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Slash – Apocalyptic Love (Album Review)

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators – Apocalyptic Love
[Classic Rock Magazine Limited Edition Fanpack Album]
(2012, Future Publishing/Roadrunner Records/Dik Hayd Records)

 1. Apocalyptic Love … 3:29
2. One Last Thrill … 3:10
3. Standing In The Sun … 4:04
4. You’re A Lie … 3:51
5. No More Heroes … 4:24
6. Halo … 3:23
7. We Will Roam … 4:50
8. Anastasia … 6:07
9. Not For Me … 5:22
10. Bad Rain … 3:47
11. Hard & Fast … 3:02
12. Far And Away … 5:15
13. Shots Fired … 3:48
Bonus Tracks
14. Carolina … 3:18
15. Crazy Life … 3:40

Slash – Guitar
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Todd Kerns – Bass, Backing Vocals
Brent Fitz – Drums, Percussion, Piano

Producer: Eric Valentine

Slash’s debut solo album was one of my favorite albums released in 2010. I loved the variety in it and the different styles he was playing thanks to the range of singers he chose to work with. On that album, he recorded two tracks with Alter Bridge vocalist Myles Kennedy. Kennedy then went out on the road with Slash as his touring vocalist while promoting the album. The result of that tour was the release of the Made In Stoke live album and the announcement that the next Slash album was going to feature Myles doing all of the vocals.

Honestly, I was a bit disappointed at the announcement of Kennedy being the only singer on the album. I thought maybe  Slash could’ve gone the Santana route of working with a variety of singers with every album. I thought the two Kennedy songs from the first Slash album were pretty mediocre as well so that also added to the bit of disappointment I had over Myles apparently becoming Slash’s permanent solo vocalist (they also co-wrote the entire album together).

There is good news here for those that didn’t like Slash working with Fergie, the guy from Maroon 5 or whoever else. Apocalyptic Love is pretty much stripped down rock ‘n’ roll that brings to mind all of Slash’s previous groups: Slash’s Snakepit, Velvet Revolver and Guns N’ Roses. In short, it’s Slash being Slash. That said, the music is solid but there were only a few songs that immediately stood out to me: “You’re A Lie”, “No More Heroes” and the bonus track “Crazy Life”.

It has taken me a lot of spins to pick out any other favorites from this release. In time, I’ve grown a fan of about half the album while feeling like most of the rest is no-frill, no-inspiration rock ‘n’ roll. It’s not bad music if you’re using it for background noise but a lot of this music just doesn’t hold my attention. Overall, Apocalyptic Love is a solid effort but disappointing considering the previous album gave some great tracks like “Nothing To Say”, “Beautiful Dangerous” and “By The Sword”. Still, if you want your Slash fix, this’ll tide you over until the inevitable Velvet Revolver reunion occurs.

My particular copy came with the Slash Fanpack that was released by the UK’s Classic Rock magazine. It came with a poster, a special edition of the album that features two bonus tracks, a pin and an in-depth magazine about Slash, Myles Kennedy and the new album.

Highlights: “Apocalyptic Love”, “You’re A Lie”, “No More Heroes”, “Anastasia”, “Not For Me”, “Bad Rain”, “Crazy Life”

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Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11

Slash featuring Myles Kennedy – Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 (2011, Eagle Records)

Disc One
1. Been There Lately … 4:34
2. Nightrain … 5:02
3. Ghost … 3:43
4. Mean Bone … 4:01
5. Back From Cali … 3:36
6. Rocket Queen … 9:21
7. Civil War … 8:06
8. Nothing to Say … 7:27
9. Starlight … 5:45
10. Promise … 3:59

Disc Two
1. Doctor Alibi … 3:45
2. Speed Parade … 3:58
3. Watch This … 3:39
4. Beggars & Hangers On … 6:29
5. Patience … 5:45
6. Godfather Solo … 10:30
7. Sweet Child o’ Mine … 6:28
8. Slither … 7:33
9. By the Sword … 4:36
10. Mr. Brownstone … 4:41
11. Paradise City … 9:13

Slash – Guitar
Myles Kennedy – Lead Vocals, Guitar (“Nothing to Say”, “Watch This”)
Bobby Schneck – Guitar
Todd Kerns – Bass, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals (“Doctor Alibi”)
Brent Fitz – Drums

What’s the full name of this album? And who is the artist? Is it Slash or is it “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy”? I’ve seen a number of websites not including this as a Slash solo album. And is the album’s title Made In Stoke 24/7/11? Some websites are calling it Live In Stoke or just Live. I’ve also seen it referred to as Featuring Myles Kennedy Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 and or even just Featuring Myles Kennedy! The last two just seem odd. Personally, I think the title should be Live: Made In Stoke 24/7/11 with the credited artist being “Slash featuring Myles Kennedy”. The date (and its formatting) is a whole other issue, so let’s not even go there.

Title issues aside, this stands as a great live album (which was recorded July 2011 in Slash’s hometown of Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England). Slash has said he’s a big fan of live albums because that’s where you get a sense of who the artist really is and I have to say he’s done a fine job putting out his own double disc live album! I don’t really know if he could’ve picked a better singer than Myles Kennedy to handle all these songs. He’s covering a LOT of singers on this album (Axl, Scott Weiland, Ian Astbury, Rod Jackson, M. Shadows, Chris Cornell, etc.) and doing a fantastic job of it. He sounds especially great on the GNR songs. Just put him in Velvet Revolver already!

This album really runs the gamut of Slash’s career. There are 7 GNR songs, 4 songs from the Slash’s Snakepit albums (which I wasn’t expecting at all), 1 Velvet Revolver song (would’ve expected a few more) and 8 tracks from his self-titled solo album. It’s a good mix of everything.

The song choices are excellent. I think the only glaring omission when it comes to GNR material would be “Welcome to the Jungle” but that’s a total Axl song so I understand leaving it off. Besides, “Been There Lately” was a great choice to open the show. It’s one of the better songs from the Snakepit era and it really comes to life when done live. The entire band sounds inspired through the whole show.

This is great live album that never really gets boring thanks to the varied material throughout. If you’re in the mood for some classic live rock ‘n’ roll… this is it.

Highlights: “Been There Lately”, “Nightrain”, “Ghost”, “Rocket Queen”, “Nothing to Say”, “Patience”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”, “Slither”, “By The Sword”, “Mr. Brownstone”, “Paradise City”

Buy it at

SLASH – Slash

Slash (2010, EMI Label Services/Dik Hayd Records)

1. “Ghost” … 3:34
2. “Crucify the Dead” … 4:04
3. “Beautiful Dangerous” … 4:35
4. “Back from Cali” … 3:35
5. “Promise” … 4:41
6. “By the Sword” … 4:50
7. “Gotten” … 5:05
8. “Doctor Alibi” … 3:07
9. “Watch This Dave” … 3:46
10. “I Hold On” … 4:10
11. “Nothing to Say” … 5:27
12. “Starlight” … 5:35
13. “Saint is a Sinner Too” … 3:28
14. “We’re All Gonna Die” … 4:30

Slash – Guitar
Duff McKagan – Bass (Track 9)
Lemmy Kilmister – Vocals, Bass (Track 8 )
Chris Chaney – Bass (Tracks 1-8, 10-14)
Dave Grohl – Drums (Track 9)
Josh Freese – Drums (Tracks 1-8, 10, 11, 13, 14)
Leonard Castro – Percussion (Tracks 1, 3-7, 10, 14)
Izzy Stradlin – Guitar (Track 1)
Eric Valentine – Piano, Keyboards
Ian Astbury – Vocals (Track 1)
Ozzy Osbourne – Vocals (Track 2)
Fergie – Vocals (Track 3)
Myles Kennedy – Vocals (Tracks 4 & 12)
Chris Cornell – Vocals (Track 5)
Andrew Stockdale – Vocals (Track 6)
Adam Levine – Vocals (Track 7)
Kid Rock – Vocals (Track 10)
M. Shadows – Vocals (Track 11)
Rocco DeLuca – Vocals (Track 12)
Iggy Pop – Vocals (Track 13)

Producer: Eric Valentine

Well, it’s finally here: “Slash & Friends” (the original working title for this project). The few reviews I’ve read are mixed. Some “fans” were crying out that it sucked and Slash had sold-out before it was even released and now that it has been released typically those same “fans” are still saying it sucks and Slash is a sell out. Then you have Classic Rock magazine, who has claimed it’s the first great rock album of the decade. This might sound like mighty fine praise to some but given that the album was released in April 2010 the statement seems less impressive and sounds more like hyperbole to help promote an album they have a vested interest in (the album was a free UK-exclusive gift with a special Slash-themed issue of Classic Rock).

For my money ($7.99 + free shipping from!), this is indeed a great album and I don’t really get the “sell out” criticisms. Why is he a sell out? Because a GIRL sings on this album? Fergie has a great voice for rock ‘n’ roll and she proves it on “Beautiful Dangerous”. If anything, I can see maybe cries of selling out coming from Maroon 5’s Adam Levine singing “Gotten”. It’s a decent song but if I didn’t know better, I’d say it was a Maroon 5 song. Not much rock to it at all other than the solo. Then again, Slash has always flirted with pop stars. He’s a guy that doesn’t like to pigeon hole himself and goes to play with whoever wherever he thinks he’ll have fun. Nothing wrong with that. He’s not a sellout, he’s just not close-minded.

For the most part, it seems like every song was written with that song’s particular singer in mind. I know Slash already had ideas for songs before enlisting the troops but I’m also sure the songs were tailored to suit the vocalists. “Ghost” sounds like The Cult, “Crucify the Dead” sounds like the best Ozzy song in the last decade at least, “Promise” sounds like something Chris Cornell would have done in Audioslave, “Nothing to Say” could have been on Avenged Sevenfold’s last album and so on and so on. In a way, this is somewhat disappointing for those that were looking forward to a bluesier guitar hero effort or for something similar to Guns N’ Roses from Slash. There is NOTHING here that brings to mind anything GNR has done. I’m okay with that but maybe some backlash stems from people wanting Slash to have delivered something more akin to the original GNR since Axl has moved the hired Guns into heavier more industrial terrain.

Slash claims this is a rock album and for the most part he’s right but songs like “Gotten” and “Saint is a Sinner Too” are pure pop that I can’t imagine Slash would be playing without the chosen vocalists. I was worried myself when I saw the guest list for this album. The participants just seem so over the place I thought it would all be a big mess. Definitely not the case and there’s a surprisingly low amount of filler with the two Myles Kennedy songs “Back from Cali” and “Starlight” being the only ones that really fall short with me. Kennedy is from the band Alter Bridge and he’s the only singer that has two songs and I’m sure it’s because he’s the singer for Slash’s touring band while promoting this album.

Everything else is decent at the very least while “Nothing to Say” featuring Avenged Sevenfold’s M. Shadows and the album’s lead “By the Sword” featuring Wolfmother’s Andrew Stockdale are my favorites. “By the Sword” has a cool Led Zeppelin/Pink Floyd classic hard rock sound to it.

Despite Slash’s insistence that this is a rock album, there’s a bit of genre jumping and he dips his feet (fret?) into the pop realm but it’s only done so in order to fit the singers. Even though this is a self-titled affair, Slash really isn’t the star here. There’s some good solos on this disc but this album isn’t built around them. It’s all about the songs as a whole and Slash (and friends) has delivered a very satisfying release that is much better than anything he did the first time he went “solo” with Slash’s Snakepit.

I do have two disappointments though: Dave Grohl drums on the album but does not sing (he apparently has a thing against singing on other peoples’ albums) and the U.S. version of this album does not feature “Baby Can’t Drive” featuring Alice Cooper and The Pussycat Dolls’ Nicole Scherzinger. It’s a pretty cool song so what gives ?!

Highlights: “Ghost”, “Crucify the Dead”, “Beautiful Dangerous”, “By the Sword”, “Watch This Dave”, “Nothing to Say”

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Velvet Revolver – Libertad (2007, RCA Records)

1. “Let It Roll” … 2:32
2. “She Mine” … 3:25
3. “Get Out the Door” … 3:14
4. “She Builds Quick Machines” … 4:04
5. “The Last Fight” … 4:03
6. “Pills, Demons & Etc.” … 2:54
7. “American Man” … 3:56
8. “Mary Mary” … 4:33
9. “Just Sixteen” … 3:59
10. “Can’t Get It Out of My Head” … 3:58
11. “For a Brother” … 3:26
12. “Spay” … 3:06
13. “Gravedancer” … 8:42

Scott Weiland- Vocals, Keyboards
Slash – Guitar
Dave Kushner – Guitar
Duff McKagan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Sorum – Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Produced by: Brendan O’Brien

The second (and final) Scott Weiland-fronted VR album sounds a lot like his old band Stone Temple Pilots. The band seems to have traded some of the heaviness of Contraband for a bit more melody that showcases Weiland’s voice much better with its diversity. This isn’t surprising though with longtime STP producer Brendan O’Brien producing this record.

The album didn’t fare as well as their debut, as of this writing it hasn’t even gone gold (their debut was 2x platinum), but it’s just as strong. It took some time for Contraband to grow on me, but I immediately loved this album for it’s similarities to STP (“She Builds Quick Machines”, “Pills, Demons & Etc.” and “American Man” sound like they would’ve fit on No. 4). I was surprised and disappointed this album didn’t catch on despite debuting at #5 on Billboard and that Weiland left the band less than a year after this release. I know drugs played a part in that, but I’m sure if the album had been more successful, the group would’ve been more determined to work things out.

There is a hidden song on Track 13. It starts at about 4:43 and is called “Don’t Drop That Dime”.

This is one of only two albums Weiland claims to have recorded sober (STP’s Core being the first).

Highlights: “Let It Roll”, “She Builds Quick Machines”, “The Last Fight”, “Pills, Demons & Etc.”, “American Man”, “Mary Mary”, “For a Brother”


Velvet Revolver – Contraband (2004, RCA Records)

1. “Sucker Train Blues” … 4:28
2. “Do It for the Kids” … 3:56
3. “Big Machine” … 4:26
4. “Illegal i Song” … 4:18
5. “Spectacle” … 3:42
6. “Fall to Pieces” … 4:35
7. “Headspace” … 3:43
8. “Superhuman” … 4:16
9. “Set Me Free” … 4:08
10. “You Got No Right” … 5:35
11. “Slither” … 4:08
12. “Dirty Little Thing” … 3:58
13. “Loving the Alien” … 5:49

Scott Weiland – Vocals
Slash – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Dave Kushner – Guitar
Duff McKagan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Sorum – Drums, Backing Vocals

Additional Musicians:
Douglas Grean – Keyboard

Produced by: Velvet Revolver, Josh Abraham, Douglas Grean, Nick Raskulinecz

I was slightly disappointed when this album came out, which I’m sure stemmed from my extremely high expectations. 3/5 of Guns ‘N Roses (Slash, Duff, Matt) + Stone Temple Pilots (my favorite alternative band) singer Scott Weiland sounded like it could’ve been one of the best hard rock releases of the decade.

I don’t quite think the album is that good, but it’s certainly a well-done release with very little filler and it was nice to hear songs like “Slither”, “Set Me Free” and “Fall to Pieces” on the radio besides the usual nu-metal/post-grunge garbage. If you’re looking for something as ferocious as Appetite for Destruction or any of the blues-influenced GNR hard rock, you’re not gonna find it here (though I suppose “Slither” comes close). If anything, Contraband is a mix of modern alternative rock and the melodies of Stone Temple Pilots (“Loving the Alien” could’ve easily been on a STP album). It’s an album well worth exploring.

The album was released with three different color sleeves: red, white and black. I picked up the black version.

Highlight: “Sucker Train Blues”, “Do It for the Kids”, “Big Machine”, “Illegal i Song”, “Fall to Pieces”, “Set Me Free”, “You Got No Right”, “Slither”, “Dirty Little Thing”, “Loving the Alien”


Duff McKagan’s Loaded – Sick (2009, Century Media Records)

1. Sick
2. Sleaze Factory
3. Flatline
4. IOU
5. The Slide
6. Translucent
7. Mother’s Day
8. I See Through You
9. Forgive Me
10. No Shame
11. Wasted Heart
12. No More

Duff McKagan – Vocals, Guitar
Mike Squires – Buitar
Jeff Rouse – Bass
Geoff Reading – Drums, Backing vocals

Produced by: Martin Feveyear

This is a solid outing from Duff’s side project Loaded (though I think the official name is now Duff McKagan’s Loaded). I like “Sleaze Factory” and “Flatline” a lot, both of which seem like they would play well on radio.

There’s a mix of everything here. Duff let’s his punk side shine through a bit with songs like “The Stride” and “No More” (which actually is a bit punk pop) and he also enters Velvet Revolver territory with “I See Through You” & “Forgive Me” and then goes back to his GNR days with bluesy numbers like “Wasted Heart” and “No Shame”. My biggest gripe is “Mother’s Day”. It’s a very slow, cheesy song that I can imagine hearing during some “reflective” scene of some teen drama on The CW and it disrupts the flow of the album.

I think the album could’ve been stronger if Duff really focused on one style of rock instead of doing a bit VR, a bit GNR, a bit punk, a bit modern hard rock, a bit rock/pop, etc. I guess I can’t totally know it thoubgh, because in a way, it’s refreshing. The album is definitely “good”, but I just think it could’ve been better. I would’ve loved to have heard something closer to his 1993 solo release Believe In Me.

Still, there’s tons to be found here worth listening to over and over again.

Highlights: “Sick”, “Sleaze Factory”, “Flatline”, “IOU”, “The Stride”, “I See Through You”, “Forgive Me”, “No Shame”, “Blind Date Girl”

Looking forward to in 2009…

2008 gave us tons of great rock/metal albums, but we gotta keep movin’ on! Here’s the bands I’m looking forward to most, who are slated to have new albums released:

KISS – THE most looked forward to release for ’09 for me. With Paul producing, promises of a 1970s KISS vibe, and Tommy & Eric in the studio, I have no doubt this album will deliver.

Megadeth – My 2nd most anticipated release. United Abominations was a slight step down from The System Has Failed, but still high quality. I know Dave is going to get it done again.

Heaven And Hell – Dio-era Black Sabbath. ‘Nuff said! Can’t wait to hear what these guys have cooked up.

Iron Maiden – Bruce Dickinson says something new will pop up…

Anthrax – While I wish John (or even Joey) was still in the band, I’m looking forward to the release of Worship Music.

Bon Jovi –  Another greatest hits is in the works for ’09 and Jon & Richie are reportedly working on new material for the next studio album. Richie has stated they’ll be moving away from the country sounds of Lost Highway, which is great news to me. I suppose the hits comp will be the only Bon Jovi release of 2009, but hopefully, the greatest hits record will give us a taste of their next musical step with a new song or two. Despite the recent disappointments, Bon Jovi is a band I’ll always give a chance to win me back.

Ace Frehley – Tentatively planned to be released in Spring 2008, there’s been little word from Ace about his latest solo effort since that season has come and gone. Some song ideas reportedly go back to the early-90s. Is this Ace’s Chinese Democracy? Hey, I hear KISS is putting out a new album in 2009, what better time than Ace to get a bit of that spotlight and release his own album? KISS tour with Ace as the supporting act, anyone?

Hot Leg – The new band from Justin Hawkins, the former frontman for The Darkness, is due for a release in January. From what they’ve released online, it sounds just as silly as The Darkness was and I’m okay with that.

Slash – A new Velvet Revolver album seems unlikely (at least for 2009), but I’m really curious as to what Slash has got in his top hat for a solo release.

Who else?

SLASH’S SNAKEPIT – Ain’t Life Grand

Slash’s Snakepit – Ain’t Life Grand (2000, Koch Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Been There Lately” … 4:28
2. “Just Like Anything” … 4:23
3.  “Shine” … 5:21
4.  “Mean Bone” … 4:40
5.  “Back to the Moment” … 5:33
6.  “Life’s Sweet Drug” … 3:53
7.  “Serial Killer” … 6:19
8.  “The Truth” … 5:17
9.  “Landslide” … 5:30
10.  “Ain’t Life Grand” … 4:54
11.  “Speed Parade” … 3:52
12.  “The Alien” … 4:27

Rod Jackson – Vocals
Slash – Guitar
Ryan Roxie – Guitar
Johnny Griparic – Bass
Matt Laug – Drums

Additional Musicians:
Teddy Andreadis – Keyboard, Harp
Jimmy Zavala – Sax, Harmonica
Lee Thornburg – Trumpet
Jack Douglas – Sitar

Produced by: Jack Douglas

A decent effort full of solid blues rock and Rod Jackson is a great vocalist, but the album on a whole is fairly forgettable. This album lacks bite and doesn’t come close at all to the danger and anger of GNR, but then, this was just Slash wanting to have fun and killing time until something else came along anyway.

Slash’s Snakepit was okay, but definitely no GNR and not even Velvet Revolver. Surprisingly, Slash’s own talents, in his own band, seem to be downplayed. That only hurts this album.

Highlights: “Been There Lately”, “Shine”, “Mean Bone”, “Back to the Moment”, “Serial Killer”

Metal Excess News Desk #2

Chinese Democracy unleashed on MySpace! Axl Rose in hiding!

2 days before the album’s Best Buy release, GNR’s very own MySpace page now has every track up for your streaming pleasure. Listen, and be amazed. I’ve been familiar with most of this album for the past 7 years, but I’ll be there Sunday at Best Buy to grab the CD.

In related news, is reporting that Axl has disappeared in the midst of all the Democracy buzz, reportedly to work on the band’s “comeback” and to make it “go off the scale”.

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GUNS N’ ROSES – Use Your Illusion II

Guns N’ Roses – Use Your Illusion II (1991, Geffen Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Civil War” … 7:43
2. “14 Years” … 4:21
3. “Yesterdays” … 3:16
4. “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” … 5:36
5. “Get in the Ring” … 5:41
6. “Shotgun Blues” … 3:23
7. “Breakdown” … 7:05
8. “Pretty Tied Up” … 4:48
9. “Locomotive” … 8:42
10. “So Fine” … 4:06
11. “Estranged” … 9:24
12. “You Could Be Mine” … 5:44
13. “Don’t Cry” [Alternate Version] … 4:44
14. “My World” … 1:24

Axl Rose – Vocals, Piano
Slash – Guitar
Izzy Stradlin – Guitar, Backing Vocals, Lead Vocals
Duff McKagan – Bass, Backing Vocals
Dizzy Reed – Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Backing Vocals
Matt Sorum – Drums

Additional Notable Musicians:
Steven Adler – Drums (“Civil War”)
Shannon Hoon – Vocals (“Don’t Cry”)

Produced by: Mike Clink & Guns N’ Roses

I think this album is much, much stronger than UYI I. The songs are solid all over and bit more serious and melodic, whereas the UYI I was the more angry, louder, less focused album.

“Estranged” nearly matches the epic “November Rain”. I remember when I first heard it, it was playing in the background at a friend’s house as we were playing video games. I initially thought it was two different songs (liking them both). At one point I said to my friend, “Is this the same song?!” “YUP!”

Though the Illusion sessions show GNR in a different light, they managed to crank out a few good rockers like the Appetite-esque “You Could Be Mine”, “Pretty Tied Up” and “Locomotive”. “So Fine” is a great ballad by Duff.

The inclusion of “Don’t Cry” (this time with some different lyrics) is a bit odd. It’s neither better nor worse than the original version, I don’t see the point of including it. Something like that would’ve been better saved for a b-side or a compilation.

The album’s closer, “My World”, stuck out like a sore thumb to me and my friend. We used to play it and laugh at how much it “sucked” and didn’t sound like GNR, I actually like it today though. At the time, I couldn’t understand why they would put this song on the album until a few years later when I discovered Axl was getting heavily into industrial acts like Nine Inch Nails long before anyone else was. It would be a sign of things to come…

Highlights: “Civil War”, “14 Years”, “Yesterdays”, “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, “Breakdown”, “Pretty Tied Up”, “Locomotive”, “So Fine”, “Estranged”, “You Could Be Mine”, “Don’t Cry”

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