Saturday, November 1, 2014

Saturday Shuffle: DLR, Dio, Living Colour, Metallica, Soundgarden

A nice variety of hard rockers from classics to new stuff, from glam to grunge ...

David Lee Roth, “Tobacco Road.” From the album Eat ‘Em and Smile (1986). I always forget how much I love this cover until I hear it again. Steve Vai’s screaming guitar licks are perfect, and the bombastic, showtune tone of the song is right down Diamond Dave’s alley. It could very well be my favorite track from my favorite DLR solo album.

Dio, “I Speed at Night.” From the album The Last in Line (1984). Holy Diver gets the press, but I’m not sure that The Last in Line isn’t a better record. “I Speed at Night” is the classic, blazing fast Dio song that can be found on just about every album. There was no one better at it.

Living Colour, “Asshole.” From the album The Chair in the Doorway (2009). I hadn’t thought much about Living Colour in years when this album came along, and I really enjoyed. This lighthearted, fun number was a great way to close a record that had often been heavier and darker than we were used to from Living Colour.

Metallica, “Dirty Window.” From the album St. Anger (2003). We can debate the merits or lack thereof of St. Anger, but I still think it’s underrated. And there’s no arguing that it was uglier and gnarlier than anything the band had done in years. This was one of several tunes on the album where James Hetfield confronted his substance abuse, and I always appreciate a “Poltergeist” reference.

Soundgarden, “Black Hole Sun.” From the album Superunknown (1994). I far prefer the Louder than Love/Badmotorfinger versions of Soundgarden, but it might surprise people to find that I really do like this song, probably their biggest hit. I got very tired of it when it was in heavy rotation, but it’s a great tune.

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