Shock of shocks, I love L.A. Guns. Over the weekend, I picked up Cocked and Reloaded for eight bucks. I still don't know how I feel about the album.
Turns out, there are several different covers for this album, depending on the distribution deal (I own the version pictured). Also, my track listing doesn't match the actual song line-up, which is more than aggravating. Perhaps I ended up with a defective disc. The track list (should) look like this:
Slap In The Face
Rip And Tear
Sleazy Come Easy Go
The Ballad Of Jayne
Give A Little
Showdown (Riot On Sunset)
Wheels Of Fire
Rip And Tear (Spahn Ranch Remix)
Cocked and Reloaded isn't a necessity by any means, but it's good for fans trying to complete a collection. When Vertigo Records refused to give Tracii Guns the masters to their massively successful 1989 release Cocked and Loaded, the boys went back into the studio and re-recorded the entire album.
If anything, Cocked and Reloaded proves that Tracii Guns can play a guitar and the other members of the L.A. Guns support him well. Still, Phil Lewis doesn't sound as good here as he does on the original recordings. I can also do without the unnecessary changes to the musical arrangements. "Malaria" is my favorite L.A. Guns song, and it was perfect the first time around. When it comes to Cocked and Reloaded, I usually just skip this track because I don't like the changes in voice flection or the way the band tried to "update" the modern guitar tones.
Good news is that L.A. Guns give every songwriter their credit on Cocked and Reloaded, and that includes original members Paul Black and Mick Cripps (for my exclusive interview with Paul Black, please see "Roll the Dice").
Finally, a note about the remix version of "Rip and Tear." When Cocked and Reloaded was recorded in the late nineties, dance music was pretty popular and getting in on the craze was probably overly intoxicating for L.A. Guns.
Give me a break.
I don't want the techno version of L.A. Guns anything. I want it sleazy and raw, thank-you. L.A. Guns should stick to being straight up rock n' roll. Otherwise, what's the point?