REVIEW: ECW Extreme Music – Various Artists (1998)

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ECW Extreme Music (1998 CMC)

There are way too many CDs in my collection that I don’t like, but I own for one or two rarities.  ECW Extreme Music is one of those many.  I have never watched an ECW wrestling match in my life.  I only know one of the wrestlers pictured inside, Bam Bam Bigelow, because he was in the WWF when I was a kid.  I don’t like the 90s version of wrestling with the blood and barbed wire.  And I don’t like much of the music they used.

First is the generic riff/loop combo of Harry Slash and the Slashtones, whoever that is.  Skip that repetitive crap to get to a White Zombie remix. “El Phantasmo and the Chicken-Run Blast-O-Rama” was a great groove from Astro-Creep: 2000.  The “Wine, Women & Song” mix by Charlie Clouser is from their remix CD Supersexy Swingin’ Sounds.  It’s an enjoyable remix, which is something best appreciated on its own rather than on a remix album.

Somebody named Kilgore did a carbon copy cover of “Walk” by Pantera, presumably because using the original would have cost more?  It’s embarrassingly copycat.  Your friends who don’t know will assume it’s Pantera.  Fortunately a great Megadeth tune is next.  Cryptic Writings is an underrated album, and “Trust” was probably the second best track on it (right after “A Secret Place”).   This instrumental mix is an exclusive and has emphasis on Marty Friedman’s lead guitar which replaces the vocals.

Bruce Dickinson (and Roy Z) is next with a lacklustre cover of “The Zoo” by the Scorpions.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with it, it’s just a cover, but it’s also a non-album track that collectors will want.  Too bad it’s not exceptional like most of Bruce’s output.  It’s just good not great.  Another cover follows:  Motorhead doing “Enter Sandman”!  It’s as bizarre and weirdly perfect as you’d expect it to be.  Grinspoon are next with their fairly stinky version of Prong’s “Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck”, robbed of all its snarl.  John Bush-era Anthrax are more impressive with Metallica’s “Phantom Lord” from Kill ‘Em All.  It’s breakneck, and also very cool to hear a Big Four thrash band covering another Big Four group.

Pantera, minus Phil Anselmo, are here for their cover of ZZ Top’s “Heard it on the X”.  It’s both ZZ Top and Pantera at the same time, and that’s kind of remarkable.  That’s it for this album though — nothing worthwhile from here out. What’s the point of having a cover of “Kick Out the Jams” (courtesy of Monster Magnet) but then beep out the naughty words?  Somebody named Muscadine decided to do “Big Balls” by AC/DC, a pretty obvious bad idea.  Just awful.  Then it’s more of Harry Slash to end the CD with some more pure filler.

CMC International released a lot of low budget crap over the years, and this CD is pretty poor.  There are five pages of merch advertising inside, including one for a ECW Extreme Music 2.  I skipped that one.  This CD is collectable for the Bruce Dickinson, Anthrax and Motorhead tracks.  But these are cover tunes we’re talking about, so tread wisely.

1.5/5 stars

 

 

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26 comments

  1. I still have this somewhere. Didn’t hate it, but 1) knew a lot of these from ECW TV, so I had that context going for me, and 2) I didn’t know (at the time) that most of the songs were covers. I’m still not a metal guy but even I can tell the originals are vastly superior in all cases. Though the Motorhead version of Enter Sandman is at least a novelty. Didn’t they win a Grammy for it?

    At the time, one of the things that made ECW stand apart from the WWF was that they used real songs by real bands and not in-house made stuff. Then they got just popular enough that record labels took notice and suddenly, here you go. Cheap covers. How much does it hurt your insides to know that I heard the Kilgore version of Walk before the Pantera one?

    Extreme Music 2 was way worse. I got that one for free and still got rid of it.

    Fun fact – one of the BMG guys I knew from my days on the Crash Test Dummies’ site was involved in the making of one of these – I think Extreme Music 2. I remember talking to him a bit about it. He mentioned going to an ECW event and being… well, he didn’t use the word “horrified” but that was how I interpreted it. I was jealous.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well Jaymz I’m pleased that you knew of this CD and (gasp) even watched ECW.

      I know the WWF must have had real songs by real bands at one point. Didn’t they? I recall the Midnight Rockers used Livin’ After Midnight but that could have been pre-WWF. I imagine Rick Rude and Macho Man’s themes are probably in the public domain.

      I’d be curious if Extreme Music 2 has any more bands I like.

      Like

        1. Was there this past Saturday and frigg if some one was not clutching the holy grail of Savatage!
          I tried swiping it ala Indiana Jones style but the bad man would not give it up!
          Knew I should have taken my whip!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Right — you picked three good tracks to have for the collection. I don’t think Bruce put “The Zoo” on his compilation album. Nor did he put “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” on it! And that one is quite good.

      Like

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