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Good Times, Bad Times ...Ten Years of Godsmack

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(31 Reviews)

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  • So, here we are with what is (far as I know, anyway) Godsmack’s first and only “greatest hits” collection available. Collections like this inevitably tend to piss a lot of people off, if for no other reason than because not every fan’s personal favorites make the cut. But this release has something every Godsmack fan can enjoy. Not only is their cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1969 breakout song “Good Times, Bad Times” amazing and flawless, but each of their studio albums is well represented here. All of the biggest singles from Godsmack (1998), Awake (2000), Faceless (2003), The Other Side (acoustic EP, 2004), and IV (2006) are present. I personally would have liked to see another song from Awake on the record (preferably either “Bad Magick” or “Spiral”), especially considering that both the self-titled album and Faceless get four apiece, but that’s a minor quibble. All of these songs sound as great as they did the day they were released. A lot of folks out there bitch and moan that Godsmack has ripped their sound off from Alice In Chains or that frontman Sully Erna sounds “exactly” like the late Layne Staley (RIP, Layne). To those people I have this to say: Grow a set of ears.

    But as the title of my review indicates, the DVD included in this package is worth the price of the album by itself. Most bonus DVDs top out at about half an hour or so and you’ll usually get something like a couple music videos and some “behind-the-scenes” footage of a band. Not so with Good Times, Bad Times. The DVD is an hour and a half long and is a full acoustic show performed at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Godsmack have been experimenting with acoustic versions of their songs since 2004’s The Other Side, and this DVD shows just how far they’ve come in that regard. The band members prove themselves to be very accomplished musicians. Sully’s voice sounds incredible, and hot damn, that man can really play some percussion. On top of that, bassist Robbie Merrill shows off his skill with an incredible bass guitar solo that leads into an extended jam session with the whole band. Acoustic renditions of several of the band’s hits are performed, the highlights for me being “Keep Away,” “Voodoo,” “Serenity,” and “Re-Align.” But that’s not all. At two points in the show, Sully takes time out from performing to give some members of the audience a chance to ask any question of the band that might be on their minds. (Although he specifically states “don’t ask us about religion,” lol.) I found that to be a nice touch, and Sully gives some very intelligent and well-thought out answers. Original Godsmack guitarist Lee Richards and John Kosco, frontman for the band Dropbox (are they still around anyway?) also make appearances, and Kosco lends his powerful voice to the band’s performances of “Touché” and the blues classic “Reefer Headed Woman” by Aerosmith. If you heard this song and didn’t have a clue as to who Godsmack were, you’d swear it was being performed by a legendary blues band. That’s how well they pull this song off, especially with Sully’s wailing on the harmonica.

    So yeah, Godsmack fans, pick this one up. You won’t regret it. These guys have been around for 10+ years, and if they keep it going like this I can see them being around for another decade.

    Posted on December 27, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Bottom line, this is all of Godsmack’s biggest hits, and a great DVD Live from the House of Blues Las Vegas. To top it off, a great cover of Good Times, Bad Times. A must have for Godsmack Fans, a Great addition for anybody who likes godsmack and can only afford 1 cd, this has what anybody could want.

    Posted on December 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • This Greatest Hits CD is stellar. Every hit that Godsmack has had is in this wonderful collection. Some of the hits included are “Keep Away”, “Voodoo”, “I Stand Alone”, “Straight Out Of Line” and “Re-Align”. Even the beautiful acoustic songs “Running Blind” and “Touche” are wonderful tunes. Godsmack also does an amazing rendition of Led Zepplin’s 1969 hit “Good Times, Bad Times”. Not only do you get all the hits, you also get a DVD with their House Of Blues performance. It makes it well worth the purchase. Any fan of Rock music will appreciate this cd…Godsmack never fails to disappoint.

    Posted on December 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Has it really been ten years since Godsmack first started to get noticed in the hard rock scene? Wow, I feel old. Anyway, “Good Times, Bad Times: 10 Years of Godsmack” collects all of Godsmack’s singles and hits; along with a newly recorded cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times”. For those who have already picked up Godsmack’s albums, there’s not really any reason to pick up this compilation besides said cover (which is actually pretty good and surprisingly faithful to Led Zep’s original classic) track and a bonus DVD of the band performing at the House of Blues, which is worth the price of admission alone. In that regard, “Good Times, Bad Times: 10 Years of Godsmack” is also well suited for casual fans of the band, as it features “Whatever”, “Keep Away”, “Voodoo”, “Awake”, “I Stand Alone”, “Straight Out of Line”, and the great acoustic tracks “Running Blind” and “Touche”. While it would have been nice to see some other tracks on here (like the brilliant instrumental “Vampires”), “Good Times, Bad Times: 10 Years of Godsmack” is a more than solid compilation that fans of the band, new and old alike, won’t find much disappointment in.

    Posted on December 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • THE BAND: Sully Erna (vocals, bongos, harmonica, guitar, drums), Tony Rombola (guitars), Robbie Merrill (bass), Shannon Larkin (drums on “Faceless”, “IV”, “The Other Side”), Tommy Stewart (drums on “Godsmack” and “Awake”). Band origin – Boston, MA.

    THE DISC: (2007) 16 tracks clocking in at approximately 65 minutes. Included with the disc is a 22-page booklet containing song titles/credits/times, a brief paragraph about each song, numerous photos and newspaper/magazine clippings, and thank you’s. Also included with the music disc is a DVD – a 12 song semi-acoustic set performed in 2004 from the House Of Blues in Las Vegas – running time approximately 63 minutes. Label – Universal Republic Records.

    ALBUM REPRESENTATION: Godsmack (4 songs), Awake (2), Faceless (4), IV (3), The Other Side – EP (2), Unreleased (1).

    COMMENTS: Fans of Godsmack should eat this release up. 16 deserving hard rocking songs, plus an amazing DVD. Godsmack has always been fairly consistent… they’ve used the same formula for their songs pretty much throughout their 10 year career… except for their “The Other Side” where they slowed down some of the classic tunes and did them in an unplugged acoustic style. I never thought of Godsmack as a “hit machine”, but the liner notes indicate they have ten Top 5 songs (three of those being #1). Very few compilations are perfect, but this one comes extremely close. For me, the music disc accompanied with the DVD makes this a must have for their fans. THE GOOD: The staples are here in chronological order – “Whatever”, “Keep Away”, “Voodoo”, “Awake”, “Greed”, “I Stand Alone”, “Straight Out of Line”, “Serenity”, “Realign”, “Running Blind”, “Speak”, etc. The unreleased track – a remake of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times, Bad Times” is a good rocking Godsmackified representation of the original. The sound is crisp, yet there is no indication on the disc or in the notes regarding any kind of remastering. The liner notes are extensive – a 2-page intro; dozens of band pictures; chart success of songs; and a collage of newspaper clips old and new. The DVD is a high quality recording shot in 5.1 surround sound, reminiscent of Alice In Chains’ “MTV Unplugged” (1996) show. The House Of Blues is an intimate setting. The show was beautifully captured and edited – and the frame rate is perfect (as some music videos move headache fast)… for the most part it’s an acoustic set with the band sitting on stools and fairly reserved. Sully stops the show twice for a brief Q&A with the audience (a nice touch). The highlights of the DVD being “Running Blind”, “Keep Away”, “Serenity”, a cover of the classic “Reefer Head Woman” with guest performers Lee Richards and John Kosco, and “Voodoo”… along with Merrill’s short bass solo, and drummer Larkin’s duel with Sully’s bongos. Larkin proves to be an accomplished drummer and comes off like an octopus behind the kit – his long arms were all over the place… often times up and over his head while keeping a steady beat. THE NOT SO GOOD: Only two minor things really. I found a few songs missing on the music disc – the opening track to my favorite album of theirs (“self titled”) “Moon Baby”, “Time Bomb”, and two of my favorites from “Awake” (“Sick Of Life” and “Bad Magick”). I was disappointed to see that only two studio tracks made this record from “Awake”. The only other thing wrong here is you get the edited version of “Voodoo” (originally 9 minutes, you get the radio friendly 4.5 minute version here). Time is always a factor with putting a disc together, but I felt with approximately 15 minutes of unused space on this release… “Voodoo” could have been unedited and perhaps a few other songs included. OVERALL: A great package. Great to have so many hard rocking Godsmack tunes all in one place. The DVD is a true bonus. If you’re sitting on the fence about whether or not to purchase because you all ready have the individual albums… buy it for the DVD concert and consider the music disc the bonus (5 stars).

    Posted on December 26, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now