

Purple is inherently the band’s most “listenable” album; it contains the crunchy riffs and baritone vocals that earned STP the grunge fanbase of the early 90’s while also pushing the band towards psych/pop-oriented songwriting. “Interstate Love Song”, “Big Empty”, & “Vasoline” were the two mega hits of the record. Songs like “Unglued” and “Silvergun Superman” are fan favorites. “Still Remains” is one of the best love ballads of the alternative nation era: “…take a bath I’ll drink the water that you leave, if you should die before me ask if you could bring a friend.”

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1. Tiny Music… Songs From The Vatican Gift Shop (1996)

Casual listeners often dismiss 1996’s Tiny Music as the point where STP fell off the wayward path and became something too different from their flannel and testosterone fueled early days. However, many hardcore fans and music lovers recognize Tiny Music as the group’s opus, a swirling vortex of psychedelia laden with Beatle-esque hooks. From the surreal elevator music intro of “Press Play” to the fan favorite album closer and heroin ballad “Seven Caged Tigers”, you’ll find an eclectic mix of styles stamped with STP’s brand of rock and roll: the bossa nova of “And So I Know”, the jazz-tinged ode to the music industry “Adhesive”, & the Zeppelin-meets Beatles frenzy of “Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart”. As far as “divisive but acclaimed” mainstream rock records of the 90’s go, Tiny Music deserves to be in the same pantheon as Weezer’s Pinkerton, Nirvana’s In Utero, & Pearl Jam’s No Code.

Honorable Mention: Most Wonderful Time Of The Year (2011)

A masterpiece firing on all cylinders. Forget whatever inferior album you have in mind. Scott Weiland’s cover album of traditional Christmas classics (plus the original tune “Happy Christmas (And Many More)”) is the greatest piece of recorded material of the past century.

 

10 Well Written Metalcore Songs With Embarrassing Breakdowns

Breakdowns are the most reoccurring complaint metalheads have about metalcore, alongside the genre’s vocals. As far as I’m concerned, I’m with most metalheads when it comes to bands that pride themselves on that 4/4 hi-hat, same lowest note on the guitar chug over and over again BS on every song. However, I’m not one to let a breakdown ruin an entire song for me, as long as the rest of the song contains well-written sections. I thought I’d take some time to share with you all some of my favorite metalcore songs. These all have that breakdown BS, but with a lot of extra badass.

“It Starts Today” – Obey The Brave

This 5-piece band from Montreal has lyrical content similar to that of Hatebreed. However, Obey The Brave put more emphasis on lead guitar tracks. Right from the beginning this song displays actual riffs rather than grooves. After the lyrics “Here we go” we hear the first breakdown, then right afterwards is a hypnotic lead with reverb and delay. There’s an even slower breakdown after the second “Here we go”. Afterwards, the riffs resume and we’re treated to the same hypnotic lead again before the song ends.

“Nightmares” – I Killed The Prom Queen

From their recent comeback album “Beloved”. The breakdown in this song is relatively short, but occurs multiple times. The intro hooks you in with it’s melodic riff in hi-pass mode, then in regular mode. It is one of the faster songs on the album, which I usually prefer. If you don’t like clean vocals in metal, then I’d suggest giving this song a chance since the cleans in the chorus are overshadowed by that melodic riff.

“District Of Misery” – Oceano

The most embarrassing breakdown of the song occurs at the beginning. Luckily afterwards, the one-note chug here is complemented with either drumming that is more complex than usual, or a keyboard track that sounds like you’re sinking deeper into the ocean’s depths. This is a deathcore song that builds and builds, climaxing at 2:07 into the song.

“The Failsafe” – Misery Signals

I really enjoy it when a metal band lets the notes ring. There’s a lot of that in this song. It begins in a somber key signature, then builds to a more hopeful key of G. What really did it for me though was the clean pre-chorus. The embarrassing breakdown enters after vocalist Karl Schubach screams “Give us a sign”. Not exactly the sign I was hoping for. Luckily, the listener is treated to that amazing clean pre-chorus a second time as the song’s outro. Another song with the pre-chorus and breakdown elements called “Luminary” was present on the band’s latest album “Absent Light”.

“It’s Not Safe To Swim Today” – Veil Of Maya

Expect some frantic splashing in the pit during the breakdowns if you hear this song played live. Rather than splash (though I’m guilty of it myself once), I would focus on Marc Okubo’s relentless riffage. He begins the song with a descending scale, then goes into his signature playing style of diverse and technical riffs. Not to mention the last two notes in the song are pretty unusual.

“Abducted” – Rings Of Saturn

A song like this reminds me why the classification “Aliencore” makes total sense. The scale used in the dueling arpeggios is an Anhemitonic scale, which is particularly creepy (used also in “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”). On this band’s records there are multiple guitar tracks, but since they’re limited to 2 guitars when playing live, you cannot expect as many duel arpeggios. In fact you can expect at least one guitar performing a rhythm track or breakdown. In the case of this song, it occurs in the later half of the song.

“Make It Bleed” – Whitechapel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLO3V98So5k

You can really feel the brutality oozing out of your pores on this track. Sick riffs after the piano intro. The six-piece deathcore act tuned even lower on their eponymous album. The breakdown occurs about 90 seconds in. Then there’s some lyrics and riffs over the breakdown and then a clean section that takes you to the middle-east, then a pretty advanced solo, more cleans, then back to the insane riffage and lyrics to make you vomit razor blades. Fuckin’ brutal.

“Brain Death” – The Acacia Strain

I really didn’t like this band when I first saw them open for Hatebreed in 2009. I couldn’t take the excessive breakdowns, or beatdowns as their fans like to refer to them. Then when they opened for Lamb Of God in 2012, I walked into the House of Blues in Atlantic City thinking “this intrigues me”. This song was emulating the Meshuggah trend and placing atmosphere in the chorus. I also enjoy the dueling leads after the second chorus. Their signature slower breakdown comes shortly after those leads. After that show, I did some exploring and realized that this band will occasionally throw guys like me a bone, and include a song or two per album with a great atmosphere to make up for the breakdowns. In the case of their newest album Coma Witch, that would be the song “Holy Walls Of The Vatican”.

“Edge Of The Earth” – Volumes

Here’s a band with two vocalists per song. This song has a nice instrumental intro as well. From the beginning of the actual song, it has a great lead section to complement the low-tuned rhythm. The singing in the chorus is impressive as well. After the second verse the breakdown occurs. Then you’re treated to the pre-chorus and chorus once again before the song closes ever so softly. Just like the Acacia Strain, this band will throw me a song like this, or “Vahle” an emotional tribute to a friend who tragically died in an automobile accident, in the midst of their djenty breakdowns or Backstreet Boys-style singing (found in “Erased”).

“Romance Is Dead” – Parkway Drive

And so I end with the first metal band I ever saw in concert. This is usually their closer. Produced by Adam D. of Killswitch Engage, the song has a sick metal tone despite the band’s larger connection to hardcore. The metal elements of the band are from the more technical guitarist Jeff Ling. The song has a wide variety of riffs before and after the breakdown minutes into the song, complemented with emo lyrics “So cry me a fucking river, bitch!”. Ultimately what makes this song after it just builds and builds, is the two-handed tapping technique at the end complemented by other guitarist Luke Kilpatrick, as well as a closing atmosphere to calm one down from the excitement of the tapping.

Top 10 Underrated Alice In Chains Songs

One of the very best bands to come from the Seattle Grunge scene is Alice in Chains. Some consider them the Kings of Grunge. With Layne’s sultry and unparalleled voice, and the harmonious melodies between him and Jerry Cantrell, made this unlike any other band of its kind to date. Though Alice in Chains have had many obstacles, they’ve still managed make some of the most powerful songs ever.   Those same songs are now reaching new generations, and are still among the most played records in thousands of homes worldwide. I can say I’m a true Alice in Chains fan, and honestly, love all of their songs, there are however, quite a few songs considered “underrated”. Underrated because of a few factors: no airplay, critic reviews and lack of promotion.

Over the past two months, Alternative Nation did a poll on a social media site, and asked many Alice in Chains fans what they believed the underrated Alice in Chains songs were. We’ve narrowed down the list based on the numbers and we are sharing results with you, the readers.

10. Sludge Factory:  Album- Alice in Chains

9. Don’t Follow:  Album- Jar of Flies

8. Sunshine:  Album- Facelift

7. Rain When I Die:  Album- Dirt

6. Black Gives Way to Blue:  Album- Black Gives Way to Blue

5. Junkhead:  Album- Dirt

4. Hate to Feel: Album- Dirt

3. Confusion:  Album- Facelift

2. Am I Inside:  Album- SAP

1. Frogs:  Album- Alice in Chains

Certainly, there are more songs that one might consider underrated by this powerhouse band.  Even if you aren’t a die-hard fan, give them a listen, and I’m sure you’ll agree that these should have had more exposure.

Within each Alice in Chains song, there is a story, a personal account of feelings, and a message to the listeners. The message is a subliminal one, and one that brings you back for yet another listen. Alice in Chains have been storytellers for almost 29 years; and even though Layne Staley and Mike Starr are no longer with us, we continue to hear them in the older songs, as we listen to our CD’s, vinyl and even digital downloads. Those songs are never forgotten; who can forget Mike Starr singing in the back ground in ”Confusion”? Or Ann Wilson singing background vocals for “Am I Inside”, and Sir Elton John, playing the piano in Jerry Cantrell’s tribute to Layne Staley, in “Black Gives Way to Blue”.

These days, William DuVall has taken over the lead singing of Alice in Chains, and although he is never expected to fill Layne’s shoes, he’s now a welcome addition to Seattle’s favorite Grunge band.  More stories are being written as we speak, and soon those subliminal messages will be coming to us again, and we’ll be waiting.

Top 10 Tom Morello Albums: From Rage Against The Machine To Audioslave

Tom Morello is one of the most unique guitar players in the history of music. With Morello being the lead guitarist in two of the best-selling bands of the past two decades and plenty of solo albums and side projects to boot, it’s time to rank up the top ten albums featuring Tom Morello on guitar.

10. Nightwatchman
Worldwide Rebel Songs
As many Morello fans know, The Nightwatchman tracks are not exactly for fans of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave. Morello’s Nightwatchman is in singer/songwriter style and includes mostly acoustic tracks. However, there are hints of classic Morello such as the track “It Begins Tonight” and “Union Town”, where he actually plugs in in an Audioslave/RATM esque track. The music is very politically and lyrically driven, and it’s best to be a fan of Neil Young or Bob Dylan when you give The Nightwatchman a try. However, of all Nightwatchman releases, Worldwide Rebel Songs is the Morello’s best album as The Nightwatchman.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJBZD45zGGqLjGxMMkaSwaYcgA7hmGc6C

9. Audioslave
Revelations
With Revelations, Audioslave took what was done with Out Of Exile and made it more mainstream and made it more radio friendly (yes, it was possible to do so), unfortunately radio and other promotion outlets were over the supergroup by this point. Revelations was overproduced and seemingly lacking passion and sounding like a band at their end, which is exactly where Audioslave was. The best track on the album is “Shape Of Things To Come” which Morello and company should have put at the end of a greatest hits album and ended Audioslave there.
https://youtu.be/ioD1wmI_hpY
8. Street Sweeper Social Club
(Self Titled)
After releasing two albums under his acoustic Nightwatchman nom de guerre, Morello goes back to his roots in 2009 with Street Sweeper Social Club, though they’re debut album features classic style Morello guitar lines and effects, he plays as more of a rhythm guitarist for the majority of the album. This album seems to be more of a rap album, with vocals from Boots Riley being the main focus of the band. Morello rarely takes you on a journey like with Rage Against the Machine or early Audioslave. However, those who are in dire need of classic Morello there are some that fit the profile, tracks such as “Fight! Smash! Win!”, “100 Little Curses”, “The Squeeze”, “Somewhere In The World”, and “Megablast” are high points.

7. Lock Up
Something Bitchin’ This Way Comes
Lock Up features a guitar legend in training as the first major label release featuring Morello. Lock Up is reminiscent of early Red Hot Chili Peppers or Janes Addiction simply for the fact Morello’s style was similar to Hillel Slovak and at times even Dave Navarro. However, there are hints here of Morello coming into his own, such as with the tracks “Nothing New”, “24 Hour Man”, “Maniac” and “Peacekeeper”.  All things considered, this album is a bit underrated, and though the elements may not work well together as a whole, the elements themselves are actually very good, Morello in particular.
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHWKCOTJJeBTB8QXdX66q620h5UxwyK3_
6. Audioslave
Out of Exile
With Out of Exile, Morello expands what was done with Audioslave’s debut album; however it suffers from what many bands go through with a sophomore album, with the idea of doing something different but ending up not being as spectacular. There are some high-points however, the opening track “Your Time Has Come” is essential Morello, the quasi-ballad “Be Yourself” is one of the best examples of latter Morello, and “Drown Me Slowly” is probably one of the most underrated Morello/Audioslave tracks which features the best guitar work from Morello on either of the last two Audioslave albums.
https://youtu.be/VZ_jSpoLA5I
5. Rage Against the Machine
Evil Empire
Evil Empire, Morello’s second album with RATM is mostly known for the tracks “People Of The Sun”, “Bulls On Parade”, and “Down Rodeo” however it’s the tracks where he experimented with his already unique sound that gives this album some validation. The album as a whole is more unique and a bit less radio friendly than RATM previous debut self-titled release, however, with Morello experimenting with space and tempo changes on tracks such as “Revolver” and “Year Of The Boomerang” it demonstrates how Morello and the band didn’t want to do the same thing twice, and rightfully so, it didn’t hit on quite as high of level.

4. Rage Against the Machine
Renegades
A collection of covers that ended up becoming the last full length album from Rage Against the Machine. The album is solid from start to finish, with Morello giving his signature twist to tracks from legendary artists like Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Minor Threat, The Rolling Stones, Devo, and many others. A covers album from one of the most unique sounding bands in rock history was a must, and Morello and RATM hit a home run with Renegades.

3. Audioslave
(Self-Titled)
This album, including Chris Cornell and excluding Zach De La Rocha on vocals, is the first from Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk as Audioslave. The new lead singer seemingly gave Morello the opportunity to create something he has never had a chance to do, a ballad. Tracks like “Like A Stone” and “I Am The Highway” gave Morello another dynamic in his already great resume. Additionally, “Show Me How To Live”, “Cochise”, and “What You Are” give the listener what they have always liked from Morello; great, heavy, and unique riffs.
https://youtu.be/JpZlnEd1IEE
2. Rage Against The Machine
Battle of Los Angeles
Battle Of Los Angeles is RATM final album of originals, and along with Evil Empire, Battle Of Los Angeles showcased some of Morello’s most unique guitar work, however, the experimentation with space and tempo changes seem to come to fruition on Battle Of Los Angeles, tracks like “Calm Like A Bomb”, “Ashes In The Fall”, and “War Within A Breath” are high on the list of standouts in the Morello catalog. RATM combined the dynamics of Evil Empire with the consistency of their self-titled album and the end result was Battle Of Los Angeles.  RATM left on a high note with their final album of originals.

1. Rage Against The Machine
(Self-Titled)
Where the signature Morello guitar style came to prominence. From start to finish, Rage Against The Machine (Self-Titled) is 53 minutes of heavy hitting riffs. Tracks like “Bullet In The Head” and “Fistful of Steel” showcase Morello’s unique style and ability for the first time. This album is nothing short of a classic.
https://youtu.be/TcFRq8BXOn0

Hear all the best from Rage Against The Machine and Audioslave at www.rockshowradio.net and www.alternativenation.net/radio. How would you rank your favorite Tom Morello albums? Feel free to comment below.

10 Pearl Jam Songs To Mourn Cubs Missing World Series

Last week, we published an article titled ’10 Pearl Jam Songs To Keep Cubs’ World Series Hopes Alive’ as Eddie Vedder’s favorite baseball team was fighting to keep their season alive. The Cubs ended up losing, and some readers were upset with Alternative Nation’s bias towards the Chicago Cubs over the New York Mets in the NLCS.

So in order to uphold the fairness doctrine, we have decided to publish Alternative Nation commenter Felonious Punk’s list of Pearl Jam songs the Cubs (and their fans) might be listening to right about now to help deal the loss and Back to the Future Part II’s prediction not coming to fruition, with the World Series starting tonight pitting the Mets against the Kansas City Royals.

10. Parting Ways

9. Let Me Sleep

8. Soon Forget

7. Hard To Imagine

6. Unemployable

5. Off He Goes

4. I Got Shit

3. Swallowed Whole

2. No Way

1. The End

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder and former Chicago Blackhawk Chris Chelios dropped by The Lodge in Chicago after a disappointing Cubs loss on Tuesday to the New York Mets in the NLCS. Vedder and Chelios served drinks from behind the bar. He also interacted with fans before the game. Vedder hung out with Kevin Millar from the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox before Wednesday’s game.

10 Pearl Jam Songs To Keep Cubs’ World Series Hopes Alive

With today marking ‘Back to the Future Day,’ the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to the future in the 1989 film Back to the Future II, there is one prediction made about the future in that film that is in jeopardy. The film predicted that the Chicago Cubs would win the World Series, but with the Cubbies now down 3-0 in the NLCS, they will need a miracle to pull off an impossible comeback series win.

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder had been somewhat of an unofficial Cubs mascot during their playoff run, celebrating huge victories with the team, and even singing with them! Below are 10 songs that the Cubs should listen to to help them pull through and beat the New York Mets, especially heading into a do or die game tonight.

10. Rearviewmirror

9. Alive

8. Not For You

7. The Fixer

6. Leash

5. Given To Fly

4. Rival

3. Hold On

2. Why Go

1. All the Way

It’s technically an Eddie Vedder song, but we can’t leave it off this list!

Misfits’ Albums Get Ranked Up!

 

Misfits (also known as The Misfits) are one of punk rocks most iconic punk bands and the creators of the sub-genre know as horror punk. The band’s distinct mix of punk rock with 50’s pop melodies, and horror themed look and lyrics have given them a following among not just punks, but metal heads , goths, horror fans, you name it. To celebrate Halloween season we decided to make the next installment of Ranked Up! on everyone’s favorite Jersey boys, Misfits.

 

MisfitsProject1950

Project 1950 (2003)

Project 1950 is the first album to feature Jerry Only on vocals and first to have no other classic Misfits members. Instead it contains Marky Ramone on drums and Dez Cadena of Black Flag on guitar. The songs are all covers of 50’s rock hits such as “Great Balls of Fire” and “The Monster Mash“. All of these covers are awful and the album just feels like a cheap cash grab. This same year ex-Misfit, Michael Graves put out an EP titled Seasons of the Witch with his band Gotham Road. Listen to that instead of this pointless release.

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The Devils Rain (2011)

After seven years of no new albums and 12 years without original material, The Devil’s Rain was released. Long gap albums by classic punk bands tend to bad (Black Flag’s What the… for example) and this is no exception. Jerry tries too hard to sound like Danzig and songs like “Father” and “Twilight of the Dead” reek of cheesy songwriting. Jerry may be the nicest of the original members, but this album shows he was never the strength of the band. The film this album is named after is bad to, but in a good way!

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Famous Monsters (1999)

While not as good as the Danzig era, The Michale Graves era of Misfits was still pretty great. This album contains many classic tracks such as “Helena“, “Descending Angel” (which would be re-recorded in 2013), “Forbidden Zone“, “Crawling Eye” and the 50’s style rock n roll song “Saturday Night“. The song Scream would receive a music video directed by George Romero. Doyle, Graves and Dr. Chud would all leave the band after this album.

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American Psycho (1997)

American Psycho is the first album to not feature vocalist Glen Danzig and the first album after their 1983 break up. After their Christian metal project Kryst the Conqueror (not making this up) failed to gain much success, brothers Jerry Only and Doyle Von Frankenstein got the rights from Glen Danzig to reform Misfits. Danzig felt the band would go nowhere without him, but this album would prove him wrong. The band recruited vocalist Michale Graves and drummer Dr.Chud and had their first taste of commercial success. The title track, “Shining” (which is ironically about Poltergeist), “Dig Up Her Bones“, and “This Island Earth” are some of the album’s highlights.

 

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Walk Among Us (1982)

The debut release by the band is one of the very first horror punk albums. This album marked the first appearance of Doyle Von Frankenstein who along with vocalist Glen Danzig and bassist Jerry Only, would go on to become the band’s most iconic members. The album showcases the raw punk/pop melody fusion that the Danzig era is known for. Some of the best tracks from here include “20 Eyes“, “Astro Zombies“, “Skulls” and “Hatebreeders“.

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Earth A.D/Wolfs Blood (1983)

 

The last album to feature Glen Danzig is also one of their most influential. The album is most known for having more of a hardcore punk sound then the other albums. Some of this album’s highlights include “Die Die My Darling“, “Death Comes Ripping“, and “Green Hell“. After this album Glen Danzig would form Samhain, and then his solo band Danzig.

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Static Age (1997)

Though released in 1997, Static Age was recorded in 1978 and was suppose to be the band’s debut album, but they could not find a label that would take it. The album contained the lineup of vocalist Glen Danzig, bassist Jerry Only, guitarist Franche Coma, and drummer Mr. Jim. It contains several horror themed songs such as “Last Caress” and “Return of the Fly” but also songs with other topics such as “Bullet“, “She” and “We Are 138“. The band is playing the album in its entirety on their current tour.

Top 10 Covers Of John Lennon’s “Imagine”

John Lennon would be 75 years old today. In honor of his birthday Alternative Nation takes a look at ten of the best covers of arguably the greatest song ever written – “Imagine”

Happy Birthday John!

10. Blues Traveler
A smooth, blues infused version. John Popper’s voice matches this song so well.

9. Neil Young (9/11 tribute)
The perfect person to play this during the worst of times. Played perfectly.

8. A Perfect Circle
A unique, dark rendition. Dark is not usually a word to pair with this song but somehow it works here.

7. Pearl Jam
Pearl Jam was in a New York state of mind during the Global Citizens performance. To open their encore they played a full a band version for the first time, on the most beautiful night in Central Park.

6. Stevie Wonder
A great message to go along with it. Seems appropriate to say again right now.

5. Jack Johnson
A beachside, mellow, campfire version.

4. Roger Waters
From the Stand up for Heroes show in 2013. Maybe the largest orchestrated version. Waters leads the charge, but the Heroes really make this version special. Namely, the singer next to Waters and the bass player and drummer right behind.

3. Lady Gaga
From live at the Baku 2015 European Games Opening Ceremony. Performed in a way only Lady Gaga can.

2. Chris Cornell
Cornell with his signature solo velvet delivery, making it his own.

1. Eddie Vedder
The best capture of both the emotion and incredibly moving melody. The crowd singing every word in unison is what the song is all about. Just chilling.

10 Metal Covers So Different, They’re Wasteful

In this writer’s opinion, a band can do a cover song injustice one of two ways (in rare cases both). One is by playing the song to a T, and adding no elements of what your band has to offer. For some reason the most occurring example in my mind is Joan Jett’s cover of “We’re Not Gonna Take It”. But this editorial is dedicated the other path of injustice, having a cover so different that it either is unrecognizable, or defeats the purpose of the original version. Now for those of you who think that I’m being “too mean” or that “a band has every right to do a grindcore version of “Genie In A Bottle”, I just want to make you aware that covers cost money. Yes, music law is a thing, and it states that your band must have a license for every cover song that it records and sells (even for streaming on Spotify and Bandcamp), and venues must obtain licenses if they are going to allow bands to play cover songs. My co-writer once spoke to members of Jungle Rot about the possibility of performing their cover of “Jesus Hitler” originally by Carnivore, and their response was along the lines of “we don’t want to deal with the paperwork”. A mechanical license can be very expensive depending on how many copies of your cover song you intend to sell. So I would imagine if your band was to do a cover song, you would want the perfect blend of originality and homage so that you would get a return on investment. But these 10 songs that I will now list, seem like a wasted investment and their efforts would have been better spent on just another original. I’m not sure if mechanical licenses were acquired for all of these. Some are so different that you could get away with claiming it’s an original. I’ve divided this list into 2 parts; 5 metal covers of metal songs and 5 metal covers of non-metal.

 

Forgotten Tomb – Depression (Originally by Black Flag)

You’ll understand why this cover is ridiculous at 3:06. First of all, it’s a good thing this band didn’t sell this record on iTunes because in accordance with their policy on 10 min+ songs, this cover wouldn’t be available for purchase unless you bought the whole damn “album”. Secondly, when there’s an extended period of feedback, it’s usually reserved for live shows, and it’s best when it’s accompanied by breaking instruments on stage. Other than a small minority of extreme noise fans, does anyone really want 7 minutes of feedback/wasted space on their music player?

 

Sunn0))) – For Whom The Bell Tolls (Originally by Metallica)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRLBCeC-uCk

West Coast weirdos Sunn0))) did several of these types of covers. Initially I thought they just played this Metallica classic 3x slower. But no. There are no vocals, and there’s not much variance in the riffs, as was on the original version. The band has been on record stating that this was meant to be a reinterpretation rather than a cover, explaining why there is literally zero resemblance to Metallica’s recording, sounding instead like a Sunn0))) original. Still, a music lawyer once told me that even rearrangements require a license. And why even bother slapping Metallica’s name on 10 minutes of drone doom?

Fun fact: The full title of this track (last track on “Flight Of The Behemoth) is “F.W.T.B.T. (I Dream of Lars Ulrich Being Thrown Through the Bus Window Instead of My Mystikal Master Kliff Burton)”

 

Tuathail – This Charming Man (Originally by The Smiths)

The guitar melody on this bears resemblance to the original, although the distortion makes this cover look like a troll. And the main importance of songs from The Smiths is Morrissey’s vocals. Replacing them with typical black metal vocals doesn’t do The Smiths justice, while the pop-esque melody doesn’t do black metal justice.

 

Amon Amarth – Aerials (Originally by System Of A Down)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy_6Z7tto2k

Same case as above. SOAD’s vocalist Serj is one-of-a-kind. And while Amon Amarth’s vocalist Johann could be considered the same, he really should stick to what he knows, lyrically and vocally.

 

In Extremo – This Corrosion (Originally by The Sisters Of Mercy)

The token folk metal tune on this list. The use of folk instruments on this recording definitely bring something different to the table. Problem is that the instruments give it too much of an improper upbeat tone, while the original recording has a gothic tone that is too epic to be messed with.

 

Epica – Crystal Mountain (Originally by Death)

Sometimes you can sneak clean vocals into death metal songs and keep them good. But having a soprano interject in the middle of a death metal classic is just over-the-top. The addition of a symphony is pretentious as well.

 

Celtic Frost – In The Chapel In The Moonlight (Originally by Dean Martin)

Yes. Celtic Frost does Dean Martin. This song has a percussive track just like several of their originals from earlier works. Tom G. Warrior for the most part refuses to do actual singing on this as usual. As was the case with The Smiths, it’s injustice to a singer but now with a beat that sounds nothing like the original.

 

Crystal Viper – Tyrani Piekieł (Originally by Vader)

I can’t help but feel that this was done out of nepotism. Both bands are from the same Polish metal scene. This cover features Vader frontman, Piotr Wiwczarek, but as a backup vocalist for the most part, only having the lyrics in the bridge to himself . While this doesn’t annoy me as much as Epica’s Death cover, the clean vocals still defeat the purpose of this death metal track. The guitar tuning on the original recording was more aggressive as well.

 

Machine Head – Colors (Originally by Ice-T)

Given that this song was recorded when the Nu-Metal movement rose to popularity, it of course raised some eyebrows. Flynn’s rapping isn’t too different from Ice-T’s. So to give the song a twist, he inserted a few guitar techniques here and there. But pick scrapes can’t really hold a candle to record scratches in my opinion.

Vital Remains – The Trooper (Originally by Iron Maiden)

This is my example of a cover being unjust by being the same and different all at once. Before the death growls kick in, the guitars are played in the same way as the original. So the beginning sounds like power metal. Hence they’re trojan horsing their death metal on you here. In the past, death metal bands have covered metal classics. But in other cases, the riffs were made more aggressive and tuned lower.

Top 10 Metal Albums Of 2005

2005 was one of the best years of the last decade for metal as well as one of its most diverse. Many current bands would release their most well known albums and several classic bands showed the world they were back on their feet. Here in no order are 10 of the best metal albums from that year.

Kreator – Enemy of God

In 2001, thrash icons Kreator showed the world they were coming back strong with the album Violent Revolution. Four years later they proved it even more with the even better Enemy of God. Like the previous album it combines the band’s aggressive old school thrash sound with melodic death instrumentation. These reused elements were more perfected on this album, creating a record that almost rivals the band’s early work.

Devourment – Butcher the Weak

Slam is a micro genre of death metal that tends to be more miss then hit. Nothing hits harder in this genre than Devourment’s older albums. Butcher the Weak is the band’s finest hour. The album is simplistic and brutal without being generic. The track “Babykiller” is now the band’s most well-known song.

High on Fire – Blessed Black Wings

Blessed Black Wings is the third album from Californian sludge elites High on Fire. Like most of their releases, this album fuses sludge with thrash and contains complex drumming. Legendary producer Steve Albini’s touches give this album a raw and dirty sound. This is so far the band’s best work. If you like this album also check out Witchcraft’s Firewood from the same year.

Hypocrisy –Virus

Hypocrisy’s Virus is the band’s 10th album and one of their most diverse. The album’s sound is based in melodeath like most of the band’s work, but elements from thrash, black metal, industrial and punk can be heard. Guitarist Gary Holt of Exodus even plays on the track “Scrutinized”.

Gojira  – From Mars to Sirius

2005 was a year that saw many solid prog oriented metal releases. Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, Akercocke, Nevermore, and Strapping Young Lad all had great albums that year, but they all paled in comparison to From Mars to Sirius. Playing an ultra-heavy, riff driven, and groove influenced (without the tough guy attitude) style of progressive death metal, Gojira are one of the most original bands of the last decade and this album is their opus.

Taake – Hordalands doedskvad

Taake’s third album is the best black metal from that year. On this release Norway’s famed one man black metal outfit brings dreamy atmosphere mixed with raw energy. To this day he has yet to top this album. Other great black metal albums from 2005 include Naglfar’s Pariah and Axis of Perdition’s Scenes from the Transition Hospital.

Bolt Thrower –  Those Once Loyal

The band’s eight full length is also still their latest effort. This is because Bolt Thrower feels they won’t record again until they know they can write a great follow up. Crunchy riffs layer this release and not a single song is forgettable. Martin “Kiddie” Kearns, who played drums on this album has sadly recently passed away. May this album live on in his memory!

https://youtu.be/ZEVVOQD6VIQ

Kamelot – The Black Halo

Power metal is a genre that tends to be flooded with cheesy bands. Kamelot is a major exception. Here on their greatest album the band continues the dark Faust inspired story that started on the previous offering Epica. The dark feel of the music and progressive song writing make this an album that could appeal to even the harshest of power metal haters.

https://youtu.be/5RimEGS5XCs

Napalm Death – The Code if Red…Long Live the Code

Grindcore creators Napalm Death’s eleventh studio album is one of the best of their more recent work. Like a lot of later Napalm Death albums, the sound combines the grindcore of their early days with their early 90’s death metal sound. The track “The Silence is Deafening” is now one of the band’s most popular tracks.

Nile – Annihilation of the Wicked

This fourth entry in the Nile saga is still to this day the band’s most iconic. This album also features some of the band’s most well-known songs such as “Lashed to the Slave Stick” and the title track. The band’s trademarks such complex drum fills and epic Egyptian vibes are turned up to eleven on this record. Ten years later and Nile is still a household name to death metal fans.

Top 10 Greatest 10 Minute Songs Of The 90’s

While the 60’s and 70’s are known for epic 10 minute plus songs from iconic bands like Pink Floyd and The Doors, the 90’s also featured some epic songs from seminal alternative rock bands like Tool, Smashing Pumpkins, Temple of the Dog, and Jane’s Addiction. Below are the Top 10 Greatest 10 Minute Songs Of The 90’s.

10. Neurosis – “Through Silver In Blood”

“Through Silver in Blood” kicks off Neurosis’ 1996 album Through Silver In Blood. The song opens up with a tribal feel rhymically, gradually building u[ until the vocals and guitar fully kick in. The song is a fan favorite live, and closes many shows.

9. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – “O’Malley’s Bar”

While “O’Malley’s Bar,” off of 1995’s Murder Ballads, is an epic song in length, Nick Cave told Rolling Stone Australia in 1995 that the key to the track is its simplicity. “In a lot of cases the song is really simple. A guy walks into O’Malley’s Bar and shoots everybody. He knows everybody, it’s his local bar. Little things he observes, the way he is in awe of what he does, what a bullet can do a person, all that kind of stuff. That’s very much what storytelling is about, for me. Those nasty little details.”

8. Jeff Buckley – “Kanga-Roo” (Alex Chilton)

Jeff Buckley’s Big Star cover appeared on 1994’s Grace, and while Buckley’s cover doesn’t change too much from the original, but the tracks builds and sounded significantly different live.

7. NOFX – “The Decline”

NOFX’s “The Decline” is unique because it appeared on a single track EP in 1999. The track clocks in at 18 minutes and is a biting satire of American politics including issues like guns, drugs, the religious right, and the destruction of consitutional rights.

6. Tool – “Disgustipated”

Despite “Disgustipated” having a long length, the song is a great example of Maynard James Keenan’s dark sense of humor, but much more subtle than his work with Puscifer. There are many different fan interpretations of the lyrics, with some thinking certain parts are about alien abductions, mocking vegetarians, a commentary on animal rights, and comparing people to carrots. The track appears on 1993’s Undertow.

5. Guns N’ Roses – “Coma”

“Coma,” off of 1991’s Use Your Illusion 1, opens up with a pulsating heartbeat, and leading into Axl Rose’s story of never wanting to come out of a coma. Musically, the song is Slash’s baby, and while the song is mostly a dark rocker, there’s a feeling of peace during Slash’s solo before Axl Rose’s triumphant vocal finale.

4. Tool – “Third Eye”

“Third Eye,” off of 1996’s Ænima, is another epic Tool tracks with thought provoking lyrics with many different fan interpretations, ranging from peyote ‘prying open my third eye’ to being about the pineal gland in the brain controlling your body. The song certainly feels like a drug trip!

3. Temple of the Dog – “Reach Down”

“Reach Down” is a plodding gospel rocker featuring some of Chris Cornell’s lyrics. On the track Cornell sings about his late friend Andrew Wood, and tries to deal with how to remember him after his tragic death. Cornell frantically contemplates Wood’s essence and how he would want to be remembered. He sings, “And I’m sparking like a heart attack, now I’ve got room to spread my wings and my messages of love, yes love was my drug, but that’s not what I died of, so don’t think of me crying louder than some billion dollar baby.”

2. Smashing Pumpkins – “Starla”

“Starla” features one of Billy Corgan’s most memorable guitar riffs, and it is a quintessential early 90’s Pumpkins song. The track opens with a melodic riff and later cranks up the distortion, before breaking down again before the epic guitar solo. The track is a fan favorite, with a Smashing Pumpkins fansite even named after it (Starla.org), but it never appeared on an official studio album, instead being featured on 1994’s compilation of outtakes and B-sides Pisces Iscariot.

1. Jane’s Addiction – “Three Days”

“Three Days,” off of 1990’s Ritual de lo Habitual, is not only one of the greatest 10 minute songs of the 90’s, but it is one of the great 10 minute songs of all time. “Three Days” has the structure of a three act play or film, the song doesn’t let up structurally and moves from part to part without ever feeling stale or having any filler. Dave Navarro’s solo is one of his best, and Perry Farrell manages to make a song about a three day drug fueled threesome feel like a spiritual journey.

Top 10 Reasons Dave Grohl Should Host SNL

A petition at www.ipetitions.com is gaining quite a bit of momentum for Dave Grohl to host Saturday Night Live (SNL). Grohl, the eccentric frontman for the Foo Fighters, is known for his humor during concerts and has also had many hilarious acting credits and cameos in movies and television, which also includes a stint hosting Chelsea Lately.   And there are also all those hilarious Foo Fighters videos.

Grohl and the Foo Fighters have also released YouTube videos that should add to his resume to host the show. Below, see the Top 10 Reasons Dave Grohl Should Host Saturday Night Live.

1. Foo Fighters’ “Big Me” music video

2. He guest hosted Chelsea Lately

3. When Foo Fighters toured with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, it was hyped by an outrageous MTV News special featuring Grohl.

4. The Fresh Pots video

5. Foo Fighters’ 2011 Kansas City Counter Protest

6. Foo Fighters’ 2015 Westboro Baptist Church Counter Protest

7. Foo Fighters’ “Everlong” music video

8. He just knows how to make people laugh.

9. Foo Fighters’ “Learn To Fly” music video

10. Foo Fighters’ “Long Road To Ruin” music video

Many musical guests have hosted the show in the past, including Christina Aguilera, Desi Arnaz, Garth Brooks, Ray Charles, Hammer, Deborah Harry, Janet Jackson, Quincy Jones, Kris Kristofferson, Queen Latifah, Jennifer Lopez, Ludacris, Willie Nelson, Olivia Newton-John, Dolly Parton, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Britney Spears, Sting, Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, Lily Tomlin, Stevie Wonder, and Frank Zappa. So an SNL with Dave Grohl as host would not be as far-fetched as some might think.

The Foo Fighters are currently in the middle of a world tour supporting their latest effort Sonic Highways. To hear all the best from Dave Grohl and the Foo Fighters tune to www.alternativenation.net/radio and www.rockshowradio.net.

Top 5 Rock & Roll Casino Venues

At some venues, rock and roll and gambling go hand in hand. You can go to an amazing concert, and then play slot games and gamble. You can get the same experience by going to casino.netbet.co.uk, and cranking your favorite rock music.

5. Pechanga Resort & Casino Theater

Pechanga Resort and Casino is an Indian Casino on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula, California. Pechanga Resort and Casino is the largest casino in the state of California, with 3,400 slot machines and approximately 188,000 sq ft (17,500 m2) of gaming space. Many rockers perform at the venue, including Slash in 2015.

4. The Borgata

Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa is a hotel, casino, and spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States. It is owned by Marina District Development, a joint venture between Boyd Gaming and a MGM Resorts International. The casino hotel features 2,002 rooms and is the largest hotel in New Jersey. The venue features many rock concerts and comedy shows.

3. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Cosmopolitan is a luxury resort casino and hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. The resort opened on December 15, 2010, and is located just south of the Bellagio on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, and consists of two highrise towers.

2. Pearl Concert Theater

he Pearl Concert Theater is a 3 level concert venue, located within the Palms Resort. Depending on the configuration the venue can seat between 1,000 and 2,500 people. The Palms includes a recording studio that has been used by many artists including, but not limited to – JAY Z, Beyoncé Knowles, Madonna, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Carlos Santana, T-Pain, Imagine Dragons, Panic at the Disco, The Killers, Dr. Dre, Eminem, 50 Cent, Maroon 5, Joe Bonamassa, and Wayne Newton.

1. The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino was built in 1995 by Peter Morton, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe. It was expanded in 1999, and began another expansion in 2007. In June 2002 influential rock bassist John Entwistle of The Who died in one of the hotel’s rooms. Guns N’ Roses also performed a residency at the venue in 2014. Thanks to Wikipedia for some of the information provided on this list!

Top 10 Survival Tips For Touring Bands

On October 2nd, Canadian rock band The Sheepdogs will release their highly-anticipated new album Future Nostalgia via Dine Alone Records. Following up on their last album, which was produced by Patrick Carney of The Black Keys, this collection brings the band back to their 70s rock-inspired roots. Over their impressive career, they have racked up many JUNO awards in Canada, and were the only unsigned band to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone, and were the stars of a themed Project Runway episode. The band have created an exclusive Top 10 Survival Tips For Touring Bands list for Alternative Nation!

1. Pack light.

I used to bring a small library when i’d hit the road, now i just bring 1 or 2 books and if i run out of reading material I’ll borrow something from a band member. I never would have read Motley Crue’s “The Dirt” if it hadn’t been kicking around our van. It’s one of the best rock n roll books i’ve ever read.

2. Pick your spots when partying.

It’s tempting to booze it up and cut loose every night, you’re already in a bar/venue where people are partying and having fun, but a long tour feels even longer when you are hungover every day.

3. Exercise.

You’re sitting in a van all day and eating roadside food. We try to hit the gym to offset the unhealthy lifestyle and have found that it translates into more energy on stage.

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4. Watch what you eat.

Almost all road food is horrible empty calorie bullshit. If you have a chance to eat healthy take it because most of the time you will be at the mercy of fast food extra value meals.

5. Be nice. To sound guys, venue staff, and especially your audiences.

Time and time again you will depend on the kindness of strangers to get you through all sorts of situations. The road is filled with pitfalls and you need all the help you can get. I can’t count how many times we were bailed out of a jam by someone who did us a kindness whether it was providing a place to crash, fixing our van, or cooking a meal.

6. Don’t sell your merch for too much.

When we were starting off we sold our CDs for $15 and people told us we should really charge $20. Instead we dropped the price to $10, sold way more, and thus had vastly more people going home and getting acquainted with our music. Also don’t be afraid to cut deals and let people get a t shirt for cheaper, it’s free advertising. Just get that stuff out there.

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7. Look out the window when you’re traveling between towns.

It’s easy to bury your head in a book, or watch a movie on laptop, or even just snooze through a drive, but i find putting some good music on and gazing out the window as you roll from town to town is a pretty damn rewarding activity.

8. Try and see some of the cities that you play in.

This is a tough one. Most of the time you blow into town, set up and soundcheck, shower up (sometimes) and play the show before crashing and hitting the road again the next day. If you get the chance, try and see some of the city, even if it’s as simple as a short walk.

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9. Make friends with other bands.

A great source of friendship and camaraderie, there’s no one more understanding and sympathetic to the plight of a touring musician than other touring musicians. Also a great source of show opportunities. Bands love playing shows with their brother and sister bands.

10. Sleep wherever you can.

There will be a lot of late nights and far too many early mornings. Try and learn how to sleep in a moving van, slumped in a chair, on a plane, in a disgusting green room while another band soundchecks loudly…it’s very hard to get an even 8 hours per night so making up those lost hours wherever and whenever you can is key.

Smashing Pumpkins’ Albums Get Ranked Up!

Love him or hate him, Billy Corgan was one of the most revolutionary figures of the 90’s alternative explosion, and The Smashing Pumpkins have one of the most storied discographies dating back twenty four years. While their first three albums are uncontested classics, their later albums are more controversial among fans. Resident Smashing Pumpkins experts Andrew Wilson and Doug McCausland put together a ranked list of Pumpkins albums from worst to best, ranging from 1991’s Gish to 2014’s Monuments from an Elegy.

8. Zeitgeist (2007)

Perhaps the hardest of all the albums to judge, Zeitgeist starts off in your face with rock songs then goes to soft 80’s inspired music for the second half. Despite not being praised by either fan or critics, many of these songs actually translated very well live. In fact, the epic “United States” has been used as a tour closer on the recent “End Times” circuit with Marilyn Manson, and it proved to be one of the tour’s highlights.

7. Monuments to an Elegy (2014)

Monuments to an Elegy is possibly the most compact Smashing Pumpkins studio album to date, containing only 9 songs. MtaE has the distinction of featuring Tommy Lee of Motley Crue fame on drums. While Lee’s drumming is excellent, the album would’ve been much stronger if it featured former Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, who rejoined the band in 2015. Lead single “Being Beige” is a moody, psychedelic ballad with tight production, while “Run2Me” is a new classic in the SP catalog; otherwise, a lot of it is middle-of-the-road.

6. Machina/Machina II (2000)

2000’s Machina has a very industrial sound and possesses some of Corgan’s best lyrics; while many of the songs have incredible potential, the production tends to bog the album down. However, Machina possesses SP’s greatest love song in “Stand Inside Your Love”. Corgan’s spookier side shows in tunes like “Glass and the Ghost Children” & “Blue Skies Bring Tears”, while the ferocious “Everlasting Gaze” is a live SP staple. The lesser known and more pop-tinged Machina II was released via the internet later in October, fully rounding out what Corgan considers a double album.

5. Oceania (2012)

The second album Smashing Pumpkins produced since their reformation in 2007, this 2012 release is considered a part of Corgan’s Teargarden by Kaleidoscope songwriting project, and “album within an album”. Oceania can also be considered a concept album with a consistent narrative and sound… love in space is the only way Andrew can describe it. The first seven songs hold very strong, before entering a couple fillers, then ending with the solid “Wildflower”. A highlight of the album is the ethereal “Pinwheels”, a song worthy of Siamese Dream.

4. Gish (1991)

The first full length album produced by Smashing Pumpkins and the only one that would classify the band as “grunge”. It is composed of many hard, driving guitars playing spaced between acid washed calmness. Songs to check out: “Siva”, “I Am One”, “Window Paine”, “Bury Me”.

SmashingPumpkins-Adore

3. Adore (1998)

Adore was ahead of its time and is now considered by many to be a Pumpkins classic. The electronica infused album wasn’t received very well, considering the height Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness took the band. It covered some of the emotions Corgan went through with the loss of his mother, and featured a brilliant guest perfomance from drummer Matt Cameron. The music is simple and the lyrics are well constructed, though many point out that this is where Corgan’s voice is the most nasal.

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2. Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)

A 28 song epic spanning two discs created with the intention of being The Wall of the 1990’s, Mellon Collie is perhaps the seminal rock record of the mid 90’s, being simultaneously pop and metal, gentle yet angry. The Smashing Pumpkins proved they were a blue collar band spending many months inside the studio, composing over 50 songs in the process and producing some of SP’s biggest hits including Tonight, Tonight, Bullet with Butterfly Wings, Zero, and 1979. Some essential deep cuts include “Thru the Eyes of Ruby”, “Muzzle”, “XYU”, and “Galapagos”.

1. Siamese Dream (1993)

Siamese Dream is the most well rounded album. It possesses Billy Corgan’s best soloing, personal lyrics, and is the strongest record top to bottom. Few of Corgan’s crowd pleasers stem from this album such as Today, Disarm, and Cherub Rock. • Key deep cuts: Soma, Hummer, Geek USA, Spaceboy

Top 20 Underrated Foo Fighters Songs

One way great artists stand out compared to the ones that are forced to play gigs at the county fair when their popularity dwindles is from the quality of their underrated tracks. “Underrated tracks” as in no video was made, no single was distributed, and these tracks didn’t crack anywhere near the top 40, however, they are fantastic tracks that could be more widely known if they received significant promotion. The Foo Fighters are one of the few bands in recent memory who have the underrated tracks that could possibly stand on their own if they were distributed and promoted.

The following are 20 of the Foo Fighters best underrated tracks, plus an honorable mention:

Track:  “Baker Street”
Album: Medium Rare and My Hero single
The best cover the Foo Fighters recorded. It became a bit of a radio hit in the late 90’s when it was released as the b-side to the “My Hero” single, however to many this track is a virtual unknown. Featuring fantastic guitar tone, The Foos quite possibly nail the transitions better than the original. Dave Grohl’s voice fits in with the aura of the track very nicely. With “Baker Street”, the Foo Fighters recorded one of the best cover songs of the modern rock era.

Track: “Band On The Run”
Album: Medium Rare
The Foos next best cover and doing Sir Paul proud in the process. Again, when covering this classic the Foos hit the transitions perfectly and add some heavy guitar during the chorus and bridge making it their own.

Track:  “Come Alive”
Album: Echo’s Silence Patience & Grace
One of the most beautiful progressive rock tracks in the Foo Fighters catalog. “Come Alive” begins with a great acoustic guitar line and builds to a loud and heavy rocker. Grohl said this about the track in an interview with Kerrang! “On the last album we split the acoustic side and the electric side into two albums. Here, we’ve split it into one song. This is about reawakening after becoming a father. Anyone who’s a father understands how the world becomes a different place when your child is born. I just feel and see everything differently now.”

Track:  “Enough Space”
Album: The Colour and the Shape
“Enough Space” is a track about one of Grohl’s favorite movies Arizona Dream. With a very unique beginning and with the most profound bass line in the Foo Fighters catalog, “Enough Space” is loud and is an example of the fundamental hard rock the Foo Fighters are known for.

Track:  “Erase/Replace”
Album: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace
Quintessential Foo Fighters style rock with a great chorus that gets stuck in your head. Grohl said this about the track in an interview with Kerrang! “I still listen to (Metallica’s album) Kill ‘Em All once a week and there’s a part of me that will never lose the love of riffs. That’s where a song like this comes in. As a drummer and a guitar player, the rhythmic quality of a decent riff is like a cannon to me. I can write riffs all day long because I look at the guitar like a drum set. So, just as I’ll sit at a drum kit and play beats, I sit with a guitar and try the same thing. That’s what I was doing here. This one rocks.”

Track:  “Exhausted”
Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
A classic progressive rocker from the early years, with the tone and distortion that gives the listener a different feeling when it kicks into the chorus. Additionally, it has one of the most unique bridges in the history of modern rock music, with some semi-controlled guitar feedback adding to the allure of the track.

Track:  “Floaty”
Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
A much underrated early Foo Fighters masterpiece. Grohl hits melodic and hard rock points with this track while the music builds to heavy progressive perfection.

Track:  “Free Me”
Album: In Your Honor
Possibly the most underrated original Foo Fighters track in their entire catalog. It is heavy, hard hitting, hard rock… perfection. Grohl screaming “Free Me!” during the chorus is like a jolt of pure adrenaline. Grohl had this to say about “Free Me” in an interview with Metal Hammer, “The tricky thing is that most of the demos are instrumental. I may have an idea of the vocal but I don’t have any lyrics, so even if I come up with a killer instrumental arrangement but the vocals are like diarrhea, then it winds up in the trash. Like after I put vocals on ‘Free Me’ I just knew it was good. At the end of the day, if there’s a song that I whole heartedly just don’t like then it’s not going on the record, even if the other guys are all, ‘Yeah!’ about it.”

Track:  “Good Grief”
Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
Another heavy rocker with great guitar work, building and succeeding, and again Grohl’s voice fits the tone of the song perfectly.

Track:  “Hell”
Album: In Your Honor
Heavy with excellent guitar work surrounding the core guitar track, and again, Grohl’s voice fits the nature of the track flawlessly.

Track:  “Hey, Johnny Park!”
Album: The Colour And The Shape
One of the first non-single tracks to be considered a fan favorite among Foo Fighters fans and yet another track that probably should have been a single. Another slight late 90’s radio hit, “Hey, Johnny Park!” features melodic verses with a guitar infused chorus that hit like no other Foo Fighters song.

Track:  “I Am A River”
AlbumSonic Highways
One of the Foo Fighters best ballads. With a perfect chorus and beautiful lyrics, “I Am A River” is a staple of the Sonic Highways album. Written as part of the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways documentary, Grohl describes his process in writing the song on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:
“This song is filled with references, (the lyric) I find the secret behind the Soho door is referring to Majic Shop Studio and how it’s just this one tiny door in the street and you would never know it’s a studio. I find a reason that’s a Lou Reed reference, (the lyric) beneath the subway floor that’s talking about Minetta Creek which is a river that run’s under New York City. So this song is mostly about that, this river that runs underground through the city that’s known as Minetta Creek. I thought there was something beautiful in a river running through something as monolithic and futuristic as New York City and maybe we are all connected by something like that.”

Track:  “In Your Honor”
Album: In Your Honor
Another progressive masterpiece that is single worthy. The title track to the Foo Fighters experimental fifth album features perfect transitions and the pause and scream at the end of the track makes this one of the better tracks on the album. In an interview with Kerrang! Grohl said this about what influenced him in the writing of the track, “The song itself was just inspired by going out on the campaign trail and experiencing such a strong sense of devotion and belief. People were getting together to make a difference, for the sake of something honorable. It’s that overwhelming feeling of connection with something. It could be love, it could be football, it could be music, it could be anything. I’m trying to keep it general so people don’t focus on one specific thing. It’s not a political record at all.”

Track: “My Poor Brain”
Album: The Colour And The Shape
A dynamic punk track that has a unique intro. The bridge and its guitar work takes “My Poor Brain” to another level.

Track:  “New Way Home”
Album: The Colour And The Shape
This track rivals “Free Me” as the most underrated track in the entire Foo Fighters catalog. Very melodic and perfectly written as the closer to The Colour And The Shape. The slow repeat of the first verse building to a heavier repeat of the chorus is what sets this track apart from the other underrated tracks in the Foo Fighters catalog. Grohl had this to say about the track in an interview with Vox magazine, “That’s about winding your way through all of these songs, emotions and pitfalls and ups and downs, but at the end of the day, you realize that you’re not scared anymore and you’re gonna make it.”

Track:  “Tired Of You”
Album: One By One
Great lyrics, amazing transitions, and probably the best ballad they have ever written. The track features overdubbed guitar parts from Queen’s Brian May.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVcqyB2Rbz8

Track:  “Up In Arms”
Album: The Colour And The Shape
A simple, catchy, melodic love song that kicks into a surprising punk ending.

Track:  “Watershed”
Album: Foo Fighters (Self Titled)
One of the Foo Fighters heaviest tracks; with a hard, catchy punk guitar line and flawless vocals. It may just have the best hook in the Foo Fighters catalog.

Track:  “What If I Do”
Album: In Your Honor
Another underrated ballad from Grohl & Co. Part of the acoustic disc of In Your Honor, the track is a slow beautiful tear jerker.

Track:  “Wind Up”
Album: The Colour And The Shape
Dave Grohl’s middle finger to the press. It’s heavy with another extraordinary bridge leading to the final shattering verse.

Track:  “X-Static”
Album: Foo Fighters (Self-Titled)
With a mean guitar fused intro “X-Static” is a Foo Fighters progressive staple.

Feel free to post some of your favorite underrated Foo Fighters tracks in the comments section below.  Hear all these tracks and plus many other great live/rare and acoustic tracks at www.alternativenation.net/radio and www.rockshowradio.net.

Iron Maiden’s Albums Get Ranked Up!

Formed in 1974, Iron Maiden is a household name among metalheads and casual music listeners alike: the band’s mix of speed, energy, complexity, well written lyrics, and epic feel keeps fans counting the days to the next Maiden release and devouring concert tickets. Maiden is also known for staying true to their sound no matter what the current rock or metal trends might be.

Even bad Iron Maiden albums, for the most part, will have at least one good song. To celebrate the band’s soon to be released 16th album, The Book of Souls (due September 4), we decided to base the next installment of Ranked Up! on none other than Iron Maiden.

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TIE: The X Factor and Virtual XI (1995, 1998)

Both of these albums are tied for the same slot as they are both the worst for the same reason: Bruce Dickinson was replaced by Blaze Bayley, whose voice was not very good at all, and the songwriting ranged from subpar to godawful. During this time, Bruce released two solo albumsAccident of Birth and The Chemical Wedding. Both of these albums feature Adrian Smith on guitar and are much better then these two Maiden albums.

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No Prayer for the Dying (1990)

No Prayer for the Dying is the most infamous Maiden album to not have Blaze. Around this time, longtime guitarist Adrian Smith left the band and was replaced by Janick Gers. The single “Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter” is the band’s only number one hit to date, but the track itself isn’t very good. Credit is due, however, for the solid tune “Tailgunner“.

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Dance of Death (2003)

Released two years after the amazing Brave New World, this release was a bit of a step backwards, and the album failed to deliver the level of quality Maiden is known for. The track “Rainmaker” is one of the bands post 80’s songs, however.

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Fear of the Dark (1992)

Fear of the Dark is one of the band’s most overlooked albums. While the title track is one of the most popular Iron Maiden songs, the rest of this album is normally panned by your average listener. A dedicated fan will dive in and realize the album has many underrated tracks, including “Be Quick or be Dead“,“Judas My Guide” and “Afraid to Shoot Strangers“.

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A Matter of Life and Death (2006)

In 2006, several classic metal bands, including Terrorizer, Sepultura, and Slayer showed the world that putting out albums is something… that they should probably stop doing. Iron Maiden, on the other hand, showed us that still got it. The album was Maiden’s heaviest release at the time as well as their longest and most progressive. Many great tracks are to be heard here including “The Pilgrim“,”The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg“, “Different World” and “Brighter then a Thousand Suns“.

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The Final Frontier (2010)

This 15th entry in the Iron Maiden saga was originally supposed to be the band’s last release. Bassist Steve Harris would later reveal this to be untrue. It would have been a sweet final effort, as The Final Frontier is the band’s best work since Brave New World. The album is even longer then the last one, but doesn’t drag on at all. The best tracks from this album are “El Dorado“,”The Alchemist“, “Mother of Mercy“, and “The Talisman“.

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Brave New World (2000)

Thanks to Blaze, the mid to late 90’s were the worst time for Iron Maiden. This was until 1999, when Blaze left and Bruce came back and brought with him Adrian Smith. To this day, the band still has three guitarists. At the dawn of the new millennium, the band released this monster of a comeback. Brave New World is an hour and seven minutes of pure awesome. With tracks like “Blood Brothers“, “Brave New World” and “Wickerman“, this is easily the best non-80’s Maiden release.

Iron Maiden Somewhere In Time

Somewhere in Time (1986)

Trying to figure out what Maiden’s weakest 80’s release is is a bit redundant, as they are all metal perfection. Somewhere in Time is still an amazing record, despite being ranked the lowest on this list in reference to that era. Best songs from here are “Wasted Years“, “Alexander the Great“, and “Stranger in a Strange Land“.

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Killers (1981)

Killers is the last album to feature Paul Dianno on vocals and first to feature Adrian Smith on guitar. This is the only Maiden album to date to have two instrumental tracks: “Gengus Khan” and “Ides of March“. Killers is largely composed of unreleased songs from the band’s self titled debut. “Wrathchild” is the most popular song from this album and was even featured in game that everyone probably forgot existed, Guitar Hero Rock the 80’s. The album includes other fan favorites such as “Twilight Zone” and “Purgatory“.

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Iron Maiden (1980)

Iron Maiden is some record that a bunch of no names put together in their spare time: Paul Dianno, Steve Harris, Clive Burr, and Dennis Stratton. It would launch the career of one of metal’s most legendary outfits. Running Free“,”Iron Maiden” and “Phantom of the Opera” are still stables of Maiden’s sets in a post-Paul Dianno world.

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Piece of Mind (1983)

Piece of Mind is the first Iron Maiden album to feature the band’s most well known drummer, Nikko McBrain. This album’s line up of him, vocalist Bruce Dickinson, bassist Steve Harris, guitarist Adrian Smith, and guitarist Dave Murray would go on to be known as the classic Maiden lineup. The band would keep this line up throughout the 80’s then bring in it back, with the addition of third guitarist Jannick Gers, in 1999. This album has “The Trooper“, which is one of the band’s most well known songs. “Flight of Icarus“, “Where Eagles Dare” and ” Die With Your Boots” and pretty much the rest of this album is just as good. Along with Powerslave and Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind is the best Maiden albums to start out with.

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Powerslave (1984)

Powerslave is the most underrated of the classic era Maiden albums. The song writing on this album is top notch. The album is most known for the singles “2 Minuites to Midnight” and “Aces High” as well as the 14 minute epic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner“. While those songs are awesome, the best song from this album is “Flash of the Blade“, a song that was used as the theme to the Dario Argento horror classic Phenomena.

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Seventh Son of a Seventh Son (1987)

When a man is born the seventh son from a man that was the seventh son of his parents, this child would be born with supernatural powers. This man’s power would be strong enough to make a difference in the everlasting battle between good and evil. This is the story behind this epic concept album, the band’s only true concept album to date. Panned by fans during its original release due to the addition of synths, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son has now gone on to be one of the band’s most beloved works.

This album is also the first time Maiden would expand upon their prog rock influence, something that has stuck with the band in later releases. In 1988 the band would tour for the album and play the whole thing in its entirety. In 2012, they would tour again for this album this time was Alice Copper as support. Even when not celebrating the album, the songs “Can I Play With Madness“,”The Evil That Men Do” and “Seventh Son of a Seventh Son” are likely to appear in the band’s set lists. Due to being pretty different from what the band is known for, it might not be the best album to start out with, but once you become a fan of the band it is a must hear!

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Number of the Beast (1983)

Number of the Beast was the fuse the sparked Maiden’s explosion out of clubs and into international success. Out was a majority of the punk influence from the first two albums and in were Bruce’s epic opera vocals, cementing the band’s signature sound. The album contains the band’s two most well known songs, “Run to the Hills” and “Number of the Beast” as well as what this humble writer considers the band’s greatest song to date, “Hallowed Be Thy Name“. Let’s just say if it wasn’t for a cheap copy in a local mall in middle of nowhere upstate New York, you might not be reading this list. The entire album is a masterpiece from front to back without a single skip-able track. Number of the Beast is one of the greatest metal albums ever released.

10 Reasons Guns N’ Roses Will Reunite

With news recently breaking that Axl Rose and Slash are friends again, Alternative Nation decided to do some detective work (with some help from a GNRTruth forum topic) and find signs and hints pointing towards a reunion of Guns N’ Roses’ original lineup. Below are the Top 10 reasons that the original Guns N’ Roses could reunite! Steven Adler quotes have been excluded as there are enough for their own article.

10. Slash said ‘Never say never’ in May, and hinted at reconciliation with Axl

The former GNR guitarist sounded optimistic in a May 2015 interview on CBS, admitting a reunion “might be fun” and claiming he’s on better terms with Axl Rose. “You know, never say never.”

9. Slash wished Axl happy birthday in February

Slash wished Axl Rose happy birthday in February on Twitter.

8. GNR road manager wished Slash happy birthday last month

Guns N’ Roses road manager, and longtime Axl Rose confidante, Del James wished Slash happy birthday last month.

7. GNR road manager posted a photo with Slash in January

A photo was also posted of Del James with Slash in the background from an old Guns N’ Roses tour back in January.

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6. There was a rumor in January hinting at a major Guns N’ Roses development

While this was obviously just a rumor, Jim posted on GNRTruth on January 2, 2015 that a major development had happened in Guns N’ Roses. “There are currently negotiations going on for the past several weeks that could prove very interesting if all goes well…Been a cold winter gtrunk, and hell did freeze over.”

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5. DJ Ashba and Bumblefoot have left Guns N’ Roses

Guitarists DJ Ashba and Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal left Guns N Roses this year, and while a followup to Chinese Democracy has long been in the works, there isn’t currently a full live GNR lineup.

4. Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin have been recording together

Duff McKagan and Izzy Stradlin reunited to record “How To Be A Man” early this year. “We were talking on the phone, and [Stradlin] said, ‘Let’s go record a song,” McKagan recalled earlier this year. Asked whether they’d be up for more music, he was positive yet noncommittal, saying, “We’ll probably do it some more. We’re gonna maybe record some more. But we just enjoy making music together and enjoy each other’s company. We’re allowed to do that.” The pair were reported to be in the studio earlier this month, and in an interview with Classic Rock Magazine, McKagan made it clear he’d be content to continue working with Stradlin indefinitely.

“I really trust whatever he does. If he says, ‘I’ve got a part,’ I know he’s got a part. It’s not like, ‘Let me hear it.’ It’s like, ‘He’s got the part. Good – that’s taken care of,’” he explained. “I’d like to do more music with him. For the rest of my life.”

3. Axl thanked past Guns N’ Roses lineups at Golden Gods Awards

Axl Rose thanked past Guns N’ Roses lineups when accepting an award last year in Los Angeles.

2. Axl and Duff toured together last year

Duff McKagan joined Guns N’ Roses for a South American tour last year. McKagan discussed reuniting with Rose during an interview on Talk is Jericho earlier this year. “After playing with Axl last spring and those guys, I just missed playing with him, I’ve got to be honest. I’m like dude, we should have been doing this for the – so much time has passed, of course. We talked about some things, we did, we thought we were just this gang, we weren’t going to fall into any typical rock crap, no man. We fell into every one of them man, and we were laughing about that.”

Guns N Roses Perform Live At Rock In Rio II

1. Slash said he and Axl are friends again

Slash has stated in a new interview with Aftonbladet that he and former Guns N’ Roses bandmate Axl Rose are friends again.

The reporter asked: “I heard you made friends with Axl Rose again, how was that possible after all those years?”

Slash responded: “It was probably way over due but it was very cool at this point. Let some of that…Dispell some of that negative stuff that was going on for so long.”

Slash refused to discuss a possible Guns N’ Roses reunion, asking to change the subject. The Guns N’ Roses News Twitter has a major update on this story, reporting that Axl Rose and Slash have been communicating for months, with a source informing them about their reconciliation months ago.

Live On All Legs: A Look Back At Pearl Jam’s Greatest Live Performances

Photo credit: Lance Mercer

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Hypothetically speaking, let’s say Pearl Jam wanted to make a career spanning live album, and give the fans the option to nominate, vote, and pick all the tracks to go on this one disc, 18 track, live album. This album will be similar to the Pearl Jam live releases “Live On Two Legs” and “Live On Ten Legs” however, it will be a career expansive track list, hence… “Live On All Legs” (so original!)
With the majority of every show in Pearl Jam’s history recorded, either by an audience recording, by the band professionally, or a radio recording (and there is no telling what other treasures lie in Pearl Jam’s infamous “vault”), Pearl Jam is probably one of the only bands that could be able to pull this off. After brainstorming this idea, and after much research and some very difficult decisions, I have narrowed down my 18 favorite live tracks that I would nominate to go on this album, taking into account many different aspects including band performance, crowd enthusiasm, and quality of the recordings.  You can stream most of these tracks, however all tracks are available to download with the links provided.

Live On All Legs Tracklist:

1. “Of The Girl”
Riverport Amphitheater
St. Louis MO
October 11th, 2000

“Of The Girl”, often used as an opener during the 2000 tour is a great way to begin the evening.  This version in particular stands out with some great guitar effects and fantastic transitions.

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2. “In My Tree”
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
July 8th, 2003
This revamped version of this progressive No Code classic is truly a live standout. Switching it up by opening with the main guitar line instead of the rhythmic drumming approach gives “In My Tree” a much different and fresh feel. Adding a keyboard solo by Boom Gasper during the bridge brings out another surprising element.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ2RebziO68&w=420&h=315]

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3. “Even Flow”
Madison Square Garden
New York, New York
July 8th, 2003
One thing about the track “Even Flow” is if you go to a Pearl Jam show, this is one of the only songs you will almost be assured to hear. For many of the Pearl Jam fans who have seen multiple shows, this is one many would say they could do without. But there is one aspect of “Even Flow” everyone wants to hear and that of course is the Mike McCready guitar solo, Why? It’s always different, always amazing, and it gives McCready the chance to do what he does best… melt your face. Of all the live performances of “Even Flow,” this one in particular, McCready not only gives you one amazing guitar solo, he gives you two, smoothly changing the solo in equally incredible fashion. He even surprises his fellow band mate Stone Gossard who almost loses his concentration because McCready was in such a zone (as evident on the DVD release Pearl Jam, Live at the Garden).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXxFIbnwNHg&w=560&h=315]

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4. “In Hiding”
Riverport Amphitheatre
St. Louis MO
July 2nd 1998
I don’t know what it is about this particular evening, but three tracks from my list came from this show. I believe it’s one of Pearl Jam’s most underrated shows in their 24 year history. Mike McCready was on fire this evening, providing amazing solos on almost every track he could fit one in and Eddie Vedder’s voice was nothing short of stellar. Their longtime producer, Brenden O’Brein was on hand for this show so it could have given the band a little motivation to show him a good time. The band sounded amazing that night, and this version of “In Hiding” is their best ever, Vedder absolutely nailing the chorus is the highlight of this one.
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5. “Nothing As It Seems”
Wembley Arena
London, England
May 30, 2000
This live version of “Nothing As It Seems”, the first single off the album Binaural is again layered with amazing guitar lines and solo’s from guitarist Mike McCready. McCready does something different in the beginning of this track by adding a thick slice of distortion to the intro giving this cut quite a bit more flavor. Some of the video versions of “Nothing as It Seems” are better to watch, but when comparing sound alone, this one is tops.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiKm17F0gqs&w=560&h=315]

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6. “W.M.A.”
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival
Manchester, Tennessee
June 14, 2008
This is a extremely chilling version of this V.S. classic. Bonnaroo 2008 was one of the bands most superlative festival appearances. Lead guitarist Mike McCready adds on a layer of psychedelic guitar lines to accompany Eddie, Stone, Jeff, and Matt’s flawless performance. The band doesn’t play this one much, but this night it became a Pearl Jam live career highlight.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ttg4-2az80&w=560&h=315]

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7. “Improv/Habit”
Riverport Amphitheatre
St. Louis, MO
July 2nd, 1998
You can definitely sense the crowd reaction to the surprise elements of this track. The Improv gives a great feel of anticipation, and when the band kicks into the heavy guitar driven track “Habit” it’s absolutely phenomenal.  This is Pearl Jam at their best.

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8. “Garden”
Fox Theater
Atlanta GA,
April 3rd, 1994

A very impressive take on “Garden” from the classic album “Ten”.  The band are in tune with each-other and Eddie’s voice is stellar.  The sound of the Fox Theater is also fantastic.   Guitarist Mike McCready playing a great bluesy solo and guitarist Stone Gossard being a steady rhythmic compliment is really what sets this version apart.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NylOJ3xGo3Y&w=420&h=315]

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9. “Betterman/Save it for Later”
Riverport Amphitheatre
St. Louis, MO
July 2nd, 1998
For this version of “Betterman” and the fairly typical tag of “Save it for Later” by English Beat, Vedder and the rest of the band feed off each other perfectly bringing this version to new heights. Vedder’s voice is flawless with the “Save it for Later” tag which is the definite highlight of this Vitalogy classic.

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10. “Porch”
Drop in the Park
Warren G. Magnuson Park
Seattle, WA
September 20, 1992
Early live Pearl Jam in all its glory, with this version of “Porch” being one of their most adrenaline fueled ever. The hard hitting drums of former drummer Dave Abbruzzese are a force to be reckoned with and Eddie Vedder singing the lyrics to Rollins Band “Tearing” while the band is raging behind him brings this version to new levels. Full of surprising tempo changes and heavy collaborative jamming, this version of “Porch” shows the world how well each band member can anticipate the other member’s every move. “Porch” is great add to any Pearl Jam setlist, but this one is a definite standout.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTFEjTe4NQo&w=420&h=315]

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11. “Mind Your Manners”
FedEx Forum
Memphis, TN
October 14th, 2014
The first heavy hitting single from Pearl Jam’s latest effort Lightning Bolt hits even harder with this live version; Vedder sounds better than ever and the band is completely on point.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kznGJAf3FTs&w=560&h=315]

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12. “Black”
GTE Virginia Beach Amphitheater
Virginia Beach, Virginia
September 7, 1998
“Black” is and probably always will be a crowd favorite. Off the Pearl Jam classic album Ten, it’s a track that is played often live and unlike “Even Flow”, it seems to be something everyone is excited to hear. In this version, the band strums through as the track builds into a progressive climax. Again, a highlight is lead guitarist Mike McCready, he is keyed in with the other members of the band and pushes the guitar solo to unfamiliar reaches.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfr_gn917vs&w=560&h=315]

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13. “Crazy Mary”
Shoreline Amphitheatre
Mountain View, CA
June 1, 2003
Pearl Jam is known for their amazing performances, but one aspect of the live performance that is sometimes overlooked is their touring B3 organist and session keyboardist, Boom Gasper. Boom’s talent shines through on Pearl Jam’s best take of the Victoria Williams track “Crazy Mary.” The highlight of this version is when McCready and Gasper jump into a guitar/keyboard duel towards the end of the track, making this a must listen.

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14. “Daughter / The Wrong Child / Romance”
Phillips Arena
Atlanta, Georgia
August 7th, 2000
This is a pretty typical live cut of Daughter, but Eddie Vedder being Eddie Vedder finds a way to make it more special as the track builds into another stellar tag. At some point, maybe during soundcheck, Eddie discovered that Phillips Arena had a very distinct echo in which he could use to his advantage in the performance. Vedder utilizes his profound voice and the sound features of the arena to make his voice uniquely echo and reverberate throughout the entire arena, and it is also distinctly evident in the recording. You might want to grab a jacket before you listen, because Vedder’s vocal performance may give you chills.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mGetoj0hIs&w=420&h=315]

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15. “Red Mosquito”
Austin City Limits Music Festival
Zilker Park
Austin, Texas
October 4th, 2009

When in attendance of a Pearl Jam show you never really know what is going to happen, such as with the Austin City Limits Festival in 2009.  Ben Harper came out as a special guest to play a little slide guitar and along with McCready playing his style of bluesy guitar solo on the other side, this tandem was really a spectacle to behold.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgBqDk2twvU&w=420&h=315]

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16. Parting Ways
Riverport Amphitheatre
St. Louis, Missouri
October 11th, 2000
“Parting Ways” is a live rarity and this is their best version.  McCready’s use of guitar effects in this performance is fantastic. “Parting Ways” is a great way to close out a set or an encore, and this particular evening in St. Louis was right on point, with McCready seemingly channeling other worldly elements.

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17. “Fuckin’ Up”
Boston, Massachusetts
Orpheum Theater
April 12, 1994

The band ending a set or encore with this classic Neil Young cover is always a treat.  With this one, PJ brings down the house with an incredible jam session closing out an epic night in Boston.  Vedder was in good spirits and motivated the crowd to ‘stand up!’  Again, this is Pearl Jam at their best.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lxUnDfClLw&w=560&h=315]

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18. “Yellow Ledbetter/Star Spangled Banner”
United Center
Chicago, Illinois
May 24, 2009

The typical show closer of “Yellow Ledbetter” is always given a boost when the “Star Spangled Banner” is played Hendrix style by axe master Mike McCready.  This night in particular, with the house lights on, it was a perfect cap to a perfect evening in Chi-town.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7X0yyxTxfo&w=560&h=315]

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This list is very subjective and ones opinion (how can a persons opinion be wrong!).  There are many other great live recordings of these tracks and other tracks not on this list which you can download any track mentioned here and the majority of others before 2008 at www.gremmie.net for free; everything 2008 to present can be purchased at www.pearljam.com.

What would your Live On All Legs look like?  Feel free to post in the comments below.

Hear all these tracks plus many other great Pearl Jam live cuts at Rock Show Radio’s Alternative Nation Radio.