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Heavy Hitters: Demon Knight, The Crow, Judgment Night & The Dirt soundtracks

Paul Gargano recommends four movies with music worth revisiting on vinyl

Last time we shared a week of heavy suggestions, I recommended picking up a few books. This week, I’m telling you to put the books down and just watch the movies – then, kick back and listen to their soundtracks. There isn’t a flick in this bunch I don’t plan on revisiting in the very near future, and all four of the soundtracks are more than worth their metallic weight in vinyl.

TALES FROM THE CRYPT PRESENTS: DEMON KNIGHT ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

DemonKnight

Full disclosure, this soundtrack wasn’t on my radar until Metal Edge recently procured a stack of the clear/green/purple-swirl vinyl variant in our store. Until then, I praised the movie as Tales From The Crypt’s slick-tongued and sexy battle between good and evil that starred Billy Zane two long years before he would have his heart torn out in Titanic. Ask me my take on Titanic someday, I dare you… Spoiler alert: Rose is evil. Just like this stellar soundtrack. The only real hit is the eternally underrated “Hey Man Nice Shot” by Filter, but that’s buried on side two. I dare you to find a better homage to heavy in 1995 than the five-in-a-row that open the platter: Pantera (“Cemetary Gates”), Ministry (“Tonight We Murder”), Machine Head (“My Misery (Demon Knight),” Megadeth (“Diadems”) and Melvins (“Instant Larry”). No iceberg would stand a chance!

THE CROW (ORIGINAL MOTION PICTURE SOUNDTRACK)

TheCrow

This is my favorite movie soundtrack of all-time and finding it on vinyl felt like winning a treasure hunt when I stumbled upon it in the unassuming music section of a Danbury, CT book store after getting a tattoo. The collection is an A+ snapshot of all the music I loved coming out of college – a mesmerizing hybrid of goth, metal, darkwave and punk that saw alt-leaning radio favorites like the Cure, Violent Femmes and The Jesus And Mary Chain rubbing elbows in the mosh pit alongside Pantera, Helmet and Rollins Band. This album betrothed me to For Love Not Lisa, Machines Of Loving Grace and Medicine, and furthered my love affair with My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Want some worthless but timely trivia? Half the bands contained herein were Coachella favorites before the festival transformed into a pop-culture wank fest. Yes, Coachella used to be that kind of cool… And no, I didn’t get tattooed in a bookstore - and you don't need to look any further than here to celebrate this epic soundtrack.

MUSIC FROM THE MOTION PICTURE: JUDGMENT NIGHT

JudgementNight

You know how deep this album is? A collaboration between Pearl Jam and Cypress Hill doesn’t even merit a cover mention. The marquee appeal here is Slayer working with Ice T, Biohazard joining forces with Onyx, and the opening burner featuring Helmet and House Of Pain. But I’m partial to the less obvious unions. Teenage Fanclub and De La Soul ride an infectious fat groove on “Fallin’,” Mudhoney and Sir Mix-A-Lot turn “Freak Momma” into a phonetic whirlwind where the Pacific Northwest hosts a surf rock hootenanny, and “Missing Link” boasts Mr. Dobalina himself, Del The Funky Homosapien laying it down alongside Dinosaur Jr. The concept may seem a little tired now – we stopped saying rap and metal couldn’t mix decades ago - but the songs in this hip-hop/heavy metal lab experiment sound as fresh today as they did thirty years ago. Judgment Night not only looks better on vinyl, it sounds better, too.

MOTLEY CRUE: THE DIRT SOUNDTRACK

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Essentially a greatest hits album, the standouts on this soundtrack to the already infamous Motley-mentury The Dirt are the four new songs. The title track features Machine Gun Kelly on guest vocals and leads into a career-arching 14 tracks we all know and love. Like the movie, the material skews early, with 10 of the tracks from the first three albums, one from Girls, Girls, Girls and three from Dr. Feelgood before new tracks “Ride With The Devil” and “Crash And Burn” give the twin-vinyl collection a biographical swirl before the closing cover curio “Like A Virgin.” That’s right, the Madonna song. I’m not gonna lie, I don’t love the cover – but I want it in my vinyl collection for its audacity alone. This album isn’t the first time any of us have been touched by Motley Crue – but it will remind us just how good it feels to get a piece of their action.