The King is gone but will never be forgotten. 79 years ago today a poor boy with a funny name was born in Tupelo, Mississippi. That boy was Elvis Aaron Presley and he would go on to not only change the course of popular music, but of the world itself. He helped bring the sound of African-American rhythm & blues into the suburban confines of white America, in no small way helping to create the sound and very idea of rock n’roll and setting nascent, teenage minds afire. Nearly no significant rocker of the past 50 + years has not cited him as an inspiration, from The Beatles to Led Zeppelin, from U2 to Green Day. His influence on hard rock and even heavy metal lingers on its sense of dangerous sexuality and patented, anti-authoritarian sneer as heard in the following 15 hard rocking Elvis covers. Now, despite his stylistic innovations and impact, most Elvis Presley covers are actually covers of songs Elvis covered as he wasn’t much of a songwriter. However, there’s no doubting, he was The King Of Rock N’ Roll. All hail the King. Read more…
Tonight VH1 Classic will air Black Oak Arkansas: 40 Years of Heaven, Hell N’ High Water, a documentary about the wild antics and unlikely return of the high-energy boogie rockers. Led by long-haired and bare-chested frontman Jim “Dandy” Mangrum, the group were among the top concert draws of the mid-1970s before label and management troubles derailed them.
ZZ Top are Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, classic rock mainstays, beloved 1980s music video stars and one of the more misunderstood bands in music. Psychedelic survivors who shuffled out of Texas at the dawn of the 1970s with some of the finest and most genuine blues rock ever played they were initially pigeonholed as southern rock also-rans. Despite their roots music pedigree their influence is most keenly felt in the work of hard rockers like Motorhead, who covered them, and Queens Of The Stone Age, with whom guitarist Billy Gibbons has recorded. And while the Eliminator album, their 8th full-length overall, and its iconic music videos increased their audience exponentially, most of these new fans knew nothing about their earlier records.
Bearded guru of the recording studio, Rick Rubin has been one of music’s top producers since making his bones as staff producer and creative head of Def Jam Records in the early ‘80s. While his seminal work with Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J and The Beastie Boys cemented his status early on, starting with 1990’s American Recordings by country legend Johnny Cash, Rubin has become the go-to guy for artists trying to recapture their mojo and launch a career comeback. Like any truly great producer, Rubin’s greatest asset is his ears and his ability to match artists with great material or bring out the greatness of their own talents. It’s no wonder everyone from Jay-Z, for whom he produced “99 Problems,” to heavy metal hall of famers Black Sabbath have him on speed dial. The following are the greatest comeback albums he has produced.
There are a few important factors that make hard rock and heavy metal music one of THE best genres in music:
1. Musicians who can head bang and hold a chord
2. The fans (that’s a no-brainer)
3. Facial Hair
I know you probably think we are crazy for even saying that, but can you imagine Ozzy Osbourne with a mustache like Tom Selleck? Zakk Wylde with a unibrow? Or maybe even KISS with ZZ Top beards? Strange right? (We can only imagine how long it would take to get the paint out.)
Last week on That Metal Show, we were joined by Steve Harris (Iron Maiden) and John 5 who brought nothing less than amazing riffs for the second week in a row as our guest musician. We also paid homage to the rockers with the best facial hair and counted down our TMS Top 5 Facial Hair in Rock with help from heavy metal rocker Marilyn Manson. Here’s our TMS Top 5 list of artists with the Best Facial Hair in Rock:
As promised. Here’s a teaser for our Storytellers show that’s coming up on June 27 at 10? pm. The Texas Top really raise a ruckus with just guitar, bass, and drums, right? Watch ‘em rock “Sharp Dressed Man” and see what they have to say about taking direction from a homeless dude.
Of course you don’t have all day to find out how ZZ Top got their start. So to ‘splain you this stuff, we’ve concocted a 60-second clip that illustrates how Dusty, Billy, and the guy without the beard came to be. Here’s the true genesis of that little band from Texas.
Our ramp-up to Rock Honors (May 24) always includes revealing chats with the heroes themselves. Here’s a recollection of on-stage shenanigans from ZZ Top.
The Texas Trio has earned itself lots of props for getting a big-ass sound. Three guys? With Billy Gibbons’ guitar wailing, sometimes they sound like six. But one thing’s for sure: It ain’t ZZ Top if Dusty Hill isn’t plugged in.
You heard it here first — Bam Margera is set to host this year?s VH1?s Rock Honors show in Las Vegas. Airing on May 24th, just in time to buoy you through your long weekend, the Jackass mainstay and star of Bam?s Unholy Union will introduce to the stage this year?s honorees: the lovely ladies of Heart, the sharp-dressed men of ZZ Top, the crazy train that is Ozzy Osbourne and the no-jacket-required stylings of Genesis.
The two-hour extravaganza will also feature contemporary artists paying tribute to these legends of rock, including Nickelback, Gretchen Wilson and Keane. It?s set to blow the roof off the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. If you don?t believe us, you don?t know Bam. For more info, videos and a chance to win a trip to see the show in-person, go to VH1?s 2007 rock honors page.