Free Will Juke Box

What I've been listening to: metal and Eighties post-punk. Grow Up.

1.) Black Sabbath - Mob Rules: The albums Sabbath made with Ronnie James Dio are some of the secret classics of metal.

2.) Dark Tranquility - Damage Done: the word "epic" comes up a lot in descriptions of these guys. If U2 played death metal...

3.) Japan - Quiet Life: a perfect mix of the hip influences ca. 1978 - Eno, Low-era Bowie, Roxy, and Can. The bass playing by Mick Karn, who died just last month, is astonishing.

4.) Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy: an absolute classic that I've listened to at least 1000 times since 1985. A dark melodic sound that was imitated by a million other bands, but never equaled. Even J&MC never bothered trying to repeat it.

5.) Neuraxis - Trilateral Progression: ever wanted to hear the apex of the genre known as "Canadian technical death metal?" This is your ticket. Not the sort of thing your grandmother would like, but the playing is heavy, tight and detailed.

6.) Pretenders - Pretenders: one of the few new wave bands that had instant credibility with "traditional" rock fans. Side One has some punk swagger, but it's Side Two that has the songs that still get played on the radio. Most days, I think "Stop Your Sobbing" is the best ever Kinks cover.

7.) Rainbow - Rising: kind of a "forgotten" band, but at one time these guys were considered the equals of Deep Purple. Blackmore and Dio are each at the height of their powers here, but special mention goes to Cozy Powell for his powerhouse drumming. This is as close as you can get to metal without *being* metal.

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