It's called "Leader of Men" and, if I'm being completely honest, it's still pretty goddamn terrible. I'm sorry, this band has a formula and that formula calls for making shit music; there's just no getting around it.
Nevertheless, I do have a reason for picking "Leader of Men" as the closest we'll ever come to a decent Nickelback creation. Simply put, this song comes from a simpler time, before we knew how rapidly the Nickelback plague was going to spread. I used to hear it on the radio when it first came out and just assumed it was by Bush. I'd probably still think it was a Bush song if not for the Columbia House Music Club.
If you're significantly younger than me, as most people are, there's a good chance you have never even heard of Columbia House. For all intents and purposes, it was a scam that had the unusual feature of benefiting everyone involved. On the one hand, upon signing up, they'd send you eight CDs for a penny.
Or 12 cassettes!
Yes, there was shipping and handling to pay, but not much. Usually way less than what you'd pay for one album. It was a fairly sweet deal that came with a huge catch in that, every month after that, unless you told them not to, Columbia House would just fire off another CD to you in the mail. That one was full price. So, if you go a month without telling them you don't want to buy anything, you're buying some shit.
And that's the story of how I came to own a Nickelback album against my will.
It was disappointing, because I was broke as shit back then (some things never change) and didn't really have the spending cash to blow on an album I didn't trust. I had a brief moment of hope when I noticed that the Bush song I'd heard on the radio was actually a Nickelback song and was on this album, but that hope stayed lit exactly as long as it took me to listen to like three tracks, max. Given that I'd been listening to it on the 8-track-ready stereo in my mom's station wagon up to that point and was now hearing it in my usual listening environment, even "Leader of Men" revealed itself to be pretty fucking awful. It was all bad, and it always will be, and there's nothing I can do about that. Again, I'm sorry, but I just don't have the name of a "good" Nickelback song that I can share with you. For what it's worth, this is definitely the most listenable Nickelback-related thing I've ever heard ...
Barring that, the best I can do is to tell you to listen to "Leader of Men" while daydreaming about living in a world free from the constraints of knowing Nickelback is the best-selling rock band of our time. That's the world I used to live in, and it's a world I hope to live in again someday.
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For more from Adam, check out The 5 Most Absurd Video Games Starring Rock Stars and The 15 Most Baffling Boasts in the History of Rap.
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