Our top 10 Ugly Kid Joe songs list presents the music of an American rock and roll band with a most memorable name and famed for its heavy rock funk sound. The band was formed by Roger Lahr, Cordell Crockett, Mark Davis, and childhood friends Whitfield Crane and Klaus Eichstadt. Ugly Kid Joe started as a parody of the glam metal band Pretty Boy Floyd. Blending satirical humor and heavy metal had the band gain popularity in the early 1990s. The band also covered several Black Sabbath songs citing this legendary act as one of its influences. Ugly Kid Joe would later begin touring the US in support of the eclectic thrash metal act Scatterbrain. The band also opened for Ozzy Osbourne.
Ugly Kid Joe released its first EP, As Ugly as They Wanna Be in 1991. In 1992, the band tasted what success feels like following the success of the single “Everything About You.” The song peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart, making it to the Top 10 in the Billboard Hot 100. The band purposed to release the album America’s Least Wanted in the same year. However, its original lineup started falling apart owing to the musical differences. This saw Roger Lahr leave the band, having him replaced by Dave Fortman from Sugartooth. In the album, Ugly Kid Joe invited Rob Halford of Judas Priest for guest vocals for the hit “Goddamn Devil.”
America’s Least Wanted (1992) put the band among reputable acts in the metal scene, having it sell over six hundred thousand copies. Ugly Kid Joe went on to entertain its fans in sold-out shows in Japan and Australia. The band was later tagged as an opening act in a Def Leppard six-week tour. Ugly Kid Joe later embarked on a tour in support of its album America’s Least Wanted (1992) while still opening for other bands like Van Halen and Bon Jovi.
The band worked on releasing its sophomore album Menace to Sobriety (1995). Upon its release, the album achieved success in the UK but failed to match the same impact in the US. Ugly Kid Joe was soon after dropped by Mercury Records, prompting the band to make its independent record label Evilution Records. The band released its third studio album Motel California (1996), under Evilution Records. However, the album failed to outshine the band’s previous releases.
Ugly Kid Joe sadly disbanded a year after the release of the band’s third album. Its members joined other bands like Godsmack, Life of Agony, Medication, and Another Animal.
After more than a decade, Klaus Eichstadt revealed that Ugly Kid Joe was reuniting in the summer of 2010. The band released a new EP, Stairway to Hell, in 2012, which the band promoted in a series of festivals. With time, the band started touring with reputable artists/bands, including Alice Cooper, Guns N’ Roses, and Skid Row. Ugly Kid Joe finally released its fourth album Uglier Than They Used ta Be (2015). Currently, the band is working on a follow-up to its fourth studio album, which is scheduled for release in 2022. Here are the top 10 Ugly Kid Joe songs from the band’s short but impactful musical career.
#10 – Neighbor
Ushering us to the top 10 Ugly Kid Joe songs is the heavy-sounding hit “Neighbor.” The song is featured on the band’s debut album America’s Least Wanted (1992). Frontman Crane sings from the standpoint of a drunk guy who relocates into a serene suburban community only to have him ruin the neighborhood. Guitarist Klaus Eichstadt penned the song revealing that its lyrics were about him. The song peaked at number twenty-eight on the UK Singles Chart.
#9 – Tomorrow’s World
“Tomorrow’s World” is one of the best Ugly Kid Joe songs from the band’s sophomore album Menace to Sobriety (1995). The song finds the band reintroducing itself to the world as a metal band with some varied yet tuneful sounds. In the song, lead vocalist Whitfield Crane takes on some new vocal style which has some compare him to W. Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses. “Tomorrow’s World” features great drumming from Shannon Larkin, who has been a driving force on the drums for several other bands, including Godsmack, Souls at Zero, Amen, and Candlebox.
#8 – I’m Alright
After several years in limbo, Ugly Kid Joe revived its music career and soon after released a new EP, Stairway to Hell. The EP had its title as a portmanteau of the song “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin and “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. One of the gems from the EP includes the three-minute ballad “I’m Alright.” The song is sandwiched among hypnotic rockers but manages to fight for its position as a reputable song by the band. Unlike most of the grooving and melodic ballads in the EP, “I’m Alright” is famed for its overwhelmingly unforgettable chug and chorus that take us back to the same old Ugly Kid Joe.
#7 – Cloudy Skies
Another great song from the band’s sophomore album is the mid-tempo ballad “Cloudy Skies.” The song feels quite soft compared to other metal ballads by the band. “Cloudy Skies” features traces of Southern rock flavor while bringing Crane’s best vocal performances in the album Menace to Sobriety (1995). Lead vocalist Whitfield Crane and guitarist Dave Forman teamed up in penning the song.
#6 – Madman
Number six on our top 10 Ugly Kid Joe songs is the hit “Madman.” The song is featured in the band’s first EP, As Ugly as They Wanna Be (1991). “Madman” is a twisted tune that finds the band sinking deep into the imagination of a freak at Disneyland opportunistic about kidnapping children. Lead vocalist Whitfield Crane revealed that the song was inspired musically by “Backwoods” by Red Hot Chili Peppers.
#5 – Busy Bee
“Busy Bee” is a harmonious ballad from the band’s album America’s Least Wanted (1992). The song alludes to a man who is content with life, having him watch life go by, with people around him okay to let him do that. Guitarist Dave Fortman is credited with penning lyrics for this song. “Busy Bee” features a spectacular guitar solo as the song approaches the end.
#4 – Milkman’s Son
“Milkman’s Son” is not much different from the ballad “Clouds Skies,” having the two songs feature a Southern rock flavor. One great thing about this song is its heavy yet magnificent guitar riffs which stand unique from those in other songs. A memorable corny chorus and awe-inspiring vocals from Crane adds glamour to this ballad from the band’s sophomore album Menace to Sobriety (1995).
#3 – So Damn Cool
The Multi Platinum-selling album America’s Least Wanted (1992) is by far the best Ugly Kid Joe album. The album brings on the true metal sound of the band compared to other releases. “So Damn Cool” is one of the great songs from the album that sounds so fresh to date. You could tell how much of a talent the band was at the time thanks to the amazing quality of the song’s arrangement and brilliance of its members. The song brought the best of Mark Davis’ drumming skills, leaving a mark despite his short career in the band.
#2 – Cats in The Cradle
Ugly Kid Joe decided to do a cover of Harry Chapin’s 1974 song “Cat’s in The Cradle” for the band’s album America’s Least Wanted (1992). “Cats in The Cradle” is a heartbreaking hit that alludes to a father and son who can barely schedule a time to spend time with each other. Through this, the song serves as a warning against placing your career before the family at any one point in life. Ugly Kid Joe’s version peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, which is the band’s highest rank on the chart.
#1 – Everything About You
Number one on our top 10 Ugly Kid Joe songs list is the hit “Everything About You.” The song was initially featured on the band’s EP, As Ugly as They Wanna Be but was later included in America’s Least Wanted (1992). “Everything About You” is a song written by childhood friends vocalist Whitfield and guitarist Klaus. The song was inspired by their friend Farrell, who they described as a cynical yet charming man. “Everything About You” peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart and number three on the UK Singles Chart.
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