First Appeared at The Music Box, April 2003, Volume 10, #4
Written by John Metzger
Mullets might be making a comeback. Or perhaps they never truly went away. One thing’s for certain — the hairstyle has gained more prominence in recent years. First, David Spade sported a mullet in Joe Dirt. Now they are everywhere. Who knew Spade had such power? In mid-February, hockey’s Manchester Monarchs went so far as to distribute 4,000 mullet-shaped wigs to fans on a night when former Los Angeles Kings’ coach Barry Melrose was inducted into — you guessed it — the Mullet Hall of Fame, a story that was picked up by nearly every major news organization across the country. And now this: Epic Records has compiled a two-disc, thirty-five track collection of mullet-head favorites. It’s enough to wonder if perhaps a conspiracy to bring back the hair-do is afoot.
So to what type of music do those sporting mullets listen? It runs the gamut from the heady blues-rock of Mountain to the god-awful noise of Twisted Sister, but mostly it bogs down in the corpulent arena rock of Foghat, REO Speedwagon, Molly Hatchet, and Judas Priest. Indeed, it seems that the longer the style was around, the worse the music became, which of course was generally true of the bleak period that was the ’70s and ’80s. That’s not to say that most people of a certain age won’t recognize every single song (and be able to sing every single lyric) on Mullets Rock! — a frightening thought if there ever was one. Certainly, songs as Mountain’s Mississippi Queen, Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, and The Hollies’ Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress) are verifiable classics. Likewise, relatively newer tracks, such as Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble’s scorching cover of Jimi Hendrix’ Voodoo Child (Slight Return) and the Allman Brothers Band’s Bo Diddley-inspired romp No One to Run With provide some enjoyable moments. Even Phish couldn’t resist the campiness of Argent’s Hold Your Head Up or the Edgar Winter Group’s Frankenstein. But we all might have been better off if tracks like Foreigner’s insipid Hot Blooded, Eddie Money’s banal Two Tickets to Paradise, and, even worse, Billy Squier’s annoying The Stroke had been left in the bargain bin, for they are a true reminder of how too much alcohol and cocaine can cause bad art to take over a nation. ½
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2003 The Music Box