Songs 10 through 8
10 – “Meat Puppets” (1982)
It was on their self-titled debut, released by SST in 1982. Greg Ginn didn’t really know what to make of these odd dudes from the desert out in Phoenix, but he knew he wanted to sign them. They rewarded him with this wild collection of songs drawing on punk and cowboy music, with some psychedelia and noise tossed into one great mosh pit of sound.
Singer Curt Kirkwood seems to be doing a low-rent Darby Crash imitation, but then again, nobody really listened to Meat Puppets to hear Curt sing. They listened for his guitar, and how it collided with brother Chris’s bass and Derrick Bostrom’s drums. On “Meat Puppets,” that guitar stabs out in a surprisingly listenable cacophony, which was to become the band’s hallmark as they improved their songwriting.
9 – “Green Day” (1991)
Three years before Dookie would rewrite the rules for punk music and make them one of the biggest bands in the world, Billy Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt were already blasting power chords over singable melody lines. I’m not quite sure why this song is called “Green Day,” but then again, I never quite understood why Sweet Children renamed themselves Green Day in the first place. This is from their debut – their only album with drummer John Kiffmeyer before Tre Cool joined Armstrong and Dirnt and began making history.
8 – “Kool & the Gang” (1969)
The song and the band use an ampersand. For some reason, the album cover spells out the word “and.” This is the first track from their first album and it spells out their attack perfectly. From Claydes Smith’s jangle-funk guitar intro, we go into a danceable toe tap that allows for Spike Mickens' horn and DT Thomas’ sax to trade riffs. All the while, Robert Bell and the rest of the Gang are adding chatter and generally just having a great time. There would barely be any signing on the debut album. They would add more later.