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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You have the Big Four in Metal…Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth. In Grunge, the Big Four were Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and Stone Temple Pilots. At the time, the only one I liked was Stone Temple Pilots. They were the closest to the old Rock & Roll that I grew up with. The others were too foreign to me to like. However, I do like Soundgarden now and Pearl Jam I can tolerate…Nirvana still sucks (I still don’t get the hype for them but that is another story for another time).
Today, we are focusing on Stone Temple Pilots and how their albums rank from my least favorite to the very best one. Despite all the troubles with the band and lead singer Scott Weiland, they were able to capture a magic that set them apart from most other bands. Hell, Scott was probably one of the best frontmen to come out of that era or any era for that matter. His stage presence and charisma were unparalleled and he could command a crowd. After his passing, a couple other singers came on board including the late Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) and now current lead singer Jeff Gutt.
And let’s not forget the band…Robert DeLeo (bass), Dean DeLeo (guitar) and Eric Kretz (Drums). Musically, they are the driving force behind the band. They are the constant. They are why I still listen to this band no matter who fronts. Their playing is excpetional and Dean’s guitar is freaking awesome. Some of the best riffs you will hear!
Enough chit chat, let’s get to the reason we are here. Here are the Stone Temple Pilots albums I rank from Worst to First!!
THE WORST – SHANGRI-LA-DEE-DA (2001):
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It all started for me back in 1990 when I saw Danger Danger open up for Kiss. I was really impressed by their stage performance and the songs. I had to check them out. They were touring in support of their debut, self-titled album which was released in 1989 and I went out and bought it within that week after the show. I have followed their career ever since.
The band has had two lead singers (they had another prior to any album coming out, but doesn’t count for this list and since I am not including the “Rare Cuts” compilation). The first for me was Ted Poley. He is currently the lead singer again. From the mid-90’s to early ’00’s, the singer was Paul Laine. Each have 3 studio album and a cool combo set included in this list for a total of 7 albums ranked. No live albums or any compilations included.
The classic line-up for me is Bruno Ravel (bass/guitar), Steve West (drums), Andy Timmons (guitar), Kasey Smith (Keyboards) and Ted Poly (vocals). When they switched out with Paul Laine (vocals) I was perfectly happy as he was a great singer and I loved his debut album ‘Stick It In Your Ear’. The line-up has change over the years, but Bruno and Steve have been the constants.
The band is a story of two different bands. The beginning was all having a good time, full of fun and excitement with songs about Sex, Sex, Rock & Roll and more Sex…did I mention sex?? Then they became more serious tone, with a more mature sound and flat out better song writing. Both bands I liked equally as they each brought something to the table. I think they are worth checking out, but they might not be everyone’s cup of tea. I hope you enjoy…
WORST – REVOLVE (2009):
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Lifehouse started in 1996 as the band Blyss. This was while they were in high school and by 1998, the recorded a bunch of Demos. In 2000, the band went back and re-recorded 12 of the 15 original demos and those demos became their debut album, ‘No Name Face’. Apparently, they decided to change the band name for this release to Lifehouse because the songs were about lead singer, Jason Wade’s life and other people’s life. The name was believed to be a good fit to encompass all that.
The band would go on to release 7 studio albums between 2000 and 2015. They have had their ups and downs as a band, they have had hits, been popular and not so popular and have taken the typical roller coaster of success. I have followed the band from the debut album all the way to today and still one of my favorites even if I haven’t liked everything they have done. But there is more that I like than I don’t like and that is what matters.
I am going to go through all 7 albums and tell you what I like and don’t like about each as well as rank them from the Worst album to their #1 album in my book. If you are not familiar with them, I hope this will spark an interest and you will give them a try.
WORST – STANLEY CLIMBFALL (2002)
After the success of the band’s debut, their sophomore release was a rather big disappointment for me. It wasn’t all bad as there were some great songs such as “Spin”, “Wash” and “Take Me Away”. Heck, the album sold 2 million copies so people liked it. It was a heavier rock sound then the first album and normally that is a good thing for me.
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When Danish musician, Mike Tramp moved to New York in 1983, he met this guitar whiz by the name of Vito Bratta and a little band was formed by the name of White Lion (I am sure I over simplified things). A bass player and drummer were added, a record label was signed and the debut album was ready. The debut, ‘Fight to Survive’, was finished and the record company hated it and refused to release it. Oh yeah, they dropped the band as well. The album eventually was released and then the bass player and drummer were added, labels went bankrupt and it all started all over again. Not the most auspicious start.
The band’s classic line-up was set with Mike, Vito, James LoMenzo (bass) and Greg D’Angelo (drums). A record deal was in place with Atlantic and in 1987, the band released ‘Pride’ and success was finally had…at least for a few years. One thing the makes the band a little different than other bands of the era is that every album has at least one (usually more) song that is political in nature or at least some social commentary to it. Where this worked on some albums, it totally didn’t work on others. As a kid, I could care less about political or socially conscious songs, give me Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.
I was a fan of White LIon’s in the late 80’s and early 90’s so I thought I would rank their albums as I have some familiarity with all their stuff and felt I could judge them properly. With only 5 studio releases, this one isn’t as long as some of the others I have done which is a nice change of pace for me.
Sit back and see how the albums are ranked and maybe it will spark an interest to go listen to some White Lion.
WORST – RETURN OF THE PRIDE (2008):
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Motley Crue called it quits back in 2016 with The End Farewell Tour. I have The End Deluxe Edition Tombstone set which I love and I have all their CDs (only missing a couple that will be remedied shortly. I was listening to them the other day and thought it was time to rank their Albums from Worst to First. As usual, I will keep it to strictly the Studio albums and will exclude greatest hits and live albums. However, I am going to include the Supersonic And Demonic Relics album which was a collection of rare songs and unreleased tracks. It isn’t a greatest hits collection and I think it stands out nicely on its own.
With all that being said, let’s get started…
10 – THE WORST – ‘THEATRE OF PAIN’ (1985):
The album was an utter disappointment after the first two. There was so much filler and not enough memorable songs. Yes, you have “Home Sweet Home” and “Smokin’ in the Boys Room” but the album felt lost. The band lost it’s edge of the last two albums and overall it was just lacking. There were a couple other good songs as I really liked “Tonight (We Need a Love)” and “Louder than Hell”. Outside of that it wasn’t the same band. Luckily, the regained that edge for the next release.
The album did well and sold over 4 million copies and went to #6 on Billboard. The success of the ballad “Home Sweet Home” was good enough to keep the momentum going and drive further success, but it is one of the albums I revisit the least.
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I haven’t done one of these in awhile so I figured it was time to do another. I have been listening to a lot of Night Ranger lately so why not do one on them. Night Ranger have released 12 studio albums and numerous Live and Collection albums and they have been together off and on since 1979. They have had quite a long career.
The have released three albums since 2011 and their latest release is why I have gone back and listened to everything as I hadn’t done that in a very long time. In doing so, I remembered what albums I really loved, which ones were so-so and which ones I do not like. I might as well tackle the daunting task of ranking the albums from Worst to First. Without any further delay, lets get to it.
12- “The Worst!!” – HOLE IN THE SUN (2007):
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