A couple of Jennings, a shock rocker, a hard rock classic and metal's loincloth-clad kings ...
Shooter Jennings, “This Ol’ Wheel.” From the album The Wolf (2007). The Wolf is, in my opinion, the weakest of Shooter’s records, but this rocking song was one of the highlights. Shooter delivers the verse in a rapid-fire, almost rap style, and it’s just a really catchy, fun song.
Marilyn Manson, “Mechanical Animals.” From the album Mechanical Animals (1998). Coming out of the controversial Antichrist Superstar, Marilyn Manson took a strange and interesting turn with this Bowie and glam rock inspired album. The title track has this strung-out feel to it that really runs through the whole album. I think it represents the potential of what Manson could have done, but sadly, I also think it’s his last good album.
Travis Tritt, “Lonesom, On’ry and Mean.” From the album I’ve Always Been Crazy: A Tribute to Waylon Jennings (2003). Tritt delivers a fairly faithful cover of the Jennings classic on what was a pretty good tribute album. I still prefer the original.
Manowar, “The Crown and the Ring” From the album Kings of Metal (1988). Manowar are the kings of chest-thumping, cheesy, play it loud, fantasy-inspired metal, and this song has everything that you could want from their over-the-top approach to the music.
Guns ‘n’ Roses, “Civil War.” From the album Use Your Illusion II (1991). I found the Use Your Illusion albums to be quite the disappointment. Like most double releases, I thought they could have been combined into one pretty good album. But there are a few standout tracks, and “Civil War” might be the best of the bunch. Not only is it my favorite GnR tune from the Use Your Illusion albums, but it’s one of my favorite ever.