Our Top 10 Filter Songs presents an American band known for their magnificent contribution to industrial rock. Singer and guitarist Richard Patrick would join hands with Brian Liesegang to form Filter after leaving his former band Nine Inch Nails. While most bands begin their journey slow and pick up momentum as they release albums, Filter defied the odds by striking success with their debut album, Short Bus. Specifically, the controversial song “Hey Man Nice Shot” awarded the band much-needed critical acclaim. Critics were quick to point out that the song “Hey Man Nice Shot” capitalized on the public suicide of politician Budd Dwyer. The band also had difficulty fighting the rumors that musician Kurt Cobain’s suicide inspired the song. This didn’t stop the song from awarding the band commercial success in the soundtrack for the 1995 movie Takes from the Crypt: Demon Knight.
Filter had a couple of problems, including Patrick’s heavy alcohol and drug abuse, which led to a hiatus. Founders Richard Patrick and Brian Liesegang would initially part owing to their creative differences. While Liesegang wished to explore more electronic sounds, Patrick opted for heavy guitar-oriented sounds. Despite all the differences and multiple issues amongst different Filter band members, Richard Patrick remained true to his vision sticking to the band all through and helping revive it after hiatus. Here are the top 10 Filter songs that convey the best of the band’s composition and performances in its majorly industrial rock acts.
#10 – Jurassitol
We open the top 10 Filter songs with the hit song “Jurassitol,” which received critical acclaim at its release. “Jurassitol” showcases the rawness and true industrial heaviness of this iconic band. However, the power and emotion exhibited by Richard Patrick make this ballad a masterpiece. Filter recorded and filmed a video for this song for use in the soundtrack for The Crow: City of Angels. In some way, the song touches on how the older generation lives out their lives while holding no concern for the younger generation to follow.
#9 – Happy Together
Featured on their 2009 album, The Stepfather is a cover song, “Happy Together,” originally done by The Turtles. While the song possesses the title “Happy Together,” you might be quick to think that it is about a couple in love. Songwriter Gary Bonner revealed that the song was more about unrequited love. It all starts with the desperate guy trying to have the lady imagine what they would become. However, when he realizes that they will never be more than passing acquaintances, he resorts to small talk to avoid shedding tears of disappointment.
#8 – What Do You Say
“What Do You Say” is an awe-inspiring song from the band’s 2013 album The Sun Comes Out Tonight. Written by Richard Patrick alongside Jon Radtke and Bob Marlette, the song would be inspired by listening to Kasabian, a British rock band. Patrick revealed that “What Do You Say” is a take on the constant noise level in the current society. Lyrics to the song were centered around the conversation that guitarist Jon and producer Bob had regarding global warming.
#7 – No Love
Filter’s 2010 album, The Trouble With Angels, had quite some hit songs, among them “No Love.” The band can get great with words and expressions, with songs alluding to temptations and seduction. Rather than a celebratory tale, the song “No Love” suggests a cautionary tale about the dangers of lust, anger, and resentment. The lyrics later point at how all these can lead to the dark side of power and eroticism.
#6 – One
Featured on the band’s album, Title of Record, is a cover of “One” by the American singer and songwriter Harry Nilsson. While tons of artists have done covers to the song, Three Dog Night’s version trended at number five on the Billboard Hot 100. Filter tried to match up to the other acts of the song for the 1998 film The X-Files: Fight the Future.
#5 – Welcome to the Flood
There are two words that can describe the ballad “Welcome to the Flood,” which is melodic and heavy! You can’t help but love their heavy instrumental vibe that brings the best out of Richard Patrick’s love for industrial rock. His vocals are so strong, showcasing his shift from his famous screams or growls to some smooth singing sound. The guitar riffs give “Welcome to the Flood” the true rock vibe making it one of Filter’s best songs.
#4 – The Best Things
Next in the top 10 Filter songs is “The Best Things” from the band’s album, Title of Record. As evidenced by this song, the theme of spotlights serves as a metaphor for getting nowhere in life. This means achieving none of your great dreams. And true it sometimes that life or rather success seems to be down the road. Unfortunately, however, our cars are just stalled, so we can’t get there—quite sad facts on a song that was a hit in its time.
#3 – Where Do We Go From Here
“Where Do We Go From Here” was one of the band’s best releases, having peaked at the number 11 and 12 in the Hot Modern Rock Tracks and Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks Charts. Featured on the band’s album, The Amalgamut, the song is a mournful cry reflecting on young people’s confusion at paths they ought to take and choices they need to make. In a society that makes those seeking to find glory in their destiny, scraped and bruised, the solution to the hardships is neither stopping nor committing suicide.
#2 – Take a Picture
Featured on the band’s album Title of Record, “Take a Picture” is by far the most memorable song by Filters on this album release. Richard Patrick revealed that the song was about him getting messy while on a flight after consuming booze. Under the influence of alcohol, Richard took off all his clothes and even fought the flight attendants as they strained to subdue him. Later on, the band would temporarily halt their career following Richard’s alcohol and drug abuse.
#1 – Hey Man Nice Shot
Our number one in the top 10 Filter song is “Hey Man Nice Shot” from the band’s 1995 debut album, Short Bus. The song is about Budd Dwyer, who was tried and found guilty of conspiracy, taking bribes, and fraud. As a result, he would call a press conference where he took his gun and committed suicide. Richard said in an interview that the “Hey Man Nice Shot” was a strange but unique way to talk about suicide. While the song received both negative and positive reception, it remains the best release by the band.
Top 10 Filter Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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