Our top 10 Our Lady Peace songs list digs deep into the music of one of the best rock ensembles from Canada. The band was formed by guitarist Mike Turner (currently a member of Crash Karma) back in the early ’90s. Mike posted an ad in a newspaper in search of artists to collaborate with for a new band. Vocalist Raine Maida was quick to respond even though he was a student by that time. Mike and Raine teamed up to form a band going by the moniker As If. The two would later tag Jim Newell and Paul Martin in their new band to play drums and bass respectively.
However, Paul Martin departed from the band after several performances with the band at local gigs. His position was taken by Chris Eacrett, who was selected after an audition. After some while, the band’s name evolved to Our Lady Peace. A poem by Mark Van Doren inspired the band’s new moniker. Our Lady Peace went on to perform gigs alongside other acts including the Canadian rock band The Tea Party. In 1993, Our Lady Peace signed a recording contract with Sony Music Canada, where the band released its debut album Naveed (1994). Jeremy Taggart would join the band as a drummer replacing Jim Newell.
While the first single from the band’s debut album, “The Birdman,” failed to receive critical acclaim, the second single, “Starseed,” performed fairly on the charts. The band went on tour after the release of its album, performing as a supporting act to 54-40 and I Mother Earth. Our Lady Peace would also open for Van Halen, Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin, Jimmy Page, and Alanis Morissette. After touring in promotion of its debut album, the band started working on a sophomore album.
However, musical differences saw the band lose its bassist Chris Eacrett with his place taken by Duncan Coutts. The band later released its sophomore album Clumsy (1997), which was a success. Thanks to the outstanding hits featured on the album that Our Lady Peace was regarded as one of the leading acts in the flourishing Canadian rock scene. With sales surpassing the one million mark, Clumsy (1997) was certified Platinum in the US.
The band returned to the studio for the recording of its third studio album, Happiness… Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch (1999). Our Lady Peace saw the album debut at number one on the Canadian Album Chart. The album featured several reputable hits, including “Is Anybody Home?” “Thief,” and “One Man Army.” Inspired by The Age of Spiritual Machines, a book by Ray Kurzweil, Our Lady Peace released the album Spiritual Machines (2000). However, the album performed not as great as its predecessors.
A change in the musical direction that almost caused the band to break up. This also saw Mike Turner quit an ensemble he founded. The band also dropped its producer Arnold Lanni taking Bob Rock, who had worked with Mötley Crüe, 311, Metallica, Aerosmith, and Bon Jovi, to be its new producer. Mike Turner’s lead guitarist role was taken up by Steve Mazur. The band later released its fifth studio album, Gravity (2002) which saw Our Lady Peace receive diverse reviews. While many appreciated the band’s new musical direction, others felt like the shift from its sound was sudden and unnecessary.
Despite the uproar from critics, several songs from the album, including “Somewhere Out There,” were critically acclaimed, helping upgrade the band’s status. Again, the band was almost on the verge of a breakup during the release of its sixth studio album Healthy in Paranoid Times (2005). However, the band managed to stabilize its boat amidst the rough tides and maintained its influence on the Canadian rock scene. Our Lady Peace remains a huge name in the rock scene, with the band being among the best-selling acts in Canada. Here we present the best songs from Our Lady Peace, a band that holds the most MuchMusic Video Awards accolades.
#10 – Life
Opening our top 10 Our Lady Peace songs is the rip-roaring hit “Life.” The song was penned by Raine Maida and is featured on the band’s album Spiritual Machines (2000). “Life” is a song that alludes to positive energy, which is key to getting through this tough life. The song was nominated for the Best Single Award at the 2002 Juno Awards. However, it lost to the alternative rock hit “How You Remind Me” by Nickelback. Nevertheless, the song rose to number twenty-seven on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.
“Thief” is a sad song featured on the band’s third album, Happiness… Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch (1999). Its lyrics allude to the many kids who succumb to terminal illnesses every year. Our Lady Peace dedicated the song to Mina Kim, a friend to the band’s lead vocalist Maida who succumbed to death due to a brain tumor. The song’s title is metaphoric to how the tumor robbed Mina Kim of her life. “Thief” peaked at number five on the Canadian Alternative Top 30 Chart.
#8 – Starseed
In a total of twenty-five minutes, Our Lady Peace managed to write and record one of their best songs. Crazy, right? This was revealed by the band’s lead vocalist Raine Maida in an interview where he said that the song was penned for five minutes and took twenty extra minutes to record it. The song was released as the second single of the band’s album Naveed (1994). “Starseed” was featured on the soundtrack to the sci-fi film Armageddon.
#7 – Is Anybody Home?
Released on the band’s third studio album, Happiness… Is Not a Fish That You Can Catch (1999) is the gloomy song “Is Anybody Home?” The song alludes to consoling a soul that is desperate for human attention. Through the song, Our Lady Peace captures the theme of loneliness that the humans face by spending most of their time on tech and gadgets. The song peaked at number twenty on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.
#6 – One Man Army
Coming in at number six on our top 10 Our Lady Peace songs is “One Man Army.” The song is the lead single to the band’s third studio album. “One Man Army” alludes to sanitizing oneself of all things and people that suffocate your individuality. The song rose to number seventy on the UK Singles Chart.
#5 – 4 AM
A symbolic title for a song is all the band came up with when penning the hit “4 AM,” a song featured on Clumsy (1997). Maida and producer Arnold Lanni collaborated in penning the lyrics to this song which was solely inspired by Maida’s dream about his dad. This upbeat hit is best known for its awe-inspiring poetic lyrics. The song’s title points us to two symbolic aspects: The first is the band writing the song at four in the morning and the second being Maida’s father Anthony Maida, whose initials are AM. “4 AM” was highly appreciated in Canada than in the US.
#4 – Superman’s Dead
Released on the band’s sophomore album Clumsy (1997) is the guitar-driven hit “Superman’s Dead.” The song alludes to the dark expectations obtained from too much interaction with the media. Specifically, the band mentions how hard it is for a kid to grow up for children around tech, which puts pressure on how they present themselves and even dress. The song peaked at number eleven on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart.
#3 – Innocent
Our number three-song “Innocent” takes us back to Our Lady Peace’s album Gravity (2002). Despite parting ways with its founder Mike Turner’s, the band made big strides in the rock scene, having this album charting high in the US and Canada. The song was penned by the band’s vocalist Raine Maida with its lyrics alluding to people who go through suffering. Our Lady Peace references iconic artists in the song, including Kurt Cobain and John Lennon. The song peaked at number twenty on the Billboard Alternative Airplay chart.
Raine Maida is famed for his falsetto-controlled vocals, especially in the band’s earliest releases. However, his falsetto vocals are nowhere to be seen on this album titled song “Clumsy.” Nevertheless, the song became one of Our Lady Peace’s successful hits. The song peaked at number one on the Canada Top Singles while reaching number five on the Billboard Alternative Airplay. In addition, “Clumsy” is featured on the soundtrack to the 1997 slasher film I Know What You Did Last Summer.
#1- Somewhere Out There
Number one on our top 10 Our Lady Peace songs list is the heavily acclaimed hit “Somewhere Out There.” The song was penned by the band’s lead vocalist Raine Maida and featured on the album Gravity (2002). Its lyrics allude to the fantasy of hoping to rekindle a flame that went off in the past. “Somewhere Out There” is the band’s most successful release having the hit rise to number forty-four on the Billboard Hot 100.
Feature Photo: MonicaLewis1371, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
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