Ryan Adams has had a very public love affair with metal over the past few years. He’s hosted a mock cable access shred-head show called “Night Sweats,” attended Ronnie James Dio’s funeral along with SPIN, and has even recorded his own blackly dirging axe-blasts as Werewolph. But when it comes to putting his spin on “Wasted Years,” the fist-pumping 1986 now-ness anthem by Iron Maiden (which is, like, 70 percent guitar solo), Adams isn’t beholden to tradition or nostalgia, or even the sort of ballsy awesomeness the track’s originators were known for.
Performing the song for the forthcoming Californication season six soundtrack, he takes a much more mellow approach. The instrumentation is spare and acoustic — a track or two of classical guitar and a tiny synth-string whirr — and the alt-folk champ’s vocal performance is as maudlin as the lyrics are now revealed to be, liberated as they are from their original badass trappings. Rolling Stone has the exclusive stream of the studio recording, although Antiquiet points to a slightly darker feeling BBC Radio session version of the cover recorded in August of 2011, which you can hear below.
While the new season of Californication premieres on January 13, the corresponding collection of songs is out two days later and features a few other covers to boot: Marilyn Manson’s take on Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus,” country babe Lissie’s version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” punk godfather Steve Jones doing David Bowie’s “Suffragette City,” and Los Angeles folk-rock band Hi Ho Silver Oh playing Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On” with help from Leslie Stevens. Warren Zevon, Mark Lanegan and the Soundtrack of Our Lives appear as well, among others.
Music From ghe Showtime Series Californication Season 6 track list:
1. Steve Jones – “Suffragette City” (David Bowie)
2. Marilyn Manon – “Personal Jesus” (Depeche Mode)
3. The Blind Pets – “Fever”
4. Johnny Thunders – “You Can’t Put Your Arms Round a Memory”
5. Lissie – “Nothing Else Matters” (Metallica)
6. Ryan Adams – “Wasted Years” (Iron Maiden)
7. Warren Zevon – “For My Next Trick, I’ll Need a Volunteer”
8. Tim Minchin – “So Long (As We Are Together)”
9. Hi Ho Silver Oh ft. Leslie Stevens – “Time To Move On” (Tom Petty)
10. Joe Walsh – “Funk 50”
11. The Litter – “Action Woman”
12. Mark Lanegan – “Strange Religion”
13. The Soundtrack of Our Lives – “What’s Your Story”
14. Beth Hart – “My California”