Music Dorkery

“NOTHING TO SAY” VS. “CHAINS AND SHACKLES”: TWO VERSIONS OF THE SAME SLASH SONG

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One last thought about Slash’s solo album, and then I promise to shut up about it for awhile.

Everyone who buys/downloads/whatever Slash the album will get “Nothing to Say,” a collaboration the axe-slinger player did with M. Shadows from Avenged Sevenfold. It ostensibly sounds like an A7X song with Slash on guitars. But what’s really interesting is that there’s an alternative version of the same exact song, this one entitled “Chains and Shackles,” on the Australian version of Slash. And this being 2010 and the internet being what it, we have both versions of the song, and therefore have a nice example of the various ways in which you can make a piece of music sound completely different from itself.

“Chains and Shackles,” you see, doesn’t have M. Shadows vocals or lyrics or melodies – it was done with ex-Queens of the Stone Ager Nick Oliveri instead. The intro, main riff, and even a large chunk of the guitar solo is completely identical in both songs – but the production style is completely different on each one, the outro is different, and “Chains” is a good minute shorter. That song has clearly been designed to sound like something off of Songs for the Deaf, and succeeds every bit as much as “Nothing to Say” does at sounding like a A7X tune. I don’t know if Oliveri and/or Shadows were personally involved with all of the changes made to each variation of the song or not, but it’s funny to see that Slash really IS like Zelig – a chameleon who just blends in with the crowd.

Here are the two versions of the song side-by-side:

By the way, if you’re wondering why one of these ended up on the album proper and the other only made it as an Australian bonus track, well… guess which two musicians share the same manager?

-AR

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