Hello again! I’m back again, but I still expect this blog to remain hit-and-miss for the immediate future. I’ve had to play babysitter with my wife one day and with my other daughter-in-law the other as the baby’s mom went back to work a week or so before their daycare would be ready for her. Of course, being a crazy grandpa is right up my alley. Then, on the other hand, I am also dealing with my mother, who is in failing health as she battles Alzheimer’s. What a sad disease. Just two years ago, she posed a rhetorical question to me, “Why did I work so hard to develop memories only to have them taken away?” At least that question better have been rhetorical since I had no answer. I still have no answer. Unfortunately, she is awaiting placement in the Memory Wing of a nearby nursing home. She could use the help, and my step-father, who has raised his profile with how he has taken care of my mom. Unfortunately, I am beginning to worry about his health as he continues to try to care for her. That’s why I am awaiting word from the memory unit to reluctantly move her in. I know the move is best for her, but it has been a difficult decision to go that route.
Now, on a less depressing note, 2018 has been heating up in the month of September with many great releases. Perhaps the biggest releases are Prince’s newly discovered in the Vault, Piano & a Microphone 1983, and a three-CD compilation of unreleased material from his own storage area called American Dreams. Additionally, Paul Simon, Paul McCartney and Paul Weller have all released some excellent albums in the past couple of weeks. Additionally, rumors are swirling that Kanye West will follow up his June 2018 album, Ye, with the rumored Yandhi album. Keep your eyes open for that one being released shortly after he performs on Saturday Night Live this Saturday. And not to be outdone, Kid Rock has really released his first compilation of hits, entitled Greatest Hits: You Never Saw Coming.
And, Mr. Rock, you’re right! I never saw a greatest hits album EVER being released by you. Honestly, I have never figured out Kid Rock. There’s a part of me that likes him and another that doesn’t. For the most part, I have maintained a strangely ambivalent attitude toward him. Sometimes, I really like his material, like the rock ‘n’ rap stuff he emphasized earlier in his career. But, I tend to be put off by his politics, and I have trouble letting that go. But say what you will, the man has done a great job by continually re-inventing himself, not unlike David Bowie or Madonna. But, Rock made these transformations from a macho American rock side, while the others did it from an artistic point-of-view. Kid Rock has successfully found his niche in a rich vein of American music that lies between country music of Willie Nelson, southern rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd, nu metal of Limp Bizkit, thrash metal of Slayer, Old Skool Rap of Run-DMC and the heartland rock of Bob Seger. The man has even adapted some of his swagger from ’80s-era Hair Metal bands. And, for that very reason, I admire Rock.
Now, his Greatest Hits is short a couple of important hits, especially his political slice of populism anthem “Amen” in addition to any cuts from his 2017 album Sweet Southern Sugar. This compilation seems to focus on his window-rattling rock anthems and his sweet outsider ballads, a winning combo for Kid Rock. Maybe, “Amen” was his progressive side that was on display, and he is currently aligning himself more with Trump’s version of conservatism. Whatever his reason, he left off one terrific song that would have only strengthened this release.
So, when it comes to Kid Rock, here are my 15 favorite songs by the man himself. Some are on his current Greatest Hits package while others are not. So if you want to create a playlist for Kid Rock, you might want to combine my list with his new Greatest Hits and you’ll end up with a solid playlist for this future member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
- “Amen” (2007)
- “Bawitdaba” (1999)
- “All Summer Long” (2007)
- “Picture (w/Sheryl Crow)” (2002)
- “Born Free” (2010)
- “Collide (w/Sheryl Crow & Bob Seger)” (2010)
- “So Hott” (2007)
- “American Bad Ass” (2000)
- “I Am the Bullgod” (1998)
- “Johnny Cash” (2015)
- “Single Father” (2003)
- “Only God Knows Why” (1999)
- “Rock N’ Roll Pain Train” (2003)
- “First Kiss” (2015)
- “Greatest Show on Earth” (2017)
And, that’s Kid Rock according to me. Hopefully, I will have a much better entry for you tomorrow. Until then, keep you feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars! Peace out!