Welcome back to Heavy Hitters, our weekly column where Metal Edge showcases four albums that should be in every fan’s vinyl collection. This week, in keeping with our relaunch and paying homage to all the great bands we’ve grown up reading about in the magazine, we offer four records featuring songs that make us feel young again.
ALICE COOPER Greatest Hits
Ironically, I’m writing this on Alice Cooper’s 74th birthday. Happy birthday Alice, and a tip of my proverbial cap to one of the most important rockers to shape our world. Greatest Hits is almost 50 years old, but it’s a fountain of musical youth that opens with “I’m Eighteen” and overflows with 12 gems including “Billion Dollar Babies,” “Teenage Lament ‘74” and “School’s Out,” a timeless anthem for everyone who has counted the days to summer vacation. If Alice isn’t in your music collection, this is the foundation to build upon. I own the original vinyl release but also ordered the version for sale in our store – the 180 gram vinyl is remastered with audiophiles in mind, and housed in a gatefold cover detailing the original inner sleeve artwork.
When I was on VH1’s "The List" 20-odd years ago alongside Kip Winger, hair legend Jose Eber and video vixen Bobbie Brown, I had Winger in my list of Top 3 Hair Bands. I’m pretty sure Kip thought I was pandering, but nearly 35 years after its initial release I still hail their debut as a crowning achievement of the late ‘80s, and the former Alice Cooper bass player's namesake band as one of the era’s most underrated acts. I can dedicate an entire podcast to the brilliance that is "Seventeen," but for now let’s just cherish it for what it is, an irrepressible ode to youth that takes us back to a time when the closest thing we had to cancel culture was the PMRC. Not only is the newly minted reissue in our store pressed on green vinyl, it also contains the bonus track “Higher and Higher.”
SKID ROW Skid Row
You can’t celebrate youth without “Youth Gone Wild,” and nothing screams nostalgia like “I Remember You.” I also didn’t have a “Sweet Little Sister” who was making headlines in the back of the car, but one of my best friends did… This near-perfect debut album is a magnum opus of swagger on steroids, and as any record collector worth their volume in hair can attest, you’d have better luck stumbling upon a bachelorette party at a Rush concert than finding an affordable original vinyl issue of Skid Row on the secondary market. But don’t worry, we can still make your “Rattlesnake Shake” – Metal Edge has a few copies of the epic album’s silver vinyl reissue left in our store.
This 2001 breakthrough album by Southern California’s Payable On Death epitomizes everything right about the oft-misunderstood nu-metal movement, seamlessly blending rock, reggae, heavy music and hip-hop into an intoxicating and mesmerizing hybrid that has your body bouncing at every turn. “Youth of the Nation” is the track that qualifies them for this week’s collection, but “Alive” and “Boom” were just as huge commercially. Don’t ignore the deep cuts – “Thinking About Forever” is one of the genre’s premier ballads, and “Without Jah, Nothin’ ” features H.R. from Bad Brains in a collaboration for the ages. Our featured vinyl is the 20th anniversary, two-disc edition released as part of Rhino Records’ Rocktober campaign.