Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebels & The Sunset Strip is a riveting documentary of a magic time in music history. From roughly 1988 to 1991, Hollywood was the center of the music universe. There was an almost constant stream of bands that went from playing the clubs one month to being played on MTV the next month.
This isn’t their story. This is the story of the bands that might have, could have, should have made it. Four CDs with nine bands on each disc, with each band having two songs. For those who were in L.A. at the time, the names of the bands will trigger fond, nostalgic memories. For those who weren’t there, consider this a music history lesson.
The CDs are accompanied by a booklet packed with a well-written narrative as well as vintage photos of the clubs and band flyers. There is also a page devoted to each band on the album, with a period promo photo and a brief history of the band.
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Rock ‘n’ Roll Rebels & The Sunset Strip is how well the music has held up. The quality of the songs vary from rough demos to fully realized, finished recordings, but still; if one were to be handed one of these CD’s with no imprint, very few would guess that these tunes are 25 years old—they still sound fresh and exciting. The songs and musicianship were there, they had the look, and given the right break, every one of the 36 bands featured in this collection could have easily been as big as Poison or Warrant.
Whether you were there and want to relive the good times and seemingly endless parties, or were too young to have participated, this collection is highly recommended.