I got Metallica's Garage Days Re-Revisited on vinyl years ago on clearance from one of those mail-order record clubs for 99¢. Seriously. Well, plus shipping. But it was cheap, and it's worth a shitload on vinyl now.
I think it's my favourite Metallica record. I'm not saying it's their best, just my favourite. It's fun, it swings, the songs kick ass. I wanted to post videos of the originals of each song, and I found most of them.
Diamond Head - "Helpless"
Diamond Head are arguably the most revered of the NWOBHM bands; whether this is because or why Metallica have covered so many of their songs is up for debate. This performance is from some British TV show in 1980, and it's pretty awesome.
If nothing else, DH are champion headbangers. But as killer as this is, I think I prefer Metallica's version. It's just louder.
DH, incidentally, have a new album out. It came out about a month ago. I'm not kidding, click their website link above. I haven't heard it, so I can't vouch for it.
Holocaust - "The Small Hours"
Holocaust are basically cut from the same cloth as DH. They also may or may not still be playing (the "Latest News" page on their website was last updated in 2003). The rendition below is not great, but it's definitely them and it's original.
Not a great song overall, but I'd take the original over Metallica's rendition any day. The tempo just doesn't suit Metallica.
Interestingly, I found another video for this song that's fantastic, but was hesitant to post it because it may or may not actually be Holocaust (see the comments). But the performance and sound are far superior to the version posted above, and the cheap-ass trippy video effects are fantastic.
Killing Joke - "The Wait"
Metallica start mixing it up a little with this selection; rather than even more NWOBHM they chose an old cut by industrio-punk outfit Killing Joke who, like every other band covered on this EP, are still playing. KJ are best known for two songs: this one (because Metallica covered it) and "Eighties" (because Nirvana lifted the riff in "Come As You Are" from it).
The clip below is absolutely vicious, easily the best performance I found while putting this together. Also, check out Jaz Coleman's face paint.
No competition; this one destroys the Metallica version.
Budgie - "Crash Course in Brain Surgery"
First off, Budgie owns. You need to understand that. They're the oldest act on here by a long shot, and they're still rocking.
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a performance of "Crash Course" anywhere, not even one taped at a recent show (which I was trying to avoid, but any port in a storm). So then I found a video for "Breadfan" (probably their most well-known song, and also covered by Metallica), but it's not a live performance. I wasn't sure at first, but when the acoustic guitar comes in in the middle it's pretty obvious. But what the hell, it's an awesome song and I can't find anything better, so here it is.
Does Burke Shelley sport Rock's Greatest Glasses? I think so.
Incidentally, I think Metallica's version of "Crash Course" wins by a nose. It's way heavier, and the way they nail those high sixteenth notes in the middle of each verse is the best moment on the entire EP. Which is not to say the original isn't terrific. Check out the lyrics, by the way, they're pretty weird.
So I found some videos of Metallica playing "Breadfan", and I suppose I could have posted one of those for comparison's sake, but none of them are as good, trust me. If I'm gonna link to a video of somebody covering "Breadfan", they can't be singing in English. Also, they have to be Japanese, play a face-melting guitar solo and shoot their video in black&white Super8. As it happens, we have a winner.
Oh, and if you're still bummed that I couldn't find the original, here's a video of actual brain surgery. It's really long, but if you skip ahead a little there's some pretty tasty shots of some dude's head cut open.
The Misfits - "Last Caress" and "Green Hell"
The only American band in the bunch, the Misfits are also the only band here who are arguably not still active. Oh, there's a band out there called the Misfits playing Misfits songs. But that band doesn't have Glenn Danzig. Let me conclude by saying that Michael Graves is a weak imitation of the real thing and Jerry Only is a fucking ass-monkey who needs to stop pissing on the legacy of one of the greatest bands of all time right now.
I found plenty of clips of "the Misfits" playing "Last Caress", but none of the Misfits. So I'm not posting any of that crap. Instead here's a clip of them playing "Astro Zombies" in 1982 that looks like utter chaos. Danzig doesn't even sing half the words, presumably because of the madness going on around him. This is one of those videos that makes me think about how lucky I am that someone shot it.
Any questions? By the way, this guy rules.
The Metallica versions, naturally, are completely inferior due to the fact that they lack Danzig. But they're a nice try none the less. Oh, and that riff they bust into at the very end of the record as the song fades out? Maiden.
See you on Monday.