To quote Will Ferrell, this song “Needs More Cowbell!” Motley Crue’s debut song from 1982 stands among their best songs ever recorded. From early on, the tight rhythm section of Tommy Lee, Mick Mars, and Nikki Sixx created one of the most recognizable and hard rocking grooves of any of the 80’s glam rock bands. “Live Wire” stands up with Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear The Reaper” as the greatest use of a cowbell in a metal song. Don’t dismiss Motley Crue yet, just saw them in concert this summer, they sound as good as they did back in the 80s!
“LOVE IS ON THE WAY” SAIGON KICK
From 1992, this Miami based hair band put out one of the most beautiful of the power ballads of the decade. The song features a Spanish guitar strumming throughout the song. Although the song only hit #12 on the charts, it gave Saigon Kick their 15 minutes of well-deserved fame.
“NUTSHELL” ALICE IN CHAINS
Grunge rock’s big bands, Nirvana – Soundgarden – Peal Jam, each had an urgent, powerful arena filling sound. Alice In Chains could match their intensity but the band’s true gift was their personal, haunting sound that dug deep into your soul. Their sound was so intense and intimate, you could deeply feel these lyrics deeply affected lead singer, Layne Staley’s personal life. The epic guitar solo by Jerry Cantrell on “Nutshell” manages to be so sad, yet so uplifting at the same time. Layne was the heart and soul of the Seattle Grunge sound and he left us way too early. This one is from 1994’s Jar Of Flies CD and remains my all-time favorite AIC song.