Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Danzig’

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From their humble beginnings in Lodi, New Jersey in 1977 as a garage band to selling out Madison Square Garden in 2019, the Misfits remain one of the most important bands in the history of punk. blending punk and other musical influences with horror film themes and imagery.
Founded in 1977 by vocalist, songwriter and keyboardist Glenn Danzig, and drummer Manny Martínez. He named the band after actress Marilyn Monroe’s final film, The Misfits Eventually Jerry Only joined on bass guitar and Danzig and Only were the only consistent members throughout the next six years, during which they released several EPs and singles, and with Only’s brother Doyle as guitarist, the albums “Walk Among Us” (1982) was released in March 1982 through Ruby and Slash Records. It was the first full-length Misfits album to be properly released, and the only album to be released while the early incarnation of the band was still active. “Earth A.D./Wolfs Blood” (1983), both considered touchstones of the early-1980s  punk movement.

Heavyweights such as Metallica, Green Day, and Rob Zombie site the Misfits as an influence. Even pop-punk acts such as My Chemical Romance, Alkaline Trio, or Blink 182 wouldn’t exist without the inspiration. Combining elements of hardcore, gothic imagery, and campy horror movie aesthetics, their sound is just as important. Even if you’ve never listened to a single track, odds are you’re familiar with the iconic “Crimson Skull” badge that adorns all their merchandise. It’s arguably just as recognizable as the Rolling Stones’ lips emblem.

Despite their influence and importance, the Misfits don’t have a large body of work.

Without counting the releases recorded after 1983 (the Jerry-fits are weak and the less said about the Michael Graves-lead variation of the Misfits, the better), they only released 2 full-length albums and a handful of singles/EPs. If you’ve never listened to the Misfits but want to know what the fuss is all about,

here are 10 songs that perfectly sums up the experience. 10 songs is a considerable amount of music for a band with under 40 songs! , If you like these songs, you’ll probably be interested in the plethora of music Glenn Danzig was responsible for post-Misfits.

10. “Death Comes Ripping” – Just like the intro to each of the modern reunion shows, “Death Comes Ripping” opens the show with rapid-fire drums, chaotic guitars, and faux-goth lyricism. I can’t think of a better introduction to the world of the Misfits.

9. “Attitude” – There’s an indescribable satisfaction hearing an up-beat pop-punk guitar riff behind lyrics of anger, frustration, and violence as the answer. If you’ve never sung this at the top of your lungs to release the tension of an unforgiving workday, you’re not me.

8. “Where Eagles Dare” – Continuing the theme of major chords and pent up aggression comes this charming little diddy about standing up to the oppression society inflicts on its people. In fact, it just might be the most punk of punk songs ever recorded!

7. “Cough/Cool” – Despite being such an important punk band, the Misfits utilized atmosphere far more than guitars. With keyboards and synthetic rhythms as it’s fuel, “Cough/Cool” is closer to the likes of early Ministry or Depeche Mode (who’d show up long after this song was recorded).

6. “London Dungeon” – Equal parts goth and surf, “London Dungeon” is a black-eyed love song recounting the infamous story of the band being arrested for accusations of grave robbing and thrown in jail while on tour in the UK. This description is textbook Danzig and I adore every second of it.

5. “Die, Die My Darling” – The kiddies will recognize this by the Metallica cover years. And while those dudes do a serviceable version of “Die, Die My Darling”, nothing compares to the atmosphere and raw emotion Glenn and the boys offer up here. As a kid, I always thought the keyboard or guitar riff  (whatever it is doing that beeping sound) was emulating a heart monitor, especially as it fades then abruptly stops at the end.

4. “Hybrid Moments” – As a strong contender for one of their most recognizable melodies, this song sounds just as powerful now as the very first time I heard . It’s not only one of my favorite Misfits tracks, its probably one of my favorite songs period.

3. “American Nightmare” – They don’t call Glenn Danzig the Evil Elvis for nothin’. There really isn’t much more I can say about this track. If you dig old school rock n’ roll seasoned with murderous imagery and gothic swagger, this should be your favorite song

2. “Last Caress” – No matter what anyone says, who compiles it, or who listens, there can’tbe a list of iconic Misfits songs without “Last Caress”. It’s ugly, offensive, and magical when singing along in public while getting all sorts of dirty looks from your peers.

1. “Astro Zombies” – Early 60s chord progression, lyrics referring to a campy B movie, and the most satisfying “whooaaaahs” of any song ever recorded, “Astro Zombies” may not be the best song from the Misfits, but it definitely sums them up in just over 2 minutes. Every sensational second of this song properly represents everything I’ve loved about this band since the moment I was introduced to them all the way to the time I’ll be laid to rest.  Its the perfect combination of IDGAF attitude, ferocious energy, and unmistakable attitude. All presented with a certain self-aware wink as if they’re having just as much fun playing it as we are listening and singing along. If I had to pick a single track to introduce someone to the Misfits, it would be, without question, “Astro Zombies”.

If this playlist is your first introduction to the Misfits, I hope you have a good time as I did when I was first introduced to them.

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35 years ago today The Misfits released “Walk Among Us” in March of 1982. To date, it’s the only album they ever released while the Lodi, N.J., natives were still a functioning unit with the line up of Glenn Danzig on vocals, Jerry Only on bass and his younger brother Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein on guitar.

Clocking in at only less than 25 minutes, with the majority of the 13 tracks two minutes or less, Walk Among Us is a breakneck-paced album full of head bobbing sing-a-long “Whoa, whoa, whoas.” The happy, cheery catchiness of the songs belie the twisted lyrics about hacking heads off little girls and hanging them on the wall (“Skulls”), destroying the human race (“Astro Zombies”) and having brains for dinner and for lunch (“Braineaters”). A large part of the Misfits’ appeal was precisely that contrast between sick and sweet.

“The songs were pretty much all about being in your face and over just as quickly,” Danzig said years later, adding that he played most of the guitars and drums on the record along with handling production.

The production was lo-fi, common at the time for punk rock of all deviations, and the songs were meant to grab the listener straightaway. The only time it slows down is for the briefest of seconds on a live version of “Mommy, Can I Go Out and Kill Tonight?” taken from a New York show the previous December and inserted into the middle of the track listing. Leading into the chorus, the band stops playing as Danzig poses the title of the track as a question before diving headlong into a frenetic churning of sonic speed.

“Walk Among Us” is very just, I wanna say – not pop, but really fast and catchy,”

And though Walk Among Us was officially the first full-length Misfits release, timeline-wise it was third recorded behind Static Age (1978) and 12 Hits from Hell (1980). Like the numerous singles and EPs before it, the album was initially to be released on the band’s own label, Plan 9, but there was a sudden interest from independent labels on the West Coast, and it ended up on the Slash imprint Ruby Records.

“I.R.S. [Records] heard that we were doing the record and approached us about putting it out through them,” Danzig said. “And then we got a call and a letter from Slash Records saying they wanted to release it and that we should not do the deal with I.R.S. because I.R.S., they felt, were terrible and wouldn’t pay us. While if we did the deal with Slash it would ensue that we would be paid. But in the end, it was all bulls— anyway.”

Danzig was also unhappy with the cover art, which depicted the trio (as well as drummer Arthur Googy) sporting the patented devil-lock, with the rat-bat-spider from The Angry Red Planet and spaceships from Earth vs. the Flying Saucers, two late-50s science fiction B-movies. Despite the pink and later purple variations having taken on iconic status over time, the pressings were intended to look quite differently.

To mark the 30th anniversary of Walk Among Us, Rhino Records released three colored-vinyl versions of the album for Record Store Day 2012 with the pink cover. It was limited to 3,000 total copies in the U.S. and pressed on red (1,250 pieces), blue (1,250 pieces) and clear (500 pieces) vinyl. There was also a purple vinyl pressing released internationally that was limited to 1,500 copies.