Friday, July 18, 2014

Commercial Metal, Vol. 7 - K-Tel compilations

A logo that sort of resembles looking into a chick's blouse from the side...
K-tel is a company best known for hawking their compilation albums on TV--their heyday was the '70s, making me too young and my parents too old to truly appreciate those halcyon times.  More detail or historical info about K-tel could easily go here, but I'm less interested in informing readers and more interested in listening to Kreator.

In fairness to the company, their '88 Rising Metal compilation had a surprisingly good tracklist and was one of my first exposures to thrash metal.*

Anyway, they did some metal compilations that had some TV ads, hence this post:

As with almost every corporate label metal compilation, real heavy metal is tempered with commercial pap.

AND WHAT'S WITH THE MASTER OF METAL HIMSELF?  I dig his gladiator-of-the-dystopian-future look and his jerky low-frame-rate animation, don't get me wrong.  But what's with the face, and arm, for that matter? Is he supposed to be cybernetically enhanced, ala Kato of Mortal Kombat?  Is he some kind of robotic compilation shilling Terminator homage?

Actually, you know what?  Fuck the Master of Metal.  "I bring you..."  Yeah, you brought me an album with Bon Jovi on it.  Fuck off.

These seem to be more solid albums overall, and both volumes have Graham Bonnet on them!  Plus, I absolutely love the Axe Attack logo!  It's rather unfortunate that no NWOBHM bands took the moniker and stole the logo. Guitar Pete didn't even bother to use it.  


Monday, April 28, 2014

Commercial Metal, Vol. 6

Here's another video with an incomplete version of the same Somewhere in Time ad, but in much better quality, and with a brief MTV clip about the Somewhere on Tour shows:
No idea who that chick is--considering she talks about the '87 US leg of the tour, this would have been  a year or two before my own exposure to MTV.  However, I am pleased immensely that there is recorded proof the words "Vinnie Vincent Invasion" were mentioned on MTV by someone other than Adam Curry.

This was one of the only real heavy metal-related PSAs that was made (the only other ones that come to mind are the Megadeth "Rock the Vote" one--which I realize I neglected to put in the Megadeth post--and perhaps the Yngwie PSA I've already covered).  

Unfortunately it seems a bit lame now, especially considering that I hope the typical Iron Maiden fan of today DOESN'T take Bruce's seat belt advice.  Those who blindly worship the band or think they're beyond any criticism should be thrown from a vehicle, pronto.  Furthermore, anyone who compares The Final Frontier favorably with the old material deserves to be paralyzed; I wonder if they'll also say their brand new wheelchair compares favorably to their old classic legs?


Here's one I actually remember seeing on VH1 Classic!  I love the narration because it reminds me a bit of the faux British accent used by Dr. Shrinker himself--the late, great Jay Robinson:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The oral vices of Burnt Offering's vocalist and the Bob Sirott metal connection

Must have been an extremely uneventful week in Chicago news:
It's fun to see casual footage of the band, but I'm amused that any news station in 1999 would devote air time to this, let alone WFLD, the Chicago Fox affiliate.  Yes, CHICAGO--this wasn't aired by some rinky-dink Elgin or Berwyn affiliate.  As weird a piece as it is, I hope the band members take a certain pride in it; I doubt Sindrome ever made a morning news program.

Let's not stop there, though.  Did you notice the male news anchor at the very beginning?  Chicago's own Bob Sirott, and the man is no stranger to doing TV coverage on metal bands. Here's a piece he did for the old CBS television newsmagazine West 57th about Wrathchild (America):

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Commercial Metal, Vol. 5 - Let Them Eat Metal

In this installment we have an ad for Attic's 1984 Metal for Breakfast compilation:

The guy on the cover has a slight facial resemblance to Sean Penn--due to his facial expression, this dude may in fact be a hard rockin' Canadian version of Jeff Spicoli.

As was typical for the metal compilations of larger labels, there's some more commercially palatable/hard rock stuff added.  Still, quite a solid tracklist.  I should mention that the Blotto song is a complete parody tune done by a non-metal band, but is still heavier than some of the other tracks.

In 1986, Attic released a follow-up compilation, called--what else--Metal for Lunch:

Based on the rings, hair, and perfect dazed demeanor, this appears to be the same fellow from before, except portlier.  I guess a 2 year diet of ball bearings is quite fattening.

The tracklist largely follows the same pattern, although there's a farther reach for commercial viability with Aerosmith and Kim "I am a Wild Party" Mitchell's "Go for Soda," which are indefensible inclusions on a metal compilation.  As before, there's one song that's noticeably heavier and darker than the rest.
On Metal for Breakfast, it was Mercyful Fate; here, Razor lays in wait at the end of the album, ready to give any unsuspecting thrash-ignorant rockers a serious case of indigestion.

Sadly, there appears to be no Metal for Dinner, and thus, this particular saga of endearingly cheesy album art comes to an end.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Commercial Metal, Vol. 4

Initially I didn't watch until the end of the ad, and having never seen it before, I thought it was just some fan-made thing.  The skydiving footage reminds me of some decade-old sports drink commercial or those as-seen-on-TV '80s rock compilations (Monsters of Rock, Monster Ballads, etc.) that were incessant for a while.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Commercial Metal, Vol. 3

The PSA raises an issue that I'll probably cover in greater length in a future blog post.  I don't want to get overly analytical when I realize it's just an ad trying to encourage youth to get involved in the arts.  But note the statement at the end--IF YOU REALLY LOVE MUSIC, PLAY IT.  Well, does air-guitaring count?  But seriously, think about that in the context of the current metal scene, or for any music genre, really.  Most of the subgenres are bloated.  I'm sure in their deluded minds, a lot of musicians/"musicians" think they "really love" music--enough to play it, but not enough to produce something that rises above mediocrity. 

Let me be very clear.  If you think being in a band, working for a label, running a distro, doing a 'zine, or being a pseudo-journalist automatically make you a bigger metalhead or make your contributions valuable, YOU NEED TO BE FUCKING SMASHED.  Don't engaging all of these activities actually leave less time for metal listening, which is paramount for anyone who claims to be a metal fan?  Metal is filled with sub-par bands, companies, distributors, and literature, and in most cases, these morons want recognition for doing a crap job.  Their "contribution" is just about as important as all those overzealous traders in the '90s who would scribble "SUPPORT THE SCENE" or similar nonsense on packages.  It reeks of go-getter attitude but in reality, did nothing, except perhaps momentarily perplex a mailman.

The whole issue of the importance of musical creation vs. enjoyment is a much deeper topic deserving of its own dedicated post.  But the credo of "I participate, I'm special"* is ridiculous.  Imagine if this dumb sense of self-entitlement was transferred to anything else.  If you didn't have a hand in building a car or a plane, should you be able to drive or fly?  Furthermore, would that prevent someone from becoming a expertly skilled driver or pilot?  Presumably, you're reading this on an electronic device right now.  If you can't solder a circuit board, should you be allowed online at all?  Perhaps you should just plunge the soldering iron into your eye. 

No, seriously, most of you should.

*Special thanks to Ace Frehley-style makeup enthusiast Jeff Tandy of Averse Sefira for partially inspiring this post.  I remember him responding to someone's perceived metal sexism (not mine, unfortunately) on some forum, and he mentioned how, in his opinion, girls who worked the doors taking tickets at live gigs were showing metal dedication.**

**Obviously paraphrased, but I think the gist of the statement comes across.  Please note I am only attacking an extraordinarily dumb comment, nothing more.  Bands are obviously free to do as they please, and if that includes glow-in-the-dark shirts and performing Madonna covers, more power to them.