Tuesday, August 27, 2002

Queens of the Stone Age release Songs for the Deaf

Songs for the Deaf

Queens of the Stone Age

Released: August 27, 2002

Peak: 17 US, 4 UK, -- CN, 7 AU

Sales (in millions): 1.19 US, 0.6 UK, 2.79 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to 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

Total Running Time: 60:53

The Players:

  • Josh Homme (vocals, guitar)
  • Nick Oliveri (bass, vocals)
  • Dave Grohl (drums)
  • Mark Lanegan (vocals)


4.440 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

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.

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

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Last updated 3/13/2024.

Monday, August 26, 2002

Coldplay released A Rush of Blood to the Head

A Rush of Blood to the Head


Released: August 26, 2002

Peak: 5 US, 13 UK, 1 CN, 11 AU

Sales (in millions): 4.8 US, 2.96 UK, 15.8 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


Song Title (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Politik
  2. In My Place (7/20/02, 17 MR, 2 UK, 2 CN, 23 AU)
  3. God Put a Smile Upon Your Face (7/14/03, 100 UK, 43 AU)
  4. The Scientist (11/4/02, 18 MR, 10 UK, 16 CN, 40 AU, sales: 0.5 m)
  5. Clocks (11/30/02, 29 US, 9 MR, 9 UK, 7 CN, 28 AU, sales: 1.0 m)
  6. Daylight
  7. Green Eyes
  8. Warning Sign
  9. A Whisper
  10. A Rush of Blood to the Head
  11. Amsterdam

Total Running Time: 54:08

The Players:

  • Chris Martin (vocals, piano, synthesizers, guitar)
  • Jonny Buckland (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Guy Berryman (bass)
  • Will Champion (drums, percussion, backing vocals)


4.028 out of 5.00 (average of 20 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“In the early ‘00s, starry-eyed Brit-pop boys doing a cuddly version of Radiohead were a dime a dozen…It was Coldplay’s second album that showed they were true contenders.” RS’11 Coldplay burst on the scene in 2000 with Parachutes, their “wonderfully assured debut.” AZ The album topped the UK charts, but its #51 peak in the U.S. coupled with minor pop hit “Yellow” (also a top ten at alternative rock) certainly didn’t suggest the group would some day compete for title of Biggest Band in the World. That song “didn’t follow the rock formula… similarly A Rush of Blood to the Head might not instantly grab listeners, but it’s not tailored that way.” AMG

Others saw the band’s dominance coming. The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis said, “It sounds like an album ready to take on the world, and win.” WK Coldplay had “advanced to a stage where they outshine nearly every one of their rivals in terms of imagination and emotional pull.” AZ

There was actually noise in the U.K. press after the debut that they might call it quits after just one album. The group was exhausted after touring to support Parachutes and frontman Chris Martin “insisted he was dry; …he hadn’t written a song in months.” AMG However, “somewhere lurked the beauty” AMG of “the delicate, shimmery classic” AMG In My Place. The spirit and soul of this ballad allowed Coldplay to pull it together to make a second album.” AMG As Martin said, “It was the song that made us want to do a second album. It kept us going and made us think we could still write songs.” WK

The album is “initially inaccessible, but that’s what makes it intriguing.” AMG “Echoes of early post-punk showcase Coldplay’s ballsy musicianship…It’s not exactly rock & roll, but Radiohead, Echo & the Bunnymen, and the Smiths aren’t exactly rock & roll either, and they’re well-loved.” AMG “The disco haze of DaylightAMG and the “hushed tones” AMG of “lovedrunk ballad Green EyesAMG “are divine examples of solid lyrical arrangements.” AMG The latter, along with The Scientist “brought back the comforting melodies of ‘Yellow’ but revealed a band that was restless and hungry: The twinkling sonics suggested prime Smiths or U2.” RS’11

“Coldplay exude an honest passion” AMG on this “soulful, exhilarating journey, moving from the cathartic” AZ The “U2-esque epic rock of…PolitikWK projects “a nervy edge to the band” AMG as does the “stunning guitar-driven” AMGOK Computer-worthy God Put a Smile Upon Your Face.” RS’11 Darker stuff like that and “the austerely beautiful death meditation Amsterdam…showed the group had more than arena anthems on its mind.” RS’11

“Acoustics are drowned out by Jon Buckland’s riveting guitar work, and vocally, Martin has sharpened his falsetto, refining his haunting deliver…You can feel, hear, and touch the blood, sweat, and tears behind each song, and that’s exactly what Coldplay were going for.” AMG “Lush melodies and a heartbreak behind the songs are there, but also a newfound confidence.” AMG “Martin takes his voice on soaring flights, reaching places only Jeff Buckley previously dared to go. And the music is nearly flawless, a persuasive cross between Pink Floyd and the Verve…This is exquisite stuff.” AZ “Regardless of the band still being in their mid-twenties, they’ve made an amazing record…A Rush of Blood to the Head didn’t sugarcoat anything.” AMG

Rush garnered Coldplay its second Grammy for Best Alternative Album and “In My Place” landed a Grammy for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The group also landed the prize for Record of the Year for Clocks. A BBC listener poll in 2013 ranked the album the best of all time. WK

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Last updated 5/1/2022.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Interpol Turn on the Bright Lights released

Turn on the Bright Lights


Released: August 20, 2002

Peak: 158 US, 101 UK

Sales (in millions): 0.52 US, 0.1 UK, 1.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: post punk revival


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to charts.

  1. Untitled [3:56]
  2. Obstacle 1 [4:11] (11/11/02, 41 UK)
  3. NYC [4:20] (4/14/03, --)
  4. PDA [4:59] (8/22/02, --)
  5. Say Hello to the Angels [4:28] (4/14/03, 65 UK)
  6. Hands Away [3:05]
  7. Obstacle 2 [3:47]
  8. Stella Was a Driver and She Was Always Down [6:28]
  9. Roland [3:35]
  10. The New [6:07]
  11. Leif Erikson [4:00]
All tracks written by Paul Banks, Daniel Kessler, Carlos Dengler, and Sam Fogarino.

Total Running Time: 48:56

The Players:

  • Paul Banks (vocals, rhythm guitar)
  • Daniel Kessler (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Carlos Dengler (bass, keyboards)
  • Sam Fogarino (drums, percussion)


4.156 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)


(Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

Interpol is a post-punk revival rock band which formed in 1997 in Manhattan, New York. In June 2002, they released a three-track EP named Interpol. It contained the songs PDA and NYC, which would also appear on their debut album Turn on the Bright Lights, and Specialist, which was included as a bonus track to Australian and Japanese editions of the album.

The album was well received by critics with many citing the eerie similarity of Paul Banks’ voice to the late Ian Curtis of Joy Division. Blender’s Jonah Weiner said, “It’s almost as if Ian Curtis never hanged himself” WK while The Austin Chronicle’s Michael Chamy called Banks “a dead ringer for Ian Curtis.” WK NME’s Victoria Segal said the comparisons to Joy Division were “obvious and unmistakable.” WK Famed critic Robert Christgau wasn’t as impressed calling the comparisons to Joy Division “too kind.” WK

The band overall was compared positively to their influences. Billboard said they created an “homage to their particular vision of the ‘80s that stands proudly alongside the best of its idols.” WK The Village Voice’s Scott Seward said the band reminded him of “listening to Cure singles” WK while Chamy said the band incorporated “the divine shoegazer textures of My Bloody Valentine and Ride.” WK

The album has been credited with “helping define 2000s indie rock and…the New York-born post-punk revival scene, along with contemporaries such as the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and TV on the Radio.” WK They have been cited as an influence on bands such as the Killers, Editors, and the xx. WK


A tenth anniversary edition added a second disc of 17 songs, including demos and recordings from a Peel session.

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First posted 3/12/2022; last updated 3/5/2024.

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Bruce Springsteen The Rising hit #1

The Rising

Bruce Springsteen

Released: July 30, 2002

Peak: 12 US, 11 UK, 11 CN, 4 AU

Sales (in millions): 2.1 US, 0.1 UK, 5.0 world (includes US and UK)

Genre: rock


Song Title [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Lonesome Day [4:08] (11/25/02, 39 UK)
  2. Into the Fire [5:04]
  3. Waitin’ on a Sunny Day [4:18] (4/7/03, --)
  4. Nothing Man [4:23]
  5. Countin’ on a Miracle [4:44]
  6. Empty Sky [3:34]
  7. Worlds Apart [6:07]
  8. Let’s Be Friends (Skin to Skin) [4:21]
  9. Further on Up the Road [3:52]
  10. The Fuse [5:37]
  11. Mary’s Place [6:03]
  12. You’re Missing [5:10]
  13. The Rising [4:50] (52 US, 26 AC, 24 AR)
  14. Paradise [5:39]
  15. My City of Ruins [5:00]

All songs written by Bruce Springsteen.

Total Running Time: 78:50


4.252 out of 5.00 (average of 38 ratings)

Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

About the Album:

“‘Yes, life is very confusing, we're just trying to get on with it.’ – Art Carney as Harry Coomes in Harry and Tonto.” AMG

“The many voices that come out of the ether on Bruce Springsteen's The Rising all seem to have two things in common: The first is that they are writing from the other side, from the day after September 11, 2001, the day when life began anew, more uncertain than ever before. The other commonality that these voices share is the determination that life, however fraught with tragedy and confusion, is precious and should be lived as such. This is a lot for a rock album by a popular artist to claim, but perhaps it's the only thing there is worth anything.” AMG

“On this reunion with the E Street Band, Bruce Springsteen offers 15 meditations – in grand rock & roll style — on his own way of making sense of the senseless. The band is in fine form, though with Brendan O’Brien’s uncanny production, they play with an urgency and rawness they've seldom shown. This may not have been the ideal occasion for a reunion after 15 years, but it's one they got, and they go for broke. The individual tracks offer various glimpses of loss, confusion, hope, faith, resolve, and a good will that can only be shown by those who have been tested by fire. The music and production is messy, greasy; a lot of the mixes bleed tracks onto one another, giving it a more homemade feel than any previous E Street Band outing. And yes, that's a very good thing.” AMG

“The set opens with Lonesome Day, a mid-tempo rocker with country-ish roots. Springsteen's protagonist admits to his or her shortcomings in caring for the now-absent beloved. But despite the grief and emptiness, there is a wisdom that emerges in questioning what remains: ‘Better ask questions before you shoot/Deceit and betrayal's bitter fruit/It's hard to swallow come time to pay/That taste on your tongue don't easily slip away/Let kingdom come/I'm gonna find my way/ Through this lonesome day.’ Brendan O'Brien's hurdy-gurdy cuts through the mix like a ghost, offering a view of an innocent past that has been forever canceled because it never was anyway; the instrument, like the glockenspiels that trim Bruce Springsteen's songs, offers not only texture, but a kind of formalist hint that possibilities don't always lie in the future.” AMG

“In contrast, Into the Fire seems to be sung from the perspective of a deceased firefighter's remaining partner who, despite her/his unfathomable loss, offers a prayer of affirmation, and the request to embody the same qualities he or she displayed in paying the ultimate price for selflessness. A dobro and acoustic guitar bring in the ghost of a mountain melody, and Max Weinberg's muted snare and tom-tom rhythm offer the solemnity of the lyric before Roy Bittan and Danny Federici shift the gears and offer a nearly symphonic crescendo on the refrain: ‘May your strength bring us strength/may your faith give us faith/May your hope give us hope/May your love give us love.’ The second time through, the last line subtley changes to, ‘May your love bring us love.’ While the band is in full flower, the keys are muted under sonic ambience and the snaky lone acoustic guitar and Weinberg's thundering processional drumming.” AMG

“Likewise, the revelatory rock & roll on World's Apart, complete with a knife-edged wail of a guitar solo by Springsteen that soars around a Sufi choir (yes, Sufi choir) is not only a manner of adding exotica to the mix, but another way of saying that all cultures are in this together, and it unwittingly reveals that great rock can be made with virtually any combination of musicians. It's a true scorcher. Further On (Up the Road) is a straight-ahead rocker complete with knotty riffs and plenty of rootsed-out, greasy guitar overdrive – most of the album does, but that's one of O’Brien's strengths as a producer – that are evocative of Mike Ness and Social Distortion's late efforts.” AMG

“Lest anyone mistakenly perceive this recording as a somber evocation of loss and despair, it should also be stated that this is very much an E Street Band recording. Clarence Clemons is everywhere, and the R&B swing and slip of the days of yore is in the house — especially on Waitin’ for a Sunny Day, Countin’ on a Miracle, Mary's Place (with a full horn section), and the souled-out Let's Be Friends (Skin to Skin). These tracks echo the past with their loose good-time feel, but "echo" is the key word. Brendan O'Brien's guitar-accented production offers us an E Street Band coming out of the ether and stepping in to fill a void. The songs themselves are, without exception, rooted in loss, but flower with the possibility of moving into what comes next, with a hard-won swagger and busted-up grace. They offer balance and a shifting perspective, as well as a depth that is often deceptive.” AMG

“The last of these is a bona fide love song, without which, in rock & roll anyway, no real social commentary is possible. The title track is one of Mr. Springsteen's greatest songs. It is an anthem, but not in the sense you usually reference in regard to his work. This anthem is an invitation to share everything, to accept everything, to move through everything individually and together. Power-chorded guitars and pianos entwine in the choruses with a choir, and Clemons wails on a part with a stinging solo. Here too, the chantlike chorus is nearly in symphonic contrast to the country-ish verse, but it hardly matters, as everything inside and outside the track gets swept into this "dream of life." The album closes with Paradise, a haunting and haunted narrative offered from the point-of-view of a suicide bomber and a studio version of My City of Ruins. These songs will no doubt confuse some as they stand in seemingly sharp contrast to one another, but in ‘My City of Ruins,’ all contradictions cease to matter. With acoustic pianos and subtley shimmering Memphis soul-style guitars that give way to a Hammond B-3 and a gospel choir, Springsteen sings without artifice ‘Rise Up.’ In this ‘churchlike’ confessional of equanimity, Springsteen reaches out to embrace not only his listeners, but all of the protagonists in the aforementioned songs and their circles of families and friends. The album ends with an acknowledgement of grace and an exhortation to action.” AMG

“With The Rising, Springsteen has found a way to be inclusive and instructive without giving up his particular vision as a songwriter, nor his considerable strength as a rock & roll artist. In fact, if anything, The Rising is one of the very best examples in recent history of how popular art can evoke a time period and all of its confusing and often contradictory notions, feelings, and impulses. There are tales of great suffering in The Rising to be sure, but there is joy, hope, and possibility, too. Above all, there is a celebration and reverence for everyday life. And if we need anything from rock & roll, it's that. It would be unfair to lay on Bruce Springsteen the responsibility of guiding people through the aftermath of a tragedy and getting on with the business of living, but rock & roll as impure, messy, and edifying as this, helps.” AMG

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First posted 3/23/2008; last updated 5/1/2022.