Screw Fingerprints, Here’s My Taste In Music
My Top 200 Songs of All Time
In order to compile this list, I transmitted countless waves through the timeline of my life. Beginning to end, back and forth, until I’d get a ‘ping’. Each ping was a song that my mind decided to hold on to. If Ifelt there was something special about that song, I’d evaluate it. Which scenario and emotions did I connect it to? Who did I connect it to? And why? Where did the song take me and why was that place special? I’m not going to slap my genitalia onto my chest, but nonetheless, this list is damn personal.
And of course, here’s a sadly-not-entirely-complete Spotify playlist (I miss you Rdio!) for a much easier and more appropriate enjoyment.
200. Speed of Life — David Bowie
This is how the little wonder decided to kick off the terrific 1977 album ‘Low’. There’s just something so much positive about this song. He’s all worked up and ready to go. That’s why I’m kicking this list off with this one!
199. Lithium — Nevermind
I remember thinking if this song could define me. That by listening to a song some would describe as depressing or gloomy, that they would think I was like that. I just liked the lyrics, and, yeah, some of the gloominess too.
198. Float On — Modest Mouse
Sort of the only Modest Mouse song I really like and really listened to. Especially when walking to work, with my iPod neatly tucked in my jacket’s front pocket for easier access.
197. Runaway — Kanye West
I’ve often called Kanye’s Dark Twisted Fantasy my guilty pleasure album. It’s hard to admit that I just really enjoy it — For multiple reasons.
196. I Want None of This — Radiohead
Chances are that you might never have heard of this lovely Radiohead tune. It was recorded for charity in 2006 and it just sounds amazing. Had it on repeat on my laptop on busses and malls that same year; a weird time in my life.
195. Distance — Ampop
There was an Icelandic band once called Ampop. They had a few local hits, but I doubt anyone made a huge fuzz about this beautiful track.
194. Wedding Song — Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Borrowing some of the magic that made Maps such a wonderful song, Yeah’s beautiful Wedding Song demands a close listen, some calming down, and even a little bit of contemplating on whatever you’re doing at the moment.
193. Hey Mole — Alfie
Alfie never really took off. I pretty much bought their album just because the cover reminded me of Stg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. And the music, in a way, did too. Do You Imagine Things was a pretty decent album, actually. I played it a lot. Hey Mole stuck out along with the opening track People.
192. Cymbal Rush — Thom Yorke
2006–2008 weren’t my best years when it came to listening to and discovering new music. But Thom’s first solo album came out in the summer of 2006, just after I’d seen Radiohead live for the first time in Copenhagen. That shiny silvery disk was put on repeat until it melted.
191. All My Love — Led Zeppelin
Close your eyes for 5 minutes and just nod your head in acceptance. Zeppelin’s in da house.
190. Last Flowers — Radiohead
Actually written during the OK Computer session, it wasn’t released until 10 years later as an In Rainbows B-side. One of those calm, emotional piano gems. There are a few of those on this list.
189. I’m Bound to Pack it Up — The White Stripes
Interrail 2003. I learned a lot, saw a lot, experienced a lot. One of the best trips I’ve ever had.
188. Consequence — The Notwist
Not many people have heard of this German band, but two of their albums still managed to temporarily land in my car’s glove compartment. I luckily discovered this fine tune form one of them and another almost equally fine called Day 7 from the other.
187. 1979 — Smashing Pumpkins
One of the sweeter songs from the 1995 masterpiece. Wishful… Hopeful… Even has a street/meet rhyme!
186. Two Weeks — Grizzly Bear
One of those songs that just pop out of nowhere and stick around in whatever music app you’re using at the time. And those drums. Damn.
185. All of the Lights — Kanye West
Trippy, expressive and beautiful in its own way. The production value of this album is just off the charts. Just really like the sound of it.
184. Kerfisbundin þrá — Maus
A very nicely composed song by my second favorite Icelandic band. The song was later “Americanized” in 2003 and renamed How Far is Too Far?
183. Essex — The Album Leaf
One of the songs I just kept on repeat, wasting time, staring into the big 19" tube, waiting for something to happen.
182. Heart of Gold — Neil Young
In 1972, at the mere age of 27, Master Young had already given us After the Goldrush and Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. But he luckily decided to create another folk rock masterpiece. Heart of Gold is the second best song on that album.
181. Kinetic — Radiohead
One of my drive tunes. I used to order Radiohead B-Sides from Amazon, Ebay and the local record store. I like to think that this Amnesiac B-Side, along with The Amazing Sounds of Orgy, Trans-Atlantic Drawl and Worrywort were made to calm me down while driving our old Mazda 929.
180. Don’t Be Afraid You Just Have Your Eyes Closed — Múm
Taking a sound like this all the way must have been fun for the kids in Icelandic band Múm. Their fun-packed 2002 album was full of cheerful blips and blurbs that came so nicely together in melodies like this one.
179. Talk Show Host — Radiohead
I remember not liking this song first when it came out. I was at the cinema. My brain just wasn’t ready for Radiohead.
178. 99 krónu perla — Maus
One of a few Maus songs on this list. This song’s about another song that failed to meet its high demands. It was purchased in ‘Perlan’ (“The Pearl”), a famous Reykjavík landmark, which now has a special meaning to me.
177. Requiem for a Dream / Lux Aeterna — Kronos Quartet
A huge part of Darren Aronofsky’s masterpiece was the music. The Kronos Quartet really nailed it with this one. (It also snuck into The Two Towers trailer).
176. Allt sem þú lest er lýgi — Maus
Then young adults, Maus tries to convince us that everything we read was a lie. An Icelandic pop-rock classic.
175. Smells Like Teen Spirit — Nirvana
Nirvana opened up a can of worms with this one. Musical worms… that were good for punk, rock, pop and… just music in general. Force, testosterone and sheer rock excellence — All come so nicely together in this 90s anthem.
174. Bloodbuzz Ohio — The National
The National were on a role with their second great album in a row. Bloodbuzz captures all of the band’s energy and creative sophistication.
173. Her Majesty — The Beatles
Their shortest and cutest song. This version clocks in at just 23 seconds, this is the final track on Abbey Road, which is probably the Beatles album I’ve listened to the most. The long version isn’t all that great.
172. I Might Be Wrong — Radiohead
I could have sworn I saw a light coming ooon in between that endless hypnotic riff.
171. Starman — David Bowie
So beautifully rhythmical. So Bowie. Kick ass chorus… Just… So Bowie.
170. Before Your Very Eyes — Atoms for Peace
Awesome beat, beautiful vocals, and smooth synths. The video made this song complete. Watch the video here.
169. Cheated Hearts — Yeah Yeah Yeahs
This band has a way with evoking a myriad of weird feelings in me that I don’t think any other band has been able to. Not too sure, though... But I sure like ‘em! Cheated Hearts has a signature YYY melody and that happy melancholic glow that I’m such a sucker for.
168. Svefn-g-englar — Sigur Rós
Ágætis Byrjun (“An Okay Start”) is by many considered to be the best Icelandic album ever. I do not oppose to that statement.
167. Fake Empire — The National
With Boxer, The National became the band it is today. Signature sound and lyrics. Dramatic and calm. All starting half away in a fake empire.
166. Heroes — David Bowie
After having seen this song butchered my amateur “rockers” in singing competitions I kind of just dismissed it as too poppy. It wasn’t until I saw Perks of Being a Wallflower that I rediscovered the magic that the little wonder poured into it.
165. The Rollercoaster Ride — Belle & Sebastian
B&S is the only band on the planet (at least the only Scottish band) that is able to pull off this kind of songwriting. Adorable story and curious characters, all wrapped up in a happy/melancholic melody.
164. Wouldn’t It Be Nice — The Beach Boys
One of the happiest and wishful songs ever written. Pure bliss. Makes you want to pat a furry animal. I still think Pet Sounds might be just a tad overrated.
163. Changes — David Bowie
You said it Mr. Stardust (with slighly Dylan-esque vocals?)… Time can change me, but I can’t ch ch ch change time.
162. We Share Our Mother’s Health — The Knife
Stabs left and right. It’s so hard-hitting. Chaos flying all around. Even Karin’s voice sounds like it’s stabbing something.
161. Junior Kickstart — The Go! Team
Pretty much describes my summer of 2005. A weird summer at that. Something started. Something ended.
160. Spybreak ! — Propellerheads
Yeah! The Bath duo sure knew how to make ’em. This song was made even more awesome by being featured in an epic shootout in the first Matrix film. And the awkward teenager turned that big knob just a little further clockwise.
159. Kettering — The Antlers
Hospice was a curious album, crammed with feelings, death, sadness and sorrow. The entire thing sounds like it’s hidden under the covers (in a hospice), too frightened to come out. Kettering’s the perfect example of that — incredibly interesting.
158. The Land Between Solar Systems — Múm
Múm used to be brilliant. Before they started to lose that magic, they made Finally We Are No One, their best album. Complex and not overly cute.
157. Love Is To Die — Warpaint
The Warpaint girls have a heavy, straight forward sound, which comes across so well in this one. By far my favorite Warpaint track.
156. Joga — Björk
Icelandic nature’s favorite song — If it had one. Too bad it’s not in Icelandic.
155. This Fire — Franz Ferdinand
Went to see Franz Ferdinand in 2005. This was their last song. The place was on fire!
154. Space Oddity — David Bowie
Everyone kept referencing this song. I kept hearing it everywhere. Even on Friends. There had to be something more to it than just those two cool sentences — something about radios and protein pills? Well, there is.
153. People In The City — Air
Can’t help imagining a bustling Paris when I listen to this song. This Air classic regularly takes the liberty to pop up in my head when surrounded by clueless city wanderers like myself.
152. Voodoo People — The Prodigy
The Prodigy can’t be beaten when it comes to delivering hits like this. They owned the 90s electro scene. Us kids were just overwhelmed by this madness. And it was the coolest thing ever.
151. While My Guitar Gently Weeps — The Beatles
Let’s just give in to Mr. Harrison’s weeping guitar
150. The Curse of Monkey Island — Michael Land
Monkey Island is a legendary game series. Legends need equally legendary music — with steel drums! Any of you blubber cheeks up for some insult sword fighting?
149. Two Weeks — F.K.A. Twigs
F.K.A. Twigz is just one huge piece of art. Sincerely hope that her star will continue to rise.
148. Where Is My Mind — Pixies
Like so many, I discovered this song during my trip to the cinema to have my mind blown by David Fincher’s Fight Club. What a perfect fit. Check out Placebo’s live performance with Black Francis. It’s close to being better that the studio version.
147. Friend Of The Night — Mogwai
From the smashing album Mr. Beast, I guess we could call this one of Mogwai’s darker songs.
146. Lurgee — Radiohead
Lurgee is the only Pablo Honey song to make it to this list. It was still about 8 years until Radiohead would discover their full potential. Lurgee, as most of the songs from that album, was softer, kinder and overall — understandably — more naive.
145. Colours — Hot Chip
Remember discovering this song while spending the 2006 holidays jumping off sand dunes in the Canary Islands.
144. Bang On ! — Propellerheads
One of the songs that attempted to blow up my old stereo. Decksandrumsandrockandroll was my favorite album in 1998 and still is to this day.
143. Little Wonder — David Bowie
This song shows how versatile Mr. Bowie is, and how damn productive he is, too. It’s a bit out of the ordinary, but then, what is ordinary in the mind of a genius?
142. Zero — Smashing Pumpkins
So good it was on The Simpsons!
141. With Tired Eyes, Tired Minds, Tired Souls, We Slept — Explosions in the Sky
For me, the early 2000s were a time of all about discovering music. I also discovered a curious new genre called ‘post-rock’. A brilliant song from one of the best post-rock bands out there.
140. Weather Experience — The Prodigy
Not your typical Prodigy song, but powerful nonetheless.
139. Stop Coming To My House — Mogwai
This is how you end a fantastic album. This song starts off slowly (surprise, surprise) and then ends with a long, kick-ass climax with all sorts of sounds going on. Standing ovation.
138. Knives Out — Radiohead
Radiohead’s little song of horrors. A song for which only Michel Gondry could have made the video.
137. Disco 2000 — Pulp
Always thought this song had a British “boyish charm”. Similar in feel to Pulp’s Common People, it sounds so innocent, even lonely, yet somehow so comfortingly peppy.
136. Life in a Glasshouse — Radiohead
Life in a Glasshouse is a complicated one. As the finale to the wonder that is Amnesiac, there’s a certain calm to it. But that calm is ripped apart by the agonizing howls of trumpets. It gets so wonderfully dark and messy! The long version is even better — it chews the fat.
135. Everything In Its Right Place — Radiohead
The beginning of Radiohead’s true masterpiece. There’s no other opening track that has had this effect on me. I’d never heard this sound before. And Thom’s vocals were so pure, floating in this cloud of sounds. My simple, little teenage mind was blown — and thus expanded.
134. Life On Mars? — David Bowie
The level of art is just too damn high in this one! It’s like a statement. Bowie’s voice almost screeching. The video is also phenomenal.
133. The Lord Is Out Of Control — Mogwai
Emotional Mogwai sound — Doesn’t get much better than this. Well… The Nils Frahm Remix is — quite surprisingly — even better.
132. Lord Anthony — Belle & Sebastian
Again, only Belle and Sebastian can write a tune like this. “Tasting blood again, at least it’s your own.” Can’t get enough of this drug.
131. Helter Skelter — The Beatles
Makes me wanna get to the bottom just so I can go back to the top of the slide. Weirdly enough, the only other place where I’ve seen “helter skelter” written is in one of the Harry Potter books. Yeah! yeah! yeah! yeah!
130. A Man Needs A Maid — Neil Young
One of Mr. Young’s weirdest stories… Intimate, sad and heavy with some pretty impressive arrangements as well.
129. Highschool Lover — Air
As a teenager, I loved So a Coppola’s Virgin Suicides. Kirsten Dunst, Air’s music… Everything clicked so nicely together and created made me a So a Coppola fan.
128. Piazza, New York Catcher — Belle & Sebastian
This sizzling, lyric-laden punch of a song is just too B&S. Their formula never gets old.
127. Tesla Girls — OMD
Let’s do the yuppie dance in our underwear! Tes-tes-te-te-te-te-tes! Wonderfully ridiculous. And I’m a Nikola Tesla fan. Oh, and the Tesla Coil from C&C: Red Alert.
126. I want you (She’s So Heavy) — The Beatles
Well, you’re in trouble if she’s as heavy as the sound of this song! Another great one from Abbey Road. I’ve never considered the Beatles to be experimental, they just did things. And it worked. Like this “prog rock” song. It was just their thing.
125. (Nice Dream) — Radiohead
One of the warmest, nicest songs Radiohead ever made.
124. She’s A Rainbow — The Rolling Stones
Obviously I’m not a huge Stones fan if I pick this song. This one managed to stick around and find a nice, cosy, colorful spot in my head. Good music does that.
123. Pet Sematary — The Ramones
Ramones play with some softcore horror themes in this super catchy song from 1989’s Brain Drain. Later, when attending a wedding in Sardinia, this song became part of one of my top 4 coincidences as this random in a random club played it right after my brain did it’s own cover version of it.
122. Surfing On A Rocket — Air
Almost puts you into a childlike trance: “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0… No one can stop me to go. You’ll never see me again”
121. Galapogos — Smashing Pumpkins
A soundtrack for all dramatic, tear-jerking end scenes and end credits. The range of Corgan’s nasally voice really comes through in this one.
120. All Is Full Of Love — Björk
Chris Cunningham’s video for this gorgeous song just didn’t win enough awards. Kiss, you robots! ’Cause all is full of love.
119. How Does It Make you Feel — Air
My introduction to the French wonder duo Air.
118. Fog — Radiohead
The Amnesiac B-Side Fog and Fog (Again), which appeared on the I Might Be Wrong Live Recordings, are, from a Radiohead perspective, cuddly and warm. I prefer the cleaner live version.
117. Get It Together — The Go! Team
You won’t catch me listening to a lot of flute music… Still, I would often take by burnt copy of The Go! Team’s terrific debut album, shove it in our car’s CD player and go straight to song no. 5.
116. Heartbeats — The Knife
Dripping with uber coolness, this is one of the best songs from The Knife’s Deep Cuts. They really found their sound with that album — a sound they perfected on their next album 3 years later; Silent Shout.
115. Flugufrelsarinn — Sigur Rós
One of the first Sigur Rós songs I heard. I was amazed by the ambient sounds, Jónsi’s super emotional voice and the fact that the song was about saving flies and almost drowning. There’s supposed to be much more to this song, actually. “Ég næ ekki andanum og þyngist við hverja öldu”. Check out the Kronos Quartet cover. It’s twisty and dark.
114. Black Star — Radiohead
The thick layered sound that defines The Bends comes across so well in Black Star.
113. Friday I’m In Love — The Cure
It’s always fun to listen to a happy Cure. There’s a reason why this is so popular.
112. I Fought In A War — Belle & Sebastian
Every evening for about a month, with my newborn daughter’s feet dangling from a pouch strapped to my torso, I was sucked into Harcore History’s intense 20 hour long suite on WW1. I strolled around beautiful blossoming Stockholm (Kungsholmen, Langholmen and Lilla Essingen) until she’d wake up, leaving a huge stain of drool on my t-shirt where her sweet, little head hugged my chest. I dislike rutines... But this one, I’ll cherish it for as long as my memory allows.
111. Step — Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City has this full, gloomy sound that really shines through on Step, the album’s best song. It also has a mean lean-back, highly repeatable flow.
110. The Suburbs — Arcade Fire
This fantastic song from a great album was offered a very special place in my mind after my son called it his favorite song and kept asking me to play it. Arcade Fire’s fluid songwriting and unique sound fully blossom in this “perfect-to-repeat” song. I also didn’t realize how good this song was live until I actually experienced myself.
109. Street Spirit (Fade Out) — Radiohead
Think this riff was the first thing I wanted to play on the guitar — and it was the first riff I learned. It’s all been downhill since then. What a closing song to a fantastic album.
108. Gentle Rain — Astrud Gilberto
Don’t know how this song arrived at 1&2 Ear Road, 18-ish Egill’s head, Egill. Everything’s gentle, like the gentle rain.
107. Help Is Round The Corner — Coldplay
I love these little B-Sides that big bands leave scattered around their long careers. I used to like Coldplay a lot when I was a teen, especially Parachutes and A Rush Of Blood to the Head. This little song is one of those simple minimalist ones. Just guitars, voice and lyrics — and when it’s all about that it turned into something as wonderful as this.
106. Beautiful — Belle & Sebastian
“The doctor told her years ago that she was ill. The doctor told her years ago to take a pill.”
105. Kid A — Radiohead
Kid A (the album) came as a shock to me; the kind of shock you didn’t expect to like so much. The kind of shock that includes sounds that you’d never heard before and that demanded a part of your life. The kind of sound you love to be addicted to.
104. Hunted By A Freak — Mogwai
Happy Songs for Happy People, what an album.
103. A Day in the Life — The Beatles
Queen, Metallica, Zeppelin, Radiohead… All have their +5 minute epics. The Beatles gave us this one. It just makes you wonder… Wonder about what is it you should be wondering about.
102. Rococo — Arcade Fire
The middle ages (dark ages — or whatever the politically correct term is) are fascinating. So’s the instruments from that era. So’s Rococo.
101. She’s Losing It — Belle & Sebastian
“When the first cup of coffee tastes like washing up”… Sing this sh*t around the campfire instead.
100. Ný Batterí — Sigur Rós
I was 14 (I think) when I first heard this song. I couldn’t believe it was an Icelandic band. It just didn’t sound Icelandic. Sounded so alien and the production value was just something else. After a few days of coping, Sigur Rós became my favorite Icelandic band and has been ever since.
99. Yasmin The Light — Explosions In The Sky
…and this is why I love instrumental post-rock.
98. My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg) — Ramones
Not really your average Ramones song and far from being a hit. However, it has all the Ramones zest I love but a bit more melodic than their usual stuff. The song’s premise, however, is quite dull. Don’t matter, I wanna be sedated!
97. Slip Away — David Bowie
I’m willing to ignore Mr. Bowie’s not-all-that-terrific lyrics and focus on the beautiful melody and catchy chorus instead. And now the little wonder, too, has slipped away.
96. Eleanor Rigby — The Beatles
Shocking the pop rock world with a song about loneliness and death (though it wasn’t the first), The Beatles further established themselves as the universe’s most popular band. I usually call “the parallax effect” the “Eleanor Rigby” effect because of the first scene in The Yellow Submarine.
95. Baby, I Love You — The Ramones
This is the very first song my daughter heard, only a few hours old.
94. Arpeggiator — Ensími
Icelandic bands Ensími and Maus did some great stuff in the late 90s. This one still holds its own in the onslaught of time.
93. Untitled 4 — Sigur Rós
Strange how 4 notes can bury so deep. Sigur Rós has a whole lot of beautiful songs and “Njósnavélin” (The Spy Plane) is no exception. My strongest connection to this song is when my fellow co-workers and I were getting a ride back to our hotel from a Korean grill and karaoke night in L.A.
92. Monument — Röyksopp & Robyn
Norwegian electro duo Röyksopp and the Swedish vocalist Robyn have done some great stuff together, but Monument was something else. Huge, ambitious sound set in a dreamy landscape. Highly repeatable.
91. Something In The Way — Nirvana
No, not Smells Like Teen Spirit, not Come As You Are, not even Lithium, but Something in the Way… Yeah… Mmm… And it’s OK to eat fish, ’cause they don’t have any feelings.
90. Walking On The Milky Way — OMD
A bit of a guilty pleasure, but who cares when you’re walking on the milky way with the maneuvers?
89. Kristalnótt — Maus
My second favorite Icelandic band’s unique love song. The lyrics are superb and fit Biggi’s imperfect iron-esque vocals perfectly. References the Crystal Night in 1938 Germany.
88. Eleanor Put Your Boots On — Franz Ferdinand
London. Harrow Hall of Residence. My Sister. The kitchen. The statue with the dictionary.
87. You And Whose Army? — Radiohead
“We riiide toniiight!”. Thom’s vocals, Thom’s backing up vocals and sweet, sweet piano come together in a blissful tune.
86. 4 Minute Warning — Radiohead
This beautiful song tiptoes around In Rainbows b-side land. I was blown away the first time I heard it.
85. Bullet With Butterfly Wings — Smashing Pumpkins
Angry and powerful. Great track from a great album.
84. Moon Stage Theme — Hiroshige Tonomura (Duck Tales)
This one ever ceases to amaze me. How can an 8-bit song be so powerful and wonderfully melodic?
83. How To Disappear Completely — Radiohead
A gorgeous reminder of how fragile we all are, how we need to put up a wall sometimes.
82. No Surprises — Radiohead
As so many songs from OK Computer, this song is just so clean and beautiful, sprinkled with that dark magic dust Radiohead managed to pour into the St. Catherine’s Court recording sessions. The alternative lyrics are also quite good.
81. Nightcall — Kavinsky
I was 1.5 min. into Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive when I stopped it. I grabbed my phone and had Shazaam recognize that song. Sweet!
80. Cherry Blossom Girl — Air
Pocket Symphony is one of my favorite albums. I used to listen to it a lot. It was my road trip album for a long time, along with Weezer’s green album.
79. Another Sunny Day — Belle & Sebastian
The Life Pursuit did not reach awesomeness, but Another Sunny Day captures the B&S energy, their sing-along melodies, and fun lyrics.
78. Pyramid Song — Radiohead
In 4 min. and 37. sec., Pyramid Song makes us believe that there is nothing to fear and nothing to doubt.
77. Landslide — Fleetwood Mac
They made a bunch of great songs, but, to me, this one decided to stick around in my head. Check out the fantastic Sin Fang Bous fantastic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eL_f8B0Hhk
76. The Boy With The Arab Strap — Belle & Sebastian
One of the first B&S songs I heard. The lyrics, the rhythm the vocals, the honesty, the happy, yet melancholic feel of the whole thing. It just blew me away.
75. Poppaldin — Maus
Awesome, teenagey lyrics and just a memorable song overall.
74. Asleep — The Smiths
I was so surprised when I discovered this wonderful gem in late 2015. I’d been a Smiths fan for such a long time and never heard it. Morrissey just kills it with this one, only supported by some gusty ambients and a hauntingly beautiful piano playing.
73. Supersymmetry — Arcade Fire
Became a fan of this song when I realized it was in Spike Jonze’s Her. One of the softest Arcade Fire songs.
72. Take Me Out — Franz Ferdinand
There should be an award for not moving your bod to this song. Seen it twice live. I used to love the video too.
71. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds — The Beatles
When your son comes home from school and shows you a picture of Lucy in the sky with diamonds, you write a song about it. Thanks, Mr. Lennon. Watch the LITSWD scene in Yellow Submarine and let yourself be blown away by 60s awesomeness.
70. The Everlasting Gaze — Smashing Pumpkins
Whenever I play luft guitar, I play this riff. Just rock solid all the way through.
69. Every Day Is Like Sunday — Morrissey
Morrissey, like Belle and Sebastian, somehow makes everything sound so fair, normal, yet weirdly skewed. His hypnotic voice and melodies and incredibly catchy choruses just make you go along with it. You have no choice. All the ingredients are perfectly mixed in this Morrissey classic.
68. Pluto — Björk
This song goes all the way — to 11. Björk just goes nuts! Mega power, mega screaming, mega beats. It’s as powerful as it can be. That’s what I love about it.
67. Auf Achse — Franz Ferdinand
The Scottish make-you-jump-up-and-downers’ softer side.
66 .Apocalypse Please — Muse
Thrilling and powerful. A great start to Muse’s 2003 masterpiece.
65. Untitled #8 (Popplagið) — Sigur Rós
This how you deliver after a 3 min. climatic rise. Fudge! Orri’s drumming just couldn’t be better.
64. Down In The Park — Foo Fighters
I was deep into The X-Files when I was a kid. I loved that show. This song was on the X-Files: Songs in the key of X CD. It was dark and eerie and made me feel a bit more grown up for liking it.
63. Bullet Proof… I Wish I Was — Radiohead
It was hard to pick a song from The Bends. I somehow grew more attached to Bullet Proof than Street Spirit. Maybe because I could somehow relate to it?
62. Reflektor — Arcade Fire
Arcade Fire is the only band that I know of that somehow keeps reinventing itself and still manages to keep its essence that made me a fan from the moment I heard their first album. Reflektor is a complex multi-layered statement that Arcade Fire is one of the very best bands around.
61. Quake Theme Song — Nine Inch Nails
Quake (1) was awesome. It was the first game where I got terrified of low-poly monsters on a low resolution screen, even if I had a nail gun — in quad mode! NIN’s music was a huge part of that. It only takes a minute for it to teleport me back to the monster-ridden maze mania that was Quake.
60. It’s All Too Much — The Beatles
If the world were to ever fight in the UFC, this should be its entrance song. To me, It’s All Too Much is a bit how I see the world… It’s all too much. I also think this song incorporates all the band’s best elements.
59. Plug In Baby — Muse
The defining track from Origin of Symmetry and Muse’s rise to greatness.
58. Firestarter — Prodigy
Oh, The Prodigy and all the electro craziness that you’ve brought us. What would the world be without a restarter?
57. Welcome To The Jungle — Guns N’ Roses
This was my first favorite song. This list wouldn’t be complete without it.
56. Walking After You — Foo Fighters
This is the first song lyrics I googled. Or… Alta Vista’ed, or Yahoo’ed maybe? The nicest guy in rock n’ roll delivers a memorable ballad.
55. Look Into The Air — Explosions In The Sky
And the post-rock brilliance continues!
54. Les and Ray — Le Tigre
There’s just something sweet, honest ad vulnerable about this song. The quirky keyboard sound and wobbly rhythm is just so awkwardly compelling.
53. Killing All The Flies — Mogwai
It was really hard to pick my favourite Mogwai songs. Somehow, when I listen to Mogwai, I listen to the band - Not an album or a specifc song, but the band. However, Happy Songs For Happy People is my favorite Mogwai album. It’s one of my favourite albums of all time.
52. Stockholm Syndrome — Muse
Deep, complex sounds that demand and deserve multiple listens. A terri c track from Muse’s 2003 masterpiece.
51. Like a Pen — The Knife
Just something so rotten, angry, gritty and twisted about this song. Silent Shout has some memorable moments, but this one’s something else. The Knife in their prime.
50. Electronic Renaissance — Belle & Sebastian
B&S go electro, which they don’t really do. Makes this song a bit more special. Somewhere in the world, right now, I hope somebody’s dancing themselves senseless to this energetic excellence.
49. Close To Me — The Cure
This song is like little child running around naked, apping its hands. Not a care in the world.
48. Con-Science — Muse
A hidden b-side. Clean vocals and piano. Then some face punching.
47. Stupid Car — Radiohead
A simple acoustic demo song about Thom’s fear of cars and driving.
46. Across the Universe — The Beatles
One of the most beautiful Beatles songs paints a brilliant picture of peace and love as it slips away across the universe.
45. Threads — This Will Destroy You
Discovered this band just a few years ago and their nest song ticks all the boxes necessary to make a fantastic post rock instrumental epic.
44. Judy And The Dream Of Horses — Belle & Sebastian
Classic B&S lyrics about a loveable girl and her even more loveable quirks. Needless to say that this song is also instantly loveable.
43. Seven Nation Army — The White Stripes
Vocals, an electric guitar, and a kick-ass lady slamming the drums. This song is just so raw in every way, so energetic and powerful. The White Stripes made a lot of those kind of songs around that time, but to me, Seven Nation Army is the champion. I was working as a house painter (a summer job) when I realized how amazing this song really was — though dust, banging and hollow walls.
42. Time Is Running Out — Muse
Another great song from Muse’s masterpiece. I listened to Absolution a lot on my Sony Walkman CD player while walking to and from junior college.
41. Immigrant Song — Led Zeppelin
That riff — Further electrifying Plant’s howling. Doesn’t hurt that the song was written in Iceland and references Norse mythology and Icelandic nature. Nine Inch Nails and Karen O did a great covered this song in 2013.
40. Mint Car — The Cure
My favourite Cure songs are “happy” songs. Don’t think it gets more optimistic than this.
39. Cinnamon Girl — Neil Young
I first heard this song as a cover by Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood. After that I borrowed Everybody Knows This is Nowhere. After that, I listened to After The Goldrush and Harvest. Wasn’t long until I became a fan and grew to love Neil’s voice.
38. Paranoid Android — Radiohead
My favorite band’s epic 3-in-1 masterpiece.
37. Pink Rabbits — The National
Pink Rabbits captures all of The National’s dark, soft, melancholic brilliance. Painstakingly beautiful lyrics and a hypnotic melody make this song the Cincinnati indie rock band’s crowning achievement.
36. Kashmir — Led Zeppelin
It’s hard to beat this classic eight-and-a-half minute bad ass rock epic. Everything boils perfectly together into a big solid chunk of rockness. Page’s guitar slaps you in the face and Plant’s wailing hands you a cold, damp towel.
35. The Rip — Portishead
Portishead’s sound really shines through in this enchanting piece. Thom and Jonny did a nice cover of this song backstage once. Made me like it even more.
34. Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Part 1) — The Flaming Lips
Try making a song about a vitamin-poppin’ black belt girl beating up blood-thirsty Robots and saving the world as awesome as this!
33. Seven — David Bowie
I was in a terrible place when I discovered this song. It now rests comfortably on a satin pillow somewhere in my head, velvet ropes all around.
32. Starálfur — Sigur Rós
A 20th century Icelandic lullaby. Creepy and beautiful.
31. Girlfriend In A Coma — The Smiths
Only The Smiths can write a song like this. Never ceases to amaze me.
30. Hoppípolla — Sigur Rós
Another Sigur Rós masterpiece. The emotions this song evokes is just bizarre. Jumping in muddy puddles, nosebleeds… This is something only ultra-talented people can do. Magical.
29. Out On The Weekend — Neil Young
“If playing a song for someone on the radio was still a thing, I’d call and ask them to play this one for you.”
28. Greet Death — Explosions In The Sky
The magnificent Austin, Texas quartet introduced me to wonderful world instrumental post rock. This was one of my first eye openers.
27. Get Me Away From Here I’m Dying — Belle & Sebastian
Think this is the song that made me realize how much I loved and appreciated lyrics. Reading the lyrics in the OK Computer CD booklet sparked this interest. B&S magic from a fantastic album.
26. Codex — Radiohead
The King of Limbs, sadly, was a letdown. This is the only memorable song from that album. And a damn good one too.
25. I Will — Radiohead
Thom’s voice x3. How pure can this thing get?
24. Wake Up — Arcade Fire
Just when you thought Funeral couldn’t get any better, Wake Up shows up and blows the roof off. Love the premises of their songs, something really Belle & Sebastian about it… yet completely different. Can’t quite put my finger it. Oh, and it didn’t hurt when David Bowie played the fudge out of this song with them.
23. Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels) — Arcade Fire
I couldn’t believe my own ears. Was I actually listening to a song that triggered a feeling I hadn’t felt since Belle and Sebastian’s If You Are Feeling Sinister? I was. Didn’t hurt when Mr. David Bowie joined the gang on stage. Brilliance overload.
22. After The Goldrush — Neil Young
Mr. Young’s best. His imperfect voice and beautiful piano playing come seamlessly together. Thom did a beautiful cover of this song at a Bridgeschool Benefit Concert back in 2002, on Mr. Young’s piano.
21. Exit Music (For A Film) — Radiohead
I kept wondering what the hell that weird-looking guy was wailing about. I started reading the lyrics that were in the CD’s booklet. Hmmm… So that’s that he’s saying. It was like learning a new language. It was beautiful.
20. Lucky — Radiohead
Such an emotional song. Think this song was the one that pushed me over the cliff. And I face planted in Radiohead land. I was happy to stick around.
19. Cue the Strings — Low
I distinctly remember when I first heard this song. It was 2004 and I had just bought a 3rd gen iPod and 2 Low CDs. I was cycling to work. I was under a spell. I didn’t want to break it. I just gave in to the sounds and Alan and Mimi’s mesmerizing vocals.
18. Maps — Yeah Yeah Yeahs
I was mesmerized by the Maps video, which I just happened to get a glimpse of on TV as I walked past it. Everything was so simple, honest and incredibly beautiful. Karen O just wouldn’t let pulled me closer with her captivating lyrical repetitions. I bought the album shortly after and have been a Yeah Yeah Yeahs fan ever since.
17. Like Spinning Plates — Radiohead
This song taught me how complex and divergent music can be. It also made me love lyrics even more — I felt privileged to understand Thom’s wailing. And how it can mess with your head. How we’re all living in cloud cuckoo land.
16. You Never Wash Up After Yourself — Radiohead
One of those slower, honest tracks, which often become an album’s hidden jewel. Well, this was a b-side…
15. Videotape — Radiohead
The best song from In Rainbows. It’s daring and emotional. A song you just give in to.
14. Age of Consent — New Order
First heard this song in the So a Coppola’s Marie Antoinette trailer. I watched that trailer again and again, wondering how the music and the video could t so well.
13. Crown Of Love — Arcade Fire
So elegant, emotional, and free of all clichés. It even has a kick-ass ending.
12. How I Made My Millions — Radiohead
Recorded at Thom’s house. It’s oozing emotional purity, emotional. So simple, elegant and incredibly beautiful.
11. Love Will Tear Us Apart — Joy Division
The pain! Ian’s pain! It still sounds so effortless, raw, so honest. One of the coolest song titles ever.
10. If You’re Feeling Sinister — Belle & Sebastian
I first heard this song 7 or 8 years after B&S’s maserpiece came out in 1996. It was one of those moments that somehow managed to widen, well, my soul. If not my soul, then my interest in music and art, in storytelling the kind tender manipulation of peoples’ emotions. And that from that day on, my interest in music, lyrics and writing grew substantially.
9. Gagging Order — Radiohead
And now you’re flying over a meddow of guitar string grass with Thom’s bewitching vocals breezing through your hair.
8. There is a Light That Never Goes Out — The Smiths
This is the most romantic song in the world. The Smiths just get it.
7. True Love Waits — Radiohead
Another one of those hauntingly beautiful songs that just curl up in a comfy spot of your brain.
6. Red Rocks — Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
I’m sure you don’t know this one. No fancy stuff, just amazing, emotional songwriting. One of the best things about this song it that so many people have yet to hear it — That so many people have yet to enjoy it.
5. Ceremony — New Order
Love the guitars, drums, soft vocals and the absolute melancholic energy.
4. Climbing Up The Walls — Radiohead
This song has healing powers and should be used in medicine. Radiohead’s darkest stuff. Thom’s darkest lyrics. A pick in the ice. It’s just so haunting. Something you keep locked up for special occasions.
3. Idioteque — Radiohead
Words dragged out of a hat. Samples from an old electro song. The chicken dance. Synths. Craziness. Explosions. This is my go-to car song while driving. I used to love listening to Idioteque in my 1982 Mazda 929, which had a surprisingly good stereo. It was the only Radiohead song I could listen to without someone in the backseat complaining how weird it was. They too were swept along.
2. Viðrar vel til loftárása — Sigur Rós
Epic 10 minutes of hypnotically beautiful strings and piano, breathtaking melodies, wonderful vocals, and goosebumps. The song’s title alone is brilliant.
1. Motion Picture Soundtrack — Radiohead
These are all spectacular songs and have a special place in my head. But, they just didn’t make the cut. Sorry songs, the tribe has spoken. The following tunes are in no particular order.
The Puritan — Blur
Tears Are In Your Eyes — Yo La Tengo
Worrywort — Radiohead
Thunderstruck — AC/DC
Afraid To Shoot Strangers — Iron Maiden
Égímailaðig — Maus
Country House — Blur
A Song For Our Fathers — Explosions in the Sky
Not For All The Love In The World — The Thrills
National Anthem — Radiohead
Rebel Rebel — David Bowie
The Party Line — Belle & Sebastian
Day 7 — The Notwist
Stairway to Heaven — Led Zeppelin
Fix You — Coldplay
Paradise City — Guns n’ Roses
Don’t Let It Bring You Down — Neil Young
Logn á undan storminum — Skytturnar
Tender — Blur
The X-Files Theme Song — Mark Snow
Wild Horses — The Rolling Stones
You Never Give Me Your Money — The Beatles
Clubbed to Death — Rob Dougan
Scatterbrain — Radiohead
Here, There and Everywhere — The Beatles