Top 10 Stabbing Westward Songs

Stabbing Westward Songs

Our top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list looks at the body of work of an American band best known for its impact on the industrial rock/metal scene. The band was formed in 1985 by vocalist Christopher Hall and keyboardist Walter Flakus. Stabbing Westward’s industrial soundscapes saw the band compared to yet another ‘80s band, Nine Inch Nails. Over the years, the band’s lineup has evolved with lead vocalist Christopher Hall and keyboardist Walter Flakus being the only remaining original members in the current lineup.

After a successful era in the ‘90s issuing four studio albums, Stabbing Westward disbanded with its members pursuing solo projects including Christopher’s industrial rock/hard rock band The Dreaming. The band currently boasts a total of five full-length studio albums. Three of the band’s studio albums have graced the Billboard 200 Chart while still earning the band some commercial success.

A Review of Stabbing Westward’s Albums

In 1995, Stabbing Westward released their debut studio album Ungod. The album was issued through Columbia Records under the production of John Fryer, a former member of This Mortal Coil. As a producer, John Fryer has worked with Depeche Mode, Fad Gadget, Peter Murphy, Love and Rockets, Nine Inch Nails, and Alison Moyet.

Ungod saw the band deliver a blend of industrial rock, industrial metal, and alternative metal soundscapes. Unfortunately, the album never made it big in the mainstream charts. Ungod would however sell over one hundred and fifty thousand copies in the US. “Nothing,” “Lies,” “Ungod,” and “Can’t Happen Here” are some of the most popular songs by Stabbing Westward from the band’s debut LP.

Stabbing Westward returned in 1996 with their sophomore studio album Wither Blister Burn & Peel. The album was also issued through Columbia Records under the production of former This Mortal Coil member John Fryer. Wither Blister Burn & Peel rose atop the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart. The album would eventually rise to the sixty-seventh spot on the Billboard 200, earning a gold certification in the US. Some of the best Stabbing Westward songs from the album include “Shame,” “So Wrong,” “Why,” and “What Do I Have to Do?”

Darkest Days, issued in 1998, marked the band’s third studio album. The album was issued through Columbia Records under the production of the band members, Ulrich Wild (who worked with Pantera, White Zombie, Fishbone, and Alice in Chains), and Dave Jerden (who worked with Jane’s Addiction, Frank Zappa, Goldfinger, and Biohazard).

The album Darkest Days was a mainstream success rising to the seventy-ninth spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. Darkest Days also graced the Billboard 200 where it reached position fifty-two. The album was a commercial success earning a gold certification in the US. “Save Yourself,” “Sometimes It Hurts,” “The Thing I Hate,” “Haunting Me,” and “Torn Apart” are the most popular songs by Stabbing Westward from Darkest Days.

In 2001, Stabbing Westward returned with their eponymous fourth studio album. Stabbing Westward was the band’s first release issued through Koch Records under the production of Ed Buller. Other artists who have worked with producer Ed Buller include Suede, The Courteeners, Steve Burns, Gravity Kills, and Eskimo Joe.

Stabbing Westward was a success in the mainstream rising to the second spot on the Billboard Independent Albums. The album rose to the ninety-seventh spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. Stabbing Westward also graced the Billboard 200 Chart peaking at number forty-seven. Unfortunately, the album failed to impress commercially only selling over a hundred thousand copies. “I Remember,” “So Far Away,” “Perfect,” and “Wasted” are some of the best Stabbing Westward songs from Stabbing Westward.

The band went ahead to dissolve in 2002 only to rekindle its musical pursuits in 2016. In 2022, Stabbing Westward issued their fifth studio album Chasing Ghosts. The album was issued through COP International, a label (once) home to Battery, Consolidated, Diatribe, and Switchblade Symphony. Unfortunately, Chasing Ghosts was a mainstream flop despite rekindling the musical fire by Stabbing Westward members. “Dead and Gone,” “I am Nothing,” “Crawl,” and “Ghost” are some of the most popular songs by Stabbing Westward from the album.

#10 – Dead and Gone

Welcoming us to the top 10 Stabbing Westward songs is the amazing hit “Dead and Gone.” The song is featured on the band’s most recent album Chasing Ghosts. “Dead and Gone” is a synth-driven ballad that marks the return of Stabbing Westward to the music scene. The song’s lyrics find Stabbing Westward exploring themes of isolation and dysfunctional relationships.

Great synth tunes and crushing guitar riffs blend in perfectly with Christopher Hall’s amazing vocal delivery, crowning “Dead and Gone” the best Stabbing Westward song from the album Chasing Ghosts. The song “Dead and Gone” features a music video directed by film/music video director Vincente Cordero. Vincente has also worked with other artists including Cradle of Filth, Queensrÿche, Crown the Empire, Trapt, and Mr. Big.

#9- So Far Away

“So Far Away” is among the songs the band Stabbing Westward issued a short while before it went on a hiatus. The song was issued as the only single to the band’s eponymous fourth studio album. “So Far Away” finds the band exploring themes of emotional distance in a relationship. Lead vocalist Christopher Hall revealed in an interview that the song “So Far Away” is one of the band’s picks that lots of married people can associate with.

The claims followed the common barriers that engulf lots of marriages preventing the emotional connection between partners. “So Far Away” came at a time when industrial rock’s popularity in the mainstream was slackening. Nevertheless, the song managed to climb to the eighty-fifth spot on the ARIA Singles Chart.

“So Far Away” also made it to the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart peaking at position twenty-one. The song also settled for position twenty-three on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. “So Far Away” featured a music video directed by film/music video/TV director Shawn Foster. Other artists who have worked with director Shawn Foster include The Deftones, Chevelle, The Sun, Caleb Kane, The Warlocks, Drive-By Truckers, and Sugarcult.

#8- Lies

Coming in at number eight on our top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list is the angst-filled track “Lies.” The song is among the earliest releases of the band featuring on Stabbing Westward’s debut studio album Ungod. “Lies” is a cathartic pick that divulges the band’s knack for fast-paced yet infectious songs.

The song has a primary message to send—lies suck! This song’s lyrics tell of a tortured soul as a result of endless lies that have broken the trust the persona had in someone. “Lies” is among the songs by Stabbing Westward that draw quite some comparisons to fellow industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails.

While the song failed to rise into the mainstream charts it remains one of the fan-favorites by the band to date. “Lies” was featured in the 1995 film Mortal Kombat (though didn’t make it to the soundtrack album of the film). Other Stabbing Westward songs featured in Mortal Kombat include “Lost” and “Can’t Happen Here.”

#7 – I Remember

Listening to the song “I Remember,” it’s quite evident that Stabbing Westward members were up to something new in their musical approach. Stabbing Westward earned acclaim as one of the most conspicuous pillars in the ‘90s industrial scene. However, the industrial scene was quickly fading and Stabbing Westward members were quite conscious of this fact.

As a result, the band tinged its musical pursuits with some alternative rock influences. “I Remember” is by far one of the most sought-after alternative rock-tinged ballads by Stabbing Westward. Of course, the song feels somewhat off compared to the fast-paced and angst-driven industrial rock/metal ballads by the band. However, it is quite honorable to appreciate diversity as served by artists.

#6- Sometimes It Hurts

Ranking sixth on our top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list is the luscious hit “Sometimes It Hurts.” The song is one of the most impressive singles off the band’s third studio album Darkest Days. “Sometimes It Hurts” is among the songs that feature the contribution of former drummer Andy Kubiszewski. Before joining Stabbing Westward, Andy served as a member of the synthpop band Exotic Birds. “Sometimes It Hurt” was inspired by a re-examination of Andy’s life after a bitter hangover.

Lead vocalist Christopher Hall revealed that drummer Andy had broken up with his then-girlfriend, a move that forced him to move from Cleveland to Chicago. The aftermath was wrecking his life by indulging in excessive alcohol consumption trying to drink away the memories. The song went ahead to grace the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks where it peaked at the twentieth spot. “Sometimes It Hurts” climbed to the thirty-ninth spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.

#5- Nothing

We return to the band’s debut studio album Ungod, home to the fifth pick on our top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list, “Nothing.” The song is among tracks penned by Christopher Hall in collaboration with former guitarist Stuart Zechman. “Nothing” didn’t make it to the mainstream charts. However, the song holds a special place in the hearts of Stabbing Westward’s fans.

The song’s lyrics find the singer claiming to want nothing to do with a relationship but can barely do anything to stop himself from craving it. “Nothing” was featured in the 1995 film Bad Boys (but didn’t make it to the soundtrack album). The song went ahead to feature in the soundtrack album of the 1995 cyberpunk action film Johnny Mnemonic. “Nothing” had its music video directed by Julie Hermelin. Other artists who have worked with Julie Hermelin include Moby and Sarah McLachlan.

#4- The Thing I Hate

“The Thing I Hate” is one of the energy-fueled tracks by Stabbing Westward. The song is among the top musical gems featured on the band’s third studio album Darkest Days. This fan-favorite pick finds the band exploring lyrics alluding to resisting conformity, that is, standing up for your beliefs regardless of ridicule and criticism.

While the song may not have made it big in the mainstream chart, its lyrical content makes it one of the most sought-after songs by Stabbing Westward. Featuring “The Things I Hate” as the second song highest ranking pick from Darkest Days (only surpassed by “Save Yourself”) means that we dropped the hit “Haunting Me,” a song that earned mainstream success in the US.

#3- Shame

Coming in at number three on our top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list is the rip-roaring hit “Shame.” The song is one of the most successful singles of the band’s sophomore studio album Wither Blister Burn & Peel. “Shame,” as revealed by lead vocalist Christopher Hall was a song inspired by the lingering questions in his mind following his divorce.

Christopher Hall was in a dilemma wondering how he could keep going on with life and existing without his lost lover. “Shame” is among the most successful songs by Stabbing Westward on the mainstream peaking at the seventh spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. The song climbed to the fourteenth spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.

“Shame” climbed to the sixty-ninth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay Chart. The song’s music video was directed by Paul Cunningham. Other artists who have worked with Paul Cunningham include Radiohead and the band Live.

#2- What Do I Have to Do?

Often considered by most Stabbing Westward’s breakout single, “What Do I Have to Do?” remains one of the most enduring hits by the band’ The song is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Wither Blister Burn & Peel. “What Do I Have to Do?” is a song inspired by vocalist Christopher Hall’s anguish over the failure of his relationship/marriage while he was touring.

In an interview, Christopher termed “What Do I Have to Do?” a song of frustrations citing the endless will to lure back his lover after she fell out of love with him. The song was quite a rewarding single having climbed to the seventh spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. “What Do I Have to Do?” also made it to the eleventh spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart.

The song climbed to the sixtieth spot on the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay, six positions higher than the single “Shame” would later achieve. “What Do I Have to Do?” features a music video that was directed by Josh Taft. Other artists who have worked with Josh Taft include Stone Temple Pilots, Meat Puppets, Counting Crows, and 311.

#1- Save Yourself

Ranking at the peak of the top 10 Stabbing Westward songs list is the alluring hit “Save Yourself.” The song was issued as a single ahead of the release of the band’s third studio album Darkest Days. “Save Yourself” features lyrics that clearly state the inability of the persona to help a loved one.

In the song, Christopher sings that he is not only able to save the loved one—he can’t save himself either. “Save Yourself” was a success rising to the fourth spot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks Chart. The song also climbed to the twentieth spot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart. “Save Yourself” was featured in the film Urban Legend and the soundtracks of the game Shaun White Snowboarding. The song features a music video directed by Matt Donaldson.

Jax 0677, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Stabbing Westward Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023

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