The Posies were an alt-rock band from the state of Washington that got started in the mid-1980s before securing a measure of mainstream recognition in the 1990s. Given that, interested individuals might guess they were involved in Seattle’s grunge scene. However, the Posies were very much an indie band, so it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that they were better described as power pop with considerable inspiration from British beat music and its successors. Two individuals – Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow – made up the core members of the band from start to finish. As such, they were the creative engine behind the Posies’ output, though their bandmates’ influence can be glimpsed here and there throughout the band’s body of work.
Top 10 Songs By the Posies
#10 – Throwaway
In 1996, the Posies released their fourth studio album Amazing Disgrace. Auer and Stringfellow wrote its songs. “Throwaway” was no exception to that rule. It never saw release as a single. Still, some remember the song with fondness because of its lyrics and guitar play. “Throwaway” seems to be a song about fear – the fear of confrontation, the fear of revelation, and how those fears can spread throughout someone’s life like poison racing through their bloodstream.
#9 – Flavor of the Month
“Flavor of the Month” comes from the studio album Frosting on the Beater, which came out in 1993. That would have been around the time when grunge bands were breaking into the mainstream. As such, it is popular speculation that “Flavor of the Month” was meant as a swipe against the genre. With that said, the song’s lyrics are ambiguous enough that some people interpret them as a broader attack against the ever-shifting trends in popular music as a whole.
#8 – Dream All Day
“Dream All Day” was yet another song from Frosting on the Beater. Specifically, it was the lead single, though it never made much of an impact on the music charts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, “Dream All Day” is a dreamier sort of song with considerable psychedelic influence, which is why people described it as retro-psychedelia back in the day. What is interesting is that “Dream All Day” has a clear message. Dreams are important, but at the same time, dreams can also be dangerous for those who get too caught up in them.
#7 – I May Hate You Sometimes
This song comes from an earlier point in the Posies’ career. In short, Auer and Stringfellow recorded 12 songs in the Auer family studio. The songs were meant to attract potential band members but instead turned into their first self-released studio album Failure in 1988. “I May Hate You Sometimes” is one of them. Some listeners have compared it to British beat music from the late 1950s and early 1960s reinterpreted for new times, though that can be a rather contentious point to argue when British beat music has influenced so many genres across so many decades. Whatever the case, “I May Hate You Sometimes” is a love song. The title might not make it seem like it. However, every use of the title in the lyrics is followed by an affirmation of eternal love.
#6 – Burn & Shine
“Burn & Shine” is one of the songs from Frosting on the Beater that never saw release as a single. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It is one of those songs that are best enjoyed after getting into the right mood by listening to the songs that preceded it on the same studio album. Amusingly, “Burn & Shine” has a much hazier message than “Dream All Day,” which is assuming that there is a message buried underneath the references of phoenixes and Hiawatha waiting to be uncovered at all. Still, that works surprisingly well, not least because the song shares the same fuzzed-out guitar play as so many of its counterparts.
#5 – Golden Blunders
After Failure, the Posies got enough attention to get a record deal with a major record label. Thanks to that, they had their major record label debut with the single “Golden Blunders” from the studio album Dear 23 in 1990. This is one of their three songs that managed to place on the music charts, as shown by its eventual peak at the number 17 position on the Billboard Alternative Airplay. “Golden Blunders” is a joyous song about a not particularly joyous subject. The lyrics make it very clear they are telling the story of a couple who got married too young because of an unplanned pregnancy, thus putting them on the path to divorce and disappointment. It is interesting to mention that Ringo Starr covered this song in 1992, perhaps because the name “Golden Blunders” was a play on The Beatles’ “Golden Slumbers.”
#4 – Flood of Sunshine
Chances are good interested individuals can guess that “Flood of Sunshine” never saw release as a single for Dear 23 as soon as they see its length. After all, more than eight minutes is a bit much. There are singles with that kind of length, but they are rare for very good reasons. Still, “Flood of Sunshine” had an important job of its own because it closed Dear 23 as a whole. Its sheer optimism makes it as overwhelming as the Posies get, thus enabling it to live up to its name.
#3 – Daily Mutilation
“Daily Mutilation” is the song that opened Amazing Disgrace. Its lyrics are somewhat disturbing. However, “Daily Mutilation” still stands out well because of its dynamic drumming, which is presumably a product of the lineup changes. In particular, Brian Young was the drummer for this song and its album-mates, which is notable because Young was also the drummer for Fountains of Wayne.
#2 – Coming Right Along
“Coming Right Along” is the second-to-last song from Frosting on the Beater that will show up on this list. It is another long-running song like “Flood of Sunshine.” The critical difference is that it paints a very bleak picture while still encouraging its listener to be optimistic because there is reason to hope even if they can’t see it. Thanks to this, “Coming Right Along” is quite good at cheering people up, perhaps because its acknowledgment of the situation makes it feel more real. Certainly, something got the song chosen for The Basketball Diaries soundtrack.
#1 – Solar Sister
The last song from Frosting on the Beater to show up on this list is “Solar Sister.” It was the second single sandwiched between “Dream All Day” and “Definite Door.” Even though “Solar Sister” never made it onto the music charts, there are a lot of people who consider it the single best representation of the Posies’ music. Its lyrics aren’t readily decipherable, though they are known to be a reference to the great American novel Sister Carrie. The band itself has commented about the song expressing admiration for someone who doesn’t necessarily admire herself, which does seem as though it would be in line with the novel.
Top 10 Songs By The Posies article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
Classicrockhistory.com claims ownership of all its original content and Intellectual property under United States Copyright laws and those of all other foreign countries. No one person, business, or organization is allowed to re-publish any of our original content anywhere on the web or in print without our permission. All photos used are either public domain creative commons photos or licensed officially from Shutterstock under license with ClassicRockHistory.com. All photo credits have been placed at the end of the article. Album Cover Photos are affiliate links and the property of Amazon and are stored on the Amazon server. Any theft of our content will be met with swift legal action against the infringing websites.