Our Plain White T’s songs list looks at a band that were first formed in Lombard, Illinois in 1997 and who had a huge number one hit in 2005. When they first formed they were a trio comprising of singer Tom Higgenson, bassist Ken Fletcher and drummer Dave Tirio. When they first started playing most of their shows were local and as they gained more of a following they recruited Steve Mast on guitar.
In 2000, the band recorded their first album titled Come On Over. Then in 2002 they released their second album Stop. Both of these were independent releases Soon after this Fletcher and Mast both left and were replaced by Tim Lopez and Mike Retondo. A year later Tirio switched to guitar and Der’Mar Hamilton joined on drums.
In 2005 this new line-up recorded the band’s third album All That We Needed which featured the band’s most well known song “Hey There Delilah.” A year they released their fourth album Everything Counts. This album featured a new version of “Hey There Delilah” with a string section. After this the song reached number on the Billboard Hot 100 and received two Grammy Nominations.
Their fifth album Big Bad World was released in 2008. It had two hit singles which both reached number one and two on the American Top forty. During this time the band embarked on several successful tours as well as making regular appearances on the festival circuit.
The next album released in 2010 was titled The Wonders of the Younger. This album featured the single “Rhythm of Love” which was a top ten hit.
It would be another years before the release of the Plain White T’s seventh album was released which was titled American Nights. In 2017 they returned to the Fearless label which they had left in 2005. The most recent album Parallel Universe was released in 2018. In 2020, Tirio quit the band, leaving Higgenson as the only original member.
# 10 – American Nights
Kicking off our Top Ten Plain White T’s songs is the title track of seventh album released in 2015. The album was originally scheduled to be released in 2014 but was pushed back due to creative differences in the band. After the album was completed, they left their label Hollywood Records. The record received a somewhat mediocre critical reception.
# 9 – Wonders of the Younger
Up next is the title track of the Plain White T’s sixth album released in 2010 that was produced by Ian Kirkpatrick. The apparent intention behind the album was to invoke the feelings of missed youth. It received a mixed response from critics and commercially performed averagely getting to number twenty-three on the Top Rock Albums chart.
# 8 – Big Bad World
Next we have another title track, this time of the Plain White T’s fifth album released in 2008. With this album the band wanted to create music that would get them recognised beyond “Hey There Delilah.” Most of the album was written while the band was on the road. They approached the recording of this album as if it was a record from the 1960’s. Part of this process involved recording everyone separately in order to layer the guitars. Tom Higgenson stated that he was inspired by The Beatles during the recording of this album. It was produced by Johnny K and Andy Wallace who decided to “let the ambience of the room fill out the recording.” In order to get this kind of sound the whole thing was recorded in one room with no headphones and with PA Monitors and Wedges. The drums were also recorded completely live. However, despite all of this, the album, like most of the band’s records, received a mixed critical reception.
# 7 – Should’ve Gone To Bed
This song is the title track of the Plain White T’s third ep released in 2013. A video of the song was produced the same year. The ep was produced by Joe Zook. The song shows the band going in a very commercial direction, moving away from their earlier emo-punk sound into a more pop-rock sound that is reminiscent of bands such as Bon Jovi and Maroon 5.
# 6 – Rhythm of Love
Here we have the first single from the Plain White T’s sixth album Wonders of the Younger. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at ninety-six and peaked at number thirty-eight. It was featured on a couple of soundtracks such as the tv series “Parenthood” and the film “No String Attached.” It is a very easy-listening number which has a singer-songwriter vibe to it.
# 5 – 1, 2, 3, 4
This next track was the second single from the band’s album Big Bad Word from 2008 which is actually their fifth album but is their third to have a worldwide release. When this was released it got to number thirty-four on Billboard Hot 100 and it has since reached platinum status. It is an acoustically performed track that has been compared to their earlier hit “Hey There Delilah.”
# 4 – Natural Disaster
This was the first single from Big Bad World. Upon its release it got to number twenty-five on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 charts and thirty-eight on the Hot Modern Rock Charts. The track had its own music video which featured the actress Tiffany Dupont. It is also available as a playable track on the games Rock Band and Rock Band 2.
# 3 – Our Time Now
At number three we have the third single from the Plain White T’s fourth album Everything Counts released in 2006. It got to number ninety on the Billboard Hot 100 and twenty-nine on the US Modern Rock charts. It got some helpful promotion by being featured on American Idol two years later which helped it to jump significantly higher on the iTunes charts.
# 2 – Hate (I Really Don’t Like You)
Just off the top spot is the debut single from Everything Counts. It is a classic example of the band’s earlier emo-rock sound before they went in more of a mature pop direction. An acoustic version is also available on the Best Buy edition of the album. It charted on the US alternative chart at number twenty-five.
# 1 – Hey There Delilah
And so at the top spot on our Plain White T’s songs list is the band’s biggest biggest hit from their third album All That We Needed released in 2005. After receiving more radio and video airplay it reached number one on the US Billboard. As stated in the introduction of the article, there is another version with a string section that was included as a bonus track on Everything Counts. The song has become to be regarded as a modern pop rock classic that has had a lot of covers by various artists. It was praised critically upon its release and was nominated for two Grammy Awards in 2008.
Plain White T’s article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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