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Velvet Revolver

A raft of rock supergroups have existed since the days of 60s legends CREAM, etc., but the most enterprising and anticipated was the post-GUNS N’ ROSES California combo VELVET REVOLVER, also starring singer Scott Weiland from STONE TEMPLE PILOTS and second guitarist Dave Kushner (ex-Wasted Youth, etc.). GN’R men SLASH (axeman extraordinaire) and the rhythm section of Duff McKagan and Matt Sorum initially auditioned the likes of Josh Todd (ex-BUCKCHERRY) and Kelly Shaefer (of Neurotica) to the project, by once Weiland was on board (albeit from in and out of the courts and subsequent rehab in 2003), VELVET REVOLVER were firing on all cylinders.
2004 saw them deliver their debut R.C.A. chart-topper, CONTRABAND {*6}, a glam and glitz-metal effort that highlighted 13 group compositions including `Slither’ (a minor hit), `Fall To Pieces’, `Big Machine’ and `Superhuman’; a B-side re-vamp of The SEX PISTOLS’ `Bodies’ was included as a bonus track, but not NIRVANA’s `Negative Creep’.
Sticking with the controversial Weiland for another set, LIBERTAD (2007) {*6}, their old-school style of sleaze and gutsy hard-rock paid off once again. Brendan O’Brien was the man at the controls (he’d worked with STP), as the band excelled through opener `Let It Roll’, `She Builds Quick Machines’, `She Mine’ and a rendition of The ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA’s `Can’t Get It Out Of My Head’; for yet another classy cover, the album extras included a swaggering re-tread of TALKING HEADS’ `Psycho Killer’.
But it was inevitable, the make-up of the quintet was only temporary as Scott was tempted back into the clutches of the STONE TEMPLE PILOTS. SLASH, who’d had previous post-GN’R as leader of SLASH’S SNAKEPIT (from 1995-1999), kicked off the tenties as a solo artist, although his eponymous debut in 2010 collated a stellar cast of mighty singers from Iggy to Fergie.
© MCS May2012

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