Uncovering Perfection
by C.J. Cain (cjcain@hardradio.com)

The cover tune - the garage band staple - is performed for a variety of reasons. It may contain an easily learned riff or chord progression, allowing it to be hastily added to a fledgling young band's repertoire, while they attempt learning instruments at the same time. The bar band will cover tunes the paying customers recognize, while interspersing samples of its own work. Established bands will cover songs on tribute albums to their metallic predecessors, or may so adeptly cover a tune from another era that it becomes more recognizable in its covered version, ala "You Really Got Me." The ability to cover a particular band's style can also, in rare occasions, lead to a lucrative career advancement opportunity, eh, Ripper?! Just about any song is fair game, but I believe there are a few that should be retired from these ranks and given universal recognition and acceptance as an "uncoverable" tune.

There are a number of songs that, whenever and wherever they begin, move me to bow my head and thrust my fist in the air - thanking the metal gods for their existence. When appropriate, they always require full volume for utmost appreciation and full-sensory overload. They may represent a poignant moment in the band's career, or an important moment in your own life, but the one thing they all represent is that none of them could be performed any better. Everyone has his or her own list - here is mine.

Hells Bells, AC/DC: I will always get goose bumps the first time the bell tolls. The lyrics not only allude to singer Bon Scott's untimely death ("You're only young, but you're gonna die"), but also establish Brian Johnson as their very capable front man ("I'm coming on like a hurricane", and "I won't take no prisoners"). Easily the best use of church bells in any metal tune.

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