I wrote this on Jan 14 2021 and never published it presumably because I wanted to get all of the songs finished on the ratings / commentary and I probably had other things to say, but it’s clear that’s never happening so I’m posting it as is from then because I think I had some good stuff here anyway.
I don’t normally listen to the Talk is Jericho podcast and I honestly don’t have a very high opinion of him (and it wasn’t improved by this episode), but since the topic was comparing Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease with their subsequent Among the Living, I have to weigh in. I feel I owe it to…whoever. He had Charlie and Scott from Anthrax and Eddie Trunk who I didn’t know it, but was working at Megaforce when Among the Living was released.
The premise of the episode format is that you take each track head to head and pick the winner. Scott and Charlie acknowledge at the start that they’re biased. I think it’s kinda arbitrary to use the album order to compare the tracks, but I don’t know the history for this particular idea. I’ll bet you’re shocked but I have opinions. First, I have some back story to relate to what the “panelists” also shared.
My introduction to thrash metal started with Metallica’s Master of Puppets. I remember buying the album. I’m pretty sure I was in Arlington and might’ve been on my way to a Rangers game with my father. I was already haunting Bill’s records (RIP Bill) by that time, but the store I remember was similar and I must’ve found it via liner notes. We didn’t have the Internet in 1986, kids. Anyway, up until Master, I had been mostly into bands like Ratt and Iron Maiden. Master of Puppets blew me away and I, of course, read the liner notes to that record which led me to Anthrax’s Spreading the Disease. Much like Eddie who mentions this in the podcast, I was blown away by Joey’s vocals over the thrash. I’ll save my opinions so I line them up with the ones from the podcast.
|A.I.R. v. Among the Living|
|Lone Justice v. Caught In a Mosh||Caught|
|Madhouse v. I Am the Law||Law|
|S.S.C. / Stand or Fall v. N.F.L.||N.F.L.|
|Enemy v. Skeletons in the Closet||Skeletons|
|Aftershock v. Indians||Indians|
|Armed and Dangerous v. One World|
|Medusa v. A.D.I. / Horror of It All|
|Gung-Ho v. Imitation of Life|
Separate from the decisions comes the commentary…
- I always wondered why they used the preacher from Poltergeist II to represent Randall Flagg from The Stand. I thought it worked on the album cover but it was a little odd. Jericho had no idea. It also sounds like nobody came after them about it.
- I love that Eddie Trunk is the one who bought the original headdress for the Indians video
- The talk about I’m the Man being safe as a b-side to I Am the Law in the UK and being obscure if it failed is hilarious in retrospect. Also, I own that 12″ and we fucking loved it when it came out. I need to digress to the Z-ROCK and Arcadia theater live recording that ended up on the I’m the Man EP
- Scott translating all of the acronyms was great. Adolescence in Red was supposed to be a clever update of Rhapsody in Blue? I NEVER would have guessed that.
- I’m as torn as Eddie on the Lone Justice / Caught match up. I LOVED Lone Justice and how on top and out front Joey’s vocals were but I have to give it to Caught. That was by far the hardest choice.