Various Artists

Double Shot: Metal

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If you know someone who believes that all heavy metal and hard rock sounds alike and want to show that person just how wrong he/she is, Double Shot: Metal will make your case nicely. Released in 2000, this two-CD set spans 1972-1999 and refuses to focus on any one style of metal or hard rock exclusively -- the collection is all over the metal map, and K-Tel makes a point of keeping things unpredictable. The oldest selections on Double Shot: Metal -- Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and Deep Purple's "Highway Star" -- go back to 1972 and are fine examples of early metal. But the vast majority of K-Tel's choices come from the 1980s and 1990s, and the label provides everything from the glossiest, most commercial of pop-metal (including Ratt's "Round and Round," Twisted Sister's "We're Not Gonna Take It," Winger's "Seventeen," and Faster Pussycat's "House of Pain") to such blistering thrash and speed metal as Anthrax's "Only," Sepultura's "Lobotomy," Testament's "Electric Crown," and Motorhead's "Iron Fist." (Note: Motorhead has been called the first thrash or speed band, and 1982's "Iron Fist" was considered required listening by a lot of thrashers). Meanwhile, alternative metal is represented by Pantera's "Walk," Faith No More's "Epic," the Melvins' "Revolve," and -- believe it or not -- a Mötley Crüe song: "Holligan's Holiday." Mötley Crüe is hardly the first band one associates with alternative metal, but this post-Vince Neil number from 1994 came at a time when the Crüe was getting away from pop-metal and was being influenced by grunge bands like Soundgarden, the Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam. To be sure, Double Shot: Metal is far from the last word on metal/hard rock -- most of the songs are decent or excellent, although only a handful are definitive. But you have to applaud K-Tel for being so delightfully eclectic and for reminding listeners just how wide a variety of music headbangers have provided over the years.

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