Series – Greatest Hits: Rob Zombie – 20th Century Masters

Full title: 20th Century Masters (The Millenium Collection): The Best Of Rob Zombie

[That’s a mouthful]


I loved White Zombie’s La Sexorcisto, in fact I still have my cassette from back in the day. It was a blast of WTF when music, otherwise, seemed so homogenous.

But I have to be honest, it got very same-y pretty quickly, and right on into his solo stuff. So I was hoping this cheap compilation would be enough for me, eliminating the need to own all the records. Let’s find out if it did!

First up, four tracks from White Zombie:

Thunderkiss ’65 rules. It’s such a dumb song, but that’s its absolute charm, it’s my fave track of his/theirs. Black Sunshine rumbles and has RZ’s drag race commercial voice before hitting metal punk.

More Human Than Human really reminds me of Ministry. Was it an homage? Sounds like it to me. Super-Charger Heaven has a straight-up great riff and it just pounds.

Now we switch to his solo career…

Dragula is like Zombie went to a dance club and ingested Nine Inch Nails. Weird. Superbeast is metal and nu-metal, with great energy but more of the same.

Living Dead Girl was a hit. It plods. Doesn’t grab me at all, pretty boring. Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy) is next. Um, what the hell is a Kroovy? Sounds like a Dr. Seuss creation. This is an anomaly, a weak middle-of-the-road dance track, with metal crunch in the chorus. Meh.

House Of 1000 Corpses, man, I strongly disliked those films. You may like them, great for you. This track is bluesy, punctuated by screams. It’s OK, for what it is, but guilty by association. Feel So Numb pretty much describes how I feel, by this point in the disc.

The Devils Rejects: see House Of 1000 Corpses. Repeat. The Lords Of Salem is here too, but I was truly done several tracks ago.

In Sum:

Rob Zombie has a Thing that he does. A sound. It’s OK, if you like metalheads that went to a dance club to be ironic and ended up liking it. But his sound changes so rarely that even a short hits set like this started to lose me, and even the hit songs felt like good song ideas that each go on three extra minutes too long. He shoulda been a punk, kept everything to two minutes long. I’d own all his records, then.

9 thoughts on “Series – Greatest Hits: Rob Zombie – 20th Century Masters

  1. keepsmealive says:

    I also should have told this minor story, in my review:

    I worked nights in a 7-11 in Windsor as a first-year university student. Gotta pay the bills. One night, a guy came in, claiming to be Rob Zombie’s roadie. He certainly looked the part. He said the band had played at Cobo Hall that night (verifiably true) and the whole place was shaking (literally) with the volume. I’d believe him.

    He wanted to buy Zombie our whole box of Fisherman’s Friends cough lozenges at a discount, instead of priced as they were, by the bag. According to this guy, RZ used them for his throat after a show. Sadly, as a minimum wage counter jockey on the graveyard shift, I had no authorization to discount the box, but I invited him to come back at 06:00, when the manager came in. Alas, they would be long gone down the road to the next show, by then. He was pretty pissed off, but what could I do? I sold him three or four bags, so he didn’t go back empty-handed, but he didn’t get the whole box at a deal. Sorry Rob, I wanted to help you out, man, but any discounted amount would have come from my pay, and I was a student doing university with no student loans. I needed every penny I earned.

    It occurred to me afterwards, and I never asked the guy (I wish I had) why they hadn’t just gone looking for the lozenges in Detroit. Why cross the river (and an international border) just for cough candies? Surely there was a 24-hour store in Detroit that could hook them up? It was a bit odd.


  2. Sarca says:

    The only Zombie I own is Thunderkiss ’65 and it was on my ’93 Frosh Week CD. Rockin’ track. The hubs has Zombie in his collection, but I never really engaged with it.
    I hated those Rob Zombie movies. I tried so hard, but I found myself walking away half-way through.


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Oh Thunderkiss, I love that song. Makes me wanna jump around and break stuff! It’s so meathead, but that was the point (I think)!

      Yeah, losing interest in the middle… it’s why I was thinking he shoulda been a punk. Shorter songs, with all those great ideas, would have been monstrous!


    1. keepsmealive says:

      Thanks for bringing us the knowledge, James! Makes a lot more sense now to know it came from Clockwork Orange. That book’ll melt your brain.

      Of all the tracks they could’ve picked for the wrasslin’, that one would have been my last guess. Unless lyrically it fits the bill, I suppose.


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