Velvet Revolver’s First Album ‘Contraband’ Turns 20 - Noise11.com
Velvet Revolver Contraband

Velvet Revolver Contraband

Velvet Revolver’s First Album ‘Contraband’ Turns 20

by Paul Cashmere on June 7, 2024

in News

‘Contraband’, the first album for supergroup Velvet Revolver, was released 20 years ago on 8 June 2024.

Velvet Revolver was Slash (lead guitar), Duff McKagan (bass) and Matt Sorum (drums), all of Guns n’ Roses, Scott Weiland (vocals) of Velvet Revolver and Dave Kushner (rhythm guitar) of Wasted Youth.

Velvet Revolver formed following the departures of Slash and Duff from Guns n’ Roses in 1996/1997 as well as Axl Rose firing Sorum from the band. Slash formed Snakepit but that ended in 2001. In 2002, Slash McKagan and Sorum got together for a benefit for Randy Castillo’s family following his passing from cancer. That nucleus become of the origin of what would become Velvet Revolver.

They searched for a singer. That shortlist included Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, Ian Astbury of The Cult and Mike Patton of Faith No More. Scott Weiland was a friend of McKagan, Sorum and Kushner and had initially turned them down because of his Stone Temple Pilots commitments … but then STP broke up.

Velvet Revolver only made two albums. The second, ‘Libertad’, was released in 2007. The band broke up in 2012. Weiland died in 2015.

The band played their first show at the El Rey in Los Angeles where they played six songs:

Bodies (Sex Pistols cover)
Set Me Free (from Contraband, 2004)
Sex Type Thing (Stone Temple Pilots cover)
Its So Easy (Guns n’ Roses cover)
Slither (from Contraband, 2004)
Negative Creep (Nirvana cover)

The first single ‘Set Me Free’ used in the movie ‘The Hulk’ and then included on the debut album.

Singles from the album were:

Set Me Free

Slither

Fall To Pieces

Dirty Little Thing

Contraband tracklisting:

1. Sucker Train Blues
2. Do It For the Kids
3. Big Machine
4. Illegal 1
5. Spectacle
6. Fall To Pieces
7. Headspace
8. Superhuman
9. Set Me Free
10. You Got No Right
11. Slither
12. Dirty Little Thing
13. Loving the Alien

‘Contraband’ was a number one album in the USA, number 2 in Australia and number 11 in the UK. It sold over 2 million copies in the USA and earned the band a Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock Performance for the song ‘Slither’.

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