internet fans, it's your old pal Martin "The Baron" Hubley with another
top ten list to shake the foundations of your musical knowledge to
their very cores! Those of you who know me best will agree that I have
one passion and one passion only: Rock & Roll. My naughtiest
fantasy is to climb into a hotrod, crank up my fave rock radio station
to full, and cruise down the coast, honking at thick & juicy honeys
while bobbing my head to the sound of wailing guitars and nonstop drums.
Some say rock ain't what it used to be, but I tend to disagree. There
are plenty of high quality rock albums out there, you just have to know
where to look (namely: right here in this very article).
Fair Warning: There are going to be some pretty
controversial choices in here, as I don't often follow the crowd. But
keep reading if you've got the guts, and you'll be rewarded with hours
of rock and roll hijinks. That's a promise!
Even fans of the supremely underrated 1998 film Godzilla
probably do not remember its soundtrack, which was not heavily promoted
at the time of the film's release. This is no doubt due to the film
composer David Arlond's refusal to "play by the rules". In accordance
with his artistic vision, he included many amazing independent and
underground artists like Jamiroquai, Silverchair, and Fuzzbubble on the
album but only a few mainstream lamebrains like Puff Daddy (AKA
Puffypoppa) and Green Day. As a result, the album was "Top Shelfed"
upon its release. This means retailers were told to place it only on
the top rack in their music department, where it would be well out of
reach of small children and the handicapped (the two biggest purchasers
of soundtrack albums).
As a result, the CD sold poorly and is not well known today. It's a
shame too, because it is undoubtedly the best soundtrack album of all
time. Certainly more than enough to grant it the #10 spot on my list of
Rock & Roll legends.
So if you hear only one Zilla this year, make it a God-Zilla. And
that's a fact!
The NOW music series has been going strong for over thirty years, and
there seems to be no end in sight for this 10-Ton-party animal of the
rock world. This can only be a good thing, because where else could you
hear such an eclectic collection of the freshest tunes from artists
such as Train, Kirstey Alley, and The Jeezy? Nowhere, that's who!
And although this disc is filled to the brim with high-octane goodness,
there is one track that stands above and beyond the pack. Yep, you
guessed it: Owl City's "Fireflies" would be reason enough alone to buy
this album. The song is an artsy sort of piece, and is told from the
perspective of a young asexual mental patient with autism who is locked
in a devastating battle with syphilis (a sexual STD which rots the
brain out). The little boy is really a stand in for lead singer Adam
Young, and the lyrics are often comprised of his deepest sexual fears
("I wanted to stroke him deeply...but he pushed me away"), dreams he
one had (I cuddled with teddy, and fired lovebolts at the stars, with
my crossbow of faith, I plant kisses on your rainbowfaith shoulders, my
deary dear") or vague, otherworldly threats he received from toddlers
who had done acid ("I will shower your love with hugs...from a million
and one fireflies").
The secret to Owl City's success? It is said that most of his pain
stems from the fact that he was rendered impotent by the syphilis (his
genitals receded into his pubis area) and as such he is unable to live
out his dream of fathering three blonde daughters. This sorrow is his
muse. So while ordinarily these lyrics would seem childish and
laughable coming from the mouth of an adult man, when viewed in the
context of all he/it has been through, they are shockingly beautiful.
Now that's what I call music!
Rage can be a dangerous thing, but when it's channeled into music, it
can sometimes result in beauty. This is certainly the case with Limp
Bizkit's rock opera "Significant Other". Inspired by lead singer
Durst's sometimes poisonous relationship with latin starlet Christina
Agluiara, "Other" plays Durst's hurt-feelings and boyish wistfulness
against lead guitarist Wes "Jon Boy" Borland's epic wall of screaming
electric guitar hatred. Borland is a virtuoso on the axe, and it
certainly shows here. The man could shred apart puppies with his
Also making guest appearances are rappers Ice Cube & Eminem, and
VH1 legends like Pauly Shore, Martin Short, and Carol King. I think I
speak for all music fans when I say "Let's break some stuff tonight!
Let's break your face tonight! Let's break some stuff tonight! Come and
get the biscuit you punks!"
Needless to say, this is one pastry you won't be eating with your
If there's one thing Europeans do well, it's catchy, hard-rocking club
music. This is certainly the case with Eiffel 65's debut album Europop,
which combines the soul of 1950s blues rock-n-billy with spoken word
robo hip-hop. Sprinked this over a milky white batter of rythm and sick
dance beats, and what've you got? A fururistic layer cake of danceable
awesomeness, that's what!
Take the album's first single (I'm Blue), for example. It begins with a
Kermit The Frog style narrator (his name, funnily enough, is "Blue" and
he also happens to also be your tourguide through the remainder of the
album) attempting to convey the sadness he feels living in a world
where everything is blue. All the cars are blue, the sky is blue, all
his friends are blue, and most importantly, he himself it blue. It
reminds me of that old joke: "Everything in my house is blue, so what
color are the stairs?" The answer, of course is that there ARE no
stairs. It's a one-story house; trick question!
But seriously folks, this album is deeper than the average bear.
There's little doubt in my mind that the blue theme is meant to signify
the depression Eiffel 65 feels from in an overly corporate world filled
with vodka advertisements, poisonous vaccinations, and mixed-race
So if you "can't drive 65", why not try to drive EIFFEL 65...in your CD
player that is!
Linkin Park's lead rappist/singer Mark Chesterman has a bone to pick
with rock and roll music: Namely, that it isn't any good anymore! He
remembers a time when rock was about the tunes (about you know, real
sexy men playing real instruments!) and not about all this macho
corporate bull***p kids today call music.
That's where Hybrid Theories comes in. This ain't your grandpappy's
rock and roll. It's hard hitting metallica style deathmetal combined
with the fuckalicious style of beats, like those used by rapper J.Z.
I remember the first time I heard the opening power chords of "Crawling
in My Skin" on the radio for the very first time. I felt a chill up my
spine unlike anything I had ever experienced, and the world around me
grew dark. But when I heard Chesterman's gravelly moan for the first
time, I just had to pull the car over. It was like my first kiss. This
was rock and roll, pure and simple. It was better than touching a
woman. It was better than making love on a new sofa. It was better than
Needless to say, this is one Hybrid theory that I'm not doubting the
No, before you ask, this isn't a joke. Many of you may know Pat Boone
from some of his older 50s and 60s religious hymns and songs of praise,
but it's a little-known fact that this man can buzzsaw out heavy metal
like nobody's business. Believe me when I tell you: This old dog may
not know any new tricks, but he sure knows how to lay down some musical
"Metal Mood" features Boone's twisted and dark covers of over ten of
rocks most hard-hitting bim-bam hits such as Black Sabbath's "Crazy
Train", "Take Me Down To Detroit Rock City" By Motley Crue, and yes,
even that old time classic "Stairway To Heaven" by Lead Zeppelin
But Boone doesn't just cover these songs, he rips them apart with a
sexual fury and reassembles them into a rock hard monster of outright
insanity. He is literally the Frankenstein Monster of Classic Rock. Who
else would consider adding blaring horns and a smooth jazz rythym to
"You've Got another thing coming"? A bloody genius, that's who.
When you talk about heavy metal, this album is like lead, one of the
heaviest metals of all! That's saying something.
As the lead singer of The Beatles once put it: "We're going to start a
revolution, well come on let's get started!" I guess Lenny Kravitz took
notice, because for years now he's been getting started. Pumping out
album after album of the most intensest rip-roaring jams imaginable
into the open mouths of young kids everywhere. But don't let the name
fool you, "Love Revolution" isn't some sappy compilation of tunes about
heartache, it's a rumble in the jungle rip snort jaunt that rocks your
stones and bones to the core. Not to be racist, but "Move over Mr.
Jimmy Hendrix, there's a new afro-american king of rock in town, and
his name is Lenny!"
It goes without saying: I'll throw moltov cocktails through shop
windows during this love revolution any time!
"Now hold on," you might say, "This isn't Rock and Roll, this is some
piece of garbage for poor kids." But hold the wagon train for just a
second partner, because Rock And Roll isn't a style of music: It's a
feeling. As Freddy Mercury from the rock band Queen once said "Rock and
Roll is love. Nothing more nothing less." And if you don't think the
artists on "Save The Last Dance 2 Soundtrack" are preaching love, then
brother, I feel sorry for you, because you don't know what love is.
But hey, it's a free country. I can't tell you what to do. But you know
that most of yall who are dismissin this album are racists. What? Just
because an album is full of brothers and sisters it can't be rock and
roll? Please, what a trip. So go ahead and laugh. While you hataz out
there are saying your nay nays, I'll be crumping it off to the ram jams
of Fatman Scoop and Shawty Redd.
Rage was formed in the 90s by four angry young afro-americans who were
tired and angry at the establishment. They were tired of the government
taking money out of the paychecks of hard-working americans to pay for
road maintenance. They were tired of evil corporations like Sony and
Tide polluting the environment and killing mom and pop businesses. But
most of all they were tired of not rocking.
Luckily for us, they found a way to remedy this situation: By Rocking!
And Renegade (their last album before the death of the lead guitarist)
finds the band in true form, playing some of their hardest and most
inventive songs yet. "How I Could Just Kill A Man" finds the lead
singer fantasizing about a robbery, and "Maggie's Farm" is an
anti-slavery tune like none I've never heard. Only a black man could've
written such an insightful song.
I don't think I have to remind y'alls that today, the situation in our
world is worse than ever. People are starving in third world countries,
corporations still exist, and there is a war going on in the middle
east. Needless to say, we could darn well use a few more independent
artists like Rage who aren't selling themselves to the highest bidder
and putting money into the coffers of MTV and the big name record
companies (AKA "The Machine).
Let's just say that I'd be in-RAGE if someone took this album from me,
no pun intended!
Most of you will probably recognize 3 Doors Down from their
international Megahit "Superman". But what you probably DON'T
know is that they went on making music afterwards, and that all of it
was pretty darn good. Most uneducated listeners dismissed 3 Doors as a
"Shitty One Hit Wonder Machine" after Superman came out, but those who
stuck with the band for their next couple of albums were amply rewarded
for their loyalty, as 3 Doors has been able to hone their reputation as
the "Southern, Darker Version of Matchbox 20" to a razor's edge.
So it should come as no surprise to you that "Seventeen Days" is an
outright masterpiece. This, ladies and gentlemen, is a rock and roll
Opus that puts the likes of Van Halen & ZZ Top to shame. This is an
album for adults who love music. There are no self-indigent guitar
solos here. No catchy melodies, or dopey singalong choruses. This is
pure, adulterated, 100 proof rock and roll sludge at it's finest.
The sadness of sitting alone in a smokey Wisconsin bar, nursing a lime
budweiser while contemplating the roofie-ing of that 23-year-old
softball chick with the faint mustache and the dirty blonde hair,
distilled down to 44 minutes and 9 seconds of cosmically orgasmic
This, my friends...is rock and roll.
Rock on everybody. And stay safe out there.