I’ve been thinking and trying to write about this for a long time. Take this as you will.
I discovered this band from the soundtrack of Judgment Night – one my favorite compilation albums of all time. The teenage me sorta liked the movie. But the soundtrack is the best. Metal and Hip Hop acts together on one song each. From the first song – “Knives“ to “Turn” (with reference to David Bowie) to “Femtex”, it was all great.
Heard them from a radio show called “Not Radio” during the early ’90s. They play music that don’t get much attention from where I am like Soundgarden and the Beastie Boys. And MTV Asia was just starting out and Headbangers Ball would always play “Unsung“. Also, they were on Judgement Night as well.
I first heard this group around 1991, I think. From Not Radio again. It was their song “Youth Against Fascism” with Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi). Then “100%” and “Kool Thing” from the same radio program. And I love them all. So when I heard “Bull in the Heather“, I knew I need to buy that album. “Self Obsessed and Sexxee” was an added bonus too.
I can’t remember if I first heard “Head Like A Hole” on Headbangers Ball (yes, they played NIN) or, again, Not Radio. I love that show. And they also played the last track from the same album, “Pretty Hate Machine“. So when I found out there was going to be a sophomore album, I was in a record shop almost everyday. One day during one of my visits, I asked two salesladies if they have it (Nine Inch Nails). They said no. Just as soon as they said that, I saw right before me a cassette (yes, cassette) bearing the logo of NIN. So I said “There it is!”.
And one of the salesladies said “Oh! There it is! ZIZ!”. 🙂
Nirvana – Nevermind
During the very early 90s I worked as a store crew at Coney Islands – a ice cream shop turned into a burger joint/ice cream place.
Adjacent to it is a record bar called Odyssey. I always saw Nirvana’s “Nevermind” album but I never thought of buying it because I don’t know their music. Not until I saw their video on Top 10, I think. And everyday when I was out, I’d hurry home just to catch a glimpse of them performing “Smells Like Teen Spirit“, which was number one. This was of course before YouTube. The next time I was in Odyssey, I finally got my own copy.
Soundgarden – Badmotorfinger
I learned about this band thru Guitar World magazine. It was during the start of the “grunge” era. I bought it because of the interview with Nirvana primarily, and also because of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden of course. But our lead guitar player already has “Louder Than Love” and he let me borrow it but I didn’t like it that much upon the first few listens. I was into thrash metal during that time, I guess. I keep searching for the solos which Kim Thayil didn’t deliver. But I purchased Badmotorfinger and I can’t recall exactly why. Is it because I heard “Rusty Cage” on Headbangers Ball? Or “Outshined“? Is it because I have the tablature with me? Whatever the reason, I thank I did because it is one of my favorite albums that I heard my whole life.
Alice in Chains – Dirt
Alice in Chains. How did I start listening to this group? I really couldn’t recall. All I know is they have two amazing albums that I listened to. I remember I wanted to buy “Dirt” but all the record bar has was “Facelift”. Which was and is a great album. But I want my own copy of “Would?” and “Down In A Hole“. Luckily for me, but not the band, I have a college classmate who had both albums on CD and I made him record it on two blank tapes. This was way before CD writers. And I still have those tapes with me. Maybe I should listen to those again tomorrow.
And look at them! Don’t they all look cool? Jerry Cantrell is still one of my heroes to this day. And Layne Staley in the movie “Singles” looks badass! (As of this writing we celebrate your 50th birthday.)
This band is one of the best groups I heard of in my life. Well, their first three albums were the best. I never listened to them again starting from “No Code”. Well, that is ’til two years ago when I started going to their discography again. And is has been a lovely ride once more. I guess I was getting into more electronic music when Code was resealed. But “Ten” I still listen to until now. I still remember buying the cassette. Which I lost recently. But my wife gave me the “Ten Redux” record for my birthday last year.
Upon my first listen, I thought that I’ll still love the original mix. How wrong was I. The new one was the better one. I guess that Kurt Cobain still influenced them after all these years.
And I will forever remember watching them perform here in Manila during their “Vitalogy” tour.
The ultimate goth album. At least for me. I first heard this band from 120 Minutes when they played “Peep Show”. I guess they always play that song when it was released. When I saw a cassette copy in some record bar – I forgot the name of it – I of course bought one. And every time I’m in that record bar and I see some other copy, it still makes me wanna buy it again.
Low Pop Suicide – On The Cross Of Commerce
I first saw this cassette at Odyssey in SM Carpark.
I was really attracted to the cover. As soon as I turned in over to the back side, I saw Dave Rave Ogilvie (Dave Alien) as producer. The next time I had money, I came back for it even though I don’t know the kind of music they play. And hearing it was good. Great even.
Reading the liner notes I learned that the members were a who’s who (Dave Allen of Gang of Four, Jeff Ward of Nine Inch Nails/Ministry) of rock music. For me at least. That’s one of the most awesome for me as a listener of albums. I get to decide what to buy without hearing the band beforehand. Just looking at the cover…reading who was involved with production…the record label or company…so on and so fourth…
Killing Joke – Pandemonium
This is the first proper album by this band I have heard. First track I’ve heard from them is “The Wait” but is wasn’t performed by this band but by Metallica, as you might have guessed. I didn’t even know it was a cover. Actually, it was the first time I’ve heard of Metallica whos which EP was bought by my friend over at High Adventure. It turns out is was an EP of covers. It was pirated, of course, because thrash metal wasn’t very popular here.
But going back to Killing Joke. I bought “Pandemonium” at a shop in Greenhills together with NIN’s “Head Like a Hole/Sin” double single with remixes and, I think Stick – a 90s “grunge” band. As soon as I got home, I absorbed it right away. Favorite tracks are Pandemonium (the first track), Whiteout, and Millennium – which sound to me as a part two of The Wait.
I tried finding it on Spotify but that album is missing. I thought it wasn’t, according to them, one of their top performances. But it is their cover photo on their website. Go figure.
Where do I start with this band. There’s Butch Vig – the producer of one of the sought after albums during the 1990s. Actually, it’s sought after even right now. He started this group with his art-producer friends Duke and Steve. They tried finding a female lead vocalist who doesn’t sound like anyone else. Enter Scot Shirley Manson.
I remember always hearing Queer and Vow during the mid 90s. And playing Gran Turismo on PS One, I could have sworn it was them on the soundtrack. And it was. But what really got me was their track from the Japanese import, #1 Crush. With its obsession fueled stalker lyrics and superb drum beat. This album was and is a glorious bit of nostalgia.
Just like NIN, I couldn’t remember if I first heard this band on Headbangers Ball or Not Radio. Probably Headbangers. Anyway.
I think the first video I saw was “Thunder Kiss ’65”. I think. And what a beautiful video it is. Sci-fi-horror Americana with hotrod music to boot.
It sucks that I lost my tape of this. Maybe someday I can see this album on vinyl and I have enough money to buy it. Yeah! Keep dreaming.