Inspired by the combination of some truly awful records and a recurring feature on Videogum, editor Joe Puglisi proves that even criminally awful albums can inspire us... to seek out which of them is the worst.
No, we're not talking about Bruce Banner and the Gamma Rays (Come On Ang Lee!
, 2003 Capitol Records). The real Hulk Hogan plays bass and made several real musical recordings in 1995 for a real compact disc called Hulk Rules!
. That's the funniest thing I could possibly say, AND IT'S NOT A JOKE.
We're already painfully aware of the strange wonders of celebrity being used as leverage to make records
, but it is almost forgivable based on intention (educational). Hogan had a well known love of music but it wasn't until after he became the scourge of t-shirts everywhere that he had the resources and the complete lack of foresight to make an album that sounds like it could be a prop in a Judd Apatow movie. With titles like "Hulkster's Back", "Hulkster In Heaven" and "Beach Patrol", it's obvious we are working with some deep thematic material, lyrical prowess, and inventive chord progressions. Psyche! It's terrible!
Now before I continue, I think it's only fair to note that Hulk was inspired to pen this album by the passing of a young fan from the UK. OK. Sure. Pretty good reason. That being said, naming your album Hulk Rules!
and constantly referring to your own third-person terminology for yourself is not a normal way of grieving or giving to charity, is it? A moment of silence please. Seriously. Anything but another chorus of "Beach Patrol". I cannot hear less of "Beach Patrol". Please.
The liner notes, according to some questionable Internet research, contain a rough outline of the album's goals: "Hulk rocks, Hulk raps, Hulk delivers a poignant ballad". For your listening pleasure, we've assembled an example of each. Let's barf about them!
HULK ROCKS: MP3: "Hulkster's In The House"
Every good artist knows that you have to start off your album with something that really pops. That is why Hulk starts off with a very subtle, unique collection of expressions pertaining to his wrestling/musical prowess, like "When the going gets tough/the tough get rough" and "we're rocking down the house". First and strongest indiciation that the Hulk Rules!
drinking game (drink everytime Hulk says any variation of "Hulk") would lead to hospitalization and in some cases, death.
HULK RAPS: MP3: "Beach Patrol"
Hulk is the only guy I know who could take a song about being a tough guy fighting with some lifeguards and accidentally make it sound like a commercial for Barbie accessories.
HULK DELIVERS A POIGNANT BALLAD: MP3: "Hulkster In Heaven"
I actually did cry the first time I heard this.
"I used to tear my shirt/but now you tore my heart" - Slyvia Plath.
I know it's a Hulk thing to talk like a neanderthal but there is something about the line "I wish Hulk's love could bring you back again" that will haunt my dreams until I bleach my brain with a flamethrower.
You get the idea. The rest of the album, barring one terrible cover of "Bad To The Bone", jumps back and forth between narcissistic self-congratulatory nonsense and fourth-grade style poetics about America, staying in school, and his backup group (called "The Wrestling Boot Band"). And although it's all terrible and the stuff of nightmare legends, I still for the life of me can't get over "Beach Patrol". Seriously. Ten dollars to the person who can explain in four Hulks or less how this song made the first round of edits (there were edits, right?). Check please.
Some of us do not have the unbridled energy and aggressive mustaches to tackle this much awful music all day so I'm going to take a nap. But I know it feels good to laugh at my ear's expense so we'll take a very brief hiatus and get right back to the hunt in time for Christmas. Although a few attractive options have come to my attention (Macho Man Randy Savage? FABIO?), I think it's time to ditch the personalities for a moment and get festive!
Next up: Episode VIII: The Star Wars Christmas Album