Fishbone Songs Ranked

Fishbone is an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1979, that plays a fusion of ska, punk, funk, metal, reggae, and soul. AllMusic has described the group as “one of the most distinctive and eclectic alternative rock bands of the late ’80s. With their hyperactive, self-conscious diversity, goofy sense of humor, and sharp social commentary, the group gained a sizable cult following yet they were never able to earn a mainstream audience.” Fishbone first assembled in 1979 with John Norwood Fisher (bass), his brother Philip “Fish” Fisher (drums), Angelo Moore (vocals, saxophones, and theremin), Kendall Jones (guitar), “Dirty” Walter A. Kibby II (vocals, trumpet), and Christopher Dowd (keyboards, trombone, vocals). They achieved their greatest commercial success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, after which they went through many personnel changes. From 2003 to 2010, John Norwood Fisher and Angelo Moore were the last remaining original members of the band. In the 2010s, all the other original members except Kendall Jones rejoined the band for various reunions and anniversary activities. In November 2020, Kendall Jones joined the band on stage for the first time since 1993 for a performance of “Them Bones” by Alice In Chains for a tribute to the band arranged by the Museum of Pop Culture. Here are all of Fishbone’s songs ranked.

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10. Fight the Youth (The Reality of My Surroundings, 1991)

“The first time I heard this track it definitely rocked and it hasn’t lost anything through the years. What I like about Fishbone is that (at their peak) they give you completely original music (just when you think you’ve heard it all before) and “Fight The Youth” is evidence of that.”

9. Drunk Skitzo (Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe, 1993)

“The strangest track on the album is clearly “Drunk Skitzo” which features a funky groove and some completely unhinged vocals that leads to a frenetic jazz section with guest musicians Branford Marsalis providing a sultry sax freakout. The ending is augmented by atonality, weird sound effects and a dip into the truly surreal.”

8. Swim (Last Action Hero, 1993)

“Swim” starts it off and is one of my favourites from this. It’s unashamedly a mosh anthem, but possibly more musically nihilistic than anything Pantera or White Zombie were putting out. And really, it doesn’t even try. The whole 4 minutes and 39 seconds of “Swim” is just this big, simple riff pounding its way through itself while the vocals interchange between a logical half-screeching lead and a whole bunch of them competing like mixed up radio signals. Then, they throw in one-liners occasionally sung in surreal ’80s r&b harmony”

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7. Servitude (Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe, 1993)

“Servitude” is another heavy offering, but more merciful. Great anti-megachurch song. It’s followed with the wonderful half-balladry of “Black Flowers.”

See more: Fishbone Albums Ranked

6. Party at Ground Zero (Singles, 1993)

“Fishbone is seriously EVERYTHING Red Hot Chili Peppers WISH they were. Almost impossibly talented, capable of gloriously catchy songs that never came off cheesey or pop sellout sounding, African American (obviously), creative enough to come up with their own original costuming and stage show concepts, and brilliant enough to write lyrics that are both intellectually challenging, yet with a mighty sense of humor.”

5. Sunless Saturday (The Reality of My Surroundings, 1991)

“Sunless Saturday” is the perfect metal laden rock n’ soul finale for an album laden with darkened depressive motifs that are the undercurrent of an exciting upbeat spiritual musical foreground that uplifts and depresses in every brilliantly mastered moment.”

Fight the Youth - song by Fishbone | Spotify

4. Everyday Sunshine (The Reality of My Surroundings, 1991)

“It took me a bit to remember this song after not hearing it in quite a while. But that just plays into the surprise: that rave-up, orgiastic ending that builds up throughout the song making it all the better. It’s a hard task to find a song that starts out great and just keeps getting greater as in this amazing example.”

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3. Lemon Meringue (Give a Monkey a Brain and He’ll Swear He’s the Center of the Universe, 1993)

“Out Of all the fishbone albums. This one is probably the Hardest, heaviest, angriest, album out of thier columbia albums, and thier most directly to the point out of all of them. Where all of the other kinda toyed around with you for awhile amoungst the message, this one is a full-on brutal assault, while still remaining far more eclectic, than most hard rock out there, and still maintaining traces of the funk, and ska they have been carrying with them. Though it is slightly more straitforward than Reality of my surroundings.”

2. Gittin’ In That Ass (Crazy Glue, 2011)

“Each tune on ‘Crazy Glue’ tells it’s own wacky story and Fishbone holds nothing back as usual. The muscianship continues to be top-level, agressive, loud and loose. No new ground here, just the same fertile reggae/ska/punk/metal/funk hybrid that Fishbone excels at so mightily. I hope I get to hear this stuff live!”

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1. Frey’d Fucking Nerve Endings (Still Stuck in Your Throat, 2006)

“The production value here is a little thin, but the quality of the material more than proves that this band has the ability to do their best work independent of the corporate label shills. This is a return to form for the ‘bone, imo. Sounds like the next logical step that should have come after Give a Monkey a Brain. Up there with their best stuff. If you don’t have it yet, get it.”