10 Best Warrant Songs
The best Warrant songs reveal both the talent of their main songwriter, Jani Lane, and the singer's open-heart, open-book approach to life. Although quite capable of rocking out, Lane, who tragically passed away at age 47 this week, will be understandably best remembered for his tender ballads, which clearly struck a chord with millions of people. As our dedication to Jani Lane, we present the 10 Best Warrant Songs:
Much of the general public probably considers the huge ballads you'll encounter later on in this list as among the best Warrant songs, but Jani Lane and his bandmates were also rockers at heart. This surprisingly dark and gnarly song finds the group taking a bit of a well-deserved shot at the "Angry Young Man" pose of many of the grunge rockers who shoved Warrant out of the spotlight in the early '90s.
Need more proof Warrant could bring the riffs? Check out the sexually boastful first single from their third album. 'Dog Eat Dog' found the band getting heavier and leaving some of their glam past behind, in a pretty clear (and commercially unsuccessful) attempt to keep ahead of the Soundgardens and Stone Temple Pilots of the world.
Jani Lane makes it clear the the cash-obsessed title of Warrant's self-titled debut album is meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek with this song's "love is more important than riches" message. Throughout the song, a longtime concert staple despite never being released as a single, Lane promises to work hard for success, but remain content no matter what happens as long as his lover stays by his side.
You're not gonna get too far into a list of the best Warrant songs without hitting a power ballad, and we've got a fine one here. One of the main reasons founding guitarist Erik Turner recruited Jani Lane into the band was for his songwriting ability, and indeed the singer ended up writing the lion's share of the band's hits. 'Blind Faith' builds from tender acoustic guitar to the full-band cigarette-lighter crescendos that were de rigueur at the time without descending into the pure cheese-whiz zone many of his peers occupied.
'Uncle Tom's Cabin'
Or, as Warrant fans know it, the song that was originally supposed to be the title track and first single from the band's second album, 'Cherry Pie.' (More on that track later.) It's impossible not to wonder how the band's career and public image would have been altered if this more serious and complex song had gotten the full promotional push its jokey replacement got. Who knows, maybe it would have helped them transition into the grunge era better. The lesson: tread lightly, record label folks!
'Sometimes She Cries'
The third single from Warrant's debut album may not have had the impact of its sister song, 'Heaven,' but it still cracked the top 20, and works as a poppy, highly melodic confection that shows off Lane's vocals very well. Check out the brief, understated instrumental break before the big guitar solo for further proof of Lane's songwriting skills.
'I Saw Red'
Jani Lane certainly wasn't afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve, generating the subject matter for many of the best Warrant songs from personal experiences. This one had to be particularly tough to share, as he recounts a romantic betrayal of the highest and most painful order: walking in on his girlfriend with another man in bed. Hopefully he used some of the royalties from this song to put a billboard featuring his band right in front of her home, huh?
You know, we never really understood what the undeniably catchy "I wanna go where the down boys go" chorus in this upbeat little Top 30 rocker is about. Jani Lane is courting a woman, that we get... but is he saying he's from the wrong side of the tracks, and offering to share his "tough guy" world with her, or is he promising a very specific type of favor to this woman? Please enlighten us if you know.
This song had to have been at least somewhat of a mixed blessing for Warrant. Clearly one of their biggest hits, impossible not to sing along with, but the over-the-top sexual imagery also got them branded as a bit of a joke, prompting MTV (and, OK..me, too) to label it one of the worst songs ever. Reportedly written in 15 minutes after the label demanded a stronger anthem than 'Uncle Tom's Cabin' (see above) to kick off the band's second album, it solidified the band's superstar status, but also possibly set them up for a fall.
'Heaven,' the second single from Warrant's first album, was their biggest hit ever. It had already earned a spot as the band's most enduring song even before the re-interpreting and magnification of the song's lyrics that's sure to follow in the wake of author and singer Jani Lane's tragic passing. The paradise he's longing for here is one of romantic fulfillment, a subject that turned up frequently in his songs. Hopefully he found that happiness before he left us. The words he left on his twitter account: "Married to Kimberly. Our kids are Taylar, Brittany, Madison & Ryan...Happy '11" and the fact that he went by the handle @janilanefamily seem to indicate that he did.