On October 14th Anthrax released a 4CD set ‘The Island Years 1985-1990’, which collects together 4 albums along with rare B-sides and live tracks from their time on Island Records.
Check out the landmark ‘I’m The Man’ with Public Enemy featured in this collection:
Regarded as one of the ‘Big Four’ thrash bands in the world along with Megadeth, Metallica and Slayer – Anthrax are still playing today and are regarded as one of the best exponents of the genre.
For over 30 years, the band have proven to be intelligent, powerful, ferocious, streetwise, comedic and also innovative. Formed in New York the band quickly came to prominence via an independent album release, they were soon picked up by Island and here is a set of all the bands recorded output for the label collected together for the first time.
Looking back at their story you realise that they were among the first to introduce rap and hardcore into metal music and this 4 CD set collects the band’s golden era, one that saw them soar with inimitable passion and fire, as a true ability to blaze away with high speed riffage and complemented by a strong sense of melody and groove. Anthrax made their mark on the 1980s, including 3 UK top 20 album’s ‘Among The Living’, ‘State Of Euphoria’ and ‘Persistence Of Time’.
1987’s ‘Among The Living’, was the breakthrough album and sold close to 100,000 copies in the UK and features - ‘I Am The Law’ a tribute the legendary comic book character Judge Dredd, and ‘Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)’, which needed to be read backwards in order to get the sense of what the band were on about. And it was a celebration of the life of the late John Belushi. Elsewhere, Anthrax show a socially aware side to their personality on ‘Indians’, while ‘Caught In A Mosh’ connected them firmly with their fans, who’d spend most of a gig moshing around in a frenzied elevation which was a depiction of the impact the music had on them.
In 1988, the band showed they had what it took to expand on their established fan base and style, as they put out the ‘State Of Euphoria’ album, reaching number 12 in the UK charts. They again created a selection of songs that showed their capacity for ensuring all bases were covered. On the social front, they dealt with the plight of the homeless with ‘Who Cares Wins’, while Stephen King was again an influence, as his novel ‘Misery’ provided the storyline for the song ‘Misery Loves Company’. And ‘Now It’s Dark’ was based on the acclaimed David Lynch film ‘Blue Velvet’.
But perhaps most famous of all was their cover of ‘Antisocial’. Originally done by French metallers Trust in 1980, it was much for the way Anthrax tackled it that their version is now regarded by many as being definitive.
1990’s ‘Persistence Of Time’, became the band’s third successive Top 20 entry. And is darker, heavier and more technically progressive than anything they’d previously released. Songs like ‘Keep It in The Family’, ‘In My World’ and ‘Belly Of The Beast’ were impressive in their fullness and creativity, while a cover of Joe Jackson’s ‘Got The Time’ was given a true Anthrax shunt.
This purple period represented here finishes in 1991 when they recorded the landmark ‘I’m The Man’ with rappers Public Enemy – a true meeting of two different genres.
Since then, Anthrax have had a multitude of line-up changes, which even saw a reunion of the glory line-up responsible for all the music here from 2005-7. And they have gone on to record some impressive albums and songs since.
However, what is here represents the band in their pomp. When they can certainly be considered one of the greatest metal bands of all time. True mosh monarchs and madhouse mirth masters.
Part 1 Spreading The Disease
2 Lone Justice.
4. S.S.C. / Stand Or Fall.
5. The Enemy.
7. Armed And Dangerous.
Part 2 Among The Living
10. Among The Living.
11. Caught In A Mosh.
12. I Am The Law
13. Efilnikufesin (N.F.L.)
14. A Skeleton In The Closet
16. One World
17. A.D.I. / Horror Of It All
18. Imitation Of Life
19. Indians - Alternate Lead
20. One World
21. Imitation Of Life - Alternate Take
22. Bud E Luv Bomb And Satan's Lounge Band
23. I Am The Law - Live In Dallas/1987
Part 3 State Of Euphoria
24. Be All, End All
25. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
26. Make Me Laugh
28. Who Cares Wins
29. Now It's Dark
31. Misery Loves Company
34. Friggin' In The Riggin' - 12" Version
35. Antisocial - Live
36. Antisocial - French Version
Part 4 Persistence Of Time
41. Blood (Persistence Of Time
42. Keep It In The Family
43. In My World
45. Intro To Reality
46. Belly Of The Beast
47. Got The Time
48. H8 Red
49. One Man Stands
51. Protest And Survive
52. Who Put This Together
53. I'm The Man - The Illest Version Ever / Live In Japan/1990