Rollins Band – Get Some Go Again: #655 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Rollins Band - Get Some Go Again

Why is Rollins Band’s Get Some Go Again on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

No safety net: you get what you get, what you settle for.

Some stats & info about Rollins Band – Get Some Go Again

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? SoCal Bands, Hard Rock, Rock Music, Alternative Metal
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating2.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was Get Some Go Again released? 2000
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #655 out of 1,000

Rollins Band’s Get Some Go Again on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.

What does Rollins Band’s Get Some Go Again mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

Henry Rollins is a fascinating figure on the American pop culture scene (more on this below). Legendary as front man for the groundbreaking hardcore punk band Black Flag, he went on to have a long solo career in music. For me, Get Some Go Again represents that period of his career at its peak.

Rollins’ unusual style as a singer is really more of a performer – barking lyrics with tremendous passion, anger, and energy – and meshes best with a melodic, driving backing band. And after fiddling with Rollins Band’s lineup in the late ‘90s, the stage was set for a collection of great songs that straddle hard rock, punk rock, and alt metal but really is driven most by Rollins’ singular personality and presence.

The title track, “Get Some Go Again,” captures this intensity and energy perfectly.

“Change It Up” is my favorite Rollins Song of them all (yes, even more than “Liar,” the band’s biggest hit, off Weight from 1994… truth be told, I don’t really like that song all that much). It’s almost punk spoken word and works perfectly for Rollins’ style. The narrative is crystal clear and compelling as well: “No safety net, you get what you get, what you settle for.” And perhaps most importantly, the guitar hook is crushing and awesome.

“Illumination” has a nice thrashy feel to it, and Rollins’ gruff style grooves with it in sync.

Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Rollins Band’s Get Some Go Again

I’ve long been a huge fan of Henry Rollins as spoken word performer and writer (also: pretty good actor!). Here’s a short essay that I wrote about Rollins in 2005.

I rolled through the California desert this very evening, sand blowing my car sideways with the bite and power of the wind. I was tired, over-caffeinated, peevish, cold and clammy and rattled. I had to make a round-trip of around 250 miles, and thankfully my iPod was souped up and powered up. Random shuffle popped on a spoken word performance by Rollins from the late ’90s.

And the rest of the night was cake.

Rollins has the ability to take a fairly ordinary, somewhat interesting musician’s anecdote (in this case a series of incidents in which Rollins desperately wants to outperform fellow legend Iggy Pop on stage) and turn it into a self-effacing, laugh-out-loud tour de force. The story telling begins in a relatively even voice as Rollins doles out only as much information as his audience needs to know. During the first part of the tale, concerning an early ’90s concert in which Rollins and Pop were on the same bill, Rollins explains that the far older Iggy “blew my ass off the stage.” By the time the climax of the story hits, during the third attempt of Rollins to upstage Iggy, Rollins is screaming, exhorting, working himself up into the same spirit that fueled his artist-commando siege upon the House of Pop.

A classic vengeance story is born. Rollins carefully, colorfully, and hilariously builds up the conflict in the story: the “aw shucks” one moment, raging rock demon another Iggy versus the single-minded musician-assassin set out upon a course of redemption.

The brilliance is in how far Rollins is willing to go in poking fun at himself. The audience is treated to a word portrait of Rollins in full military/Buddhist/samurai-style training to finally match Iggy’s stagemanship at a Finland rock festival in 1998. The bill? The Cure (“Pretty good songwriter,” Rollins says of front man Robert Smith, “but what’s up with his whole pose, and that hair? How did he pick that?”) backed by Iggy Pop and Rollins Band. Rollins lets us see and enjoy how much of a maniac he became in the pursuit of his goal, how others around him were amused or appalled (his own backing band, “real musicians,” thought he was an “asshole,” Rollins tells us).

The climax sees a mid-30s Rollins giving the performance of his life, and working within an inch of it, to upstage the soon to perform Pop in Finland. “My head hurt, my ass hurt, I couldn’t breathe,” Rollins says of his rock-’till-you-drop performance that evening. Between sets, a normally infuriatingly aloof Pop sees Rollins and says, “f***er.”

But that’s just the beginning.

During a five-minute rollercoaster ride of the senses, Rollins explains in visceral, excruciating, hilarious detail the lengths that Pop goes through to maintain his title of punk rock’s hardest working elder statesman. At 50, Pop proceeds to vanquish Rollins’ noble quest by crashing off loudspeakers, bleeding profusely from his “serpentine body,” smashing spotlights, scaring the daylights out of his own band, kicking out light fixtures, invoking the crowd to come on stage, and smashing hell out of the dozens of potted plants set up on stage for The Cure’s headlining set.

The end of the sweaty, manic, all on-the-line tale comes when a wild-eyed, bloody, mud-basted Pop walks past Rollins.

And chuckles.

Rollins has the ability to take an average story and transform it into a magical and exquisitely unique journey. This is because of his brutal honesty: about others, about the world, but most of all with regard to himself. He’s a stand-up philosopher, to steal the term coined (I believe) from History of the World: Part I.