Tool Madness

The folks over at The Tool Page (@thetoolpage ) are doing a March Madness competition (#ToolMadness) to decide which Tool song will be crowned the greatest Tool song of all time.  Being busy with work, I got into it late, so the songs below that have their seed number next to them are matches that already took place.  At the time of me writing this, the bottom second round bracket for Opiate & Undertow had just finished, so I can’t take credit for Bottom or Prison Sex, but the rest of em are mine.

My choices were a combination of strategy (what I think more people will pick) with about 20% personal preference and about 20% objectively deciding between honest song epic-ness.  If it were totally up to me, I would have seen instrumentals like Triad make it further, but I figured the winner really needs to feature all the band members to really call it the best of all time.

I struggled the most with the ultimate winner of the Lateralus bracket. Lateralus vs. Parabola is such an epic battle… in fact when I submitted my final 4 votes for the actual competition before filling this bracket out, I had Lateralus as the division winner and the eventual champs… but then I got home and really started to look at everything… soundscape, song message, music video artestry… and I decided to change my initial gut feeling to Parabola as the eventual winners instead.

Overall I think the final match up represents a great dichotomy of old and new – Sober captures a lot of their early journey when things were still angry, resentful – whereas Lateralus (to me) really captured the emergent journey of self discovery and breaking through those old burdens into a state of greater awareness – something that Parabola nails in its climax towards the end.

Update 6.1.2011

The final results are in ~ after an amazing upset where 10,000 days defeated Sober for 3rd place, Lateralus has been crowned The Greatest Tool Song, defeating Third Eye in the finals. Although I was one of the 509 people who (officially) guessed that Lateralus would win, I was off otherwise, having thought that Jambi and 46&2 were going to make it to the final four.

Here’s the post from the contest website:

Here it is: the winning song in Tool Madness 2011, the song that has been voted “the Greatest Tool song” by you, is … “Lateralus”!

“Lateralus” beat out runner-up “Third Eye” convincingly, collecting nearly twice as many votes as the older song. Looking at the picks that you filled out back when this all started, it turns out that 509 of the 1621 ballots had picked “Lateralus” to win it all, while only 141 thought “Third Eye” would. And there was a last-minute upset: “10,000 Days” beat “Sober” for the third-place trophy, showing that the band did not peak back in the early 1990s.

And speaking of your picks, of the 1621 people who submitted valid picks for the Final 4, the official overall winner is … Josh Abbott. Josh wins some fleeting notoriety and a mention of his Twitter feed; send him a congratulatory note at @LiverFluke. More data will be posted here soon for you data-lovers.

A grand total of 93,557 votes were cast in the tournament. I heard from many of you that you had fun playing along. It seemed like a fun way to pass some time while waiting for there to be any actual Tool news. Glad you all enjoyed the Madness!

Here’s a link to the final bracket results:

And a video dedication to the champ: