As a producer/engineer, Bob Rock is hardly obscure -- he's worked with everyone from Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe, and Metallica to Bryan Adams, David Lee Roth, and Cher. But it's safe to say that many of the people who know Rock for his work as a producer/engineer have never heard of Rockhead, a short-lived band that he belonged to in the early '90s. Produced by Rock in 1992, this self-titled effort is the band's only album. Rockhead -- Rock on guitar, Steve Jack on vocals, Jamey Kosh on bass, and Chris Taylor on drums -- specialized in derivative but likable hard rock/pop-metal. This mildly uneven CD isn't breathtaking, although most of the songs are decent. Unfortunately, Rockhead was a victim of bad timing. A few years earlier, this release might have been a hit. But in 1992, long-haired pop-metal combos like Rockhead were going out of fashion. Grunge and alternative rock were taking over, and slick pop-metal tracks such as "Chelsea Rose" and "Hell's Back Door" were not considered cutting edge. From MTV to the A&R departments of major record companies, rockers were looking for the next Pearl Jam or the next Nirvana -- not the next Bon Jovi, the next Winger, or the next Skid Row. Even Rock himself went on to work with some alterna-rockers; in 1997, he produced Veruca Salt's Eight Arms to Hold You. Rockhead's only CD didn't sell, which doesn't mean that its hard rock/pop-metal content is without merit -- the album's disappointing sales were simply a reflection of changing tastes. Again, this CD might have done better commercially if it had come out in the '80s instead of 1992 -- and despite its imperfections, it is worth hearing if you are a die-hard pop-metal enthusiast.
by Alex Henderson