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Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band - Hulk Rules

Hulk Hogan. A man of many talents. We all know he can wrestle with the best of 'em as he held heavyweight wrestling titles in the 80's and 90's. He's been an inspiration to countless children. He's ruined plenty of perfectly good shirts. He's had impressive dramatic roles in brilliant films such as "Rocky III," "No Holds Barred," "Suburban Commando," "Mr. Nanny," and yet somehow never won an Oscar. And of course, we all know the man makes a mean bowl of pasta...

Hey kids! Eat pasta and you'll be big just like the Hulkster!

Still, before the Hulkster got into wrestling he had another passion: music. Hogan loved to jam out as he wrapped the huge pythons around his quivering bass guitar. In 1995, the Hulkster made a return to music with the release of "Hulk Rules" - which, as you can tell by the title, was inspired by the death of a young fan of his in the UK. The album's linear notes are clear: "Hulk rocks, Hulk raps, Hulk delivers a poignant ballad." Somewhere along the way, they forgot to mention that "Hulk doesn't have an ounce of musical talent," nor does his "boot band" who may or may not all wear boots. The boot band consists of Hogan (on bass & vocals), Jimmy "The Mouth of the South" Hart (on vocals, percussion, & EFX), Linda "Hulk's Wife" Bollea (vocals & percussion), and John J. Maguire (guitars, keyboards, vocals, bass & drums).

Select Records sure did have quite a sonic arsenal going for themselves at the time... the Jerky Boys, Kid 'N Play, Chubb Rock, and then Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band. Sadly, the album doesn't include the familiar "Real American" tune that brings back so many WWF memories. Instead we're treated to 10 songs that prove there is no god. Because if there was a god, he would've killed all parties involved long before they even had a chance to release this CD.

Now let's go into more detail about each track and you'll even have a chance to listen to a few of them:

Hulkster's In The House [click to listen ]
Wow, what an introduction. Badly produced guitars and a squad of oily men shouting "The Hulkster's in the house!" over and over. Well, I'm assuming they're oily. One listen to this song and you'll instantly picture a bunch of greased-up guys congratulating each other as they jubilantly slap one another on their greasy buttocks. This one easily ranks right up there with the infamous "Superbowl Shuffle" folks. "Hey Hey! Ho Ho! Come on... let's go!" And Hogan himself is barely in the song, only appearing when they shout "When the going gets tough, the though get rough!" I guess Hogan was too busy keeping the other guys nice 'n greasy for the rest of the tune. Well we've still got plenty o' tracks left, I'm sure we'll hear more from him in the next one.

American Made
I take it back. Hogan isn't even in this song. Instead, it's some bad Sammy Hagar wannabe fronting the band. Considering this album came out in '95, the lyrics to this song are astounding. Behold:

He's American Made
He's got the red, white, and blue running through his veins
He was born and raised in the U.S. of A.
He's government inspected, he's U.S. grade,
If you mess with the flag it's like a slap in his face

How that song was written in the 90's with a straight face is beyond me. Patriotic cheese like this was supposed to be restricted solely to the 80's. Even worse, this was also the Hulkster's intro theme song for whenever he entered a wrestling arena in the WCW. If only they could've included his old intro song, "Real American," someone else might have bought a copy of this album. But no, I think I'm the only one who ever did.

Hulkster's Back
Unless Christopher Walken is involved, there's a high chance that any song that features nonstop cowbell action is destined for failure. This song takes it a step further by using synthesizer-generated cowbells. Add in Hulk Hogan attempting to rap (yes rap) with some funky soul sisters singing "Hey check out the Python's Babaaaaaay!" in the background, and you have sonic torture that even Jack Bauer would be reluctant to use on a terrorist.

Wrestling Boot Traveling Band
Who invited a country band on this album? Well at least it sounds like a country band when they try their best to fake a twang country accent. I just have no idea what the hell this song has to do with the life of Hulk Hogan. "And I'll send you a postcard whenever I can... Sincerely, the Wrestling Boot Band." Jimmy Hart may be the mouth of the South, but I'd gladly let him hold up his megaphone into my ear and scream his head off if it meant the memory of this song would forever be erased from my mind. Sadly, that's never going to happen, and Jimmy... I hate you for it.

Bad To The Bone
Oh now here's a classic, they're actually trying to pull off an 80's glam rock song. Once again, the Hulkster is absent from the song unless that's him in the background playing the same single note over and over again on the bass. But nobody wants to hear him play bass anyway, they want to hear his voice. Wanting to hear Hogan play bass would be like wanting to see Van Damme teach a knitting class. And while I'm sure he's not too far away from doing that considering where his career is at, I'd still rather see him kicking people. The worst thing about this song is that Jimmy really can't hit a single high-note to save his life, which is surprising, because I recall him having quite a high-pitched shrill voice back in the days of the WWF. At least, if they had the Hulk trying to sing on this you'd have some genuine hilarity on your hands, but no... we're left with Jimmy's weak voice and some crappy motorcycle sound effects. Great.

I Want To Be A Hulkamaniac
I swear this song reminds me of Bananarama's, "Venus," but with men singing instead. It also sounds like Hulk Hogan was taking after Mr. T in this song by providing the kids with some inspirational messages to rap. "Can you feel the music, can you feel the beat? You don't need drugs to move your feet!" Oh yeah, Mr. T definitely rubbed off on the Hulkster with this one. The great thing is that at some points in the song he'll actually mix completely unrelated messages together just to form a rhyme. For example: "Always go swimmin' with a buddy! Work real hard and always study!" WHAT!? How do you go from swimming with a buddy to studying? I can just envision kids swimming in pools with their history books in hand. When asked by mom what in the hell they're doing, the kids would simply reply, "We're being Hulkamaniacs, mom!" And you wonder why we have to implement the curve when grading papers in this country? Blame the Hulkster for that one...

Beach Patrol [click to listen ]
Easily one of the most horrible, yet hilarious, songs on the album. The lyrics actually include "Whoop! There it is!" in a sad attempt to connect with the young rappers out there. Sorry Hulkster, even the Fat Boys put your pathetic attempt at rap to shame. "Whoop there it is! Check it out! Check it in! You'll be six-feet deep if you mess with my girlfriend!" Whoop where what is!? Check what out!? Christ his lyrics are more confusing than a David Lynch movie. Plus, you've got Jimmy Heart singing the chorus, "We are the beach patrol,"  but he does it in an extremely nasal voice. This song has musical disaster written all over it. Oh and Hulk? Don't EVER EVER EVER try to say "HEY GIRLFRIENNNND!" like a black woman. It just doesn't work for you, ok?

Hulk's The One
Was Rick Astley's, "Never Gonna Give You Up," song still popular in 1995? Well either way, this song sounds a lot like it from the very start... except Hogan doesn't come off like a dorky, pasty teenage white guy who somehow sings like a soul brotha. But hey, maybe that's because he doesn't even sing on this track. It's apparently his wife's song about her love for the Hulkster and his big pythons. Or maybe I shouldn't have made that last part plural? Eugh. Anyway, the lyrics are corny as hell just like you'd expect: "My friends all tell me you're bad to the bone. Please be baaaaad to me! Whoah you're the one, the only one, Hulk's the only one for me." WHOAH WHOAH WHOAH! WHAT!? Between a request for him to be baaaad and Linda's lyrics about how Hulk's got her "down on her knees," this song has some overtly sexual messages in it. This album must've been a hit with the kids!

Hulkster In Heaven [click to listen ]
I guess I should feel bad for laughing at a song about a young kid dying, but I simply don't. The fact that Hogan has to keep referring to the kid as a Hulkamaniac throughout the song while constantly making references to wrestling just takes away from the "poignant" message he was apparently trying to make. Forget about the kid dying, the fact is I'm sure this song has killed many more people as they died from uncontrollable laughter. "I used to tear my shirt... but now you tore my heart... I knew you were a Hulkamaniac right from the very start." The Joker didn't need to make Smilex to get people laughing, he needed to play "Hulkster in Heaven". If there's one song on this album you need to hear, it's this one. Trust me.

Hulk Rules
How do you follow-up a song like Hulkster In Heaven? You bust out the slap bass apparently in a hard rock song. As hard as they can rock I mean. The "Whoah, whoah... Hulkster Rules!" chorus is bad enough, but when the song busts into a saxophone solo, that's the sound of the final nail in the coffin of Hulk Hogan's (thankfully) brief musical career.

In conclusion...

I never thought it was possible to have an album filled with almost nothing but substandard self-celebratory drivel, but Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band somehow pulled it off. If I could've gone through life not having heard more than half of the songs on this album, I'd perhaps have a little more faith in the music industry. I'd also believe that there were far less useless sacks of flesh walking the earth. But the fact is this: if someone is famous and they have any remote interest in music, some producer out there will find a way to release an album with them in a half-assed attempt at making some extra cash off of that famous person's deluded hardcore fans.

Questions? Comments?
Email -RoG-

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