Ask 411 Music 6.14.12: Must Have Albums I
Posted by Ron Martin on 06.14.2012
What was Guns N' Roses' original lineup? Why is Pearl Jam's debut album called Ten? What rocker was asked to produce Appetite for Destruction? All this and more covered this week in Ask 411 Music!
It's been a crazy week here at the homestead and thanks for joining me for yet another week of adventure on the high seas…or in website format talking about music. I'm down for the high seas adventure if anybody knows someone – you know.
This week, due to a lack of questions, I'm going to veer off format for a bit. Instead of scouring the internet looking for questions to research, I'm just going to present what I think should be a couple of "must have" albums. I'll talk about some things about the albums that you might not have known and maybe reprint a question or two about the album/artist. Yeah, it's filler, but I just really don't want to have to come up with my own questions at the moment.
ROD ARGENT, founding member of THE ZOMBIES turns 67 years olds today…
ALAN WHITE, drummer of YES turns 63 years old today...
BOY GEORGE turns 51 today…
PORN STAR BIRTHDAY
IT CAME FROM MY IPOD
Last week I was complaining that it was a boring week and I was finding it hard to think of something to find five songs about. I won't do that again. To make sure I had something to scour my iPod for, the higher ups sent me to the Emergency Room for the first time in my life. It was not a pleasant experience and I don't wish to go there again. I got my first IV, my first ultrasound (no worries – I'm not pregnant) and the first time someone else that wasn't my mom had to deal with my urine. If nothing else, it gives me something to grab five songs from my iPod about. I am sure I will dig up five more once I get the bill for my three hour vacation.
1."Down With the Sickness" by Disturbed
2."Fever" by Aerosmith
3."King of Pain" by The Police
4."Metal Health" by Quiet Riot
5. "Virus Alert" by "Weird Al" Yankovic
Kind of time for…
First up on our "must have albums" World Tour…
What was the original lineup for Guns N Roses?
The group was originally formed out of two bands, THE LA GUNS and HOLLYWOOD ROSE. The original lineup consisted of AXL ROSE on vocals and IZZY STRADLIN on rhythm guitar from Hollywood Rose. LA Guns provided TRACII GUNS on lead guitar, OLE BEICH on bass and ROB GARDNER on drums. After only a handful of shows, DUFF MCKAGEN replaced Beich while SLASH came in to replace GUNS.
After an ill-conceived "tour" from Sacramento to Seattle, Gardner quit the band effectively eliminating all of the "Guns" from Guns N Roses. Slash called up STEVE ADLER, whom he played with alongside McKagen in ROAD CREW. This would provide us with the "classic" lineup. Though all the guns had been eliminated, the name Guns N Roses was kept because it sounds way cooler than the Rose Crew.
Appetite For Destruction
Appetite for Destruction was released in July 1987 and would eventually be in the discussion of greatest HEAVY METAL album of all time. While GLAM METAL was mainstream, bands like MEGADETH, METALLICA and ANTHRAX had amassed followings with hardcore metal. Of those bands, GUNS N ROSES broke through to the mainstream with Appetite, a 12 track masterpiece that has no weak spots at which to attack it from. Some things you may not have known about the album:
"Welcome to the Jungle" was not the first single released off the album
"Welcome to the Jungle," the band's breakthrough single, is commonly mistaken as the band's first single. The album's first single was actually "It's So Easy," the second track from the album. Released June 15, 1987, the song failed to go anywhere on the charts. "Welcome to the Jungle" was released in October and shot Guns N Roses onto the scene and the album up the charts.
The tattoo skulls of the band was not the original album cover artwork
The original artwork for the album was to be based on a painting by ROBERT WILLIAMS also called "Appetite for Destruction," which depicted a woman being raped by a robot. The album cover was controversial and many stores didn't want to stock the album because of it. To please the retailers, the artwork was moved to the inside cover and tattoo artist BILLY WHITE JR was paid to draw the tattoo skulls of the band that ended up being the classic cover of the album.
Geffen almost gave up on the album
As I mentioned earlier, the first single off the album failed to make a ripple on the charts. The album debuted at 182 and struggled to get to 20,000 albums sold. Geffen almost pulled the plug on promoting and advertising for the album to concentrate on GNR's sophomore effort. On the back of successful singles, "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O'Mine," and "Paradise City," the album would eventually reach #1 on two occasions in 1988 for a total of four weeks.
Several later GNR songs were considered for the album, but eventually left off
Can you imagine Appetite for Destruction sporting tracks like "November Rain" or "Don't Cry" shoved between "My Michelle" and "Think About You?" It would have completely killed the continuity of the album. These songs were of the epic journey type and while they fit the image of the band by the time the Use Your Illusion double album came out, there would have been completely out of place on the raw Appetite album. "You Could Be Mine" and "Back Off Bitch" were also considered for the album, but thankfully left off.
Nikki Sixx was asked to produce the album
Geffen needed someone to produce the album who could control the band and MOTLEY CRUE's NIKKI SIXX was approached. Sixx declined the offer several times. Of course, he was strung out on heroin at the time, so the quality of the work would have been questionable at best.
PEARL JAM wasn't the first GRUNGE band to hit the mainstream, but they were certainly an influential one in the movement. If there were a totem pole of grunge with the most influential band on top, I would say Pearl Jam is on the second rung just behind NIRVANA. Their debut album, Ten said "here we are," and can be compared to just about any other bands initial offering. Here's a few things that maybe you didn't know about Ten:
Ten doesn't mean the number of tracks on the album
Obviously. Anyone can look up the track listing for Ten and easily see 11 tracks on the album – and that doesn't include the not listed stuff. So why in the hell is album called Ten? As I mentioned in this column a couple of weeks ago, Pearl Jam started their life as a band under the name MOOKIE BLAYLOCK. After switching their name to Pearl Jam to avoid any lawsuits, the band decided to pay homage to their original band name by calling the album Ten -- which is Mookie Blaylock's jersey number.
Pearl Jam formed on the back of a heroin overdose by the lead singer of another band
Pearl Jam members JEFF AMENT and STONE GOSSARD were originally members of a band called GREEN RIVER. In 1988 when Green River broke up, Ament and Gossard formed MOTHER LOVE BONE with ANDREW WOOD as their frontman. Mother Love Bone was on the verge of superstardom when Wood overdosed on heroin and passed away. While recording a Wood tribute album with members of SOUNDGARDEN for Wood (Temple of the Dog) EDDIE VEDDER flew into Seattle to audition for a new band with Ament and Gossard. Vedder ended up contributed backup vocals on the album, got the gig as frontman of the new band and Mookie Blaylock was born.
Ten contains a trilogy story arc – kind of
Most people think "Alive" is a song about a woman telling her son that his father has passed away. It is. But it's also about said mom performing incestuous acts with her son. On to the second part of the trilogy – "Once." In this song, the boy who had the screwed up upbringing becomes a serial killer. The finals part of the trilogy doesn't appear on the album proper, but on the B-side of "Evenflow." The track is called "Footsteps" and is about the same serial killer behind bars awaiting his execution. Vedder calls this THE MAMASAN TRILOGY.
That's all for this week, guys. I hope everyone has a great week. As always, you can leave questions to be answered in the COMMENTS section or drop me an email. See you next week.