This is a review of the albums that I have been listening to whilst working from home. Albums listened to for week 11 cover from 1 June to 5 June.
Monday 1 June – Megadeth
Having done the ‘Big 4’ of Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer and Anthrax earlier in lockdown, I decided to start the new month with a day all dedicated to Dave Mustaine’s Megadeth.
Instead of trying to cram in all my favourite albums and there are quite a few favourites, I opted for the boxset album that was released in 2007. Entitled Warchest it featured five discs (4CD +DVD). Disc 1 featured a selection of tracks from their albums in the 1980s – Killing Is My Business…and Business is Good! (1985), Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying (1986) and So Far, So Good…So What? (1988).
A really good selection of tracks. My personal favourite from the 1980s was definitely the second album, Peace Sells.
There is a couple covers in here. No More Mr Nice Guy (Alice Cooper) which featured on the Shocker soundtrack in 1989 and a session take of Anarchy/Problems (Sex Pistols).
The first disc concludes with tracks from Rust In Peace (1990) which was the album that I finally started to take notice of them. One of my favourite Megadeth albums. I still have it on vinyl as well as CD.
The second disc takes in tracks from Countdown to Extinction (1992), Youthansia (1994) with some live tracks and a cover of Black Sabbath’s Paranoid. Disc 3 takes us through the late 90s and early 2000s of their output from Cryptic Writings (1997), Risk (1999), The World Needs a Hero (2000) and The System Has Failed (2004). There is another Black Sabbath cover in here too, Never Say Die (live) which featured on a tribute album to Black Sabbath.
The last disc is a live album from 1990’s Clash of the Titans tour from Wembley Arena in London. I would love to have seen that tour. It did come to Dublin but I never got to it. It’s a really great gig and it even featured Sean Harris from Diamond Head on It’s Electric as well as their cover of the Sex Pistols Anarchy in the U.K.
Tuesday 2 June – Black out Tuesday
No music played that day which was a strange thing to do whist working but as the day went on I was finding it difficult to not listen to anything, so I ended up sticking a Clash CD which I felt resonated well with the protests that were going on.
Wednesday 3 June – Warrior Soul, Living Colour and Rage Against The Machine
Following the previous days attempted music blackout, these are the bands I would have played which kind of captured the mood of what was going on in the world at the time.
I picked three albums each from Warrior Soul and Living Colour plus the last Rage Against The Machine album.
Warrior Soul’s first three albums, Last Decade, Dead Century (1990) was one of my favourite albums from that year. The follow up was next Drugs, God, and the New Republic (1991). Also listened to was Salutations From the Ghetto Nation (1992) quite an amazing output of music in three years. By that time grunge was taking foothold of the music scene which meant many hair-metal bands were losing out to this new wave of alternative rock. Warrior Soul’s music I think fitted in with the time.
Next up was Living Colour. I got into them towards the end of the 80s when funk metal was all the rage.
Remember this is just before grunge explodes and there was some really good stuff coming out then from the likes of Faith No More, Red Hot Chili Peppers, to name a few.
Vivid (1988) was my introduction to Living Colour what a great debut album it was. Cult of Personality was a big hit for them from this album. The follow up Time’s Up (1990) was also a favourite at the time. I must admit that by the time they released their third album, Stain (1993) my interest in the band kind of waned a bit. Maybe it was due to the overcrowded new bands that I was getting into during the early 90s that I may have overlooked them. What I didn’t know about this album was that it has been out of print from the mid-90s. Sadly the band split in 1995 but reformed in 2000. The last album I bought was Shade (2017). Need to check out the other two albums from 2003 and 2009.
Rage Against The Machine featured here in week 8 but the album I didn’t play that day was Renegades (2000). This was the bands fourth and final studio album. This is a really great album and as it is a covers album, Rage stamp their own sound to the songs. A very diverse track listing from Bruce Springsteen’s Ghost of Tom Joad (Tom Morello would later join Bruce on tour). the Rolling Stones Street Fighting Man, Afrika Bambaataa’s Renegade of Funk and Bob Dylan’s Maggie’s Farm. We also get covers of Devo, MC5, The Stooges, Cypress Hill and Minor Threat. Overall a fantastic album.
Thursday 4 June – Mark Lanegan
What can one say about Mark Lanegan and his baritone voice? A great vocalist often compared to Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits.
My first introduction to him was his first band Screaming Trees. They were part of the Seattle scene and I didn’t get into them until they released Sweet Oblivion (1992). First song I heard was Nearly Lost You from the Singles soundtrack and that got me interested. They also appeared on BBC TV for the Late Show on BBC2 which did a No Nirvana special. That TV programme that opened up a whole new world of bands to into including Pearl Jam, Belly, Dinosaur Jr, Sonic Youth, Rage, Smashing Pumpkins, to name but a few. Screaming Tree’s were on it with a fantastic version of Dollar Bill.
Mark Lanegan also released a solo album after that tour, Whiskey for the Holy Ghost(1994) and this solo stuff was just as good. Sadly the band ended with a final album, Dust (1996) which is a fantastic record. My only regret was I never saw them live. However, I have seen Mark live on numerous occasions, even along with Queens of the Stone Age.
Also played was Oceans of Confusion: Songs of Screaming Trees 1990-1996 which was released in 2005 and is a good collection of songs from their early years up to the last album Dust.
Bubblegum (2004) and Blues Funeral (2012) are two of my favourite albums of his after getting back in this music again following appearances with Queens of the Stone Age. The best of album, Has God Seen My Shadow? (2014) was a three disc album featuring songs from his releases between 1989-2011.
Another side project that Mark was involved in was The Gutter Twins which was his collaboration with Greg Dulli from Afghan Whigs. Saturnalia (2008). This was a great album and the band are on hiatus at the moment but would love to hear these two get back in the studio again.
Friday 5 June – Afghan Whigs
Quite natural to end the working week with Afghan Whigs after listening to The Gutter Twins the day before.
The band had been signed to Seattle based label, Sub Pop. Whilst not a Seattle band as such, they were from Cincinnati, Ohio you would be forgiven to think they were indeed part of grunge movement. Their major album debut and fourth album, Gentlemen (1993) was my introduction to the band. The album got a 21st anniversary reissue entitled Gentlemen at 21 in 2014.
The follow up to that was Black Love (1996). Greg had been the only other musician who featured on Foo Fighters debut album the year before. The album is like a crime noir soundtrack. The band broke up in 2001.
But I was really excited to hear that they were getting back together again in 2011. The result was a new album, Do to the Beast (2014) which was their first record in 16 years and they were back on Sub Pop. This was followed up with In Spades (2017) both really good albums and I got to see them live on both tours when they came to Dublin. Fantastic live band.
The Twilight Singers was formed by Greg during the hiatus from Afghan Whigs. The band was revived in 2000. Dynamite Steps (2011) was the album played here.