Cracker is without a doubt my favorite band. Their records all hold a special place with me but obviously I like some more than others. I’ve written about how much I adore Greenland but here is an explanation of how the next four fall in order for me.
Here are the nominees:
- Cracker (1992)
- Kerosene Hat (1994)
- The Golden Age (1996)
- Gentlemans Blues (1998)
- Forever (2002)
- Courntrysides (2003)
- Greenland (2006)
- Sunrise In The Land of Milk and Honey (2009)
- Berkeley To Bakersfield (2014)
#1 Album: Greenland
Stand-out tracks: “Something You Ain’t Got” “Darling We’re Out of Time” “Gimme One More Chance” “I Need Better Friends”
Cracker’s album Greenland was able to capture a strange mood and place in time with some of the strongest songs of their career. “Something You Ain’t Got” may be the perfect song for band even though they didn’t write it. It embodies everything Cracker is, from the dry wit to the undeniable sentiment. This record has rockers like “Gimme One More Chance” and country tinge like “I Need Better Friends.” It has undying emotion in “Darling We’re Out of Time” and humor like “Everybody Gets One For Free.” This record simply has it all and is a masterpiece.
#2 Album: Cracker
Stand-out tracks: “Mr. Wrong” “Someday” “Teen Angst” “Another Song About The Rain”
The self-titled debut is still hard to beat. “Mr. Wrong” is still funny down to the last word and “Another Song About The Rain” is still wonderfully epic. It has the radio hit in “Teen Angst” and more songs that should have been like “I See The Light.” It also has some songs that are criminally underrated, even by Cracker fans; take a listen to “Someday” and “Satisfy You” and you’ll know what I mean. Some of the groups really distinct songs are here as well, “Dr. Bernice” and “St. Cajetan” are both here. It is nearly flawless record all the way through.
#3 Album: Kerosene Hat
Stand-out tracks: “Low” “I Want Everything” “Eurotrash Girl”
This was the big one. “Low” still litters the radio dial and will forever be Cracker’s most well known song. “Eurotrash Girl” and “Get Off This” are stone cold classics as well. With the hidden songs of “Eurotrash Girl” and “I Ride My Bike” there are more treasures here than even the tracklist entails. “I Want Everything” is one of Cracker’s most modern sounding songs to come from the 90s and really showed the direction the band would lean toward in the future. Headbanging rockers “Let’s Go For A Ride” and “Movie Star” show the band letting loose which doesn’t occur all that often. If there is a new Cracker fan, this is still likely the place to start.
#4 Album: Forever
Stand-out tracks: “One Fine Day” “Shine” “Brides of Neptune”
Forever marks a time when Cracker made music that is distinct to this album, most of their music could fit on many of their albums. With the backing vocals from Brandy Wood scattered on the record and some glossy production, these songs have a different feel. “Brides of Neptune” and “Shine” are great examples of the patience and maturity the band developed by this point and those two songs likely stand as the best 1-2 punch to start a record they have had. “One Fine Day” has now become a concert staple and one song every Cracker fan seems to want to hear at every show. This album stands alone in among the other records as a wonderful piece of weirdness.
#5 Album: Berkeley To Bakersfield
Stand-out tracks: “Almond Grove” “Beautiful” “King of Bakersfield” “Waited My Whole Life”
Is this wishful thinking picking Berkeley To Bakersfield in the #5 slot? Possibly, but what’s wrong with that. This slot was almost a toss up between Berkeley To Bakersfield, Gentlemans Blues, The Golden Age and Sunrise In The Land of Milk and Honey. A month from now the pick may be different. My logic is that EVERY Cracker album has grown on me over time, so I think this one will too and it will end up as at least my fifth favorite. With the one country disc and the one rock disc the band is free to flourish in each side of their split personality. I’ll only grow to love this album more.
A special thanks to RiffRaf.net for the idea to do this.