because he pointed me in the direction of this fine and amazing CD boxed set.
Heavy Metal! Four discs tracing the evomalution/devolution of metal from the earliest mutterings (Iron Butterfly’s "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida;" disappointingly, this collection includes only the abbreviated single version and not the seventeen-minute, ten-second album version complete with "dinosaur" guitar squeals and lengthy drum solo) to the full-blown early-’90s doomcore (Sepultura’s "Dead Embryonic Cells," an uplifting little ditty indeed).
I had the originals of many of these tracks once upon a time, long ago in the days when one listened to cassettes. But I never upgraded to CDs for most (er, pretty much any) of them, and so they were lost in a haze of yesteryearishness and deck-mangled wads of magnetic tape. So I had to, just had to, pony up for the first CDs I’ve bought in years and years… and now I am the proud owner of a set that Goes To Eleven. (It really does. There’s a knob on the front of the box you can turn and everything.)
Along the way, the set highlights the likes of Lita Ford (Homeschooling
mom! Did you know that? You did not.), Judas Priest (there is nothing
to make you feel mugger-proof while taking your constitutional through
questionable neighborhoods like "You Got Another Thing Comin’ "), two Metallica
tracks (sadly, neither of which is "Crash Course in Brain Surgery"),
Mercyful Fate/King Diamond (one of each) and even the
duly-much-maligned Stryper (who really should have realized that it’s striped Lycra jumpsuits that are the tools of the devil).
But for me, the Bestest Part of All was the inclusion of two of the original versions of songs covered by Metallica on Garage Days Revisited (actually, a pair of B-sides from Ride the Lightning, later to spawn the best Metallica record of all, Garage Days Re-Revisited).
All covers, all unmitigatedly ass-kicking. And this set has
Blitzkrieg’s original "Blitzkrieg" (not to be confused with Black
Sabbath’s original "Black Sabbath"or They Might Be Giants’ original
"They Might Be Giants"). AND the best song on the whole set, Diamond
Head’s "Am I Evil?" ("I admit; yes, I am.")
Listening to the set, with its ample representation of various metal genres, is reminding me that I was always kind of on the musical fringe, even for a metal fan. The hair metal did little or nothing for me then, and it’s still the same (though I’m a wee bit disappointed
there’s no Cinderella included*… "Nobody’s Fool" was a GREAT FREAKIN’ SONG). Even the standard-issue hard-drinking metal seems a little wimpy compared to the full-on evil stuff. I guess I like my metal loud, fast and angry (er, like my men?).
Now I’m having the uncomfortable feeling that I’m coming out as a metalhead in front of you guys. Yeah. Sorry about that. Um, on my high school speech team I once did an expository speech about heavy metal. Won a prize, bitches!
*Yes, there is. Thanks, COD, for pointing it out. Derrr. It is, however, not nearly as good of a song as “Nobody’s Fool.”