Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll

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Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll
Studio album by Social Distortion
Released September 27, 2004 (2004-09-27)
Recorded Off and on between 2000 and 2004
Genre Punk rock, country rock, punk blues, cowpunk, rockabilly
Length 37:43
Label Time Bomb
Producer Social Distortion
Cameron Webb
Social Distortion chronology
Live at the Roxy
(1998)
Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll
(2004)
Greatest Hits
(2007)

Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll is the sixth album by American punk rock band Social Distortion. It is their first studio album in eight years, since the release of White Light, White Heat, White Trash in 1996, the longest gap between Social Distortion's studio albums to date. The album was originally scheduled to be released in the fall of 2000, but was not yet completed, and it was officially released on September 28, 2004. A great deal of the album is a musical eulogy to former guitarist Dennis Danell, who died in 2000. The album's opening track, "Reach for the Sky", was released in late 2004 and became one of Social Distortion's biggest hits.

Social Distortion could not release a follow-up to White Light, White Heat, White Trash partly because of their various other activities, most obviously those of frontman Mike Ness. He released two solo albums in 1999, one with original material (Cheating at Solitaire) and one with song covers (Under the Influences). Touring behind these projects, and matters pertaining to Danell's death, set Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll aside for a number of years before finally being completed in 2004.

Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll was the first time since Social Distortion's 1990 self-titled album that Ness had collaborated with another songwriter. It was also the band's first album not to include a cover song since their 1983 debut album Mommy's Little Monster.

History[edit]

Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll traces its beginnings to the White Light, White Heat, White Trash tour in 1997, where Ness began writing new material for the sixth Social Distortion album. One of the new songs, "I Won't Run No More", was first performed at a concert in Germany that year. In 1998, with Social Distortion not working, Ness launched a solo career and decided to record some of the songs for his first album, Cheating at Solitaire.

In November 1999, Ness added more details to the possibility of a follow-up to White Light, White Heat, White Trash and mentioned he would "like to get one out" in fall 2000.[1] In May 2001, a questioner asked Ness how the album was coming along. He replied, "Slow." His wife elaborated that he was in "home mode", working on restoring a house in Floral Park, New York. The band was rumored to resume recording in June or July.[1]

In July 2001, five songs that were going to appear on the album were announced. The songs were "Road Zombie", "Winners and Losers", "I Wasn't Born to Follow", "Don't Take Me for Granted" and "Footprints on My Ceiling". "Don't Take Me for Granted" was the only known unreleased song that the band played at the When the Angels Sing benefit concert in 2000.[1] In July 2001, in a Los Angeles Times article, Ness discussed the possibility of releasing the album in spring 2002 and mentioned an invitation from Johnny Cash to record together.[1]

In January 2002, an inside source reported that Social Distortion was planning to begin recording the album in March and began recording demos for the album in October, with an intended release date of spring 2003.[1] In October 2003, the band announced on their official website that they were planning to enter a studio in Los Angeles, California, in November to finish work on the album.[2] During a January 11, 2004, concert in Orlando, Florida, Ness revealed that the album was "three-quarters of the way completed" and mixing began in June.[1]

A January 2003 issue of a German magazine Visions conducted an interview with Ness. About the album, he says: "Definitely more glam and seventies influences and less country since I'm able to realize this part of me better by the Mike Ness Band. And certainly more hope and light than on White Light, White Heat, White Trash. You can't forever tell yourself and others that life's all bad. Apart from other things, punk rock also is about fun and loud guitars. Before doing the last album I went through a really hard time, and even if not all is great in my life, I'm much better now than at that time."[1]

On August 5, 2004, Social Distortion announced on their official website that the album would be called Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll and would officially be released on September 28.[3] On the same day, it was announced that bass guitarist John Maurer, who recorded the album, had left the band to "in order to stay home and devote time to his wife and two children". On tour, Rancid's Matt Freeman joined as his replacement, then was himself replaced a few months later by Ness' touring bass guitarist for his solo project, Brent Harding.

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.0/5 stars[4]
Punknews.org 4.5/5 stars[5]
Rock Hard (de) 9.5/10[6]

Critical reviews of Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll were mostly positive. AllMusic's Mark Deming gave the album a rating of four stars out of five and states: "Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll shows that Social Distortion have held onto what made them great while growing and changing in the best ways, and the result is one of the best albums this band has made to date."[4] In 2005, the album was ranked number 456 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[7]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Mike Ness unless otherwise noted.

  1. "Reach for the Sky" – 3:31
  2. "Highway 101" – 3:44
  3. "Don't Take Me for Granted" – 3:47
  4. "Footprints on My Ceiling" – 5:08
  5. "Nickels and Dimes" (J. Wickersham/Ness) – 3:05
  6. "I Wasn't Born to Follow" – 2:55
  7. "Winners and Losers" – 4:45
  8. "Faithless" (Wickersham/Ness) – 3:02
  9. "Live Before You Die" – 2:47
  10. "Angel's Wings" (Wickersham/Ness) – 4:59
  11. "Mommy's little monster" (only in the European edition, from Live in Orange County DVD)

Personnel[edit]

Additional Musicians

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Chart positions
2004 "Reach for the Sky" Modern Rock Tracks 27
2005 "Highway 101" Modern Rock Tracks 39
2005 "Don't Take Me for Granted" Modern Rock Tracks 34

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g News SxDx.com. Retrieved on March 27, 2007.
  2. ^ Archived News SocialDistortion.com. Retrieved on October 19, 2007.
  3. ^ Current News SocialDistortion.com. Retrieved on October 19, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Allmusic review". 
  5. ^ "Punknews.org review". 
  6. ^ Glamowski, Manfred. "Rock Hard". issue 210. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  7. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 26. ISBN 3-89880-517-4.