Q #1,910: Identify the band and song from this 1987 video clip below!
‘Indians’ appears on the legendary Anthrax album, ‘Among the Living.’ Released in 1987, ‘Among’ is the third Anthrax full-length, and is considered by many fans and critics alike to be their best effort of their early catalog, if not to date. This album undeniably serves as the launching point for Anthrax’s popularity, as it is the first of four straight certified Gold releases for the band. Not too shabby for a band that could be described as the lesser and overlooked of the “Big Four.”
The second studio album to feature vocalist Joey Belladonna, ‘Among the Living’ capitalized on the band’s rising popularity, and brought in the talents of a producer by the name of Eddie Kramer. Kramer is a South African producer and engineer, who has been a part of collaborative efforts with artists including the Beatles, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton. It’s no mistake that when you mix a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame producer with Anthrax, that you get some of their best and most accomplished work. Still, ‘Among the Living’ wouldn’t be certified Gold until 1990, three years after its release, and a year after their next album, ‘State of Euphoria.’
‘Among the Living’ features a number of lyrical pop culture references, and is accompanied by an album cover that some believe to be directly tied to the lyrical subject matter.
- The album’s title track focuses on the Stephen King novel ‘The Stand,’ and many believe the character of Randall Flagg to be the character depicted on the album cover. The character also bears a resemblance to the character of Rev. Henry Kane from the film ‘Poltergeist II: The Other Side,’ but there are no known direct lyrical connections to the story in the lyrical content.
- The track ‘A Skeleton in the Closet’ is also inspired by Stephen King, this time taking its cues from the novella ‘Apt Pupil.’
- ‘I Am the Law’ is a tribute to the comic book character Judge Dredd, something that guitarist Scott Ian holds very near and dear to his heart. In his liner notes of the greatest hits release, ‘Return of the Killer B’s,’ Ian says, ‘Fuck that lame movie that was made (Judge Dredd). Go back and check out the early Dredd stories from ’86 & ’87 and you’ll feel the true essence of the character.’ If my math on this checks out, then Dredd in ’87 should be on par with Stephen King.
Anthrax dedicated this album to the late Cliff Burton, who was killed while they were on tour with Metallica. Scott Ian talks about that dark moment in metal history on Chris Jericho’s podcast:
“I remember getting off the bus and walking into the lobby and I saw our tour manager and he was talking to some guy … and he said, ‘This is so-and-so, the promoter of the show tonight’ and then he told me. He was like, ‘There was an accident last night. Metallica’s bus crashed and Cliff Burton was killed in the accident. Lars was hurt and everyone else is kind of on their way here now. But Cliff died.'”
Scott Ian, ‘Talk is Jericho’ Podcast Episode #13 (2014, via Loudwire)