Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The One No One Talks About

Recently, one of my fellow audiophiles asked what my favorite Green Day album was. I don't have a clear favorite, but when he reponded that his was "Warning", I had to look at my text message from him twice. Aside from the singles, I'd never even given it a listen. My friend was right. Warning is a gem, despite poor album sales and being widely known as the album that almost ended Green Day's career entirely.

Tracks like "Church On Sunday" are light and fun, but not in the juvenile fashion Green Day fans were accustomed to. Warning is Green Day growing up before their fans were ready to accept that.

Warning is one of those albums I'd like to call The One No One Talks About. When I say Pearl Jam, you think "Ten". When I say Weezer, you think "Blue Album". When I say Incubus, you think "Make Yourself". Radiohead? "O.K. Computer" But "vs.", "Pinkerton", "A Crow Left of the Murder..." and "Pablo Honey" are all solid and listenable albums by those same artists, and they often get overlooked.
What is it about our devotion to one or two albums in a band's catalogue that leads us to miss out on some exceptionally great stuff?
What is YOUR favorite underrated and overlooked album by an otherwise succesful band?


  1. I tend to like albums that sound like the band when I heard them the first time and liked them. It's rare you hear a band, dislike them, and then go "I think i'll listen to everything else they've ever made and see if something surprises me." If they have a big catalog there probably is something in there for everyone. But I have a one track mind. I like rough sex, thick beer and fast cars. Could I get into romance, natty ice and lincoln town cars? Probably. Do I care to? Not really.

    My underrated, overlooked album? Chumbawamba - English Rebel Songs 1381–1984. Actually, most of their albums are underrated and overlooked. This is just probably the least-expected music from this "one-hit pop band" from the UK.

  2. I am much the same as... display name... up there, a first listen sticks with me. Monster Magnet's Superjudge will always be my go-to album with them.

    My most recent "I had no idea this was so good!" album is Dust by the Screaming Trees. I have owned it since it was released in 1996, but honestly had never given it a solid listen until... maybe a month ago? SO. FUCKING. GOOD.

    In many cases, though, a band won't produce something I like as well as what got me into them. This happened with Smashing Pumpkins and Tool, off top of my head. But I have proven myself wrong in that instance, too... after the Dust experience, I realized the album I discovered them with (Sweet Oblivion) is actually my least favorite.

    Also, my favorite Pearl Jam record is Vitology. :)

  3. Oh! It's Skeeter! Haha, Hi Skeeter :D

  4. I tend to reach for the same ones repeatedly, too. I always grab Aenima, even though TOOL has several great records. I think we've talked about Vitalogy before. It is a great record, and often overlooked in the PJ catalogue.
    And I agree with you, Peter. We're creatures of habit and we like what we like *shrugs* Well said, the both of you :)

  5. ok as a PJ fan I must chime in here. i'm gonna say it...wait for it comes...NO CODE. talk about underrated, overlooked, even critically beat down...but as a PJ fan, this is one solid album beginning to end. ok with the exception of their first single released of it "Who You Are"--ironically the only PJ song I cannot bear to listen to...but still even with that track it is a very solid PJ effort. "Hail, Hail" and "Lukin" keep the blood flowing while "In My Tree" and "Smile" are extremely well written songs. No Code marked the beginning of the PJ pessimistic regime which probably should have started with Binuaral.

    thanks for listening.


  6. Spano: I liked No Code. I saw them tour in support of that album and thought it was great. They've never disappointed live, though. No Code has some excellent tracks. I love "Hail, Hail", "Sometimes", and "Smile". I even liked Binaural...but it was the last PJ album I bought.