Marking the 10th anniversary of the release of Nikki Sixx’s brutally honest and sometimes disturbing autobiography, The Heroin Diaries and the accompanying ‘The Heroin Diaries Soundtrack’, both have been re-released as a 10th Anniversary Edition. Including never-before-seen photos and exclusive new chapters, the 10th Anniversary Edition of the book makes for an enlightening and frightening read. The description of his life of spiralling dependency and excesses in 1987, around the time of Motley Crue’s ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ album and tour, is frank and honest. Details of his relationships and how his addiction nearly lead to him to be a name consigned to the list of gone too young rock icons, is only made more powerful when you listen to the soundtrack.
Formed in 2007 in LA, SiXX:AM; James Michael - vocals; DJ Ashba – guitars; and Nikki Sixx - bass, (all who are also the songwriters) have sold over 1 million albums globally. The Heroin Diaries 10th Anniversary Edition includes re-imagined tracks ‘Life Is Beautiful 2017’, ‘Accidents Can Happen 2017’ and ‘Girl With Golden Eyes 2017’.
The album itself is a dramatic and creative rollercoaster ride into the chaos and depravity raging through this period of Nikki’s life, the lyrics, the melodies and the emotion in the song-writing are clear to hear; it’s therapy by song. The whole album is an evolving story, one of angst, despair, rebirth, determination. It’s not only lyrically fascinating but full of humongous hooks and kick ass riffs. This is powerful stuff, melodic pop rock at its finest, written well, performed well and produced very well.
When you take each track out of the album and listen to it as a standalone song, there is not a bad one. Diversity in tone and tempo, each is a story unfurling through not just the lyrics, but the key changes, big drumbeats and stonking bass-lines. DJ has an ability to change the tone of a riff, to give it an emotion which makes you feel the music. James delivers a vocal in which he too can find the emotion to bring in epic melodies and powerful choruses; a true rock singer.
The circus feel to the opening track ’X-mas in Hell’ with its narrative from Nikki, is a striking feature of the album and paves the way for the diversity of the tracks. Others noteworthy tracks are ‘Accidents Can Happen’ with its heart wrenching lyrics obviously referencing Nikki’s drug relapses and ‘Heart Failure’ which is so dark, depicting his actual clinical death. All the SiXX:AM albums are good, especially Prayers for the Damned (2016) and Prayers for the Blessed (2016) but I’m glad this one has been re-issued with the added tracks, it is a cracking listen.
These days Nikki claims to be retired, now working on turning his book into a play, he’s an established radio presenter and an awesome photographer and more importantly 16 years sober and clean.
I was fortunate to see SiXX:AM perform at Download where they were one of the highlights for me. Come out of retirement Nikki, tour this album again guys, it is so good we need to hear it all again!
THE HEROIN DIARIES: 10th Anniversary Edition Soundtrack by SIXX:AM will be released October 27th via Eleven Seven Music as a digital album, CD, and CD/DVD. A limited edition vinyl package will also come out on November 24th . All music configurations feature new artwork and personal notes from the band.
1. X-Mas In Hell
2. Van Nuys
3. Life is Beautiful
4. Pray for Me
6. Accidents Can Happen
8. Dead Man's Ballet
9. Heart Failure
10. Girl With Golden Eyes
11. Courtesy Call
13. Life After Death
14. Life Is Beautiful 2017
15. Accidents Can Happen 2017
16. Girl With Golden Eyes 2017