Gilby Clarke's Pawnshop Guitars|
One of the most prolific former members of G'N'R, former Kill For Thrills
member Clarke has a number of great solo albums under his belt.
Granted, his short stint in Guns 'N' Roses as Izzy Stradlin's replacement
probably fueled label interest at first, but his talent is readily
apparent on his debut, Pawnshop Guitars. This is his best, most
consistent record, and his covers of The Clash's "Jail Guitar Doors"
and the Stones' "Dead Flowers" are worth the purchase price on their own.
Duff McKagan's "10 Years"
Although Duff's solo debut, Believe In Me, is
middle-of-the-road stuff, a few songs stand out. "10 Years" is a throwback to
Duff's punk past and shows an unexpected depth of songwriting.
Izzy Stradlin & the Juju Hounds' Self-titled
The one who got out while the gettin' was good, Stradlin rejected G'N'R's
success and excess early on and left the band during their heyday. His
debut, an Exile On Main Street-influenced romp,
was lauded for its bluesy roots-rock appeal but failed to catch on with
Slash's Snakepit's "Lower"
While Slash's first post-Guns outing was iffy at best (people wanted a
G'N'R knock-off, not It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere), a handful of tracks revealed the outfit's true potential. Both "Lower" and "Neither Can I" gradually build into frenzied metal
classics that deserve their place at the top of the heap.
A strong departure from Buckethead's days in Praxis (with
experimentalist Bill Laswell) and his various Bucketheadland
releases. Doing away with screaming guitars and his typical
Malmsteen-esque guitar escapades, he instead opts for a
stripped-down, New Agey record that's almost unbelievably slow. It's an amazing effort,
and puzzles listeners who had previously pigeonholed the musician as a
Neurotic Outsiders' Self-titled
One of the oddest line-ups since The Power Station, the short-lived
Neurotic Outsiders featured Matt Sorum, Duff McKagan, former Sex Pistol
Steve Jones and Duran Duran's John Taylor. Their songs were mostly
juvenile anthems about sex and strippers, but as usual, a few of the songs
("Angelina", "Feelings Are Good", and "Story Of My Life") were too good
to miss. Their cover of The Clash's "Janie Jones" should have been a
Gilby Clarke's The Hangover
Clarke was in a glammed-out mood for this 1997 record. Songs like
"Wasn't Yesterday Great", "Blue Grass Mosquito", and his cover of
Bowie's "Hang On To Yourself" show the guitarist in rare form. This
underrated album barely made a blip on the sales charts, but it's a treasure for rock 'n' roll
fans. Clarke's cover of "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" is also worth a listen.
Loaded's Dark Days
Duff's Japan-only release marks a return to the musician's punk roots,
and is a clear indication of how far his talent has progressed since his
drugged-out days in Guns 'N' Roses. If you can find this one, go ahead
and pick it up -- if you don't like it, you can always hock it to a Velvet Revolver fan on Ebay.
Buckethead's Electric Tears
Another mellow departure for the extraordinary guitarist. Obviously, the
time Buckethead spent with Axl hasn't removed his ability to create new and
beautiful music -- Electric Tears is similar to his work on Colma, but
with less of an electronic/New Age bent. "Sketches Of Spain (For
Miles)" is ample proof that Buckethead should be scoring films instead of
taking orders from Axl on an album that may never see the light of day.
Velvet Revolver's Contraband
Okay, you knew it was on the list somewhere. Despite being loaded with
radio-friendly rock anthems, Contraband has its high points --
most notably the songs you won't hear on Clear Channel stations. True,
a different singer would have been better than former STP frontman
Scott Weiland, but undoubtedly wouldn't have garnered the band as much
attention as they've received. Their live covers, which can be found on
any (hush hush) P2P network, are the best of the lot, and well worth searching for.
Col. Parker's Rock N Roll Music
Gilby Clarke and Stray Cats' Slim Jim Phantom may seem like an odd
combination, but in the short-lived Col. Parker they concocted an
effective mixture of garage and blues -- not a huge departure
for either musician, but well-crafted stuff nonetheless. Another of those albums that critics seem to love and no one ever hears.
Izzy Stradlin's On Down The Road
This 2002 release is Stradlin's tribute to the purity of seventies rock. Part Black Crowes, part Memphis blues, part Rolling Stones (of
course), the album is Stradlin's most ambitious and mature material.
Slash's Snakepit's Ain't Life Grand
"Life's Sweet Drug" alone is worth most of this one's purchase price -- and not just because the you'll almost always find this one under a quarter-inch of dust in a record store's cut-out bin. While life wasn't quite as grand for Slash back then as it is now
that Velvet Revolver is all the rage, his second solo offering is