So, what made me want to be a musician? To devote my whole life to something? To live, breathe, eat and sleep something that at times has cost me nothing more than ridicule and heartbreak? The reason....One day, it's gonna happen. I can still remember how much it hurt to be 12 years old, stood in the playground at school surrounded by kids who hated me for being different, calling me names for having long hair, putting me down and generally making my life a fuckin' misery. Why did I put up with it?....Cuz one day, it's gonna happen. In some kind of strange way, I long for the day that I can have my revenge on those little bastards, who by now are probably a mile high in dirty nappies, working 9-5 and waiting for their turn to die. I guess what I'm trying to put across here is that loving music isn't just about loving music; it's a way of life. I wake up every morning with one thought on my mind: Getting laid. No, seriously I wake up every morning with one thought on my mind: How I can make a living out of the one thing in my life that has never let me down....Music. One day its gonna happen....
So, here's 20 albums that have defined me both as a person and as a musician and made/make me pick up the guitar and start writing music.
Poison - Look What The Cat Dragged In (1986 Enigma)
An album that to me, completely defines the whole hair/glam metal genre in one fell swoop. Bret wasn't the best singer in the world, but who cared? He looked cool! I remember many a Friday nite, raiding my Mum and my Sisters make-up bag and donning more make-up than both of them put together in an attempt to look like Bret....Yeah, he was that fuckin' cool to me!
Standout tracks: Cry Tough, Look What The Cat Dragged In & Talk Dirty To Me
Danger Danger - Screw It! (1991 Sony)
These dudes were everything that I looked for in a rock band. Awesome songs, great attitude and a cool image....What a fuckin' band! Any guy around at the time who didn't want to look like drummer Steve West was either pitching for the other team or a member of Pearl Jam! ("Jeremy spoke in....", fuck off!)
Standout tracks: Monkey Business, Don't Blame It On Love & Crazy Nites
Vain - No Respect (1989 Island)
An all together darker glam album. Fronted by the awesome Davy Vain, these dudes took the tried and tested glam formula and mixed it with some more gothic influences like the Cult and Bang Tango to create this beast of an album. Vocalist Davy Vain could and should have given Sebastian Bach a run for his money, as his class and sleaze pretty much outshines anything Bach has ever put down on record....great!!
Standout tracks: Beat The Bullet, No Respect & Icy
Trixter - Hear (1992 MCA)
Initially marketed as a happy-go-lucky pop-metal band, (who happened to sell a million copies of their debut album back in 1990) Trixter returned in '92 with a tougher and harder rock sound. The production on this album is awesome and lets the songwriting talent of guitarist Steve Brown shine through. An album so good, that I honestly believe that had Kurt Cobain not reared his ugly head, would have propelled these guys to major league stardom....essential!!
Standout tracks: Rockin' Horse, Nobody's A Hero & Road Of A Thousand Dreams
Shotgun Messiah - Second Coming (1991 Relativity)
I remember seeing a picture of Shotgun Messiah in Kerrang magazine back in 1989. The singer was plastered with make-up and was wearing a pink and black leather outfit. I remember thinking "I don't care what they sound like, they look cool!!" That same year, I heard their debut "Welcome To Bop City" and it shook my world. However, it was their 2nd album, featuring bass player turned singer Tim Skold (currently writing and playing bass for Marilyn Manson) that really affected me deeply. The album kind of comes across as Motley Crue meets Kiss meets Ramones. They even throw a cover of the New York Dolls "Babylon" for good measure.
Standout tracks: Red Hot, Heartbreak Boulevard & Ride The Storm
Pretty Boy Floyd - Leather Boyz With Electric Toyz (1989 MCA)
Combining both Poison's "Look What The Cat Dragged In" and Motley Crue's "Too Fast For Love" eras, Pretty Boy Floyd still managed to forge their own identity and produced one of the best hair metal videos of all time with "Rock 'n Roll Is Gonna Set The Nite On Fire". Although maybe sounding a little dated now, the songs on this album are first class and deserve your ears!!
Standout tracks: Rock 'n Roll, 48 Hours & Your Mama Won't Know
Bon Jovi - New Jersey (1988 Mercury)
Before Jon managed to get stuck up his own arse, he produced this fine glam-metal album that comes complete with numerous songwriting credits from both the legendary Desmond Child and Diane Warren. This album was produced by Bruce Fairbairn and Bob Rock and sounds....fuckin' massive!! "Wild Is The Wind" and "Born To Be My Baby" are melodic rock classics....Shame Jon can't write anything like that these days!!
Standout tracks: Born To Be My Baby, Wild Is The Wind & Lay Your Hands On Me
Warrant - Dog Eat Dog (1992 CBS)
Despite selling millions of records using the slipstream of Poison, Warrant only really came into their own on 1992's Dog Eat Dog album. A much harder album than their previous ones, at times leaning towards the hard rock market and at last, really showcasing Jani Lanes awesome songwriting talent. The band got a little more serious on this album, with less emphasis on their dicks. (Even though there are still plenty of cock-rock anthems to be found on this record) This LP saw a band mature from a dumb glam metal act to an....erm, intelligent glam metal act.
Standout tracks: Bridges Are Burning, Machine Gun & Quicksand
Ratt - Invasion Of Your Privacy (1985 Atlantic)
An album that oozed 80's glam metal. Great production from Beau Hill, who went on to produce Warrant, Winger etc. Jeez, this guy must have been talented, he made vocalist Stephen Pearcy sound good!! Warren De Martini's guitar playing is fuckin' amazing on this album. Combine that with the great songs and you've got one awesome record.
Standout tracks: You're In Love, Lay It down & Never Use Love
LA Guns - LA Guns (1988 Vertigo)
"Dark and sleazy" is how I would describe LA Guns' debut. They took Poison's happy-go-lucky glam-metal approach and turned it upside down, taking it to a vampire infested sleaze-metal direction. LA Guns wrote dirty, nasty, gutter-rock but added some New York Dolls glamour to the proceedings and forging a few MTV hits along the way. A vastly underated album!!
Standout tracks: No Mercy, Bitch Is Back & One Way Ticket
Def Leppard - Hysteria (1987 Mercury)
Possibly the biggest sounding 80's glam/pop-metal album ever! Def Leppard never once looked liked rock stars to me. More like bricklayers with guitars!! Still, they had it where it counts....They had the songs. Ok, the million dollar production helps a little bit, but the songs on here are just fantastic. At the time, this album easily outsold Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet" album and it's pretty easy to see why. The bricklayers from Sheffield done good!!
Standout tracks: Women, Love Bites & Hysteria
Skid Row -Skid Row (1989 Mercury)
Without a doubt, Skid Row at their best and before they decided that they were "heavy metal" fans!! A classic album which sounds a lot like Ratt at times (that's no bad thing!) complete with the smash hit "18 And Life", obviously written by their babysitter, Mr.Jon Bon Jovi.
Standout tracks: Big Guns, Sweet Little Sister & I Remember You
Cheap Trick - Authorized Greatest Hits (1999 Sony)
Featuring every song you'll ever need to hear from this classic band. 'Nuff said.
Standout tracks: I Can't Take It, Surrender, Dream Police, I Want You To Want Me, The Flame....Oh fuck, just go and buy the album!!
Marvelous 3 - Ready Sex Go (2000 Elektra)
Without doubt, Butch Walker's finest work. Bringing 80's pop-metal kicking and screaming into the new millenium!
Standout tracks: Little Head, Get Over & I Could Change
Kiss - Alive 2 (1977 Casablanca)
Forget "Alive", this is the classic live album of all time, complete with pyro blasts....What more do you want?
Standout tracks: Detroit Rock City, God Of Thunder & King Of The Night Time World
Gemini Five - Babylon Rockets (2003 Wild Kingdom)
Awesome nu-glam, kinda sounding like a late 80's Bon Jovi meets Alice Cooper. Without doubt my favourite new album of 2003/2004!!
Standout tracks: Myself Esteem, Babylon Rockets & 24-7
Motley Crue - Girls, Girls, Girls (1987 Elektra)
My favourite Motley album. It captures them somewhere in between their raw roots and their "over-produced" era.
Standout tracks: Girls, Girls, Girls, Wildside & You're All I Need
White Lion - Mane Attraction (1991 Atlantic)
Awesome melodic hard-rock album from another band that could've been as big as Bon Jovi. Just great songs!
Standout tracks: Broken Heart, Love Don't Come Easy & You're All I Need
Survivor - Vital Signs (1985 Scotti Bros)
Maybe I've watched one too many "Rocky" films....Oh well, never mind. The melodies and hooklines on this album are exquisite! An album so good, that one of my favourite bands, "Danger Danger" blantantly stole the riff from "High On You" and turned it into "Turn It On" on their debut album. Oh yeah and "Broken Promises" from this album became "Naughty Naughty" on Dangers debut....You know it's a great album when it gets ripped off!!
Standout tracks: I Can't Hold Back, Popular Girl & Everlasting
Kane Roberts - Saints And Sinners (1991 Geffen)
An album co-written with one of my favourite songwriters of all time Desmond Child. (I'd love to write a song with that dude one day!) Also featuring songs written by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora, this album is pure American radio friendly bubblegum hair-metal of the finest order from Alice Cooper's former axe-man.
Standout tracks: Fighter, Wild Nites & Does Anybody Fall In Love Anymore?