Ever sit back and look at your record collection of a favorite artist and consider which albums are the best? So do we! Rank & File is our way of telling you which albums are great and which ones are garbage (at least in our opinion). There are really no correct answers here, it’s all just a matter of taste, but inevitably, there will be parts of the list that you will completely disagree with, so make sure to let us know how you would rank the albums. Of course, when compiling a ranking system such as this, there have to be some guidelines in place. For Rank & File, they are:
- No E.P.’s (with rare exception)
- No Singles
- No live albums
- No remix albums
- If an artists discography is huge (i.e. Rolling Stones, Prince) only the top 5 will make the cut.
Type O Negative
It’s likely that Type O Negative is like no other band you’ve ever heard before. With a dynamic musical proficiency that ranged from hardcore to psychedelic rock, doom metal to goth rock, Type O negative forged ahead with their own unique sound for nearly 20 years. Lyrically, Type O Negative were just as diverse, touching on heavy handed topics ranging from death, grief, addiction, love and loss. Although Type O Negative were the embodiment of drab, they also peppered in self-depreciating humor and social commentary throughout their seven studio albums, giving their music a decidedly human feel, in spite of it’s rather heavy subject matter and sound. Unfortunately, Type O Negative disbanded in 2010 after the death of their bassist/vocalist, Peter Steele.
Although Type O Negative is no longer releasing music, they remain one of my favorite bands to date. They taught me more about music than most other bands that I love. With Halloween coming up and the weather turning grey, I wanted to take the time to write a Rank & File for my favorite Type O Negative albums. Hopefully reading this and listening to some of these tracks brings a smile to your face like they do mine. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to discover these songs and experience them while Peter was still alive. I’ll always appreciate that, so thanks to Peter and the rest of Type O for creating something that is so special to me!
5. The Origin of the Feces (1992):
Although this is one of the first records that Type O released, I didn’t come across it until well after its release. Moving backwards in a bands discography isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially when you have such a strong connection to their newer works, but The Origin of the Feces is a hell of a listen. Aside from the songs themselves being great (seriously, “Gravity” is a masterpiece) the band added fake crowd noise and heckling to replicate it as a live album, which made the record even more fun to listen to. Also, Origin saw the inclusion of a couple of wonderful cover songs, “Hey Pete” (a cover of “Hey Joe” by Billy Roberts but made famous by Hendrix) and “Paranoid” from Black Sabbath. While most bands have a hard time pulling off enjoyable cover songs, Type O took these songs and made them their own, something they would continue to do throughout their career.
4. Life Is Killing Me (2003):
After the mournful, slow paced dirge of World Coming Down, Type O came back with Life Is Killing Me, which saw the return of the bands hardcore roots. Although it would be a stretch to ever call Type O’s music cheerful, Life Is Killing Me sounded like the band had turned a corner, both lyrically and musically. Because of the musical diversity represented throughout Life Is Killing Me (hardcore, dirge, melody) I always recommend this album for someone looking to get into Type O Negative. The record did run a little long in the middle, but it’s bookended by some of the finest material ever written by the band. Like their other records, Life Is Killing Me features a cover song with “Angry Inch” from the Broadway show Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Fucking awesome!
3. Bloody Kisses (1993):
OK, this is where it gets really hard for me to rank these albums. Any of the next three records could’ve easily taken the top spot. That being said, Bloody Kisses checks in at number three, mostly due to the few tracks that are interludes instead of full-fledged songs (“Fay Wray Come Out and Play”, “Dark Side of the Womb” etc.) Like most other people, this was the record that introduced me to Type O Negative. As soon as I heard it, I was entranced. I had never heard such a great combination of melody, riffs and originality. Bloody Kisses very literally blew my mind and changed the way I listen to music and maybe more importantly, what I look for in music. Emotionally, Bloody Kisses is a journey of the human experience. Death, love, grief and even tongue in cheek humor are all fairly represented. Musically, this album really taught me about diversity as well. From the quasi-hardcore blast of “Kill All The White People” to the gothic dirge of “Bloody Kisses (A Death In The Family)”, this album truly is a one of a kind record.
2. World Coming Down (1999):
While Type O Negative’s albums have always dealt with the darker side of life, they always injected humor or love into the equation. Not on World Coming Down. Nearly from beginning to end, this record is probably one of the darkest albums you may ever hear. Mostly dealing with addiction and death, World Coming Down was not an easy album for me to get into. In fact, it wasn’t until much after its release that I really gained an understanding and appreciation for it. However, there are some silver linings on World Coming Down. First off, its comforting to hear someone singing about death and loss. For as little as death is talked about in our society, it was refreshing to hear Peter tackle it lyrically. The only real respite from sorrow comes towards the end of the disc. “Pyretta Blaze” features one of my favorite riffs Type O ever wrote and the final song on the record is a medley of Beatles songs including “Day Tripper” and “I Want You.”
1. October Rust (1996):
I really don’t believe that there is a sexier album than has ever been recorded. Seriously. October Rust is dripping with sensuality both lyrically and musically. One time, I made a mixtape for a girl at school and put “Be My Druidess” on there. See, I thought the song was fucking beautiful. It never occurred to me that I probably shouldn’t give her a song threatening to “do anything to make her cum.” OK. That was probably a bit much, but seriously, I challenge you to find an album that has more passion. I doubt you’ll find it. Musically, October Rust is somewhat of a departure, featuring supremely lush soundscapes and textures. In my opinion, it’s easily the most musically dense album the band ever recorded, yet also the most rewarding. My recommendation is to listen to this album louder than shit when driving on an autumn evening. Also, why not spruce up your holiday and listen to “Red Water (Christmas Mourning)” on Christmas? I guarantee it will make you appreciate life and love more than you’ll ever know. As I said earlier, any of the last three records could’ve taken the top spot, but October Rust ultimately earns the top honors thanks to the fantastic cover of “Cinnamon Girl” by Neil Young.
Just Missed The Cut: Slow, Deep and Hard (1991), The Least Worst Of (2000), Dead Again (2007)
What do you think? How would you rate Type O Negatives albums? Let us know in the comment section below and make sure to follow Gutter Bubbles on Facebook and Twitter!