Published Dec 29, 2009Before the hate mail starts rolling in, a preface:
These songs are fucking awesome. To us devout metalheads, the songs below have not only shaped this wonderful musical genre and its various sub-categories but also our lives. They rock, they roll and they're just plain cool.
Unfortunately, because they're wicked, they've also been so over-played since their original release, and never hearing them again is almost too soon. The true essence of their greatness is lost from the quality-versus-quantity argument. The more you hear them, the less attention you truly pay to them.
Not only that but a lot of these tunes have become synonymous with their creators and vice versa. It's their one hit outside of the metal community. Therefore, whenever the notion of playing/discussing/aping them comes about, it's the first thing gravitated towards. Kind of like Kraft and peanut butter or Michael Jackson and pre-teens. The fact that more non-metal people think they're even slightly anodized because they know these songs is particularly aggravating.
At that, here are Ten Metal Songs You Never Need to Hear Again, for various reasons and mostly because of other people.
"The Boys Are Back in Town"
Thin Lizzy's Phil Lynott may have died from a drug overdose but it was hearing his song "The Boys Are Back in Town" bastardized for a fucking Disney cartoon that actually killed him. Regardless, if you can't name three Thin Lizzy songs (which most metalheads can readily do), let alone an album other than the obvious Jailbreak without a questioning tone after, then you can't like this song anymore. Wait. Have it. After being co-opted by every Friday night club goon, beer commercial and radio station named after a wild animal, we bangers don't wanna hear it ever again.
"Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)"
Smells Like Children (1995)
Mock it if you want, but 15 years ago, this sounded creepy and worked really well in, like, horror movie soundtracks. It was interesting at the time, but let's face it: Marilyn Manson successfully manages to suck the cool out of everything he touches. If music is a dead horse, he's beaten it into rubble. This song's overplay coupled with Manson's own sensationalism has rendered this - and the Eurythmics' original version - something we need not experience further.
When the fuck did Glenn "Misfits/Samhain" Danzig become a damned one-hit wonder? The epitome of people who never receive their due, Danzig has written some of the greatest songs of all time but other people (looking in Metallica's direction...) seem to get more credit when they cover him. Then he finally sees this wicked blues-metal masterpiece chart on its own merit, only to have it played continually, especially by non-metal sorts who seem to think knowing it gives them instant cred. There's also something about how being a part of any videogame involving plastic instruments instantly negates cool factor but we digress...
School's Out (1972)
Yes, it was fun when we could relate to this song, but after so many years and hearing it every year at the exact same time (not to mention the onslaught of cover versions where lesser bands try to capitalize on some of those royalties), it's over for us.
Okay. Here's an exception to the rule. This song just plain sucks. The Edsel of metal tunes, it had great intentions and wonderful hype but is really a big, fat loser. It never rocked, although it could have with that impressive, imposing riff at the intro. However, hearing Metallica use the words "gripping" and "pillow" just seems wrong. Then again, how many millions of music, uh, "fans" have bought this lemon over the years? Exactly. And every one of them another vote towards its inclusion on this list.
Easily one of the coolest, most barbaric riffs ever, "Iron Man" is all-out definitive metal. However, we've heard so many people butcher this one - be it in guitar stores the world 'round or on that aforementioned videogame - that it's been all but ruined. Factor in that it was horribly butchered for the film (at least they had the sense to use) and now everyone and their mother thinks they're a Sabbath fan.
"Living After Midnight"
British Steel (1980)
Along the same lines as Thin Lizzy, this is like, any Priest fan's least favourite tune barring ballads, but it's the one everyone else immediately gravitates towards. And, of course, it's an anthem for every late-night partier you want to punch out.
"Run to the Hills"/ "The Number of the Beast"
The Number of the Beast (1982)
When singer Bruce Dickinson hits those high notes, it's like drops of sweet ambrosia gently caressing your ear drums. Similarly, that my-god-how-long-is-it scream at the intro of "The Number of the Beast" just fucking rocks. It's a definitive metal moment. Hearing everyone else in the world think they're him? Not so much.
"Ace Of Spades"
Ace Of Spades (1980)
You know, Motörhead have been releasing some pretty cool albums for the past, oh, 35 years other than "Ace of Fucking Spades," people. One "joker" we'd like to forget. Hey, even Lemmy admits that he could never play "Ace of Spades" again and not be terribly upset. Seeing as it's the first thing people think of when they hear the name Motörhead and feel it necessary to scream the breakdown at the top of their fucking lungs religiously, it's pretty annoying.
Oh, c'mon. You know you loved it... until you heard every shit-ass garage band of the last four decades cover it because it seems easy enough. However, barely anyone ever gets it right. Even Ozzy for that matter. Yes, we've seen him massively blow "Paranoid" live. Not saying much though, is it?
Speaking of bad covers: