Glue-sniffing ECW Hardcore Freaks Unite!
ECW: Extreme Music
CMC International Records
A review by Dan Moreland -10/27/98
Funny thing, wrestling ring entrance music. When it was first introduced about ten to fifteen years ago, it seemed campy and awkward, to have music playing for a wrestler as he entered the ring. Now that wrestling fans have been programmed like Pavlov's dog by the marketing geniuses of wrestling if there's no music as a wrestler marches down the aisle , it seems even more awkward.
Funny thing too with music soundtracks. This a category in the music business that has teken a life of its own. No longer do movie fans buy the soundtrack because they overheard some obscure piece while sitting in the movie theater. Now motion picture companies actually seem to market the movie around the music, advertising the soundtracks with movie trailers in a dual marketing scheme to make money both at the box office and record store.
Wrestling has followed the same , lead. Over the past few years both WCW and the WWF have released "soundtracks" either of wrestlers ring entrance music or new and usually bad music to be pushed on television. Which brings us to Extreme Championship Wrestling's first musical effort, the heavily hyped "ECW: Extreme Music". And unfortunately, it falls in the latter category.
Overall the music is listenable, but there are way too many lame covers of songs we already know. Former Iron Maiden lead singer "What ever did happen to my career?" Bruce Dickinson does a lame version of the Scorpions "The Zoo" which is being pushed on TV as Bam Bam Bigelow's new ring entrance music. I love Motorhead, but do I really need to hear a remake of Metallica's "Enter Sandman" (funny enough, the Sandman graces the cover of the CD even though he signed a deal with WCW weeks ago and no longer wrestles for ECW). But the weakest track has to be "Big Balls" by Muscadine for, well you know who. This was a hilarious AC/DC song in its original form. Here its crap that sounds like a bunch of drunk college kids playing Karaouke in their dad's basement.
Monster Magnet does a decent job covering anarchist Detroit group Mc5's 1969 tune "Kick Out the Jams" for Axl Rotten, but I'd really rather ECW get the rights to Axl's original theme music. About the only good cover is Anthrax doing "Phantom Lord" on behalf of Mike Awesome.
Even Megadeth re-records their OWN hit, "Trust" as an instrumental for Jerry Lynn (boy is he getting the biggest push of his career or what?) Which brings ...me to my biggest gripe with the CD- what about the original theme songs? The only highlights of the CD are when we get to crank up theme music were used to like Kilgores great "Walk" (you know when Rob Van Dam comes out: 'Reeee-spect Roooock!'). Or how about more ear bleeders like Grinspoons "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck" (Justin Credible)?
As a matter of fact the stars of this CD are Harry Slash and the Slashtones, who's great "This is Extreme" ECW theme song is featured as well as their spooky "Huka Blues" the eastern influenced saxophone/ metal they recorded for Sabu. Frankly, Id rather hear Harry Slash just do a full release of new theme songs for all the wrestlers than have to filter through what amounts to about half decent music and half third-rate cover tunes. (And if your going to do covers, where's Taz's "War Machine" song?)
One thing ECW did do right was the packaging. The outside and inside of the CD cover is first class and gives the buyer the impression that this is a major league promotion on par with the WWF or WCW. Above the credits for each song is a great photo of each wrestler with a quotation from them about their music. The quotes are kind of silly, but then again this is a promotion that has the Dudleys and Chastity in it.
Of course, maybe we shouldn't be too disappointed . After all most soundtracks are pretty lame anyway. And in ECWs defense getting royalties to some of the songs they may have liked to include (like Tommy Dreamer's Alice in Chains music) probably would have made production costs of this CD prohibitive. Still, why not more original music in place of these lame cover versions of songs we've already heard hundreds of times before?
I'm sure ECW will make a decent buck anyway. Over the next few weeks poor record clerks up and down the East Coast are going to inundated with glue sniffing drug crazed ECW marks holding up the line at the record store counting their last pocket change trying to purchase what for the next 12 months will be the soundtrack to their pathetic worthless lives.
For you and me, its put it on the mantelpiece next to the Luchadore action figure collection. Then sit back and put in the Slashtones CD.
Dan Moreland is a columnist for Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to Dan Moreland