To listen to RTÉ.ie's radio and podcast services, you will need to disable any ad blocking extensions or whitelist this site.
Dave Fanning looks back through the years at the Fannings Fab 50s. This week it's the Fab 50 from 2014.
1. Wake Up - Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is a Canadian indie rock band founded in 2001, from Montréal, Quebec, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, alongside Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. The band's current touring line-up also includes former core member Sarah Neufeld and multi-instrumentalists Paul Beaubrun, Dan Boeckner and Eric Heigle. Each of the band's studio albums features contributions from composer and violinist Owen Pallett. "Wake Up" was the fifth and final single released from the band's debut album, Funeral. The single was released as a one-sided 7" vinyl record on November 14, 2005.
2. One - U2
One is the third track from their seventh album, Achtung Baby (1991), and it was released as the record's third single in February 1992. During the album's recording sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2's sound and the quality of their material. Tensions almost prompted the band to break up until they achieved a breakthrough with the improvisation of "One"; the song was written after the band members were inspired by a chord progression that guitarist the Edge was playing in the studio. The lyrics, written by lead singer Bono, were inspired by the band members' fractured relationships and the German reunification. Although the lyrics ostensibly describe "disunity", they have been interpreted in other ways.
"One" was released as a benefit single, with proceeds going towards AIDS research. The song topped the Irish Singles Charts, the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart and the US Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. It also peaked at number three in New Zealand, number four in Australia, number seven on the UK Singles Chart and number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. In promotion of the song, the band filmed several music videos, although they were not pleased until a third was created.
The song was acclaimed by critics upon its release, and it has since been featured in polls of the greatest songs of all time. U2 has performed "One" at most of their tour concerts since the song's live debut in 1992, and it has appeared in many of the band's concert films. In a live setting, "One" is often used by the group to promote human rights or social justice causes, and the song lends its namesake to Bono's charitable organisation, the ONE Campaign. In 2005, U2 re-recorded the song as part of a duet with R&B recording artist Mary J. Blige on her album The Breakthrough and reworked it again for their Songs of Surrender(2023).
3. Take Me to Church - Hozier
Andrew John Hozier-Byrne (born 17 March 1990), known professionally as Hozier is an Irish musician, singer and songwriter. His music primarily draws from folk, soul, and blues, often using religious and literary themes. He had his international breakthrough after releasing his debut single "Take Me to Church", which has been certified multi-platinum in several countries. It was released as his debut single on 13 September 2013, originally featuring on his extended play of the same name, before being featured as the opening track of his 2014 debut album Hozier.
4. The Miracle of Joey Ramone - U2
"The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the opening track from their thirteenth studio album, Songs of Innocence, and was released as its lead single. It was produced by Danger Mouse, Paul Epworth, and Ryan Tedder. It was first unveiled by the band during their performance at an Apple Inc. product launch event on 9 September 2014, coinciding with an announcement that Songs of Innocence would be released digitally to iTunes Store customers free of charge. The song's title refers to American musician Joey Ramone, lead singer of influential punk rock band the Ramones.
5. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley
Jeffrey Scott Buckley (November 17, 1966 – May 29, 1997), raised as Scott Moorhead, was an American singer, songwriter, and guitarist. After a decade as a session guitarist in Los Angeles, Buckley amassed a following in the early 1990s by performing cover songs at venues in East Village, Manhattan, such as Sin-é, while gradually focusing more on his own material. After rebuffing interest from record labels and Herb Cohen—the manager of his father, singer Tim Buckley — he signed with Columbia, recruited a band, and recorded what would be his only studio album, Grace, in 1994. Three years later, during a spontaneous evening swim, he drowned in the Mississippi River.
"Hallelujah" was written by Canadian singer Leonard Cohen, originally released on his album Various Positions (1984). Achieving little initial success, the song found greater popular acclaim through a new version recorded by John Cale in 1991. Cale's version inspired a 1994 recording by Jeff Buckley that in 2004 was ranked number 259 on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
6. Love Will Tear Us Apart - Joy Division
Joy Division formed in Salford in 1976. The group consisted of vocalist, guitarist and lyricist Ian Curtis, lead guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris.
Sumner and Hook formed the band after attending a June 1976 Sex Pistols concert. While Joy Division's first recordings were heavily influenced by early punk, they soon developed a sparse, melancholy style that made them a pioneering act of the post-punk movement. Their debut album Unknown Pleasures, recorded with producer Martin Hannett, was released in 1979.
Frontman Curtis struggled with personal problems including a failing marriage, depression, and epilepsy. As the band's popularity grew, Curtis's health condition made it increasingly difficult for him to perform; he occasionally experienced seizures on stage. He died by suicide on the eve of what would have been the band's first North American tour in May 1980, aged 23. Joy Division's second and final album, Closer, was released two months later; it and the single "Love Will Tear Us Apart" became their highest-charting releases.
Between July and October 1980 the remaining members regrouped under the name New Order. They were successful throughout the next decade, blending post-punk with electronic and dance music influences. In 2023, both Joy Division and New Order were nominated as one act for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
7. Paranoid Android - Radiohead
"Paranoid Android" is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead, released as the lead single from their third studio album OK Computer (1997) on 26 May 1997. The lyrics were written by singer Thom Yorke following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar. The song is over six minutes long and contains four sections. The name is taken from Marvin the Paranoid Android from the science fiction series The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
"Paranoid Android" charted at number three on the UK Singles Chart, their highest-charting position in the UK to date, and received acclaim from music critics, many of whom compared it to the songs "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" by The Beatles and "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen. The track has appeared regularly on lists of the best songs of all time, including NME's and Rolling Stone's respective 500 Greatest Songs of All Time lists.
8. Creep - Radiohead
"Creep" is the debut single by the English rock band Radiohead, released on 21 September 1992. It appeared on their debut studio album, Pablo Honey (1993). Radiohead took elements from the 1972 song "The Air That I Breathe"; following legal action, Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood are credited as cowriters.
Though they achieved greater commercial and critical success with later albums, "Creep" remains Radiohead's most successful single. It was named one of the greatest debut singles and one of the greatest songs by Rolling Stone.
9. Bad (live) - U2
"Bad" is the seventh track on their 1984 album, The Unforgettable Fire. Thematically, the song is about heroin addiction, though lead vocalist Bono has given varying accounts of who was the inspiration behind his lyrics. "Bad" is considered a fan favourite and is one of U2's most frequently performed songs in concert. The band's 12-minute performance of the song at the Live Aid charity concert in 1985 was a breakthrough moment for them.
A live version of the song appears on U2's 1985 EP Wide Awake in America; this rendition became popular on album-oriented rock radio stations. In the United States, the song peaked at number 19 on the BillboardTop Rock Tracks chart. The album version of the song featured on the trailer of Brothers and in the opening and closing sequences of Taking Lives.
10. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
Nirvana formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers, most notably Chad Channing, and then recruited Dave Grohl in 1990. Nirvana's success popularized alternative rock, and they were often referenced as the figurehead band of Generation X. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock culture.
In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records in 1991, Nirvana found unexpected mainstream success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from their landmark second album Nevermind (1991). A cultural phenomenon of the 1990s, Nevermind was certified Diamond by the RIAA and is credited for ending the dominance of hair metal.
Nirvana is one of the best-selling bands of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide. In 2004, Rolling Stone named Nirvana among the 100 greatest artists of all time. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility in 2014.
11. Seven Nation Army - White Stripes
"Seven Nation Army" is a song by American rock duo the White Stripes. They were an American rock duo from Detroit formed in 1997. The group consisted of Jack White (songwriter, vocals, guitar, piano, and bass) and Meg White (drums, percussion, and vocals). They were a leading group of the 2000s indie rock and garage rock revival. This song is the opening track on their fourth studio album, Elephant (2003). V2 Records released the song to American alternative radio on February 17, 2003, as the lead single from the album. Worldwide, the single was issued through XL Recordings. Written and produced by Jack White, the song consists of distorted vocals, a simple drumbeat, and a bass-like riff created by playing a guitar through a pitch shift effect.
12. Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished by their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time.
Pink Floyd were founded in 1965 by Syd Barrett (guitar, lead vocals), Nick Mason (drums), Roger Waters(bass guitar, vocals), and Richard Wright (keyboards, vocals). Under Barrett's leadership, they released two charting singles and the successful debut album The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). The guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in January 1968; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became the primary lyricist and thematic leader, devising the concepts behind Pink Floyd's most successful albums, The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977) and The Wall (1979). The musical film based on The Wall, Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), won two BAFTA Awards.
13. A Design For Life - Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers, also known simply as the Manics, are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood, Caerphilly in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Sean Moore(drums, percussion, soundscapes), plus Nicky Wire (bass guitar, lyrics). They form a key part of the 1990s Welsh Cool Cymru cultural movement. "A Design for Life" is a single from their fourth studio album, Everything Must Go (1996). Released on 15 April 1996, the song peaked and debuted at number two on the UK Singles Chart.
14. With Or Without You - U2
"With or Without You" is the third track on their fifth studio album, The Joshua Tree (1987), and was released as the album's lead single on 16 March 1987. The song was the group's most successful single at the time, becoming their first number-one hit in both the United States and Canada by topping the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks and the RPM national singles chart for one week, with a further three weeks at number two.
"With or Without You" features sustained guitar parts played by guitarist the Edge with a prototype of the Infinite Guitar, along with vocals by lead singer Bono and a bassline by bassist Adam Clayton. The song originated from a demo recorded in late 1985 that the group continued to work on throughout The Joshua Tree sessions. Ostensibly a troubled love song, the track's lyrics were inspired by Bono's conflicting feelings about the lives he led as a musician and domestic man.
Critics praised the song upon its release. It is frequently performed on the band's tours, and it has appeared on many of their compilation albums and concert films. "With or Without You" is U2's second most frequently covered song. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked the song 131st on its list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
15. Demons - The National
The National are an American rock band of Cincinnati, Ohio natives, formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), twin brothers Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards) and Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Carin Besser, the wife of Matt Berninger, is not a band member but has written lyrics for the band alongside her husband since its 2007 album Boxer. Their song "Demons" was Written by band members Matt Berninger and Aaron Dessner, it appears as the second track on the band's sixth studio album Trouble Will Find Me and was released as the album's first single on April 15, 2013.
16. 1979 - Smashing Pumpkins
The Smashing Pumpkins are an American alternative rock band from Chicago, Illinois. Formed in 1988 by frontman and guitarist Billy Corgan, bassist D'arcy Wretzky, guitarist James Iha and drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, the band has undergone several line-up changes since their reunion in 2006, with Corgan being the sole constant member since its inception. The current lineup features Corgan, Chamberlin, Iha and guitarist Jeff Schroeder. "1979" was released in 1996 as the second single from their third studio album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. "1979" was written by frontman Billy Corgan, and features loops and samples uncharacteristic of previous Smashing Pumpkins songs. The song was written as a nostalgic coming-of-age story by Corgan. In the year 1979, Corgan was twelve, and this is what he considered his transition into adolescence. It is their highest-charting single, reaching number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Mainstream Rock Tracks and on the Modern Rock Tracks charts.
17. Rainy Night in Soho - The Pogues
The Pogues were an English or Anglo-Irish Celtic punk band fronted by Shane MacGowan and others, founded in King's Cross, London in 1982, as "Pogue Mahone" – the anglicisation of the Irish Gaelic póg mo thóin, meaning "kiss my arse". The band reached international prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s, recording several hit albums and singles. MacGowan left the band in 1991 owing to drinking problems, but the band continued – first with Joe Strummer and then with Spider Stacy on vocals – before breaking up in 1996. The Pogues re-formed in late 2001, and played regularly across the UK and Ireland and on the US East Coast, until dissolving again in 2014. The group did not record any new material during this second incarnation. A Rainy Night in Soho" was released in 1986, originally included on their Poguetry in Motion EP.
18. Heroes - David Bowie
David Robert Jones (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), known professionally as David Bowie] was an English singer-songwriter and actor. A leading figure in the music industry, he is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Bowie was acclaimed by critics and musicians, particularly for his innovative work during the 1970s. His career was marked by reinvention and visual presentation, and his music and stagecraft had a significant impact on popular music.
"'Heroes'" appears on his 12th studio album of the same name. Co-written by Bowie and Brian Eno and co-produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, the song was recorded in mid-1977 at Hansa Studio 2 in West Berlin. Using a G–D chord progression, the backing track was recorded fully before lyrics were written; Bowie and Eno added synthesiser overdubs while Robert Fripp contributed guitar. To record the vocal, Visconti devised a "multi-latch" system, wherein three microphones were placed at different distances from Bowie and would open when he sang loud enough. Like other album tracks, he improvised lyrics while standing at the microphone.
19. Get Lucky - Daft Punk
Daft Punk were a French electronic music duo formed in 1993 in Paris by Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. They achieved popularity in the late 1990s as part of the French house movement, combining elements of house music with funk, disco, rock and pop. They garnered acclaim and commercial success and are regarded as one of the most influential acts in dance music.
Bangalter and Homem-Christo formed Daft Punk after their indie rock band Darlin' disbanded and began experimenting with drum machines and synthesisers. Their debut studio album, Homework, was released by Virgin Records in 1997 to positive reviews, backed by the singles "Around the World" and "Da Funk". From 1999, Daft Punk assumed robot personas for public appearances, with helmets, outfits and gloves to disguise their identities; they made few media appearances. They were managed from 1996 to 2008 by Pedro Winter, the head of Ed Banger Records.
20. How Soon is Now - The Smiths
The Smiths formed in Manchester in 1982. They comprised the singer Morrissey, the guitarist Johnny Marr, the bassist Andy Rourke and the drummer Mike Joyce. Morrissey and Marr formed the band's songwriting partnership. They are regarded as one of the most important acts to emerge from the 1980s British independent music scene.
21. I Am The Resurrection - Stone Roses
The Stone Roses formed in Manchester in 1983. One of the pioneering groups of the Madchester movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s, the band's classic and most prominent lineup consisted of vocalist Ian Brown, guitarist John Squire, bassist Mani and drummer Reni.
The band released their debut album, The Stone Roses, in 1989. The album was a breakthrough success for the band and received critical acclaim, many regarding it as one of the greatest British albums ever recorded. At this time the group decided to capitalize on their success by signing to a major label. Their record label at the time, Silvertone, would not let them out of their contract, which led to a long legal battle that culminated with the band signing with Geffen Records in 1991.
The Stone Roses released their second album, Second Coming, in 1994, which received mixed reviews.The group soon disbanded after several line-up changes throughout the supporting tour, which began with Reni departing in early 1995, followed by Squire in April 1996. Brown and Mani dissolved the remains of the group in October 1996 following their appearance at Reading Festival.
22. Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, rhythmically driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable line-up consisted of vocalist Mick Jagger, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts. During their formative years, Jones was the primary leader: he assembled the band, named it, and drove their sound and image. After Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager in 1963, he encouraged them to write their own songs. Jagger and Richards became the primary creative force behind the band, alienating Jones, who had developed a drug addiction that interfered with his ability to contribute meaningfully. "Gimme Shelter" was Released as the opening track from the band's 1969 album Let It Bleed. The song covers topics of war, murder, rapeand fear. It features prominent guest vocals by American singer Merry Clayton.
23. Hurt - Johnny Cash
John R. Cash (born J. R. Cash; February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American country singer-songwriter. Most of Cash's music contained themes of sorrow, moral tribulation, and redemption, especially in the later stages of his career. He was known for his deep, calm bass-baritone voice, the distinctive sound of his Tennessee Three backing band characterized by train-like chugging guitar rhythms, a rebelliousness coupled with an increasingly somber and humble demeanor, free prison concerts, and a trademark all-black stage wardrobe, which earned him the nickname the "Man in Black".
Born to poor cotton farmers in Kingsland, Arkansas, Cash rose to fame during the mid-1950s in the burgeoning rockabilly scene in Memphis, Tennessee, after serving four years in the Air Force. He traditionally began his concerts by simply introducing himself, "Hello, I'm Johnny Cash", followed by "Folsom Prison Blues", one of his signature songs. His other signature songs include "I Walk the Line", "Ring of Fire", "Get Rhythm", and "Man in Black". He also recorded humorous numbers like "One Piece at a Time" and "A Boy Named Sue", a duet with his future wife June called "Jackson" (followed by many further duets after their wedding), and railroad songs such as "Hey, Porter", "Orange Blossom Special", and "Rock Island Line". During the last stage of his career, he covered songs by contemporary rock artists; among his most notable covers were "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, "Rusty Cage" by Soundgarden, and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode.
24. Calgary - Bon Iver
Bon Iver is an American indie folk band founded in 2006 by singer-songwriter Justin Vernon.
Vernon released Bon Iver's debut album, For Emma, Forever Ago, independently in July 2007. The majority of the album was recorded while Vernon spent three months isolated in a cabin in western Wisconsin.] In 2012, the band won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album for their eponymous album Bon Iver. They released their third album 22, A Million to critical acclaim in 2016. Their latest album, I, I, was released in 2019. The album was nominated at the 2020 Grammy Awards for Album of the Year.
The name "Bon Iver" derives from the French phrase bon hiver (pronounced [bɔn‿ivɛʁ]; "good winter"), taken from a greeting on Northern Exposure
25. Happy - Pharrell Williams
Pharrell Lanscilo Williams is an American record producer, rapper, singer, and songwriter. Alongside close colleague Chad Hugo, he formed the hip hop and R&B production duo the Neptunes in the early 1990s, with whom he has produced songs for various recording artists. In 1999, he became lead vocalist of the band N.E.R.D., which he formed with Hugo and drummer Shay Haley. Williams has been widely referred to as one of the most influential and successful music producers of the 21st century, having had a significant impact on the sound of modern popular music.
Williams released his debut solo album, In My Mind, in 2006. In 2013, he produced and was featured alongside T.I. on the song "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke and his song "Happy" was the lead single for the soundtrack of the film Despicable Me 2; both songs reached the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100as well as other charts around the globe. In the same year, he was featured on Daft Punk's single "Get Lucky", which won Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards. His second album, Girl, was released in 2014.
Williams has received numerous accolades and nominations. He has won 13 Grammy Awards, including three for Producer of the Year, Non-Classical (one as a member of the Neptunes). He is also a two-time Academy Award nominee: in 2014 for Best Original Song, for "Happy" (from Despicable Me 2.
26. Sympathy for the Devil - Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones formed in London in 1962. Active for six decades, they are one of the most popular and enduring bands of the rock era. In the early 1960s, the Rolling Stones pioneered the gritty, rhythmically driven sound that came to define hard rock. Their first stable line-up consisted of vocalist Mick Jagger, multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones, guitarist Keith Richards, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts. During their formative years, Jones was the primary leader: he assembled the band, named it, and drove their sound and image. After Andrew Loog Oldham became the group's manager in 1963, he encouraged them to write their own songs. Jagger and Richards became the primary creative force behind the band, alienating Jones, who had developed a drug addiction that interfered with his ability to contribute meaningfully. It's often been claimed that they’re 'the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band’ ever. The claims are correct.
27. Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan (legally Robert Dylan, born Robert Allen Zimmerman, May 24, 1941) is an American singer and songwriter. Often regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture during a career spanning more than 60 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" (1963) and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and antiwar movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defying pop music conventions and appealing to the burgeoning counterculture.
"Like a Rolling Stone" was released on July 20, 1965, by Columbia Records. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.
28. Teenage Kicks - Undertones
The Undertones are a rock band formed in Derry in 1974. From 1975 to 1983, the Undertones consisted of Feargal Sharkey (vocals), John O'Neill (rhythm guitar, vocals), Damian O'Neill (lead guitar, vocals), Michael Bradley (bass, vocals) and Billy Doherty (drums). Much of the earlier Undertones material drew influence from punk rock and new wave; the Undertones also incorporated elements of rock, glam rock and post-punk into material released after 1979, before citing soul and Motown as the influence for the material released upon their final album. The Undertones released thirteen singles and four studio albums between 1978 and 1983 before Sharkey announced his intention to leave the band in May 1983, citing musical differences as the reason for the break up. Paul McLoone took over as lead vocalist in ’99. Influential BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel is known to have repeatedly stated "Teenage Kicks" to be his all-time favourite song from 1978 until his death in 2004.
29. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen (born September 23, 1949) is an American singer and songwriter. He has released 21 studio albums during a career spanning six decades, most of which feature his backing band, the E Street Band. He is an originator of heartland rock, a genre combining mainstream rock music with poetic and socially conscious lyrics that tell a narrative about working-class American life. Nicknamed "The Boss", he is known for his lyrics and energetic concerts, with performances that can last more than four hours. "Born to Run" was released in 1975 and is the title song on his album Born to Run. It was Springsteen’s first worldwide single release, although it achieved little initial success outside of the United States. Within the U.S. it received extensive airplay on progressive or album-oriented rock radio stations. The single was also Springsteen’s first top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #23.
30. A Day in the Life - The Beatles
"A Day in the Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as the final track of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the opening and closing sections of the song were mainly written by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney primarily contributing the song's middle section. All four Beatles played a role in shaping the final arrangement of the song. Lennon's lyrics were mainly inspired by contemporary newspaper articles.
It remains one of the most celebrated songs in music history, appearing on many lists of the greatest songs of all time, and being commonly appraised as the Beatles' finest song.
31. Fake Empire - The National
The National is an American rock band of Cincinnati, Ohionatives, formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), twin brothers Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards) and Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Carin Besser, the wife of Matt Berninger, is not a band member but has written lyrics for the band alongside her husband since its 2007 album Boxer. "Fake Empire" was released in June 2008 as the album's third and final single.
32. Seasons (Waiting on You) - Future Islands
Future Islands is an American synth-pop band based in Baltimore, Maryland, comprising Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals), and Michael Lowry (percussion). The band was formed in January 2006 by Welmers, Cashion and Herring—the remaining members of the performance art college band Art Lord & the Self-Portraits—and drummer Erick Murillo.
Future Islands came to prominence in 2014 with their fourth album Singles released by 4AD. Its lead single "Seasons (Waiting on You)" was considered the best song of 2014 by Pitchfork, and NME and its performance at the Late Show with David Letterman in March 2014, became the most-viewed video on the show's YouTube page.
33. Afraid of Everyone - The National
The National is an American rock band of Cincinnati, Ohio natives, formed in Brooklyn, New York City in 1999. The band consists of Matt Berninger (vocals), twin brothers Aaron Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards) and Bryce Dessner (guitar, piano, keyboards), as well as brothers Scott Devendorf (bass) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Carin Besser, the wife of Matt Berninger, is not a band member but has written lyrics for the band alongside her husband since its 2007 album Boxer.
Founded by Matt Berninger, Aaron Dessner, Scott Devendorf and Bryan Devendorf, The National released their self-titled debut album, The National (2001), on Brassland Records, an independent record label founded by Aaron and his twin brother, Bryce Dessner. Bryce, who had assisted in recording the album, soon joined the band, participating as a full member in the recording of its follow-up, Sad Songs for Dirty Lovers(2003).
Leaving behind their day jobs, the National signed with Beggars Banquet Records and released their third studio album, Alligator (2005), to widespread critical acclaim. The band's fourth and fifth studio albums, Boxer(2007) and High Violet (2010), increased their exposure significantly. In 2013, the band released its sixth studio album, Trouble Will Find Me, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. In 2017 the band released the album Sleep Well Beast, which won the band a Grammy Award. Their eighth studio album, I Am Easy to Find, was released on May 17, 2019.
Four of the band's albums were included on NME's 2013 list of the NME's The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
34. Nothing Else Matters - Metallica
Metallica is an American heavy metal band. The band was formed in 1981 in Los Angeles by vocalist and guitarist James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich, and has been based in San Francisco for most of its career. The band's fast tempos, instrumentals and aggressive musicianship made them one of the founding "big four" bands of thrash metal, alongside Megadeth, Anthrax and Slayer. Metallica's current lineup comprises founding members and primary songwriters Hetfield and Ulrich, longtime lead guitarist Kirk Hammett, and bassist Robert Trujillo. Guitarist Dave Mustaine, who formed Megadeth after being fired from Metallica, and bassists Ron McGovney, Cliff Burton and Jason Newsted are former members of the band.
Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold more than 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked the band in 61st place on its list of 100 greatest artists of all time Metallica ranks as one of the most commercially successful bands of all time, having sold more than 125 million albums worldwide as of 2018. Metallica has been listed as one of the greatest artists of all time by magazines such as Rolling Stone, which ranked the band in 61st place on its list of 100 greatest artists of all time.
35. Comfortably Numb - Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd are an English rock band formed in London in 1965. Gaining an early following as one of the first British psychedelic groups, they were distinguished by their extended compositions, sonic experimentation, philosophical lyrics and elaborate live shows. They became a leading band of the progressive rock genre, cited by some as the greatest progressive rock band of all time. "Comfortably Numb" was released as a single in 1980, with "Hey You" as the B-side. The music was composed by guitarist David Gilmour. The lyrics were written by bassist Roger Waters. "Comfortably Numb" is one of Pink Floyd's most well-known songs, notable for its two guitar solos. In 2004, it was ranked number 314 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
36. From Eden - Hozier
Andrew John Hozier-Byrne (born 17 March 1990), known mononymously as Hozier (/ˈhoʊziər/ HOH-zee-ər), is an Irish musician, singer, and songwriter. His music primarily draws from folk, soul, and blues, often using religious and literary themes. He had his international breakthrough after releasing his debut single "Take Me to Church", which has been certified multi-platinum in several countries.
Born and raised in County Wicklow, Hozier released his debut EP in 2013, featuring "Take Me to Church", which became a rock radio hit in the U.S. and peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100. His eponymous debut studio album was released in September 2014 to critical acclaim. It has been certified 6× platinum in Ireland and multi-platinum in several countries. In September 2018, he released an EP titled Nina Cried Power and featured the title track as a single, reaching number one on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart. He released his second album Wasteland, Baby! in March 2019, which debuted atop the Irish Albums Chart and the Billboard 200, and has since been certified gold in the U.S.
37. Teardrop - Massive Attack
Massive Attack are an English trip hop collective formed in 1988 in Bristol by Robert "3D" Del Naja, Adrian "Tricky" Thaws, Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. "Teardrop" (also formatted as "Tear Drop") was released on 27 April 1998 as the second single from the group's third studio album, Mezzanine(1998). A harpsichord-driven track, "Teardrop" was originally set to feature vocals from Madonna, whom Massive Attack turned down in favour of Fraser. Vocals are performed by Elizabeth Fraser, former lead singer of Cocteau Twins, who also wrote the lyrics.
38. Harper Lee - Little Green Cars
Little Green Cars were formed in Dublin in 2008. The band members are Stevie Appleby on guitar and vocals, Faye O'Rourke on vocals, Adam O'Regan on guitar, Donagh Seaver O'Leary on Bass and Dylan Lynch on Drums. Since signing with Glassnote Music, the band has toured America and the UK extensively. The US portion of the 2013 tour included a live performance of their single Harper Lee on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. The band has played at the 2013 SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas, the Coachella Music Festival in California, Lollapalooza 2013 in Chicago and the 2013 Osheaga festival in Montréal. On 7 January 2016 they announced their second album, Ephemera, going to be released on 11 March 2016 in BBC Radio 1 and played their first single from the album, The Song They Play Every Night. The album was named after a poem by Irish Nobel-prized poet W. B. Yeats about slowly fading love. On 10 February they uploaded the official audio of their new song, Easier Day, on their YouTube channel] and the music video which was uploaded to their Vevo channel. In March 2019, they disbanded, with several members forming Soda Blonde.
39. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin formed in London in 1968. The group comprised vocalist Robert Plant, guitarist Jimmy Page, bassist and keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham. With a heavy, guitar-driven sound, they are cited as one of the progenitors of hard rock and heavy metal, although their style drew from a variety of influences, including blues and folk music. Led Zeppelin have been credited as significantly impacting the nature of the music industry, particularly in the development of album-oriented rock (AOR) and stadium rock.
"Stairway to Heaven" released in late 1971, was composed by the band's guitarist Jimmy Page and lead singer Robert Plant for their untitled fourth studio album (often titled Led Zeppelin IV). The song is widely regarded as one of the greatest rock songs of all time.
40. One Day Like This - Elbow
Elbow formed in Bury, Greater Manchester, in 1997. The band consists of Guy Garvey (lead vocals, guitar), Craig Potter (keyboard, piano, backing vocals), Mark Potter (guitar, backing vocals) and Pete Turner (bass guitar, backing vocals). They have played together since 1990, adopting the name Elbow in 1997. Drummer Alex Reeves replaced Richard Jupp in 2016.
The band have released nine studio albums: Asleep in the Back (2001), Cast of Thousands (2003), Leaders of the Free World (2005), The Seldom Seen Kid (2008), Build a Rocket Boys! (2011), The Take Off and Landing of Everything (2014), Little Fictions (2017), Giants of All Sizes (2019) and Flying Dream 1 (2021). Their studio albums, as well as their B-sides compilation Dead in the Boot (2012), all reached the top 15 of the British album chart. Seven of their singles placed in the top 40 of the British singles chart. Their most recent album, Flying Dream 1, was released on 19 November 2021.
In 2008, Elbow won the Mercury Music Prize for their album The Seldom Seen Kid, and in 2009 they won the Brit Award for Best British Group. In 2012, they released "First Steps", the BBC theme for the 2012 London Olympics.
41. Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack
Massive Attack are an English trip hop collective formed in 1988 in Bristol by Robert "3D" Del Naja, Adrian "Tricky" Thaws, Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall.
The debut Massive Attack album Blue Lines was released in 1991, with the single "Unfinished Sympathy" reaching the charts and later being voted the 63rd greatest song of all time in a poll by NME. 1998's Mezzanine (containing the top 10 single "Teardrop") and 2003's 100th Window charted in the UK at number one. Both Blue Lines and Mezzanine feature in Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
The group has won numerous music awards throughout their career, including a Brit Award—winning Best British Dance Act, two MTV Europe Music Awards, and two Q Awards. They have released five studio albums that have sold over 13 million copies worldwide.
42. Reflektor - Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is a Canadian band, consisting of husband and wife Win Butler and Régine Chassagne, alongside Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury and Jeremy Gara. The band's current touring line-up also includes former core member Sarah Neufeld and multi-instrumentalists Paul Beaubrun, Dan Boeckner and Eric Heigle. Each of the band's studio albums features contributions from composer and violinist Owen Pallett.
Founded in 2001 by friends and classmates Butler and Josh Deu, the band came to prominence in 2004 with the release of their critically acclaimed debut album Funeral. Their second studio album, Neon Bible, won them the 2008 Meteor Music Award for Best International Album and the 2008 Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. Their third studio album, The Suburbs, was released in 2010 to critical acclaim and commercial success. It received many accolades, including the 2011 Grammy for Album of the Year, the 2011 Juno Award for Album of the Year and the 2011 Brit Award for Best International Album. In 2013, Arcade Fire released their fourth album, Reflektor, and scored the feature film Her, for which band members Will Butler and Owen Pallett were nominated in the Best Original Score category at the 86th Academy Awards. In 2017, the band released their fifth studio album Everything Now, which was succeeded by their sixth studio album We in 2022.
43. Motorcycle Emptiness - Manic Street Preachers
Manic Street Preachers, also known simply as the Manics, are a Welsh rock band formed in Blackwood in 1986. The band consists of cousins James Dean Bradfield (lead vocals, lead guitar) and Sean Moore (drums, percussion, soundscapes), plus Nicky Wire (bass guitar, lyrics). They form a key part of the 1990s Welsh Cool Cymru cultural movement.
Following the release of their debut single "Suicide Alley", Manic Street Preachers were joined by Richey Edwards as co-lyricist and rhythm guitarist, the band became as a quartet. The band's early albums were in a punk vein, eventually broadening to a greater alternative rock sound, whilst retaining a leftist political outlook. Their early combination of androgynous glam imagery and lyrics about "culture, alienation, boredom and despair" gained them a loyal following.
The band released its debut album, Generation Terrorists, in February 1992, followed by Gold Against The Soul in 1993 and The Holy Bible in 1994. Edwards disappeared in February 1995 and was legally presumed dead in 2008. The band continued as a trio, and achieved commercial success with the albums Everything Must Go (1996) and This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours(1998).
The Manics have headlined festivals including Glastonbury, T in the Park, V Festival and Reading. They have won eleven NME Awards, eight Q Awards and four BRIT Awards. They were nominated for the Mercury Prize in 1996 and 1999, and have had one nomination for the MTV Europe Music Awards. They have reached number 1 in the UK charts four times: in 1998, with This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours and the single "If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next", in 2000 with the single "The Masses Against the Classes", and in 2021 with The Ultra Vivid Lament. They have sold more than ten million albums worldwide.
44. Riders on the Storm - The Doors
The Doors were an American rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1965, with vocalist Jim Morrison, keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore. They were among the most influential and controversial rock acts of the 1960s, partly due to Morrison's lyrics and voice, along with his erratic stage persona. The group is widely regarded as an important figure of the era's counterculture.
The band took its name from the title of Aldous Huxley's book The Doors of Perception, itself a reference to a quote by William Blake. After signing with Elektra Records in 1966, the Doors with Morrison recorded and released six studio albums in five years, some of which are generally considered among the greatest of all time, including their self-titled debut (1967), Strange Days (1967), and L.A. Woman (1971). They were one of the most successful bands during that time and by 1972 the Doors had sold over 4 million albums domestically and nearly 8 million singles.
"Riders on the Storm" is a song by American rock band the Doors, released in June 1971 by Elektra Records as the second single from the band's sixth studio album L.A. Woman.It is famous for being the last song that Jim Morrison recorded during his lifetime prior to his sudden death in Paris on July 3, 1971. The band continued as a trio until disbanding in 1973. They released three more albums in the 1970s, one of which featured earlier recordings by Morrison, and over the decades reunited on stage in various configurations. In 2002, Manzarek, Krieger, and Ian Astbury of the Cult on vocals started performing as "The Doors of the 21st Century". Densmore and the Morrison estate successfully sued them over the use of the band's name. After a short time as Riders on the Storm, they settled on the name Manzarek–Krieger and toured until Manzarek's death in 2013.
45. Video Games - Lana Del Rey
Elizabeth Woolridge Grant (born June 21, 1985), known professionally as Lana Del Rey, is an American singer-songwriter. Her music is noted for its cinematic quality and exploration of tragic romance, glamour, and melancholia, with frequent references to contemporary pop culture and 1950s–1960s Americana. She is the recipient of various accolades, including two Brit Awards, two MTV Europe Music Awards, and a Satellite Award, in addition to nominations for six Grammy Awards and a Golden Globe Award. Variety honored her at their Hitmakers Awards for being "one of the most influential singer-songwriters of the 21st century".
Raised in northern New York, Del Rey moved to New York City in 2005 to pursue a music career. After numerous projects, including her self-titled debut studio album, Del Rey's breakthrough came in 2011 with the viral success of her single "Video Games"; she subsequently signed a recording contract with Polydorand Interscope. She achieved critical and commercial success with her second album, Born to Die (2012), which contained the sleeper hit "Summertime Sadness". Del Rey's third album, Ultraviolence (2014), featured greater use of guitar-driven instrumentation and debuted atop the U.S. Billboard 200. Her fourth and fifth albums, Honeymoon (2015) and Lust for Life (2017), saw a return to the stylistic traditions of her earlier releases, while her critically acclaimed sixth album, Norman Fucking Rockwell! (2019), explored soft rock. Her next studio albums, Chemtrails over the Country Club and Blue Banisters, followed in 2021. Del Rey collaborated with Taylor Swift on "Snow on the Beach" for Swift's tenth studio album Midnights (2022), which peaked at number four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, becoming Del Rey's highest-charting song on the chart.
46. Sometimes - My Bloody Valentine
My Bloody Valentine (often stylised in all lowercase) are an Irish-English rock band formed in Dublin in 1983 and consisting since 1987 of founding members Kevin Shields (vocals, guitar, sampler), Colm Ó Cíosóig(drums, sampler) with Bilinda Butcher (vocals, guitar) and Debbie Googe (bass). Their music is characterized by dissonant guitar textures, androgynous vocals, and unorthodox production techniques. They are credited with pioneering the 1990s genre shoegaze.
47. Beautiful Day - U2
"Beautiful Day" is the first track on their tenth studio album, All That You Can't Leave Behind (2000), and was released as the album's lead single on 9 October 2000. The song was a commercial success, helping launch the album to multi-platinum status, and is one of U2's biggest hits to date.
Like many tracks from All That You Can't Leave Behind, "Beautiful Day" harkens back to the group's past sound. The tone of the Edge's guitar was a subject of debate among the band members, as they disagreed on whether he should use a sound similar to that from their early career in the 1980s. The band's lead vocalist Bono explained that the upbeat track is about losing everything but still finding joy in what one has.
The song received positive reviews, and it became the band's 14th number-one single in their native Ireland, fourth number-one in the United Kingdom, and their first number-one in the Netherlands. It also topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Finland, Italy, Norway, Portugal, Scotland and Spain and reached the top 10 in Austria, Belgium, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland. The song peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, the band's highest position since "Discothèque" in 1997.
In 2001, the song won three Grammy Awards for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony. The group has played "Beautiful Day" at every one of their concerts since the song's live debut on the Elevation Tour in 2001.
48. Hardest Button to Button - White Stripes
The White Stripes were an American rock duo from Detroit formed in 1997. The group consisted of Jack White (songwriter, vocals, guitar, piano, and mandolin) and Meg White (drums and vocals). After releasing several singles and three albums within the Detroit music scene, the White Stripes rose to prominence in 2002 as part of the garage rock revival scene. Their successful and critically acclaimed albums White Blood Cells and Elephant drew attention from a large variety of media outlets in the United States and the United Kingdom. The single "Seven Nation Army", which used a guitar and an octave pedal to create the opening riff, became one of their most recognizable songs. The band recorded two more albums, Get Behind Me Satan in 2005 and Icky Thump in 2007, and dissolved in 2011 after a lengthy hiatus from performing and recording.
The White Stripes used a low-fidelity approach to writing and recording. Their music featured a melding of garage rock and blues influences and a raw simplicity of composition, arrangement, and performance. The duo were also noted for their fashion and design aesthetic which featured a simple color scheme of red, white, and black—which was used on every album and single cover they released—as well as the duo’s fascination with the number three. Their discography consists of six studio albums, two live albums, one extended play (EP), one concert film, one tour documentary, 26 singles, and 14 music videos. Their last three albums each won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. In 2015, Rolling Stone named them the sixth greatest duo of all time.
49. Matilda - Alt J
Alt-J (stylised as alt-J, real name Δ) formed in 2007 in Leeds. Their lineup includes Joe Newman (guitar/lead vocals), Thom Sonny Green (drums), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards/vocals), and formerly Gwilym Sainsbury (guitar/bass).
Their debut album An Awesome Wave was released in May 2012 in Europe, and in September 2012 in the United States, and won the 2012 British Mercury Prize. Sainsbury left the band in early 2014. Their second album, This Is All Yours, was released on 22 September 2014 and went straight to number one in the United Kingdom. In February 2022 the band released their fourth studio album The Dream.
50. The Great Defector - Bell X1
Bell X1 are an Irish rock band from County Kildare. The group consists of Paul Noonan (lead vocals, guitar, percussion, keys), David Geraghty (guitar, vocals, keys, percussion, banjo, piano, harmonica) and Dominic Phillips (bass, vocals).
They have performed on the Late Show with David Letterman and their music also has appeared in popular drama series such on the TV series Grey’s Anatomy and The OC.
Bell X1 are known for regular changes in sound from album to album, their range taking in alternative, indie, hard rock, post-punk, acoustic, lo-fi, folk rock, ballad, pop, synth-pop, new wave and electronica. They have been compared to The Blue Nile, Talking Heads, David Bowie, Radiohead, The Flaming Lips, Coldplay, U2, Animal Collective, Elbow and Talk Talk.