If I recall correctly, the Judgment Night soundtrack was brought into our student flat in Belfast in 1993 in cassette form by my friend Michael, a talented drummer, who’d previously introduced the household to the likes of N.W.A., Primus, De La Soul and Geto Boys. Given that the cover promised contributions from some of my favourite rock bands – Faith No More, Slayer, Helmet and Living Colour among them – it was immediately slotted into the communal ‘boom box’… a cheapo Sony twin cassette player, if memory serves. And from the opening one-two of Page Hamilton’s breeze-block riffing and John Stanier’s earth-moving beats on Just Another Victim, a corrosive match up of Helmet and House Of Pain, 77 Haypark Avenue had a new party soundtrack.
Then just 22-years-old, Walters’ genius in pulling together the Judgment Night OST was to encourage the rock, metal and rap acts who expressed an interest in collaborating to actually get in the studio together to kick out their jams. While the Lollapalooza tour might have already helped merge the stars of MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball, Alternative Nation and Yo! MTV Raps, it’s hard to imagine, say, garage scuzzballs Mudhoney and ’phat booty’ celebrant Sir Mix-A-Lot or New York’s art-rock pioneers Sonic Youth and California’s blunts-rap crew Cypress Hill sharing a mic without his enthusiastic encouragement. With a few sulky exceptions – we’re looking at you, Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder – the participants largely threw themselves into the project with open minds, ready to embrace a journey into the unknown. The results, for the most part, were both exhilarating and unexpected. ‘Daisy Age’ rappers De La Soul sampling Tom Petty to make blissful chill-out music with Scottish shoegazers Teenage Fanclub? Sure. Mudhoney summoning the spirit of Funkadelic and Rick James for the raunchy, hornball thrustings of Freak Momma? Marvellous. San Franciscan mavericks Faith No More delivering gothic Gregorian chants with Samoan rappers Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E., who set their guns on the mixing console in order to jam? Why the Hell not, eh? Cypress Hill woozily rapping about a love of Mary Jane might not have upset the form book, but coupled with Kim Gordon’s breathy ‘Sugar come by and get me high drawl’? Nope, didn’t see that one coming, truthfully. It all sounded liberating, electric, alive. Not always on the money when it came to assessing the sounds of the underground, Rolling Stone nailed it when they declared “Judgment Night’s bracing rap rock is like the wedding of hillbilly and ‘race’ music that started the whole thing in the first place.”