Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday Shuffle: Faster Pussycat, Dangerous Toys, Nightwish, Armored Saint, Ozzy

Where else are you going to find Faster Pussycat and Walt Whitman within a few paragraphs of each other? Only in the shuffle ...

Faster Pussycat, “Cryin’ Shame.” From the album Wake Me When It’s Over (1989). So I’ve already confessed my weakness for Faster Pussycat, but this particular song takes a bit of a turn from their usual sleaze-filled fare. It’s a bit more of a blues rock piece and tells the story of Ricky Kasso, “The Acid King,” who killed a teenager in Long Island in 1986, claiming that Satan commanded him to do it. Despite the serious nature of the song, it’s still a very 1980s piece, but it’s still a great tune.

Dangerous Toys, “Here Comes Trouble.” From the album Dangerous Toys (1989). For me, Dangerous Toys is one of the most underrated of the second tier of late 1980s hard rock acts. They brought just a bit of a harder edge to the sound of the times, and I’ve always loved their first three records. While not one of the strongest songs from their debut the braggadocio-filled “Here Comes Trouble” is still catchy and fun.

Nightwish, “Song of Myself.” From the album Imaginaerum (2013). A long piece (14 minutes) based on Walt Whitman’s poem of the same name, “Song of Myself” is probably one of the weaker links on the Imaginaerum record, at least for me. It’s interesting the first couple of time through, but I have to admit that I pretty much skip it every time now.

Armored Saint, “Get Off the Fence.” From the album La Raza (2010). Armored Saint rarely disappoints, and La Raza, their first album of new material in a decade at that point, was great from beginning to end. “Get Off the Fence” is one of those songs, though, that kind of gets lost in the shuffle for me.

Ozzy Osbourne, “You Can’t Kill Rock and Roll.” From the album Diary of a Madman (1981). For my money, Diary of a Madman is Ozzy’s best work. There’s not a song on it that I don’t like from start to finish. This is one of those semi-ballad type songs that he did often on those early records, and it’s a great one, with a soft verse and then a roaring guitar riff from Randy Rhoads as it rises to a crescendo.


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