To start with the latter: the first four albums are stone cold classics, if you’re into that kind of melodic, nearly-hair metal with silly lyrics about strange, foolishrock and rolldragons who dream of dark rainbows. In the the nineties they were kinda lost for a bit (grunge was a thing, sadly), but at the turn of the century there was a return to form, but it wasn’t as fun as before.
(Years later, the Mob Rules line-up reunited and toured as Heaven and Hell, and made a pretty good album as well. I saw their show at the 2007 Fields of Rock festival, and it was fist-pumping, horns-throwingly ace.)
Day 24: a song by a band you wish were still together.
I only saw Skik live once, and that was long before I really started to like them. Since then, their singer / songwriter Daniël Lohues has completely won me over with his solo work. While I don’t really miss them, I would have liked to see them knowing their music as I do now. That would have been something.
“Alles gaat voorbij” is not quite a typical song within their oeuvre — it’s rather sparse, with its seemingly programmed drums and that keyboard thing I don’t recognize but want to call a clavinet — but then again, they never really had a specific style. Throughout their career they went from punkish short songs to orchestrated ballads, and from surf– or Beatles-inspired tunes to some country-tinted folky stuff. Plus some blues rock, for good measure.
Day 23: a song that you think everybody should listen to.
Without contest, everybody needs to hear the latest Jim Steinman classic, “What Part of My Body Hurts the Most”. Ever since I first heard a bootlegged recording back in 2005 or so (not actually the one behind that link, but you get the idea), I knew this was going to be a classic. I my head, I could hear Meat Loaf nailing it, I could hear the arrangement, the piano and pounding drums — every little thing. And then it didn’t happen. There have been several sanctionedlive versions and tributes, but no official release. Until last year, when it appeared in Bat Out of Hell The Musical. As there is no official digital release of the cast recording, I cannot offer Rob Fowler and Sharon Sexton’s final version, so a bootlegged promo mix is the best I can do.
Love this song. It’s short (hi John!), currently topical again, and it has a sense of humor to it. If you look at the verses, they pull no punches:
And then the chorus pays off:
The world is going to hell in a handbasket, we as concerned individuals may bust our asses trying to make something of it, but hey, whatyagonnado? And this is just a punk rock song that ain’t gonna change the world either.
I also love how in the video singer Greg Graffin looks just like your dad (ymmv) trying to be cool, rocking out in his red dad-sweater. This becomes even more apparent when you look at a couple of live versions back to back. (1996, 1998, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017)
My favorite among them is Opeth’s “Face of Melinda”. It starts of slow and nice and calm and acoustic, and then develops into this heavy thing. Not as heavy as what comes next (that chorus!), but still, pretty heavy for what started out as a folky ballad. Mikael Åkerfeldt also saves one of his best lines for last.