Rancid – Rancid (5): #340 of best 1,000 albums ever!

So why is Rancid (5) on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

When Rancid (5) was released in 2000 – the second (sort of) self-titled album from the Bay Area punk rock legends – I was pretty taken aback at first.

After the melodic ska punk brilliance of …And Out Come The Wolves and the wildly eclectic and exciting Life Won’t Wait, this fifth Rancid album felt like an outright assault on my ears.

But once I settled in with it for a bit – and really took in its 22 songs that screams along for 38 ultra-tight minutes and change – I realized how great Rancid (5) is.

All Music corroborates these thoughts, calling Rancid (5), “…the harshest and most consistent album of their career. It wouldn’t be entirely accurate to say that they’ve left their influences behind; rather, they’ve integrated them more completely and created a sound that is completely satisfying without having to prove anything about its own originality.”

The opening track, “Don Giovanni,” is intended to remind you that Rancid is a band fully prepared to dominate your eardrums – in this case with 35 seconds of punk rock fury.

But really it’s songs like “Let Me Go,” my favorite on the album, that I’ve come to realize are pure Rancid classics: magnificently catchy hooks under the hood of aggressive punk rock but leavened with enough of a melodic feel to make it eminently and endlessly listenable.

And then “Radio Havana,” the 14th of the 22 tracks, has the feel of a classic Rancid song, with a big, arena rock-style chorus, and which could easily have been one of the better songs on any number of the band’s releases.

“Loki” is one of a number of ear crushing punk rockers that get better and better for me upon repeat listens. Special shoutout to the fantastic work here and throughout by bassist Matt Freeman (who was also the bass player for Operation Ivy, one of my favorite bands of ever).

“Golden Gate Fields” holds a special place for me as I used to ride my bike past it (a horse racing track in Berkeley) fairly often when I lived in San Francisco’s East Bay back in the day.

Some stats & info about Rancid (5)

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Punk Rock, SF Bay Area Bands
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4 out of 5 stars
  • When was Rancid (5) released? 2000
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #340 out of 1,000

Rancid (5) on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from Rancid (5) that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

This is not Churchill Downs, this is not Hollywood Park.

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.