Released by: Eleven Seven Music
Release date: 27 October 2017
Nikki Sixx – Bass
Dj ASHBA – Guitar
James Michael – Vocals
- X-Mas In Hell
- Van Nuys
- Life Is Beautiful
- Pray For Me
- Accidents Can Happen
- Dead Man’s Ballet
- Heart Failure
- Girl With Golden Eyes
- Courtesy Call
- Life After Death
- Life Is Beautiful (2017 Version)
- Accidents Can Happen (2017 Version)
- Girl With Golden Eyes (2017 Version)
10 years after the release of the original soundtrack, SIXX: A.M. re-release their debut album as an anniversary edition. Originally released to compliment the book of the same name, The Heroin Diaries stands comfortably as an album in its own right.
Having not listen to, nor read the book the first-time round, but having heard of Nikki Sixx’s Drug issues (I mean who hasn’t) this album and book intrigued me.
Each track of the album matches a chapter in both the book, and therefore, Nikki’s Life. Starting with Christmas day 1986, also known as X-Mas In Hell, is the beginning of this journey, and that is what this album and book are, a journey through addiction though to recovery, with all the twists and turns along the way. The songs give an insight into Nikki’s love/hate affair with drugs, and especially Heroin. Girl With Golden Eyes tells the story of Nikki’s relationship with that drug. The lyrics portray the emotions that this addiction causes within Nikki Sixx, and the vocals from James Michael manage to drag you along for the ride. The Journey is far from a smooth one, with Accidents Can Happen reminding us that anybody can fall off the wagon, but equally that it isn’t the end. Tomorrow does remind us that there are consequences to our actions, that there are bridges to cross that we may have burned yesterday.
Intermission allows us a moment to comprehend what we have learned so far, and as Nikki says he wonders: “How the hell he is still alive?”
Dead Man’s Ballet asks the questions that I have always wondered about addicts. How did they get there? What happened during their life to lead them down this path? And ultimately how do they recover? Nikki Sixx himself does not have the answers, which shows how complex addictions are.
Both the album and book finish with Nikki’s near death from Heroin. Spoiler alert, he survives. Let be honest if he hadn’t I wouldn’t be here reviewing this, now would I? Permission and Life After Death explore the path to acceptance of his addiction, and recovery.
The Anniversary edition includes the addition of three releases. These are Life is Beautiful, Accidents can Happen and Girl with Golden Eyes. These tracks are not just remastered versions of the originals, they are new re-recorded versions, with different tempos and emotional emphasis’s. These versions bring a whole new emotional response when listened to next to the originals.
The book also includes a new foreword, in which Nikki Sixx explores the dynamics in his life that have changed since the release of the book 10 years ago, including listing friends he has lost, either directly or indirectly to the excesses of the rock and roll lifestyle.
I cannot recommend any song on this album above another. It needs to be listened to, and in the correct order (none of this shuffle nonsense) for it to be fully appreciated, and read the book. You won’t be disappointed.
Written by: Kalli Isborne