Last week, the Internet cried as Franz Nicolay announced his departure from The Hold Steady. Sigh. Why must all good things come to an end?
At least this gives us an excuse to start a little online fight about which Hold Steady songs are the best. Here are a highly subjective eight to get the ball rolling.
8. Joke About Jamaica
It’s cool when bands write songs about other songs. It’s also cool when songs grind to a halt for skronky solos, like this one does around the 3:20 mark.
7. How A Resurrection Really Feels
The closing track to the band’s underrated second album, Separation Sunday, a loose song cycle about drugs and faith and redemption.
6. Sequestered In Memphis
The Hold Steady does its best E Street Band impression.
Another song that grinds to a halt. This one busts out of the silence with frontman Craig Finn shouting over a guitar and calling himself a liar.
4. Certain Songs
The power ballad Billy Joel would write if he were 20 years younger and hanging out in Brooklyn, as opposed to the Hamptons.
Not a power ballad, just a ballad. A slurry ballad, but a real ballad nonetheless.
2. Multitude of Casualties
Some of Finn’s best lyrics, and a simple hammering riff that just won’t quit.
1. Chips Ahoy!
A joyous, erupting hook. Lyrics about horse racing. Crunchy guitar. A dizzy keyboard solo. It’s tight, raucous and fun — The Hold Steady, distilled.