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Judgment Night Soundtrack

Faith No More, Cypress Hill, Helmet, Etc. Members Take Part In The Oral History Of The Groundbreaking ‘Judgment Night’ Soundtrack


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While the film itself is forgettable, the soundtrack to 1993’s ‘Judgment Night‘ has had a lasting impact thanks to its groundbreaking approach. That effort was put together by Happy Walters, who at the time managed Cypress Hill, House Of Pain and more and was still getting his Immortal Records label off the ground.

The album quickly went gold thanks to it’s at the time unique pairings of rap & hip hop with metal and rock. With a tracklist that teamed Helmet with House Of Pain, Slayer with Ice-T, Faith No More with Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E. and Pearl Jam with Cypress Hill, among others, the album represented a bold leap into a then fledgling genre that up until then had mostly been a collection of one-off singles.

Rollingstone.com have put together an exhaustive oral history of the gold selling soundtrack, with word from many of the major players and artists involved in it. Walters himself also went a bit deeper, speaking on the collaborations he had hoped to land for the effort that never panned out, including involvement from Metallica, Nirvana and a pairing between Rage Against The Machine and Tool:

“I really wanted Kurt [Cobain] on [Judgment Night]. I really was a huge fan of Nirvana’s, and Kurt was the one that was difficult, not Dave and those guys.

Metallica said no. They were super pure and prissy in those days. See, in those days they were like the shit, the shit, right? They’ve obviously aged, and probably wish they would’ve done it. I don’t even know if it was Metallica. Some of the managers in those days were just dicks. Think about it, dude.

I think this guy’s name was Peter Mensch, Metallica’s manager, he was like 45, was one of the biggest managers around, and here’s this 22-year-old schmuck calling and saying, “Hey, have you ever heard of Cypress Hill? They want to do a collaboration for a movie.” And they’re like, “What? OK, give us a million dollars.” It was “Fuck off, kid.” So, some of that didn’t go well.

I wanted Public Enemy, and they were like, nah. They were fighting. It was a weird thing at the point, they were, at that time, [Professor Griff] was saying crazy stuff, it was anti-Semitic stuff, and all this.

Tom [Morello of Rage Against the Machine] was really into it. It was more the Tool side that flaked and never decided [to submit their collaboration “Can’t Kill the Revolution”]. I think it was something where they just didn’t get it together. It was politics. They never really turned it in, and then Tool got weird and their label got weird, and we were running out of time. I mean, those two bands at the time, were massive. So that was one of the bummers of not getting that.

No one was not into it. Pearl Jam, obviously, I’d say, three or four of the guys were super into Cypress. Eddie was kind of like, yeah, cool, chill, whatever, I’m gonna go surfing, type thing. So he was not against it, but just not super jazzed. He didn’t show up.”

For Ice-T, his pairing with Slayer on “Disorder” wasn’t just about bringing metal and rap together—something he had already been doing with Body Count at the time—but also a potential step forward in continuing to bridge the divide between the two genres while also combating racism. He said of his time in the studio and the reaction of Slayer‘s Kerry King at the time:

“Word got out that they were trying to do, like, now they call it a “mash-up” situation. But then the second word that came out was the rock bands were pickin’ who they wanted to be with. At first when they told me, I was like, “OK, well I already got a rock band, so who the fuck wants to work with me?” I was hoping it would be somebody I liked, and it ended up being, like, my idols.

Basically, I was familiar with Slayer, I knew what the fuck was up and I knew they was the baddest motherfuckers at the time. I had no idea what song we were doing until I got to the studio. I showed up in the studio in L.A. and they were already laying the drums. That was the time when the drummer from Forbidden [Paul Bostaph] had just joined the band.

Rick [Rubin, producer] was like “This is kinda complicated” because basically they were doing a medley. They were mashing us into Exploited, like three songs [“War,” “U.K. ’82” and “Disorder”]. So it was very complicated the way he wanted the drums to go. Rick just was on it, on it and on it, on it.

We just just got in there and screamed. I don’t think we did many takes. Tom [Araya, Slayer vocalist/bassist] and I were both in the booth at the same time. We picked which parts of the songs we would sing and we just blasted it out.

I’ll never forget that night we were in the studio, there was some racist America shit on, like some talk-news shit. And there was all these white kids wylin’ out on some racist shit and they were wearing Slayer shirts. And Kerry [King, Slayer guitarist] just thought it was gonna be great that I was gonna do the song and just fuck their heads up. Kerry just thought it was great that these kids would see them with me.”

You can dig into the lengthy feature over at Rollingstone.com.

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