Recommend an entry level Rufus Wainwright album?

I know Rufus Wainwright has legions of rabid fans, but so far I haven’t been exposed to much of his music. I’ve recently done some work for his upcoming Carnegie Hall concert, and I thought that perhaps I should see what all the fuss is about. So I’m looking for recommendations for the best “Rufus Wainwright for Dummies” album. I’d like to know the reasons for your choice so that I can suss out if the aspects that appeal to you would apply to me.

One reason for my interest is that I saw the trailer for “All I Want: A Portrait of Rufus Wainwright” on his website and I really love the main song that runs over it. I don’t know the title of the song, but maybe you can tell me. (one lyric is “and a bucket of rhymes I threw up somewhere” hee!). I’m a sucker for big, orchestral, soaring pop songs like that.

As far as my tastes, I mostly listen to (and I hate this term) “alternative,” hard rock & post-punk, but also a considerable amount of classic and modern pop. The one thing I don’t listen to much is singer-songwriters. I tend to find them boring. But if Rufus has a lot of songs like the one in that link above, then he could change my mind.

Any help?

That song (can’t remember the name) is from Want One, which is the album I’d suggest in the first place. A fantastic CD, start to finish, regardless of your tastes.

Now that song’s in my head…

I should mention that I’ll be downloading the music from iTunes. I still think in the old, 20th-century, concept of “albums,” but if you have an ideal ‘playlist’ of songs I can download separately, I’m definitely happy to hear those suggestions.

Buy the whole Want One album. And Beauty Mark. I love that song.

Poses is probably the most accessible and Pop-ish

The eponymous debut is the most offbeat and fun.

Want One is my favorite. The lyrics you mention are from the song I Don’t Know What It Is which is on Want One and was one of a handful of CD-singles released.

Want Two is good but more esoteric. You should wait until you’re used to his style before trying this one.

I don’t know that I’d call myself a Rufus Wainwright fan in general, but Poses is one of my all time favorite albums. My exposure to his work is by no means complete, but most of his other stuff I’ve heard has been a little hit-or-miss for me.

Poses or Rufus Wainwright…better to wait for Want One and Want Two until you’ve gotten into the music a bit.

I started with Rufus Wainwright and it’s one of my favorite albums. I couldn’t get into Poses too much, so the eponymous one is all I have.

Thanks to the magic of iTunes, I’ve already bought ‘Want One’ and listened to it while I walked around town running errands.


I’m ready for more, already. Based on your recs I might go for Poses first, before risking Want Two.

Thank you all!

Rufus is Only Mostly Missus’ favorite artist, so I couldn’t escape the music if I wanted to. Luckily, it actually is [del]good[/del] great stuff, so I am quite happy to listen to it.

I love Poses, in no small part because it really is the most accessible and, kiss of death, “mainstream.” (Three recommended tracks: Poses, Grey Gardens, One Man Guy)

A very very close second, I’d say Want One. A little more eccentric, but still quite manageable. It rocks out more than the first two albums, lots of very grand, lush songs. (Recommended: I Don’t Know What It Is, Go Or Go Ahead, Beautiful Child)

Third, the eponymous album. It’s definitely a harder listen, but it seems that many times, an artist puts out some killer songs in a debut album, because he has a lifetime to develop them, which doesn’t much exist for later albums. (Recommended: Danny Boy, April Fools, In My Arms)

Last, Want Two. I don’t know what it is (teehee), but it just strikes me that the best Want material went onto the first disc. That, and I don’t really know it because I haven’t listened to it more than two or three times. (Recommended: Little Sister)