Sunday, February 1, 2015

Song Of The Week: 2/1/15

Song: "Whatever"

Artist: Godsmack

Album: "Live & Inspired"

Year: 2012

"Whatever" is a song written by Godsmack vocalist Sully Erna as a direct response to his then girlfriend when the band was just starting out. It was damn near impossible to keep a relationship at that time in the band's history because when they weren't jamming and rehearsing, they were working regular jobs and when they weren't working regular jobs, they were rehearsing. It was his response to her when she was vying for time with him. His band was his passion and nothing was going to get in the way of that. The original version of "Whatever" appeared on Godsmack's 1998 self-titled album. The version I chose for my song of the week appears on the band's 2012 live album "Live & Inspired". Hailing from Lawrence, Massachusetts, Godsmack formed as a band back in 1995. Erna, who was a drummer in previous bands, decided to form a new band and act as the lead vocalist. In 1996, the band released their debut album "All Wound Up", which cost the band $2600 and was recorded in 3 days. The song "Keep Away" gained the attention of local radio station WAAF in Boston who began rotating the song on a daily basis. In 1998, Godsmack signed to Universal/Republic Records and released "Godsmack". This album basically featured re-mastered tracks from "All Wound Up" and their new single "Whatever". The album debuted at #22 on the Billboard 200 and by 2001, was certified 4X platinum. "Whatever" was and still is the band's signature song. 2000 saw the band drop "Awake". This album debuted at #5 on the Billboard 200 charts thanks in part to the singles "Awake", "Bad Magick" and "Greed". Godsmack's song "I Stand Alone", which was featured on the soundtrack for the movie "The Scorpion King", became the #1 single at Rock Radio. It became the most played Active Rock song in 2002. 2003's "Fearless" was the band's 1st album to debut at #1. It sold over 269,000 copies in it's first week and featured the singles "Straight Out Of Line", "Serenity" and "Re-Align". In 2004 the band released an all acoustic EP called "The Other Side". In 2006, Godsmack released "IV", their second straight album to debut at #1 on the Billboard 200 charts. This album featured the songs "Speak", "Shine Down" and "The Enemy". To celebrate the band's 10 year anniversary, Godsmack released the greatest hits package "Good Times, Bad Times...Ten Years Of Godsmack". This album featured a cover of the Led Zeppelin track "Good Times, Bad Times". The band's next release was 2010's "The Oracle". Behind the singles "Cryin' Like A Bitch", "Love-Hate-Sex-Pain" and "Saints And Sinners", this album became the band's third to debut at #1. In 2012, the live album "Live & Inspired" was released. It came with a bonus EP of four cover songs. 2014 saw the band release "1000HP". This album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 charts and featured the singles "1000HP" and "Something Different". In support of "1000HP", Godsmack headlined the 2014 Uproar Festival. Currently, Godsmack is most likely still in the support stage of their latest album "1000HP". They normally release albums every 2 to 3 years so I wouldn't expect a new full length until probably 2017 or so. Godsmack is one of the biggest hard rock/metal outfits that are out there as of today. They are often compared to Alice In Chains because of their brooding, dark themes and sound. Erna's vocals are eerily similar to that of Alice In Chains former frontman, the late Layne Staley. When Erna growls, his vocals are often compared to Metallica's James Hetfield as well. Despite the similarities and some critics knocking the band off as cheap imitations of those 2 bands, Godsmack has definitely carved their own niche in the rock and roll landscape. Godsmack, as well as fellow Massachusetts band Staind, are the current faces of heavy rock/alternative metal/post grunge music.

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