Neutral Milk Hotel Songs Ranked

Neutral Milk Hotel Songs

Photo: The Deli New England, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Neutral Milk Hotel songs ranked article takes a look at we believe are their best 10 songs and puts them in order of our favorites. Neutral Milk Hotel but one of the great indie rock bands the decade of the 1990s. The group released a handful of albums especially there Masterpiece and called In The Aeroplane Over The Sea that inspired thousands of rock musicians to dig deep and try to compete with this incredible music band. While they may not have been the most popular band in the world at the time it would definitely a force in the Indie world the favorite of critics on both sides of the Atlantic.

Neutral Milk Hotel was first formed in the late 80s in the members hometown of Ruston Louisiana. The origins of the group began while its founding member Jeff Magnum  was still in high school. Jeff Mangum released his first single under the Neutral Milk Hotel band name entitled “Everything Is,” on the independent Cher Doll Records which was a label obviously named after the famous singer Cher originally of Sonny and Cher. Neutral Milk Hotel released their first entitled On Avery Island. The record was released in the United States during the Spring of 1996. It was a low-budget release that didn’t sell many copies. Determined to find an audience for his music, Jeff Magnum formed a band and went on the road while relocating in New York City. In 1998 Jeff Magnum along with musicians Jeremy Barnes on drums, Scott Spillane playing trumpet and Julian Foster on a whole bunch of weird instruments released the legendary album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea.

The In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album was a huge success for Jeff Magnum and his band Neutral Milk Hotel. It was not as dominating as many other bands of the 1990s were but it went  almost half gold selling three hundred and ninety three thousand copies in the United States. An album that sold that many copies released on an independent record label entitled merge records Was teamed a major success for the genre of independent music. The band would develop a huge cult following that would become somewhat of legend. The In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album helped find an audience also interested other artists on Merge records which found themselves then becoming being home to Arcade Fire’s Funeral album which broke into the Billboard top 200. The label would will also be the home for another great independent artist named M. Ward. This great artist would team up also with Zooey Deschanel and create a group called She and Him.

Although there’s not a lot of material to choose from as Neutral Neutral Milk Hotel did not release a lot of material, we believe the music that they did release plaed the significant role in classic rock history’s story of the 1990s independent music scene. So here are our 10 favorite Neutral Milk Hotel songs.

# 10 – Everything Is

We open up our top 10 Neutral Milk Hotel songs list with Jeff Magnum’s first single ever released entitled “Everything Is,” The song was recorded on a basic 4-track recorder so its pretty low quality. However, it’s not about the quality baby, it’s all about the song. This is a great one and it defines the crazy amount of talent just brewing from the guitar and pen of Jeff Magnum.

# 9 – Oh Comely

Continuing with our top 10 Neutral Milk Hotel songs list we turn for the first time to an album that eats up a lot of space on this top 10 Neutral Milk Hotel songs list. The great album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea  presents the song “Oh Comely.” The song was placed as the 8th track on the album. At over eight minutes long it stood as the longest track on the album. Its a gem of an acoustic guitar song played with such a haunting groove.

# 8 – Song Against Sex

At number eight on our Neutral Milk Hotel songs list is the great rocking songs Song Against Sex. The song was released on the album On Avery Island. Jeff Magnum sounds a little like The Kinks on this distorted 1960s sounding rock and roll gem.

# 7 – Ghost

Once again we turn to the fantastic and legendary In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album on our Neutral Milk Hotel songs list. The song “Ghost,” followed “Oh Comely,” on the album. This is actually a much more upbeat songs since “Oh Comely,” was just so slow and narrowing, so this fit nicely in its place. Jeremy Barnes is on fire on the drums on this track. His fills in between verses ignites the great groove and vocal of this Celtic style song. We love this one!

# 6 – I Will Bury You In Time

At number six on our Neutral Milk Hotel songs we turn to the rocking folk song “I Will Bury You In Time.” Jeff Magnum guitar work is quite interesting in this one. At times it almost sounds as if his guitar is out of tune or he is just hitting a wrong chord. But of course its probably all intentional anyway. In the end it doesn’t matter because he makes it work in this song in which he sounds just a little bit angry and that’s probably why the guitar sounds like it does.

# 5 – King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3

I think it would be safe to say that the song “King of Carrot Flowers Pts. 2 & 3” from the album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea stands as a fan favorite. There are some very interesting lyrics in the songs as Jeff Magnum sings in religious praise as maddening guitars explode around him and the sounds of horns fill the air until the band explodes in rocking fashion. It’s one of our favorite songs on the album.

# 4 – Two-Headed Boy Pt. 2

Like we said in the intro, this list would be filled with songs form the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album. At the number three spot on our Neutral Milk Hotel songs list is the tender acoustically strummed “Two-Headed Boy Pt.2.” It’s amazing how Jeff Magnum could set up a songs to make you almost teared eyed and then he would sing a lyric about feeling someone’s teeth and your like wait what did he just sing? So cool!

# 3 – Naomi

Boy one can really hear the impact that Kurt Cobain and Nirvana had on so many young musicians in the 1990s I remember teaching a young teenage student piano in 1992 and the kid went out to a cafe to perform and list his guitar amp on fie because he was so consumed with the music and image of Nirvana. That kid never played that club again although he did go on to have  a very cool band called Spinning Images. Anyways, I bring up the story because this song sounds just so inspired by Kurt Cobain and its such a great one. The song “Naomi,” was released on the album entitled On Avery Island.

# 2 – Holland, 1945

“Holland,1945,’ is another fan favorite Neutral Milk Hotel fans. The song was released on the In The Aeroplane Over The Sea album. This is probably the most upbeat track on the album. This one will make you just want to stand up and who knows what, because just when your about to dance and celebrate, you hear the lyrics of Jeff Magnum and you like well okay, uh sure. But in the end you know you love it.

# 1 – In the Aeroplane Over the Sea

Coming in at number one on our top 10 Neutral Milk Hotel songs list is the great title track to the album In The Aeroplane Over The Sea. This is Jeff Magnum’s song about the acceptance of life and death. He references Ann Frank in the song. He seems a man too understanding of life beyond his years. But that’s the hallmark of all great artists who deliver their greatest work in their youth just like Jeff Magnum did on this beautiful track.

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