VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems

VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped, Vol. 2: The Anthems


VH1 Classic/Sidewinder Music
Release date: October 18, 2005

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In its fifth year, VH1 Classic (a popular USA-based, 24-hour cable/satellite network) is best known for presenting music videos, concerts, and music specials featuring Rock, Pop, and Soul artists from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Over the last several years, VH1 Classic has also found and tapped into a lost market in the United States … those 1980’s “Big Hair Metal” fans. It can certainly be a lucrative market to serve, as many of those fans, now a bit older, have settled down and possess decent paying jobs, which translates into potential discretionary spending money.

Last year, VH1 Classic released a fifteen track CD entitled VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped. Now dubbed Volume 1, that CD contained acoustic versions of classic Hard Rock ballads, including hits by bands such as Queensrÿche, Extreme, The Scorpions, and Night Ranger, to name a few. Most of the tracks were off of USA import releases, live recordings, rare performances, and hard-to-find albums. Additionally, to further entice the buyer, that CD also included six newly recorded performances. The release was so successful that it debuted on the Billboard Top 200 and has sold over 100,000 units to date, not too shabby for a “dying breed.” The marketers were so impressed by those numbers that many peripherals were set into motion. First, a DVD is being released in 2006 that includes footage of some of these classic performances at last year’s record release party for Volume 1. Then, there’s the twenty-five date, one month VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped Across America tour that is currently in progress, featuring acoustic performances by Don Dokken, Jani Lane, Stephen Pearcy, Kip Winger, Firehouse, etc. Now comes a second CD entitled VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped Volume 2: The Anthems, in which VH1 hopes the fans are still thirsty for more of the same type of music.

Volume 2 of this series presents acoustic (or commonly referred to as “unplugged”) versions of Hard Rock’s greatest anthems. This volume uses the same 80’s Metal hits formula as its predecessor, by mixing brand new acoustic recordings with USA import tracks, rare performances, etc. This time though, a whopping ten of the fifteen included tracks are newly recorded. These include newly recorded performances by Kip Winger, Jani Lane, Great White, Stephen Pearcy, Night Ranger, Tom Keifer/Fred Coury, and Nelson.

The selections included are well-known, memorable 80’s Metal greats, and should invoke a lot of memories in the 80’s generation crowd. Granted, there are a few mellower acoustic passages, but, in most cases, a lot of tracks end up sounding a bit “heavier” than typical all-acoustic recordings by throwing in some percussion and drums. The highlights include a rousing, crowd-infused rendition of “Rock You Like A Hurricane” by the Scorpions, with its female backup singers, “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me” by Night Ranger with its Flamenco-like lead playing by Gillis/Watson, and rather spirited versions of “Cherry Pie” and “Madalaine” by Jani Lane and Kip Winger, respectively. Then, of course, Dokken’s “Into The Fire” (presumably from their hardly rare One Night Live release) where Lynch gets “plugged in” for the lead. “Smooth Up In Ya” by the now defunct Bulletboys is also a spirited and welcome inclusion.

Bottom line, if you grew up in the 1980’s along with that “other music video network” and like any type of “Hair Metal,” then you can’t go wrong by picking up this all around energetic, acoustic release. It certainly makes for a nice “party disc” for those mixed Hard Rock/Metal social events. On top of that, its a suitable disc that can be cranked at home that won’t otherwise offend your significant other.


  1. Rock You Like A Hurricane – Scorpions
  2. Here I Go Again – Whitesnake
  3. Don’t Tell Me You Love Me – Night Ranger
  4. Talk Dirty To Me – Poison
  5. Shake Me – Tom Keifer (Cinderella) with Fred Coury
  6. Cherry Pie – Jani Lane (Formerly of Warrant)
  7. Heavens Trail (No Way Out) – Tesla
  8. Round And Round – Stephen Pearcy (Formerly of Ratt)
  9. Madalaine – Kip Winger
  10. Into The Fire – Dokken
  11. Smooth Up In Ya – Bulletboys
  12. (Can’t Live Without Your) Love And Affection – Nelson
  13. Sex Action – L.A. Guns
  14. Don’t Treat Me Bad – FireHouse
  15. Once Bitten, Twice Shy – Great White


  • Scott Jeslis

    Scott is one of the partners at Metal Express Radio. He handles a lot of Metal Express Radio's public relations, screening of new music and radio scheduling. On occasion, he also does reviews and interviews. He has been a proud member of the Metal Express Radio crew since 2004.

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