Thursday, April 22, 2010

Metal Soundtrack Fail Pt. I

When I was first getting excited about music, it was the early 90s. I mean EXCITED, like insatiable. Being raised in the northwest, this was around the grunge boom, so there was a lot of pride and enthusiasm about some of the great bands coming out at the time – Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Nirvana, etc. Having been raised on a steady diet of Kiss and other hard rock/metal bands up to that point (thanks to a couple of uncles and an older brother) it was a matter of time till I cranked out the tunes on my own shiny new stereo.

It was just before my 12th birthday when I had enough money saved that I could buy my first home stereo (not a cheap portable one, I mean a REAL DEAL stereo) – I was pumped. Fortunately, I had enough money saved that there was enough dough left over to buy a couple albums also. I bought Pearl Jam’s debut record and (deep breath/admission of guilt…) the ‘Wayne’s World’ soundtrack…


I know, I know… but come on. I was 12 at the time. I saw Black Sabbath, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queen, Jimi Hendrix were on the soundtrack and that was enough for me at the time. Not very metal in hindsight, but we all gotta earn our wings along the way. What I realized looking back is that I have owned more than a few embarrassing metal soundtracks. Seriously, WHY are so many soundtracks that cater to metal-loving audiences missing the mark?! (Even more back in the day I would say) Sure some got close to being good, but often times the movie was so stupid it often tainted the songs it seemed to promote. In that vein, please take a stroll with me down memory lane:


About a year later I scored the ‘Last Action Hero’ soundtrack. The movie boarders on ‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ level of laughability, but at the time it was your standard-issue Arnold Schwarzenegger action flick safe for younger viewers. However, the soundtrack gave me a shot in the arm of more metal (Megadeth, Anthrax, Alice In Chains and others), the Megadeth song in particular was the one to hook me. I also thought the Fishbone track was pretty heavy and I had never heard of them at the time so it was cool discovering new bands through soundtracks. In hindsight, I can appreciate how the movie actually played a good number of the songs on the soundtrack throughout the movie, but there’s always a “stain” of cheesiness thanks to the movie being less than cool to most self-respecting metalheads.


It was roughly a year afterwards when a movie came out called ‘Airheads’, I’m sure most of you have heard of. With a cast of Steve Buscemi, Brenden Fraiser, and Adam Sandler as a power trio metal band I expected a bit more from this flick. It wasn’t necessarily terrible, but it’s still considered a bit of a blemish on those actors track records. However, you put unreleased songs from Prong, White Zombie and Anthrax on the soundtrack and – you guessed it – I bought it. Unfortunately the rest of the soundtrack, with a couple exceptions, is pretty shitty. Bonus points though for band’s name in the movie: The Lone Rangers (makes me think of the band Two Lone Swordsmen) – pluralizing a singular object = thumbs up.


About six months later I picked up the 'Demon Knight' soundtrack. Of the four soundtracks listed here, I’d say this one is the clear winner. Featuring songs from Machine Head, Pantera, Ministry, Sepultura, Biohazard, and the Melvins you bet your ass I was blaring this thing like only a 14 year old would. I honestly can’t even really remember the movie’s plot, it was a ‘Tales From The Crypt’ movie so I’m sure it was pretty much ‘by the numbers’ but hey, I dug the shock and awe that came with the action and horror. The soundtrack also had an awesome song by Gravediggaz. For starters, they rap about horror themes – amazing! Secondly, with as little hip-hop/rap diet in my system at the time, this one song made me feel like I was instantly deep in the street (this street happened to be in the suburbs in Washington state) – again, 14 year old mentality here. So all in all, this soundtrack didn’t burnout like the others, in fact, I’d say it’s pretty rad. But, and this is a big “but” here, it also had the Filter song “Hey Man, Nice Shot”. The reason this offense is so grievous is purely contextual. You see, from this time onwards for many years, hell, I even STILL hear it used, this song has been the staple for any and damn near ALL action scenes for clichéd Hollywood action movie trailers. Seriously, stop and think about it for just a few seconds: how many movies have you seen where either in the movie itself or in the trailer you hear that bassline from the beginning of the song (rather ominous, eh?) and then the angry, loud chorus riding shotgun to explosions, gun shots and fight scenes. IT DRIVES ME FUCKING CRAZY. This song is sooooo over-used and greatly lowers the average of metal's influence to the world (you KNOW more random strangers would recognize this song over a typical Metallica or Pantera song through simple repetition alone) - point is: metal doesn't need Filter, arguably not even a proper metal band, to represent our stereotypes. I bet the band is getting royalty checks like you wouldn’t believe for how many times clips of this song get played (runner-up would be White Zombie’s ‘More Human Than Human’ – especially in the mid-late 90s). I’m pinning it’s prolificacy on this soundtrack because of two main reasons, A) It’s used blatantly and obviously in the intro credits, and B) It was the first place this song actually appeared. It preceded its official release by at least a few months on this soundtrack. That’s right, the first domino was tipped over HERE on the ‘Demon Knight’ soundtrack… “Thanks”, now we’re all sick of this song and instantly are left with a sour taste in our mouth for any movie daring to beat this dead horse.

Are there any good, older metal soundtracks out there that deliver the goods?

What early to mid 90s soundtracks am I forgetting here? Help me out… I’m going for just the cheesy ones, but hell, even if you can name good ones, it’s all about nostalgia. Part II is already in the pipline, and be warned, it dips its toe into the nu-metal pool.

58 comments:

  1. never forget Judgement Night. By far the best and worst soundtrack of that era. was that even a movie?

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  2. The Spawn soundtrack, Strangeland, Lost Highway, The Crow...

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  3. Oh yeah by far really shitty soundtrack Queen of the damned. Gay vampires and Nu metal. Go hand in hand if you ask me.

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  4. I heard Napalm Death and Fear Factory for the first time through Mortal Kombat's soundtrack.

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  5. Not an actual soundtrack really, but The Beavis and Butthead Experience compilation at least deserves an honorable mention. "99 ways to die!"

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  6. Maybe obvious but Gummo soundtrack had it all Spazz, Eyehategod, Bathory, Sleep, Mystifier, Mortician
    now thats a metal soundtrack can disregard the shitty ambient burzum track.

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  7. Shit! People already listed the ones I was gonna post. Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey had some decent songs on it. Oh yeah: HATEBREED FUCKING SUCK BALLS!

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  8. Filter isn't as shitty your writing skills

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  9. Dang it, I wanted to mention "The Beavis and Butthead Experience" as well. At the time I bought it, I must have been around 12 years old and into everything "metal" or "punk" i could get my hands on in my small hometown. As an example, i was really into Biohazard. I never really liked the Beavis and Butt-Head CD to be honest ;-)

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  10. I had Strangeland (Anthrax, Pantera, Megadeth, Crisis, Twisted Sister, and a lot of nu metal), Heavy Metal 2000 (Machine Head, Pantera, and even more nu metal), Dracula 2000 (great Pantera song and lots and lots of nu metal), The Crow: Salvation (Danzig and lots of alternative crap), The Matrix (Ministry, lots of nu metal) and Scream 3 (all nu metal). Yes, I did go through the nu metal phase pretty bad.

    The only soundtrack I still have is The Cave (Killswitch Engage, Nightwish, Shadows Fall, Trivium, Strapping Yound Lad, Mastodon, and lots of metalcore). It's collecting dust somewhere. I don't think I have a soundtrack I listen to anymore.

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  11. side 2 of the terminator soundtrack has 3 songs by "tahnee cain and tryanglz" that are totally fist-pumping

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  12. Demogorgo - yeah Judgment Night was a movie, Denis Leary was trying to kill Emilio Esteves. That was the only soundtrack I ever owned too. Well, besides Top Gun.

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  13. Not from the 90's but...
    Shocker soundtrack (sucks)
    Decline of the western civilization 2 soundtrack (also sucks)

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  14. Oh, that's right, cause you come to Metal Inquisition for the writing skills and grammar usage.

    Besides the two or three good Filter songs on 'Shortbus', what Filter songs don't suck?

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  15. Fortunately I didn't buy any soundtrack cds. They usually suck, since they have to appeal to the masses, not just metalheads, so they have one Megadeth song to appeal to the metalhead and the rest are crap, but I remember a friend of mine (not a metalhead) bought the last action hero cd when it came out, and it wasn't good, but at least decent to listen to when you are in the house of a non-metalhead and that was the most metal cd he had. Still, I wasted some money on cds when I was young just because I was getting into metal and liked everything that sounded heavy. That's the only reason I can find to understand why I bought "Vulgar Display of Power" when it came out. I think I hated it 4 months after I bought it. Good thing is that I didn't have much money to spend on cds while I was 13-16, so the number of bad cds in my collection (or stuff I don't like, it's all about tastes) is not big.
    Anyway, another type of compilations that usually suck are tribute albums. How about a post about that? Id' say that one of the few that I own and I still like and still listen after 10 years or more since it came out is "As We Die for... Paradise Lost, A tribute to Paradise Lost".

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  16. why are you ashamed of Wayne's World but not Pearl Jam?

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  17. River's Edge, probably the best metal soundtrack ever.

    How about Trick or Treat (all Fastway, I think?) or Black Roses?

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  18. I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I listen to the Trick or Treat soundtrack (1987) _all the time_. It's all Fastway and it just rocks. Hair metal doesn't get much better than that!

    And back in the day I thought the Mortal Kombat soundtrack was pretty awesome too.

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  19. The Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part III soundtrack was a famous metal blip when it came out. It had Sacred Reich, Death Angel, and forgotten thrash clowns MX Machine!

    Megadeth's "Go To Hell" on the Bill and Ted 2 soundtrack is pretty sweet. The scene that contains it uses the heavy intro perfectly.

    Tangentially related: I haven't played the game yet, but the soundtrack to the video game Brutal Legend is EXTENSIVE and not totally shameful.

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  20. Damn it! I thought I would be slick and mention "Trick or Treat" and you knobs beat me to the punch!

    Im sure Filter made more money off that bass intro being in movie trailers than all of their album sales combined.

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  21. HOLY SHIT!!! I totally forgot Laaz Rockit: "Heres your invitation....to come join Leatherface"

    HAHAHAHA!

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  22. Judgment Night: the soundtrack album that gave birth to an entire generation of wiggers. Pearl Jam would have been infinitely better with B Real as their regular singer.

    The worst soundtrack album I ever actually bought? Easy, that'd be "Howard Stern's Private Parts". I'm so, so ashamed....

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  23. River's Edge soundtrack: just checked it out. HALF the songs are all by Slayer, haha, amazing!

    Slightly unrelated note: Cannibal Corpse being the one metal song on the Ace Ventura soundtack - totally the odd man out on that one, pretty hilarious! (However I remember thinking, "Who the fuck is THIS band?!" when I first saw the movie)

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  24. to complete the list:

    AC/DC - Who Made Who (soundtrack for Maximum Overdrive)

    Although it's more punk, the first "Decline..." soundtrack is pretty kicking (Black Flag, Fear, X,...) if you can find it


    alfonso

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  25. Dude...
    I think you should actually be more embarrassed that you actually purchased a fucking Pearl Jam record way back when! Although the WW soundtrack probably would make a good drink coaster!
    Never got sucked in to that early 90's alternative nation trend where everyone bought into this garbage!
    -LEE

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  26. Instead of that Filter song in every action movie trailer it's Drowning Pool now. I'm not sure what's worse.

    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR
    LET THE BODIES HIT THE FLOOR

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  27. Not metal, but the double-cassette Dazed and Confused soundtrack kicked a lot of ass. At least I seem to remember. I used to take if from my brother's zip up cassette case when he wasn't home and listen to it all day as I rode my bike all over the burbs.

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  28. Jonathan: That soundtrack DOES kick ass, and I did the exact same thing! haha

    Another little-known soundtrack I was guilty of owning at one point was to the movie 'JOHNNY MNEMONIC'. The main bands on it were: Rollins Band, Helmet, KMFDM, Stabbing Westward, and Cop Shoot Cop. Can't really remember how good or bad it was overall (I think it came out the same year as 'Demon Knight'), but I never did see the movie... anyone catch it? I'm sure it was pretty weak... I mean, it did star Keanu Reeves and Dolph Lundgren after all (cameos from Ice-T and Henry Rollins though).

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  29. In the late '80s I cummed in my pants when metal songs appeared on movies...like Maiden on "Phenomena", Dead On and Megadeth on "Shocker", AC/DC on "Maximum violence"...I also remember Tankard and Holy Moses in a couple of german series.
    Anyway, never got a O.S.T., they're usually pure crap.

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  30. never forget Judgement Night. By far the best and worst soundtrack of that era.

    Bro. That soundtrack is SICK! Helmet/House of Pain!!!

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  31. "Filter isn't as shitty your writing skills".

    Let's hear moar from THIS GUY.

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  32. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  33. "never forget Judgement Night. By far the best and worst soundtrack of that era. was that even a movie?"

    It was, a terrible movie in which Emilio Estevez and his white buddies take the wrong exit off the freeway into the hood. Yes, I saw it, and even though it was for free I still paid too much.

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  34. Actually, I still think "Judgement night" wasn't all that bad. It's tight, after all.
    Anyway, "Judgement night O.S.T." features a terrible song by Slayer with some rapper, right?

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  35. The unnatural extensions of metal bands appearing on movie soundtracks of questionable worth are the wrestling compilations of the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    To wit: ECW: Extreme Music, which features the likes of Anthrax, Kilgore, Motorhead, White Zombie, etc. Amazon link

    There are others with less stellar lineups whose names escape me currently. In my estimation, though, the true low point of this soundtrack genre is the NASCAR compilation, NASCAR on Fox: Crank It Up
    Amazon link

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  36. The soundtrack for Judgement Night is way better than the movie. It has some weak songs on it(most comps do) but there are some songs too.
    I always liked the Faith No More song on there and of course the Biohazard/Onyx song but the Slayer/IceT song with the Exploited medley at the end is golden.
    LA 92!

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  37. Escape from LA! Awesome soundtrack with TOOL whitezombie etc and even better movie! (LOL) I don't even know if I'm bering ironic any more!

    And ghosts of mars had anthrax and buckethead playing john carpenter scores.

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  38. Gotta say, the best soundtrack i've personally ever purchased was the "Traces of Death III" soundtrack whch came out in 1995...
    It had "Exit 13,Pungent Stench, Hyprocrisy, Mortician and Kataklysm."
    Used to jam that little montage while cruising through the burbs of Dayton...

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  39. Little earlier, but Less Than Zero soundtrack had Slayer, Anthrax and some other stuff I forget. Some rap maybe? I have the album somewhere...

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  40. That reminds me, River's Edge should have been a good soundtrack. Lots of early Slayer on that one.

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  41. Less Than Zero is awesome because of it weirdness. First it has that Slayer cover of "Innagaddadevita baby!" and also it has that Glen Danzig Orchestra track that sounds like Roy Orbison. I love that song, haha. It also has Poison doing Kiss and Public Enemy and some other terrible 80's songs.

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  42. excellent post topic. last action hero soundtrack was so bad/good at the time.

    That fishbone song was super heavy and prompted me to purchase their most recent cd. Boy, was i in for a surprise.

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  43. I might have had every one of these. Someone should do a mixtape of only the best (and non-album) tracks from them.

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  44. I used to remember the Dracula 2000 soundtrack as being really, really rad, but there's literally one good song on it (System Of A Down's version of Metro). The unreleased Pantera is awful, as is "Bloodlines" from Slayer, the rest of it is crazy, crazy generic and indistinguishable nu metal. Strangeland was REALLY bad, but I think it was redeemed through the strength of the Snot track.

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  45. @Darb: have you considered some kind of sun block/moisturizer regimen? Just sayin'. Seriously, doesn't a Buckethead/Michael Kamen project sound interesting?

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  46. I still like the entire Judgment
    Night soundtrack, fight me.

    I remember loving the SFW soundtrack, which had songs by Suicidal, Gwar, Soundgarden, and Marilyn Manson among others.

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  47. I was gonna mention Gummo but it looks like someone beat me to it. Awesome movie with an AWESOME soundrack.

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  48. The Rivers Edge was good.

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  49. Mad Foxes a really shite movie about a killer biker gang from about 85 didn;t have it's soundtrack released but it had Krokus on the soundtrack (Easy Rocker). Epic cheese metal for a very cheesy movie

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  50. HATEBREED FUCKING SUCK BALLS!

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  51. Crazy... but that Airhead movie sounds cult enough...

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  52. Black Roses! BRAINSCAN!

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  53. Yeah, those records suck (except maybe Gummo). The shitty music industry + the shitty movie industry = shitty movie soundtracks. The only way it could be worse is if the shitty radio industry and the shitty television industry were to get involved too. Did you all notice that the song the band plays at the end of that crappy movie 'Airheads' is actualy an uncredited rip-off of a song by Reagan Youth? I remember seeing that movie when I was a kid, and I wasn't aware of Reagan Youth. Then I saw that piece of shit movie at a hotel last year, and they were playing Degenerated by Reagan Youth, except they played it all pussy style and censored and it was fucking lame.

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  54. did demon knight even have any of the soundtrack songs beside filter in the movie?

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  55. Wow! Who the fuck buys that many soundtracks?

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