Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll

Sex, Love and Rock 'n' Roll

When Mike Ness’ longtime bandmate Dennis Danell died unexpectedly of a brain aneurysm in 2000, it seemed that Social Distortion might die with him. It took Ness eight years to complete Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll, which was finally released in 2004 and became a tribute to Danell. While the album is clearly awash in the sorrow and confusion Ness felt in the wake of his friend’s death, its overarching message is one of persistence and optimism. Images of the open road recur, while “Live Before You Die” exemplifies Ness’ sentiments: “So close your eyes and embrace your memories, your memories/Leave your troubles and your worries far behind, so far behind/Stop contemplating and start celebrating/Yeah you gotta live before you die.” Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll is a rock album in the tradition of the classic LPs on which Ness and Danell were raised. It's the most concise and hopeful album Social Distortion has ever released. By the time Ness reaches the tenderness of “Angel’s Wings,” you fully believe that true love is something for which he's fought long and hard.

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