The alternative rock band known as Finger 11 originally hail from Burlington, Ontario, Canada. They first formed in 1990 the band’s name was originally Rainbow Butt Monkeys, and it was out of the community’s Lester B. Pearson High School where they attended. Most of the band’s founding members are still performing together except for their drummer, Rob Gommerman, who left in 1998. The rest of the roster, Scott Anderson (lead vocals and bass guitar), James Black (lead guitar and backing vocals), and Rick Jackett (rhythm guitar) still remain.
Of the seven albums the band has produced, only the first was recorded and released while still under the identity of Rainbow Butt Monkeys, which was in 1995. That album, Letters from Chutney, was then recorded and released as the result of prize money the band earned while competing on a rock search competition for Catharine, Ontario’s radio station 97.7 CHTZ (Hits) HTZ FM. The next six albums feature the changed band name of Finger 11, which they did in 1997. That name was chosen as an extraction from one of their demo tracks, “Thin Spirit.”
Their 2003 self-titled album managed to achieve Gold Certification with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) while Platinum Certification with Music Canada. It also won the 2006 International Achievement Award from the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). In 2008, the band’s 2007 album Them vs. You vs. Me earned Finger 11 won Canada’s Juno Award for Best Rock Album of the Year. It also since earned certifications of Gold with RIAA and Platinum with Music Canada. On the heels of that album came 2010’s Life Turns Electric, which earns itself a nomination for Best Rock Album of the Year with the 2011 Canadian Juno Awards, but lost out to Matthew Good and his album Vancouver. At present, Finger 11 is rated as among the top twenty-five Canadian bands to achieve commercial success based on the sales figures within Canada.
Top 10 Finger 11 Songs
#10 – Wolves and Doors
While most of the big music charts failed to rank the song “Wolves and Doors” from the band’s 2015 album Five Crooked Lines, it managed to earn enough popularity to rank fourth with Billboard Canada’s Alternative Rock Chart. Both the song and the album shows the direction of Finger 11 favoring alternative rock as opposed to some of their heavier, sometimes punkish material.
#9 – Drag You Down
The Greyest of Blue Skies is Finger 11’s third studio album, which releases the leading track “Drag You Down.” While the charts failed to give it a score of any kind, the fans loved the song and the album enough where there was at least a Juno Award nomination in 2001 for Album of the Year. The award went to Tragically Hip’s Music @ Work instead.
#8 – Slow Chemical
Fans of the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) programs that have used Finger 11’s music on more than one occasion, will recognize “Slow Chemical” as one of the official theme songs for the wrestling personality known as Kane. Fans of Kane are disappointed that the WWE no longer uses the single as part of the wrestler’s diabolical persona.
#7 – Good Times
Although the song “Good Times” from the band’s April 2003 self-titled album may not have been a big chart success, it’s still popular enough to earn over one million views as a music video, suggesting the popularity of the song is more than the music lists suggest. Among the culture of snowboarders, this is a must-have song as part of their inspiration to cut the snow up while on the slopes.
#6 – Whatever Doesn’t Kill Me
Moderately successful on the charts after its February 12, 2011 release from the band’s sixth album Life Turns Electric, where it does realize top spot with Billboard Canada’s Alternative Rock Chart. With the US Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart, it came in 33rd.
#5 – I’ll Keep Your Memory Vague
The chart success of Finger 11’s single from their 2007 single “I’ll Keep Your Memory Vague” saw it score within the top 20 songs between the various US Billboard and Billboard Canada lists with the exception of Canada’s Adult Contemporary which it reached 44th.
#4 – Falling On
Released in 2007, “Falling On” reached number one status with Canada’s Rock Top 30 Chart, As a music video, it achieved the top spot on the Much Music Countdown, thanks to the digitally white world backdrop with dots at its start. The dots briefly disappear, then reappear for the duration of the video performance until the near end. When the video is over, the white world background the band is standing in is all that”s left again.
#3 – Living in a Dream
During the 2011 edition of the World Wrestling Entertainment’s Royal Rumble Pay-Per-View event, the 2010 release of “Living in a Dream” was used as its theme song. Coming from the album Life Turns Electric, it ranked at the top spot with Billboard Canada’s Rock Song Chart, as well as US Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs at number ten.
#2 – One Thing
Coming from the band’s self-titled album, “One Thing” is credited to instrumentally catapulting Finger 11’s popularity that would make them a musical favorite among the fans of various rock music genres. The song found itself featured on a number of different television programs such as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Scrubs, Smallville, and Third Watch. It was also played by the World Wrestling Entertainment on its June 25, 2007, show as a tribute song towards Chris Benoit. The star wrestler, his wife, and their son were found dead in a murder-suicide shortly before the RAW episode started. During the 2005 Juno Awards, One Thing was nominated for Single of the Year but lost out to k-os and their single, “Crabbuckit.”
#1 – Paralyzer
Released in 2006 as what Scott Anderson describes is the most distinct single the band has ever produced, “Paralyzer” has proven to be the most successful song coming from the discography records of Finger 11. On the charts, it was at the very top with the US Billboard Alternative Airplay, the US Billboard Mainstream Rock, and among most of Canada’s top-ranking rock charts, with the exception of its Hot 100 Chart where it placed third. The US Billboard Hot 100 ranked Paralyzer at fifth place and it peaked at third with US Billboard Adult Contemporary, It has also earned Platinum Certification with Music Canada and double Platinum Certification with USA’s RIAA. The popularity of this song has also seen it featured in a variety of television series episodes and video games. During the 2008 Juno Awards, Paralyzer was nominated for Single of the Year, but “1234” from Feist got the win instead.
Top 10 Finger 11 Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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