If Woodstock ’94 is remembered for anything, it’s the mud. Well circulated footage of Green Day and Primus being pelted by massive lumps of grass and dirt has become synonymous with the nineties festival. Scene’s of crowds participating in mudslides and photographs of “mudmen” have almost become more legendary than performances by Bob Dylan, Traffic and The Allman Brothers Band.
Gunslingers were a band who just instinctively knew how to make a ferocious noise. From their inception through to their split in 2012, the band constantly pushed the boundaries of garage rock, garage punk and no wave/rock in the name of their art.
In a perfect world, Black Sabbath’s relationship with Ronnie James Dio wouldn’t have soured quite so quickly and the band would have followed their excellent ‘Mob Rules’ album with a world-conquering classic. Then again, in that alternate universe, Dio wouldn’t have released ‘Holy Diver’ – one of the most perfect metal albums ever – so, maybe, things worked out for the best.
That was certainly the case for Dio. Black Sabbath’s immediate fortunes were less perfect. Their 1983 release, recorded with Ian Gillan, was a hit and miss affair that came housed in one of the poorest album sleeves you could ever (not) hope to see. Their Reading Festival headline slot later that year bordered on a car crash, culminating in a terrible rendition of ‘Smoke On The Water’, further cementing fan feelings that the short lived musical union between Tony Iommi and ex-Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan probably shouldn’t have happened.
The words innovative and iconic are muchly overused when describing bands in the twenty first century. Both are very much words that apply to New York Dolls. A band that championed excess and trashiness in every sense, they ushered in a sleazy style that joined The Stooges in laying the groundwork for punk, but also providing a core influence for the likes of Motley Crue and the LA glam metal scene that dominated MTV during a decade long after the Dolls first burst of stardom had burnt out.
In the summer of 2019, Dave Grohl hinted at the possibility of a second Them Crooked Vultures album. At that point, it had been a whole decade since the supergroup’s debut release, but fans had never quite given up hope of a return. Grohl’s comments only served to fuel the rumour mill and in many ways it’s a pity nothing more materialised, as a brand new work involving John Paul Jones at that time would have outshone all of Jimmy Page’s non-existent efforts to mark Led Zeppelin’s 50th anniversary.