Over the past couple days, I went on a bit of a Joy Division/New Order binge. It’s truly amazing how many bands have been influenced/inspired by these two bands. New Order’s debut album Movement, is one of those albums that is truly special. It’s part continuation of where Joy Division left off but, there’s new ground being explored in a subtle manner that will eventually lead to where New Order wound up. One of the songs off of this album that stands out in a really great way is “Senses.” One of my best friends loves this song so, I thought I’d dig up an alternate version of it and see if you can tell the difference between the two.
A friend of mine recently got into Baroness and ever since he told me that, I went back down the rabbit hole of Baroness and found a slew of alternate versions, acoustic renditions and live versions of some of my favorite songs in the bands catalog. Baroness’s last album Gold and Grey features some of my now all time favorite Baroness songs as well as my favorite lineup of the band. One song in particular that always gets me when I have Gold and Grey on is “Tourniquet.” There is something so gripping about this song. It’s delicate, powerful and one hell of a well written song. Plus the addition of Gina Gleason to the band really has taken Baroness to a whole level of writing and performance. Check out this killer version the band did during the quarantine of “Tourniquet.” It’s quite fantastic!
The deep cut is something that I feel has become a lost element of music today. Everything is so focused on singles and the “hit” that so much of the time, there are songs that get left out and bypassed. As you’ve noticed the past couple years that my level of postings about The Smashing Pumpkins has gone up over that time and that’s because I’ve really delved deep in their catalog. One of the albums that I’ve truly come to love is 2007’s, Zeitgeist. Not only does this album foreshadow a lot of what our society has become but, it’s also one hell of a great album start to finish. There is a particular song on Zeitgeist that I keep going back to and that is track 3, “Bleeding The Orchid.” This song is quite interesting and profound. The song is indirectly inspired by the death of Alice In Chains singer Layne Staley and it also features a bit of an homage to the band with the harmonies you hear in the song. Also the guitar solo on this track by Billy Corgan further proves my point that he is truly an underrated guitarist. This song is one that I really wish would make it’s way into upcoming set lists as it’s an absolutely great and touching song.
The Smashing Pumpkins- Bleeding The Orchid (Live at The Viper Room, 2010):
This is one of my favorite side projects I’ve heard in quite a while. If you aren’t familiar with Mrs. Piss you have been missing out. Comprised of Chelsea Wolfe (vocals/guitar) and Jess Gowrie (drums), Mrs. Piss is a departure from what they do in Chelsea’s solo stuff. The project began while the two were touring around together during Wolfe’s Hiss Spun album in 2017. This music is heavier and channels some of the gnarliest, noisiest grunge-sludge sounds of the Nineties, plus plenty of the era’s riot grrrl attitude. This session was recorded in December of 2020 in Northern California and it offers a different take from the studio recordings.
The first Metallica album I ever heard was And Justice For All and from that point I was hooked. I was only 4 at the time but, it all made so much sense to me. Throughout the years of me listening to the album, I’ve come to love certain songs a ton. One of which is “Dyers Eve.” The songs lyrics is a rant from Hetfield to his parents and it’s such a poignant rant too. Musically, this song rips. It’s a “thrashterpiece” of epic proportions. Interestingly too, this song was debuted live in 2004, sixteen years after it was recorded, at a show in Los Angeles during the bands 2004 Madly In Anger With The World Tour. Also, as an album closer, what a way to end it on.
Metallica’s “Sad But True” is one of the best tracks on their “Black Album.” It’s one of those songs that when they play it live, it’s even bigger than the studio version. A few days ago, Metallica announced a huge deluxe version of their now legendary “Black Album.” In this edition, there will be tons of bonus tracks including demos and alternate versions of songs. To get things going, the first one the band released is this badass version of “Sad But True.” According to the notes, this was take number 36 of the song and features a bunch of different things.
Metallica- Sad But True (Take 36- February 5th, 1991):
Woodstock 1999 has a very interesting history. Despite the riots, fires, rapes, price gouging and the other atrocities that happened, there were quite a few outstanding performances. One of those that I remember being a stand out was Korn’s set. This was before they were finished with their fourth album (and my second favorite album of their’s) Issues. Their set that night included 2 songs from Issues, “Falling Away From Me” and “Beg For Me” both with different lyrics than what is on the final versions. Both of these versions are quite different and give a bit of a different vibe than you’ve heard. I’d personally love for this set to be released officially. If you haven’t heard these before you are in for a treat and if you have, well now you can enjoy them again!
Korn- Beg For Me (Live at Woodstock 99):
Korn- Falling Away From Me (Live at Woodstock 99):
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!
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.
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.