The Hives were one of the key bands to emerge from the early 2000’s Garage Rock revival who were at the forefront of the movement along with bands such as The Strokes and The White Stripes.
They were first formed in 1993 in Fargersta, Sweden as The Hives although they had originally got together in 1989 with a different name and musical sound. It was suggested that they became a Garage Rock band by Randy Fitzsimmons who became their manager. In 1994 they recorded their first demo titled Sounds Luke Sushi. After signing to a Swedish indie label called Burning Heart they released their debut EP Oh Lord! When? How? Their first full length album Barely Legal was released in 1997.
In 2000 they released their second album Veni Vidi Vicious which included several singles including “Hate To Say I Told You So” After seeing this song’s promo video Alan McGee, the founder of Creation Records which is the label best known for initially signing Oasis, signed the band to his new label Poptones. On this label they released a compilation album titled Your New Favourite Band which, despite not being a proper album, ended up being their breakthrough record in the UK when it got to the album charts at number seven. Following the record’s success, they re-released a couple of singles which got into the top twenty in the UK. After this they got signed to Universal.
Four year later The Hives released their third album Tyrannosaurus Hives. The album had several successful singles including “Walk Idiot Walk” which got to number thirteen in the UK. This was followed in 2007 by The Black and White Album. Their most recent album was Lex Hives in 2012.
The Hives have always been acclaimed for their lives shows which are said to be very energetic. In particular frontman Howlin Peele Almqvist is known for his eccentric and off the wall stage persona. They are also known for their image in which all of the band always wear matching black suits with white ties and shoes and sometime jackets. The idea behind this is so they look like they belong together and that they mean business. In general, they are considered to be one of the best rock n roll bands of the 2000’s.
Here is a list of their top ten songs.
# 10 – Wait A Minute
Kicking off our top ten Hives songs list we have the most recent single taken from the most recent album Lex Hives. The song has a classic post-punk riff and as a whole sounds very powerful. The album got to number seven on the Swedish charts and received mostly positive reviews. Bassist Dr Matt Destruction left soon after it was recorded.
# 9 – A Little More For Little You
This track is taken from The Hives’ third album Tyrannosaurus Hives released in 2004. This song has a rather retro sound to it, bordering on almost fifties- style rock n roll. The two best performances in the song come from vocalist Howlin Peele Almqvist and drummer Chris Dangerous. The former really hits the high notes and the latter puts in a very fast and frantic performance.
# 8 – Go Right Ahead
This is the first single to be taken from Lex Hives released in 2012. The song’s riff is said to be similar to that of the Electric Light Orchestra’s “Don’t Bring Me Down” which the Hives stated was not intentional but nevertheless contacted ELO’s Jeff Lynne to see if he was fine with them using the riff, which he was.
# 7 – A Christmas Duel
Up next we have a duet between the Hives and Cyndi Lauper which was released as a Christmas single in 2008. It peaked in Sweden at number four. It is a Motown-style number which combines pleasant sounding melodies with bitter lyrics about the breakdown of a relationship. The song appears on the compilation album NO HO HO: Alternative Christmas Holiday Anthems.
# 6 – Tick Tick Boom
Next we have the debut single from The Black and White Album released in 2007. It was voted at number ninety-nine on the Triple J Hottest 100 in the year of its release. The songs has two music videos that were produced for it. It has also been used in several television and video game soundtracks.
# 5 – Throw It On Me
Kicking off the second half of this list we have a collaboration between the Hives and rapper Timbaland that was featured on his second album Shock Value released in 2007. Timbaland wrote the song along with Randy Fitzsimmons and Attitude. It is a disco-rock track that critics generally liked but it was not massively successful commercially.
# 4 – Two Timing Touch and Broken Bones
This next entry was the second single to be taken from Tyrannosaurus Hives. The riff on the song’s verse is based of that of The Monkees “I’m Not Your Stepping Stone.” A video for it was made and it got to number forty-four in the UK. It was received fairly well by critics many of whom considered it a track that very much embraces the band’s garage rock sound.
# 3 – Walk Idiot Walk
At number three is the debut single to be taken from Tyrannosaurus Hives. It reached number thirteen in the UK, fifteen in Sweden and eighteen in Norway. It also got to number nineteen on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. A music video for it was made and it was also used in several tv shows and commercials.
# 2 – Main Offender
Just off the top spot is song taken from Veni Vidi Vicious released in 2000. It was later included on Your New Favourite Band in 2001. Although it failed to chart initially, when it was re-released in 2002 it got to number twenty-four in the UK. It also had a music video produced for it Guitarist Nicholas Arson has named the song as one of his favourites.
# 1 – Hate To Say I Told You So
At the top spot is the track that is often considered to be The Hives signature that was featured on Veni Vidi Vicious. It was originally released in 2000 and then re-relased in 2002. It has received several accolades in the years since its release with magazines such as Kerrang!, Q and NME featuring it in several all times best lists. Upon its re-release in 2002 it won the Kerrang! Award for best single. It also charted high in several different countries.
Top 10 Hives Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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