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Nightwish Album Rankings 2019

41 posts in this topic

This ranking of Nightwish albums is a commonly  asked question on the various social media forums i am a member of.
I find that on the fan sites where one of the singers of Nightwish is the focal point,  that the albums covered by the chosen 
singer is voted as number one on the list.
Not surprising one might think, but i find that a pressure to conform to that ideal although not expressed in words might bias 
the result.
This forum appears eclectic in tastes and that perceived  pressure is not there, I only mention this as the original  post felt the 
trust in members opinions was to be trusted on this forum.

1. Century child
I vacillate on my favourite Nightwish albums, but at the present time i am playing this album in my car more than any other.
Beauty of the Beast is just so epic for me

2. Dark Passion Play
I love Poet and the pendulum especially the live wembley version

3. Endless Forms Most Beautiful
I love Tuomas lyrics on all Nightwish albums, and in my opinion this album epitomises those feelings.
I like reading the meaning to the lyrics on this forum.

4.Imaginaerum
Like nearly every song on this album, Enjoyed the film too.

5. Once
This was the first album i bought after hearing Nemo, still enjoy the songs.

6.Wishmaster.
Like she is my sin, and Tarjas  wishmaster, Deep Silent Complete, and Dead Boys Poem

7.Oceanborn.
Loved The Devil and deep dark Ocean from the decades tour,  And adore Tarja  Sacrament of the Wilderness, and 
Pharaoh Sails to Orien

8. Angels Fall First
Love the first five songs from this album, Especially Astral Romance, and Angels Fall First
 

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Let's see... I always struggle with making a ranking of the albums because I like them all a lot.

1. Century Child (currently my favourite because it works perfectly)

2. Imaginaerum (was my favourite for a while and I remember how I hyped I was about all news before the album and the feeling when I listened to it the first time)

3. Endless Forms Most Beautiful (really love the theme and it features my favourite NW song which is The Greatest Show On Earth)

4. Once (Nemo got me into NW and the album has a lot of cool songs like The Siren and Ghost Love Score) 

5. Dark Passion Play (this album also has special place in my heart for guiding me through rough times)

6. Oceanborn (also very cool stuff like Devil & The Deep Dark Ocean)

7. Wishmaster (also a very good album, love Fantasmic a lot)

8. Angels Fall First (love the mood in this album, it feels so innocent compared to the later stuff and it features the best bonus track which is A Return to the Sea)

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Echoing what most people already said, it's super hard to rank these albums and NW really have a strong body of work overall. My top 2 are my definite top 2 though. 

1. Century Child. First NW album I ever heard, and still my favorite. I like pretty much every song on here (EverDream, Beauty of the Beast and Dead to the World most of all), it includes Marco, Tarjas vocals were best on this album to me, and it includes some of the most beautiful lyrics. 

2. Imaginaerum. Honestly when DPP came out, I wasn't fond of Anettes singing - but boy did she shine on this one. Turn loose the mermaids is my favorite ever NW ballad, and Ghost River and Storytime are among my fave NW songs too. The second half is a bit weaker IMO, but still really good, and the variety on this album is just great. 

3. Once. This one is really hard to place. Like others said, it doesn't feel like one cohesive album, and I rarely listen to it as a whole. But many of these songs on their own are just way too good to place it lower (GLS, Planet Hell, The Siren, Romanticide). 

(4. - 7. are pretty interchangeable and might be different if you asked me on a different day) 

4. Wishmaster. I know most people prefer Oceanborn, but Wishmaster just grabs me a bit more. Two for tragedy, She's my Sin and the Kingslayer are my faves from this. 

5. Dark Passion Play. As said before, I really wasn't fond of Anettes vocals on here, but there are still some great compositions - and when Floor sings some of these live, they really hit home. Poet & the Pendulum as amazing of course, but Sahara, The Islander and 7 Days to the Wolves are my faves. Plus I have a soft spot for The heart I once had, pure kitsch that it is. 

6. Endless Forms Most Beautiful. I basically worship the ground Floor walks on (I mean not really, but you get the idea), but she's just so under used on this (which I'm sure will be better with the next album, when Tuomas knows Floors voice better). Many of the lyrics are lovely, and I do like to listen to it - it just doesn't really have stand out songs that grab me, like the other albums have. 

7. Oceanborn. This is a bit of a hit or miss for me. This one contains some of my all time fave songs (Gethsemane, The Riddler, Walking in the Air), but also the most songs I never warmed up to. Plus, I can't really listen to this on repeat. I can understand why others would love it more and place it higher tough. 

8. Angels Fall First. Really a bit more of a demo. The talent was obvious, it's just not as developed as all the other ones. 

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1. WIshmaster

2. Oceanborn

3. Century Child

4. Angels  Fall First

5. Dark Passion Play

6. Once

7. Endless Forms Most Beautiful

8. Imaginerium

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18 hours ago, NighttimeBird said:

@clockendI didn't expect anyone's list to be so close to mine, I only have your #5 and #6 swapped around

Nighttimebird,   They say great minds think alike,   Joking aside my list could change on my mood or any given events in my life.
I tend to enjoy songs with deep meaningful lyrics, or what i might term as  slightly morose, Though when Floor introduced alpenglow 
at wembley it certainly kicked me into a good mood,  Enjoy your day.

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Alright...so as of now with 25 rankings in - our album rankings as a forum are as follows:

  1. Imaginaerum - 151 points
  2. Century Child - 140 points
  3. Oceanborn - 128 points
  4. Dark Passion Play - 118 points
  5. Once - 117 points
  6. Endless Forms Most Beautiful - 100 points
  7. Wishmaster - 94 points
  8. Angels Fall First - 53 points

I handed out 8 points to each song that was ranked first, 7 points for second, and so on.  There were a couple instances where there was a tie, so both songs got the full points for that place (i.e., EFMB & CC tied for 3rd, they both got 6 points.  The next song received 4 points).  There was also one request of deliberate non-ranking of a song (AFF), so it got zero points for that case.

A few interesting facts for each album...

  1. Over 50% of respondents ranked Imaginaerum either 1st or 2nd.
  2. No one ranked CC 7th...but two of you ranked it last!!
  3. NO ONE ranked Oceanborn last.
  4. Only one person ranked DPP first ( @NightGuide)...and only 3 ranked it last.
  5. Truly the middle of the road album for NW is Once.  No one ranked it last...but only one of you ranked it first.  That's you, @Damian
  6. No second-place rankings for EFMB.
  7. No last-place rankings for Wishmaster.
  8. The highest ranking AFF received was *one* 3rd place ranking from @Ann_argr

 

I'm not seeing any big surprises from these rankings...didn't know DPP would perform quite as well as it did, but there you go.  A little hurt that Wishmaster is so low as well :P 

Also just for fun...here is something I threw together just to show the progression of NW over time...(at least according to this very informal ranking!!)

image.thumb.png.b0a3b50c440f8dbe1d82cecb4006da50.png

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At the moment I would rank it like this. The first and last two places are very clear and stabile over the last years, but the four albums in the middle change from time to time.

1. Dark Passion Play (my first NW album nearly 12 years ago. Still love it with all my heart. Nostalgia pure.)

2. Endless Forms Most Beautiful 

3. Once (up from 5)

4. Century Child (down from 3)

5. Imaginaerum (up from 6)

6. Oceanborn (down from 4)

7. Wishmaster

8. Angels Fall First

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I tried to rank 50 favourite songs, which is hard since it depends on the current mood :-)
But I came up with a list I am pretty satisfied with, and then gave 5 points to songs in top-10, 4 points for songs in 11-20 and so on.

Here are the results. So this is not really direct album ranking, but  gives a pretty good idea where I am. Some "fill up" songs would of course make a small differences.


Obviously  Dark Passion Play is way ahead of the others ,I actually suprised myself with that.
Imaginaerum, Once and Endless Forms Most Beautiful are very close, and then there is a pretty big drop to the rest.


(Album - points - how many songs in top-50)

 

Dark Passion Play  42 (14)

Imaginaerum 29 (9)

Once 27 (7)

Endless Forms Most Beautiful 23 (8)

Centry Child  13 (4)

Oceanborn  5 (3)

Wishmaster 4 (1)

Angles Falls First 3 (2)

End of Innocence 3 (1)

 

I'll post the complete list of  Top-50 songs on a new thread - in THAT list there are some big "surprises" and disagreements to many of you here... :-)

 

PS. You may wish to check out some of the videos I've made...

 

 

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I honestly would never have guessed that Imaginaerum would turn out to be such a sleeper hit. It got a good reception back when it was first released, but I've seen so many people praising it since as one of their very best even after a lot of time has passed (not just fans, but journalists and professional music critics too).

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Hi,

My personal rank :

1/ Once

2/ Endless forms most beautiful

3/ Imaginaerum

4/ Oceanborn

5/ Dark passion play

6/ Century child

7/ Wishmaster

8/ Angels fall first

The second and the third may be swaped, the 5th and 6th too.

In fact I have a "problem" with the "old" album but Once : I like the Tarja's operatic voice but I can't listen an entire album with operatic voice because that's boring me. A bit like :

- First song "Great operatic voice on metal I love !"

- Second song "Operatic voice on metal I like"

- Third song "Ok operatic voice on metal nice"

- 4th song "WTF, operatic voice again, ok go to listen a death metal song of another band" :)

 

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On 6/10/2019 at 11:10 PM, Magnus said:

I honestly would never have guessed that Imaginaerum would turn out to be such a sleeper hit. It got a good reception back when it was first released, but I've seen so many people praising it since as one of their very best even after a lot of time has passed (not just fans, but journalists and professional music critics too).

I think it benefits from being less of a "love or hate" album than releases like Dark Passion Play, or some of their early albums. Whilst it had the occasional low ranking, most people seem to have put it in the top half of their lists, which really benefits it in a scoring system like this.

I'm not too surprised that Century Child and Oceanborn also did well, they've always done pretty well on favourite album polls in the past. Similarly the bottom 3 don't surprise me too much based on previous polls and comments around the albums. The one that surprises me the most is Once - it's their biggest selling album IIRC, and often held up as one of their best. Whilst I ranked it lower out of personal preference, I'm surprised that it didn't even make the top half of the rankings.

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I think Dark Passion Play outsold Once actually.

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I know that DPP was the biggest in terms of initial sales, however I remember reading somewhere that Once has since outsold it (presumably from some newer fans picking up the band's back catalogue).

According to the Wikipedia page, Once has sold just over 2 million whilst DPP sold just under - that said, I don't know how up to date these figures are, so they may not still be accurate.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightwish_discography

Not to mention that Once seems to be the most consistently well-represented album in their live shows - whether it's a new album release or a "old favourites" tour like Decades, there's always a handful of Once songs. By contrast, Dark Passion Play only had "Amaranth" make it into the Decades shows, and even that was dropped by the end of the tour. Once had 3-4 songs per show. Even on "Showtime, Storytime" from the Imaginaerum tour (1 album after DPP) only had 2 songs from DPP (Last of the Wilds and Amaranth), whilst Once had 5 (DCOW, WIHAA, Nemo, Romanticide, GLS). Whilst it's one of my least favourites, both critics and the band themselves seem to consider it an essential NW album, hence my surprise at the showing so far.

Mind you, given that the forum members are much more likely to know all the albums and follow the setlists, live videos etc. perhaps a certain amount of "Once fatigue" has counted against it.

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It's a great album, but I think you're right in that most hardcore fans suffer from "Once fatigue" at this point. It feels like they barely let Dark Chest of Wonders, Wish I Had an Angel, Nemo and Ghost Love Score rest for more than half a tour at most. I don't expect them to just stop playing songs from this album, but I'm crossing my fingers that the next tour will feature other songs from it in their place - like The Siren, Higher Than Hope and even something as obscure as White Night Fantasy.

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