Andrew recently hand-picked ten songs that made his life partier for KERRANG Magazine. Enjoy the full press clipping by clicking the image above and read Andrew’s original, unedited comments on the songs below!
Andrew W.K. – Ten Songs That Made My Life Partier…
1. Judas Priest – “Metal Gods”
– I’d watch the Judas Priest “Screaming For Vengeance” live tour VHS video tape every night for a year straight – age 19 to 20. I didn’t have a VCR, so I’d watch it on an old black and white VHS camcorder with a one inch viewing monitor. It was during my early years in New York City and I didn’t have many friends, so I hung out by myself. This song is from the “British Steel” album, and always gets me completely amped up. The purity and restraint of the riffs – the visionary lyrics – the fantastic drummer, Dave Holland, holding it all together. The smallest developments in the riffs have a huge impact as the song progresses. It just rocks so goddamn hard, not to mention it features the metal god himself on vocals. Kneel down before Halford.
2. Jesus Christ Super Star – Original London Cast Recording – entire album.
– I was introduced to this album at age 10 by my best friend’s Mom. She listened to a cassette of it in her car until the cassette literally disintegrated. Ian Gillian is Jesus, Murray Head is Judas, and Paul Gadd is a priest. This album has mysteriously become harder and harder to find. I recently paid $80 for a rare CD copy, just so I could have a backup. It’s by far Andrew Lloyd Webber’s greatest work, although I do love lots of his songs. I’d even say it’s one of the greatest rock albums of all time, regardless of it being musical theatre.
3. Naked City – “Contempt”
I got this record when I was 13. This is a true genre-destroying super group and proof that the saxophone is as heavy as the electric guitar. It shattered my mind in the best way. This particular song was written by Georges Delerue, a film composer. You can hear the cinematic scope of its musical power. It’s an awesome recording of an awesome song. The saxophone sounds like a screaming demon crying out for all the dead souls still walking the earth. When I played it for my high school jazz band teacher, he puked.
4. Ace Frehley – “Ozone”
I was 16 and my car didn’t have a stereo in it. So, I got a battery powered boom-box and jammed it onto the dashboard. The CDs and tapes I listened to most were mostly by Emperor, Mayhem, and then this Ace Frehley solo album. The “Ozone” song is tremendous in every way. It was the official song of my first car, which I eventually destroyed by never changing the oil. The longer I’ve listened to this song, the more it blows my mind. Ace is pure musical genius. Ace is ace.
5. Baby Dee – “Half A Chance”
This is the first song I ever heard that made me cry – and I mean full blown heavy sobbing. And it’s not because it’s a sad song – it’s actually a happy song. It’s just pure emotion. When you hear this song, all you have to do is imagine someone in your life you truly love, and it instantly becomes a song about them. It’s the most beautiful love song I’ve ever heard. I think it’s even better than “Bridge Over Troubled Waters”, which is one of the only other song that makes me break burst into tears. And I’m not ashamed. It’s good to feel feelings.
6. Obituary – “Back From The Dead”
This band means more to me than almost any other musical thing in the world. When I was 18, I wrote a fan letter to the drummer, Donald Tardy, and asked if he’d play on my “I Get Wet” album. He basically became my big brother and helped me put together the entire Andrew W.K. band. I’ll never forget the first day I met Donald and how we jammed together at the studio. I played guitar and he played Tommy Lee’s drumset, which happened to be in the sound booth. The first song we played was Obituary’s “Back From The Dead”. It’s just a tremendously powerful piece of music. I’m indebted to Donald and Obituary forever.
7. Alan Parsons Project – “Don’t Let It Show”
I’d seen this album around for years and always wondered what it would sound like. The album cover was so awesome that I finally took a gamble and bought it. As most folks have experienced, sometimes you can judge an album by its cover, and this is one of those cases. What a melody and what lyrics! “I, Robot” is a fantastic album all the way through and this song is a masterpiece. I think it’s about indecent exposure or mental rape or withstanding tortuous interrogation techniques, or something.
8. Couch – “Old Man”
When I was 14, I used to walk to this record store by my high school during our lunch break and the guy that worked there would recommend music to me. His name was Jim Magas and he pretty much introduced me to all the most exciting music I ever heard. Then one day he told me to buy a new record by a band called, “Couch”. It turned out it was his band. This song absolutely changed my life. It taught me that music doesn’t have to be impressive to be incredible.
9. Current 93 – “Sleep Has His House”
This 24 minute epic is a completely overwhelming triumph of musical vision. Current 93 founder and lead vocalist, David Tibet, is by far one of the greatest singers and lyricists of all time. He’s a prophetic visionary master artist, and this song was written about the death of his father. No other singer sounds like David Tibet and no other group accesses the amazing and terrifying realms the way Current 93 does. I got to play bass guitar in this band and it was one of the greatest privileges of my life. Diving into their world changed me forever. It’s a vast and fascinating place to explore, but be warned… you’ll never be the same again.
10. ZZ Top – “Made Into A Movie”
There’s no other music that sounds like this song. Billy Gibbons has truly achieved his outer-space face melting rock ‘n’ roll fantasy with this track. I bought their “XXX” album when I moved into a crazy New York apartment when I was 25. The apartment was in an abandoned 100 year old building on the far west side of Manhattan. No one else lived on the entire block, except rats and two homeless people, and the building had no one else in it. It felt very apocalyptic. This song was the soundtrack for those early days in my new uncanny home. It was scary in the best way. It felt like living on a horror movie set. This song captures all that feeling and more. It is the rock ‘n’ roll equivalent of a futuristic movie scene, set on a deserted city street, with garbage, urine, cockroaches, and a single, lone partier living in a decaying brick shit-house.
– Andrew W.K.