Three and a Half Kings

“Wow”, I thought to myself, scanning the cover of the latest edition of Classic Rock in my local newsagent’s, “what a collection of rock legends – Slash, Glenn Hughes, Duff McKagan and . . . Joe Elliott?!”

The occasion of this foursome’s being presented in union is, of course, the Matt Sorum-initiated supergroup project, Kings of Chaos. The first time this project was brought to my notice, I found myself wondering how truly ‘super’ a supergroup could be with the larynx of the Leppard at centre stage. And I can’t help thinking that, were I ever to attend a KOC show, I would be inwardly protesting “For heaven’s sake – Glenn Hughes is in the building!” every time Mr Elliott took to the mike (including during the Def Leppard songs). Leaving aside such mean-spirited musings, the larger question addressed by the CR cover story – of whether Kings of Chaos is an exciting and intriguing development in the rockosphere, or merely a glorified covers band – remains (for the record, it should be stated that Slash was only appearing as a special guest with the crew on their recent South African jaunt; the rest of the current Kings are rounded out by Gilby Clarke, Miles Kennedy, Ed Roland and Dave Kushner). For my own part, I have no doubt whatsoever that a KOC gig would represent a cracking night’s entertainment, and I’d love to see these guys – along with other big names being tagged for future Chaotic shenanigans – tearing it up on the same stage. My only concern is what the whole thing (possibly) signals for the future of new music from our rock icons? With the live stage representing the most lucrative avenue for established artists, and new studio albums being fewer and farther between, can we expect the emphasis to shift ever further towards multi-artist tours and nostalgic live showpieces? If so, that would be a pity – because, as this list attests (along with the recent platters from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple), when the veterans and established stars of rock do get their butts into the studio, the results can be pretty damn inspiring.

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