Guess what! Canadian rock icons Sloan are headlining Toronto’s Festival of Beer on Saturday, July 29 to help celebrate our country’s 150th birthday festivities. The legendary hit-makers will close off the best day party in Toronto this summer and tickets are going fast. General Admission tickets are only $42.50, Hoptimize tickets are Sold Out, and VIP tickets are SOLD OUT! Make sure you grab your tickets now, while you still can:
Use code BEER to save $5 off General Admission Tickets!
In the spirit of this great news, we thought it would be great to rank every Sloan album that ever was. We know, there is a lot to cover, but we thought we could take a trip down memory lane with you and listen to some iconic Canadian tunes that will keep you humming all day. So crank up the volume on your computers and get ready to enjoy the complete list of Sloan nostalgia. Enjoy!
Action Pact (2003)
Action Pact isn’t Sloan’s best bunch of songs, and at this stage of the game there’s a certain formulaic same-ness to much of what the band does, but this is still a consistently entertaining batch of tunes. It’s comprised primarily of short, punchy rockers primarily written by Chris Murphy and Patrick Pentland.
Some great songs to listen to on this album are: “Hollow Head”; “I Was Wrong”; “Ready For You”; and even “Who Loves Life More?” just to name a few.
Double Cross (2011)
Double Cross came out when Sloan was celebrating their 20th anniversary. The title signifies just that: two crosses in Roman numerals being 20. This is the type of record that makes you want to talk about every song individually, despite the fact that it flows perfectly as a complete album. As great as all these songs are individually though, they sound best together, and hearing them in relation to one another reveals things about them that are harder to catch when they’re separated.
Some great tracks to listen to on here are: “The Answer Was You”; “Laying So Low”; “Your Daddy Will Do”; and “Unkind.”
Commonwealth is the 11th studio album that Sloan has released and when it came out, It was a very interesting time for the band. As they grew in popularity, fans had noticed how musically gifted each of the members were and people started asking when each band member would come out with their own individual solo projects.
As Ferguson states in an interview with Noisey (Source), each of the band members had talked about working on solo projects for quite some time but they all agreed how obnoxious it would be to do it. Instead, they decided to create one two-disc Sloan album that had each side dedicated to songs that the individual band members had wrote. It was very creative and experimental which is why this piece is definitely worth checking out.
Pretty Together (2001)
This album is more serious and mellower than Sloan’s previous albums. It lacks the band’s customary playfulness and serious attempts at rocking out. Particularly on side two which is overstuffed with what I personally think is too many “soft rock” ballads.
On the plus side, some great songs on this album include “If It Feels Good Do It”; “The Other Man”; Dreaming Of You”; “It’s In Your Eyes”; and “Your Dreams Have Come True.”
Parallel Play (2008)
Parallel Play is the album that followed Never Hear the End of It and has been referred to as a fusion of that album’s strengths. Each song on Parallel Play winds into each other with a consistency unlike any other Sloan album prior to this.
Some great tracks from this album are “Believe In Me”; “Cheap Champagne”; “All I Am Is All You’re Not”; and “Witch’s Wand.”
Between the Bridges (1999)
What’s interesting about Between the Bridges is how autobiographical the lyrics are and how seamless the song-to-song transitions are. Some tracks that truly stand out on this album are: “The N.S.”; “Beyond Me”; “Don’t You Believe A Word”; “Friendship.” It’s arguably the band’s most cohesive album to date and when all is said and done, as with most Sloan albums this is one where you can simply press play and be assured of 40+ minutes of entertaining music. This album continues to cement Sloan’s legacy as one of the best, if not sadly overlooked bands of the 1990s.
4 Nights At the Palais Royale (1999)
4 Nights At the Palais Royale is a largely enjoyable memento made for the fans. It’s the only live Sloan album we’re going to cover in this blog because it is by far their best. It gives listeners a glimpse of Sloan at the height of their career and it captures a lot of what made them so popular at that time. Highlights include a great rendition of “G Turns to D” and “Money City Maniacs.”
Despite it always being a gamble for a band to come out with a live album, the reason this works so well is because it shows the band having fun. They rip through some of their best hits and when the crowd cheers you get the feel of what the energy is like at their shows.
Navy Blues (1998)
Navy Blues was the fourth studio album released by Sloan and it was released under their independent label Murderecords. Like most other Sloan albums, this piece has a consistent stream of infectious melodies, clever lyrics, and exuberant performances. It’s one of the bands heavier albums for sure, with a more down and dirty feel to it.
Songs worth listening to on this album are “Iggy & Angus”; “Money City Maniacs”; “She Says What She Means”; “C’mon C’mon (We’re Gonna Get It Started)”; “Chester the Molester,” and “I Wanna Thank You.” No matter what you are looking for on this album, much like other Sloan albums, offers catchy and instantly memorable tracks that will keep you humming for a long time.
Smeared is the band’s first full length album and shows Sloan in their fuzz-roots prime. It starts with their hit song “Underwhelmed” that truly cemented them as a key player in the 90s rock scene. The album also features the catchy, crisp and clean three part harmony of “500 Up,” a song definitely worth listening to if you haven’t already heard it. The album is also Sloan’s first raid into power pop, the style and sound that would be embedded in their future albums.
Never Hear The End Of It (2006)
Never Hear The End Of It was the answer to Action Pact. The band’s intent was to make a 180 degree album that was able to show the depth of what the band was capable of, especially after the criticism they received from the music they made on the previous album without Andrew Scott.
What’s great about this album is that these songs are inextricably linked together. This album shows that the bands newfound freedom at the time had obviously inspired them, as there’s no shortage of standout songs, such as “Flying High Again,” “Who Taught You to Live Like That?,” “Listen To The Radio,” “Fading Into Obscurity,” “Right Or Wrong,” “Before the End of the Race,” “I Understand,” “Can’t You Figure It Out?,” “Set In Motion,” “I Know You,” and “Last Time In Love.”
One Chord To Another (1996)
If you know anything about Sloan, then you know that this album was the one that almost never was. Which is unfortunate considering it’s arguably one of their best.
In a nut-shell, the album was essentially abandoned by their former record label which forced the band in to hiatus for a while. Luckily they re-emerged with the backing of Universal Music after they started their own label called Murderecords.
Jay Ferguson has even gone on record stating that One Chord To Another is his personal favourite because of the growth the band went through during this time. It make sense when you think about it – you really connect with people when you are able to fight through the trenches with them. Ferguson goes on to say that the album is ‘meaningful because it meant they were back in control of their career.’ You can read the full interview here.
Twice Removed (1994)
Two years after Twice Removed was released, Chart magazine voted it the best Canadian album of all time. It’s Sloan’s quietest record, replacing the recurring distortion of “Smeared” with more dynamics throughout. It’s a timeless piece that never sounds dated and uses retro rock staples, mixed in with the slacker, lo-fi vibe of the ’90s. (Source)