The Attitude Era was a period in the history of professional wrestling which referred to the type of programing being produced by WWE (WWF at the time). This came at a time when WWE was still locking horns with close rival WCW. The type of programming and content therefore featured more adult-orientated content including an increase in depicted violence, profanity, and sexual content. In turn this lead to the rise of many major stars within the company including (but not limited to) Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Mick Foley. This entire package became hugely successful to the WWE, recementing their place in the world of Pro-Wrestling as the dominant company; and the ultimately defeating WCW! To this day the Attitude Era is still widely acknowledged by fans of WWE as something of a golden era for the company!
The WWE Anthology is a collection of music produced by Jim Johnston for WWE over three major generations of wrestling. The second disc is devoted to music produced during the Attitude Era; and as themes go; it’s very much on topic. Many of the pieces of music feature a strong and almost violent level of aggression, staying on topic of what was an aggressive period of programming. There are some more quirky pieces, some involving mystery or comedy, and others being a breath of fresh air in the mix, but for a CD devoted to Attitude ridden songs; it has been composed very well.
On a CD containing close to thirty pieces of music; it has been hard to bring it down to just 5 pieces. Whilst I could have just updated it to a Top 10; I thought I would keep it more on theme with my last list, and keep it down to just five. But just so that the other songs can get a mention; here are the other pieces of note below the top five:
And so, without further ado; here are my Top 5 Favourite pieces of music from the second disc (Attitude Era) of the WWE Anthology; Enjoy!
5. Break It Down (D-Generation X) – The first track (after the signature) of the anthology, and the first one on the list. It begins with the iconic ‘are you ready’ quote which can sound a little weak in this instance; but it’s all part of the build-up, which is nice and at a gentle pace, before then jumping into the main riff, followed by a verse, and even more build-up, leading into the descending chorus, and that cool riff, before doing it all over again! It’s a funky and light rock tune, which sounds really cool and also rather breezy. It’s a slow start into the Attitude driven era, but the lyrics say more, as the wording is non compliant and anti establishment!
4. If You Smell (The Rock) – The Rock’s theme tune is already an iconic piece of music; but it’s had many different iterations over the years; so much so that you could just do a list celebrating the best ones. The best known ones are (depending on your viewing), are either his most recent one, or his 2000 theme. Both of these themes though are very fast in their delivery. This one from the anthology, is much slower. It still features the iconic opening phrase and those incredible drum beats, but the track is much slower and smoother. It still features many of the classic moments too, including the epic drums and those brilliant guitar reversals, but on the whole, the track takes you back to a time when his character was just growing into the legend he became!
3. You Think You Know Me (Edge) – This is the bare bones original of his original theme. It’s a techno blasting piece of music which features a quick but adrenaline fueled build-up to that chorus sound of implosions, or fireworks taking off from a keyboard! And we are treated to this whole thing at least three times. It’s energetic and fast. Short, but really sweet!
2. The Ultimate (Ken Shamrock) – This piece of music is rather strange. It features some fast sections, but for most of the time is slow. It features a heavy rock riff, but doesn’t feel heavy. It sounds like the guitar strings are being scratched rather than plucked. But that’s the hidden joy of this piece. It’s not about being loud or aggressive, it’s about being terrified to some degree. It sounds like something big and mean is coming your way, and there is no running from it. It’s going to happen, but its still toying with you, as it makes it’s approach. It’s sort of like the soundtrack to Jaws, something is coming, but much slower, playing with you; knowing you can’t run, and it’s intending to enjoy every single second of it!
1. Dark Side (The Undertaker) – It’s practically a perfect match: The Undertaker, and Heavy Metal! It still features some of the key iconic moments of the Deadman’s best known themes, as well as the almost ironic sad sections; but for the most part features this brilliant heavy metal riff which just works with his character. It allows the Undertaker to still be relevant musically in a changing world of Pro-Wrestling, and it does this with the biggest kick of attitude possible from the entire album. It’s the perfect blend of themes!