America's Least Wanted

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
America's Least Wanted
Studio album by Ugly Kid Joe
Released September 8, 1992
Recorded 1991-1992 at Devonshire Studios, North Hollywood, California
Genre Rock, hard rock, heavy metal
Length 59:08
Label Mercury
Producer Ugly Kid Joe,
Mark Dodson,
Michael Dodson,
Ryan Dorn
Ugly Kid Joe chronology
As Ugly as They Wanna Be
(EP)
(1991)
America's Least Wanted
(1992)
Menace to Sobriety
(1995)
Alternative cover
Censored edition

America's Least Wanted is the full-length debut album by rock band Ugly Kid Joe, released in September 1992 (see 1992 in music). The title is a parody of the famous phrase "America's Most Wanted".

The album was a commercial success, charting three singles on the Mainstream Rock Tracks ("Neighbor", "Busy Bee" and "Cat's in the Cradle"). "Cat's in the Cradle" also reached number six on the Billboard Hot 100 and number eleven on the Top 40 Mainstream. As of 1995, the album has been certified double platinum.[1]

Album information[edit]

Two of the songs had previously been included on the band's 1991 debut EP As Ugly as They Wanna Be though some small changes were made for this album: "Madman" was given a new vocal track while "Everything About You" was given a spoken intro by actress and then Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney as her questionably gendered character, Pat. Incidentally, this was not the first time the song had been associated with "SNL" - it had previously been included in the SNL-based movie Wayne's World, which was released seven months before.

The difference between CD and LP versions of this album is that the song "Goddamn Devil" appears as its first track on the B-side.

Artwork[edit]

The album's original artwork depicts Ugly Kid Joe's mascot as the Statue of Liberty gesturing an upraised middle finger. Several national chains refused to sell the album in their stores due to the offensive picture, and a "censored" version was manufactured for some retailers. The censored version depicts the Ugly Kid Joe mascot handcuffed in one hand (which is covered with duct tape) and tied in rope, while his legs are wrapped in chains. The album's artwork, as well as all other promotional work and the As Ugly as They Wanna Be and The Very Best of Ugly Kid Joe: As Ugly as It Gets covers, was done by Whitfield Crane's high school friend Moish Brennan.[citation needed]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Entertainment Weekly C−[3]
Los Angeles Times 1.5/4 stars[4]
Q 3/5 stars[5]

Despite being Ugly Kid Joe's most successful album, America's Least Wanted received mostly mixed reviews. The album received a positive review from Allmusic's Stephen Thomas Erlewine, who gave it four and a half stars out of five, and said that it "delivers a set of similar rockers and a handful of power ballads, including a revamped version of Harry Chapin's 'Cat's in the Cradle'" and described the music as a "mixture of fizzy, fuzzy riffs, sing-song melodies, and calculated obnoxiousness [that] isn't that offensive."[2]

Deborah Frost of Entertainment Weekly, however, gave the album a C− and called it "a weak attempt to pad Ugly out to LP length with Lynyrd Skynyrd licks, Mister Rogers jokes, a scarily straight Harry Chapin cover ('Cat's in the Cradle'), and 'Mr. Recordman,' the most pathetic love song to a record company ever written. These kids should have quit while they were ahead."[3]

Steve Hochman of Los Angeles Times gave it one-and-a-half stars out of four and called Ugly Kid Joe "generic MTV-rad-party dudes in baggies and Ts who seem to know how certain kinds of rock are supposed to sound but have no clue as to why. [...] The would-be centerpiece, 'Goddamn Devil,' has neither the irony nor the evil needed to revive that tired topic, despite a guest appearance by Judas Priest's knowing Rob Halford. Turning Harry Chapin's 'Cat's in the Cradle' into a power ballad was a bad idea to begin with; making it sound neither snotty nor particularly sincere only compounds the error. [...] America's least wanted? Probably not. Least interesting? Now you're on target."[4]

In popular culture[edit]

The music video for the track "Neighbor" was featured on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head.

In 2006, UK Hardcore band, Age of Kali, released a demo CD with some of the lyrics from Goddamn Devil printed on the inner sleeve, as well as an alternative cover parodying the 'Ugly Kid' as Straight-Edge, only holding up two fingers with the X on his hand and holding a bottle of soda. The cover also read, "Margate's Least Wanted."

Track listing[edit]

All songs credited to Whitfield Crane, Cordell Crockett, Mark Davis, Klaus Eichstadt and Dave Fortman. Actual writers listed below.

  1. "Neighbor" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 4:45
  2. "Goddamn Devil" (Eichstadt) – 4:55
  3. "Come Tomorrow" (Crane, Crockett, Eichstadt, Roger Lahr) – 4:55
  4. "Panhandlin' Prince" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 5:42
  5. "Busy Bee" (Fortman) – 4:10
  6. "Don't Go" (Crane, Eric Phillips) – 4:33
  7. "So Damn Cool" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 4:26
  8. "Same Side" (Crane, Crockett, Eichstadt) – 4:51
  9. "Cats in the Cradle" (Harry Chapin, Sandra Chapin) – 4:02
  10. "I'll Keep Tryin'" (Eichstadt, Alan Reed) – 4:59
  11. "Everything About You" (Crane, Eichstadt)– 4:20
  12. "Madman" ('92 Remix) (Eichstadt)– 3:37
  13. "Mr. Recordman" (Eichstadt) – 4:06

On the cassette pressings the Track listing is:

Side One:

  1. "Neighbor" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 4:43
  2. "Come Tomorrow" (Crane, Crockett, Eichstadt, Roger Lahr) – 4:54
  3. "Panhandlin' Prince" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 5:41
  4. "Busy Bee" (Fortman) – 4:08
  5. "Don't Go" (Crane, Eric Phillips) – 4:30
  6. "So Damn Cool" (Crane, Eichstadt) – 4:24

Side Two"

  1. "Goddamn Devil" (Eichstadt) – 4:53
  2. "Same Side" (Crane, Crockett, Eichstadt) – 4:48
  3. "Cats in the Cradle" (Harry Chapin, Sandra Chapin) – 4:01
  4. "I'll Keep Tryin'" (Eichstadt, Alan Reed) – 4:58
  5. "Everything About You" (Crane, Eichstadt)– 4:20
  6. "Madman" ('92 Remix) (Eichstadt)– 3:37
  7. "Mr. Recordman" (Eichstadt) – 4:11

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Year Chart Position
1992 US Billboard 200[6] 27
UK Albums Chart[7] 11

Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1992 "Neighbor" United StatesUS Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks[6] 29
United KingdomUK Singles Chart[7] 28
"So Damn Cool" United KingdomUK Singles Chart 44
1993 "Cats in the Cradle" United StatesUS Billboard Hot 100[6] 6
United StatesUS Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 3
United StatesUS Billboard Top 40 Mainstream[6] 11
United KingdomUK Singles Chart 7
"Busy Bee" United StatesUS Billboard Mainstream Rock Tracks 22
United KingdomUK Singles Chart 39

References[edit]