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UNITED FORCES: METAL COVERS PUNK

It didn’t take long for metal and punk to influence each other. Crossover bands like D.R.I. and Suicidal Tendencies embraced both genres. Even strictly METAL bands had punk influences. What follows are just a few examples of what happens when METAL COVERS PUNK!   SAINT VITUS – THIRSTY AND MISERABLE No band was better prepared to cover Black Flag than Saint Vitus. Spot produced their early records and Dez Candena sang backup on their namesake song. A proud SST band, Black Flag is in the Vitus DNA. Saint Vitus transform…

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Lou Reed’s 1974 Australian Press Conference

By 1974, Lou Reed had firmly established himself as a solo artist. Sure, he had not disconnected completely from the past. The live record, Rock and Roll Animal, featured mostly Velvet Underground songs. Yet, the subsequent studio effort, Sally Can’t Dance, held the distinction of being the first Reed album not to feature a Velvet Underground track. The success of Transformer and brilliance of Berlin proved Reed could escape the shadow of his past. Still, wherever he traveled, his reputation preceded him. Lou Reed’s Australian press conference is nothing short of…

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Loser: Beck Interviewed by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore – MTV 120 Minutes – 1994

In 1994, Beck was thrust into the limelight on the strength of his first hit, “Loser.” The eye-catching video was tailor made for MTV and the network responded by keeping the song in heavy rotation.   It was only natural to feature this visually minded musician on the alternative rock showcase, 120 Minutes. A two-hour block dedicated to the cooler side of rock and roll, the show was a perfect forum to introduce Beck to serious rock fans. Even better, Beck was to be interviewed by Thurston Moore of Sonic…

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Ace Frehley and Kiss: The Tom Snyder Interview – Halloween 1979

On Halloween night in 1979, Kiss appeared on the nationally syndicated The Tomorrow Show. Almost immediately, a clearly inebriated Ace Frehley stole the show. Reacting to Tom Snyder’s assertion that Gene Simmons played the “bass” guitar, Ace jokes that he is the “trout player” before schooling his amused host on the proper pronunciation of Gene’s instrument. One can’t help but be taken by Frehley’s laugh. Ace is at once revealed as a jokester who saw the humor in a grown man dressing like a space alien. He couldn’t help but…

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10 Punk Rock Cover Songs

Punk bands have a long tradition of transforming well-known songs into punk rock bliss. Covering a famous hit is the perfect way to pay homage to influence. It can also be an ironic embrace of an unlikely song. As the following list demonstrates, punk versions of classic hits are pure fun! THE RAMONES – LET’S DANCE Amid songs of sniffing glue and fear of basements, The Ramones self-titled debut includes a cover of the 1962 hit, “Let’s Dance.” Although lyrically out of place, the song is easily absorbed into the…

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THE BEST/WORST ALBUM COVERS IN HEAVY METAL & HARD ROCK

HELLOWEEN – FUTURE WORLD Based on Judge Dredd, to me, this was just a badass pumpkin with a Mohawk strumming an electric guitar. After all, it’s HELLOWEEN. Of course there’s gonna be some chill pumpkin dude killing it on guitar. He’s kind of spacey and futuristic too. Well, that’s cause it’s the “Future World” single. The music is upbeat and happy. Seriously. It makes me want to dance a happy jig and hug people. OF COURSE the album cover is gonna have a lighthearted take on the band’s ongoing connection…

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DEFENDERS OF THE FAITH: THE METAL MONSTERS OF JUDAS PRIEST

In 1982, Judas Priest found themselves at a crossroads. Point of Entry had brought criticism from fans who thought the record suffered from commercial leanings. For their next record, the band could either continue to court radio or proudly return to their characteristic heavy sound. With Screaming for Vengeance, Judas Priest chose the latter path and created one of the strongest statements of their career. To reassure fans that the new album was a return to form, the cover needed to make a bold visual statement. The result was The…

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A Light in the Black: A Tribute to Jimmy Bain

Jimmy Bain passed away on January 24th, 2016. He enjoyed a lengthy career working beside some of rock’s greatest talents. Bain leaves behind an impressive discography, but is best remembered as the bass player of choice for Ronnie James Dio. The two first crossed paths in Rainbow. After quitting Deep Purple, Ritchie Blackmore was determined to make Rainbow a spectacle of sight and sound. Only the very best musicians would be capable of meeting the demands of this mad architect. Jimmy Bain was chosen to round out a rhythm section…

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Rush vs. Rainbow: The Great Rock and Roll Swindle

In 1978, Rainbow was a veritable super group carefully assembled by Ritchie Blackmore. The gatefold photo inside Long Live Rock ‘N’ Roll perfectly captures the excitement of seeing these giants perform live. A festive crowd eagerly waits for the curtain to drop. A few fans even hold a banner to greet Blackmore and company as they hit the stage.   This sign has always struck me as problematic. Who makes a banner to hold up at a rock concert and decides NOT to include the name of the band? One…

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Live To Win: A Tribute to Lemmy Kilmister

Motörhead are a part of my youth. At the time I was discovering music, promotional videos from 1916 were played in heavy rotation on Headbangers Ball. I soon purchased the album along with a copy of No Sleep ‘til Hammersmith. Yet another Motörhead fan was born. Shortly thereafter, stories of Lemmy’s pre-Motörhead existence began to reach me. The rumors that he had been a roadie for Jimi Hendrix were indeed true. I can’t imagine anything that gives more street-cred to a musician than lugging around Hendrix’s Marshall stack. Yet, there was even…

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