Porcupine Tree: Ranked

I have loved Porcupine Tree for years, and those who pay attention to this little corner of the internet may remember I wrote a feature about why I want them to come back. Now, I’ll share with you what I believe to be Porcupine Tree’s best and worst albums, in the order of worst, to best, naturally.

10: On the Sunday of Life… (1992)

Porcupine Tree’s debut record was a strange one, written and performed exclusively by Steven Wilson (Alan Duffy wrote most of the lyrics). I’ll always have a soft spot for the bizarre “Linton Samuel Dawson” however.

9: The Sky Moves Sideways (1995)

I never particularly got into The Sky Moves Sideways. I found it too slow moving and progressive for my tastes. It contains many quality moments, but you do have to sift through a lot of noise to get there.

8: Signify (1996)

A good album, but not as heavy as other Porcupine Tree stuff can be. There are some insanely good guitar solos here and several ace tracks. “Dark Matter” and “The Sleep of No Dreaming” are stand-outs.

7: The Incident (2009)

It all ended on a bit of a sour note for Porcupine Tree with The Incident. It largely felt like a far less interesting version of the likes of Fear of Blank Planet and In Absentia. “Time Flies” and “The Incident” are great tracks though.

6: Up the Downstair (1993)

This record represented the first time Porcupine Tree sounded like Porcupine Tree. It’s a great album and with “Up the Downstair”, “Always Never” and “Burning Sky” comes with three brilliant tracks.

5: Lightbulb Sun (2000)

Overall, Lightbulb Sun is great, but it contains one of Porcupine Tree’s best ever songs. “Russia on Ice”. This grand piece of storytelling makes the most of Steven Wilson’s progressive style that can effortlessly mix a load of different styles.

4: Stupid Dream (1999)

“Even Less”, “Piano Lessons” and “Tinto Brass”. Just three of the great tracks on this stupidly good record. Stupid Dream added more heaviness into Porcupine Tree’s space-rock sound than ever before and the move paid off in spectacular fashion.

3: In Absentia (2002) & Deadwing (2005)

Try as I might, but I just can’t seperate these albums. Both are outstanding progressive rock filled with plenty of metal elements for those who like to headbang a little too much. “Blackest Eyes”, “Strip the Soul” and “Wedding Nails” are essential listening from In Absentia. Deadwing, meanwhile, contains classics such as “Shallow”, “Arriving Somewhere But Not Here” and “Open Car”. Both albums come seriously highly recommended.

1: Fear of a Blank Planet (2007)

Not only is Fear of a Blank Planet Porcupine Tree’s best record, but it is one of the best albums ever made. Each of the six tracks represent progressive rock at the top of its game. “Anesthetize”, the 17:42 monster is one of the best songs of all time. You absolutely must listen to it if you haven’t done so. Fear of a Blank Planet is about as perfect an album as you’ll ever hear.


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