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Tuesday, October 19, 2004

HEAVY METAL: ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK

I can't remember which album I traded with my brother Rod to get this record, but it was well worth it. This album is so full of surprises I don't know where to start. Let's try track one; Sammy Hagar's 'Heavy Metal' is probably the best thing he has ever done, some would say the first Montrose record is the best thing he has done, and I'd be inclined to agree if it wasn't for this kicking track. 'Hearbeat' and 'Radar Rider' are very good songs by a promising but destined to obscurity band called Riggs. I bought their debut album on the strength of these songs, and well it just didn't happen for them. DEVO is not known for their covers, but they do them exceptionally well. On this record they do 'Workin' In A Coal Mine' and it just might be the best song on this record if it wasn't followed by the monsterous 'Veteran Of Psychic Wars' by Blue Oyster Cult. Eric Bloom was such a huge fan of the magazine (Heavy Metal), that he offered to score the entire movie, Asylum (the record company) wanted to give their artists some slots (we'll get to that soon enough) an they picked this one (If anybody cares they can buy Blue Oyster Cult's 'Fire Of An Unknown Origin', where all of Bloom's movie inspired compositions ended up). Vetran Of Phsychic Wars' is a classic:

"You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars
I've been living on the edge so long, where the winds of limbo roar
And I'm young enough to look at, and far too old to see
All the scars are on the inside
I'm not sure that there's anything left of me"

A strange thing happens next on this record. At the time, 1981, Cheap Trick was starting to fade. Their latest release 'All Shook Up' was the first in a long line of poor efforts, but the two songs they offer on this soundtrack are two of the best songs they ever produced. 'Reach Out' and 'You Must Be Dreaming' are just incredible songs played with the intensity that their eighties output lacked.
I'm a big Steely Dan fan, but why on earth would you put a Donald Fagen song on album called Heavy Metal? Can anyone explain why this song (True Companion) is on here? I can see why Stevie Nick's 'Blue Lamp' is included, she, and former Eagle Don Felder, were Asylum acts, and more impotantly, Irv Azoff represented acts. You see alot of Asylum/Azoff associates on soundtracks from this time period. Take a look at the soundtrack for 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High'. This is however where the album begins to veer off-course, not completely however. Nazareth chimes in with 'Crazy (Suitable Case For Treatment)', not their best, but not bad. Grand Funk (minus the Railroad) gives us 'Queen Bee' which is as pleasant and derivative as it sounds. Certainly Black Sabbath's (with Dio) 'Mob Rules' is a standout track, as it would be anywhere, and it's a different mix from the one that appears on their album of the same name. Lastly, 'Prefabricated' by Trust. Trust was a bad French Heavy Metal act (I know, redundancy alert) who's footnote in history besides being on this soundtrack, is that Clive Burr, the excellent original drummer for Iron Maiden quit the upwardly mobile Maiden to join...a french heavy metal band. ouch. There is one song left that I have not referred to, by name or artist, and that is because it's the song that can't be named. Any mid eighties prom attendee will appreciate the sentiment.

Comments:
Best post ever Jackson... How 'bout the Don Felder tune "Heavy Metal"? "...Baby take a ride, ride, ride, on heavy metal". Great song in my book.
 
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