Monday, May 16, 2011

Descendents poll wrap up

To me, the Descendents are one of those bands that I almost take for granted. I've been a fan of them at least since "Enjoy!" was released in 1986 (I was a tiny, wet behind the ears 12 year old), yet when asked who my favorite bands are, for whatever reason, the Descendents are just not one of the bands that instantly come to mind. Truth is though, so many of their songs can easily be considered some of my favorite songs ever… period.

Some of those tracks off "Enjoy!" are just incredible, timeless, classics, "Wendy", "Kids", "Hurtin' Crue", "Sour Grapes", "Get The Time", "Cheer", I could listen to those songs over and over again and you better believe that I have.

The Descendents at City Gardens, Trenton, NJ, Photo: Ken Salerno

Following "Enjoy!", came "ALL", which again has some of my favorite songs ever. Of course there are few not-so-hot tracks that we could probably do without, but with songs like "Coolidge", "Clean Sheets" and my personal favorite, "Pep Talk", they clearly make up for anything that could be considered somewhat lackluster.

The album "ALL" also holds a special place for me, just for the fact that my first show ever was seeing the Descendents on the "ALL" tour at City Gardens, in June of 1987. I remember at the time, my favorite song by them was the Beach Boys cover, "Wendy" off of "Enjoy!" I couldn't be more stoked hearing them play that live.

Bill Stevenson with the Descendents at City Gardens, Photo: Ken Salerno

At that time, the Descendents just seemed like one of the biggest bands in the world. Everyone I knew liked them and they definitely seemed to fit in perfectly with the whole skateboarding scene that I was deeply submerged in. They just had that perfect combination of melody, heaviness, humor and sappiness that no one else has ever seemed to match. In essence, in 1987, the Descendents were a perfect band in my eyes.

It wasn't until after I had owned "Enjoy!" and "ALL" that I finally got my hands on "Milo Goes to College" and "I Don't Want to Grow Up", both of which were nothing but pure greatness, but "Enjoy!" and "ALL" had already been my introduction to the Descendents and had already left a huge impression on me. So as much as I love "Milo Goes to College" and "I Don't Want to Grow Up", I knew when voting in this poll, "Enjoy!" or "ALL" were one of the records that I was going to be voting for.

Milo gives the Trenton crowd a hand, Photo: Ken Salerno

So what record did I vote for? Tough choice, but I went with "ALL". I know… not quite as classic as most of the earlier material and not even as many choice tracks as "Enjoy!" might have had, but with "Coolidge", "Clean Sheets" and "Pep Talk" alone, I just felt like I had to go with "ALL". Obviously not the popular choice and I certainly can't argue with any of the choices, but as the saying goes, it's the choice I made and I'm stickin' to it. -Tim DCXX

Descendents - "Milo Goes to College" - 351
Descendents - "Everything Sucks" - 114
Descendents - "I Don't Want to Grow Up" - 108
Descendents - "ALL" - 70
Descedents - "Enjoy!" - 21
Descendents - "Cool to be You" - 17



Matt Berlyant said...

Cool post and I love The Descendents, too, but I can't believe that Everything Sucks got more votes than I Don't Want to Grow Up, my favorite album of theirs. I never got to see them in the '80s, but the impromptu reunion show in '93 at City Gardens when Milo flew in from Wisconsin is still, to this day, one of the best shows I've ever seen.

Taf Ssa said...
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Ben Edge said...

My favorite Descendents songs are hands down "Coolidge" and "Clean Sheets," but I went with Milo Goes To College, because it's good all the way through.

I remember having an SST sampler cassette called Godhead in '88, and it had their version of "Clean Sheets" from Liveage on it, which was my introduction to the band. I listened to that one song so much that I wore the tape out. I think that's the only time I've ever done that.

Getting into skateboarding, I remember watching that Vision video Pyscho Skate where "Coolidge" is playing, and dudes are riding down grass hills and doing wall rides. When I think of music to skate to, the two songs that immediately come to mind are "Nervous Breakdown" by Black Flag and "Coolidge."

Anonymous said...

Ben Edge the ultimate Mansion Punk!!!!!!

Benj said...

Ben - That Psycho Skate video may have been my first introduction to them too. I'm pretty sure Coolidge came on near the end of the video and it rocked so hard and matched the skating perfectly. Mark Gonzales did a kickfip in a ditch during the song and it got me so stoked on the skating and the music.

Jason Powell said...

"Cameage" is an underrated track on ALL, just saying. MGTC was definitely my favorite overall album, but, actually my favorite slice of Descendents is side B of IDWGU.

Anonymous said...

Wow, can just imagine seeing them at Maxwells or CB's. Would be insane.

The Snake said...

I voted for Everything Sucks. As much as I love Milo Goes To Colege and I Don`t Want To Grow Up (I mean, I like everything from Descendens) these days I listen Everything Sucks more then other Descendens stuff. But, I wonder, why you didn`t put Fat EP as an option for voting? It would be interesting to see what place would Fat EP got.

Anonymous said...

In my book, anyone who doesn't vote for "Milo Goes to College" just might need their head examined.

Unknown said...

i voted for Milo Goes to College but after listening to ALL record again after this i might have changed my vote.

hope to catch them on their upcomin dates.

ShayKM said...

Like others here, I love everything going back to the early years. I saw these guys plenty of times - along with ALL - during the 80s. What surprises me is that they continue to blow doors down, and people here didn't vote for the more recent stuff. I think the last Lp is actually their best!

Listen again! Great lyrics, great song composition and definitely more HC than the early stuff.
They just keep getting better.

The Snake said...

anonymous said: "In my book, anyone who doesn't vote for "Milo Goes to College" just might need their head examined."

As I`ve said already, Milo Goes To Colege is one of the best albums ever but at this point of my life, I listen mostly Everything Sucks from the Decendents so that`s why I voted for this particular album. But everything else from Descendents is great! I like ALL album a lot, I even have it on vinyl, a blue one. I actually got it at the same time when I got Everything Sucks in 1997.

Anonymous said...

the new stuff more hardcore than the old stuff???. what's hardcore for you dude? the descendents hardcorest record is the "fat" ep, and "milo goes to college" is more hardcore and better than "cool to be you", but this last album has the best production and sound, that doesn't mean it has the better songs.


I just listened to ALL again today and I think I have to ad "Cameage" to the list of my favorite Descendents songs off of ALL, "Jealous Of The World Again" is also pretty damn good.

Again, I absolutely love MILO GOES TO COLLEGE and I DON'T WANT TO GROW UP, but like I said in my wrap up, ALL just holds a special place in my heart for the reasons I explained.

I didn't mention EVERYTHING SUCKS because I kinda looked at it as a reunion album and not as relevant as the previous albums, but all of that aside, it is a great album as well.

Marty said...

I love everyhting they did they did in the 80's. I too voted for 'Milo Goes To College' because ALL 15 songs are great. Though I didn't vote for it, I listened to the side 2 of 'I Don't Want To Grow Up' so, so many times. I'm not a fan of the 2 'reunion' albums, I tried and tried, I just can't get into them. Sorry guys...