Monday, 30 June 2008

100 Rock Songs (71 to 80)

… and the next cluster

(71) Nine Inch Nails - Closer

“Closer” was the first song I heard from Nine Inch Nails and is the reason I love the Trent Reznor’s music so much. It has everything you would expect from Trent Reznor including the most memorable chorus, which of course includes very explicit lyrics. The album this song comes from is “The Downward Spiral”, a superbly dark and menacing album that pulls no punches. Thankfully I found a copy of the video and song that removes the expletives for those who may easily be offended. However, I think that for once the language is necessary and the song is worse without it. Enjoy the darkness and depression.

(72) Ten – The Name Of The Rose

“Who?” I hear you ask. The band is a local Manchester band called “Ten” and is the brainchild of Gary Hughes, a singer/songwriter with a unique talent to write epic melodic rock anthems. The band have released several albums since the mid-nineties but have definitely not had the recognition they deserve, which is a real shame. Gary Hughes has a great voice and writes songs that are quite frankly superb. The very best is “Name Of The Rose”, a beautiful song that switches between being a melodic ballad and a supreme hard rock anthem. A beautiful masterpiece.

(73) The Wildhearts – Do The Channel Bop

“Do The Channel Bop” from “Fishing For Luckies” is a wonderfully catchy song that really makes you want to dance around with your air guitar. At a cool seven minutes long, it is one of the longer offerings from Ginger and company. Sadly you will have to buy or borrow a copy of “Fishing For Luckies” to hear the song in all of its glory, something I would recommend because it is a great album.

(74) The Foo Fighters – New Way Home

Everybody raves on about Nirvana – and I can see why; I like them a lot too – but the Foo Fighters are vastly superior in my humble opinion. The second album by Dave Grohl and his mates, “The Colour And The Shape” is truly superb. However, if you listen to the songs that weren’t released as singles, there are some true gems there, none better than the last track “New Way Home”. I love the way it begins like any other song and then half way through simply stops and starts again very quietly before building up to a tremendous crescendo that makes you want to stomp around the room in bliss. Fantastic.

(75) Rammstein – Du Hast

I am so glad that I discovered Rammstein. For the uninitiated, they are a very loud and very heavy German rock band, who have chosen to sing in their native language and are not afraid to court controversy. That aside, they also produce some of the best rock songs I have heard. “Du Hast” is a typical offering, a real stomper. I went to see the band a couple of years ago at the MEN Arena and the crowd were jumping up and down and singing in German despite not knowing what the words meant. I have tried to translate with my limited German and sought the true meaning from the internet. I can see why they are regarded with such disdain in some quarters. Personally though I couldn’t give a damn. They are a fantastic band.

(76) Skin – The Only One

Skin were a great British rock band of the nineties who faded after three albums. Personally I thought they improved with each album so I was disappointed when it came to an end. They had a measure of chart success but as is usually the case, there were plenty of gems that only die-hard fans like myself were exposed to. “The Only One” is a great example and if you follow the link below you will hear a snippet that hopefully will convince you that they faded before their time.

(77) Ten – The Robe

“The Robe” is another epic rock anthem from the brilliant Gary Hughes and his band Ten. Clocking in at a cool nine minutes, this song is from the album of the same name and is one of their greatest contributions to the rock world. I’m sure that if this band had had the airplay they deserved then they would be playing to vast crowds worldwide. It’s such a shame. And of course the only way you can appreciate this great song is by launching an expedition for the album. Well worth the effort in my opinion since there are many other classic songs to be found.

(78) Nine Inch Nails – Star[s]uckers, Inc

As you can imagine it is difficult to tell you about this song simply because it doesn’t leave a lot to the imagination. Needless to say the title above is slightly inaccurate and bizarrely I’ve managed to find a video where the many expletives and explicit lyrics are “replaced”. That said, I can’t help but love the song. Trent Reznor at his very best.

(79) Ten – The Alchemist

“Spellbound” by Ten is one of my favourite albums, with a distinctive Celtic feel to it. “The Alchemist” is a wonderful rock song that requires an air guitar to appreciate it fully. Sadly, once more, you will need to embark upon a trek to discover the majesty of the album. Good luck – once more it is worth it.

(80) Alice Cooper – Brutal Planet

After all of these years, Alice Cooper is still out there scaring audiences and young children to death with his tongue firmly implanted in his cheek. The marvellous news is that he is till producing great music. In 2000, I saw the man live for the first time for the “Brutal Planet” tour. The title track is so heavy it is brilliant and is my favourite song. Brutal.

81 to 90 to follow …

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