Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I have to agree with Scott Ian here...

When I think of Anthrax, the lineup that immediately comes to my mind is always the 1985-1992 Joey Belladonna era.

The original albums with Belladonna, "Spreading the Disease", "Among the Living", "State of Euphoria" and "Persistence of Time"; are not just three of their best albums (yeah "...Euphoria" is a bit of a dud), but are three of the best albums in metal history.

I still think "Among the Living" is their best original studio album (I actually like "attack of the killer B's" the most personally); with "Among the Living", "N.F.L", and of course what I think is their greatest song "Caught in a Mosh".

Apparently though, Scott Ian (founding member of the band, the only original member left, and the only member to play on every album) disagrees.

I was watching a rerun of VH1s "That Metal Show", and Scott came on and made it very clear that he thinks the best iteration of the band is with John Bush (who I didn't realize before tonight, was with the band for 12 years and 5 albums... way longer than Belladonna).

In fact Ian even said (and his wife, Pearl, who happens to be Meatloafs daughter, said with him), live on stage, that he preferred Bush to Belladonna, and that he thought of Bush as the "real" singer of Anthrax not Belladonna.

I have to admit, as big an Anthrax fan as I am, I don't love the John Bush albums as much. I liked Bush as a singer, but I always thought of Belladonna as better; and he certainly sang the better songs.

In fact, Scott agrees about the better songs; now naming "Among the Living" as Anthrax's best studio album. When they chose to re-record a bunch of songs in for a compilation album in 2002 (more on that in a minute), almost all the tracks they chose were off of "Among the Living", "Spreading the Disease", and "Persistence of Time".

Anyway... I actually hadn't ever listened to that album, "The Greater of Two Evils"; thinking it was just another live compilation greatest hits money churner.

I have made a mistake in not doing so.

Scott mentioned on TMS, that "Greateer..." was actually an album of the band re-recording their greatest hits, almost all from the Belladonna era, but with Bush as the singer; and he considers it their best album ever.... and he didn't say it directly, but I got the impression that the name of the album as a deliberate dig against Belladonna.

Let me just say, in addition to being THE main member of Anthrax, Ian is one of the biggest metalheads, and just one of the biggest fans of great music there is. He's done tons of album reviews, interviews about other bands music, vh1 compilation and "100 greatest songs of..." shows etc..., and I've rarely disagreed with him. He even likes a bunch of the stuff I like that other metal fans don't (or even make fun of, like Journey or Meatloaf), so even if he weren't in the band, I'd take his opinion seriously.

So I quickly youtubed a few cuts off the "Greatest of Two Evils" album... and then I listened to the original Belladonna cuts...

Well shit... he's right.

Listen to the Belladonna original "Caught in a Mosh":

and now the John Bush version:

John Bush is just plain better. He's a better metal singer, flat out. He's got better pitch, tone, timbre, breath control, and expression for thrash metal. He's the better thrash singer in every way.

"...mosh" isn't exactly the best song to show your range as a singer... let's face it, it's thrash metal, not the three fucking tenors, singing consists primarily of shouting in tune... but it's Antrax's signature song (and the song most Anthrax fans name as their favorite), but even on "Among the Living", and "Indians" the songs they both did that probably best show Belladonnas range as a singer (yeah I know, again not exactly spectacular demonstrations of vocal talent)... Bush is better.

I checked out some live cuts on youtube as well... and yeah, Bush is better live too.

I still love you Joey, and you're the originator of those great albums, and you'll never lose the love of the fans... Bush is just a better singer.

If, like me you're an Anthrax fan, and you'd never bothered to listen to "Greater of Two Evils", you should fix that mistake.