Album Review: Gilby Clarke – ‘Gilby Clarke’
By Bill James Mar 5, 2007, 14:00 GMT
Clarke has an amazing ability to move from one musical style to another with ease.
No doubt metal heads are familiar with Gilby Clarke’s extensive resume. From guitarist and song-writer to producer, Gilby Clarke is a busy man trying to make up for some lost, “hazy” years – if you catch my meaning. But for the novice rocker, Clarke’s upcoming eponymous greatest hits album is the perfect introduction to a guitarist whose been kicking the rock world in the ass for over two decades.
Gilby Clarke has been featured in such groups as Guns N’ Roses. Taking over after Izzy Stradlin bolted, Clarke held-on throughout the Use Your Illusion Tour and recorded ‘The Spaghetti Incident,’ and ‘Greatest Hits’ before Axl lost control of Axl. He’s also recorded with Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck, Duff McKagan, Slash, and Lenny Kravitz to name a few. And if you’ve missed the T.V. hullabaloo, Gilby Clarke is also part of Tommy Lee’s super group, Rock Star Supernova.
But Clarke is more than just a hired-gun guitarist; he’s also produced some scorching tracks for L.A. Guns and The Bronx. Clarke is a man of remarkable talent on both sides of the microphone and seems ready to continue challenging himself with new projects.
His soon to be released self-titled greatest hits album is a collection of Clarke’s hits from the early-90’s to the present. The albums represented include: ‘Pawnshop Guitars,’ ‘The Hangover,’ ‘Swag,’ and ‘Rubber.’ The album offers a wonderful cross-section of Gilby’s work from his metal sound, his blues, and his softer, introspective work.
And it’s that versatility that is the real beauty of Gilby Clarke. He has an amazing ability to move from one musical style to another with ease. I prefer his blues tracks like “Bourbon St. Blues” and “Can’t Get That Stuff.” But his rock moves from the soulful “Black” featuring Dilana to “It’s Good Enough For Rock n’ Roll” which resounds with the southern rock/honky-tonk style of Lynard Skynard.
Clarke also has a sense of humor and enough balls to roundly mock the entire punk movement in “Punk Rock Pollution,” in which he pokes fun at the deceased Sid Vicious, The Clash, and New York Dolls. On the last track, “Judgement Day,” Clarke asks, as we all do at some point, if he’ll be remembered when he’s gone and if any of his efforts matter. Not to worry Gilby, while much of the applause and foolishness of youth was a waste, you’ve created and added much to the musical consciousness.
So what’s my final word, this is an album for any and all rock fans who sometimes forget what the music is all about. The heart of this album is rock because the heart of Gilby Clarke is rock.