Why is Everlast’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
We knew that Everlast could make us jump around, but that was just for starters as it turns out.
Some stats & info about Everlast – Whitey Ford Sings the Blues
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rap, Hip Hop, Alternative Hip Hop, Rap-Rock
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
- When was Whitey Ford Sings the Blues released? 1998
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #801 out of 1,000
Everlast’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues 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.
What does Everlast’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
This is a long album at 18 songs and a running time of nearly an hour, and it holds together and holds up surprisingly well. Not every song totally works as Everlast explores his solo voice over a number of different styles, but there are a bunch of really high highs.
“Ends” remains my favorite song on Whitey Ford Sings the Blues. It does a great job of meshing Everlast’s melodic hip hop flow, acoustic country blues-inflected guitar with electronic flourishes, and a chorus that’s both catchy and slightly haunting.
“What It’s Like” still teeters on the brink of feeling overplayed for me even after all these years, but it still holds up as a unique and uniquely good song for many of the same reasons I mention above about “Ends,” though lacks that extra edge of melancholy that that song delivers.
“Today [Watch Me Shine],” featuring Bronx Style Bob, has a great redemptive quality along with a great acoustic guitar chord progression and gospel backing vocals during the chorus.
And “7 Years” leans into a more soulful sound, and includes top notch hip hop delivery from Everlast.
Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Everlast’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues
I’m a huge fan of the single-camera comedy, Workaholics, which ran on Comedy Central for about six seasons. And more recently, I absolutely love the podcast, This Is Important, that the show’s three stars and director/producer/actor do these days. It’s insanely smart about being ridiculously and stupidly funny, which is pretty close to my comedy sweet spot. I was on the same flight as all four of them heading from San Francisco to LA some years back and was a little starstruck, but that’s a tale for a different day.
I mention because quite recently the topic of Everlast and this very album came up, and the fellas took some pretty good swings at it. I think the angle was essentially, “The House of Pain guy tried to do something serious musically and we were just not that into that.” Which, fine, subjective, etc. But I’d beseech the Workaholics dudes and TII Nation, if you’re reading this, give it another check out when you get a chance.
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Everlast’s Whitey Ford Sings the Blues
After I graduated from college, saying that I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life would be a huge understatement. Looking back, I’m lucky that I embarked upon and/or stumbled into a number of great adventures before kinda sorta figuring things out.
One of them involved the opportunity to take a five-week road trip across the American south with my good friend Adam. And by “opportunity,” I mean I quit graduate school after a single semester* and used my student loan money** to help fund the trip.
* If I had stuck it out, I might be a high school history teacher right now.
** Am I still paying off those student loans and that glorious five-week road trip road trip to this day, you ask? Do you have to ask?
Many adventures during that roadie ensued. In Los Angeles, my first time in the city of angels, we met some creative, quirky, and interesting people at the now closed Brown Derby. We wound up going to a house party of some sort based on these interactions, and thereupon a guy hanging out with the people we were chatting with asked us if we wanted to hear some music that he had recorded.
He asked if we had heard of House of Pain and we said that we had, of course. He explained that he was a bass guitarist, and was in the process of recording some music with Everlast for an upcoming solo album. He played some of it for us, and I can’t clearly recall what it was but I surely remember that it was very different than the “Jump Around” vibe that everyone quickly thinks of when House of Pain comes up.
I checked out the Wikipedia page for Whitey Ford Sings the Blues and there are a number of bass players credited. Perhaps one day I’ll connect the dots on who he was and what song or songs it was that he laid some bass grooves down on.