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Monster Madness

Various Artists – Monster Madness (2000, Razor & Tie Music)

1. “Dr. Feelgood” – Motley Crue – 4:51
2. “Unskinny Bop” – Poison – 3:48
3. “I Remember You” – Skid Row – 5:15
4. “Kiss Me Deadly” – Lita Ford – 4:01
5. “I Wanna Rock” – Twisted Sister – 3:04
6. “Silent Lucidity” – Queensryche – 5:49
7. “Epic” – Faith No More – 4:54
8. “Up All Night” – Slaughter – 3:47
10. “Don’t Treat Me Bad” – FireHouse – 3:58
11. “Hole Hearted” – Extreme – 3:40
12. “Bang Your Head (Metal Health)” – Quiet Riot – 5:20
13. “In My Dreams” – Dokken – 4:21
14. “Wait” – White Lion – 4:03
15. “Easy Come, Easy Go” – Winger – 4:03
16. “I Saw Red” – Warrant – 3:50
17. “I’ll See You in My Dreams” – Giant – 4:45

Following Razor & Tie’s success with Monsters of Rock and Monster Ballads, here comes Monster Madness! Monster Madness is essentially Monsters of Rock 3 (Monsters of Rock 2 was released a few months before this album) and is certainly superior to MOR 2 (which was already scraping the bottom of the barrel) and is just as good as the original MOR album in my opinion.

I mean, just look at the songs here. “Dr. Feelgood”, “Unskinny Bop”, “I Remember You”, “I Wanna Rock”, “Wait”, “Bang Your Head”, “Hole Hearted”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad”… It’s a hair metal dream! Even the odd inclusion of Queensryche and Faith No More is welcomed because those are killer songs.

The album takes me back to my youth. No, not the ’80s but the year 2000 when I bought this album and my girlfriend at the time loved it because it had Lita Ford’s “Kiss Me Deadly” on it. I still remember her getting all excited when she heard it for the first time in years.

Just a great “feelgood” album filled with major acts and songs.

MONSTER BALLADS XMAS

Various Artists – Monster Ballads Xmas (2007, Razor & Tie Direct)

Track Listing:
1. “Jingle Bells” – Skid Row … 3:02
2. “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” – Winger … 4:06
3. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” – Jani Lane … 3:35
4. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” – Twisted Sister (w/ Lita Ford) … 4:09
5. “White Christmas” – Queensryche … 2:28
6. “Run Rudolph Run” – L.A. Guns … 3:10
7. “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” – FireHouse … 3:07
8. “Naughty Naughty Christmas” – Danger Danger … 4:56
9. “Blue Christmas” – Tom Keifer … 4:15
10. “Jingle Bell Rock” – Nelson … 2:52
11. “Silent Night” – Faster Pussycat … 4:13
12. “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” – Dokken … 4:01
13. “Happy Holidays” – Enuff Z’Nuff … 4:23
14. “Winter Wonderland” – Stryper … 3:34
15. “Christmas Love” – Billy Idol … 3:57

Produced by: Michael Anderson & Beka Callaway

Another album in the long-running Monster series from Razor & Tie, this time with a Christmas theme, although calling it “Monster Ballads Xmas” doesn’t make much since because most of these songs are not ballads. Why not just “Monster Xmas“? Or get really old school with “Monsters of Rock Xmas“?

Anyway, I picked the year of it’s release at Target, of all places. It’s a decent release, though it pales in comparison to 2008’s excellent We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year from Armoury Records.

I don’t have to tell you that Faster Pussycat, as always with compilations and cover albums, sticks out like a sore thumb here with their more recent and improved industrial sound. Just an awful rendition of “Silent Night”. What is it with “Silent Night” getting so screwed up on these metal Xmas compilations? Queensryche does a pretty bad version of “White Christmas” as well. Geoff Tate’s voice sounds horrible here. Like someone trying to sound like Edguy’s Tobias Sammett but totally failing.

Dokken’s version of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is actually pretty funny to me because of the fact that it sounds EXACTLY like a Dokken song. They totally made it their own and you’d swear Don wrote the song himself.

Twisted Sister’s Jay Jay French, certainly inspired by the Christmas spirit after the success of A Twisted Christmas, executive produced.

Highlights: “Happy Christmas (War is Over)”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”, “Naught Naughty Christmas”, “Blue Christmas”, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town”, “Happy Holiday”

FIREHOUSE – FireHouse

FireHouse – FireHouse (1990, Epic Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Rock on the Radio” … 4:46
2. “All She Wrote” … 4:27
3. “Shake & Tumble” … 3:30
4. “Don’t Treat Me Bad” … 3:55
5. “Oughta Be a Law” … 3:54
6. “Lover’s Lane” … 4:02
7. “Home Is Where the Heart Is” … 4:48
8. “Don’t Walk Away” Leverty, Snare 4:31
9. “Seasons of Change” … 1:29
10. “Overnight Sensation” … 3:56
11. “Love of a Lifetime” … 4:46
12. “Helpless” … 4:25

Band:
C.J. Snare – Lead Vocals, Keyboard
Bill Leverty – Guitar, Background Vocals
Perry Richardson – Bass, Background Vocals
Michael Foster – Drums, Background Vocals

Produced by: David Prater

I acquired this CD from a friend by giving him Eagles’ Hell Freezes Over CD. I was hopped up on hair metal and power ballads at the time and despite loving Hell Freezes Over, I felt this was the better trade. I would end up regretting it for some time afterwards, but this is actually a great slice of commercial 80s (yes, I know it was released in ’90) hard rock.

The band is obviously channeling Def Leppard on the album’s opener, “Rock on the Radio”. Not there’s anything wrong with it because it’s a really strong song. Of course, this album also ensured royalties for the band for life because it features one of the essential power ballads, “Love of a Lifetime”, which has shown up on many hair metal compilations since then. It even gets play at night over the sound system where I work for all of our wonderful customers to enjoy.

All in all, a good album/debut for FireHouse and I’m glad I dusted it off and gave it a spin. At times, CJ’s voice reminds me of Vince Neil. I’ve never bothered to pick any of their other albums up. Perhaps I should.

Fun Fact: FireHouse beat out Nirvana & Alice In Chains in the Favorite Heavy Metal/Hard Rock New Artist category at the 1992 American Music Awards.

Highlights: “Rock on the Radio”, “All She Wrote”, “Don’t Treat Me Bad”, “Oughta Be A Law”, “Lover’s Lane”,  “Home Is Where The Heart Is”, “Love of A Lifetime”, “Helpless”

www.firehousemusic.com
www.myspace.com/firehouseband

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