As a music student, I get asked all the time what my favourite band is. To be perfectly honest, I don’t have a single favourite band, or a favourite song either. Instead, I have a collection of music I enjoy listening to that include a large variety of different music. To settle the argument straight, I’ve decided to name a couple of iconic songs that build up some of my playlists on my iPod.
First of all, Kings and Queens is a stadium anthem released on the This is War album in 2009. 30 Seconds to Mars are known for their epic music videos, and Kings and Queens isn’t any different. The short film is titled The Ride and lasts approximately 8-9 minutes long. Performed live, this song will send adrenaline though the bodies of everybody in the crowd. The arena comes alive, lifting off the ground with the exciting energy.
Next up is a bit of a contrast, by a band that has been around since the 90′s. Elbow have released some iconic songs in their past, and this is sure to be on that list. Grounds of Divorce has a really hard hitting riff that is instantly recognisable, even to those who don’t know the band. It’s a song that you can have stuck in your head for days and not get bored. It’s constantly exciting, keeping you on edge all throughout.
This song doesn’t really need an introduction, it’s a classic. Everybody knows this song, released by The Verve in 1997. Bittersweet Symphony is amongst the most famous anthems in the world, despite having it’s own controversy over licences and sampling rights. Still, the politics behind the music industry doesn’t change how great this song is, making it one of the most loved tracks by a lot of respectable music magazines and newer artists.
I’m surprised I haven’t mentioned this song already, but here it is. Nirvana are one of the most influential bands ever. Before coming to a sudden end in 1994, the band produced songs including Lithium, Polly, Come as You Are, Silver, All Apologies and of course, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Many young bands cover this song for it’s ease, but also because it is such a well known song. In my opinion, well known is an understatement, but that’s just me. Released in 1991 on the Nevermind album, the song received a lot of criticism by the media – and it was only after Kurt Cobain’s death that it became known as the best rock song in the world.
Time now for the closest thing to my favourite band. The Stereophonics has been the centre of my inspiration as a musician from the beginning, so choosing one song to talk about is rather difficult. Having produced seven studio albums, including the successful singles A Thousand Trees, Vegas Two Times and Moviestar, they are set to release an eighth very soon. The song featuring in this post is Dakota from Language Sex Violence, reached #1 in the UK charts on release, and stayed in the charts for a further 22 weeks.
Another one of those classic bands, Dire Straits was fronted by Mark Knopfler, producing this great classic in 1985. While controversy struck with some of the content behind the lyrics as being sexist, racist and homophobic, it hasn’t stopped modern artists sampling and covering the song as I found out when an R&B version of the song appeared in a shop I was browsing. Despite having it’s own political background, I believe this is another iconic song that has inspired many other musicians, which is why Money for Nothing appears on my list.
These are just a few examples of what defines real music, a small collection of iconic and recognisable songs. It’s a list that can continue for days, even weeks. It’s a list which can be argued over for every reason, but I believe we can all come to one agreement. The ultimate song ever written.
In 1975, the world heard the definition of stadium anthem when Queen bought out Bohemian Rhapsody. The song isn’t set out like ordinary songs, where it has verses broken up by a couple of chorus’, with a bridge or middle eight thrown in. Instead, it is made up of three distinct parts. Beginning with a ballad segment ending with the most iconic guitar solo ever written, followed by an operatic section before a heavier ending. The classic British rock band were famous globally, reaching #1 in the UK, Canadian, Netherlands, New Zealand and US charts. You can ask anybody to sing the song, with everybody knowing every lyric without fail. If this isn’t the most famous rock song in the world, then I don’t know what the world is coming to. This is the one.