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My thoughts on the 2010 Revolver Golden Gods Awards

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This was the second annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards and the first to be broadcast on VH1 Classic (was the first on Fuse TV?). The awards took place in April and aired last night on VH1 Classic at 10PM as a one-hour special. Revolver is a hard rock & heavy metal magazine based in the U.S. I’ve never bought an issue but just by flipping through it a few times in the last couple of years, they seem to focus more on the current metal scene than anything else but don’t come across as a genre band-riding fanzine like other U.S. metal mags Metal Edge, Circus or Hit Parader have.

I knew “Golden Gods” sounded familiar. Apparently this awards show is going to co-exist with the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards (both magazines are owned by Future Publishing, which also publishes the amazing Classic Rock magazine). Both shows have similar categories but their nominees aren’t always the same. Basically, the Revolver show caters more to America and Metal Hammer more to England. I can understand that as there’s often a big difference between both countries in terms of rock and metal preferences but I think having them both billed as “Golden Gods Awards” is a bit confusing and unnecessary. I guess they’re betting on fans in both countries to not care enough about the other to realize there are two of these shows.

The show itself was okay but the editing was HORRIBLE. I’m sure this event easily was about three hours in length so why they decided to chop it down to one hour of “highlights” is beyond me. There was so much jumping around it was annoying, no segment had time to breathe. As soon as a band was done playing, the show clipped to the next batch of presenters rambling off the list nominees.

In my opinion, an event that brings together Chris Jericho (host), Andrew W.K. (host), Alice Cooper, Rob Zombie, Slash, Ozzy, Ronnie James Dio, Vinnie Paul, Lemmy, Dave Grohl, Dave Mustaine, Jerry Cantrell, Zakk Wylde, Joey Vera, Rob Halford, Kerry King, et cetera, et cetera is a HUGE event and should be treated like such. The whole set up was cheap looking and was not helped by the intimate little venue it was booked to be held in. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of the Golden Gods, I LOVE that VH1 Classic aired it, I just wish better care was given to the editing and the production of the show in general. Hopefully, the show did decent numbers and Future will pump a little more money into the show next year.

I guess I shouldn’t be too harsh on an awards show that is only in it’s second year but it would really help if they took the time to explain what the categories were all about and what they meant. Obviously “best guitarist” is self-explantory but one example is the actual Golden God Award. There was no build up given to this award. Ozzy announced what the award was the handed it over to Rob Halford. TELL US WHAT IT MEANS! In addition to that, another cool feature would have been maybe some clips of Halford footage and a narration telling us why Rob deserved to be “honored” with this award. Things like that go a long way in making the show and the individual awards feel special. This goes for all the awards. Show some clips of the best guitarist shredding, show a graphic of each nominated album of the year as you’re reading the list of nominees, etc. It’s pretty easy.

Again, the idea is great but the execution was lacking. Hopefully as the years go on, this will become a bigger and better hard rock & heavy metal awards show. They’ll know what worked, what didn’t work, hopefully get a bigger budget, hopefully get some more airtime on whatever station it ends up airing on.

Of note, the late, great Ronnie James Dio won Best Vocalist for his work in Heaven & Hell. How cool is that? This was Ronnie’s last public appearance and you couldn’t even tell he was sick. It’s so sad that just a few weeks after this was filmed the cancer took a turn for the worse and took Ronnie away from us.

Check out Ronnie accepting the award:

Complete list of winners:

Revolver Golden God Award: Rob Halford
Revolver Golden Gods Lifetime Achievement Award: Lemmy Kilmister
Album Of The Year: Alice In Chains – Black Gives Way To Blue
Best Vocalist: Ronnie James Dio
Best Guitarist: Zakk Wylde
Best Drummer: Jimmy “The Rev” Sullivan
Best Live Band: Metallica
Comeback Of The Year: Alice In Chains
Best Underground Band: The Dillinger Escape Plan
Hottest Chick In Metal: Maria Brink

VH1: The Big 80’s Power Ballads

VH1: The Big 80’s Power Ballads (1999, Rhino Records)

Track Listing:
1. “Fly to the Angels” – Slaughter … (5:08)
2. “Something to Believe In”  – Poison … (5:30)
3. “Amanda”  – Boston … (4:17)
4. “I Want to Know What Love Is” – Foreigner 5:01
5. “Alone Again”  – Dokken … (4:22)
6. “House of Pain”  – Faster Pussycat … (5:47)
7. “The Search Is Over” – Survivor … (4:13)
8. “Is This Love” – Whitesnake … (4:43)
9. “We Belong” – Pat Benatar … (3:39)
10. “Don’t Close Your Eyes”  – Kix … (4:19)
11. “What Does It Take”  – Honeymoon Suite … (4:16)
12. “Missing You” – John Waite … (4:29)
13. “Miles Away” – Winger … (4:12)
14. “When the Children Cry” – White Lion … (4:07)
15. “Goodbye” – Night Ranger … (4:21)
16. “Fly High Michelle” – Enuff Z’nuff … (4:17)

The late 1990s and early 2000s were a time of 80s nostalgia. Clothes, movies, music. One of the biggest flagwavers of 80s retro was VH1, who scored with the popular Behind The Music show, Pop Up Videos, and tons of 1980s-centric specials.

Not surprisingly, they also released their own compilations of 80’s tunes in a series called The Big 80’s. The Monster series of hair metal compilations from Razor & Tie Records proved popular and one of their most popular entries was Monster Ballads, so it only made sense for VH1 to release their own CD of hair ballads and tie it all in with the Big 80’s series.

There are TONS of other power ballad comps out there on the market, but this one and Monster Ballads are the absolute best and the bonus is that the people at Rhino & VH1 must’ve been paying attention because there’s only three songs that appear on both compilations (“Something to Believe In”, “Is This Love” and “Don’t Close Your Eyes”).

Essentially, this *is* a hair ballad CD, though a few artists like Boston, Honeymoon Suite, Foreigner, Pat Benatar, Survivor and John Waite slip in, but the songs fit right in with the mood. Even if those artist aren’t hair metal acts, they certainly did produce hair metal ballads.
Power ballads are what got me into the hair scene in the first place (every hair metal act should have 2 or 3 great ones in their catalog), so this is right up there as one of my favorite albums. And yes, being the sap that I am, I would crank this during troubled relationship times when I was younger.
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