Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1989!

Jean-Claude Van Damme battles cannibals in a post-apocalyptic future in  CYBORG on Blu-ray Apr. 24 | Confessions of a Cinephiliac

Greetings, Glancers! I’m back again to present another click-bait list sure to cause fits of rage in the weak. In other words, a list some films released in 1989 that I either didn’t like, was disappointed by, or which I actively hate. Here they are.

Cyborg

Van Damme was still hitting his stride and trying to branch out into the territory which had brought Arnie and others more success. So he jumps into this utterly bizarre, nonsensical thing. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this now, hoping it will make sense, but it never does. It’s one of the finest examples of a film’s history and context being more interesting than the film itself – a film about Cyborg would be better than Cyborg itself. I can’t even describe the plot beyond something about Van Damme killing bad guys in a post apocalyptic wasteland, because those bad guys killed his family and have currently kidnapped some people on a quest for a computer cure to a virus? It looks like it was made for less money than I have currently in my pockets (in my pockets I currently only have a face mask resting snuggly against my nuts), but it’s the surrounding stuff that keeps me coming back. Why is everyone named after a guitar or guitar part/accessory? Why are there two separate, unrelated sequel series to this single film (Cyborg 2 and both have almost nothing to do with Cyborg or each other, and Knights and Omega Doom both made by Cyborg’s writer and director but again bearing no relation to each other, or the original, or the other sequels)? How was Cyborg almost a Masters Of The Universe sequel and almost a Spiderman movie? How do these things happen?

Driving Miss Daisy

Not my cop of tea; I don’t even like tea. Hits a lot of the no-nos – Oscar bait, period piece in a period I’m not interested in, but it’s fine. I don’t understand its success, but I can see why people liked it at the time. Watch it because of the cast and the success and the awards, yeah, but not for me.

Meet The Feebles

I could also have had this on my Favourites Of 1989 list. I still enjoy it, as much as one can enjoy a gross-out movie about puppets into porn and drugs and… other stuff. It’s incredibly inventive and funny if you’re in the right mood… but ultimately I put it here because it was a disappointment for me after falling head over heels for Jackson’s other early movies.

My Left Foot

Jim Sheridan might hold a record for having every single one of his movies appearing in my Least Favourite movies lists. That’s probably not true, and I don’t care enough to check, but it seems plausible. He makes decent movies but there’s such a TV movie of the week feel about them that I can’t take them seriously. I doubt anyone would take them, or this, seriously if it weren’t for Daniel Day Lewis. No doubt he gives a great performance, but I just can’t care about any of it when the subject matter is absolutely something I should easily be emotionally invested in.

Shirley Valentine

You know the score by now, right? English? Romantic Comedy? Quirky? Fuck off? Correct. This was consistently a movie watched and referenced by mums and aunts and the mums and aunts of my mates when I was young. It’s expectedly terrible.

Shocker

Even my favourite filmmakers can make duds. As much as I love Wes, he made his fair share of not very good films. Shocker isn’t great and it another case of a potentially much better film being buried under budget constraints and poor quality control. It’s not that it’s bad, but that it’s disappointing. It starts well and gets sillier as it goes on – Pileggi makes for an interesting villain and the setup is cool; a serial killer targets the family of the cop trying to bring him down, seems to have a weird physic connection to one of the cop’s sons, and when he is executed he returns as, wait for it, electricity. The effects are ropey now, and they could easily have just stretched the first half into a movie without all of the electricity stuff. It’s a fun party movie… but so is Elm Street and I’d much rather watch it for the hundredth time again.

A short list this year – there were a bunch of other films I could have added – Steel Magnolias, Wilt, When Harry Met Sally, but I don’t care about those enough to talk about them. Let us know your least favourite movies of 1989 in the comments!

Nightman’s Updated Favourite Films Of 1989!

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

In reading through my list again, I realised there are a few movies I somehow missed including or mentioning before. Black Rain is in my Top Tony/Ridley Scott list, Blue Steel is an underrated thriller, Three Fugitives is an underrated comedy, Renegades is one of my favourite buddy cop movies.

10: The Killer (HK)

Maybe the first John Woo film I ever saw, like many it opened my eyes to a new world of Action cinema. Growing up I was mainly exposed to Hollywood’s muscle bound Action heroes and Asia’s Martial Arts masters, but John Woo came along and created a bridge between the two, offering sardonic, stylish, conflicted protagonists who were just as deadly with their fists as they were with a handgun. Action isn’t treated like a series of explosions, but like a choreographed dance for maximum emotional impact. Like many of Woo’s early movies, it pits one man against another in a sort of cat and mouse formula, and masculinity is dissected. Chow Yun Fat is an assassin trying to get out of the business, but he accidentally injures a singer in his last job and falls in love with her. Danny Lee is the detective on his trail and becomes obsessed with The Killer, while Shing Fui-on is the Triad boss pulling all of the strings and acting as the central big bad. It’s a more condensed and small scale experience than earlier works like A Better Tomorrow, and his balletic approach would be perfected in upcoming films such as Hard Boiled and Face/Off, but it’s still a smooth, stylish, bullet crazed watch.

9: Uncle Buck (US)

One of the seminal movies of the great John Candy, and probably the one I was most familiar with growing up. Candy stars as the titular Uncle who is tasked with looking after his nieces and nephew and has somewhat unorthodox measures. It has its madcap moments, but it’s still a John Hughes movie, meaning a lot of heart, modern family values, and plenty of guttural belly laughs.

8: Born On The Fourth Of July (US)

The movie which should have seen Tom Cruise win his Oscar, Born On The Fourth Of July is Oliver Stone dealing with the aftermath of Vietnam from a veteran’s perspective. It’s a gripping performance and watching it now we’re reminded that Cruise is capable of powerful dramatic performances when he’s not leaping out of airplanes as he trying to complete impossible missions. Based on the life of Ron Kovic, the film follows his life from childhood, to his horrific experiences in Vietnam, and to the months and years after as he became an activist. Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger, and John C McGinley join Stone again after Platoon, albeit in much smaller parts, and the surrounding cast including Kyra Sedgwick, Frank Whaley, and Lili Taylor put in memorable performances.

7: Kiki’s Delivery Service (Japan)

I think this is my favourite Ghibli movie. Naturally, Miyazaki directs and writes, and Joe Hisashi brings another lovely score. It’s not the most riveting or outlandish or visually adventurous Ghibli movie, but it’s sweet, evokes a lot of feelings, and creates a charming world you would love to spend more time in. It’s also a film about growing up, about finding your place in the world, through the lens of a young girl who happens to be a Witch, heading off on her own for the first time and setting up a delivery service thanks to her flying ability. It does that Ghibli thing of perfectly capturing a specific mood and is as close to capturing the atmosphere of a Legend Of Zelda game as any movie I’ve seen, even though narratively the two have little in common. It’s simply a beautiful experience.

6: See No Evil, Hear No Evil (US)

One of the lesser known entries for both Pryor and Wilder, it’s nevertheless my favourite film by either performer… Brewster’s Millions and Willy Wonka maybe on another day. It’s utterly ludicrous, vaguely offensive, and our two stars are on fine form. I’ve said this many times over the decades – I’ve never been much of a Kevin Spacey fan (seems I was right all along) but this is his best performance. I’m willing to die on that hill. It’s the ridiculous story of a blind man (Pryor) and a deaf man (Wilder) who become friends and are embroiled in a murder case. Japes follow. Many, many japes. I know it’s not clever (except when it is) or sophisticated, but there’s just something about these two actors playing equally bemused characters getting into stupid situations and causing chaos for everyone they meet that I find endlessly hilarious and endearing.

5: Licence To Kill (US/UK)

It’s a shame Dalton didn’t get to squeeze in one more Bond film before Brosnan took over – he’s probably the best actor to ever wield the PPK, and he took the series in an interesting direction. This is a better film overall than The Living Daylights, and you feel Dalton was just hitting his stride. It was the most grisly and dark Bond film upon release, bolstered by two slimy performances by Benicio Del Toro and Robert Davi and has one of the series most exhilarating finales.

4: Pet Sematary (US)

Speaking of grisly, Mary Lambert brought Stephen King’s darkest and most upsetting novel to the big screen, not shying away from the horrors of death, grief, and resurrection. Interestingly, it’s the supporting cast who steal the limelight from the two leads – Fred Gwynne iconic as Jud, and Miko Hughes on Oscar worthy form as the ill fated Gage. In case you’re unaware of the story, it follows a family moving to rural Maine, their farmhouse on the side of a particularly busy road, and how they cope with first the loss of the family pet and then something far more devastating. It turns out that an ancient burial ground behind the house as the power of resurrection… but sometimes dead is better. It doesn’t match the sheer bleak emotional power of the novel, but it gets closer to the bone than most horror movies, and there isn’t a shred of light to be found anywhere.

3: Back To The Future Part II  (US)

It’s not as good as the first, but it’s damn close. It does that second act thing which annoys me in most films, of having the main character fall out with his friends/go down a darker path – this all takes place in the alternate boss Biff future, but aside from that minor personal thing it’s a wonderful adventure. The cast is back to together, the story and sets all blend seamlessly with Part 1, and every single performer is at the top of their game. I love all the hoverboard and 3D shark action, plenty of jokes and humour, and it’s all done in such a way that viewers of any age can enjoy it. They don’t make them like this anymore.

2: Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure (US)

There’s something more pure and original and fun about this first Bill & Ted movie which the second one lacks somewhat. I love them both, but this is the superior outing. Hell, it even has a sequence in a waterpark, what’s not to love. It’s quotable, the supporting cast and characters are fun Reeves and Winter and Carlin are most excellent, and the story is shamelessly silly – two aspiring musicians and otherwise no hopers are thrust back in time in order to learn about history so that they can pass history class. If they don’t, the very future of mankind is under threat. To Metal and Grunge fan younger me, this was my Gospel.

1: Batman (US)

It’s in my Top Movies Of The 80s post.

Let us know your favourite movies of 1989 in the comments!

Nightman’s Updated Top Twenty Movies Of 1990!

Greetings, Glancers! We continue my new series of posts which will detail my favourite films of every year since 1950. Why 1950? Why 10? Why anything? Check out my original post here. As with most of these lists the numbering doesn’t really matter much, though in most cases the Number 1 will be my clear favourite. As I know there are plenty of Stats Nerds out there, I’ll add in some bonus crap at the bottom but the main purpose of these posts is to keep things short. So!

20: Boiling Point (Japan) Takeshi Kitano

Takeshi Kitano comes into his own with another unusual mixture of losers, comedy, and violence, a film where he begins to experiment with what it means to be a director and storyteller. It’s not the easiest gateway into Japanese cinema, but in Kitano you have an established star and unique voice.

19: La Femme Nikita (France) Luc Besson

Luc Besson had made waves in the 1980s with a number of experimental movies but with La Femme Nikita he became a name to be reckoned with. It’s the story of a teenage criminal who kills a cop after her friends are killed during a robbery gone wrong. Facing a life in prison, she is recruited by a shadowy organization and trained as an assassin. The film’s beats feel cliche now, but while they were not exactly new then, they are done with a speed and style and have been mimicked by Hollywood for decades – we watch Nikita train, become skilled, disciplined, distant, then meet a stranger and fall in love, then balance botched missions and dreaming of a normal life. It almost single-handedly rejuvenated interest in France as a Country capable of making genre films. Anne Parillaud, Jean Reno, Tcheky Karyo, and Jeanne Moreau are familiar faces helping the film succeed.

18: The Witches (UK/US) Nicholas Roeg

I loved Roald Dahl when I was growing up, and I loved anything horror related. Roald Dahl making a more or less straight (family friendly) horror story and film was the perfect storm for me. I had no idea who Nicholas Roeg was until much later, but he strikes me now as an interesting choice for the studio to make, and the film an interesting project for him to tackle. I remember the first time I watched this – in school – but it was turned off during the unmasking scene because a number of girls started crying. Good times. Hell, another childhood hero in Mr Bean shows up! I haven’t seen the remake at time of writing, but I imagine it will be tough to beat the fun and frights of this one.

17: Dances With Wolves (US) Kevin Costner

Costner knows how to make an epic. What a great debut film. It’s gorgeous, has a great score, may be somewhat overlong but remains engaging as all epics with the balls to have a three hour running time should be.

16: Awakenings (US) Penny Marshall

A still sadly underseen and undervalued film by everyone – Penny Marshall fans, Robin Williams fans, Robert De Niro fans, film fans in general, and those who don’t know any better. The film was extremely well reviewed at the time and got nominations for Best Picture and Best Actor, but has since fallen by the wayside. It’s a gripping, moving, true (ish) story of a doctor’s experiment treatment on patients in a comatose state, with Robins as the Doctor and De Niro as one of his patients who ‘wakes’ from an unresponsive state and tries to resume a normal life. It’s one of the best examples of Williams taking on a non-comedic role, and something different for De Niro too.

15: The Godfather Part 3 (US) Francis Ford Coppolla

We know it’s not as good as Part 1 or 2. Possibly if Part 3 had come shortly after Part 2, but then it would have been a very different story. The Godfather Part 3 is still a more enjoyable and more impressive experience than 90% of what you’ll watch this year. Andy Garcia is a strong addition, Sofia less so even if the amount of criticism directed at her is mostly unfounded, and Pacino is as wonderful as ever.

14: Ghost (US) Jerry Zucker

Ghost is a romance. But when I saw it as a kid, I viewed it as a horror movie. Sure it had kissing and jokes and uncomfortable pottery, but it’s the story of a dude who is brutally murdered and has to somehow prevent his wife from being killed or being touched by the slimy meatball who was responsible for his own death. It also features one of the most creepy death scenes in film history (or two given the same creatures claim two victims). You see, in this movie, when you die you might be trapped on Earth and forced to watch the world go by in a limbo state as you struggle to not fall through the floor… or, if you were a naughty boy, you get dragged to Hell by horrific, howling, shadowy nightmares. It’s a weird departure for a dude known for incredibly zany comedies. Everyone here is great, with Goldberg stealing the show. But it’s those shadows, their howls, those will stay with you until… well, until the moment they come for you.

13: Another 48 Hours (US) Walter Hill

A sequel that’s just as much fun as the original, mainly because Walter Hill, Nick Nolte, and Eddie Murphy all return. If you didn’t enjoy the original you won’t like this, if you like the original then this is more of the same. In fact, most of the (mostly) justified criticism of the film is because the film was chopped to pieces before release, with at least 30 minutes of material cut which would have reinstated characters from the first film, expanded on the motivation of others, and filled in many of the plot holes. None of that mattered to a younger me – all I wanted was more buddy cop violence and banter, and that’s what we’re left with.

12: Misery (US) Rob Reiner

Before Mike Flanagan there was Frank Darabont; before Darabont there was Garris; before Garris there was Reiner. Rob Reiner made two bona fide classic Stephen King classics before descending into romantic comedy debauchery. There’s no romance here, except in Annie’s head, and there are precious few laughs. Instead we have a King proxy tied to a bed, being subject to repeated mental and physical torture from a deranged fan. Cann and Bates are a fearsome partnership and Lauren Bacall and Richard Farnsworth appear. It holds a couple of important, yet depressing distinctions – it’s one of the few times a Horror film and Horror performance has been recognised by The Academy, and it’s the only film based on a Stephen King work to have ever won an Oscar.

11: Arachnophobia (US) Frank Marshall

I hate spiders, but I love spiders? I love how they terrify people, I love the job they perform, and I love how impossible they are, but I also hate that they exist and often exist in my house. I also love movies with spiders in them, either as a random appearance or as some kind of antagonist. These movies are almost always terrible… but spiders! Arachnophobia is like Jaws but with spiders, which is sort of similar to saying Jaws is like Die Hard, but with drunk fishermen. A new species of spider, highly venomous and aggressive, is found in Venezuela and hitches a ride back to the good old US of Hicktown. Jeff Daniels has just moved in with his family – he’s terrified of spiders, but luckily there’s only house spiders in this part of the world. That is, until the Queen gets her end away with one of the local homeboys and spurts out hundreds of murderous little fucks who begin picking off the town’s caricatures. Julian Sands has a ponytail. John Goodman has bug spray. It’s great. You’ll laugh your ass off, then shriek cos a bit of dust moved in the corner of your room.

10: Kindergarten Cop (US) Ivan Reitman

Covered in my TTT Arnie movies.

9: Young Guns II (US) Geoff Murphy

A sequel every bit as fun as the original, another terrific cast, soundtrack, and with the added bonus emotional beats. The main gang are still electric and while the whole ‘I’m Billy The Kid’ thing never sat well with me, for the longest time this and its predecessor were the only Westerns I could watch; they’re still up there with my favourites.

8: Mermaids (US) Richard Benjamin

You’ll know from my Least Favourite Movies lists that I’m not a Romantic Comedy guy. That’s not necessarily because I’m against the format, more that the results of said format are generally bad. They offer me nothing on a personal level. Mermaids, if it can truly be classed as a Romantic comedy, is an exception. I’d class it as a Coming Of Age movie, but at the heart of the story is the romance between Cher and Bob Hoskins, and the conflict it causes Cher’s family. Regardless of what it is, it’s delightful. Cher’s best film performance, Winona Ryder and Christina Ricci together in the same movie (both at their best), kick-ass soundtrack, and spoke to me as an alienated youngster.

7: Tremors (US) Ron Underwood

One of the most purely entertaining, fun monster movies ever made. It knows what it is and doubles down on the charm of the genre. It wouldn’t be so much fun if it weren’t for the writing and the chemistry between the cast members. If you’ve seen any of the Tremors sequels – they’re still fun, still silly, but the writing and chemistry are lacking. You know what it is, right? Man eating worms attack a middle of nowhere town, and it’s down to a couple of resourceful manual workers, a plucky seismologist, and a couple of gun totin’ firearms fans to save the day. It’s a throwback, a gateway horror movie, and somehow timeless even if some of the squishy effects aren’t as impressive as they were in 1990.

6: Wild At Heart (US) David Lynch

I talk about it more in my TTT David Lynch post, but this is an underrated, manic entry in the Lynch canon.

5: Total Recall (US) Paul Verhoeven

Discussed in TTT Arnie movies.

4: Home Alone (US) Chris Columbus

A massive hit, brought Culkin to the big time, and is a must watch every Christmas. The perfect movie for a boy like me when it was released, and that boy never really grew up even if he is old enough to watch it with his own kids now. Few more entertaining Christmas movies than this.

3: Goodfellas (US) Martin Scorsese

I don’t think I’ve done a TTT Scorsese post yet, but this would be at or near the top. In terms of Crime/Mafia movies I’d still rate The Godfather 1 and higher, but this is in with a shout as the best of that genre. Gripping stories, chilling violence, quotable script, excellent performances, and Scorsese at the top of his game.

2: Problem Child (US) Dennis Dugan

In my Top Movies Of Decade post.

1: Edward Scissorhands (US) Tim Burton

In my top movies of the decade post.

Let us know your favourite movies of 1991 in the comments!

TTT – Top Ten Paul Verhoeven Movies!

Paul Verhoeven filming Benedetta - Cineuropa

Paul Verhoeven was one of my favourite directors before I knew what a director was. Thanks to a spell of hits which I watched a lot in my youth, he was one of the first Directors whose name I knew and whose films I would hunt down. I admit I was always disappointed that the films I found weren’t outlandish, bloody action movies like the ones I loved, but when I got more into my teen years and became a more dedicated film lover I found a new appreciation for all of his work.

I think the best terms to use to describe Verhoeven’s work are ‘sleazy’, ‘controversial’, and ‘over the top’. Even in his early work pre-Hollywood, there was a dedication to depicting violence and sex in certain ways, blown out of all proportion once he landed in the US, but there has always been a tongue in cheek approach to it all which many critics have outright missed if not denied or dismissed. He has of course had more streamlined, subtle films but even those use action or violence or satire in a certain fashion.

10. Hollow Man.

One of the many revisions of The Invisible Man which has appeared over the years, this one took the 90s Blockbuster approach, merging horror, action, nifty effects and make-up, and dollops of sleaze. It’s an inevitably voyeuristic film which was a hefty success and basically allows Kevin Bacon to go Terminator on everyone, while occasionally stopping to have a spy at ladies getting undressed. If that sounds like your sort of thing, and it absolutely should, give it a go.

9. Basic Instinct.

Verhoeven took soft-core porn, sleazy thrillers, bedroom aerobics, and crazy white lady films to new artistic heights with Basic Instinct. Underneath all the iconic uncrossing of legs and gyrating searches for ice picks, it’s a sweaty, up close, ice cool thriller which shook suburbia and allowed all of our dirty secrets to bubble up to the surface. It’s silly, it’s Sweat Noir, and it made a star out of Sharon Stone. Basically every 90s softcore movie took its inspiration from this.

8. Flesh And Blood

Flesh And Blood is a film which never found its audience, yet it’s clearly ripe for re-evaluation now as a cult film. This should be streaming everywhere – it’s 80s, a mix of action, history, and romance. It’s stars Rutger Hauer. Jennifer Jason Leigh is the love interest. It was shot be Jan De Bont. The score is by Basil Poledouris. It has the Orion seal of quality. The plot is all over the place and you half expect it to be a swords and sorcery movie – it’s not, but it is a lot of fun for those viewers always on the lookout for a forgotten 80s movie.

7. Spetters

This was the first non-US Verhoeven movie I saw, having read reviews of it in some Must See European Cinema book I had in my teens. It mentioned motorcycles, graphic violence – that was really all I needed at the time. Even in the liberal Netherlands, the film was controversial enough to cement Verhoeven’s desire to head to the US where he could explore different types of movies, and the film’s notoriety led in some part to helping Rutger Hauer and Jeroen Krabbe become more established worldwide. It’s somewhat similar to something like Y To Mama Tambien, a coming of age of sorts as three young men encounter a sexually aggressive woman who wants escape as much as they do. It’s an uncomfortable watch, not necessarily due to the sex and violence, but due to the depictions of masculinity which may be too close for comfort even now.

6. Elle

He doesn’t make very many movies any more, hardly a surprise given his advanced years, but when he does they always make an impact. One of Verhoeven’s gifts has always been in finding a strong female lead and getting a powerful performance out of them. That, and never shying away from tackling or courting controversy head on. In Elle it’s rape which takes centre stage, and one woman’s reaction to her ordeal. That woman is Isabelle Huppert, giving a performance which saw her receive a deserved Academy nomination. The film tows the line between disturbing and funny, and while it may be advertised as a rape revenge thriller, it’s not as seedy or horrible as those movies tend to be, instead finding Verhoeven using the subject and character to examine triumph. Nothing is ever as it seems in a Verhoeven film and Elle is no different.

5. Soldier Of Orange

The first of several War films Verhoeven made, this saw him become a huge name in his home and made the rest of the world aware of his abilities. It’s one of his most grounded films and one of those great coming of age type war movies which follows a group of friends pre, during, and post-war. It’s a great gateway movie into European cinema because it will be familiar to fans of films such as The Deer Hunter and it has a few familiar faces to not make the transition from US to non-US so alien.

4. Black Book

One of the finest all round movies of the 21st Century. I’ve written about it elsewhere on the blog, but it’s another WWII based drama which sees The Red Woman working as a Resistance Spy in the midst of Nazi horrors, a mature and twisting film largely free from the usual Satire and cynicism which put many people off Verhoeven’s films.

3. Starship Troopers

One of the most bonkers, all out fun movies of the 90s – it pits muscle-bound grunts against big-ass bugs in a giant space war. Great effects, hilarious violence, top notch action, all topped off by a memorable score and tonnes of one-liners. It feels like Robocop 2.0. 

2. Total Recall

Arnie. Verhoeven. Ironside. Cox Stone. Mars. Aliens with three breasts. If I’m not me, then who the hell am I? Get ready for a surprise!

  1. Robocop

Arguably the greatest movie ever made. Unquestionably the most quotable. It’s in my personal Top Five movies of all time. It’s flawless in my eyes. If Verhoeven had only ever made this movie, he would be a legend – thankfully he made all of the others above, and a few more besides.

Let us know your Top Ten Verhoeven movies in the comments below!

Ranking The Led Zep Songs – Led Zep IV!

While undoubtedly one of the greatest albums of all time, this has become maybe the Led Zep album which has dropped most in my own estimation. I was obsessed with it but I almost never listen to it now, and when I do I skip more songs than I listen to. I’m just too familiar with it, and possibly sick of it. Outside of the Top Two, I struggle to listen to the others, even as I still recognise their perfection.

  1. Stairway To Heaven
  2. Going To California
  3. Black Dog
  4. Rock And Roll
  5. Four Sticks
  6. Misty Mountain Hop
  7. The Battle Of Evermore
  8. When The Levee Breaks

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Alice Cooper Albums!

Alice Cooper | Rhino

Greetings, Glancers! For someone as influential on my life as a music fan, as a horror fan, and as an occasional writer as Alice Cooper has been, he’s not someone who comes up frequently on my blog. I don’t have many definitive influences on my lyrical approach (at least back when I wrote lyrics), but Alice Cooper is one of them. Cooper, Edwards and Wire, Cobain… nobody comes close to them. Alice Cooper is an incredibly underrated lyricist, songwriter, singer, performer, and both as a solo act and as a band his works have left an indelible mark on music for the last 60 years or so. It’s not just the Shock Rock stuff. You can make a case for Cooper inventing Metal, Punk, Grunge, for pushing Prog into new directions, he has changed his skin as many times as those who are more recognized for it – Bowie and Madonna spring to mind – but he has retained the core of who he is as an icon; a boundary pushing, genre transcending provocateur with a wit rarely so evocatively presented in music, and with a knack for writing anthems skirting the borders of the zeitgeist to forever appeal to the outsider. In short, he’s one of the all time greats. In honour of his recent four thousandth album, I humbly present my ranking of his albums. As always if you were to ask me to do this again next week (please don’t) some of these positions would inevitably shift around. But not by much – my favourites are my favourites and those at the bottom are still crap. You get the idea? Lets get on with it.

28: Special Forces

In the 1980s, Alice had been through his greatest Commercial and Critical peak, and like every good story of Rock ‘n’ Roll success he was now in a free fall decline in every respect. His music, his creativity, his personal life, his sanity and health, everything was out the window. It’s hardly a surprise that he doesn’t remember making a bunch of these albums, and hardly a surprise that these albums are not very good. If anything stands out with these albums it’s that they are a shit shower of ideas, mostly bad, mostly influenced by 80s New Wave, and if anything distinguishes Special Forces from the others it’s that the songs are less eventful, less ridiculous. Only the biggest Cooper fans are likely to get anything out of this.

27: Dada

Of all the 80s albums, there was a time when this was my favourite – now I’m not sure why. I think it’s because it’s so otherworldy and bizarre. It’s utterly deranged, but outside of the opening and closing tracks there’s nothing here you’ll ever want to hear.

26: Flush The Fashion

Cooper’s first foray into the 80s and New Wave, he was still clinging on to consciousness and creativity, but he produced a dated upon release, underwhelming and repetitive album of forgettable songs it’s difficult to differentiate between. Sadly, the album sold well enough on the strength of its lead single, likely making Coop think this was a brave new path he should continue ploughing blindly down. 

25: Zipper Catches Skin

The third album in three years during the 80s for Cooper, this suffers from the same rushed and creatively barren issues as the others. This one has more positives than negatives and sheds the New Wave nonsense for something approximating the current wave of Post Punk which would in turn lead Cooper towards his Hair Metal reinvention. Of course, Dada would come before then, but at least this set some ground work and reminded fans that Cooper could still pen a decent rock song when he wanted to.

24. Along Came A Spider

This halfway point album joins (untidily) the Nu Metal 2000s era Cooper with his stripped back return to Garage Rock. It’s a mostly bland affair which suffers from the fact that Coop had already done the Garage Revival thing better in his two previous albums. Still, it was a more successful album than those two and stands out because it was another Concept album charting the rise and demise of a serial killer known as Spider.

23. Lace & Whiskey

For his third solo album, Cooper abandoned his Grand Guignol stylings and instead adopted the persona of a hard drinking hard boiled crime PI, who was also bumbling and inept. In retrospect it seems like the whole thing was set up just so he could allow himself the freedom to sink further into Alcoholism. I never found the album concept and sound to be coherent, instead coming across as a Greatest Hits without the Hits. There are still highlights – My God and You & Me feature in my regular shuffles – and even with a mish mash of styles it’s grounded in old fashioned Rock n Roll.

22. Pretties For You

The Cooper band debut, this zany Zappa inspired whack job is sure to confuse and infuriate fans of structure and sense. This album has no sense, the songs have no structure, and that’s why I enjoy it so much. It’s wonderful to see how the band started out and what they would become, many of the lyrical and conceptual ideas are there in their infancy, but above all the songs are somewhere between chaotic slices of brilliance and shameless nonsense.

21. Constrictor

Perhaps the least of the Hair Metal albums, although most of them are interchangeable in quality for me, Constrictor was the first to see Alice embracing the big hair, big guitars, glam persona, and return to his Shock Rock roots. He had been out of the limelight trying to get clean and in the years since Dada Metal had taken the world by storm. Cooper gathered together an array of talented musicians, doubled down on his notoriety by positioning himself as a hybrid Metal Horror icon in songs like He’s Back and Teenage Frankenstein, but most importantly he put himself back on the map as a performer and songwriter. 

20. Detroit Stories

Cooper’s most recent album is all about looking back and giving thanks. Thanks to the bands and city and sounds who influenced him, to the bands they came up with in the 60s and 70s, and to his old pals. There are plenty of covers and plenty of Cooper’s trademark wit which has never dampened with time, and he’s still ready to pump out bangers when he needs to. It’s a little repetitive due to the sheer number of songs, but a solid album of Garage Rock.

File:Alice Cooper band Live in London 2012-10-28 (close-up).jpg - Wikimedia  Commons

19. Paranormal

Cooper has always been prolific, but this was his first album in 6 years – the longest gap he’s had between albums since 94 and 2000. Thankfully he still came back with his usual finesse and released an album which was received highly and did quite well in this new era of sales. He brings the old gang back together for a few songs and in total it’s a classic sounding Cooper albums with influences based in the dark fringe areas where normies fear to tread, a series of nightmarish lullabies and anthems.

18. The Last Temptation 

By the time The Last Temptation was released I was a hardcore Cooper fan. I never liked lead single Lost In America or its video and was expecting something more adventurous and biting like Hey Stoopid. Still, I was 11 and anything with guitars and facepaint was cool. It’s a lighter album than its predecessor  – by this point Metal was largely dead commercially – but was still successful enough that Cooper could go off and tour and play golf for the next six years before reinventing himself once more. 

17. Dragontown

This and Brutal Planet are a pair. This is just as heavy, if less reliant on the Industrial and Nu Metal stylings of Brutal Planet but in songwriting terms there isn’t much to pick between them – plus they were released a year apart. The two albums are Alice at his heaviest.

16: Easy Action

I don’t see many people having either of the band’s first two albums so high on their ranking, but there’s something wholesome and youthful and ambitious about each – a true sense of zero fucks given. This follow-up at least nods its head to structures and conventions and loosely attempts to convey traditional songs through a psychedelic lens. As such, some of the songs have made their way onto Greatest Hits sets and later live tour setlists. It’s a heavier album too, less chaotic and more planned, allowing for both unpredictable epics and short and snappy wannabe hits.

15. Raise Your Fist And Yell

Another 80s Hair Metal album, for me this one has a better array of tunes than Constrictor. It still retains the inherent cheesy production and reverb drums of the time and it still feels like a less shitty Def Leppard album, but with a rejuvenated Alice at the helm. Alice continued his dalliance with horror – Robert Englund appears (Alice appeared in multiple horror movies around this time, including Elm Street 6 a few years later) just as Vincent Price had a decade earlier, and the songs are the teen and rebel bait outcast anthems we have come to expect from the greatest writer of such songs of his generation. Or any generation.

14. Brutal Planet

Alice has always kind of been Metal, and certainly doubled down on what passed for commercial Metal in the 80s, but it wasn’t until Brutal Planet where he actually sounded crushingly heavy. Under all the tuned down guitars and distortion is a selection of songs which could appear in any era of Alice’s work – change the production to suit the time period and Gimme could be an 80s Metal or 70s Rock anthem, while Take It Like A Woman is as good a ballad as any of his more famous works while conveying the sort of social message critics usually miss when dismissing Cooper.

13. Trash

Trash is the first album I ever bought. In a Golden Discs in Ards Shopping Centre if anyone cares. I also picked up Off The Wall. Money well spent. Alice has had any number of hits and several of those are cultural icons themselves. But Trash contains Poison, probably his most famous song. It’s the peak of his 80s work – a genuinely good song which manages to stand up against scrutiny verses 90% of everything else he released in the decade. Elsewhere on the album he invites various pals to play along – Jon Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler – and many mainstream hitmakers helped contribute and polish things – Desmond Child, Diane Warren, Joan Jett to name a few. For every silly song, there’s a better one, and it’s the strength of those better songs which raises an average album to the multi million seller it is. 

12. Muscle Of Love

(Holy) Muscle Of Love, as the title suggests, sees Cooper and the boys going all dirty. Coop has never shied away from describing sexual antics in his lyrics but unlike overrated garbage spreaders AC/DC Cooper does it with more wit than a pre-pubescent. Muscle Of Love lacks the big hits of previous and subsequent albums, but it more than makes up for this in its lean, no frills approach. It’s to the point rock designed to upset the straight-laced moms and pops, but underneath it all are the singalong melodies, amusing lyrics and themes, and kickass riffs we’ve come to expect from a Cooper album. 

11. School’s Out

I mentioned earlier that Poison was probably the most famous Cooper song. If you don’t agree, then you probably think School’s Out is the one. I’m good with that too; it probably had the bigger impact. The song, and the album, were huge hits and brought the band into the mainstream after a few smaller prior hits. This was one of the first Cooper albums I bought once I had enough money of my own to go spend on such things – by that time I already knew the title track and the hype around the album. I wasn’t impressed by the whole album first time around, not being aware if was more of a Rock Opera or a less campy version of West Side Story. It was a nine track album with two throwaway instrumentals. It took me a good few years to come back to it and gain appreciation for it. It is a concept album, it does follow a loose theme and plot, and the songs are designed to follow both. The title track is the only hit, but every other song has its charm with the greaser rock being subverted by both American Musicals and bizarro psychedelia; I simply wasn’t ready for it and was expecting a straightforward collection of Rock anthems. The raw, in your face production where you can feel the vibration from every bass note, the strange nods to jazz and appreciation of US culture given the skewed Alice twist all raise this to something different. Go in expecting weirdness and you’ll get more out of it. 

Alice Cooper talks new album, quarantine hobbies and family time in Phoenix  - cleveland.com

10: The Eyes Of Alice Cooper 

In the new Millennium, Cooper had been courting the biggest Metal movements of the time – Nu Metal and Industrial Metal. The results were heavier than anything he’d done in the past but thankfully he decided to return to his more Garage based roots in 2003. The Eyes Of Alice Cooper is a retro themed album taking in the changes which emerged in the decades since they last played in this style. It’s what a lot of old school fans were looking for and it was refreshing after two darker albums to rediscover a sense of fun. While no single song has the power of School’s Out, the whole collection is consistent – mini anthems for the disaffected, riffs, humour, choruses, fun.

9. Dirty Diamonds

Dirty Diamonds came hot on the heels of Eyes and was essentially more of the same, but better. Better tunes, better lyrics, better ideas – more fun, more humour. From the outright laughs of The Saga Of Jessie Jane, complete with Cooper’s vocal antics to the opening pop punk bombast of Woman Of Mass Distraction to the laidback groove of closer Zombie Dance, it’s another example of Alice doing it better than anyone else. The only thing missing are the big hits.

8. Love It To Death 

This album gave the band their first hit after two experimental freak out albums. If they hadn’t scored a hit single with this one, the band probably would have ceased to exist. The band moved to Detroit and absorbed the burgeoning Garage rock sounds, recruited Bob Ezrin as Producer, and whacked out I’m Eighteen as the first in a long line of rebellious anthems. Not that it’s a one hit album – opener Caught In A Dream is just as much fun while The Ballad Of Dwight Fry showed the band were not willing to drop their experimental roots but instead had honed those to create something more palatable while seeding the ideas for extravagant live shows, future characters, and outlandish concepts.

7. Welcome To My Nightmare

If School’s Out isn’t the band’s most famous album, then it has to be Welcome To My Nightmare. This was the peak of his theatrics, the peak of the Cooper character emerging as a separate demonic oddity, and the first album as a solo performer. Alice was not the solo creative driving force before this album, even though he was the draw, so this was in no way a guaranteed success. Perhaps over-compensating, Cooper tripled down on the blood, guts, and storytelling but more importantly he retained the ability to write a cracking tune – the title track, the peerless ballad Only Women Blood, and the anthems Cold Ethyl and Department Of Youth – these are all live mainstays. If you only recommend 3-5 Cooper albums to anyone, this has to be one of them due to its quality and importance. 

6. Welcome II My Nightmare

I may be the only person in the world to say this, but I prefer the sequel. Coming almost 40 years after the original, it’s another literal nightmare, kicking off with one of my all time favourite Coop songs I Am Made Of You where he employs auto-tuning and somehow makes it a plus. Elsewhere he courts pop, with the Kesha led What Baby Wants, the ridiculously silly Caffeine, and obvious live favourite I’ll Bite Your Face Off. Cooper has battled a lot of demons over the years – here he wraps up the real and fictional in an entertaining tale and a solid batch of great tunes.

5. Goes To Hell

This is the point that Cooper jumped the shark for many. For me, he’s more nuzzling up to the shark, making it sniff some coke from a Giant Squid’s eye socket, and taking it down to Studio 54 to dance with a bunch of flare-wearing pagans. There’s a lot of disco and funk, there are a few ballads, show tunes, all mangled together with Cooper’s unique voice and mind, but at the heart of it all are great singalong songs. You can laugh at the musical choices – I do, you can laugh at the silly artwork (front and back) – I have, but this is Cooper at his most obtuse, singular, annoying best.

4. Billion Dollar Babies 

This is the album I always thought School’s Out was going to be – a success, a lot of hype and critical praise, and a collection of classic hits and anthems rather than a single standout. Released less than a year after School’s Out, there’s a through line of quality and tone with the best songs appearing on this album rather than the predecessor. It was their first number 1 album in the US and UK and sold a bucket load. I Love The Dead, the title track, No More Mr Nice Guy, Elected, Generation Landslide – all classics, and every other track (while less known) are gold too. Another one of those must listens.

3. From The Inside

For my money, this is Cooper’s most consistent, best concept album. Having spent a little time in rehab/in an asylum due to his addiction, he was fairly well positioned to write an album about the characters one might meet on the inside. It’s more One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest than American Horror Story but equal weight is given to horror and heart. Each of the characters portrayed is more than life like and the lyrics leap off the page and through the headphones as he spits out memorable one-liners about murder, insanity, love, pain, sex, religion, addiction – ably helped by Bernie Taupin. Even above next two albums, this one doesn’t contain a single bum note or average track – everything is superb from the LOLZ of Nurse Rosetta, the musical theatre of Inmates, the sick ballad of Millie And Billie, and the rock thrills of Serious, not to mention album highlight How You Gonna See Me Now. My final two choices simply have higher highs.

2. Killer

Let there be no mistake; Killer is Cooper’s best album. It’s everything you want, expect, and need from a Cooper album, or from a Rock album, as well as being massively influential yet confusingly underrated. The title track may be the album’s only weaker moment, but it’s a B grade song at worst. Halo Of Flies… lets just say, no Halo Of Flies no Bohemian Rhapsody. The band out Zeppelins Zepplin with a collection of dirty blues rock shreds, with that filthy punk edge the boys from England didn’t have. I’m hard pushed to think of a stronger opening four tracks to any album than Under My Wheels, Be My Lover, Halo, and Desperado, and that quality continues into the second half. It’s simply one of the greatest Rock n Roll albums of all time, yet it’s somehow still a bit of a secret.

1: Hey Stoopid

It’s not the best Alice Cooper album, but it’s my favourite. A list of some of my favourite Cooper songs, some of my favourite all time songs – Wind Up Toy, Burning Our Bed, Dangerous Tonight, Die For You, throw in Snakebite, Might As Well Be On Mars, the title track, and the album’s most famous song Feeding My Frankenstein, and you really can’t go wrong. While it’s still in the vein of Hair Metal, it dispenses with much of the inherent garbage of that genre for a harsher edge which would inspire his heavier exploits a decade later, a more biting social commentary, and a host of talented guest musicians from Steve Vai to Joe Satriani to Slash to Ozzy to Vinnie Moore – even Elvira gets a spot. Huge choruses demanded to be chanted in the biggest stadium you can find, ominous agitated riffs, musicians on top form, and at the centre of it all a rejuvenated iconic Alice snarling his way through some of his most darkly commercial tales yet.

What a journey. What are your favourite Cooper albums and song? Let us know in the comments!

Essential Movies – 1962

Greetings, Glancers! We’re back again to check which classic movies should be considered essential within each category of viewer. Check out my 1962 Oscars posts for more on some of these movies, otherwise lets go.

Cape Fear

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Stars Robert Mitchum and Gregory Peck, remade by Martin Scorsese, all time classic villain, influential thriller.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Didn’t win any Oscars, wasn’t a top grossing movie, the shocks and plot may have been diluted by time.

What I Think: One of the great thrillers and peppered with shocking moments. Essential for critics and wannabees and fans of the cast. Film Nerds should see it. Almost essential for horror fans and with enough points of interest to engage casuals.

Days Of Wine And Roses

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 20 Grossing Movie, 1 Oscar win and four additional nominations, Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Blake Edwards, 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Old and a little dated for modern viewers, people looking for a happy time won’t be interested.

What I Think: One of the most famous and best films about addiction with two fantastic leading performances. Essential for critics. Wannabees and Nerds should try to get to it, otherwise only essential for fans of the cast.

 Dr No

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: The first Bond movie – need I say more?

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Some people don’t like Bond, some people don’t like older movies.

What I Think: By no means my favourite Bond, but I consider every Bond film a personal must see. Essential for critics, Wannabees, Fans, Film Nerds, Casuals should still enjoy it and Twats will likely see it.

The Exterminating Angel

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Luis Bunuel – that should be enough for some people. A Classic of Surrealism.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Old, weird, talky, foreign, no stars.

What I Think: It’s one of those weird ideas that when I hear it, I instantly want to see it – a group of people at a house party discover, though no-one understands why, that they are unable to leave. I don’t think anyone outside of Critics and Bunuel fans will deem it essential.

How The West Was Won

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: 2nd highest grossing film. Massive cast featuring Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Eli Wallach, Henry Fonda, George Peppard, Gregory Peck. Nominated for 8 Oscars, won 3. Zeppelin named a DVD after it.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Fairly long. Old school Westerns aren’t everyone’s thing – mine included.

What I Think: One of the last epic Westerns and a great chance to see some of Hollywood’s finest. It looks stunning. It is fairly long and it may feel disjointed to some. Film nerds should see it, Western fans should see it, I doubt anyone in any lower category will watch.

Jules And Jim

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Truffaut. New Wave. Influential. Frequently named one of best Foreign Movies ever.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Foreign, old, no Oscars, not a top grossing movie, most people won’t care about the cast.

What I Think: A classic romance of heartache, desire, tragedy and fairly accessible. Essential for critics, Wannabees should get to it, Film Nerds should see it to appreciate the later media which references it, any fans of French New Wave should see it. Most others won’t care.

Lawrence Of Arabia

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Come on, it’s one of the most famous movies ever.  David Lean. Peter O’Toole. Alec Guinness. Riding out of the horizon. Omar Sharif. The soundtrack. Won seven Oscars. Was the top grossing film of the year.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: It’s almost four hours long and people nowadays can’t be expected to go without Twitter for that long.

What I Think: Although I’m not its biggest fan it is undoubtedly one of Cinema’s greatest achievements and needs to be seen by anyone remotely serious about calling themselves a movie fan. C

Lolita

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Kubrick. Sellers. One of the most controversial books ever turned into one of the most controversial films ever. Top 15 grossing film of the year.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: It still makes for uncomfortable viewing so anyone scared of taboo-breaking films may want to keep away.

What I Think: It’s Kubrick so you have to see it if you call yourself a film fan. You already know it’s going to be great on a technical level, but it’s also provocative and well acted. Casuals should give it a go.

Sanjuro

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Kurosawa. Mifune. Swords.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Old. Black and white. Foreign.

What I Think: I don’t like it as much as Yojimbo or Seven Samurai but it’s still one of the five or ten Kurosawa films everyone should see before they can be considered and honest ass film fan.

The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Runner

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: One of the most successful and highly regarded British films of the era.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Definitely one that Brits, and specifically Brits of the time will get the most out of.

What I Think: A product of the time but the themes echo onwards and rebellious youth is always bound to suck in new audiences. Probably only essential for critics and wannabees.

The Longest Day

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: 2nd highest grossing film of the year, nominated for five Oscars, won two, and features one or two names you may recognise – John Wayne, Richard Burton, Robert Mitchum, Sean Connery, Leslie Phillips, Curt Jurgens, Henry Fonda and many many more.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Some will be put off by the not fully linear plot and documentary style shooting and the cast is so large that no-one stands out.

What I Think: A classic war film with many influential moments and an incredible scope. War fans should consider it essential.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 20 grossing film. John Ford. John Wayne. James Stewart. Lee Marvin. Lee Van Cleef.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: The usual – old, black and white, and somewhat darker than most John Ford films. 

What I Think: As the Western genre was on its last legs in this decade, the big hitters needed to be at their best to stay relevant – this is one of the best and essential for Western fans.

The Mutiny On The Bounty

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 10 grossing film. Brando, Milestone, Harris, Howard. Nominated for seven Oscars even though it was not well received upon release.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: Many consider the 30s version to be the better and essential version, it was a box office bomb due to a massive budget, and critics see it as a lesser Brando performance.

What I Think: It’s still Brando, and the film was notorious for its production problems. If want to say the 30s one is best, you need to see them both. Brando fans should see it, but not essential enough for regular movie fans.

The Music Man

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 5 grossing film. Nominated for 6 Oscars. Won one.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: It’s not a musical many would name if you asked them to list five or ten off the top of their heads. Also – it’s a musical.

What I Think: You know my feelings about the genre, and outside of a small handful I wouldn’t consider any essential. However, due to its success musical fans should see it but anyone outside of that group won’t care.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: If you’ve been to school in America or Britain you’ve read the book. And you’ve probably seen the film. Gregory Peck. Boo Radley. Racism. Top 10 grossing film. Nominated for 8 Oscars. Won three.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: It’s a school book movie – you want to watch shit blow up when you stick a movie on. Too simplistic, too idealistic, and in attacking racism becomes racist itself.

What I Think: You have to see, don’t you. And even if you don’t want to, they’ll make you. Luckily, it’s good. Better than that Silas Marner shite anyway.

The Manchurian Candidate

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 15 grossing filmFrankenheimer. Sinatra. Harvey. Janet Leigh. Angela Lansbury. Released at the height of Cold War fears.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: I have no idea… too slow, too long, too old?

What I Think: A gripping thriller which should pull anyone in if they give it a chance, but I can’t see anyone outside of fans of the cast clambering to see it.

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

Why It Could Be Considered Essential: Top 15 grossing film. Bette Davis. Joan Crawford. Nominated for five Oscars, won one.

Why It May Not Be Considered Essential: People now won’t care about the real life rivalry between the stars. It’s weird. It’s old, black and white, and features old people shrieking at each other.

What I Think: A cult classic, for more positive reasons than negative. Well acted, creepy, and still referenced enough that you should see it to understand. Probably a hard sell for modern casuals and likely a no go for anyone in a lower category of viewer.

Which of the above films would you rate as Essential, and who would you say it is Essential for? Let us know in the comments!

Ranking The Led Zeppelin Songs – Led Zep III

As with the first two albums, this is as close to perfection as a Rock album can get. Generally this is the more critically overlooked album, but it’s the first true indicator of them doubling down on experimentation and expanding their intake of influences. There’s only one song I don’t really listen to here. My top three songs are a step above everything else and 4-9 are interchangeable in any listing I could give.

  1. Tangerine
  2. Since I’ve Been Loving You
  3. That’s The Way
  4. Gallow’s Pole
  5. Immigrant Song
  6. Bron Y Aur Stomp
  7. Friends
  8. Celebration Day
  9. Out On The Tiles
  10. Hats Off To Harper

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Led Zeppelin Songs – Led Zep II!

Coming mere months after the debut, this is more than simply mroe of the same. The band cut down on the grungy blues sound and became more like what we think of today as a Rock band, packed with riffs and originals. It’s a stronger set of songs than the debut, but it also showcases the band’s burgeoning ego/don’tgiveafuckery with the always skippable Moby Dick. It’s a classic from top to bottom and contains several of my all time favourite songs. 1-5 I can’t pick between, 6 is great, 7 and 8 are the ones everyone knows, and then there’s Moby Dick. 

  1. Thank You
  2. Heartbreaker
  3. Living Loving Maid
  4. The Lemon Song
  5. What Is And What Should Never Be
  6. Bring It On Home
  7. Whole Lotta Love
  8. Ramble On
  9. Moby Dick

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Led Zeppelin Songs – Led Zep 1!

The argument for what is the greatest Rock debut album is one which has always, and will continue to rage on. No matter what, Led Zep’s debut has to be in to mix. As much as the band borrowed from Blues standards, they did more to enhance those than the likes of The Rolling Stones ever did. To borrow one of modernity’s most annoying phrases ‘they made it their own’. There’s not a duff song in the bunch, though I do skip many of the songs if they appear in my shuffle just because of over familiarity. Several songs are cultural touchstones, and the whole package introduced us to probably the best Rock and Roll band ever.

  1. Communication Breakdown
  2. How Many More Times
  3. Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
  4. Good Times Bad Times
  5. Dazed And Confused
  6. Your Time Is Gonna Come
  7. I Can’t Quit You Baby
  8. Black Mountain Side
  9. You Shook Me

Let us know your ranking in the comments!