Thursday, April 20, 2017

Five Great Hard Rock Songs About Weed

It's amazing the influence weed has had on the music industry from the old blues right up to today where many bands celebrate the kush. Heck there's even the Stoner Rock music category now. You'll find many other lists with songs celebrating getting high on 4/20, but here are five songs from some of the best bands of all time:

Reefer Head Woman - Aerosmith

Never a band to shy away from drugs during their heyday, Aerosmith were sure reeling when they recorded a cover of Bill "Jazz" Gillum's bluesy "Reefer Head Woman" for the Night in the Ruts album in 1979. Gillum recorded it way back in 1938, and Aerosmith turned it into a hard rock number. No doubt the Boston Bad Boys were firing up the bong, especially after Joe Perry left midway through the recording sessions on the album.

Goddamn Electric - Pantera

When a band is pounding out lyrics like "your trust is in whiskey and weed and Black Sabbath - It's Goddamn Electric" you know they've got a good thing going. Pantera's ode to the weed life and great bands is off their Reinventing the Steel album. While it's a nod to weed, the song is about being yourself and living life for you, not someone else - a foundation Phil Anselmo, Dimebag, et al molded themselves on.

Sweet Leaf - Black Sabbath

Before Sabbath's 1971 album Master of Reality, few had openly celebrated marijuana and getting high. Then listeners checked out "Sweet Leaf" and learned how Ozzy, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward and Tony Iommi enjoyed firing up the fatties. It's an open celebration of weed with Butler's lyrics personifying marijuana as a new love. The coughing at the start of the song is courtesy of Iommi after a huge bong hit.

Amsterdam - Van Halen

Everybody's favourite party band released "Amsterdam" on the hugely underrated Balance album in 1995. Essentially a song about the the famous Dutch city, it was unusual for Van Halen to openly talk about drugs on any previous songs. To that end, Eddie and Alex Van Halen were apparently not in favour of Sammy Hagar's lyrics since they thought it did their birthplace a disservice, but the Red Rocker refused to change the lyrics. Interestingly, a video was shot for the song, but MTV sent it back because of the "score me some Panama Red" reference. It was edited out, but MTV never did play the video. And because it's 4/20, do as Hagar says and "Light 'em up!"

Get Ready - Sublime

From a great band with a short legacy, "Get Ready" is more or less a cover of a reggae song by Frankie Paul from 1987. Paul wrote it as a love song and Sublime changed it into a song about getting high and ratted on for doing so. But you gotta love Bradley Nowell singing "Roll out the bong, crank up the song, let the informa call 911". It's a great song you probably won't find on many lists dedicated to Mary Jane.

Check out the five most underrated Sabbath songs from the Ozzy days.


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