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The Friday Morning Listen: Mötley Crüe

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Leaving politics aside, it seems that the two topics most likely to squeeze some extra ignorance juice out of the blogosphere are a) The Dixie Chicks and b) Heavy Metal music. Since the Chicks have had their fair share of late, lets move on to the music that our parents just loved to hate.

I'm in the middle of reading Chuck Klosterman's Fargo Rock City: A Heavy Metal Odyssey in Rural North Dakota. Klosterman spins up a memoir of his youth and love of all things Hair Metal. Truly funny stuff. While discussing what the lyrics to "Shout At The Devil" really mean, he speculates on Tommy Lee's true intent: "In exchange for letting me sleep with some of the sexiest women in television history, I will act like a goddamn moron in every social situation for the rest of my life."

Nice.

There's one particular chapter where Klosterman deals with the idea that maybe, just maybe, you don't really need every record in your collection. Many years after "the day," is there really any point in owning (his example, not mine) Iron Maiden's The Best Of The Beast? He then comes up with an interesting twist/inversion of the Desert Island concept. It's called the "Jack Factor." This is the amount of money that somebody would have to pay you in order for you to never listen to a record again for the rest of your life. A neat combination of the Desert Island idea, guilty pleasures, and commerce. Your guilty pleasures, in theory, would have a pretty low Jack Factor…unless, of course, you like them much more than you're willing to admit.

The author's Jack Factor list went from Van Halen's 1984 (Jack Factor: $66) to Def Leppard's Pyromania (Jack Factor: $877) to the most hallowed Appetite For Destruction (Guns 'n Roses) coming in at a Jack Factor of $5001.

Personally, I can't do these kind of calculations. There are very few records in my collection that I'd be able to give up. Oh sure, it's easy to say that I don't really need that copy of, say, Aerosmith's Rock In A Hard Place. But years later, my urge to listen to "Lightning Strikes" would begin to eat away at me like a musical cancer. Forget it, I want 'em all!

However, in the spirit of fun and discussion, I will now post a list of rock and pop records (don't go near my jazz albums…don't even look at them!) that, if you saw them in my bins, you might begin to question my credibility, sanity, or taste. I will not comment on any of them. That's your job.

  • Destroyer – Kiss
  • Abandoned Luncheonette – Hall & Oates
  • Head Games – Foreigner
  • Metal Health – Quiet Riot
  • Glass Houses – Billy Joel
  • Let There Be Music – Orleans
  • Colour By Numbers – Culture Club
  • Vision Quest – Movie Soundtrack
  • Gene Simmons – Gene Simmons
  • Open Up and Say…Ahh! – Poison

There now. Anybody else wanna 'fess up?

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About Mark Saleski

  • Guppusmaximus

    The Kiss, Foreigner, Billy Joel and Qiuet Riot albums are all fine by me. As for wether or not you need to own every single album by a band(metal or not), I find that most Greatest Hits Compilations aren’t really worth it. Considering, Iron Maiden are my childhood idols I can agree that “Best of the Beast” was kinda pointless. Those albums that the “Greats” come from are worth having…
    It’s funny, out of the jack factor list, G’N’R’s “Appetite..” would be $66.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    yea, i don’t have many “best of” records either. almost every one i own was either inherited (when people gave me their vinyl collections) or was maybe purchased to get some track i couldn’t find anywhere else.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Gotta have the Appetite A must have indeed.

    I’d keep Kiss, maybe Foreigner, maybe Quiet Riot, and probably Bill Joel – only if it didn’t contain the sort of silly, “She’s Always a Woman to Me” That line, ‘…she takes care of herself…’ frankly sounds like a commercial for either Geritol or Special K — Or — rather that she’s capable of piloting that ship alone, hmmm. In that case, keep it!

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    if johnny depp was singing “Only A Woman” to you, you’d keep the disc.

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    ONLY if he’s doing his Jack Sparrow thing, Aye!

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    I definitely am putting Fargo Rock City high up on my to-buy list after that “Jack Factor” part. I’ve been living that for years, trading stuff in after weighing the consequences – what is important, what isn’t . . . I get nervous when my CDs start numbering around 2000 for some reason and start purging.

    (To answer his question, no, there is no point in owning The Best of the Beast. You’re going to buy all of the Iron Maiden albums anyway. Unless it’s the extremely rare two-disc BotB that came in the very cool book-in-slipcase back when it was very first released. It has some unusual stuff (3 of the four tracks from the fabled Soundhouse Tapes) and a VERY good book.)

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    . . . I get nervous when my CDs start numbering around 2000 for some reason and start purging.

    yea, i’ve seen you write about that.

    that’s crazy talk! ;-)

  • Guppusmaximus

    Yeah…Mark, I hear ya. Sometimes they have a cool hard to find track and sometimes it’s just a paycheck for the band. If I was going to buy a “Best of” from Maiden, it would have to be the box set that was in the metal tin( I don’t remember the name).The Soundhouse Tapes would be mint to listen to… Plus, Maiden re-released their work too many times!! I mean, come on… Spare Me. (Sorry Mr. Harris.. I love your work but it gets a little ridiculous).

    Anyways, I definately have to check out this book… Sounds cool.

  • Guppusmaximus

    *BTW* “Glass Houses” has ” Just a Fantasy” on it, doesn’t it? I like that tune. It has the dialing of a telephone at the beginning..*aww* brings back memories….

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i don’t think i own any best-of in the metal/hair band category.

    hmmm…that’s not right. i think i own that Poison greatest hits thing…because i saw them a few years back and had no cds and didn’t feel like picking up three cds to get the hits.

    whooowee, that was a funny concert: Poison, Quiet Riot and Warrant. hair metal stars don’t age gracefully.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i should point out that the book is funny and entertaining…and at some points sort of inflamatory.

    there’s one bit in particular that would have dj radiohead’s forehead vein pulsing: when he states that the Chumbawumba recording with “Tubthumping” was more ‘essential’ than Bob Dylan’s “Time Out Of Mind”.

    ouch.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    Guppus, that Maiden metal tin was no mere best-of – that contains a killer 2-CD show from the Number of the Beast tour, two discs of BBC shows (two with Di’Anno, two with Bruce,) plus another two discs with a nearly complete selection of b-sides. Very, very cool – a must have for big Maiden fans.

    Mark: I saw Warrant and Tesla open up for Great White. Another one I saw was White Lion opening for Ozzy – now there’s an interesting mix of audiences.

  • Guppusmaximus

    I watched the “Hair” metal videos on Hard Rock Cafe(HeadBangers Ball) just to see the hot chicks!
    I saw 3 “Hair” band concerts:
    Kiss-Crazy Nights w/ Ted Nugent
    (yes, that was a “Hair” album)
    Motley Crue- Dr. Feelgood w/ Warrant
    Poison & Warrant- Some sort of Summer Reunion tour??(My friend got me tickets for my B-day)

    “Hair” metal wouldn’t have been such a bad thing if there weren’t like a million bands that sounded alike…

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    one of the funny things about that show was the lead singer of Warrant, who hadn’t stopped smoking since he was a kid and clearly looked like he was about to pass out after giving a minimum of effort.

    hmmm, maybe that’s not really ‘funny’.

  • BRICKLAYER

    Hey Mark,
    Have you read “Hell Bent for Leather” by Seb Hunter? You oughtta check it out, if you dig Klosterman’s metal nostalgia. Very funny and even touching too, in a manly sort of way. Both authors are a bit too much on the wimp metal trip for my tastes, I mean, their lack of knowledge regarding death and black metal is sad and weak, and it is apparent they got most of their info regarding these fab genres from surfing the net, rather than living the cold, hard, brutal metal way, but anyway, Hunter’s book was really enjoyable.

    Oh, and Shout at the Devil? Freakin’ rules, Man! That and the even better Too Fast for Love are classics.

    np: AFI-December Underground

  • BRICKLAYER

    Ps: How much do ya want for the Vision Quest Soundtrack?

  • JR

    I don’t know… a guy who would give up 1984 for $66 – I don’t think I can respect someone like that enough to spend any time on what he has to say. Sounds like one of those culture/fashion critics who have nothing the least bit informative to say about the actual music. Not interesting.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    BRICK! it’s about frickin’ time you checked in here!

    i’m sort of behind in my reading of stuff like that…i’ll have to check out that book.

    i’ve also been meaning to get a hold of that metal years decline of western civ. movie too. just for fun and research purposes, that is.

  • http://www.knownjohnson.com Tom Johnson

    That’s good, Mark, that’s good! I’m starting to think that maybe it’s time for the younger people to let go of the things so many hold so sacred that they can’t even be questioned, like, can something be more essential than Dylan? I think something can. I think relevance is going to have to start playing a factor in people’s lives now. Some of this stuff is simply too old for younger people to really relate to. I can’t really blame an 18 year old for not finding Highway 61 Revisited as life-changing as it’s hyped up to be. To be honest, it’s not to me. It doesn’t have that weight to me. Sure, it’s good, but it simply has done nothing for me that has actually shifted the weight of my life like many other “lesser” albums have.

    Like the recent poll that places an Oasis album over the Beatles. I initially thought “Wha-?!” but it got me thinking about all this. To many, that Oasis album means a lot more to them, personally, than any Beatles album will. Regardless of how unoriginal it may be, they grew up with it and it did affect them. I can’t say I like it, but that’s the way things are. So I can kind of agree with Klosterman there.

    Book ordered – I’m sold. Can’t wait to get reading this one!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Tom, I hear ya, I wanna get it but I have held out because I have so much Iron Maiden stuff.
    I have a VHS of “Killers” and “Number…” Live(Both transferred to DVD). I have “Powerslave” live on video. Man… I could go on & on

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    wait’ll you get to the chapter that explains why Rush sucks.

    (just kiddin’….calm down, don’t cancel the order!)

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    re: guppus #13: funny, while listening to the Motley Crue disc, i remember all of the hot women in the “Looks That Kill” video, truly one of the dumbest vids of all time.

  • http://www.genericmugwump.com/ Aaron Fleming

    Don’t forget Ratt when you’re discussing hair metal, Out Of The Cellar is a fantastic album!

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Sir Fleming, I always preferred Invasion of Your Privacy but there were truly fantastic hair metal moments on Cellar without question.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    Out Of The Cellar jack factor: $110….sandwiched in between Back In Black ($98) and Lick It Up ($125).

  • http://dracutweblog.blogspot.com Mary K. Williams

    Sounds like one of those culture/fashion critics who have nothing the least bit informative to say about the actual music. Not interesting.

    JR – I assume you’re joking? Sir Mark has neither culture, not fashion sense.

    Now the music, that he knows.

  • JR

    Hey, I was talking about Chuck Klosterman. Don’t drag me into your needle-fest!

  • Guppusmaximus

    Ratt “Invasion…” was the album all those bands tried to mimick but they couldn’t. It eminds me of when I was 14 and I was on Daytona beach for summer break. All along the beach and boardwalk were the finest women I had ever seen and all along I had “Lay it Down” blaring in my walkman!
    F*ck Yeah!!

    Mark- Sure,I hear ya, the videos had no point but those chicks were wood sportin’ pros…*Smirk*. Talk about pointless videos, look at the Kiss video for “Lick it up”…LOL. Ratt is the only guilty pleasure I left from the 80’s.

  • dyrkness

    Abandoned Luncheonette – Hall & Oates?Wow I thought I had the only copy of that :)