Eels – Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006 Vol. 1: #397 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Eels - Meet the Eels - Essential Eels 1996-2006 Vol. 1

So why is Meet the Eels Vol. 1 on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

I first became familiar with Eels by way of its inclusion in Road Trip. More on the movie from 2000 below, but I want to start with a song that – like so many produced by Eels (which is essentially the project masterminded by Mark Oliver Everett a.k.a. “E”) – is beautiful, catchy, somewhat offbeat, and ultimately pleasing all at the same time.

It’s called “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues.”

Perhaps because I tie the song with Road Trip, I track “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues” as an idyllic road song. And if you’re anything like me, I find the line, “Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day,” as about the most life affirming and optimistic words in the English language that are possible to string together.

As a whole, Meet the Eels: Essential Eels 1996-2006 Vol. 1 is stacked and packed with delightful selections that pull together Eels’ better known songs* in addition to a number of deep cut gems.

* I suspect music heads and indie rock fans are well familiar with Eels, but they may not be on the radar of most music fan civilians.

“Novocaine For the Soul” starts off with an almost cheerfully weird Tom Waits-ish section before segueing into a gorgeous and earnest rock number. I’m reminded too of how uniquely offbeat and expressive E’s voice is and how much it adds to the band’s sound.

While Essential Eels spans the band’s output over a ten period, there’s a strong throughline in terms of their sound. The consistency is an absolute strength with songs like “Flyswatter” to show off in the mix.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to Meet the Eels Vol. 1

Road Trip is an above average raunchy campus comedy-meets-road trip comedy. If that kind of thing appeals to you, you are well advised to check it out.

The cast is pretty fantastic, and includes Breckin Meyer, Sean William Scott (Stifler from the American Pie movies), Amy Smart (who is just great in Just Friends, a rom com with Ryan Reynolds that my wife and I have a lot of time for), DJ Qualls, Tom Green (by far my favorite performance of his), Fred Ward (as the crusty dad, of course), and Paulo Costanzo (who I always like in everything).

The Road Trip soundtrack is also great, and in addition to Eel’s “Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues,” features songs such as Run-D.M.C.’s “It’s Tricky” (which is deployed, in the movie at the perfect time and moment), Twisted Sister’s “I Want to Rock,” and Supergrass’ “Pumping On Your Stereo.”

Some stats & info about Meet the Eels Vol. 1

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Indie Rock, SoCal Bands, Alternative Pop
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Meet the Eels Vol. 1 released? 2008
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #397 out of 1,000

Meet the Eels Vol. 1 on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Meet the Eels Vol. 1 that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

Goddamn right it’s a beautiful day.

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