King’s X - "Visions" (Live Love in London, 2010)
I’ve never been a fan of this song until it breaks into the “jammy” section toward the end (as I said back in my June 13 Five). This live performance doesn’t change my mind in the least. The album, however, is one to check out for anyone with the slightest interest in King’s X.
Phil Keaggy - "Morning Snow" (Acoustic Sketches, 1996)
This “cleaning out the closet” album by CCM guitarist extraordinaire Phil Keaggy has appeared in three of my Fives—two (here and here) at Popdose and one (here) back in the IckMusic days—so I won’t belabor the point. Suffice it to say, if you are a guitar fan and you haven’t yet checked out Phil Keaggy, what are you waiting for?!
Anthrax - "Madhouse" (The Greater of Two Evils, 2004)
Interesting “live in the studio” take on a classic-era Anthrax tune featuring then-vocalist John Bush and then-guitarist Rob Caggiano. I get what Anthrax was trying to do with this album (at least I think I do), but in my opinion, despite my love for John Bush, few of the tracks are actually improved by this reimagining.
KISS - "Deuce" (KISS Demos)
Early demo on one of my favorite KISS songs (and one of my favorite Ace solos) from a collection of KISS-related demos that I acquired from a snobby music friend of mine.
John Davis - “Paranoid” (Arigato!, 2007)
Superdrag frontman John Davis’ solo album Arigato! has popped up in three of my former Fives (I’ll save you the linkage this time), so it should come as no surprise to anyone that I really like this one. You’ll have to take my word, though, as I can’t find a streaming version of this anywhere.
Telekinesis - "You Turn Clear in the Sun" (12 Desperate Straight Lines, 2011)
Given my affinity for a good pop song, you’d think that I would have given Telekinesis a much fairer shake than I have. You’d be wrong. And after listening to this, I’m thinking I need to give this one-man-band another shot.
The Beatles - “Something (Take 37)” (The Alternate Abbey Road, 1969)
I really dig these sneak peeks at the Beatles’ recording process, warts, warbles, and all. Seems to pull them down a bit from that pedestal I’ve put them up on.
Dokken - "Into the Fire" (Tooth and Nail, 1984)
Despite the constant reminders back in the day that “Dokken rhymes with rockin’,” this doesn’t rock nearly as much as I remember. Although it’s a good song, and even though George Lynch was at one point one of my guitar gods (and lays down a very impressive solo here), this really seems sterile and safe all these years later.
Jars of Clay - "Overjoyed" (Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage, 2003)
Laid-back, lounge-inspired interpretation of an already laid-back tune from the CCM band’s sophomore album. The first disc of this greatest hits/retrospective includes similar studio reimaginings of songs from their first four albums. I love this kind of stuff.
Superchunk - "Digging for Something" (Majesty Shredding, 2010)
Super-catchy tune from this super-talented indie band’s super-awesome “comeback” album. I’m super-embarrassed that I had not really paid attention to Superchunk until a super-snobby friend turned me onto them with this album.
Tesla - “Edison’s Medicine” (Psychotic Supper, 1991)
Somewhat cheesy video for a great Tesla tune highlighting the attention and accolades paid to Thomas Edison (among others) over the the band’s namesake, inventor, mechanical engineer, and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. To lend further credence to the band’s claim that Tesla’s genius was often overlooked and that his inventions were “appropriated” by other scientists and inventors, I never once learned about Tesla in school, only discovering him on my own after purchasing the band’s debut album.
The Cure - "A Short Term Effect" (Pornography, 1982)
I acquired the (at the time) complete works of The Cure from a friend back before Napster hit the scene and filesharing became the norm, but I can’t say that I’ve actively listened to much of it. Outside of Disintegration and Wish (and some of Bloodflowers), I’m mostly a fan of the band’s “hits,” though I can say there’s not much else like listening to Robert Smith wail and whine about one thing or another while banging away at website code in a dark room.
Iron Maiden - "The Duellists" (Powerslave, 1984)
By the time Powerslave was released, Iron Maiden could do no wrong in my eyes (well, maybe except for Back in the Village; I’ve never been a fan). Even the 13-minute epic “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” drew no ire from me. I love the “gallop” on this one (as the band calls it) and the staccato harmony intro to the extended (and excellent!) guitar solo section.
Van Halen - "Hang ‘em High" (Diver Down, 1982)
I was a little too young when it came out to fully appreciate Diver Down. I just remember the accusations from some of my older friends of selling out and going soft over “(Oh) Pretty Woman” and “Dancing in the Streets.” Yet those same guys absolutely loved the “Happy Trails” gimmick at the end of the album. Go figure. This track is classic VH.
The Cure - "Torture" (Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, 1987)
More Cure that I’m not familiar with despite its having been in my music library for nearly 15 years at this point.
Black Country Communion - “Black Country”/"One Last Soul" (2010)
Live performance of the two opening tracks from this supergroup’s debut. “One Last Soul” is the better track of the two, but damn if Glen Hughes doesn’t have a set of pipes on him. And Bonamassa has to be one of the best guitar players ever that looks like a normal dude you’d bump into on the street.