Why is Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
He rides across the nation, the thoroughbred of sin. He got the application that you just sent in.
What does Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
I’ve often casually said that “I’m not really into musicals,” but that’s not quite true.
For example, my wife and I recently caught The Book of Mormon on Broadway in New York City, and I was absolutely blown away by it. It even surprised me a bit that on top of the incredible writing, performances, and wild low humor-meets-brilliant satire that only the South Park guys can deliver, I was equally impressed with the singin’ and the dancin’ and the overall staging and showmanship of the production.
Maybe it’s partially also due to the fact that I’ve mostly been a hermit throughout much of this Covid Era, or perhaps I’m just turning into a softie as I get older. Who knows?
To be fair, I’ve also long had multiple “caveats” to my “I’m not really into…” statement, one of which has been for Joss Whedon-related productions*. And I was immediately a super fan of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, which was written by Whedon and his brother, Jed, in the midst of a writer’s strike in the late 2000s.
* I’m still reeling from learning of the #metoo allegations made against Joss Whedon, so I’m very much focusing on the art and not the artist behind this album here. I found this New York Magazine interview with Whedon from early this year to be fascinating and revealing… but maybe not in the way Whedon was hoping for.
It’s an oddball, genre-bending story that is just as unusual as the format in which it was released – a three-part story released directly on the web, quite an unusual offering for 2008*.
* And I should know, in that I was deeply involved on the digital side of a for-the-time big deal TV show released over the Internet in the very same year.
Anyway, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is… well, it’s a superhero story, sort of. It’s a comedy, but there’s real drama in it, and the relatively short running time ends on a very dark note, frankly (while teasing a sequel of some sort that sadly has never come into fruition as of this writing). And, of course, it’s a musical. And, oh yes, there’s the blogging!
The whole thing works because of the writing, but equally because of the performances of the stellar cast, namely Neil Patrick Harris (Dr. Horrible), Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day.
“My Freeze Ray” comes early on in the story, and sets up that Dr. Horrible is both an ambitious supervillain and at the same time an awkward, lonely dude who has a quiet, desperate crush on Felicia Day’s character. It’s light, it’s funny, and shows off how insanely great Neil Patrick Harris is, which you know if you you’ve seen him in anything ever.
“Bad Horse Chorus” is a little complex to explain in story terms, but let’s just say it’s a rollicking, western-themed song that conveys a stern message to Dr. Horrible that he needs to get going with the evil doing if he’s ever to gain entry into the Evil League of Evil, his life’s dream. It’s hilarious and great. The song, not the Evil League of Evil. Which, you know, is evil and stuff.
“A Mans Gotta Do” is great because NPH, Nathan Fillion, and Felicia Day (who has a fabulous voice) all get a part. And in less than three minutes, we get both comedy and drama and fun interplay between the characters. In lesser hands, Fillion’s character would be a lame two-dimensional villain, but instead he’s fantastic due to his skilled comedic sensibilities.
Some stats & info about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? TV Soundtracks, Musicals
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – not rated!
- When was Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog released? 2008
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #691 out of 1,000
Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (Motion Picture Soundtrack) 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 review of 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.