WES CRAVEN’s SHOCKER – The Music (1989) [out of print] *HQ*
By the end of the ’80s film maker Wes Craven attempted to introduce a new character to the pantheon of horror with his 1989’s slasher film ‘Shocker’. Unfortunately, Horace Pinker and the movie didn’t hit like Freddy Krueger or Friday The 13th’s Jason Voorhees, but over the years became a cult classic. And for rock aficionados, the movie soundtrack “SHOCKER – The Music” featuring some exclusive songs resulted a must have.
Ever heard of The Dudes of Wrath? This temporary “super-group” consisted of various members from track to track, but the best song they did was “Shocker” itself. With lead vocals by Paul Stanley and Desmond Child, it’s a must-have for Kiss maniacs. If that’s not enough, Vivian Campbell, Tommy Lee and Rudy Sarzo also play on it. It’s like a collision of some of those bands — Kiss, Dio, Motley. The anthemic outro will slay you.
Desmond’s writing is all over this album, and he co-wrote a track with Alice Cooper that ended up being recorded by Iggy Pop called “Love Transfusion”, a hard rockers sounding like a ‘Trash’ B-side. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the backing track is from the Cooper sessions, because this sounds exactly like an Alice Cooper song with Iggy Pop overdubbed. All the musicians are guys from the ‘Trash’ album. Do the math.
It’s hard to imagine a weirder team up than Desmond Child and Megadeth. Dave Mustaine was deep into the powders at the time, and he recorded “No More Mr. Nice Guy” with a three piece Megadeth. The late Nick Menza had joined the band already, but Marty Friedman was yet to be hired.
Paul Stanley reappears in a writing capacity on “Sword and Stone”, performed by Bonfire. Paul wrote it for Kiss’ Crazy Nights LP with Desmond Child and Bruce Kulick. If it had been on Crazy Nights, it might well have been one of the best tunes on there. Bonfire’s version is fantastic, but it only makes me hungry for a fully recorded and mixed Kiss version. One day…
Another version of The Dudes of Wrath appear this time with Alice Cooper on vocals. “Shockdance” sounds like little more than a slowed down variation of the “Shocker” riff, with Alice and actor Mitch Pileggi rapping over it. Just terrible stuff, actually… but very, very ’80s fun.
Thankfully Desmond delivers another very good track with the song he wrote with Dangerous Toys, “Demon Bell”. Like Guns N’ Roses galvanized and electroplated, “Demon Bell” slays.
Desmond also worked with Sandi Saraya for the only ballad, “Timeless Love”, featuring Steve Lukather on guitar, the type of songs you needed in a soundtrack at the time.
Voodoo X were the band of Jean Beauvoir, who Kiss fans know from his many co-writes and guest appearances on their records. He only made one record as Voodoo X, and his song “The Awakening” is damn fine indeed. At first you’re thinking, “Oh it’s just another crap ballad”. Then a riff kicks in, and it blasts right off. It’s a bit like 80’s Kiss meets Top Gun.
The last band up is Dead On, pretty pedestrian thrash metal, and one of the few songs without any involvement of Desmond Child. The angry elf vocals are hilarious, but the song is almost a parody of bad metal.
The album ends with a reprise of the title track “Shocker”. Basically what this means is that you get to hear Paul Stanley singing for another two or three minutes, when he was really able to hit some seriously high notes. Cool.
”SHOCKER – The Music” sold pretty well when released, and it’s a hell of a lot better than the movie that spawned it! Anyway, both are cult classics now, and the CD, pretty hard to find / out of print, with The Dudes Of Wrath songs not to be found on any other disc.
01 – The Dudes Of Wrath – Shocker
02 – Iggy Pop – Love Transfusion
03 – Megadeth – No More Mr. Nice Guy
04 – Bonfire – Sword And Stone
05 – Saraya – Timeless Love
06 – The Dudes Of Wrath – Shockdance
07 – Dangerous Toys – Demon Bell (The Ballad Of Horace Pinker)
08 – Voodoo X – The Awakening
09 – Dead On – Different Breed
10 – The Dudes Of Wrath – Shocker (reprise)
The Dudes of Wrath:
Lead Vocals – Desmond Child, Paul Stanley, Alice Cooper
Guitar – Guy Mann-Dude, Vivian Campbell
Bass – Rudy Sarzo
Drums – Tommy Lee
Synths – Steve Deutsch
Backing Vocals – Desmond Child, Kane Roberts, Louis Merlino, Michael Anthony, Claus Lessmann
Try for a used copy here: