Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Overkill: Songs that I could use a break from

Since my XM subscription expired, I’ve been listening to regular radio in my truck off and on, and after hearing many of the same songs over and over, I started thinking about songs by bands I like that I’d probably be perfectly happy if I never had to hear again. In many cases, these are songs that I really enjoyed at one time or another, but I’ve heard them so often they bring a groan every time I hear the opening notes. So, while I realize no one will listen to me, I nominate these songs for a long break. Feel free to argue the point.

AC/DC, “You Shook Me All Night Long.” This song is, no doubt, a certified hard rock classic, and a certified classic rock radio burnout. Give it a rest for 20 years or so and play a little more Bon Scott-era AC/DC instead. (But not “Big Balls,” which has also been overplayed as a novelty tune).

Aerosmith, “Janie’s Got a Gun.” I think that “Pump” and “Nine Lives” are neck-and-neck for the band’s best post-70s output, but hearing those first few notes of “Janie’s Got a Gun” almost makes me physically ill these days. The song was played to death when I was a teenager, and even today, if the radio plays Aerosmith, at least seven or eight times out of 10 it’s going to be this song. Enough, already. They’ve got nearly a 40-year catalog to choose from with some of the best hard rock ever in their ‘70s offerings, please pick something else. (And please don’t substitute the absolute worst song the band’s ever recorded, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing,” or one of the parts of the “CryinAmazaCrazy” trilogy. I could do without those, too).

Alice in Chains, “Rooster.” This dark, moody tribute to guitarist Jerry Cantrell’s father is definitely a powerful piece of music, but there are plenty of other Alice in Chains songs that are just as strong, if not as radio friendly.

Black Sabbath, “Iron Man.” It’s perhaps the most iconic guitar riff in metal history. It’s also the one that’s been run the furthest into the ground. Give me a “Symptom of the Universe,” “Hole in the Sky” or “Sabbath, Bloody Sabbath” instead any day.

Def Leppard, pretty much anything. I used to be a big fan of pre-“Hysteria” Def Leppard, but since that record their music has become so pervasive that I’m pretty much tired of hearing all of it. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” is the primary offender, but I think I’d be fine without hearing any Def Leppard for a very, very long time.

Dio, “Holy Diver.” In truth, I probably couldn’t get by without ever hearing this song again, but I could certainly use a break from it and “Rainbow in the Dark.” There’s so much great music in the Dio catalog that we rarely hear outside of our own collections. Some variety would be nice.

Judas Priest, “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” A great metal song. A classic. And unfortunately one of about three Judas Priest songs you’ll hear outside of specialty metal programming, and the one you’ll hear most often.

Kiss, “Rock and Roll All Nite.” Once a rabid Kiss fan, as I’ve gotten older, I find that I like them more now in small bursts of their less popular songs. Any hard rock song that my mother recognizes has definitely been run all the way into the ground.

Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle”/”Sweet Child o’ Mine”/”November Rain.” There are quite a few G’n’R songs that I’ve become sick of. There was a time when I loved “Welcome to the Jungle,” but it’s gotten really old over the years – probably due to the fact that the band never did anything as good as that record again. Likewise for “Sweet Child o’ Mine.” In honesty, I never liked “November Rain,” but I added it because I’d love to never hear it again.

Metallica, “Enter Sandman.” Is there a more overplayed song in the metal canon? If so, I can’t think of it at the moment. It’s one of the band’s most simplistic compositions and far inferior to just about anything that came before, yet it’s the first song most people outside the metal community think of when they hear the name Metallica. (I could also do without ever hearing their cover of Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page.”)

Motley Crue, “Kickstart My Heart.” I love the chainsaw riff, and when “Dr. Feelgood” came out, it was one of my favorite songs on the record. Now, I could use a break from it. (And please don’t play “Without You” instead. I really don’t want to have to shove an ice pick into my ear.)

Ozzy Osbourne, “Crazy Train.” “The” riff from Randy Rhoads, “the” song from Ozzy Osbourne and “the” most oversaturated metal track this side of “Enter Sandman.” I got sick of it years ago, when MTV had the black and white video with Randy’s guitar flying down the track in heavy rotation, and I’ve never recovered. His recent output has been slim pickings, but there’s plenty of good stuff in the earlier Ozzy catalog to choose from instead.

Pantera, “Cemetery Gates.” It’s dark. It’s haunting. The guitar riff is fantastic. It’s also maybe the only Pantera song the average rock radio fan can name. I’d still like to hear “Cemetery Gates,” but I’d also like to hear a few more Pantera tunes (other than “Walk”) thrown into the mix every now and then, too.

Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I love this song. I really do. But since the guys in “Wayne’s World” showed up banging their heads to it in the car (a scene from the movie that I also love), we’ve been inundated with it. Give me “Stone Cold Crazy,” “Hammer to Fall” or anything off “Queen II” every now and then. (“We Will Rock You/We are the Champions” is also on the bubble.)

Van Halen – “You Really Got Me.” With all of Eddie Van Halen’s accomplishments and contributions to the world of guitar, it’s a bit ironic that the song we hear most is a cover of the three-chord Kinks classic. With or without “Eruption” in front if it, it’s time to retire this one.

1 comment:

  1. I Grudgingly have to agree with you on all of the tunes above. Metal is the Music I fell in love with in j.high-high school and I still gotta have it now 30 years later....Thanks for the list, and Thank Gorman I no longer listen to the radio.

    Eric Gorman