Matt Nathanson – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

As you know if you follow this site at all, I am a Matt Nathanson fan.  I think he is a fantastic songwriter/singer and an all around marvelous person. I have seen him live only three times and each time he keeps getting better.  His live shows are something you have to see as his banter with the crowd is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!!  He is witty, funny and damn, the man can sing.  Matt is also a lyrical painter. He pays so much attention to the lyrical phrasing that it paints such a vivid picture or touches you in ways that only music can do.

Matt Nathanson, the studio musician, is broken down in two categories for me.  The 90’s Matt is is an indie rocker that is still trying to find his voice both lyrically and vocally.  But the shades of what is to come is in dimly shining in there.  Then there is the Matt of 2000’s that has seen his songwriting and singing grow by leaps and bound.  He has a confidence that shows in his music and definitely shows when he is on stage.   There are those that find his early stuff more raw and pure and it is that, but as you will see with the list, I find his 2000’s self to be the better half.

So, you now have my overall reasoning behind my picks and with that, we need to dive in and rank Matt Nathanson’s albums from The Worst to the one I think is First!  And sorry I don’t have all his albums in the Header photo as the site I use only offers 8 frames otherwise I would have had all 10 included.

THE WORST – PLEASE (1993):

Now here is the good news, there really isn’t a bad choice among all the albums, this is all about preference.  I have this as the Worst mainly because it is an album with a rough production and Matt’s vocals aren’t quite what they become.  And yes I do know that these are mostly demos thus the explaining the quality.  The cool thing about it is that the songs were all written while he was in high school or during his freshman year at Pitzer College in California.  There are hints of the Matt I grew to love, but it is the one album I go to the least.

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The Cars – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

The Cars.  What can be said about them that hasn’t already been said.  They are one of the greatest new wave bands to ever come along and an inspiration to many.  Their brand of power pop ruled the airwaves from the Debut in 1978 all the way to 1984 before they started to fade away from the scene, but never faded away from our hearts.

The band was inducted in to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018 and the band was all there except for Benjamin Orr who died in 2000.  It was really cool to see the band together again and play a few songs.  The classic line-up consisted of the following members:

  • Ric Ocasek – Vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Elliot Easton – lead guitar
  • Greg Hawkes – keyboards
  • Benjamin Orr – bass, lead vocals
  • David Robinson – drums

We most recently we lost Ric Ocasek in 2019.  As I did when Orr died, upon Ric’s death I pulled out The Cars catalog and went through it over and over again.  It reminded me of how great these guys were and what a catalog of music they left behind.  As a result, I decided to do an album ranking to see what was the worst album all the way up to the best. Let’s see where they stack up.

WORST – PANORAMA (1980):

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Shinedown – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Shinedown was formed in Jacksonville, Florida back in 2001 and it only took two years to get a record deal and release their debut album ‘Leave a Whisper’.  Their post-grunge, hard rock sound garnered them fast attention and they have since become one of the biggest acts in the business.  Their music could be really heavy and it can be soft with a touching ballad, but whichever way you get it, it is going to be melodic and catchy as hell which has brought them great success.

Now, how did I get in to Shinedown.  Believe it or not, it was Chris Daughtry from American Idol.  I was watching the show and Chris came out and did  a fantastic cover of “I Dare You” by Shinedown.  At the time, I was not familiar with the band and as a result of him singing it, I went out and listened to the album and the rest is history.  I have been a fan of Shinedown ever since.

They have 6 studio albums, one live album and numerous E.P.’s.  We are only going to focus on the studio albums to keep it simple. So, why don’t we get started.

THE WORST – ‘THREAT TO SURVIVAL’ (2015):

Shinedown doesn’t really have a worst album, but one album has to be my least favorite and this one is it for me.  I felt this one had too much filler and a little too soft overall when compared to the rest.  Yes, you had some heavy songs, I only think they weren’t as strong as other albums.  A little too soft.  The back half of the album was weaker and it started to lose me until you get to the last song “Misfits” which was pretty awesome.

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Needtobreathe – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Back in 2006, my brother told me I had to listen to this album called ‘Daylights’ by the band Needtobreathe. I had never heard of them and I trust my brothers opinion since he did bring me in to the Kiss world when I was like 6.  He said they were a Christian Rock band and they were amazing.  Well, he was sort of right.  They were awesome, but they aren’t just a Christian rock band.  They are a rock band who happens to be Christian and a lot of their views are in their music, but they aren’t bible thumping.  They are telling honest stories that will hopefully impact you in some way.

And impact me they have.  Their music is what I go to when I need inspiration, I need to feel better or I just need some good roots rock music sometimes with a Southern Rock flair.  For me, it is all good and there is no “Worst Album”.  After 6 studio albums, 2 live albums and numerous E.P.’s, they are still one of my all-time favorite bands out there and I hope they continue for years to come.   The band is as follows:

  • Bear Rinehart
  • Bo Rinehart
  • Seth Bolt
  • Josh Lovelace

I am keeping this list to just the 6 studio albums and let this be your gateway in to the band.  Remember, these are in order of my least favorite to my very favorite and that might not be your order, but that is fine.  It is only my opinion.  So be kind. And here we go…Needtobreathe!!

WORST – THE HEAT (2007):

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Extreme – The Albums Ranked From Worst to First

Extreme has been around since 1985, but there debut album didn’t come out until 1989 and that one wasn’t as successful.  However, their second album ‘Pornograffitti’ took them to the next level and brought them in to the mainstream.  It was that album that I became a fan and it was through the song “More Than Words” that introduced me to the band.  That song was nothing like the rest of the album and thank goodness.  What I found on their records was a much more interesting band.

Extreme had an intelligence to their music and lyrics.  For the first couple of albums, there was a childlike whimsy to the lyrics, but musically they were heads and shoulders above everyone else.  They were lumped in to the Hair Band genre which was unfair as they weren’t anything like those bands.  What I also loved about them is their use of Portmanteau.  They way they would meld two words together to make a new one.  They did this on all but one album…you have Pornograffitti, Politicalamity, Evilangelist and Americocaine.  These songs always tackled a very serious topic in a very intelligent way.

The band broke up between 1996 and 2004, but thankfully got back together.  They have only released 5 albums to date which is way too few.  We need more.  Until then, we will rank their 5 albums from the Worst to the First. I hope you enjoy.

WORST – SUADADES DE ROCK (2008):

If this is the band’s worst album, then dang, the rest must be incredible because this is a really great album.  So why is it at the bottom?  I will tell you.  First, I have only had 10 years with this album and the rest I have had 25-30 years.  Second, there are more tracks I didn’t like on this one then the others. Simple enough.  I didn’t like the opening track “Stars” for starters and a few others, plus I actually had a few issues with Gary Cherone’s vocals. They weren’t as crisp as before.  Musically though, this thing is great.

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Everclear – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Everclear has been around since 1991 and was started by leader Art Alexakis.  When they were at their height, the main three guys included Art, Craig Montoya and Greg Eklund and this to me is the classic line-up.  This was the band at its peak.  All the hits you know, “Father of Mine”, “AM Radio” , “Santa Monica” and “Wonderful” just to name a few.

After the disappointing sales and reception of the band’s 2003 album, Slow Motion Daydream, Craig and Greg left the band.  Thankfully, Art continued Everclear with  now a revolving door of musicians.  But don’t kid yourself, the band is Art’s and it doesn’t matter who the players are, you want Art’s vocals and sound as that is all that matters.

I am going to go through and rank 12 albums which does include a Covers Album and a couple albums of re-recordings as those aren’t technically compilations.  I won’t review any live albums or ones listed as greatest hits.  I figured these 12 best represent that band and are what should be ranked.  So let’s get started and I hope you enjoy.

WORST – WORLD OF NOISE (1993):

 

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Michael Sweet – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Michael Sweet is the lead singer of Stryper so you think I would do a Stryper ranking first, but nope.  I decided to do Michael Sweet’s solo releases before I go through all the Stryper albums.  Michael has been rather prolific with his music lately between the Stryper albums, his solo work and his Sweet & Lynch albums there has been a ton of new music.  I think he has also been getting better with age both vocally and lyrically.

He has a new album solo coming out soon called ‘Ten’ and before that was released I started listening to his older Solo albums and then one thing lead to another and I went through all of them.  So why not rank them from the ones I liked the least to the ones I liked the best and here we are.  Eventually I will get to the Stryper albums, but that could be awhile as there are so many to get through, but I will make it eventually.  For now, let us get through these.  Enjoy…

THE WORST – TOUCHED (2007):

Okay, the album is beautiful. He sounds amazing and I know the album was dedicated to his wife Kyle who was suffering from cancer.  It is a love song for her and that is incredibly touching.  The album is a collection of his songs and covers that were for his wife and all are ballads and not rocking at all.  I am not saying this album is bad, I am just saying I couldn’t enjoy it without that rocking side to go along with it.

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Billy Idol – The Albums Ranked Worst to First (The Billy Idol Series)

For the past 8 to 9 months, I have been reviewing the entire Billy Idol catalog from Generation X back in 1978 through his solo years and even a Generation X single released in 2019 on Record Store Day.  It has been such a fun journey and I hate it has come to an end.  To wrap it up, we are going to rank all the studio albums from his very worst (and it is bad) to his very best (which is sensational).

 

THE WORST – HAPPY HOLIDAYS (2006):

 

 

I am not sure what Billy was thinking, but this should have never been released and probably never recorded.  Hell, it is so bad that even Steve Stevens wasn’t involved with recording it.  That should tell you something right there!!  It is a rehash of classic Christmas songs that we are better off listening to the originals as these do not spark any Christmas cheer.

The original songs Billy wrote throw every cliche in the book out as lyrics and they are sappy, crappy songs.  The best thing about “Happy Holidays” is that it is only 2 minutes.  The only good thing about “Christmas Love” is that it does eventually end. My Christmas gift to you is to avoid this at any cost.

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Loverboy – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

There is no Friday New Releases this week as there is really nothing coming out worth mentioning so I will take you back in time and do an Album Ranking…

When you think of Canada, there is always that one band that comes to mind.  No, not Nickelback, no not Justin Beiber…it is Loverboy!!  One of the most iconic 80’s bands to ever be in existence.  When you think Loverboy, you think tight, red, leather pants and “Working for the Weekend”. There is nothing more 80’s than that.

The band, however, has existed well past the 80’s and has gone on to release 9 studio albums so far including one in the 90’s and 3 in the 2000’s.  And for that reason, they deserve the Album Ranking treatment.  We will go through all 9 studio albums and rank them from their worst to the ver best.  Now remember, this is just my opinion and your opinion might be slightly different and you know what, that’s okay!

I hope you enjoy!!

THE WORST – VI (1997):

Did you know Loverboy released an album in the 90’s?  I didn’t either.  Loverboy 6 was released to little or no fanfare as this was an 80’s band and in the 90’s, 80’s bands were not cool.  The biggest problem with the album is it is Loverboy trying to bring themselves in to the modern world of rock and as a result they lost that Loverboy magic.  The album was depressing, sad and really, really bad.

Loverboy is a party band, a band you have fun listening to and this album had none of that.  You can’t even get this album on iTunes or even stream it.  It is nowhere to be found and for good reason.  There isn’t any song, I can recall that is even worth mentioning.  And sadly, this was even Scott Smith’s last album as bass player before his death in 2000.  If there is one to skip…this is it.  Here is the opening track, which isn’t that awful, but not one I will go back to very often.

#8 – LOVERBOY (1980):

Now, I might catch some crap for having their debut so far down, but honestly, I don’t care.  Even after almost 40 years, this album still stinks in my book.  I never connected to it.  There are, however, a couple outstanding tracks that should be in every Loverboy library and they are “The Kid Is Hot Tonite” and the really kick ass song “Turn Me Loose” with that cool ass bass line.  Those two are classic songs.

Two songs don’t make an album. The rest of the album is all filler and no killer.  Not one song is memorable.  It bored me then and it bored me now when I went back to explore the albums again.  I wish I had better things to say about it, but I can’t.  Sorry.

#7 – ROCK ‘N’ ROLL REVIVAL (2012):

Revival isn’t much of a studio album.  It is 3 new songs and the rest are re-recordings of classic Loverboy hits.  Not remixes, but actual re-recordings.  The three new songs were recorded with Bob Rock and I have to say, I really dig those new songs.  They capture that old Loverboy magic.  Heck they even sound like that could have fit on any 80’s album.  That is why this is one step above their debut because I liked 3 songs and not 2.

The rest of the album is not bad, don’t get me wrong, it is just not the original songs.  The original songs are classics and should never try to be redone in any way, shape or form.  They can’t be improved upon.  All these songs did was make me want to listen to the original songs not want to hear these again.

#6 – UNFINISHED BUSINESS (2014):

Unfinished Business is a collection of tracks over the bands 40 years that had never been released or even finished until now.  I found the album to be pretty enjoyable and have listened to it quite a bit over the years.  There aren’t any real classic, iconic Loverboy songs to be had which is okay.  I still like hearing old songs that were left behind for some reason or another as they can potentially be better than other stuff released.

In this case, I think the album is better than 3 others of theirs so that should tell you something.   I like “Fire Me Up”, “Counting’ the Nights”, “Doin’ it the Hard Way” and many others so give it a listen if you get a chance.

#5 – JUST GETTING STARTED (2007):

10 years after their last album and 20 years since their last 80’s album, Loverboy came back swinging and brought back that 80’s sound and gave us an album that can hold its own with any of the ’80 releases.  Hell, the opening track “Just Getting Started” could have been on any of those albums.

But that isn’t the only great song, no sir.  You get “One of them Days” where Paul Dean’s guitar playing is in the forefront, you get “Lost With You” that rocks with the best of them and they even have ballads such as “Back For More” and “I Would Die For You”.  It is a well-rounded Loverboy album and worth grabbing if you can find it.  Again, this is another album that you can’t get on iTunes or Apple music so hopefully you can find on eBay or Amazon.

#4 – KEEP IT UP (1983):

The band’s third and there were high expectations after the success of ‘Get Lucky’ and for me fell short of those expectations. Now, it is still a fantastic album, however, it didn’t have the huge hits for me like the prior album or the next two after.  There was more killer than filler, but there was filler.

On the great side, you had songs like “Hot Girls In Love”, “Strike Zone” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”.  You had some fantastic ballads as well with “It’s Never Easy” and then some deep cuts that were great such as “Chance of a Lifetime” and “Prime of Your Life” and the rest were just okay.  These songs alone are enough to put it at #4 for me.

#3 – WILDSIDE (1987):

At #3 is an album that they completely outdid themselves and is one of my favorites.  The biggest problem this album had was timing. In 1987, there were 3 rock bands that stole the light from everyone…Whitesnake (1987), Def Leppard (Hysteria) and Guns N Roses (Appetite for Destruction).  Because of that, the band had their first album that didn’t go platinum.  It wasn’t their fault because they delivered a solid album.

Songs like “Notorious” and “Love Will Rise Again” were two of the best they had ever done.  And “Don’t Keep Me In the Dark” is by far the best ballad they have ever done. It was dark and full of emotion and it spoke to me for some reason back then and even today.  Those weren’t the only good songs, oh no, you had “Can’t Get Much Better”, “Wildside” and “Break It To Me Gently” were all pure Loverboy classic sounding songs.  In 1987, when I wasn’t listening to those other 3 bands, this one was on.

#2 – LOVIN’ EVERY MINUTE OF IT (1985):

When this album came out, it was huge at our high school.  I remember buying this one and playing it constantly.  My memory isn’t great, but I want to say the title track was either the homecoming float theme song or it was the prom theme…either way I remember it being a part of my junior year in high school (85/86).  The title track, “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” summed up my Junior Year.  It was a fabulous year.

That wasn’t the only song that stood out.  You had party songs like “Friday Night”, rockers like “Dangerous” and don’t forget the ballads.  For ballads you had “Destination Heartbreak” and beautiful “This Could Be The Night” which in Junior year that was always the hope (nudge, nudge, wink, wink)!!

#1 – GET LUCKY (1981):

The two things Loverboy had going for them during their heyday was Bruce Fairbairn as producer and the other was those Mike Reno Red Leather Pants.  The album cover for this one sums up the 80’s and the band.  Probably one of the most famous covers from that era.  But that isn’t why I love this album the most…no, no, no.  It is the songs.

The most iconic song from that era was “Working for the Weekend”. Hell, who doesn’t know this song?  I mean really, even today everyone knows this song as it has been in countless movies and admit it we are all just working so we can enjoy ourselves on the weekend.  That isn’t all, you get the songs “Lucky Ones”, “Gangs in the Street”, “Take Me to the Top” and the ballad “When It’s Over”.  You even get a song written by Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance before they were…well, Bryan Adams and Jim Vallance.  Oh yeah, that song is “Jump”.  The album is full of great songs and the album can’t be beat!

And there you have it, the Loverboy 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!!!

 

 

 

Aldo Nova – The Albums Ranked Worst to First

Ever since the first time I heard the song “Fantasy” on MTV back in 1981, I have been a huge fan of Aldo Nova’s.  In fact, I finally got to meet him back during his “Blood on the Bricks” Tour back in 1991.  It was cool getting his autograph and the band’s which included current Bon Jovi guitarist, Phil X.

Aldo hails from Canada and has worked with Jon Bon Jovi on the debut album of Bon Jovi and his solo album from the movie ‘Young Guns’ which he wrote the guitar riff for “Blaze of Glory”.  He has also worked with Celine Dion where he has written for her as well as produced which garnered him a Grammy for Producing her album “Falling Into You”.  He has been busy.  However, we will only concentrate on his Solo work here for this post.

He has put out only 6 solo albums and there is talk of some new material coming and if so, I will be in line to buy it (okay, I will click away on my computer and have it delivered).  From his eponymous debut to Aldo Nova 2.0, we will go through and I will rank them from Worst to First.  I am sure people will disagree the order, but that is fine as this is only my opinion, you have your own.  I do hope you enjoy it nonetheless and maybe you discover something new and try him out.

THE WORST – NOVA’S DREAM (1997):

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