Rock Star: Music From the Motion Picture – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

Who would have thought that in 1991 while doing backing vocals for Stryper’s album ‘Against the Law’, that would lead to Jeff Scott Soto doing the singing vocals for a movie in 2001 called ‘Rock Star’ starring Mark Wahlberg That is what happened. The producer on the Stryper album was Tom Werman and Tom brought Jeff in for a ton of albums he worked on after Stryper’s album and when ‘Rock Star’ came up, he had Jeff come in and audition.

He originally auditioned for the singing voice of Mark Wahlberg’s character, but the producers of the movie thought his voice was too good actually. They wanted a less seasoned voice, but one that could rip in those 80’s styles so they brought in Miljenko ‘Mike’ Matijevic another Tom vocal favorite. Mike is the lead singer of the band Steelheart and man does he have some pipes as well. Jeff actually did backing vocals on Steelheart’s debut album as well.

The movie ‘Rock Star’ was inspired by what went on with Judas Priest after Rob Halford left the band. They brought in a Judas Priest Tribute band singer by the name of Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens. Mark Wahlberg’s character, Chris Cole, is a massive Steel Dragon fan and was in a tribute band called ‘Blood Pollution’. When the lead singer of Steel Dragon, Bobby Beers, quit (sung by Jeff Scott Soto), Chris Cole was hired (sung by Ike Matijevic) and then the movie chronicles the ups and downs of Chris Cole’s life as a result of this move.

The rest of Steel Dragon was played by Zakk Wylde, Jeff Pilson and Jason Bonham. Not a bad little band. For the soundtrack, we have 6 Steel Dragon songs and the rest are classic 80’s rock songs and a couple new from more current bands. We will focus on the 6 Steel Dragon songs which 3 are sung by Soto and 3 by Matijevic. We will also chat on the one score song by Trevor Rabin. The rest you know and love already so no need to chat on those.

The album opens with a modern rocker with the song “Rock Star” by Everclear. I have to say the song kicks ass, but is out of place here on an album about an 80’s rock band. Then we get our first Steel Dragon song with “Livin’ the Life”. It opens with a heavy riff, a la Priest, and Jeff Scott Soto come in vocals and you get all the grit and a chorus that will slap you up side the face. It is as metal as it gets with this one and a total banger. The song was written by Peter Beckett (of Player) along with Steve Plunkett (of Autograph). This is why you get the soundtrack. It is for these Steel Dragon songs.

Then we get “Wildside” by Motley Crue, but who doesn’t have that song. The next Steel Dragon song “We All Die Young” which is sung by Mike Matijevic and is actually written by him because the song is from Steelheart’s album 1996 album ‘Wait’. The song is stunning and Mike’s vocals are so slick and he hits some notes only dogs can hear. If you don’t know this song, you should. Totally brilliant. Then we get another Steel Dragon song with “Blood Pollution” written by Twiggy Ramirez from Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle and a touring bassist with Nine Inch Nails. “Blood Pollution” is also sung by Matijevic and the song is darker and heavier, Zakk’s riffs are brutal. The backing vocals on here are solid (and I think I hear Soto, but not sure on that one).

Then we get Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” and do we even need to talk about that one, no we know it already. The next Steel Dragon song is “Stand Up” with Soto on vocals and song he plays live as the fans love it. The Bonham drum pounding at the opener is massive. Then the Zakk guitar riff cuts right through you. Soto screams “Stand Up” and off we go. The guitar solo on this one is the best one of all the songs as Zakk’s fingers shred the shit out of that fret. The speed he does it is insane. A solid rock anthem that is pretty freaking heavy considering it was written by Sammy Hagar (released on his 2002 album Not 4 Sale).

Up next is Ted Nugent’s “Stranglehold” which is strange in that it is a 70’s song, but I still love the song and it is great hear regardless. The next Steel Dragon song is “Wasted Generation” which was written by Desmond Child as well as Lit’s Ajay & Jeremy Popoff. The opening riff sounds little like Lit, but the bass is all metal. Soto is on vocals and his maturity and skill masterfully deliver the verses. The chorus is pretty catchy, melodic backed by some pounding drums and a heavy thumping bass.

Then we get Kiss with “Lick It Up” and I’ve covered this song before so no need to do it here, but glad to see Kiss on a soundtrack. The last Steel Dragon song is a cover of Rainbow’s “Long Live Rock And Roll” with Matijevic on vocals and he holds his own against a Dio song. Musically, it isn’t anything special and surely not as good as Rainbow’s version, but if you like Matijevic, then a good song for you.

The leads us to two songs that seem out of place. First is the pop song “Devil Inside” by INXS. Now, I love this song so don’t get me wrong, it is fantastic. But…it doesn’t belong on this soundtrack. It is no where near heavy enough. Then we get The Verve Pipe’s “Colorful” another WTF moment as this is a modern song that was just released on their 2001 album ‘Underneath’. It is completely out of place here as it is neither rock nor 80’s. The very last song is a score by Trevor Rabin called “Gotta Have It”. I’ve never reviewed a score before so not sure how to do it, but it sounds like Trevor that I do know and it isn’t bad, but give me the Steel Dragon songs only please!!

Overall, it isn’t a bad soundtrack. If you buy this you are only buying it for the Steel Dragon songs because you already have all the Kiss, Bon Jovi, Motley Crue and Ted Nugent stuff so no need to buy that again. I really liked the Steel Dragon songs and it doesn’t matter if it is Jeff or Mike singing as they are both amazing and I am fan of their music to begin with so I needed it in my collection. Since I only really need half the songs, My Overall Score is 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars. If it is was an E.P. of just Steel Dragon…it would rate much higher. Since this is a Jeff Scott Soto Series, any Soto fan must have this in the collection as it is worth it even for 3 songs as they that good.

UP NEXT: HUMANIMAL – ‘HUMANIMAL’ (2002)

THE JEFF SCOTT SOTO SERIES:

  1. Panther – ‘Panther’ (1986) – recorded in 1984
  2. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Rising Force’ (1984)
  3. Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force – ‘Marching Out’ (1985)
  4. Kuni – ‘Lookin’ For Action’ (1988)
  5. Kryst the Conqueror – ‘Deliver Us From Evil’ (1989) / ‘Soldiers of Light: The Complete Recordings (2019)
  6. Eyes – ‘Eyes’ (1990)
  7. Eyes – “Nobody Said It Was Easy” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  8. Talisman – ‘Talisman’ (1990)
  9. Talisman – “I’ll Be Waiting” (1990) – 7″ Single – Bonus Edition
  10. Skrapp Mettle – ‘Sensitive’ (1991)
  11. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Eternal Prisoner’ (1992)
  12. Bakteria – ‘Deficate! Suffocate! Mutilate! Masturbate!’ (1992 / 2009)
  13. Eyes – ‘Windows of the Soul’ (1993)
  14. Talisman – ‘Genesis’ (1993)
  15. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘The Ballads’ (1993)
  16. Biker Mice From Mars – ‘Biker Mice From Mars (Soundtrack)’ (1993)
  17. Takara – ‘Eternal Faith’ (1993)
  18. Talisman – ‘5 Out Of 5 (Live in Japan)’ (1994)
  19. Talisman – ‘Humanimal’ (1994)
  20. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Between the Walls’ (1994)
  21. Gary Schutt – ‘Sentimetal’ (1994)
  22. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Love Parade’ (1994)
  23. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Made in Germany (Live)’ (1995)
  24. Takara – ‘Taste of Heaven’ (1995)
  25. Talisman – ‘Life’ (1995)
  26. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Black Moon Pyramid’ (1996)
  27. Human Clay – ‘Human Clay’ (1996)
  28. Talisman – ‘Best of’ (1996)
  29. Axel Rudi Pell – ‘Magic’ (1997)
  30. Human Clay – ‘U4IA’ (1997)
  31. The Boogie Knights – ‘Welcome to the Jungle Boogie’ (1997)
  32. Takara – ‘Blind in Paradise’ (1998)
  33. Talisman – ‘Truth’ (1998)
  34. ‘Rock Star: Music from the Motion Picture (Soundtrack)’ – Various Artists (2001)
  35. Humanimal – ‘Humanimal’ (2002)
  36. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Holding On E.P.’ (2002) – Bonus Edition
  37. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Prism’ (2002)
  38. Talisman – ‘Live at Sweden Rock Festival’ (2002)
  39. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘JSS Live at the Gods 2002’ (2003)
  40. Talisman – ‘Cats & Dogs’ (2003)
  41. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Lost in the Translation’ (2004)
  42. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004)
  43. Talisman – ‘Five Men Live’ (2005)
  44. Soul Sirkus – ‘World Play’ (2005)
  45. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Believe in Me E.P.’ (2006) – Bonus Edition
  46. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Essential Ballads’ (2006)
  47. Talisman – ‘7’ (2006)
  48. Journey – ‘Live from Atlanta (Bootleg)’ (2006)
  49. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘B-Sides’ (2006)
  50. Redlist – ‘Ignorance’ (2007)
  51. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Beautiful Mess’ (2009)
  52. Jeff Scott Soto – “21st Century” / “Gin & Tonic Sky” CD Single (2009) – Bonus Edition
  53. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘One Night in Madrid’ (2009)
  54. Trans-Siberian Orchestra – ‘Night Castle’ (2009)
  55. W.E.T. – ‘W.E.T.’ (2009)
  56. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at Firefest 2008’ (2010)
  57. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Damage Control’ (2012)
  58. W.E.T. – ‘Rise’ (2013)
  59. W.E.T. – ‘One Live in Stockholm’ (2014)
  60. SOTO – ‘Inside the Vertigo’ (2015)
  61. SOTO – ‘Divak’ (2016)
  62. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Retribution’ (2017)
  63. Sons of Apollo – ‘Psychotic Symphony’ (2017)
  64. W.E.T. – ‘Earthrage’ (2018)
  65. SOTO – ‘Origami’ (2019)
  66. Sons of Apollo – ‘Live With the Plovdiv Psychotic Symphony’ (2019)
  67. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Wide Away (In My Dreamland)’ (2020)
  68. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live and Loud in Milan 2019’ (2020)
  69. Sons of Apollo – ‘MMXX’ (2020)
  70. SOTO – ‘Revision’ (2020)
  71. W.E.T. – ‘Retransmission’ (2021)
  72. Jeff Scott Soto – ‘The Duets Collection, Vol. 1’ (2021)
  73. Jeff Scott Soto / Jason Bieler – Live In Concert (2022) – Bonus Edition

21 thoughts on “Rock Star: Music From the Motion Picture – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

  1. One point I agree with you on and one I don’t. First let me start with the point I don’t agree with, I have this soundtrack, listened to it the other day and I never thought the INXS song was out of place on the soundtrack, I quite like it. I’m probably the odd one out on this one. The point I agree is that “We All Die Young” is a totally kick ass song! No further debate needed.
    The Verve Pipe bit brings up an issue I had with the film, not the soundtrack. I don’t hate the song but it clarifies what I don’t like about the ending. Sure, it’s cool that Chris makes up with his friend and eventually his girl. It’s great that Chris and friend put their differences aside but what really pees me off is that the fact that here are two dedicated metalheads who worshipped at the alter of a great metal band. So, you would have thought they would have formed a metal band but NO, they form a soft rock acoustic band. Like hell they would!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow. I learned my new thing for the day. It didn’t occur to me that Jeff was singing. When I saw the movie the first time, I admit it was weird seeing Marky Mark doing rock.

    Liked by 1 person

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