It never ceases to amaze me how the more things seemingly try to change in music, the more they actually stay the same. Cases in point? With sincerest apologies to James Murphy and his LCD Soundsystem crew, Guns N’ Roses are the big band reunion in 2016, 25 years following the release of their landmark Use Your Illusion I & II. For those not old enough to remember, they were sold as separate entities; I would know, as I had to spend double my allowance on cassette versions!
First world problems of the time aside, headbangers’ delights such as Use Your Illusion and The Black Album from current day vinyl ambassadors Metallica were last-gasp, bombastic productions of the once-decadent California glam scene, that is before it was unceremoniously kicked to the curb by the surging sub-genre the moody kids called grunge, which would eventually merge into the catchall simply known as alternative rock.
A half century later, I’ll still whine to anyone who will lend an ear about the missed opportunity that was Red Hot Chili Peppers’ raucous Blood Sugar Sex Magik tour stop in Toronto. Who opened, you may ask? Only Pearl Jam and The Smashing Pumpkins, and later Nirvana as they were riding their own wave of momentum straight to mainstream acceptance.
I could go on and on – and will when I get a book deal – but I thought it would be fun to try to settle an age-old score. So without further ado, I implore music fans of all generations to give this silvery anniversary playlist I’ve curated a listen and vote on which is The Bomb. (Sorry, that’s a term we used back in the ’90s.) Will it be the Hard Rock/Metal “A-Side”, or the Grunge/Alternative-leaning “B-Side”. No real prizes, but it’ll beat having to shell out big bucks for only three fifths of #GnFnR!
A-SIDE [Hard Rock / Metal]
- Alice Cooper – Hey Stoopid
- Anthrax – Bring the Noise
- Guns N’ Roses – Civil War
- Metallica – Enter Sandman
- Motörhead – Going to Brazil
- Mötley Crüe – Primal Scream
- Overkill -Coma
- Ozzy Osbourne – I Don’t Want to Change the World
- Saxon – Solid Ball of Rock
- Sepultura – Arise
- Skid Row – Monkey Business
- The Cult – Wonderland
- Van Halen – Right Now
B-SIDE [Grunge / Alternative Rock ]
- Fishbone – Everyday Sunshine
- Hole – Garbage Man
- Lenny Kravitz – Always on the Run
- Mud honey – Good Enough
- Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
- Pearl Jam – Alive
- Primus – Jerry Was a Race Car Driver
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – Suck My Kiss
- Screaming Trees – Bed of Roses
- Soundgarden – Outshined
- Temple of the Dog – Hunger Strike
- The Smashing Pumpkins – Siva