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):
35 Years ago, before Ministry became what we all know them to be know, they were a very cool synth pop/new wave band. In 1984 they released the song “(Everyday) Is Halloween.” For many, many years though, that song went unplayed until late 2018, when Al brought it out of retirement at a Los Angeles stop on tour, accompanied by Dave Navarro. Well after that happened, there seemed to be a resurgence of people listening to the song and clamoring for more of it. So, here we are and now, Al along with Dave have released a new acoustic version of the song and, it’s quite a great version. Enjoy!
Ministry- Everyday Is Halloween (featuring Dave Navarro):
This alternate version is also a cover and one of the best covers I’ve ever heard. The studio version Pearl Jam did of The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” is really good but, this performance is what really does it in. After watching and listening to this version, it’s obvious that this song is now Pearl Jam’s. The performance is from the 2008 VH1 Rock Honors; The Who.
There are certain songs in a bands catalog that no matter how many times you’ve heard it, you always get that same feeling wafting over you. That happens to me every time I hear the MTV Unplugged version of Alice In Chains “Nutshell.” This version is quite astounding. Opening the show with this song too was something special. It’s truly one of those magical music moments that will give you chills. “Nutshell” is in my top 5 favorite Alice In Chains songs of all time and this version just might eclipse the studio version for me.
Back in 2002, Incubus released a DVD called The Morning View Sessions. This was a concert they did in New York on the day of the release of their Morning View album. At this show, they performed a slew of songs, one of which has always stood out to me. “The Warmth” off their album Make Yourself (which turns 20 this year, and it’s also my favorite song off that album), is that song. This version is quite exquisite and takes the song to a whole other level.
My all time favorite Nirvana song is Aneurysm. I’ll never forget the first time I heard it thinking that this is one hell of a jam. The dynamics of quiet to loud on this song are stunning. One thing I’ve always noticed is that live versions of this song are way better than the version that appears on the Incesticide album. This live version is from their performance at the Paramount in Seattle in 1991. Some other tidbits you might find interesting about this song is that, “Aneurysm” is one of the few Nirvana songs credited to all three members. It was first performed live on November 25, 1990 at the Off Ramp Café in Seattle. The first studio version was recorded on January 1, 1991 and was the their first with Dave Grohl, who had joined Nirvana in September 1990. This version of the song was released as a b-side on the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” single in September 1991.
Nirvana- Aneurysm (Live 1991 at Paramount Theater-Seattle):
I have a strange and somewhat cruel, yet comical thing that I love to do. When I’m out and about and I’m at a place with a jukebox, before I leave I like to leave a couple songs playing. What I do is pay the extra money and pick really long versions of songs and then leave. I know it’s silly but it’s also awesome and funny at the same time. One of my go to picks for years now has been this version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” Clocking in at 25 minutes (yes that is correct, twenty five minutes), it’s one of the most epic versions of this track. Found on the live album How The West Was Won, this version was recorded in 1972 from a concert at the Forum in Los Angeles, this version also features parts of the songs “Walter’s Walk” and “The Crunge.” Needless to say, when you gotta get the Led out, this is one hell of a way to lay it on thick! Take a few minutes to enjoy this awesome alternate version.