Playlist: Rock Duets

Sometimes a duet is the best thing in the world. Other times, it’s a disaster. But it always leaves memorable stories. There’s something about two huge musicians getting together to create music that’s thrilling and exciting. Pop music is full of countless duets, but they don’t seem as popular for rock music. They certainly exist; they’re just not as abundant as they are in pop music. So let’s look at some of the most notable and popular duets in rock music. For the purpose of this playlist, a duet is a song where both artists have an equal amount of time on the track.

“Close My Eyes Forever” – Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne

This is probably the most famous rock duet. The song, which apparently came about as an accident according to Sharon Osbourne, was the third single for Lita Ford’s self-titled debut album. With sappy lyrics and a blazing guitar solo, it’s no different from the many power ballads of the era. Ozzy’s haunting vocals do add an eerie touch to the song, but it’s still pretty cheesy. Though I love Osbourne, I never liked this song. It’s too slow for my tastes and is just corny. Then again, I’d be hard press to find one power ballad from the 80s I actually like. Still, this single stands out as one of the most notable duets in rock music.

“Love Interruption” – Jack White and Ruby Amanfu

The music world went a little nuts when Jack White announced a solo album only a year after the White Stripes ended. The debut single “Love Interruption” wasn’t what people expected. There were no roaring riffs and White screaming over screeching guitars. Instead, the song is mellow, subdued, and a bit cynical. Though White could’ve easily carried the song himself, the addition of Amanfu’s smoky vocals adds an understated sensuality to the song. Something about her voice adds a raspy, soulful nature that would’ve been missing otherwise. I actually think it’s one of the strongest tracks from Blunderbuss and serves as a reminder love isn’t always pretty.

“Dancing in the Street” – Mick Jagger and David Bowie

Two of music’s iconic artists, what could go wrong? To be fair, the cover itself isn’t that bad. There’s nothing particularly special about it, but it’s fun at least. Yet, the music video will go down in infamy. It’s unbelievably bad. Jagger exaggerates everything from his facial expressions to his seizure inducing dance moves. Bowie remains cool though it looked like he left the house in some wild pajamas. And don’t forget the scene where Jagger chugs down a soda while Bowie sings. It’s probably one of the worst videos of the 80s. Hell, even Family Guy said it was the gayest music video in history. Thinking about it, there are moments where the two singers get a little too close for comfort.

“State of Shock” – Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger

Mick Jagger shows up again for a better collaboration with Michael Jackson. Recorded for The Jackson’s album Victory, the song is a raucous and kind of spastic team up with the rocker. The song was originally meant to be a duet with Freddie Mercury for the Thriller album, but scheduling conflicts kept the two from working together. Jagger was called instead and it ended up being his biggest hit away from The Rolling Stones. It’s one of those unexpected hits from Jackson’s catalog, but it’s one of the finest examples of pop and rock colliding. Later on, Jackson said he Jagger sang off key, while Jagger called Jackson “lightweight.” Anyone else think the Freddie Mercury version would’ve been epic?

“Good Times” – INXS and Jimmy Barnes

When two talented vocalists come together, they often try to outshine each other. That’s not the case here. For their contribution to The Lost Boys soundtrack, INXS teamed up with singer/songwriter Jimmy Barnes on this cover of The Easybeats song. Michael Hutchences’ smoldering vocals pair exceptionally well with Barnes’ bluesy, rock-tinged voice. They actually work together to give listeners a thrilling experience. The two sharing vocal duties along with the high energy music supporting them, it’s everything you want a good rock rolling song to be. It has a similar good time vibe as Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll.” Listening to Barnes’ vocals, you have to admit it’s reminiscent of rockers, like Robert Plant.

“Hunger Strike” – Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog started as a way for Chris Cornell and members of Pearl Jam to deal with the death of Mother Love Bone frontman Andrew Wood. Their debut album did exceptionally well with this song being their biggest hit single. The track features Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder on vocal duties. When two of grunge’s most notable and talented vocalists get together for a song, you know it’s going to be good. And that’s exactly what you get with this powerful, emotionally driven tune. Both artists get time to share their unique vocal styles, Vedder being gruff and raspy and Cornell’s higher range. It results in a song that’s beautiful and haunting.

“Stand by Your Man” – Wendy O. Williams and Lemmy Kilmister

Ever wonder what it would sound like if two punks ripped apart the Tammy Wynette classic “Stand By your Man?” That’s what Wendy O. Williams and Lemmy Kilmister for a single in 1982. The song is almost unrecognizable with gritty, blazing guitars making a ruckus while the two scream out the lyrics over the noise. Oddly enough, it works. It’s one of those weird covers you would never expect two rock legends to even consider. They breathe new sinister life into the country classic that makes you want to head bang. O. Williams and Kilmister teamed up again for “Jailbait,” which appeared on the Plasmatics album Kommander of Kaos. Listening to these two, it’s clear they were truly one of a kind.

“I Ain’t No Nice Guy” – Motorhead and Ozzy Osbourne

When two of hard rock’s most iconic and legendary figures team up, you expect something epic beyond belief. That’s not the result of this duet featuring Lemmy Kilmister and the Prince of Darkness. Rather than getting together for a kickass track that would melt your face off, the two sing a ballad instead. It’s a slow, somber song made for radio airplay. It actually became a huge hit for Motorhead’s tenth album March or Die. It’s a decent song and features a slow burning solo from guitar hero Slash, but it won’t hit that sweet spot for most metalheads. It’s just so unexpected for the rockers. What’s even more surprising is seeing Ozzy with a five o’clock shadow in the video. Yikes.

“A Tout Le Monde” – Megadeth and Christina Scabbia

This song originally appeared on Megadeth’s sixth album Youthanasia and quickly became a staple for the band. At the time of its release, it garnered controversy for its music video. MTV banned it claiming it promoted suicide, which Dave Mustaine was quick to dismiss. The band re-recorded the song in 2007 for the album United Abominations with Christina Scabbia of Lacuna Coil. Aside from some slight alterations, like a faster pace, there;s not much difference aside from Scabbia singing an entire verse showing off her vocal chops. The song keeps its sentimentality intact along with its hard hitting sound and slightly aggressive mood. Many may prefer the original, but this re-recording is a great blend of old school and new school.

“Walk This Way” – Run DMC and Aerosmith

These days the world of rock and rap often combine for both awesome and questionable results. But back in the 80s, the two were seen as exclusive genres that should never cross paths. Run DMC and Aerosmith broke that barrier with this duet. When it was released in 1986 it blew everyone’s collective minds. Not only did Run DMC cover this classic rock track, they even got Steven Tyler and Joe Perry to join them. The song is still amazing to this day and remains one of the best mash-ups ever. It, of course, would go on to inspire other rock/rap collabs, such as Jay-z and Linkin Park (remember when that was a thing?)

“The One You Love to Hate” – Rob Halford and Bruce Dickinson

Two heavy metal giants, both who are considered the best vocalists in the genre, team up for this roaring track. Recorded for Halford’s debut album Ressurection, the song features Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson on vocals. You’d expect to be beyond amazing and the most bad ass thing you’ve ever heard. In reality, it’s okay. It feels more like a Dickinson track since his voice overpowers everything and Halford is stuck on back up duty. It’s a pretty standard metal song with soaring vocals, blazing guitars and a lot of aggression. It’s not bad; just not very remarkable.

“Don’t Fear the Reaper” – HIM and Sanna-June Hyde

On HIM’s debut album, the band provided a haunting rendition of the Blue Oyster Cult classic. This version brings out all the darkness and grim view that’s implied in the lyrics. And frontman Ville Valo’s baritone vocals provide are a perfect match. Adding some brightness to the track is Finnish actor Sanna-June Hyde. She provided guest vocals for this track and “For You” early in her career. She’s not necessarily the best singer but her voice surprisingly well with Valo’s. There’s also something eerie about their voices. Still one of the best covers of this song.

“Under Pressure” – Queen and David Bowie

The thought of Queen and David Bowie doing a song together sounds like a dream. This amazing collaboration resulted in one of the best songs of the 80s. It’s an undeniable classic; pairing Bowie’s mellow vocals with Freddie Mercury’s dramatic bravado leads to a beautiful sonic experience. And try not to get chills during the bridge when Mercury pleads “Why can’t we give love/give love/give love?” The song became a huge hit for both artists and remains their most notable. Of course, the riff would be stolen by Vanilla Ice in the 90s, who claimed it wasn’t the same song.

Which is your favorite rock duet? Which ones did I miss? Let me know in the comments!


Top 10 Songs About Other Musicians

Even though musicians are famous, have tons of fans, and perform across the world it doesn’t mean they can’t fan out from time to time. Musicians aren’t afraid to address each other in song. Sometimes it comes from a place of love or an homage to someone they admire. Other times, it can be kind of ugly, a snarky tune dedicated to someone they don’t care for. The songs can be obvious and other times the dedication is well hidden. There are too many songs about other musicians to name, so here are ten of the most notable songs about other musicians.

10. “Obsessed” – Mariah Carey

Ever since his third album, The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem claimed that he and Mariah Carey were once an item. But aside from dropping her name in a few songs, neither one have commented further on the supposed relationship. When her name appeared again on “Bagpipes from Baghdad” with the rapper calling out her then-husband, Nick Cannon,Carey decided she had enough. She wrote this song in responsive to the rapper’s claims calling them false, saying he’s obsessed with her, and that he’s delusional. And to make things even clearer, Carey plays an unnamed rapper in the video chasing after…herself. Of course, Eminem didn’t take this lightly and released his own response titled “The Warning.” What’s even more strange than the situation is thought of Eminem and Mariah Carey dating in the first place.

9. “Michael, You’ve Got a Lot to Answer For” – Duran Duran

The Michael in question here is INXS’ Michael Hutchence. The song kinds sound of somber, especially with the singer’s death, but it didn’t start out that way. The song is actually about Simon LeBon’s friendship with Hutchence. In an interview with Q Magazine, LeBon says the song is about Hutchence being “a naughty boy” in France and London. He apparently did so many substances LeBon couldn’t keep up. The song was released a month before Hutchence died on November 22, 1997. It’s sad that an ode to friendship took on a sad meaning not shortly after it was released.

8. “Tunic (A Song for Karen)” – Sonic Youth

Karen Carpenter, singer, and drummer for The Carpenters, tragically died in 1983 due to complications from anorexia nervosa. Sonic Youth’s Kim Gordon wrote this song years later trying to put herself in the late singer’s shoes. The frenetic guitars and the memorable hook of “You are never going anywhere” don’t exactly mask the dark connotations of this song. There are references to Karen’s eating disorder and lines about losing who you are. There’s even a verse where Gordon imagines the singer up in heaven, happy, and playing drums again. When asked about the song 20 years later, Gordon said “I was trying to put myself into Karen’s body. It was like she had so little control over her life, like a teenager – they have so little control over what’s happening to them that one way they can get it is through what they eat or don’t. Also, I think she lost her identity, it got smaller and smaller. And there have been times when I feel I’ve lost mine.” It’s a tribute to the singer that catches you off guard since it’s not sappy or sad.

7. “Dude Looks Like a Lady” – Aerosmith

Probably best remembered for its use in Mrs. Doubtfire, this song talks about an androgynous guy who is mistaken for a woman. Looking at the lyrics it doesn’t seem Steven Tyler minds all that much saying “you may be wrong/but you know it’s alright” and he even does a little cross-dressing of his own in the video. The origin story for the song changes depending on the source: Tyler says the song came from hearing Motley Crue saying “Dude!” all the time. Vince Neil says the song was inspired by a New York bar where the waiters dress in women’s clothing. But Nikki Sixx says the song is actually about Tyler mistaking Vince Neil for a woman in a bar. It’s wasn’t hard to do; did you see the way he dressed in the 80’s? It doesn’t really matter how the song came about because it’s an Aerosmith classic. Though I prefer to believe it’s about Vince Neil; it’s funnier that way.

6. “Tearjerker” – Red Hot Chili Peppers

Many songs were written about Kurt Cobain after his shocking death. The Chili Peppers added their contribution with this track from their sixth album One Hot Minute. It’s a ballad where Anthony Kiedis sings about his reaction to Kurt’s death and what he liked so much about the singer. With lines like “I liked your whiskers/I liked the dimple in your chin/your pale blue eyes” and “you never knew this/but I wanted badly for you to/requite my love” it’s more like a love song to Cobain. Though the two worked together on an MTV special, they weren’t all that close. But Kiedis explains Kurt was someone everyone felt close to. “I don’t know why everyone on earth felt so close to that guy; he was beloved and endearing and inoffensive in some weird way. For all of his screaming and all of his darkness, he was just lovable.” It’s a sweet song that’ll make Nirvana fans smile.

5. “Cry Me a River” – Justin Timberlake

Though Timberlake has denied it since the song’s release, we all know this song is about his ex-Britney Spears. The basis of the song is a bad break up and pretty much not giving a shit about the person. It also makes several references to infidelity, which is what apparently ended the pair’s relationship. And to top things off, Timberlake’s lover in the video looks like Spears. Anyone who saw the video pretty much knew who he was talking about. The singer finally admitted in 2011 that he wrote the song after the two had an argument. So even if the song isn’t a direct attack on Britney Spears, she was still an inspiration. The break up was nasty, but maybe now he can thank her since it gave him one of his biggest songs to date.

4. “Suicide Blonde” – INXS

INXS frontman Michael Hutchence was known as a playboy in the 80s, but his most infamous relationship was with Kylie Minogue, you know the one responsible for that song. Rumor has it the Aussie singer inspired Hutchence to write the song since she dyed her hair blonde for a role in the film The Delinquents. Neither one ever confirmed the song’s origin, but with lyrics about a red hot lover who has men landing at her feet, it makes a lot of sense. Only Hutchence knows the true significance. Either way, it ended up being an INXS classic and has that sexy flair only Michael Hutchence could pull off so flawlessly.

3. “I’ll Stick Around” – Foo Fighters

Though Dave Grohl wrote a beautiful and touching song about Kurt Cobain called “Friend of a Friend” that deserves to be mentioned, his song attacking Cobain’s widow Courtney Love, gets him on the list. It’s a fan favorite and many picked up that Grohl was attacking someone. With lines like “I don’t owe you anything” there was speculation it was about Cobain. Grohl finally admitted in 2009 it was actually about Courtney Love, which you can see in lines like “how could it be/I’m the only one who sees/your rehearsed insanity.” He sings about how he regrets letting her and Cobain hook up and that he can see through her deceptiveness. It’s a hate filled song of the best kind, but it seems Grohl has forgiven Love in later years. The two made amends at the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Grohl wouldn’t be the only artist to blast Love on a track; Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” is about the Hole singer as well.

2. “Ms. Jackson” – Outkast

“Ms. Jackson” is the best song by Outkast with sick flows and a memorable hook you’re still singing to this day. The duo sings about “Ms. Jackson” who doesn’t approve of her daughter’s relationship with a guy and when they end up having a baby, it only makes things worse. Turns out, the song is based on true events. Andre 3000 dated Erykah Badu and the two ended up having a child out of wedlock to the disapproval of her mother. 3000 said he felt he never got to explain his side of the story and didn’t like being kept out of his kid’s life on purpose. As a way of reaching out to her mother, he wrote this song to apologize and say how much he wanted to be a part of his kid’s life. Badu’s mother loved it and hopefully it patched up their relationship. Hearing so much truth put into this song makes it even more appealing and it’s still a hit 16 years after its release. Wait, really? Now I feel old.

1. “Say Hello 2 Heaven” – Temple of the Dog

In March 1990, Andrew Wood, frontman of Mulfunkshun and Mother Love Bone, died of a drug overdose. Chris Cornell, Wood’s friend, and roommate took the news hard. Soundgarden were touring Europe at the time of his death and feeling like he had no one to talk to, wrote two songs: “Reach Down” and “Say Hello 2 Heaven.” Instead of putting it on a Soundgarden album, Cornell teamed up with most of Pearl Jam and formed Temple of the Dog in his honor. “Say Hello 2 Heaven” is a tribute to Wood where Cornell deals with his grief and even makes a reference to not knowing the demons his friend was dealing with. It’s a powerful song where Cornell let’s his insane vocal range fly near the song’s end. Wood’s death didn’t only affect Cornell. It also had an effect on Alice in Chains, who wrote the song “Would?” about him along with others in the grunge scene that tragically passed. It’s sad to think Layne Staley would meet a similar fate 10 years later.

Honorable Mention:

“Starfuckers Inc.” – Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor hates celebrities and pop culture. He makes this clear in this single from The Fragile. Being one of Reznor’s heaviest and aggressive songs, it takes the piss out the vanity and shallow commercialization of fame. It even makes a reference to Carly Simon’s famous song “You’re So Vain.” But rumor has it the song is actually about Marilyn Manson. Reznor had a falling out with Manson twice, though Manson does appear in the song’s video. Others say it’s about Courtney Love. Reznor hasn’t confirmed or denied the rumors, so the track ends up getting an honorable mention. It’s just too biting and sassy to leave off.

There are more than ten songs about musicians, so which ones did I miss? Which ones are your favorites? Let me know in the comments!

Top 12 Musician Food Products You Didn’t Know Existed

It’s Thanksgiving, a time for good food and frivolous arguments with your family. It’s the time for people to come together and chow down on good grub. Some musicians go the extra mile and provide some of the food on the table. There are stories of weird band merch, like coffins and dildos, but these food products might be the weirdest yet. Here are 12 artists with their own food lines that run from strange to downright bizzare.

12. Cheese by Alex James

What’s the first thing you do when your band is selling millions of albums? Make cheese. At least that’s what Blur’s Alex James did. Even though the idea sounds strange, he’s actually really good at it. He produces several award winning artisan cheeses along with everyday cheeses stocked in British grocery stores. Unlike many of the products on this list, this one is pretty well respected. At least it doesn’t sound like a bad marketing ploy. Rather, it seems like James likes making cheese. Guess he’s gotta do something when he’s not making music.

11. New Kids on the Block Cereal

This is one of those things that could only exist in the ’90s. NKOTB were so popular the Ralston company thought it was a good idea to make a cereal based on them. If fans were willing to buy sheets, board games, and t-shirts with their faces plastered all over them why should this be any different? Well, it seems the fans were smarter than they thought. Even though some sample boxes were produced, it was never released to the public. Yet their cartoon series somehow was greenlit.

10. GWAR-B-Q sauce

Everything about this band is a little ridiculous from their goblin identities to their albums with such titles as This Toilet Earth. Every summer they hold a barbecue event with food and a show, so it was only a matter time before they released their own BBQ sauce. Who wouldn’t want to slather their sandwiches in a sauce that’s self described as being made from “the blood of really hot chicks.” It actually sounds like it might be good, all except for the blood part.

9. So Much Hot Sauce

While doing research for this list I learned one thing: there’s a lot of celebrity hot sauce out there. There are hundreds of hot sauces with musician’s name on it. Why? You could say because hot sauce is good, but I think it’s because it’s easy to make and easy to market, which means more money for said musician. As I said, there are lots out there, but the most bizarre brands come from the Misfits, Gringo Bandito by Dexter Holland (The Offspring), Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Patti LaBelle, and revered guitarist Zakk Wylde, which features images of Satan and the Grim Reaper, so you know it’s bad ass. While most of them have pretty decent reviews, the idea of musicians having their own hot sauce is ridiculous. What’s next their own ice cream? Oh.

8. Too Many Liquors to List

Just like with hot sauce, it seems to be fairly easy for an artist to slap their name on a bottle of liquor. A quick Google search will return more results than you can count. Some of the weirdest come from the likes of Justin Timberlake (901 Tequila), Marilyn Manson (Mansinthe), Ludacris (Conjure Cognac), Pharrell (Qream Liqueur), and Sammy Hagar (Beach Bar Rum). ’80s metal band Whitesnake even have their own wine, Zinfadel. There are plenty more out there and the thought is almost as ridiculous as celebrity perfumes. What does this tell us? Creating music is hard and requires you to get blitzed.

7. Hanson Beer

In case you haven’t heard the news, Hanson is still making music. But when they aren’t touring or taking care of their enormous amount of kids they’re making beer. What’s even better? It’s called MmmHops. I’m pretty sure they only made the beer as an excuse to use that pun (it is pretty great). It’s clear the guys aren’t taking themselves too seriously with this product. The bottle even says “From the guys who made Mmmbop.” Taylor Hanson admits the whole concept started as a joke. Since the band are aware of how ridiculous the whole thing is you can’t hate them for it. Plus, they have a whole line of outrageous merch from clothespins and aprons to cookie cutters and even a Monopoly Board game, just in time for the holidays.

6. Nelly’s Pimpjuice

Nelly was one of the most popular rappers in the mid-2000’s. In 2003, he released the single “Pimp Juice.” The song saw it’s share of success and controversy for glorifying prostitution. How do you celebrate a song that caused so many debates? Make a fucking beverage named after it. The Filmore Brewery Street company thought this was a wise idea and did just that the same year. To no one’s surprise, people raised a fuss again saying it glorified prostitution. Nelly responded to the backlash by saying “Pimp Juice is anything that attracts the opposite sex; it could be money, fame, or straight intellect; it don’t matter! Pimp Juice is color blind; you find it works on all colors, creeds and kinds; from ages 50 right down to nine.” People weren’t keen on selling anything with the word “pimp” on it to their kids and now the drink is only available overseas.

5. Marky Ramone’s Pasta Sauce

He was once a part of an iconic punk rock group that’s still an inspiration to millions of musicians. When he departed the band in 1996 he decided the best way to ensure his legacy was creating pasta sauce. How do you go from legendary punk band to pasta sauce? You can tell this sauce is punk rock because the black and white label shows Marky playing the drums. That means it’s edgy. According to the low budget commercial, this is something he threw together, but never bothers to let us know what’s in the sauce. But if you’re dying to know what rock n roll sauce tastes likes you can get a case now for only $88. You can also get some Marky Ramone cookies for desert. Dinner is served.

4. Frozen Meals by Dwight Yoakam

Dwight Yoakam is an established singer-songwriter mostly known for his country music. He’s a respected artist with over 30 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. So it’s baffling to learn he has his own line of frozen appetizers. You can choose from Chicken Lickin’ chicken fries, Chicken Lickin’s pizza fries, and even Take Em’s poppers. With so many frozen food choices to choose from why would anyone go for these? For novelty? Or for the ultimate Yoakam fan? Either way it’s definitely one of the most bizarre pieces of music merch.

3. Rap Snacks

Apparently, the rap world didn’t want to be left behind on the food market. These chips have actually been around since the mid-90’s and feature notable along with new rappers on their bags. Yes, it looks , just as stupid as it sounds. Some of the rappers featured are Lil’ Romeo, who bought the company in 2007, Yung Joc, Master P, Warren G, and Old Dirty Bastard because he is obviously the face of sour cream and onion chips. Creator James “Fly” Lindsay said he felt a socially conscious message was missing from rap during a 2002 interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer. His solution was making these chips, which made a whole lot of fucking sense to Universal Music Group, who signed a deal with Lindsay. It’s unclear whether or not the company is still active, but you can find these glorious things for yourself online.

2. Smokey Robinson Microwavable Meals

For some reason soul crooner Smokey Robinson has a food line. Maybe it’s because his name makes him sound like a good BBQ chef. Either way it’s bizarre. What’s even weirder are the gumbo bowls his company makes. They’re microwavable meals that feature the creepiest looking picture of Robinson. I didn’t think he could look anymore plastic than he normally does, yet I’m proven wrong. The bowls advertise gumbo made with shrimp, chicken sausage, and crab. Sounds pretty normal until you learn Robinson has been a vegetarian since the ’70s. Even worse, the product was only launched to correlate with his gospel album Food for the Spirit. I know record labels are desperate to sell albums, but this isn’t the way to go.

1. KISS….Just KISS

Considering this is the band that has no shame when it comes to putting their mugs on anything and everything, it’s no surprise to find them here. KISS has dabbled in the food on several different occasions all with eye rolling results. The first was KISS Krunch, “the sweet, crunchy, rice cereal.” What’s shocking is enough people bought them for more to be released in different flavors. I’ll admit the free record that comes with it is a cool idea. Next is KISS Destroyer Beer. This drink is only available overseas and judging from consumer reviews it’s not very good. The band also has a brand of wine that’s just as ridiculous. Finally, there’s KISS Hotter than Hell ketchup and it comes in three flavors. It may be good, but you have question who would actually buy this stuff? On second thought, maybe I don’t want to know.

Happy Thanksgiving guys! Enjoy your food….as long as it’s not any of these products.

The Beavis and Butthead Experience

 Release Year: 1993

Rating: 6/10

Ah, Beavis and Butthead. You either grew up with these slacker teens in the 90’s, fell in love with their irrelevant humor just last year, or you just don’t get them. Either way they were the biggest TV stars back in the day. Any and all merchandise was made with their faces on it: shirts, mugs, toys, video games, and an album. Now when you think about this show having an album it doesn’t seem that far fetched. After all, they do sit around talking about music most of the time, but after listening to this it’s pretty clear that this was released to cash in on the duo’s fame. Most of the songs are decent, but none of them are mind blowing or make this collection worth paying more than a dollar for.

The album opens with a faux rock concert introduction followed by the duo doing their best guitar impression. After that the Nirvana track “I Hate Myself and I Want to Die” begins. This is clearly what the makers of this album were banking on. At the time, this was a previously unreleased song by the band, so fans were dying to hear it. And while it’s pretty good, it’s not enough to make buying this album worth it. It has the same heavy distorted sound found on their last album In Utero, but lyrically it sounds like something that would be found on Incesticide. Because the lyrics are so weird and mostly refer to having a cold, I have no idea what this song is about. It’s interesting to hear, but not one of Nirvana’s best.

From there on the songs are pretty mediocre. There’s a decent cover of the Beastie Boys song “Looking Down the Barrel of a Gun” by Anthrax. They did a good job because even though I am not familiar with the song, it instantly made me think of the Beasties. It stays faithful to the original with a dash of metal. The Run-DMC track “Bounce” sounds like the rap group was trying too hard to keep up with the gangsta rap trend that was going on at this time and “Deuces Are Wild” by Aerosmith has to be one of their cheesiest songs. It sounds like a corny soft rock song you hear on “classic rock” radio stations. Even the White Zombie track “I Am Hell” is nothing to get excited about. Don’t get me wrong, it’s pretty good, but it’s typical for the band. There’s nothing that makes it stand out from their other songs. It’s as if there was a tight budget for this album, so they got the cheapest songs by big artists they could afford.

The two best tracks from this compilation comes from Megadeth and Primus. “99 Ways to Die” has to be one of the best Megadeth songs out there. It’s energetic, hard, heavy metal, and everything else you love about the band. There’s even some Spanish guitar influence tossed in during the bridge. It totally stands out from the rest of the song, but it works very well. Also, the vocals are awesome. I love the way it sounds like Dave Mustaine is slurring, yet spiting out the lyrics at the same time. The Primus song “Poetry and Prose” is a funny ode to Beavis and Butthead themselves. The music is weird and funky as is usual for the band. It actually reminds me of 60’s surf rock at times. The lyrics are all about this guy who loves to watch the show. It’s done so well that you won’t even realize it’s about the show until you pay attention to the lyrics.

One thing that’s really annoying about the album is the dialogue from Beavis and Butthead that’s played throughout the songs. These skits usually come before and after the songs, so it makes it really annoying when you just want to hear the song itself. Some of them are funny, but most of them are rehashed jokes from the show. It probably wouldn’t be that bad if the skits didn’t last so long, but some of them go on for three minutes before the song starts. Even the joke songs found here get tiring. The closing track “I Got You Babe,” a duet with Cher, is just confusing. The album is mostly filled with hard rock and it ends with a song from the 70’s. They try to give a rock makeover, but it just doesn’t work. Some may find the skits funny, but I guess I need the visual to go along with the audio. They just come off as annoying.

Overall, the album gets 6/10. Though the collection has some of the biggest artists at the time, it doesn’t make this album any better. Though the songs may be decent, but most of them are nothing special and certainly not good enough to make this something worth having. The skits between the shows are just annoying, rather than funny like they aim for and most of it are jokes we’ve heard before. Unless you’re a Beavis and Butthead collector, steer clear of this record. It’s just not worth it.

Top 15 Artists that Shouldn’t Have Video Games But Do

Just like when musicians decide to try their hand at acting, the same monstrosity happens when these same people decide making their own video game is a good idea. And I’m not talking about music games like Rock Band or Guitar Hero, but video games starring musicians. Now, no matter how much fun the game may or may not be, it’s always going to be bad. These 15 games prove that these people should stick with what they know best.

  1. Crue Ball- Motely Crue

This game isn’t that outrageous and it’s pretty fun, which is why it’s so low on the list. I just find it amazing that Motley Crue actually had a game, especially in the 90’s when they weren’t all that relevant. I actually had the chance to play this one and it’s your average pinball game. Maybe what saves it is how the band never makes an appearance. They do however have some of their songs, which sound like crap on the Genesis. It does have a vague rock n roll theme with skulls appearing every so often and there are tiles you have to knock over that spell out “Headbanger.” The sound is terrible, but this is still a game you can enjoy, especially if you like pinball.

  1. Nsync Hotline Fantasy Phone

This game is extra special because it comes with a purple phone that is not only your controller, but you can receive special messages from the guys themselves! You have to admit, for any young Nsync fan this was epic (I should know, I used to have it). It’s not really a surprise that this boy band had their own PC game, I mean they put their faces on everything to get their fans to spend money. The game is nothing but a bunch of mini games like bowling, dress up and trivia that of course feature the members of the band. This is a game that knows who their audience is and never tries to go beyond it. It’s pretty simple and pretty forgivable.

  1. Def Jam Vendetta

If there’s any group of artists who tried really hard to dominate video games it’s rappers (as you’ll see later on the list). This particular game is basic wrestling featuring your favorite rappers like Method Man, Redman, Ludacris, and DMX among many others. This seems like a ridiculous concept, but actually makes sense when you think about it. How many people do their best to recreate their favorite musicians in games with customization? Def Jam Vendetta just takes out the middle man. It was even so successful it spawned two sequels.

  1. Kiss Psycho Circus: The Nightmare Child

This game comes as no surprise seeing as Kiss whore themselves out for all sorts of merchandise, even coffins! They actually have a pinball game as well, but this one makes it because it’s a first person shooter that actually looks decent. Even the graphics didn’t look so bad. As far as I know the members don’t show up, but you do collect a lot of Kiss related power ups. It may be the most tolerable entry on the list.

  1. Bullet Proof- 50 Cent

In 2005, both GTA and the inspirational music of 50 Cent were everywhere and insanely popular. Fiddy decided to mix these two things together into one game that everyone would be sure to love. The result was Bulletproof. And how could you go wrong with a unique and compelling story? You play as CJ who is shot multiple times. He then makes it his mission to round up the rest of G-Unit and hunt down the perpetrators. So basically, you’re playing 50 Cent in a knock off GTA world. How it managed to spawn a sequel no one knows.

  1. Moonwalker- Michael Jackson

By now everyone knows about this game and reactions generally fall in two camps: it’s lambasted as an ego trip for the strange man or it’s a ridiculous game that’s a good time. Since I do own this game I fall in the latter camp. Yes, it’s ridiculous, even stupid at times. I mean, his weapon is sparkly dust out he shoots out of his foot when he kicks and he can make his enemies dance to death. But just like the movie of the same name, if taken at face value and if you ignore the story, you’ll have a good time. It’s one of those games that you play because the idea of it is so crazy and ridiculous.

  1. Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style

The Wu-Tang clan took their name a bit too seriously when it came to this release. Here you can play as every member of the group and fight your way around the dojo. That’s about it. More rappers, more fighting. I’m not sure why they thought they could get away with this and expect it to be successful. But maybe they didn’t. Maybe they just wanted to prove that they could and leave their mark on the video game world, no matter how bad it may be.

  1. Adventures of the Smart Patrol- Devo

Devo is a weird band and this game is no different. No one is sure what to even do in this game or what the objective is. But according to the band, the game is about a future that is in shambles and it’s your job to save it through maddening mini games and puzzles. I haven’t played it, but I can tell you it looks awful. The sound is terrible and you can hardly make out what anything is with the sub-par graphics. Also, look at the horrifying….thing on the cover. It’s apparently the turkey monkey, but it looks like the mother of those Quizno’s rat things. Who would see this on the cover and say “Yes, this is a game I want to spend money on.”

  1. Revolution X- Aerosmith

This is another game that most people are familiar with and the premise is save Aerosmith…and the world with music. Literally. You shoot CDs at the bad guys in yellow jump suits. Maybe they were predicting the end of the CD format. The game is nothing but a shoddy rail shooter, with Aerosmith making an occasional appearance. But there’s a bonus: if you manage to find all the band members you get a virtual performance at the end. Score!

  1. Ed Hunter- Iron Maiden

I don’t know why this metal band thought a PC game was a smart move in 1999, but you would think it might be epic considering who it’s coming from. Blood, war, invasion! But the game itself is a rail shooter with cheap 3D graphics that get repetitive really fast. It’s the quality you would expect from a free game you find in your cereal box. It was bashed by the reviewers who even bothered to play it as most ignored it and for good reason too.

  1. Spice World- Spice Girls

I’m gonna admit, if I knew this existed when I was 11, I would’ve bought it. But now after watching gameplay footage, I’m really glad I didn’t. First of all, the girls look like some failed clone of the Spice Girls. I don’t get why their heads are so big and their faces are so scrunched. They look diseased! That’s enough to put you off. In the game, you have to help the girls practice their dance moves and singing for their big TV appearance. All that means is you get to hear three Spice Girl songs while watching crappy footage of them. It shouldn’t even be classified as a game. Listen to the CD’s instead.

  1. Journey/Journey Escape

Apparently, Journey was so epic in the 80s that they got not one, but TWO games to their credit. The arcade game found you navigating each member through simple puzzles and mazes to get their instruments back. And yes the members really are digital bodies with big head photos of the members. Journey Escape let’s you play as each member also, but you’ll never know it since they don’t differentiate between them. Since this was released for the Atari 2600 the graphics aren’t that great, so it’s really sad that they’re so bad for this game. You’re not even sure what you’re looking at. Don’t forget you get to hear 8-bit versions of Journey classics that will make you hate the songs more than you already do.

  1. Prince Interactive

Yes, Prince released a game. What’s even worse is that it’s a point and click adventure similar to Myst, only it’s about how great The Artist is. You can even watch videos and interviews of other artists talking about how awesome Prince is. Yeah there are puzzles and mini games to play, but it never let’s you forget it’s all about Prince. My only question is who likes Prince enough to actually buy the game, let alone enjoy it?

  1. The Thompson Twins Adventure

Your first question is probably who are the Thompson Twins. The second would be why do they have a game. The Thompson Twins were a pop group from the 80’s that were actually pretty popular, but that doesn’t mean they should have their own game, especially one so confusing and awful as this. It’s an old school text adventure game that gives you no context or objective. You start off with the group at the beach asking you what to do. And if you’re not careful you’ll end up drowning them. I ended up killing them five times. I just want to know, who thought the Thompson Twins would be so memorable as to have their own game?

  1. Frankie: The Computer Game- Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Yes, that Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The same whose only hit single was “Relax.” I don’t understand why they have their own game. That’s like giving Vanilla Ice his own game because he was popular for five minutes in the 90’s. Unlike some of the games on the list, this one has a clear point: to reach the pleauredome…and solve a murder….and to make yourself a complete person. How do you this? Fill up the love, faith, whatever meters. For a one hit wonder, they made sure to make it as complex and stupid as they possibly could. As far as I know, the band doesn’t show up in the game, most likely because if they did no one would recognize who they are.

Bonus: Planet Michael

This is a planned MMORPG based on Michael Jackson that is supposed to be released this year. According to the developers, the game will take inspiration from his dance moves, visual style and his credo of non violence. That means there will be no fighting in the game. To me it sounds like a place for fans to gather, walk around and talk about how great Michael Jackson was. It’s also a breeding ground for Jackson haters to log in and torture MJ fans. Look, I’m a MJ fan, but this just sounds stupid, especially if they decide to charge you for it. I really hope this doesn’t happen.

Have you played any of these games? Which one is your favorite? Is there a game with your favorite artist that I missed? Let me know in the comments!