VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL)
Traditional heavy metal / Thrash Metal / Death Metal / Glam Metal / NWoBHM / Grindcore / Alternative Metal / Black Metal / Hard Rock / Metalcore / Speed Metal / Proto-Metal / Industrial Metal • Multi-National

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This page is for Various Artists (VA) compilation releases. It is one of four currently be operated by the MMA. The others being Various Artists (Tribute Albums), Various Artists (Soundtracks) and Various Artists (Label Samples and Freebies). On this page, Various Artists (General), you will find various retail metal VA releases that don't fit into any specific theme, as if used for the other three profiles.

Due to the nature of VA releases, most on this page will be tagged as Albums with the MMA Boxset/Compilation section reserved for boxset VA releases.

Pictured is the first Metal for Muthas compilation, an early New Wave of British Heavy Metal release known for containing some of the earliest material of Iron Maiden.

- Biography by adg211288 (October 2014).

See also:

Tribute Albums: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-tribute-albums

Label Samplers and Freebies: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-label-samples-and-freebies

Soundtracks: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/artist/various-artists-soundtracks
Thanks to adg211288 for the addition

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VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Discography

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Heavy Metal - 24 Electrifying Performances
Proto-Metal 1974
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Metal for Muthas
NWoBHM 1980
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Metal for Muthas Volume II: Cut Loud
NWoBHM 1980
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Various Artists - Killer Watts
Hard Rock 1980
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Axe Attack
Traditional heavy metal 1980
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Heavy Rock
Traditional heavy metal 1980
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Axe Attack Vol II
Traditional heavy metal 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Friday Rock Show
NWoBHM 1981
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre 1
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre 2
Traditional heavy metal 1982
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre III
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre IV
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Heavy
Traditional heavy metal 1983
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Masters Of Metal (US)
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
White Hot Masters Of Metal
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Masters Of Metal Volume 2
Traditional heavy metal 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre V
Thrash Metal 1984
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VI
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Wars - A Heavy Metal Assault
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
MFN Says Welcome To The Metal Zone
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills - The Very Best In Speed Metal
Thrash Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speed Metal Hell
Speed Metal 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
California's Best Metal
Traditional heavy metal 1985
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speed Metal Hell II
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills II - The Mayhem Continues...
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Masters Of Metal (NZ)
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Masters Of Metal (UK)
Traditional heavy metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VII
Thrash Metal 1986
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre VIII
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Masters
Glam Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills III - A Catalogue Of Destruction
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skull Thrash Zone Volume 1
Thrash Metal 1987
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
'Stars On Thrash'
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Meltdown
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Rising Metal
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Scream Until You Like It
Traditional heavy metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre IX
Thrash Metal 1988
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre X
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Mega Metal
Speed Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Grindcrusher
Grindcore 1989
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills...But Who's Dying? - Volume 4 of the Ultimate In Thrash
Thrash Metal 1989
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Metal Assault
Traditional heavy metal 1989
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
New Wave Of British Heavy Metal '79 Revisited
NWoBHM 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Kings of Speed Metal
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills 5 - Head Crushing Metal
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Thrash The Wall
Thrash Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
At Death's Door - A Collection Of Brutal Death Metal
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning
Death Metal 1990
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre XI
Thrash Metal 1991
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Rock Hard Presents Monsters Of Death
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Naive
Industrial Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Speed Kills 6 - Violence Of The Slams
Thrash Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Touch Of Death
Death Metal 1992
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Corporate Death
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
5 Years Nuclear Blast
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning II
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
At Death's Door II
Death Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hit Parader Salutes 20 Years Of Metal
Glam Metal 1993
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Christmas
Traditional heavy metal 1994
.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Epitaph - New Zealand Death Grind Compilation Tape
Death Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hard Music Volume 1
Traditional heavy metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning III
Death Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Metal Massacre XII
Thrash Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Corporate Rock Wars
Alternative Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Dynamo Open Air 10th Anniversary
Alternative Metal 1995
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Spectrum Fest: Micro-Brewed Musical Artistry
Grindcore 1996
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning IV
Death Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
In Decay We Trust Vol.1
Black Metal 1997
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning V
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning VI
Death Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Return of Darkness & Hate
Black Metal 2000
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Metal ReMaster
Traditional heavy metal 2001
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best Heavy Metal Album In The World...Ever!
Traditional heavy metal 2004
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 1
Glam Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Glam That Stole Christmas, Volume 1
Glam Metal 2004
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
13 Bands Who Think You're Gay
Grindcore 2004
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems
Glam Metal 2005
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Metal Massacre XIII
Death Metal 2006
.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 3
Glam Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hell Comes Around
Thrash Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Funeral For A Friend ‎– Back To The Bus 3
Alternative Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
Anus Flames For Jesus Christ Vol.1
Grindcore 2007
.. Album Cover 2.50 | 1 ratings
We Wish You a Metal Xmas and a Headbanging New Year
Traditional heavy metal 2008
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Scream Until You Like It (2009)
Glam Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Hell Comes Around II: The Second Coming
Death Metal 2009
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Earache: World's Shortest Album
Grindcore 2012
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maximum Metalcore
Metalcore 2012
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Maximum Metalcore 2
Metalcore 2013
.. Album Cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Classic Hard Rock Christmas Album
Hard Rock 2014
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Legends Of Metal
Alternative Metal 2016

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) EPs & splits

.. Album Cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Muthas Pride
NWoBHM 1980

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) live albums

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) re-issues & compilations

.. Album Cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Fiesta Comes Alive!
Grindcore 1997
.. Album Cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Worldwide Metal
Death Metal 2008
.. Album Cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Grind Madness At The BBC
Grindcore 2009
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Insufferable Noise
Grindcore 2015

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) singles (0)

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning V
Death Metal 1999
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Death... Is Just the Beginning VI
Death Metal 2001
.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Manifesto Of Metal For The Masses
Death Metal 2009

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Reviews

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Earache: World's Shortest Album

Album · 2012 · Grindcore
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
siLLy puPPy
You ever wonder what the world’s shortest album is? It’s this muthafucker and it’s only 1:27 in length and showcases some of the shortest tracks in the Earache Records catalogue. Grindcore at its core. Ideal for tweakers and those with restless ear syndrome. FUCKING RA-A-A-A-A-D!!!! Enjoy or not….. Napalm Death, Wormrot, Brutal Truth, Anal Cunt, Lawnmower Deth, Pain Killer and Insect Warfare exploding like warehouses of fireworks that somebody “accidently” set ablaze! OOOOOO - eeeeeee, mama :O

This site is making me write 100 words for a review for an album that is fucking one minute and twenty seven seconds long, so here cums the space filler - FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. Is this 100 words yet?

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Insufferable Noise

Boxset / Compilation · 2015 · Grindcore
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Vim Fuego
Have you ever had the thought “What I really need to feel complete and fulfilled in my life is a free nine hour compilation of DIY and underground grindcore, mostly of Eastern European origin”? No? Me either.

Well, obviously Alexey Zavyalov, from Torn Flesh Records has had such a thought, because he undertook the task of assembling this monstrous compilation. Now, mega-compilations are quite easy to come by online, but the usual problem with them is that they are “unofficial”. That means the compiler has just pinched music from wherever they wanted, without permission or acknowledgement of the artist involved. Alexey has actually gone to the trouble of gaining permission for this one, so download away, guilt free!

Now, more than nine hours of free music sounds nice, but what is it actually like? Well, it doesn’t sound nice. It actually sounds pretty fucking nasty and brutal. Which is a good thing. First track on this 312 song marathon is “Bunka Bunka Blues”, from mincecore legends Agathocles. In a career now into its fourth decade, the Belgian three-piece prove their music has not evolved or developed one jot since they began in 1985. The sound quality is fucking terrible, with the drums in particular sounding like a pencil being tapped on a table. After all this time, it’s quite obvious Agathocles don’t really give a fuck about recording quality. They still do it for the fun of it.

And that’s what this whole compilation is all about. There are nearly 80 artists here, and it would be highly doubtful any of them make any financial gain whatsoever from playing music. It ain’t about the money. It’s about the glorious, guttural, gory, grindy grooves.

There’s a hell of a variety of different subgenres of grindcore on offer here. There’s near-death grinders, a good selection of porno-grind and gore-grind, a bit of cyber-grind, a bit of noise, and some experimental shit. A lot of these bands are pretty obscure, probably being put together in garages and bedrooms throughout the world, but grind fans will recognise a few of the names here, like Porky Vagina, Gorgonized Dorks, Shitnoise Bastards, and Straight Hate. Sound quality also varies a lot too, from crystal clear and professional sounding, to gargly old crap which sounds like it was recorded onto masking tape.

There are also covers spread liberally throughout the album, like Spinal Cord Ejaculation’s version of Anal Cunt’s “Radio Shit”, Porky Vagina’s reinterpretation of “Ace of Spades”, called “AIDS In Space”, Flesh Grinder’s creepy take on Obituary’s “Slowly We Rot”, the truly bizarre pornogrind cover of Nine Inch Nails “Hurt” by Anal Tetris, and NekRock unrecognisable cover of Dying Fetus’ “Kill Your Mother, Rape Your Dog”.

At more than nine hours long, there’s no way to sit through this entire compilation in one go without turning your brain to mush. It’s one of those collections where the best idea is to hit random play and let the ensuing chaos just wash over you. It also is not one for the uninitiated. If you’re new to grindcore, stick to Napalm Death or Carcass, because unless you’ve built up a grind tolerance, a lot of this will sound like aimless, pointless noise.

If this is your thing though, crank up the volume, crack open a beer, and toast Alexey Zavyalov for putting this all together.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) The Classic Hard Rock Christmas Album

Album · 2014 · Hard Rock
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
While the title of this album says it’s a “Christmas hard rock album”, the real operative word is “classic”. It really doesn’t rock that hard for the most part, but the tunes, and the musicians are all classics. No one on it needs much of an introduction. If you don’t know who these guys are, this is the wrong album for you.

Jeff Beck’s “Amazing Grace” sets the tone for the entire album. Beck is backed by angelic choirs, and his guitar work is heavenly. The clarion clear tones speak of a lifetime devoted to mastering his instrument, and you almost don’t notice the fact there are no vocals. Aleksandar Živojinović er… Alex Lifeson, from Rush, continues in the same vein. His rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” is very gentle and very peaceful.

“Silent Night/Holy Night Jam” is Joe Satriani take on what can be an incredibly dreary, dull hymn. Satch sticks to the original hymnal tune, but then peels off into guitar solo ecstasy. There is a simple funky backing track, which Satriani climbs all over for seven stunning minutes. As ever, he carries a tune without falling for the worst excesses of guitar heroes, and finally ties it all together with a reprise of the somnolent tune again.

Then Steve Vai jingles it up somewhat with an easy listening lounge music take on “Christmas Time Is Here”. He keeps just enough shred in the song to stop the listener nodding off. “The Christmas Song” by Steve Lukather wouldn’t sound out of place accompanying Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr. Even the rocked up middle sections sound like something from a hot 1950s jazz club.

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is a bit drab in original form. Instead of revving it up by upping the tempo or hammering it into submission, Neal Schon ornaments the five century old tune with some understated guitar tricks, keeping it reasonably subtle so as to not overwhelm the tune.

Stu Hamm keeps it light with a light jazz interpretation of “Sleigh Ride”. The bass maestro makes the song his own, as if it was originally written for the bass guitar. It is a happy, bouncy song. Trevor Rabin (Yes) starts “O Come All Ye Faithful” acoustic, and builds to a rousing full electric lead, soaked in reverb and guitar effects.

Like he’s spent his whole life doing, Ted Nugent gives the album a kick in the ass. His speedy version of “Deck The Halls” has an almost punk backbeat, over which he lets his manic blues/metal soloing dance. And then Robin Trower sends the album back to easy listening land with a gentle rendition of “Little Town of Bethlehem”.

Finally, Halford thrash out “We Three Kings”. It sees Rob Halford in fine voice over a grunty double kick drum, full metal backing track. This is full blooded metal, complete with several solos, added riffs, and of course, one of metal’s most famous voices. In fact, it is the only track on the album with vocals.

It is good to hear some of rock and metal's greatest players interpreting songs which have been overdone and making them their own. However, this really isn’t an album for cranking up when you’re standing round the barbecue with a beer on Christmas night (I’m talking southern hemisphere Christmas here!). It’s inoffensive enough to play quietly in the background without making your granny spill her Christmas sherry, except perhaps for the Halford track. It is a very easy listening album which rock fans should find bearable, and won’t scare anyone else.

This isn’t for the uncompromising headbanger.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) Thrash The Wall

Album · 1990 · Thrash Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
The fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989 was a momentous occasion in global history, signalling the beginning of the end of the Soviet dominated Eastern Bloc, the end of the Cold War, and the end of the segregation of Germany, divided since 1945. Roadrunner Records, being the kind, caring record label we all knew and er… loved… decided the opportunity for a cash-in was far too good to miss.

Sporting a cover with depictions of well-known figures from the metal world (Lemmy, King Diamond and Helloween’s pumpkin), and band logos scrawled on the wall, ‘Thrash The Wall’ proudly states “Part of the profits of this compilation will be used to support East-German metal bands!” All well and good you might say, but the wall was down, there was no more East Germany, and in the decades since then, the only East German band to come to prominence is Rammstein, and they ain’t on Roadrunner.

No matter, forget the record company motives, and have a good listen to what’s contained instead.

Right from the get-go, the album title is a bit misleading. King Diamond and Helloween could hardly be called thrash, leaning more to speed and power metal territory, as with Rage, Running Wild and Paradox. Motörhead may well be the godfathers of thrash, but Lemmy’s animosity to the term has always been well known. Gang Green was a decent enough crossover act at the time, but was hardly the epitome of thrash. As for Obituary, the band has never played thrash at all, being one of the leaders of the Florida death metal scene. So that leaves Sodom, Annihilator, Sepultura, Atrophy, Xentrix and Rochus. Six bands out of fourteen, or seven, if you count Gang Green, the title quite inaccurate. However, this could be a great album for introducing a new fan to the thrash world, because it eases the listener in relatively gently. King Diamond’s “Sleepless Nights” and Helloween’s “Future World” are both very melodic, with clean vocals unlikely to scare off traditional metal fans, and the positivity and optimism of “Future World” is highly contagious. Next, Lemmy and co. rumble through “Eat The Rich”, the theme song for the black comedy movie of the same title. It’s vintage Motörhead, with grubby double entendre lyrics, a driving, hard assed blues beat, and delightfully sloppy, almost discordant solos.

Rage’s “Invisible Horizons” keeps up the melodic theme, but also hammers along with double kick drums the whole way. Running Wild’s “Raging Fire” is an inexplicably weak track from such an established band. Ho hum.

Finally, with the sixth track of the album, real thrash appears, with Sodom’s “Remember The Fallen” taken from the incendiary ‘Agent Orange’ album. A mid-paced stomper, this song is a tribute to fallen soldiers, but just as fittingly, could be a poignant tribute to the 138* people who died crossing, guarding or near the Berlin Wall during its 28 year history. Paradox rounds out the block of four German bands with the melodic but forgettable “Search For Perfection”.

And then comes the good stuff! First up is an unreleased live version of Annihilator’s “Human Insecticide” (since released on ‘Bag Of Tricks’), proving Jeff Waters’ insane riffing on the studio original isn’t just studio trickery. If anything, the song is faster live, and sounds utterly insane, which is fitting, considering it is about a psychopath. It is followed by the short, sharp blast of the demo version of Obituary’s “Find The Arise”. The slightly sludgy, lo-fi version of the song is more guttural and organic than the crisp, re-recorded version on the ‘Cause Of Death’ album, with John Tardy’s vomitous vocals sounding intimidating.

It is followed by the remastered version of Sepultura’s “Sarcastic Existence”. Stating the song was remastered is a little superfluous, as this is the version eventually released by Roadrunner. It showcases all that was good about thrash in the late 1980s- it is heavy, intense, and played with conviction.

Atrophy’s “Slippery Through The Crack” (the correct title is “Slipped Through the Cracks”) is the turd in the swimming pool on this album. It is thrash by numbers, with somewhat annoying vocals, and is about failing in the education system.

Xentrix has received something of a cult following in the years since their heyday, and when this was released, the band were real up-and-comers in the UK thrash scene. While often unfairly criticized for blatant Metallica-isms, this track “Balance Of Power” showed everything earned the band that following. It is extremely well executed, with catchy riffs, intelligent lyrics, and is one of the tracks likely to stick in your mind hours after listening to this album.

Rochus was a band formed behind the Iron Curtain in the late 80s, at a time when even hearing metal from the West was almost impossible. English wasn’t widely spoken in East Germany, so “Let’s Thrash” is sung in German. It has all the essentials of a good thrash song- it’s fast, has strong riffs, and a bit of melody. This song showed a hell of a lot potential for this band, but unfortunately, Rochus folded after only a couple of demos and a few live recordings.

“Tear Down The Walls” by Gang Green must have been added to this compilation simply for its title. It doesn’t really fit well with the rest of the album, being somewhat of a filler from the ‘Older…Budweiser’ album. However, it does showcase the skate punk/crossover side of metal, and technically it’s a thrash song.

If you can ignore the slightly misleading title, this is a solid enough compilation, high on melody, low on out-and-out duds, and has a couple of nice rarities. This is in no way a definitive compilation by any stretch of the imagination, but is a good introduction to some lesser known German metal bands, and the cover is pretty cool.

*This is the official death toll. Estimates range from 78 to 245 dead.

VARIOUS ARTISTS (GENERAL) VH1 Classic Presents: Metal Mania - Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems

Album · 2005 · Glam Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Vim Fuego
OK, let's get one thing straight - when it comes to metal, VH1 doesn't know it's ass from its elbow. Nothing here is metal, not in the slightest. Not one bit. Not at all. None of these bands would call themselves metal (except perhaps Dokken, but Don Dokken is a fucking idiot anyway) and the music they're playing isn't metal. It's acoustic, unplugged rock, which isn't metal either. Got it? Good.

Right, silly title aside, this is actually a great fun compilation. Glam rock of the late 80s and early 90s was the stuff of pure fantasy and escapism involving cars, women, big hair, drugs, booze, and the odd spot of rock. Then along came grunge and everyone stopped washing their hair and stopped having fun.

Some of these songs are definitive tracks of the era, while others delight in their second rate mediocrity. It simply doesn't matter how awful these songs were, and still are, because they made people happy. Some of the names here were huge in their time and Scorpions and Whitesnake still are. There are other big names of the glam era too, like Poison, Warrant, Ratt, Tesla, L.A. Guns, and Great White. There's also a good selection of second rate names, like the insipid Nelson, Beavis and Butthead's favourite target for ridicule Kip Winger, the mediocre Cinderella, and try-hards Bullet Boys.

Some of these songs work perfectly well acoustically, in that if you didn't know the original, you'd think this was the first version recorded. Scorpions' "Rock You Like A Hurricane" loses none of its power or sing along fun as an acoustic song. Whitesnake's "Here I Go Again" shows David Coverdale still has a great voice after all these years in the business and the reinterpretation of this song as a ballad is almost better than the original. Poison's "Talk Dirty To Me" is pure teen smut the way it always was and, even if this band is balding, aging and fat, they still have a great time playing music.

There are some surprises here too. Night Ranger's "Don't Tell Me You Love Me" has some very tight vocal melodies. Warrant's sleazy "Cherry Pie" also adapts well to the unplugged environment. Ratt's "Round And Round", L.A. Guns "Sex Action" and Great White's "Once Bitten, Twice Shy" also stand out.

Of course, there are a few failures as well. Cinderella's "Shake Me" sounds like a country ballad. The Bullet Boys "Smooth Up In Ya" pushes the sex thing too far and just sounds pervy.

This is an excellent party album for any rock fans who were teenagers in the 80s. Sure, it might be a little bit too laid back for some but it's not meant to be taken too seriously. Put your brain out of gear, drop all your inhibitions and rediscover the memories of a youth long passed.

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