"VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped" consists of 15 hit metal ballads from the '80s that helped break mainstream radio barriers for such bands as Warrant ("I Saw Red") and Slaughter ("Fly to the Angels

"VH1 Classic Metal Mania: Stripped" consists of 15 hit metal ballads from the '80s that helped break mainstream radio barriers for such bands as Warrant ("I Saw Red") and Slaughter ("Fly to the Angels"). Instead of using the original versions, compilation producer Jamie Talbot upped the novelty quotient by gathering acoustic rarities and new recordings of the tracks. The picks are dead on, too. Extreme's "More Than Words" couples bongos and touching three-/four-part harmonies, Kip Winger gives an earnest performance of "Miles Away," and Queensrÿche reminds once again why its "Silent Lucidity" was a top 10 smash. L.A. Guns' "Ballad of Jayne" and Great White's "Save Your Love" are also noteworthy. Though new life is injected into songs that received much radio and MTV play, Alias' "More Than Words Can Say" and Firehouse's "When I Look Into Your Eyes" are as tedious today as they were the first time around. Those missteps aside, "Stripped" is a definite collector's item.—CLT

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