Some of Nashville’s biggest names have come together to record a tribute to Motley Crue. Rascal Flatts, Florida George Line, Gretchen Wilson and Big & Rich are among the featured acts.
Not that many years ago the idea of country artists taking a crack at heavy metal would have been dismissed with a loud chorus of really bad words.
Then along came Hayseed Dixie, who softened that chorus somewhat with A Hillbilly Tribute to AC/DC, Kiss My Grass: A Hillbilly Tribute to Kiss and my personal favourite, Weapons of Grass Destruction, which while not completely devoted to the marriage of country/bluegrass and metal features a cover of Judas Priest’s Breaking The Law, along with covers of material by The Sex Pistols, Status Quo, Alice Cooper and the Stones.
I suspect for hardcore metal fans the idea still doesn’t sit well.
But, if the idea of country artists covering rock classics arouses your curiosity let me direct your attention to Nashville Outlaws: A Tribute To Motley Crue, which is due for release Aug. 19.
As someone for whom metal is just one of many different genres of music that flow through my earbuds I found some interesting bits and bites here.
While not everything works there are more hits than misses on this Motley Crüe tribute.
Rascal Flatts caught me by surprise with a very decent cover of Kickstart My Heart, the album’s opening track.
Florida Georgia Line follows with a great version of If I Die Tomorrow.
The Eli Young Band, The Mavericks and Big & Rich deliver as well.
But if I had to pick one track from this record that really puts it over the top it’s Gretchen Wilson’s version of Wild Side. Seriously, Wilson’s got the pipes for this and she holds nothing back here.
Not too far behind her are The Cadillac Three’s cover of Live Wire and Brantley Gilbert’s run at Girls Girls Girls.
What does Motley Crue think of the record?
In interviews for UPROXX, Motley Crüe’s Vince Neil and Nikki Sixx seem to be just fine with it, singing the praises of Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line, The Cadillac Three and in particular Gretchen Wilson.
Neil actually appears on the record, joining Justin Moore for Home Sweet Home. And he’s not the only rocker to make an appearance on the album. Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander joined Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday for The Animal In Me.
Other artists appearing on the record include LeAnn Rimes, Lauren Jenkins and Darius Rucker.
Funny what goes through your head after listening to some records. After listening to this one I couldn’t help but wonder what it might be like to bring together some legendary headbangers for a run at classic country.
Imagine, if you will, Ozzie doing Hank Williams’ Your Cheatin’ Heart.
Perhaps Motorhead applying their all to George Jones’ He Stopped Loving Her Today. How about Iron Maiden doing Sons Of The Pioneers’ Ghost Riders In The Sky. No, maybe not. I should not have gone there.
(Rating 3 out of 5 stars)
Doug Gallant, a reporter with The Guardian, writes his music review column for The Guardian every week. He welcomes comments from readers at email@example.com or 629-6000, ext. 6057.