“Metal Mania Stripped Vol. 3” by Various Artists

Artist: Various Artists
Title: “Metal Mania Stripped Vol. 3”
Label: VH1 Classic
Release Date: 3/6/2007
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Continuing along with the successful “Stripped” editions comes Volume 3 and right away this one is a little more of a treat since it not only features a score of songs you will likely remember, but many of them are new recordings by the people who made them famous in the first place. Poison’s MTV Unplugged is dropped in as is Ratt’s but I have to admit that neither of these tracks were ever among my favorites from these particular Glamsters. We get the pre-requisite classic from Queensryche and a staple from Slaughter as well as the Tesla-fied version of “Signs”, a track that propelled this band into the stratosphere when it was re-recorded by them in 1991. The new recordings were for the most part winners with a great version of the Damn Yankees hit as done by the now touring Shaw Blades. The duo just released an album of their own and featured music that influenced their beginnings. Warrant’s Jani Lane gives us “Heaven” while that Cinderella fella Tom Kiefer drops a smooth “Nobody’s Fool” down. I think that my overall favorites went right to the Autograph, Kix and Eric Martin tracks based on their not only being new but being some of the freshest sounding versions of the songs I enjoyed in their original fashion so long ago. The Autograph number was one of the best rocking mood inducing songs written and the Kix track a powerful anti-suicide message that still has punch.

The Mr. Big track as sung by singer Martin was nice and really always was better served as an acoustic piece anyway. It’s not all good however as we find that some songs are just not meant to be acoustic and that falls to the Accept classic “Balls To The Wall”. The rich piano-laden melody and singer Udo speaking in monotone as opposed to singing made me feel as though I was in a crappy bar watching a terrible lounge singer. I love this song, but an acoustic version made me simply say “Yikes”. The highlights clearly outweigh the minor lowlights on this one and as a whole the collection offers up some great memories and music. Each release has answered the call for both missing and new tracks in acoustic form and the appeal of each one has not lapsed in quality at all. This one is a winner so if you like these bands and their classics its time for you to hear them in an entirely new way.

Track Listing:
1. Poison – Unskinny Bop
2. Shaw/Blades – High Enough
3. Tesla – Signs
4. Winger – Headed For A Heartbreak
5. Dokken – In My Dreams
6. Firehouse – When I Look Into Your Eyes
7. Ratt – Way Cool Jr.
8. Jani Lane – Heaven
9. Autograph – Turn Up The Radio
10. Tom Kiefer – Nobody’s Fool
11. Kix – Don’t Close Your Eyes
12. Eric Martin – Just Take My Heart
13. Queensryche – The Killing Words
14. Slaughter – Up All Night
15. Accept – Balls To The Wall

Official Website: www.metalmaniastripped.com

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