And off we go on another round of the shuffle:
“Come Together,” Aerosmith. From the album Greatest Hits (1980). Originally recorded for the film “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” this cover of the Beatles’ classic might have been the best thing about the project. For me, it’s hands-down, the best Beatles cover ever, though I do admit to being an early Aerosmith fanboy.
“Baddest Mother’s Son,” Moju Gurus. From the album Shakin’ in the Barn (2005). A bit of a homage to Johnny Cash, a little punk rock, and plenty of attitude. The first time I heard this song, I went straight out and bought the album. Though the rest of the record was pretty good, nothing on it came close to matching this song.
“Crazy Train,” Ozzy Osbourne. From the album Blizzard of Ozz (1980). Just like I’ll occasionally get an embarrassment, I’ll occasionally get a big old slow-pitched softball in this series. What more can you say about this song. It’s a bona fide metal classic that’s instantly recognizable to people in most every walk of life. I will admit to being a little burned out on the song, but you can’t deny the power.
“I Am,” Savatage. From the album Dead Winter Dead (1995). I let out a little squee (thanks Kevin Hearne for introducing me to an appropriate term for my fanboy excitement here) when I first heard this track. Though Dead Winter Dead is not my favorite Savatage album, hearing Jon Oliva back behind the microphone was fantastic for me, even if it was only for two songs. No offense to Zachary Stevens, who is a great vocalist, but Oliva brings a sinister air that no one can match, and it’s perfect for this song.
“Give Her the Gun,” Dio. From the album Strange Highways (1994). I happen to think Strange Highways is a very underrated Dio album. This dark ballad chronicles the experience of some broken and abused people in need of rescue, and it’s as strong as anything Dio has done.