“Ain’t it Fun” – Guns N’ Roses

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Guns N’ Roses’ killer cover of Peter Laughner’s / The Dead Boys’ sad, nihilistic classic “Ain’t It Fun.”  Recorded for their punk cover album “The Spaghetti Incident,” this is the best version of this song I’ve heard.  There have been some good versions (Dead Boys, Rollins Band) over the years, but the Guns N’ Roses version is probably the best, in my opinion.  It’s probably no coincidence that this ended up on their greatest hits CD.  If any song sums up composer Laughner’s life, it’s this song.  If you have any interest in what you’ve just read, please read Lester Bangs’ legendary obituary of Laughner “Peter Laughner is Dead” for context (located in the Bangs’ compilation “Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung”).

“Final Solution” – Pere Ubu

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The greatest song to emerge from the Cleveland underground from the mid-late 1970s.  I love how this song rides its sinister, minimalistic groove, gradually adding instruments, and then exploding at the end with a magnificent guitar solo by the late Peter Laughner.  Arguably, Laughner’s finest moment on record, though it’s well worth it to check out the material he recorded with Rocket from the Tombs and his posthumous solo compilation “Take the Guitar Player for a Ride.”