Various Artists

Dead! The Grim Reaper's Greatest Hits

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Not to be confused with a best-of celebrating the career of Grim Reaper, the famously fugly hair metal band so memorably eviscerated by Beavis and Butthead, Dead! The Grim Reaper's Greatest Hits instead compiles 24 early rock & roll classics exploring/exploiting death. Cataloging biker tragedies (Twinkle's "Terry"), pill-popper overdoses (Walter Jackson's "The Bed"), and watery graves (the Rivaires' "Death of a Surfer"), the disc embraces mortality and music in all its forms, spanning from girl group pop to trucker country and proving as indiscriminate as death itself. Sometimes sappy (Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel"), sometimes electrifying (Jack Kittel's "Psycho"), and sometimes eerily portentous (Jan & Dean's "Dead Man's Curve"), Dead! is above all well executed (pun intended), boasting the encyclopedic scope and attention to detail for which Ace is famed. L'chaim!

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