No, seriously—this trumps even that reggae tribute to Bob Dylan… It’s a parents’ nightmare, on multiple levels.
By Uncle Blurt
There have been lame ideas over the years, but this ranks among the most crippled straight outta the gate. Thriller: A Metal Tribute to Michael Jackson, out this week, featuring members of King’s X, Testament, Living Colour, Motorhead, Fishbone, Sevendust and other hard rockers, all of whom should know better. But never let wisdom get in the way of commerce (unless of course this is ironic; we gave up “irony” in 2001 so would not know). Ergo:
“Just in time for Halloween, a scarily impressive alliance of metal and hard rock luminaries has formed to create one of the most depraved abominations of musical crossbreeding in history – an all metal tribute to the King Of Pop, Michael Jackson. Never before have such quintessential pop hits as “Beat It,” “Thriller,” “Billy Jean” and “Man In The Mirror” been so completely transformed, substituting softly stylized synths with crunchy, distorted guitars, replacing the pitter patter of programmed beats with pulverizing double bass acoustic drums, and topping it off with some of the finest, most powerful vocals in metal. When completed, these reinventions pay due respect to the expertly crafted melodies and songs that made Michael Jackson one of the most beloved figures in all of music, and offer legions of metalheads a reason to simultaneously grab their crotches and throw the horns in celebration!”
The BLURT braintrust is grabbing its collective crotch at this very moment—for protection. But wait, there’s more:
“Spearheaded by producer/musician Bob Kulick, who also helped in the arrangement of these cover versions, the project was in his words a “labor of love” for all involved. Exclaims Kulick, ‘We made these awesome songs kick ass while still being faithful to the original versions. Add killer players like Doug Aldrich, Billy Sheehan, Bruce Kulick, Rudy Sarzo, Tony Franklin, Craig Goldy, Bumblefoot, Phil Campbell and you’ve got some real MAGIC!’ Rudy Sarzo, a stalwart of the metal scene as a member of both Quiet Riot and Queensrÿche, reflects, ‘Michael Jackson’s music is synonymous with iconic rockers such as Eddie Van Halen, Steve Stevens and Slash. So it’s only fitting that the rock community pays tribute to this legendary artist with Metal Mike!’ And Fishbone’s Angelo Moore expresses great enthusiasm for his contribution, saying ‘I never thought I would hear myself doing a cover of “The Way You Make Me Feel,” but it’s an honor and a dream come true. We put a different twist on it to give it a whole new light, or maybe I should say a whole new dark!”’
Say it ain’t so, Angelo.
We can’t go any further. Here’s the tracklisting. We’ll add three telling words: Alien Ant Farm. Do YOU, gentle readers, want that band in your collection?
1. Thriller – Chuck Billy (Testament)
2. Man In The Mirror – Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria) & Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big)
3. The Way You Make Me Feel – Angelo Moore (Fishbone), Doug Aldrich (Whitesnake), & Rudy Sarzo (Queensrÿche)
4. Black Or White – Lajon Witherspoon (Sevendust), Bruce Kulick (ex-KISS), & Tony Franklin (The Firm)
5. Beat It – Priya Panda (Diemonds) & Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal (Guns N’ Roses)
6. Billy Jean – Corey Glover (Living Colour) & Phil Campbell (Motörhead)
7. Shake Your Body (Down To The Ground) – Elias Soriano (Nonpoint)
8. Rock With You – Doug Pinnick (King’s X)
9. Dirty Diana – Chris Jericho (Fozzy)
10. Bad – Paul Dianno (ex-Iron Maiden) & Craig Goldy (Dio)
11. They Don’t Care About Us – Icarus Witch
12. Never Can Say Goodbye – Lonnie Jordan (War)
13. Smooth Criminal – Alien Ant Farm