Our top 10 Veruca Salt songs list presents the music of an American infamous for its impactful role in the alternative rock scene. The band was formed in 1992 by Nina Gordon in conjunction with Louise Post. Initially, the Nina-Louise duo played in Chicago area coffee houses. After amassing some popularity, the duo planned of adding a rhythm section to its musical pursuits. At first, Nina and Louise wished to have an all-female band only to go for bassist Steve Lack and drummer Jim Shapiro on the rhythm section.
Veruca Salt went ahead to perform multiple shows—it is through the energy-filled shows that the band attracted the attention of Jim Powers, founder of the label Minty Fresh Records. The band ratified a recording Deal with Minty Fresh Records where it launched its professional musical pursuits. Other artists who have at one time been affiliated with the label Minty Fresh Records include The Cardigans, The Hit Parade, and Liz Phair. Over the years, Veruca Salt has issued five studio albums and a few EPs.
Veruca Salt’s Album Releases over the Years
In 1994, Veruca Salt released its first studio album American Thighs through Minty Fresh Records. The album was produced by Brad Wood, a record producer known for his phenomenal work with Liz Phair, The Bangles, Lisa Loeb, Placebo, Say Anything, and The Jesus Lizard. American Thighs was critically acclaimed rising atop the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart.
The album would later climb to the sixty-ninth slot on the Billboard 200 Chart. American Thighs also climbed into the forty-seventh spot on the UK Albums Chart. The album graced the ARIA Albums Chart peaking at number twenty-six. American Thighs was a commercial success earning gold certification both in Canada and the US. “Seether,” “All Hail Me,” “Get Back,” “Number One Blind,” and “Forsythia” are the best Veruca Salt songs from the LP American Thighs. Veruca Salt also issued a cover of The Knack’s 1979 hit “Victrola” as a single.
Veruca Salt returned in 1997 with its sophomore studio album Eight Arms to Hold You. The album was produced by Canadian record producer Bob Rock. Bob is best known for his phenomenal work with Motley Crue, The Cult, Bon Jovi, David Lee Roth, Metallica, and Aerosmith. Eight Arms to Hold You is the band’s highest-charting release in the US peaking at position fifty-five on the Billboard 200.
The album marked Veruca Salt’s final album to have climbed into the UK Albums Chart peaking at number ninety-five. Eight Arms to Hold You rose to position sixty-ninth spot on the ARIA Albums Chart. Just like the band’s debut LP, Eight Arms to Hold You was gold-certified in Canada. “Volcano Girls,” “Benjamin,” “Straight,” “Earthcrosser,” and “Shutterbug” are the most popular songs by Veruca Salt from Eight Arms to Hold You.
Unfortunately, the fallout between Louise Post and Nina Gordon left Veruca Salt torn into pieces in the late ‘90s. As a result, Louise Post was the only original member of Veruca Salt on the band’s next album Resolver. Other musicians featured on the band’s lineup for this album include guitarist Stephen Fitzpatrick, percussionist Matt Walker, and bassist Kevin Tihista.
Resolver was issued in 2001 through Beyond Records under the production of Brian Liesegang, a founding member of the band Filter. The album was a commercial and mainstream flop climbing to position one hundred and seventy-one on the Billboard 200 Chart. Resolver is home to the best Veruca Salt songs including “Used to Know Her,” “Officially Dead,” and “Born Entertainer.”
In 2006, Veruca Salt returned with its fourth studio album IV. New members in the band’s lineup include percussionist Kellii Scott and bassist Nicole Fiorentino (who served as a touring member of The Smashing Pumpkins). IV is the only album by Veruca Salt not to have made it to the Billboard 200 Chart. “So Weird” and “Sick as Your Secrets” are the most popular songs by Veruca Salt from the LP IV.
Veruca Salt would later issue its fifth studio album Ghost Notes through El Camino Records in 2015. Ghost Notes marked the first album by Veruca Salt’s original lineup in the twenty-first century. The album was critically acclaimed rising to the eleventh and fifteenth spot on the Billboard Top Alternative Albums Chart and Top Rock Albums Charts, respectively. Ghost Notes also made it to position one hundred and fifty-nine on the Billboard 200. “Eyes on You,” “The Gospel According to Saint Me,” and “The Museum of Broken Relationships” are the best Veruca Salt songs from the Ghost Notes.
Veruca Salt’s Legacy
Starting its musical pursuits in the mid-‘90s, Veruca Salt remains one of the most successful post-Nirvana alternative rock groups. The band’s musical pursuits have been compared to another female-led alternative rock band The Breeders. After crumbling down as a result of internal strife, Veruca Salt rekindled its way to success with the reunion of the band’s original members in the early 2010s. The impetus towards reunification of its classic lineup was highly motivated by the successful reunion of the ‘90s alternative rock band Mazzy Star in 2012. Here we list the top 10 Veruca Salt songs of all time.
#10 – Born Entertainer
Welcoming us to the top 10 Veruca Salt songs checklist is the rip-roaring hit “Born Entertainer.” The song is featured on Veruca Salt’s third studio album Resolver. At the time of this song’s release, Louise Post battled the loss of her fellow founders of Veruca Salt. However, all these didn’t deter Louise from showcasing her musicianship on the album Resolver.
“Born Entertainer” serves as a perfect emblem of Veruca Salt’s continued excellence in churning out luscious alternative rock/grunge hits. Stephen Fitzpatrick announces his presence on Resolver as the new guitarist with his vibrant guitar riffs that grab one’s attention from the start to the end. The song gets even better with Louise’s croons about her endless desire to entertain her audiences as she is a “Born Entertainer!”
#9 – Straight
“Straight” is one of the most successful songs by Veruca Salt distinguished for its melodic nature and catchy hooks. The song is featured on the band’s second studio album Eight Arms to Hold You. “Straight” is among the top musical gems that blend strong vocal delivery and infectious grunge-inspired guitar riffs.
The crispy power chords and sweltering solos in this song add extra allure to its catchy melody! “Straight” was critically acclaimed rising to position twenty-eight on the Billboard Active Rock Chart. The song also graced the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart peaking at number thirty-eight.
#8 – Laughing in the Sugar Bowl
After watching Mazzy Star successfully rekindle their musical pursuits, original members of Veruca Salt were inspired to have (at least) one last dance. The result was the critically acclaimed 2015 album Ghost Notes. Serving as the archetypical template to Veruca Salt’s rekindled musicianship was the album’s single “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl.” The song comes after the success of two tracks from the band’s 2014 EP MMXIV, “The Museum of Broken Relationship” and “It’s Holy.”
Carrying on with their signature driving guitar riffs, Veruca Salt delivers an energetic and catchy performance! “Laughing in the Sugar Bowl” features an accompanying music video directed by Red Red Meat founder Tim Rutili. Tim has also directed music videos for other artists/bands including David Foy of The Jesus Lizard, Bill Fay, and Iron & Wine.
#7 – So Weird
Despite the song featuring on the band’s “uninspired” fourth studio album IV, “So Weird” makes its mark as one of the most sought-after tracks released by Veruca Salt. From the infectious energy in its delivery to the unadulterated lyrics, “So Weird” is in every way a standout track from Veruca Salt’s discography. Despite being fresh in the band’s lineup, drummer Kellii Scott and bassist Nicole Fiorentino assert their musical excellence with an undeniably catchy contribution to the song’s rhythm section.
Additionally, this anthemic ballad provides Louise Post with a chance to showcase her impressive vocal dexterity—her slightly raspy vocal delivery complements the angst conveyed by this song’s lyrics. The dynamic structure and intensity of this song’s instrumentation make it a perfect pick for live performances.
#6 – Shimmer Like a Girl
Veruca Salt is among the bands that have been cited by critics to have ridden on the coattails of Nirvana. Backing this claim is our sixth pick on the top 10 Veruca Salt songs list “Shimmer Like a Girl.” It is no coincidence that this song is emblematic of Veruca Salt’s Nirvana-Esque musical pursuits with its record producer Steve Albini having a hand in its production.
Notably, Steve Albini was among the most sought-after producers in the alternative rock/grunge boom working with Nirvana, The Breeders, and the Pixies. Unfortunately, “Shimmer Like a Girl” never made it to any of Veruca Salt’s full-length studio albums. The song is featured on the band’s 1996 Steve Albini-produced extended play.
#5 – Number One Blind
American Thighs, the band’s debut studio album, is home to the fifth pick on our top 10 Veruca Salt songs list “Number One Blind.” For the first time, we comment on the luscious vocal harmonies by Nina Gordon and Louise Post—their compelling vocal harmonies add glamour to this song’s catchy feel. Their vocal delivery compliments the emotional depth of this song making “Number One Blind” a must-have pick!
“Number One Blind” was critically acclaimed rising to the twentieth slot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay Chart. The song made it to position sixty-eight on the UK Singles Chart. A Steve Hanft-directed music video for the hit “Number One Blind” earned some airplay on MTV. Other artists who have worked with director Steve Hanft include Beck, The Cure, Luscious Jackson, and Primal Scream among others.
Issued at a time that Louise broke up with Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters, “Shutterbug” has been cited as a fiery heartbreak ballad by most of the band’s fans! Of course, the fans couldn’t have thought otherwise with some lyrics such as “You Monkey, You Left Me” sounding like straight taunts by Louise at her ex-lover. Whatever the case, “Shutterbug” remains one of the most sought-after songs by Veruca Salt thanks to its impressive lyricism and instrumentation.
The song also featured an aesthetic music video directed by Nancy Bardawil. Nancy Bardawil has also worked with multiple other artists including Dixie Chicks, Bon Jovi, Hole, Motley Crue, and the Goo Goo Dolls. “Shutterbug” made it to the thirty-ninth slot on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Chart. The song also graced the Billboard Active Rock Chart peaking at the twenty-sixth spot. “Shutterbug” is featured on the band’s sophomore studio album Eight Arms to Hold You.
#3 – All Hail Me
The third pick on our top 10 Veruca Salt songs is the remarkable hit “All Hail Me.” “All Hail Me” is featured on the band’s debut studio album American Thighs. The song features luscious vocal harmonies from Nina Gordon and Louise Post. “All Hail Me” features a music video directed by the American film director Tamra Davis. Other artists/bands that have worked with Tamra include Depeche Mode, Luscious Jackson, MC Lyte, Beastie Boys, The Bangles, and Sonic Youth.
#2 – Volcano Girls
“Volcano Girls” is one of the most popular and sought-after tracks by Veruca Salt. The song is featured on the band’s 1997 sophomore studio album Volcano Girls. “Volcano Girls” showcases the songwriting excellence of singer/guitarist Nina Gordon who singlehandedly penned this song. The song “Volcano Girls” pays homage to Veruca Salt’s signature hit “Seether.”
Additionally, “Volcano Girls” also contains a sample of the 1968 hit “Glass Onion” by The Beatles. The song made it to the eighth slot on the Billboard Alternative Airplay and Billboard Active Rock Charts. “Volcano Girls” is the best-performing hit by Veruca Salt on the UK Singles Chart peaking at position fifty-six.
#1 – Seether
Number one on our top 10 Veruca Salt songs catalog is the band’s signature hit “Seether.” The song is featured on the band’s debut studio album American Thighs. “Seether” finds the band taking on alternative rock influences with tinges of pop sensibilities. The song’s lyrics were penned by Nina Gordon who went ahead to reveal that “Seether” was written in regards to female bouts of rage.
“Seether” was critically acclaimed rising to the eighth slot on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks Chart. The song made it to position sixty-one on the UK Singles Chart. “Seether” also graced the ARIA Singles Chart rising to a peak position of number thirty-four. The song’s music video was directed by Jeff Economy.
Top 10 Veruca Salt Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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