Can’t Get It Out Of My Head: Slash takes on ELO, Billy Idol, Screaming Trees

Billy Idol got his start in the punk band, Generation X. They recorded a garage rock version of Idol’s first solo hit, “Dancing With Myself”. On Billy’s 2nd CD, “Rebel Yell“, MTV jumped all over the videos for the title track,  “Eyes Without A Face”, “Catch My Fall” and “Flesh“.  They became the vehicle to transform Billy Idol into an 80’s music icon. The slower tempo and sexual theme of the song added a new dimension to Billy’s image which greatly influenced his next CD, “Whiplash Smile” and songs like “Sweet Sixteen”.


Back in the early days of grunge, Screaming Trees were one of the original bands to get linked to the genre.  They’ve been described as the “godfathers” of the grunge scene. Despite releasing a number of CD’s, they never achieved the success of their peers, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana. Their album, Sweet Oblivion, got a boost when the Cameron Crowe movie, Singles, highlighted their breakthrough single, “Nearly Lost You”.  Another favorite of mine was “Dollar Bill” included on the album, it didn’t feature a big MTV video so it didn’t sell as well but it’d be a song I’d feature on a “Best Of Grunge” mix CD.

A 70’s rock radio staple by the Electric Light Orchestra (E.L.O.) gets a shot of adrenaline with a cover version by Scott Weiland and Velvet Revolver. Hearing Slash rip up a guitar solo on this retro soft rock classic completely changes the meaning of the song. When Jeff Lynne performed the song, you got lost in the dreamy orchestration and the swirling vocals. Velvet Revolver puts more of a frentic spin on the song, where you feel trapped in a memory and can’t get those images out of your head.