After years of toiling in some wildly successful rock bands (most notably Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver), Slash has finally made his way into the center of the spotlight with his first true solo album. It just debuted in third place on the Billboard album chart, moving over 60,000 copies in its first week on the strength of the behatted guitarist’s non-stop promotion and the single “By the Sword” (a team-up with Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale.
Slash is actually a tremendous collection of hard rock songs that center around the axe man’s signature chunky, swirling riffs. His backing band features all of the original members of Guns N’ Roses (Duff McKagan, Izzy Stradlin and Steven Adler — only Axl Rose is absent). In Santana style, each track has a guest vocalist, some of which work really well (Stockdale, Ian Astbury, Chris Cornell, Dave Grohl) while others stumble a bit (Fergie, Myles Kennedy). On balance, it’s an excellent album, and it feels good to have that classic Slash sound back.
But there is one thing that stands out about the record: It has been released on Slash’s own imprint. The label’s title? Dik Hayd Records. Like the top entry on yesterday’s list of ridiculous band names, “Dik Hayd” combines a juvenile joke and bad grammar for a truly silly stew. In fact, it immediately rockets to the top of the list of silliest vanity label names. It sits about the rest of these.
Founded by Korn in 1997, Elementree Record (another wacky for no reason spelling choice) provided a home for the likes of Orgy, Deadsy and Videodrone. When Jonathan Davis’ crew exited Epic Records (also the home of Elementree), the label folded up, but it lives on in the minds of fans of horrorcore rapper Marz.
What is with rock stars and wacky puns? Pete Wetz’s imprint may provide the world with music by Panic! at the Disco, the Academy Is… and Cobra Starship, but it’s hard to pronounce and is guilty of violating the Funky Spelling Rule (which I just invented yesterday).
Dave Matthews’ imprint has signed excellent artists like My Morning Jacket, Ben Kweller, Gomez and the Drive-By Truckers, but the twist is that “ATO” stands for “According to our.” As in “According to our records.” Cue the sad trombone for a wonky pun.
Only funny because it was Fred Durst’s imprint and put out the likes of Puddle of Mudd and Ringside — both of whom are heavily flawed.
Chubby Boy Records
There are a ton of vanity labels for rappers, but most of them either focus on a crew name (G-Unit Records, ATP Records) or a badass concept (Shady Records, Aftermath Records). But Mannie Fresh went with “Chubby Boy,” which is admittedly chuckle-worthy but doesn’t necessarily make him sound any more legit (especially considering he used to be a member of Cash Money Records, perhaps the best-named label of all time).
What record label do you find the most absurd? Let us know in the comments!