TOP 5: And Now For Something Completely Different / By Lex Mishukhin

Hello again, and welcome to a little segment I like to call "Top 5", this […]
November 6, 2013

Hello again, and welcome to a little segment I like to call "Top 5", this one is a bit unusual as it strays away from the essence of Metal Temple and my own writing, due to the fact that this one isn't "Metal", as a matter of fact, this first installment deals with my Top 5 non-Metal albums, I've always felt that we Metalheads for the most part have a very diverse taste that manages to go beyond our beloved Heavy Metal.

So without further a due, here's the list of my top 5 non-Metal albums:

5. Status Quo - In The Army Now

Released in 1986 after a brief break up and a reformation with a new line up, "In The Army Now" became the British veterans biggest selling hit in years, while the lead single and title track did especially well, it was a departure from the classic QUO sound, but that didn't stop the song (which was a cover of a song by Dutch brothers Rob and Ferdi Bolland) from becoming a worldwide hit and keeping it a staple of QUO's live shows, the rest of the album presents the band in their element of Rossi and Parffit's classic sounding Rock N' Roll.

4. B.B. King & Eric Clapton - Riding With The King

I'm the first to admit, I love the blues, and what better blues album to put on this list than the collaboration between two of the greatest blues performers of all time? Blackie and Lucille (Clapton and King's guitars) are wailing together perfectly, the opening title track is a fantastic duet showcasing both performers perfectly, however despite the cover art, it is in fact Clapton who takes a bit of a back seat on this one with the album more dominated by his idol King.The album is full of some great Blues, just have a listen to "Ten Long Years", it's just one of those songs that really captures the spirit of the Blues.

3. Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell

Written by longtime collaborator Jim Steinman, "Bat Out of Hell II" was the second in what turned into a trilogy of albums, and it is considered by many the best, featuring Meatloaf's biggest hit the over 12 minutes long "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" (it was edited to about half its original length to be released as a single) and many others with uber long titles, this album is a real masterpiece of the rock opera genre Meatloaf is well known for. Just have a listen to the hard hitting "Life Is a Lemon And I Want My Money Back" and the inspiring "Rock and Roll Dreams Come Through" to realize the brilliance of this work.

2. Lynyrd Skynyrd - (Pronounced 'lÄ•h-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)

The debut album by the Southern Rock legends is probably one if the greatest debuts of all time, if the only track you've ever heard is "Sweet Home Alabama" (which is not on this album but features on their sophomore record "Second Coming") I highly advise you to pick up a copy of this brilliant album, featuring classics like "Tuesdays Gone" (later covered by METALLICA), "Gimme Three Steps", "Free Bird" and the awe inspiring "Simple Man", this album is a must have for anyone who enjoys some old school Southern Rock.

1. Richie Sambora - Stranger In This Town

The debut solo album by ex-BON JOVI's guitarist was a bit of a commercial flop, but it was never meant as a commercial album, it was just Sambora doing what he loves, playing some blues inspired Rock N' Roll. The booklet features its listening instructions "Turn down the lights, light a candle! Welcome!", And those words ring true as soon as you click play.Sambora put together one of the finest albums I've ever heard, flowing perfectly from the harder to the mellower, ending in a beautiful retrospective ballad called "The Answer", the album also features Bon Jovi band mates David Bryan and Tico Torres on keyboards and drums respectively. Sambora's vocals do not fall short of Jon Bon Jovi's and certainly giving his motherships frontman a run for his money, and if that's not enough the album features a guest appearance by Eric Clapton, playing the solo on "Mr. Bluesman". This is the one album many have never heard of, but anyone who loves Rock N' Growl, Blues and some incredible soulful guitar work owe it to themselves to have a listen.

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