10,000 Maniacs were an American alternative rock band that was founded in 1981. They hail from Jamestown, New York, and are known for their unique blend of alternative rock, college rock, and folk music. Over the years, they have released several acclaimed albums, and their songs have been featured on various soundtracks. Here are 10 of the band’s best songs of all time:
10. Because The Night (1993)
Because Bruce Springsteen and Patti Smith wrote the Night, it has initially been recorded by Springsteen’s E Street Band. 10,000 Maniacs’ version is faithful to the original, with Natalie Merchant’s emotive vocals delivering the lyrics with passion. The song is about the power of love and intimacy, and it has become a classic rock anthem. The lyrics describe how the night can “bring you down” or “lift you.
9. Scorpio Rising (1985)
“Scorpio Rising” is a song by the 10,000 Maniacs. It was released as the second single from their 1985 album, The Wishing Chair. The song reached number seventy-six on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song’s lyrics are about a person’s obsession with a celebrity or public figure.
The song’s narrator is in love with a woman in love with a star. The narrator wants to be the closest to the celebrity, and they want to “rise” up and be like them. Several artists have covered the song, including R.E.M. and Natalie Merchant. The song was well-received by music critics. Allmusic critic Stewart Mason called it a “great college rock song” and praised its “irresistible” chorus.
8. City of Angels (1987)
The song is about New York City and the band’s love for it. It also talks about how much the city has changed since they first started playing there in the early 1980s. The song is about the band’s time spent in the city and how it has influenced their music. It describes the city as a “City of Angels” and how it has a magical quality to it. The song was featured in the 1987 film Less Than Zero, and Allmusic gave the song a 4.5/5 rating, calling it “one of the band’s finest moments.”
7. Stockton Gala Days (1992)
The song is about the band’s hometown of Jamestown, New York. The Gala Days festival celebrates the town’s heritage, and the songwriter (Natalie Merchant) reflects on her childhood memories of the festival. The lyrics are nostalgic and romanticized, with images of small-town life and a simpler time. The song was released as a single in 1992 and reached number 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also included in the band’s album Our Time in Eden, released later that year. The album was a commercial success and was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
6. Eden (1992)
One of the band’s most famous songs, “Eden,” was released on their 1992 album Our Time in Eden. The song is about a relationship on the rocks and is about to end. It talks about the memories that the two people shared and how they will never be able to experience them again. The song was written by Natalie Merchant and was produced by John Alagia. It was released on Elektra Records and is 5 minutes long. The song reached number 11 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart.
5. Trouble Me (1989)
The song is about a love triangle. The narrator is in love with someone already in a relationship with someone else. The narrator asks the other person to leave the other person for them. The song was featured in the film Major League and the 1992 film The Mighty Ducks. The song describes the narrator as “the one who loves you more than he loves himself.”
4. Like The Weather (1987)
It is one of 10,000 Maniacs’ most popular and well-known songs. The song is slow and mellow, with a simple acoustic guitar melody and Natalie Merchant’s haunting vocals. The lyrics are about a break-up and how the weather can be a metaphor for the relationship and the emotions involved. The song was released as a single in 1987 and became a hit, reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was also featured on the band’s second album, In My Tribe, and has been included in many of their live performances over the years.
3. My Mother, the War (1983)
The lyrics of “My Mother, the War” were inspired by the death of 10,000 Maniacs singer Natalie Merchant’s mother from cancer. The song is an emotional tribute to her mother, featuring lyrics such as “My mother the war/Is raging inside of me still.” The song is one of the band’s most popular and well-known tracks. It was featured on their album Secrets of the I Ching, released in 1983. The album was a commercial success, reaching No. 42 on the Billboard 200 chart.
2. Verdi Cries (1987)
“Verdi Cries” is a track on 10,000 Maniacs’ second album, In My Tribe. The song was written by the band’s lead singer and songwriter, Natalie Merchant, and was inspired by the opera composer Giuseppe Verdi. The song is a ballad with a soft, acoustic guitar-based arrangement.
The lyrics are written in the form of a letter from a lover to Verdi, mourning the composer’s death. Merchant has said that she was inspired to write the song after attending a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. The song was a moderate commercial success, reaching 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It received critical acclaim and was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1989.
1. These Are Days (1992)
The 10,000 Maniacs’ eighth studio album, “Our Time in Eden,” spawned this hit single. The song reached the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it’s easy to see why. With melodic harmonies and soulful lyrics, “These Are Days” is a classic track perfect for any occasion.
These are just a few of the 10,000 Maniacs’ greatest hits. With so many amazing songs in their repertoire, it was hard to choose just 10. But, in the end, these tracks represent the band at their best. From moving ballads to upbeat rockers, 10,000 Maniacs have something for everyone. So, whatever your mood, be sure to check out their music.
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