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 Radiohead Songs – In Rainbows!

By all accounts, In Rainbows was the return to form which critics and fans had been looking for after Hail To The Thief. I’m still unsure which album I prefer, but In Rainbows is (at time of writing) Radiohead’s last good album. This was also around the time the band began leaving huge gaps between releases – generally a sign of a band either becoming a tour-outfit, getting bored with being in a band, or draining creatively. We did get various solo and non-Radiohead material around this time so while creative juices were still flowing, the potency of those juices had become severely diluted. Add to all of this the fact that I had moved on to other things and Radiohead was no longer the force in my life that they had been, I wasn’t impressed by this at release and it took me many years to become invested in it.

I did eventually become invested in it, and I can understand how people rate this just as highly as Kid A. Or even OK Computer. It has a wider range of songs than Kid A and more songs in my regular rotation than either Kid A or Amnesiac have, but it doesn’t have a single song on par with How To Disappear or Motion Picture Soundtrack. It’s very consistent, with none of the songs hitting the lows of the previous three albums (or the next two), and most of the songs I’ve placed in the bottom half of my list below are just as good as those in my top half. Bonus points too for all of the Easter Eggs and connections to OK Computer – not as exciting as they could have been, but fun all the same.

  1. Weird Fishes/Arpeggi
  2. Videotape
  3. Reckoner
  4. Nude
  5. All I Need
  6. House Of Cards
  7. Jigsaw Falling Into Place
  8. 15 Step
  9. Bodysnatchers
  10. Faust Arp

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Hail To The Thief!

Hail To The Thief was a transitional album for Radiohead. I’m positive they were aware of the immediate fan reception to their last two albums, and at the time that reception was both frosty and dismissive even if the critical response was positive. I’m also positive Radiohead always does whatever the hell they want, but given Thom is a bit of an egotistical knob he would have heard the whispers – Radiohead? Nah, they’ve lost it. I used to like them, but now they just make weird music because they’ve forgotten how to write real songs. This is a much more commercial album that Kid A or Amnesiac but is also one rife with doubt and experimentation. It’s some sort of strange art rock hybrid with more traditionally structured songs and instruments, but there’s an awful lot of, if not filler, repetition. It’s also an album which probably should have been called ‘I Really Don’t Like George W Bush’.

I saw the band at Glastonbury in 2003, and having been completely off my tits, I commented the following day that I was disappointed that they didn’t play much from their new album. I was informed by my less inebriated friends that they had in fact played almost half the album. It took a few pints of Scrumpy to bring it all back to me – mostly that they’d played the shitty half. Here’s a list:

  1. Myxomatosis
  2. Where I End And You Begin
  3. Punch Up At A Wedding
  4. 2+2=5
  5. Scatterbrain
  6. Sit Down Stand Up
  7. I Will
  8. There There
  9. A Wolf At The Door
  10. Go To Sleep
  11. Sail To The Moon
  12. Backdrifts
  13. We Suck Young Blood
  14. The Gloaming

Let us know your ranking in the commetns!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – The Bends!

In the spirit of keeping things brief, I’ll simply say that The Bends remains my favourite Radiohead album. Is it their best? Well, there’s not such thing as ‘best’, is there? It’s the album which contains the highest number of my favourite Radiohead songs and unlike every other album there isn’t really a single song I skip. Here’s my ranking:

  1. Black Star
  2. Fake Plastic Trees
  3. Street Spirit
  4. The Bends
  5. High And Dry
  6. Nice Dream
  7. Bullet Proof
  8. My Iron Lung
  9. Just
  10. Bones
  11. Planet Telex
  12. Sulk

Slap your ranking into the comments, daddy!

Ranking The Radiohead Songs – Pablo Honey!

 

Greetings, Glancers! Don’t worry – I’ll be keeping these short so that I can knock out as many lists as possible as I hurry through some of my favourite bands and artists. We move on to Radiohead. This is their first album. I rank it quite highly, unlike most Radiohead fans. Here is my ranking of the songs. The first four are interchangeable. The next four are interchangeable. Blow Out is always last. I like Blow Out. See, that was quick!

1: Anyone Can Play Guitar

2: Thinking About You

3: I Can’t

4: Prove Yourself

5: Stop Whispering

6: Ripcord

7: Vegetable

8: Creep

9: Lurgee

10: How Do You

11: You

12: Blow Out

Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking Drones – Muse

Drones: Amazon.co.uk: Music

By the time Drones came along I had mostly stopped caring about Muse. I still bought it on day one, but I probably waited a few weeks before listening to it, and maybe only listened to it twice in that first year. Part of that is down to how I consume music. I’m still a CD guy when it comes to buying, and I very rarely use stuff like Spotify for new music. I used to convert my CDs to play on Ipod, but by 2015 I’d slowed down on this nonsense too. Plus I’m old, and I struggle to care as much about music unless it has some immediacy for me at a melodic, emotional, or conceptual level. Drones didn’t appeal to me on any of these levels, it didn’t jump out at me screaming to be heard; it cowered in the corner shouting military slogans. Having survived a stint in the military in my youth, such things are ridiculous to me. It’s also a case of having heard the same riffs, the same approach to music and melody, and the same type of songs done better before, plus the band and their thematic content somehow seemed more juvenile and adolescent than ever. There are still a few decent tunes in there – it’s still Muse for Bellamy’s sake – so of course they’re not suddenly shit, but as a whole due to where I was and the overall samey nature of the thing, it comes across as distinctly average.

  1. Revolt.
  2. Mercy.
  3. Aftermath.
  4. Reapers.
  5. The Globalist.
  6. Dead Inside.
  7. Psycho.
  8. The Handler.
  9. Drones
  10. Defector.
  11. JFK.
  12. Drill Sergeant

Let us know what you think of Drones in the comments!

Ranking The Songs: Muse – Showbiz

I get it; lists. They’re disposable and stinky, like the biodegradable wipes I’ve been using to cleanse my son’s rear after the tenth explosive bum incident of the day. But unlike those, lists are also quite appealing – to the masses, to the lowest common denominator, and to the genuine fans of whatever the hell I’m listing. Today, whatever the hell I’m listing is the songs of Muse’s debut album Showbiz.

I rather enjoyed this album when it was released a lifetime ago, but the band have since surpassed it. I was an early adopter to Muse – coming at a time when my own musical adventures were branching out and I was always on the prowl for some new act to obsess over. I liked the early songs that I heard, and then Unintended stole my maudlin little teenage heart. It was a great period for British rock – Muse, JJ72, My Vitriol, and others were announcing themselves at this time, but of course it all got fucked up when shite like The Killers, Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes, brought their populist bland-tastic albums into the charts ensuring that any true originals got overlooked and decided to go become Accountants instead. And now look. JUST LOOK AT YOUR BELOVED ROCK NOW. Yeah, it’s your fault. Showbiz then… here are some things:

  1. Unintended
  2. Showbiz
  3. Escape
  4. Muscle Museum
  5. Sunburn
  6. Filip
  7. Uno
  8. Cave
  9. Sober
  10. Overdue
  11. Hate This And I’ll Love You
  12. Falling Down

Does this match your ranking? If not, why – why are you wrong? Let us know in the word bits below!

Ranking The Manics Songs – Journal For Plague Lovers

Journal For Plague Lovers

Maybe it was the simple act of using Richey’s lyrics again, but the music of Journal For Plague Lovers is fucking glorious. It isn’t simply a matter of the fury, the feeling, and the riffs returning but something about embracing those past ghosts and genius entirely revitalized every aspect of their outlook and output. The result is one of their best albums, and arguably the best album of 2009. If I have any real criticism, it’s that too many of the songs end in an abrupt way – a sudden or stilted stop instead of a more thought out conclusion. That’s just me though. More than any of their albums, almost every track is on an even level so my ranking is more pointless than usual. Here it is:

  1. Virginia State Epileptic Colony
  2. Peeled Apples
  3. Jackie Collins Existential Question Time
  4. All Is Vanity
  5. Me And Stephen Hawking
  6. Doors Closing Slowly
  7. This Joke Sport Severed
  8. Facing Page: Top Left
  9. She Bathed Herself In A Bath Of Bleach
  10. Marlon JD
  11. Bag Lady
  12. Pretension Repulsion
  13. William’s Last Words

No bad songs here at all, and Number 13 could just as easily be in the top five. No ideal version here – most of the bonus tracks released around this time are instrumental or not exciting – no singles were released for the album so there isn’t the usual collection of B-Sides to rip through. Let us know your ranking in the comments!

Ranking The Manics Songs – Send Away The Tigers

Manic_Street_Preachers_-_Send_Away_the_Tigers

After the mainly piano-based and electronic antics of Lifeblood, the band headed once more back to their guitar roots with the straightforward angular rock of Send Away The Tigers. Generally well received at the time, it’s an album which is mostly forgotten now beyond its major single. The band itself has once again been critical of certain songs but also credited it as getting them back on track and helping them to fall in love with making music again. Here’s my ranking of the ten tracks and the one hidden song:

  1. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
  2. Autumn Song
  3. Send Away The Tigers
  4. Winterlovers
  5. Imperial Bodybags
  6. Underdogs
  7. Rendition
  8. I’m Just A Patsy
  9. Indian Summer
  10. The Second Great Depression
  11. Working Class Hero

Essentially everything above is a few steps below Your Love Alone Is Not Enough in terms of quality, with at least 7 of the lower ranked songs being interchangeable for me. No bad songs at all, just high average or thereabouts. It’s a short album but still garnered four singles, so that means we have plenty of B-Sides and alternatives to add in for my ideal version of the album:

  1. Send Away The Tigers
  2. Underdogs
  3. Your Love Alone Is Not Enough
  4. Anorexic Rodin
  5. Fearless Punk Ballad
  6. Rendition
  7. Morning Comrades
  8. Autumn Song
  9. Leviathan
  10. Boxes And Lists
  11. Imperial Bodybags
  12. Little Girl Lost
  13. Winterlovers
  14. Umbrella
  15. Ghosts Of Christmas

Both of those last two would be hidden tracks, naturally. That’s actually a pretty great album right there. I’m sure the order could be switched around to flow better. Let us know your ranking and picks in the comments!

Ranking The Manics Songs – Lifeblood

Manic+Street+Preachers+Empty+Souls++slipcase+360165

Perhaps more than any other album the band recorded, Lifeblood has been unfairly criticized. It seemed like critics and fans both agreed that it was a little bland, lacking both the political conviction, the rage, the creativity, and the tunes of anything else they’d done before. I’d argue each of those points, though I’d agree that the rage has been muted or transformed and concede that while the lyrical creativity was decreased, the musical inspiration was high. It’s an album I like a lot, though the funny thing is that most of the tracks which the detractors agree upon liking, are the ones I’d cut. Here’s my ranking:

  1. Glasnost
  2. Cardiff Afterlife
  3. To Repel Ghosts
  4. I Live To Fall Asleep
  5. Emily
  6. A Song For Departure
  7. Empty Souls
  8. Solitude Sometimes Is
  9. The Love Of Richard Nixon
  10. 1985
  11. Fragments
  12. Always/Never

Luckily, the band had been going through a particularly productive period of novelty releases – Greatest Hits, B-Sides, EPs etc, so there are plenty of songs from this time which I would much rather have on the album instead. The good thing is, most of them fit the tone and musical landscape of the album. Like these:

  1. Happy Ending
  2. A Song For Departure
  3. I Live To Fall Asleep
  4. There By The Grace Of God
  5. Automatik Teknicolour
  6. To Repel Ghosts
  7. Everything Will Be
  8. No Jubilees
  9. Emily
  10. Door To The River
  11. 4 Ever Delayed
  12. Everything Will Be
  13. Glasnost
  14. All Alone Here
  15. Cardiff Afterlife

Fifteen songs is likely still too many – I could cut it down to 12, say drop All Alone Here, Automatik, and one of your choice and we would have a damn near perfect album. Let us know your picks in the comments!