Scott Stapp…people either like him or they don’t. Me, I like him. Always have. I didn’t care about the haters that poured out of the woodworks when Creed made it big. Did he deserve the hate? Yeah, he probably did, but there was something about that voice that I really enjoyed. As a result, I have followed up over the last 20 + years with Creed, his solo work and the one album with Art of Anarchy. Not every album is the best and not every song is the best, but there is so much there to enjoy that I am fan.
I finally got to see him live back in 2019. You remember live shows right? I know it has been awhile, but we will get back there soon enough. He performed his solo songs and a bunch of Creed tracks and I had second row so it was pretty awesome. Scott has had his struggles over the years with addiction and mental issues, but he has seem to come out the other side better and stronger and I give him props for that. Some people don’t make it to the other side.
With all that being said, I am going to rank his albums from I find to be the worst all the way to the first…his best album. People are going to disagree with me I am sure, and that is great because music is subjective. We like what we like so keep that in mind. It is okay to disagree. Now, go forth and enjoy the Scott Stapp album ranking.
THE WORST – SCOTT STAPP – ‘THE GREAT DIVIDE’ (2005):
Scott’s first solo album, ‘The Great Divide’ came out in 2005 right after the breakup of Creed. The album would reach #19 on the charts and sell over a million copies so it did pretty good. My issue with it was it sounded too much like Creed. Now, Creed was broken up so he had every right, but without that backing band, it was going to come across as sub par which it did. There weren’t many strong songs and it sounded forced and not well thought out.
It doesn’t mean it was all bad. There are a handful of good songs including the title track, “The Great Divide”, “You Will Soar” and “Broken”. I think Scott was still trying to find “HIS” voice with this record as he didn’t know what to do if he wasn’t in Creed. He gets way better with his next couple attempts solo.
#7 – CREED – ‘FULL CIRCLE’ (2009)
Creed didn’t stay broke up for too long. Their last studio album was 2001, Scott had a solo album in 2005 and the band got back together for one more try and I was really excited about it. To have Mark Tremonti back on axe, I thought this was going to be great. And it was….not that great. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t feel lived up to expectations. The songs were lacking, I think they were trying to capture the same sound and magic as they did so many years ago, but times have changed and they needed to a long with it.
Again, even my lesser favorite albums still had some great songs like “Overcome”, “A Thousand Faces” and of course, “Rain” which was the best one on the album. But too many songs fell flat and the album was too inconsistent so my interest waned fast on this one.
#6 – CREED – ‘MY OWN PRISON’ (1997):
Here’s where I think people are going to really disagree with me. Creed’s debut album was a massive success and sold over 6 million copies going to #22 on the charts. It had four singles and some went to #1 on the rock charts so why did I not like it? Well, I am not a fan of grunge and they sounded very grunge like. It was dark and depressing and the songs weren’t that catchy.
I did like the singles including “My Own Prison”, “Torn”, “One” and “What’s This Life For”. I also didn’t like Scott’s vocals as much. The band sounded like they were still discovering their sound, discovering their identity. They hadn’t quite found it yet. I also didn’t care for the production of the album, but back in the late 90’s, I wasn’t that in to the heavy sound.
#5 – ART OF ANARCHY – ‘THE MADNESS’ (2017):
In 2017, Scott Stapp took over lead singing duties for Art of Anarchy replacing late, great Scott Weiland. The writing should’ve been on the wall when Weiland left the band suddenly after the first album, but Scott figured out there were issues with this band and he left shortly after this release. The band had Bumblefoot on guitar, Jon and Vince Votta and John Moyer so it was a solid enough band, but there was something wrong behind the scenes because it wasn’t their music.
The band was a modern hard rock band and the songs really kicked ass. The songs were heavy and melodic and quite catchy. Scott was heavily involved in writing the songs and they seemed a little autobiographical as they seemed to be talking about his demons. It helped me connect to the album and really enjoy what I heard. Best tracks were “The Madness”, “Echo of a Scream”, “1000 Degrees” and “Afterburn” to name a few. The rest of the album was pretty great as well. Solid release, but too bad it didn’t last.
#4 – CREED – ‘THE WEATHERED’ (2001):
Creed’s final album before their first breakup and probably the worst album cover ever. After the massive success of ‘Human Clay’, the band had a lot to prove and the Scott’s behavior wasn’t helping draw in fans. It was amazing how fast the hate started coming But the haters missed out on a great album. The album was hard and heavy, but not as dark and grunge sounding. It was a little more radio friendly and more melodic and for me that is what I like so…yeah for me!! The album had 4 singles and also sold over 6 million copies, but this was more my style unlike the 6 million selling debut.
The opening track “Bullet” was a strong, powerful opening track that explodes out of the gate. It is one of my all time favorite Scott songs. You also got “My Sacrifice” and the great ballad “One Last Breath”. Another favorite track was “Who’s Got Your Back?” which was slow to start and turned in to a rocker and Scott gave his all vocally. So many great tracks and you can’t go wrong with this one.
His most recent solo album, ‘The Space Between the Shadows” saw Scott in great shape both physically and emotionally and I couldn’t have been happier. The album seemed to be autobiographical and talking about his struggles and he has overcome them. It had a very positive outlook and his faith was strong. It was heavy at times and soft at others. It was an almost perfect combination and mix of tracks. With help from Marti Frederiksen in both production and writing you get a slickly produced album without taking away from its heart. This was also the tour I saw live and added to my love for this album.
Where to begin on the great songs. The absolute best song on the album is “Red Clouds”, but the first three tracks are no slouched either…”World I Used to Know”, “Name” and “Purpose for Pain” are balls to the wall rocking and powerful. The album is one of his most personal and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
#2 – CREED – ‘HUMAN CLAY’ (1999):
The album that took the band in to superstardom and then immediately caused all the haters. I think it started with Scott’s Christ-like behavior in the videos and his cockiness in interviews, but regardless of what you think, this album killed it. It saw the band transition from the grunge sound into a more modern rock sound and we even got the softer side as well. That combination brought in so many fans and sold over 11 million albums. Creed had their one and only Diamond certified album.
The songs that really took the band to the top were the two ballads “Higher” and “With Arms Wide Open”. If you were expecting a whole album of this type song you were mistaken and pleasantly surprised. The heavier, ball busting song such as “Are You Ready?”, “What If” and “Beautiful” were brutal and yet slick production wise. They hit you in the gut, but were memorable and something you wanted to hear again and again.
And yes, this is my favorite Scott Stapp album. This was another very personal album for Scott. It was right before his very public breakdown and the songs were at times a cry for help and at others a deep look in to this soul. It is his most honest work to date. When an artist can get this personal, it can connect and it did that to me. I felt this album and at times it was very relatable. There was no Creed sound other than that voice. He had a lot of help with a ton of outside writers like Phil X, Julia Michaels and Kara DioGuardi plus at least ten other people.
I don’t really know where to begin on which songs are best as there is not a bad song in the bunch. It is damn near perfect. If i had mention the essentials it would “Only One” which have been known to click repeat and play this song a dozen times in a row. There is also “Slow Suicide”, “Proof of Life”, “What Would Love Do” and of course, “Jesus is a Rock Star”. Yes, he isn’t afraid to sing about Jesus. It has rockers and ballads and everything in between. This is how it is done!
And there you have it, The Scott Stapp (and Creed) studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!