Why is The Vaselines’ Enter The Vaselines on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
Wildly eclectic and inventive music that pings between punk to indie with many inviting ports of call in between.
What does The Vaselines’ Enter The Vaselines mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’m going to venture to say that many people haven’t heard of The Vaselines, and for many of those who have, it’s thanks to Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain’s love for the band. Count me in the latter group.
Nirvana covered several Vaselines songs on their brilliant Unplugged album (spoiler: you might be seeing that album further up the list) while namechecking them as well. Even now, because I’ve listened to that album to pieces over the years – in addition to Vaselines covers on Incesticide and other live albums and bootlegs – it’s strange in a way to not think of “Son of a Gun,” “Molly’s Lips,” and “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam” as “Nirvana songs.”
When I listen to The Vaselines’ versions of those songs, it makes me realize how much Cobain and Nirvana crafted the songs to their overall musical sensibilities, but more importantly I recognize how specifically unique, strange, and rather wonderful The Vaselines are as a musical outfit in their own right.
Observe the Nirvana version of “Molly’s Lips.” Deceptively simple, catchy, and rocks out in punk new wave mode.
Now, here’s The Vaselines’ version.
Sweet, strange (note the old time-y… or maybe clown’s horn!?), indie, like maybe something you’d see performed live on a small stage at an offbeat arts and music festival in Europe. (They hail from Glasgow, Scotland, by the way, though – and perhaps I’m crazy here – they sound like they “should” be from Amsterdam or Stockholm or something.)
But really the point I want to drive home – and I recognize I’m burying the lead quite a bit in doing that – is that Enter the Vaselines shows off a pretty incredible range in its own right while maintaining a sound that’s rather singular to the band, spanning raucous punk to a highly specific and sweet yet tinged with wistfulness and melancholy indie sound.
“Dum-Dum” reminds me a little of Frank Black’s sensibilities (which, for me, is extremely high praise).
Even the song titles on this album are eclectic and rangy. The same album that contains “Jesus Wants Me For A Sunbeam” also includes “Rory Rides Me Raw” and “Sex Sux (Amen).” And I didn’t even include the wildest one.
This album also sounds like
Beyond all of the Nirvana stuff, I’m selecting two very quirky, highly ecelectic and extremely rangy bands that sound like Enter the Vaselines: Beat Happening and Camper Van Beethoven. Who or what are those, you ask? Keep tuned in to the digital pixels right here, my friends.
Also, as mentioned above: Frank Black!
Other stuff that’s somehow related to The Vaselines’ Enter The Vaselines
Apparently, petroleum jelly dates back to the 1860s, and by 1870 it was branded as Vaseline Petroleum Jelly by “Robert Augustus Chesebrough, a chemist from New York.”
Some stats & info about The Vaselines – Enter The Vaselines
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Alternative Rock, Rock, Indie Rock, Pop Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Enter The Vaselines released? 1992
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #992 out of 1,000
The Vaseline’s Enter The Vaselines on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective take on what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.