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R.I.P. Sammi Curr (1947 – 1986)

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Sammi Curr
1947 – 1986

One metal legend that I’ve never really discussed has been “Rock’s Chosen Warrior” — Sammi Curr.  A former student at Lakeridge High School, Sammi’s aspirations went higher than being stuck in his small town. It’s no secret that Sammi was an angry young man growing up. He cared little for authority and used his rebellious nature to propel himself to the top of the heavy metal heap in the mid-1980s. With his dangerous attitude and shock rock antics, he became a rock icon, a living legend, and amassed a large loyal teenage fanbase.

Sammi was a controversial figure during his time. While popular with teenagers, his music, lyrics and stage show were extremely controversial with parents, schools, politicians and members of the religious community. In a time when bands like Megadeth, W.A.S.P. and Motley Crue ruled the airwaves, it was Sammi Curr that felt the wrath of the media and concerned citizens the most.

That’s not to say that Sammi didn’t encourage the controversy though. Ego was another driving factor for Curr. He thrived on the adoration of his young fans and on the hatred of his detractors. Like many rock stars, Sammi wanted the attention and he lived the image of the “bad boy” to its fullest. You can’t drink blood straight from a snake’s mouth onstage and not expect some people to get up in arms about it.

Spending the majority of his music career signed to Waste City Records, some of Curr’s most loved (and despised) songs are “Trick or Treat”, “Fuck With Fire”, “Burn in Metal” and “Torture’s Too Kind”. It was in those last three songs that he used the technique of backmasking. Whether done for fun and as a gimmick or if there was a more sinister intention there, I don’t know. There are many who will argue either side.

In October 1986, Sammi petitioned to play a free concert at his old high school’s Halloween dance. He was denied this opportunity by the PTA and died just days before Halloween, under mysterious circumstances, in a hotel fire.

Sammi’s final album was to be called Songs in the Key of Death but it has never been released to the public in its entirety. The demos were set to debut on a local radio station in Sammi’s hometown at midnight on Halloween (per Sammi’s request) in 1986 but there was a malfunction with the broadcast. The demos have since gone missing.

Sammi Curr lived fast and died young. Perhaps for someone him, there was no other way.

“You cannot legislate morality, or music, or people’s minds… or we’ll bring you down, man!” – Sammi Curr

WAYNE’S WORLD – Music From The Motion Picture

Wayne’s World – Music From The Motion Picture (1992, Reprise Records)

1. “Bohemian Rhapsody” – Queen … 5:58
2. “Hot And Bothered” – Cinderella … 4:17
3. “Rock Candy” – Bulletboys … 5:04
4. “Dream Weaver” – Gary Wright … 4:26
5. “Sikamikanico” – Red Hot Chili Peppers … 3:26
6. “Time Machine” – Black Sabbath … 4:19
7. “Wayne’s World Theme” – Mike Myers/Dana Carvey (Extended Version) … 5:14
8. “Ballroom Blitz” – Tia Carrerre … 3:30
9. “Foxy Lady” – Jimi Hendrix … 3:19
10. “Feed My Frankenstein” – Alice Cooper … 4:46
11. “Ride With Yourself” – Rhino Bucket … 3:15
12. “Loving Your Lovin'” – Eric Clapton … 3:55
13. “Why You Wanna Break My Heart” – Tia Carrere … 3:33

A friend passed this one over to me years ago and it’s a good collection of 70s/80s/90s acts. Queen, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Cinderella… Sounds good to me! The album was a big hit, making it to #1 on the Billboard 200, knocking off Nirvana’s Nevermind!

In 1992, Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (originally released in 1976 and charting at #9) became a gigantic hit, working it’s way up the Billboard charts to #2 after being re-released as a single, all thanks to the song’s inclusion in the movie. The hilarious scene is one of the best uses ever for a song in a movie

“Feed My Frankenstein” is one of my favorite Alice songs and for years, until seriously getting into Alice, I thought it was an older tune. I didn’t realize the song’s inclusion in the movie and on the soundtrack was a clever marketing ploy to promote his recently released Hey Stoopid album.

Highlights: “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Hot And Bothered”, “Rock Candy”, “Feed My Frankenstein”, “Ballroom Blitz”

THE SCORPION KING – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

The Scorpion King – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2002, Universal Music)

1. “I Stand Alone” – Godsmack … 4:05
2. “Set It Off (Tweaker Remix)” – P.O.D. … 4:11
3. “Break You” – Drowning Pool … 2:48
4. “Streamline” – System of a Down … 3:36
5. “To Whom It May Concern” – Creed … 5:10
6. “Yanking Out My Heart” – Nickelback … 3:36
7. “Losing My Grip” – Hoobastank … 3:56
8. “Only the Strong” – Flaw … 4:18
9. “Iron Head” – Rob Zombie Feat. Ozzy Osbourne … 4:11
10. “My Life” – 12 Stones … 3:03
11. “Along the Way” – Mushroomhead … 3:17
12. “Breathless” – Lifer … 4:40
13. “Corrected” – Sevendust … 4:31
14. “Burn It Black” – Injected … 2:43
15. “27” – Breaking Point … 3:38
16. “Glow” – Coal Chamber … 3:08

Most “original motion picture soundtracks” are made up of filler. Previously released songs or songs that weren’t good enough to make the artists’ album get dumped onto these releases and it’s no different here. The line-up of bands is actually really strong collection of popular late 90s/early 00s rock & metal acts (with a few “who are they” groups thrown in) but let’s be honest– that era doesn’t really have an impressive resume of bands or originality.

The whole album just kinda blends together and comes off as generic despite the names involved. It’s also sports a bloated number of tracks. Did we really need 16 songs for THE SCORPION KING? The fact that most of these songs are generic and filler is fitting because that’s exactly what the movie was as well.

Highlights: “I Stand Alone”, “Set It Off (Tweaker Remix)”, “Iron Head”

“We’ve Got Pop!”

Who remembers THAT incredibly annoying catchphrase when The Nashville Network became The National Network (AKA – The New TNN)? Of course, they went on to become Spike and annoy me in different ways, but there’s neither here nor there!

You see, I’d like to take a break from the music talk to plug another project of mine…

It’s Panels On Pages, a comic book-rooted geek culture site. Certainly you would like to read reviews and thoughts on all of your favorite toys, comics and movies past present and future, wouldn’t you? If it’s geek culture, it’s gonna be there. So bookmark the site, add it to your little Google Reader, sign up at the POP! message board and enjoy. You can also start with my review of Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces.

Basically, a bunch of us over at the Wizard Universe message board decided it would be fun to get our own site going. It’s a nice little business venture that we’re doing for kicks.

END OF DAYS – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

End of Days – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack [Clean Version] (1999, Interscope Records)

Track listing:
1. “Camel Song” performed by Korn … 4:22
2. “So Long” performed by Everlast … 5:00
3. “Slow” performed by Professional Murder Music … 3:58
4. “Crushed” performed by Limp Bizkit … 3:24
5. “Oh My God” performed by Guns N’ Roses … 3:40
6. “Poison” performed by The Prodigy … 6:15
7. “Superbeast (Girl On A Motorcycle mix)” performed by Rob Zombie … 3:52
8. “Bad Influence” performed by Eminem … 3:40
9. “Nobody’s Real” performed by Powerman 5000 … 2:54
10. “I Wish I Had” performed by Stroke … 6:34
11. “Sugar Kane” performed by Sonic Youth … 5:58
12. “Wrong Way” performed by Creed … 4:20

Soundtracks can be a great (and not so great) snapshot of a certain time in music history when said soundtrack is full of contemporary songs & artists. The soundtrack to 1994’s The Crow perfectly captures the grunge & alternative rock scene and End of Days does a fairly good job of showing what rock music was at the turn of the century: rap metal, nu metal, industrial metal and post-grunge rock.

BUT… While the soundtrack covers it’s musical bases just fine, that doesn’t necessarily mean those genres were any good in the first place and that this album is. Okay, okay… I’ll be honest, there’s actually some solid stuff going on here and not your usual soundtrack throwaway filler.

I could mention that, surprisingly, I like the Korn, Limp Bizkit, Creed and Eminem songs, but that’s not what is important about this album. What IS important is that it holds the only officially released single from the mythical Chinese Democracy from Guns N’ Roses. Of course, I’m talking about “Oh My God” which is a loud, aggressive NIN-inspired song that is just awesome and features Axl at his angriest and most sneering. It’s a far way from “November Rain” or “Nightrain”, but so what? Good is good and I love this song and it’s the only reason I bought the soundtrack. At this time though, if Democracy does ever come out, I think it’s probably best to leave this one off the record due to the time that’s elapsed since it’s original release.

In the end (of days), despite the genres involved, this album actually offers up some really great tunes and to this day, it’s an album I’ll occasionally pull out and listen to. Which is a lot more than I can say about the supposed “comeback” the movie was meant to be for Arnie.

And yes, I have the “Clean” version, picking it up at Wal-Mart and not realizing until later that there was an explicit version.

Highlights: “Crushed”, “Oh My God”, “Superbeast [Girl on a Motorcycle Mix]”, “Bad Influence”, “Nobody’s Real”, “I Wish I Had”

OVER THE TOP – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Over The Top – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (1987, Columbia Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Winner Takes It All” (Sammy Hagar) … 3:58
2. “In This Country” (Robin Zander) … 4:22
3. “Take It Higher” (Larry Greene) … 3:53
4. “All I Need Is You” (Big Trouble) … 3:57
5. “Bad Nite” (Frank Stallone) … 3:05
6. “Meet Me Half Way” (Kenny Loggins) … 3:39
7. “Gypsy Soul” (Asia) … 3:30
8. “The Fight” (Giorgio Moroder) … 3:56
9. “Mind over Matter” (Larry Greene) … 3:11
10. “I Will Be Strong” (Eddie Money) … 3:18

Produced by: Giorgio Moroder

Enjoyable movie but standard 80s rock/pop soundtrack fare outside of Hagar’s “Winner Takes It All” (which features Edward Van Halen on guitar AND bass). Good song and I hear it just about every night at work.

Sly’s bro, Frank, gets a slot on the soundtrack as well. Hmm… I wonder why?

Highlights: “Winner Takes It All”, “In This Country”, “Meet Me Half Way”

SHOCKER – The Music: A Shocking Sampler

Shocker – No More Mr. Nice Guy – The Music: A Shocking Sampler (1989, SBK/Alive/Capitol Records)

Track Listing:
1. “No More Mr. Nice Guy” * – Megadeth – 3:02
2. “Sword and Stone” * – Bonfire – 3:57
3. “Demon Bell” ** – Dangerous Toys – 3:56
4. “Love Tranfusion” – Iggy Pop – 4:22
5. “Shocker” * – Dudes of Wrath – 3:58

Produced by: Desmond Child * & Max Norman **

So years ago, while on a big slasher movie kick, one night I took home Wes Craven’s Shocker from the video store I worked at. The idea of the movie was (I think) to create the next horror icon. Well, that didn’t happen because the movie isn’t very good, but it did produce an awesome rock soundtrack, so off on an online hunt for the Original Soundtrack to Shocker I was.

Unfortunately, I won’t be talking about the “Original Soundtrack”, instead all I have to offer is “A Shocking Sampler” because I got screwed over on my very first eBay transaction years ago. The seller listed the soundtrack and gave details on the each track and the artist, but when the CD arrived, all I had in my hands was a soundtrack sampler. All attempts to get my money back or to have the seller send me what he actually listed failed. And to top it off, the CD was scratched and skipped/stopped on almost all of the 5 songs.

As far as a “sampler” goes, this is a great CD. The whole soundtrack is good, but for me, there are six standout cuts and 5 of them are here. The missing link would be Saraya’s “Timeless Love”. Oh well, maybe I’ll someday get my hands on the full soundtrack.

Anyway, this great mix of metal and hair metal. Megadeth does a great version of Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Shocker” is definitely my favorite song by the mysterious band called the Dudes of Wrath.

What was up with these secretive supergroups anyway in the 80s? First, Skrapp Mettle and now Dudes of Wrath. The Dudes of Wrath were Paul Stanley (quite obvious on the vocals), along with Desmond Child and rounding out the group were Tommy Lee, Vivian Campbell, Rudy Sarzo and some dude called Guy Man-Dude (!). If Wikipedia is to be believed, Alice Cooper, Michael Anthony, and Kane Roberts provided backing vocals for the song.

Oh, by the way, thanks to my video store connections, I was able to use our buffing machine to get the scratches out (took four or five tries) and the CD plays perfect now.

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