Last Caress

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"Last Caress"
Song by the Misfits
from the EP Beware
Released January 1980
Genre
Length 1:58
Label Plan 9 Records
Songwriter(s) Glenn Danzig
Producer(s) Dave Achelis
Tom Bejgrowicz
Audio sample
"Last Caress"

"Last Caress" is a song by the American punk rock band Misfits, first released on their 1980 EP Beware. Written by vocalist Glenn Danzig, the song was later included on the compilation album Collection II, released in 1995, as well as on the album Static Age, which was recorded in 1978 but not released in its entirety until 1996.

"Last Caress" is commonly considered to be one of the Misfits' greatest songs, and has been covered by a number of artists, including Metallica and NOFX. The Metallica version, a medley titled "Last Caress/Green Hell", has achieved notoriety in its own right.

Background and release

"Last Caress" first appeared as the final track on the Misfits' EP Beware, released in January 1980.[3] The song was almost not included on the EP, as writer and vocalist Glenn Danzig was dissatisfied with the quality of the recording, but then-Misfits guitarist Bobby Steele convinced him to include it.[4]

The song was later included on the Misfits' album Static Age, which was recorded in 1978 but not issued in its entirety until the release of the boxed set The Misfits in 1996.[5] The song was later included on the compilation album Collection II, released in 1995.[6] A live version of "Last Caress" was also included on the 1998 album Evillive II.[7]

Since reforming the band without original vocalist Glenn Danzig, Jerry Only has changed the lyrics of the song to omit references to rape and infanticide, and eventually removed "Last Caress" from the Misfits' live set altogether. In a 2015 interview, Only cited seeing a television news piece about a couple raping, beating and starving their infant daughter to death as his reason for deleting Danzig's original "Last Caress" lyrics.[8]

Critical reception

In 2012, Aaron Lariviere of Stereogum ranked the song #2 on his list of the 10 best Misfits songs, writing that while it has been "practically played out ... the song still stands as one of the best the Misfits would ever produce. Heck, it's one of the best songs ever produced by the punk genre."[1] In 2015, the song was also ranked #2 on an Ultimate Classic Rock list of the top 10 Misfits songs, with writer Eduardo Rivadavia calling it "simultaneously the Misfits' most offensive and singable ditty".[9] The following year, Rivadavia included the song in an article published by Loudwire of "50 Disturbing Songs That People Love".[10] Chris Kovatin of Kerrang! wrote that, with the song's opening lines, the Misfits "established themselves as everything creepier than everything else, and coined horror punk's unholy and everlasting legacy."[11]

In a 2019 poll conducted by USA Today Network New Jersey regarding the greatest songs ever sung by an artist or band from New Jersey, "Last Caress" received the most votes with over 3,400 votes, beating "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen at over 660 votes, and "Blood and Roses" by the Smithereens at over 440 votes.[12]

In his book This Music Leaves Stains: The Complete Story of the Misfits, author James Greene, Jr. interprets the song's lyrics as outlining "the bold confessions of a remorseless killer and rapist", and writes that the lyrics "are delivered by Danzig with such romantic melody that the crimes almost seem like triumphs."[3]

Personnel

Cover versions

"Last Caress" has been covered by such artists as, Local H, AFI,[1] Dum Dum Girls,[15] NOFX,[16][17] and the all-female punk band the Ms. Fits.[16] The Nutley Brass recorded an instrumental lounge cover of the song, which was included on their 2005 Misfits tribute album Fiend Club Lounge.[18]

Metallica version

"Last Caress/Green Hell"
Song by Metallica
from the album The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, Garage Inc.
Released October 1987
Format EP
Genre Crossover thrash
Length 3:28
Label Elektra
Songwriter(s) Glenn Danzig
Producer(s) Metallica

American heavy metal band Metallica released a back-to-back cover version of both "Last Caress" and another Misfits song, "Green Hell".[19] The track, titled "Last Caress/Green Hell", was released on Metallica's 1987 EP The $5.98 E.P.: Garage Days Re-Revisited, as well as on their 1998 compilation album Garage Inc..[20]

Beyond the Misfits arrangements, "Last Caress/Green Hell" also features the intro of the Iron Maiden song "Run to the Hills", deliberately played out of tune.[21] "Last Caress/Green Hell" has become a staple of Metallica's live sets since they first covered it, with Setlist.fm having estimated that they have performed the track live at least 818 times.[21]

In 2015, "Last Caress/Green Hell" was ranked #23 on a Spin ranking of 151 Metallica songs, with staff member J.M.N. writing that "This medley of two of Glenn's early best retains the speed and attitude of the punk originals — with an added Iron Maiden outro to boot, for extra ingratiating geekery."[22] In 2019, Matthew Wilkening of Ultimate Classic Rock named "Last Caress/Green Hell" as the best song from Garage Days Re-Revisited, calling it "an inspired medley".[23]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Lariviere, Aaron (October 31, 2012). "The 10 Best Misfits Songs". Stereogum. Retrieved August 24, 2019.
  2. ^ Fadroski, Kelli Skye (April 2, 2019). "The original Misfits are coming to Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles". Los Angeles Daily News. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Greene, Jr. 2013, p. 34.
  4. ^ Greene, Jr. 2013, p. 35.
  5. ^ Greene, Jr. 2013, p. 128, 133–134.
  6. ^ Huey, Steve (2001). All Music Guide: The Definitive Guide To Popular Music, 4th Edition. Hal Leonard Corp./Backbeat Books. ISBN 978-0879306274.
  7. ^ a b Greene, Jr. 2013, p. 128.
  8. ^ Chillingworth, Alec (July 22, 2015). "Misfits: the story behind Static Age". Metal Hammer Magazine. Retrieved 17 November 2019.
  9. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (September 29, 2015). "Top 10 Misfits Songs". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  10. ^ Rivadavia, Eduardo (September 28, 2016). "50 Disturbing Songs That People Love". Loudwire. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Kovatin, Chris (October 16, 2019). "Horror Punk: 19 Songs You Need to Know". Kerrang!. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  12. ^ Jordan, Chris (November 19, 2019). "Misfits, Bruce Springsteen, Smithereens vying for greatest song by Jersey artist in poll". USA Today. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  13. ^ a b c d Blush 2013, p. 378.
  14. ^ Greene, Jr. 2013, p. 19, 128.
  15. ^ Exposito, Suzy; Galil, Leor (May 12, 2016). "15 Great Misfits Covers". Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  16. ^ a b "Culture Shock". CMJ New Music Monthly. Google Books: CMJ Network, Inc. September 2006. p. 6. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  17. ^ Crum, Chris (May 12, 2016). "Misifts Reunion Announced For Riot Fest, Glenn Danzig Included". Inquisitr. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  18. ^ Shields, Kendall (September 1, 2005). "Misfits Meet the Nutley Brass Fiend Club Lounge". Exclaim!. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
  19. ^ Wall 2011, p. 279.
  20. ^ Popoff 2013, p. 183.
  21. ^ a b Young, Simon (June 5, 2019). "The 15 Best Metallica Covers". Kerrang!. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  22. ^ "Every Metallica Song, Ranked". Spin. July 30, 2015. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  23. ^ Wilkening, Matthew (April 30, 2019). "The Best Song From Every Metallica Album". Ultimate Classic Rock. Townsquare Media. Retrieved August 26, 2019.

Sources

External links

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