So why is Murphy’s Law’s The Best of Times on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?
“Tight,” by Murphy’s Law, is one of my favorite songs of all time. I’ll get to that in a little bit.
But first I need to take you with me to travel through time, back to the State University of New York (that’d be SUNY, more colloquially) at Buffalo in the early 1990s.
My group of friends from high school (Commack, located on Long Island) mostly went off to three colleges: Binghamton (where I went, also a SUNY though we changed the name to Binghamton University to sound fancier… probably a good move), Cornell University (which doesn’t need to sound fancier), and SUNY Buffalo.
New York state stretches really far from east to west if you think about Montauk, Long Island on one end in the east and Buffalo and the Niagara Falls area in the west. Binghamton, New York roughly sits halfway across the state, lengthwise. Suffice to say that during my early college years, I made a number of road trips to both Buffalo and Ithaca (where Cornell is located) from my home base in Binghamton.
I always had fun in Buffalo. My old friends were cool, and they made friends who were also very cool, an eclectic group that was really into music, goofing around, and video games.
There are endless stories to tell about this era (see a classic one, below), but I mention all of this chiefly to note that it was in Buffalo, New York that my friends’ cool friends introduced me to a band called Murphy’s Law, a band which had actually formed in Astoria, Queens in the mid-1980s, a neighborhood of New York City that I would later live in for a spell.
Onward to “Tight”: it’s the perfect party song, the perfect let loose song, the perfect go nuts song in whatever capacity works for the listener – spanning the gamut from moshing to having it in a key spot on a party playlist to hitting the cardio circuit at the gym extra hard. Like the best songs from a group of bands that includes The Suicide Machines, Fishbone*, Operation Ivy, and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, “Tight” intertwines elements of ska, punk rock, and metal to create a hyper charged sound that for me is one of my most favorite things about music.
* John “Norwood” Fisher and Philp “Fish” Fisher from Fishbone helped produce The Best of Times, which makes perfect sense.
Also, something you’ll rarely see me write: dig that sax!
“0.01” doesn’t have quite the compact, high-octane firepower of “Tight,” but it’s very effective in its own right, with a tasty metal guitar riff that segues into a fantastic ska groove.
Murphy’s Law is a party band in its heart of hearts, and that comes across loud and clear in the super fun and, um, unique take on Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s classic, “Ebony & Ivory.”
Personal stuff that’s somehow related to Murphy’s Law’s The Best of Times
As I mentioned, there are many stories related to trips involving my Binghamton crew heading up to see our friends in Buffalo. A particularly silly one deeply involves the 1983 movie, WarGames, starring Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy.
If you’ve never seen it, it’s a fun throwback movie but may feel much more disturbing and prescient these days given Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine (plus very recent signs of deep instability within Russia’s power structure) and overall geopolitical tensions.
Anyway, a group of us stayed up late (read: very late) one night waiting to see if our friend Tony would show up. Long story short: Tony never showed up, but it kind of became an excuse to talk about whatever shenanigans popped into our heads.
And oh, there was a lot of shenanigans popping going on into those early morning hours.
We eventually fixated on WarGames, and began to pose different hypothetical questions about characters within the film. What would happen if X character wrestled Y character, who would win? And so forth.
At one point, things rose to the ludicrous levels of musing about whether Bo, the name of a dog in the film who may have only been in a single scene, would or would not defeat WOPR (an acronym for a computer within the movie that stands for War Operation Plan Response) in a hypothetical wrestling contest involving dog versus machine.
Like I said, ludicrous. But it still makes me chuckle to this day thinking about it.
It may well have been the best of times, I suppose.
Some stats & info about Murphy’s Law – The Best of Times
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Hardcore Punk, Metal, Ska Punk
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 3 out of 5 stars
- When was The Best of Times released? 1991
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #419 out of 1,000
Murphy’s Law’s The Best of Times on Spotify
A lyrical snippet from Murphy’s Law’s The Best of Times that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe
This crowd is tight, tight. Gonna party all night, night.
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.