Sammy the Seal

“There’s got to be another way”

In music videos, vinyl on Wednesday, 4 April, 2012 at 11:52

Song: Ball And Chain
Artist: Social Distortion
Album: Social Distortion

What a classic. Nothing at all groundbreaking or flashy about this: a straightforwards, but enduring melody, a very easygoing tempo, uncomplicated guitar work, and a throwback country, rock sound. It must be the familiarity and simplicity that makes it so affecting.  I just listened to a bit of Social D this morning, and I have to say it’s great for self-reflection (not self-loathing). Not that I can relate specifically to Mike Ness’ hard-knock life, but it’s the personal tone that makes it universal and special. However, whenever I sing along to the melody, I feel kind of silly, as my voice is too clean and plain for the lyrics. That’s why I often stick to the backing harmonies, which are just as satisfying ands necessary. I’m not say a raspy voice automatically equals pain and realism, but sometimes it can.

The song is almost six minutes long, so about a minute was cut from the video, which I guess I understand. I guess one shouldn’t complain, it’s still pushing five minutes, so they could’ve cut more.

I’ve linked to a video from the CBGB show in 1992 before. I always like to see old stuff, even though the vocals are hard to hear. The rest of the sound isn’t so bad, it’s still a treat. Man, to have been at that show, or at least to see the venue.

A better sounding video, though from a 1997.

Mike Ness turned 50 years old yesterday, wow. Happy birthday, man.


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