Nickelback, the Canadian post-grunge outfit once nurtured in Hanna, Alberta’s frosted landscapes, serves as a paradigm of dynamism, passion, and popular craftsmanship in the vast, often treacherous terrains of pop music. Their discography, a genre-hopping playground of unforgettable melodies and hard-hitting lyrics, brims with gems ranging from Curb, their raw, unrefined introduction to the world, to the polished, radio-friendly offering of the Live from Red Rocks set. The band hit their stride with The State, a record that showcases their uncanny knack for crafting catchy hooks. On the contrary, the engine-roaring tunes of Feed The Machine encapsulate the band’s heavier side.
Nickelback’s ventures into the unexplored corners of pop music, visible in the sonic experiments of Get Rollin’ and its subsequent Deluxe heavy-metal edition, demonstrate their refusal to nestle in a cozy comfort zone. Do not skim over their commercially successful dark horse, All The Right Reasons, and its Special Edition – a swinging pendulum between the band’s rock roots and pop aspirations. No Fixed Address, with its wave-riding tunes, and Here and Now, a testament to their unwavering consistency, are important pit-stops on Nickelback’s thrilling ride to stardom. The Long Road is an introspective journey into the heart of the band’s ethos, with each track being a self-contained narrative. Not to be overlooked is the anniversary edition of All The Right Reasons, boasting fresh takes on their classics.
Dark Horse, with its edgy compositions, and Silver Side Up, a record that navigates emotional depth with finesse, further emphasize the band’s relentless pursuit of versatility and artistic integrity. So let’s get into it. From Curb to Silver Side Up, here are all the Nickelback albums ranked in popularity.
10. Curb ( 1996 )
It wasn’t a chart topper, but it did what it needed to do – introduced this powerhouse Canadian rock outfit to a global audience. Laden with post-grunge and alternative rock vibes, it served up raw, unpolished Nickelback, showcasing Chad Kroeger’s emotive lead vocals and that gritty guitar sound they would refine in later works. The eponymous track, “Curb,” cut through the noise with its relentless energy, despite the album’s general lack of Billboard clout. While not their most commercially successful album, “Curb” offered a glimpse into the band’s potential, paving the way for their later multi-platinum glory. For its historical significance in Nickelback’s discography, it’s a must-listen for any fan.
9. The State ( 1999 )
This scrappy underdog from the frosty wilds of Alberta, Canada hit its stride with a unique fusion of grungy riffs and hook-laden melodies. The band’s unyielding tenacity oozed from every chord, a testament to their blue-collar roots. But it was the raw, vocal delivery from Chad Kroeger that served as the album’s beating heart. Unveiling gems like “Leader of Men” and “Breathe,” Kroeger’s gravelly growl was a siren call to disenchanted youth, a rallying cry for the age-old angst against the establishment. The album peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers chart, proving the Canucks had the chops to roll with the big dogs. Though the critics sneered, Nickelback would have the last laugh. For “The State” wasn’t just an album—it was a vibe, a movement, a state of mind. Unpolished, untamed, and unabashedly Nickelback.
8. Feed The Machine ( 2017 )
This proved that these Canadian rockers weren’t down for the count yet, no siree! The title track, a spirited call to arms, marked a tonal shift that few anticipated – these aren’t your older brother’s “Photograph” crooners. They’ve evolved, and dang it if they didn’t do it well! The album’s heavier, more metal-influenced sound intermixed with their signature melodic ballads solidified Nickelback’s versatility. Let’s not forget the chart-topping “Song on Fire,” flexing Chad Kroeger’s unique vocal intensity and songwriting chops. Chart-performance wise, the album was no slouch either – hitting no. 5 on Billboard 200 and garnering gold certification in Canada. While critics were quick to (unfairly) dismiss Nickelback, “Feed The Machine” offered a defiant retort that these boys still have some rock ‘n roll left in ’em.
7. Get Rollin’ ( 2022 )
Returning after a five-year hiatus, “Get Rollin’,” emerged as a strong statement in the rock genre, challenging the often petty criticism directed towards the band. Renowned for their massive success and divisive reception, Nickelback’s new work showcases their musical prowess and versatility. The album kicks off with the powerful “San Quentin,” exemplifying their ability to dial up intensity. Contrasting this energy, “Those Days” offers a nostalgic and wry look back, reminiscent of their 2005 hit “Photograph.”
Diverse in its offerings, “Get Rollin'” also includes tracks like “High Time,” a blend of country and metal, and “Vegas Bomb,” characterized by its metallic intensity and twin guitar work. “Tidal Wave” stands out with its summery, hypnotic vibe, offering a stark contrast to the more serious tones of “Steel Still Rusts.” The album also features the bold and energetic “Skinny Little Missy,” marked by engaging hooks and impressive guitar solos, showcasing Nickelback’s ability to still surprise and captivate audiences.
6. No Fixed Address ( 2014 )
Commercially; peaking at No. 2 in the Canadian Albums Chart and No. 4 on the Billboard 200, just goes to show the band’s enduring popularity, eh? The album catches the ear with its dubious blend of pop-rock, post-grunge, and even a sprinkle of country – a seemingly bold departure from their chart-dominating prior releases. Lead single “Edge of a Revolution” poured out political frustrations, showcasing a newfound lyrical maturity. It may not have won over every critic, but hey, ain’t change often met with resistance? “What Are You Waiting For?” is another standout, a soul-baring ballad that flexes Chad Kroeger’s raw emotional output. Overall, one cannot deny Nickelback’s effort to mix up their sound, despite the mixed critical reception. The album symbolizes their relentless pursuit of evolution and growth, highlighting their audacious sonic explorations. It’s a testament to the band’s dynamism in today’s ever-changing pop music landscape.
5. Here and Now ( 2011 )
This album silhouetted the band’s evolution, straddling the line between their rough-around-the-edges post-grunge beginnings and a more polished, radio-friendly sound kissing up to the mainstream. Familiar themes of love, rebellion, and untamed life were woven into a 11-track tapestry, making it a compelling listen. The singles “Bottoms Up” and “When We Stand Together” threw their weight around on the charts, a testament to the band’s enduring appeal. Yet, the album was a lightning rod for criticism, with some detractors arguing that Nickelback was now more comfortable treading water than making waves. But let’s not get it twisted – “Here and Now” may not have marked a high point in their career, but it solidified Nickelback’s status in the pantheon of pop-rock.
4. The Long Road ( 2003 )
Here, the band explored darker, brooding themes—quite the departure from their usual rollicking, hook-heavy approach. Released in 2003, the album was heralded by “Someday”—a heart-wrenching power ballad that swiftly clambered up to No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100, endorsing Nickelback’s midas touch for richly emotive tunes. “Figured You Out” took a different lane, with its raucous guitar riffs and driving drums landing it the No.1 spot on the Mainstream Rock chart. Meanwhile, the palpable emotion of “Feelin’ Way Too Damn Good” cemented it as a fan favorite. Despite shifting gears, “The Long Road” proved Nickelback’s musical versatility, selling over 5 million copies worldwide. Each track on this album was a pit stop on Nickelback’s journey, revealing raw and exposed layers of their lyrical prowess. It was edgy, vulnerable, and introspective—painting a clear picture that there was more depth to Nickelback than what met the eye.
3. All The Right Reasons
This record saw Nickelback breaching the fortress of mainstream pop, armed with catchy hooks and relatable lyrics, ultimately reaching the top of the Billboard 200. In 2020, they released the 15th Anniversary Expanded Edition, a look back at an album that clearly wasn’t just a flash in the pan. The anniversary edition includes a bonus live CD from 2006, a testament to their robust live performances. From the anthemic “Animals” to the heart-wrenching “Far Away”, the album is a musical rollercoaster ride, featuring a balance between their trusted post-grunge vibes and pop-leaning tracks. Whether you’re a dedicated fan or a passing listener, “All The Right Reasons” showcases Nickelback’s ability to create infectious earworms that withstand the test of time. There’s no doubt that this record marked a defining moment in their evolution as a band.
2. Dark Horse ( 2008 )
Released in 2008, the album was a commercial juggernaut, spawning no fewer than five top 20 singles including anthems like “Gotta Be Somebody” and “If Today Was Your Last Day”. Production-wise, the album bore the fingerprints of legendary producer Mutt Lange, giving the band’s signature grunge-infused rock sound a glossy sheen, making it palatable to the pop crowd. But let’s be blunt, “Dark Horse” was also a magnet for criticism, lambasted as formulaic and accused of pandering to the bourgeois tastes of the billboard charts. Yet, amidst all the furore, one can’t deny the album’s significance. “Dark Horse” was Nickelback showing up with their A-game, defying expectations and giving their fans an album that, despite its flaws, saw them emerge as pop-rock titans on the global stage.
1. Silver Side Up ( 2001 )
With gruff determination, lead vocalist Chad Kroeger and the gang unleashed a torrent of husky vocals, gritty guitars, and anthemic choruses that became the soundtrack for dive bars and jukeboxes across the globe. “How You Remind Me” was the nitty-gritty single that shot straight to the apex of the Billboard Hot 100—a commercial success, but also an artistic triumph that flaunted Nickelback’s deft hand in crafting hook-laden tangles of melody and emotion. Then there’s “Too Bad”, a scathing exploration of absentee fathers, revealing a refreshing depth to Kroeger’s songwriting. The album’s success was undeniable, shifting over 10 million copies in the U.S alone. “Silver Side Up” was crucial in shaping pop rock’s sound in the early noughties, proving Nickelback to be more than just a one-hit-wonder band.