Released: 2005, Universal Music
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
The hottest reunion of the last year has got to be Anthrax. Getting Joey Belladonna back behind the mike seemed like a pipe dream but with he, Dan Spitz and Frank Bello on board, it is suddenly 1991 all over again. The band has been criss-crossing the globe, hooking up for arena tours with Judas Priest and Rob Zombie as well as a brief stint on last summer’s Gigantour. The Anthrax name is a household one again and to capitalize on this wave of success, Universal has released ANTHROLOGY: NO HIT WONDERS (1985-1991), a DVD (along with a separate two CD companion) which collects the band’s music videos from their prime period.
Included are fourteen clips as well a pair of “bonus tracks” that successfully show the progression of the band not only as musicians but also as actors. “Madhouse” is low-budget idiocy (an alternate MTV-friendly version is also here) while the socially-responsible message clip, “Who Cares Wins,” sheds some light on the problem of homelessness. “Metal Thrashing Mad” is an early vision of the band, shot live on stage in Germany in 1985 complete with stage divers and general thrash mayhem whereas the four clips taken from the band’s 1987 show in London are a marked improvement. “Bring The Noise” and “I’m The Man” (two versions!!) may set some people off but both songs attracted a lot of people to thrash metal that would never have given it a second glance normally.
In addition to the videos, a video commentary by the band makes this DVD worthy of a purchase itself. Convening in 2005 to simultaneously watch and comment on the clips, the band is clearly having a great time reminiscing and providing interesting stories and anecdotes. Belladonna remains virtually unchanged today from 1985, while the clips follow the evolution of Scott Ian’s receding hairline from thinning, to a bad mullet to the rat-tail/Hare Krishna thing he sported in the early nineties. Great stuff!
ANTHROLOGY: NO HIT WONDERS (1985-1991) is less than an hour long but watching the clips with the video commentary feature on was a blast. Having grown up with Anthrax (my first “real” metal show was KISS and Anthrax on the AMONG THE LIVING tour in early 1988), it was great to see the videos and hear the band’s thoughts on them, as well. The CD version is the one to get but the DVD is an excellent addition to the ‘thrax catalogue.