Tales of Terror – Self Titled (CD Presents) 1984. Ahhh………Tales of Terror. You knew at some point I would post this monster. Problem is I don’t have my copy anymore which leaves me very depressed. Luckily Bob at drunkinjuns.org had a copy for me to post. Its only 128kbps but its punk rock so I’m cool with it. Of course, if one of my more audiophillic fellow bloggers can post some sorta fancyfied 320kbp uploads of this that would be peachy. Cuz let’s face it, it’s a fuckin’ classic and deserves the deluxe treatment.
Anyhoo…My first introduction to Tales of Terror was of course Gods From Outer Space on the classic Thrasher Skate Rock Volume 2 Compilation. It was an instrumental though so I didn’t get the full impact of what they were all about. Then I saw them in one of those skate rock videos.
Needless to say I was pretty hooked. At the time these guys were really pushing a much less-hardcore, more class of 77′ vibe than a lot of the crossover stuff that was in vogue. It was also unabashedly not emo or revolution summer or straight edge. It was just greasy, nasty Cali-punk rock of the highest order. Now THAT was some shit I could really get into. I bought the album and it really reminded me of Decry, which was one of my favourite bands ever.
Of course in retrospect, this was proto-grunge and was pointing towards the Northwest scene of the late 80s. The album ended up on Kurt Cobain’s much coveted top 50 list. Green River covered Ozzie on Dry as a Bone. In a weird moment of synchronicity, Mudhoney just named a track on their brand new album after Tales of Terror as well. It’s not surprising that this was influential with the Seattle folks. There is a rock-n-roll feel to a lot of this that is pretty overt on songs like Elvis Tattoo (and the Hound Dog cover). Other tracks like Jim and Romance could easily be early Mudhoney or Cat Butt songs. Shit, these guys were way ahead of the times!
Which is of course a shame cuz things did not end well for Tales of Terror. Guitarist Lyon Wong died of head trauma in 1986. Apparently a football quarterback punched him; knocking Wong to the pavement and causing him to strike his head on the ground. He died a few hours later at 22 and the murderous jock received a 6 month sentence. Bassist Geff Magner reportedly died in early 2004 of a drug overdose.
Anyway…let’s drink a toast to one of the all-time greats. This played in the background a lot back then and now that summer has officially hit, it’s time to sk8 and fuckin’ DESTROY!
Tales of Terror
8.Over Elvis Worship
9.Tales of Terror
11.Chambers of Horror