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Released: 27 August 2002
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. The Real Song for the Deaf 2. You Think I Ain’t Worth a Dollar But I Feel Like a Millionaire 3. No One Knows (10/12/02, #51 US, #5 AR, #1 MR, #15 UK) 4. First It Giveth (8/1/03 #33 UK) 5. A Song for the Dead 6. The Sky Is Fallin’ 7. Six Shooter 8. Hangin’ Tree 9. Go with the Flow (4/1/03, #24 AR, #7 MR, #21 UK, #39 AU) 10. Gonna Leave You 11. Do It Again 12. God Is in the Radio 13. Another Love Song 14. A Song for the Deaf 15. Mosquito Song
Sales (in millions): 1.19 US, 0.1 UK, 2.29 world (includes US and UK)
Peak: 17 US, 4 UK
Review: Songs for the Deaf, the third outing for American rock band Queens of the Stone Age, was loosely built around the concept of the listener tuning into local radio stations while road tripping from Los Angeles to Joshua Tree. Mock radio broadcasts surface between songs, reinforcing the cliché that modern commercial radio is worthless drivel.
The formula proved successful, pushing the album to platinum status in the U.S. and Europe and generated modern-rock hits with the “lurching, weirdly-springy” AZ “No One Knows” (#1) and “Go with the Flow” (#7). Bot songs earned Grammy nominations for Best Hard Rock Performance.
No One Knows
The album got a big boost because of the presence of Dave Grohl, leader singer for Foo Fighters and former drummer for Nirvana. Grohl had befriended QOTSA frontman Josh Homme in 1992 and QOTSA had opened for Foo Fighters. The band was going through a shake-up and Grohl stepped in as the temporary drummer, even touring with the band and putting Foo Fighters on hold.
The album is often considered the band’s best. Amazon’s Kim Hughes calls it “speed rock that whips by so fast it creates its own breeze” and says it is “a hard rock record so good that it immediately evokes a conspiratorial fervor that makes you want to tell everyone you can about it.” AZ Entertainment Weekly called it “the year’s best hard-rocking album” WK while Splendid said, “This is not your father’s metal. It’s better.” WK Mojo, Spin, and NME all ranked it as one of the top ten albums of the year. WK Kerrang! rated it #1 for 2002 while music critic Steven Hyden went a step farther in calling it the greatest hrd-rock record of the 21st century. WK