I’ve always liked Krokus a lot. They never quite got the recognition other hair metal bands did. Maybe that’s because they were around before the hair metal era. Their first album, a self-titled progressive rock offering, came out in 1976, but they really started hitting their stride with the 1980 release Metal Rendez-vous. That album was the first to feature Marc Storace. With Marc’s Bon Scott-ish vocals and a more commercial approach to songwriting, Krokus began carving out a place metal history.
Maybe you recognize some of their songs, maybe you don’t. There were some great ones. Bedside Radio, Headhunter, Eat the Rich, Midnite Maniac, Hot Shot City, Long Stick Goes Boom, and Screaming in the Night are just a couple of their originals. What I want to highlight here are some of the best cover songs Krokus has done.
Krokus had a talent for picking songs to cover. They made them sound like Krokus while maintaining the integrity of the originals. American Woman, Ballroom Blitz, and School’s Out are just some of the songs that got the Krokus treatment. They even did a Bachman Turner Overdrive tune called Stayed Awake all Night, which really kicks ass. It’s not surprising Krokus finally released an album of covers. The album is called Big Rocks. It’s full of songs you’ll recognize, all done with the Krokus attitude.
Some of the great tracks on Big Rocks include Queen’s Tie Your Mother Down, Neil Young’s Rockin’ in the Free World, Spencer Davis group’s Gimme Some Lovin’, and Zep’s Whole Lotta Love. Other cool stuff includes Wild Thing, Born to Be Wild, and a wicked version of one of my favorite Stones songs, Jumpin’ Jack Flash.
Big Rocks is a killer set of songs. Krokus brings out the best in each one. There’s enough of a tip of the hat to the original versions to do them justice, but enough Krokus injected into each of the songs to make them sound consistent. Lots of bands do cover albums to varying degrees of success. Krokus has perfected the art of covering songs by other bands. Big Rocks is a perfect example of that. Every song on the album is a classic, and with Krokus doing them, they are infused with a new life. If you’re a Krokus fan, check out Big Rocks. It’s a great jam.