Back in 1997, Jane’s Addiction reunited for a tour with Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass instead of Eric Avery. To coincide with that tour, the band released a compilation album called Kettle Whistle featuring live tracks, demos and two new songs (“Kettle Whistle” and “So What”) featuring the “Relapse Tour” lineup. I remember being really excited about this record for some reason. One track on the album has always stood out to me and that is the version of “Three Days.” This live version was taken from their 1990 show at the Hollywood Palladium and it’s absolutely astounding. It’s one of those live versions that far supersedes the studio version.
Jane’s Addiction- Three Days (Live at Hollywood Palladium 1990):
About six months ago, Metallica released an alternate version of “Blackened.” This was obviously done during these very strange times we are living in. I really enjoy when bands break down their songs to the bare bones. Having a more acoustic feel to this song definitely gives it a different vibe. The original from And Justice For All is in my top 5 all time favorite Metallica songs. This new version, I have to say is quite fun. I’d really be interested to hear Metallica do a full on acoustic set in the same way the classic MTV Unplugged’s were.
Back in 1999, Silverchair released their opus Neon Ballroom. It was a departure from their first two (and very awesome) albums. This one though was full of so much more maturity and diversity that it has truly become one of those beloved albums the more the years have gone on. I’ll never forget hearing it for the first time, especially the first song on the album, “Emotion Sickness.” That song on its own is epic and truly remarkable. This live version of “Emotion Sickness” is astonishingly beautiful. Enjoy this. On a personal note (and I’m sure a lot of you will agree with me), Silverchair is one of those bands that really needs to get back together. That would really be something else if they did.
Silverchair- Emotion Sickness Live At Melbourne Park 1999:
I’ve spent a lot of the past year or so doing a huge deep delve into The Smashing Pumpkins and rekindling my love for this band. It’s been pretty obvious, if you haven’t been able to tell by all the posts. Being able to watch so many different live performances of the Pumpkins of just Billy solo throughout the years has been truly awesome. There are so many great shows online as well as individual performances of certain songs. The other evening as I was falling asleep, I somehow wound up thinking about the song “Tonight, Tonight” and found myself drawn into a rabbit hole of different versions of the song on YouTube. One such performance really grabbed me for some reason and that would be from back in 2012 when Billy appeared on the Howard Stern show and performed “Tonight, Tonight” at Howard’s request and gave a little history on the song. This alternate version has been stuck with me and now you can enjoy it with me!
Billy Corgan- Tonight, Tonight on The Howard Stern Show/2012:
Back when Metallica released their album St. Anger, so many people were astonished by the sound of the album. The snare sound in particular drew ridicule (and still does) from so many fans, critics, and pretty much anyone that listened to it. The whole St. Anger album seemed to alienate fans as well but, over time, there has been some new appreciation for the songs themselves. I remember when it came out I was torn about what I thought about it. I could tell there was something there but the production and such made it difficult to get into. Then one day I sat and really listened (which at times was painful) and realized how personal and deep the album is, especially lyrically. For many years too, Metallica didn’t play anything off the album live but, a couple years ago they started putting “St. Anger” and “Frantic” on the set list and these “new” versions sound a whole hell of a lot better. Personally, there are a couple others I wish they’d play live from this album like “Some Kind Of Monster” and “The Unnamed Feeling.” I think those would sound a lot better now than before. So, take a chance and give these jams another shot!
Simply put, John Frusciante is a guitar legend. He is seriously amazing. Over the years, I’ve really come to love his input in the band and style he brings. This song, is off their album By The Way, which is quite underrated for many reasons. One of them being that, this is a very John driven album. “Don’t Forget Me” is one of the best songs on the album and it’s one of the bands best too. Just so happens to be a favorite of mine too. I could have easily put this in the alternate versions section but, this solo is just so damn good, it has to go here. So, enjoy what you are about to witness and hear!
Many years ago, when Nine Inch Nails released their live album, And All That Could Have Been, there was a deluxe edition that came with an extra disc. This extra disc, entitled Still, contains original instrumentals and stripped down versions of old songs. Trent has stated that some of the tracks on Still are evolutions of rejected themes that were originally written for the Mark Romanek film One Hour Photo. One such song that has always had my attention was the version of “The Day The World Went Away.” This version gives off a very different vibe for sure.
Alternate versions are quite fun to dive into. They give you a different experience from the original version. And sometimes, these versions turn out better than what you heard first. Converge have released a new version of their song “Aimless Arrow” entitled “Endless Arrow.” This version was created by the bands guitarist Kurt Ballou and is a 30 minute experimental/ambient version of the song. “Aimless Arrow” originally appeared on the bands 2012 album All We Love We Leave Behind. This new version was created “To keep people entertained in these challenging times.” It’s definitely a different take on the song. Personally, I’d be interested to hear them do this with a few other tracks of theirs and maybe even expand this into their Blood Moon project as well.
For quite a while now, I’ve been delving deeper and deeper into The Smashing Pumpkins and Billy Corgan catalog. Along the way, I’ve discovered a plethora of songs that I forgot about and rediscovered my love of this band and what a truly great songwriter Billy is. One of the songs that I’ve really obsessed over is “Stand Inside Your Love” from the Machina album. Every time I come across a different version of this song, I get chills and find myself lost in a trance. This is truly an amazing song. Here’s a live solo acoustic version of it that I absolutely adore.
The Doors are one of the first bands I ever fell in love with. Ever since my parents put them on for me as an infant, I’ve been sold on them. Over the years, I’ve moved more away from their studio versions of their song to the live versions due to the spontaneous nature of the performances. One such song that was among the first I did that with was “Light My Fire.” The studio version is fine but, live, this song takes on a whole new vibe. One of my all time favorite versions of this song is from their 1970 performance at the Isle of Wight Festival. Part of what makes this one special is the history behind it. The Isle of Wight Festival had some 600,000 attendees and the Doors hit the stage at two o’clock in the morning on August 30, 1970. Their set was particularly dark due to Jim Morrison’s not wanting bright spotlights for the film recording on the band. Much of the recording sees the group bathed in a single red spotlight. Morrison was also very subdued in his movements but, he sang his heart out as you can tell.
The Doors- Light My Fire (Live at The Isle Of Wight Festival 1970):