We are at an epoch where even the elite bands strive to reach the top positions of Billboard Chart, instead of delivering quality work. Chart toppers change as the seasons change. In this mediocrity sea, it is difficult to fish out the unreal. However, despite obstacles like record labels, sales promotions, sales and audience expectations, there have been musicians who have defied such challenges and produced consistently great music. Here is our pick of top ten songs by top international bands that have struck a chord with audiences amassing generations and have stood the test of time.
# The Billboard charts tabulate the relative weekly popularity of singles or albums in the United States and elsewhere, in a specific genre or in all genre. The charts are ranked according to sales, downloads, streamings and/or airplay (Radio).
“Changes” Band ‘Black Sabbath’
This is one of the very few songs by the inventors of the Heavy Metal genre with a shift from their usual style. ‘Changes’ is a ballad about drummer Bill Ward’s ongoing breakup. Tony Iommi’s experimentation with the piano led to the development of this song. Black Sabbath seldom performed this song live, perhaps because it was so different from their general style. However, it’s a beautiful, desolate track for all kinds of listeners. It was recreated decades later by Ozzy Osbourne and his daughter Kelly.
“I feel unhappy
feel so sad
lost the best friend
That I have ever had”
“I am going through changes”
The lyrics might look pretty ordinary simple but the way it was rendered through magnificent music by legends Black Sabbath… I don’t have words, just breath it!
This article is written along with my new author friend and awesome Punjabi musician. She is a shrewd lawyer with soft molten chocolate heart; both of her personae attributed to picking up this playlist for you. 🙂
“Little Lies” Band ‘Fleetwood Mac’
This was written by Christine McVie when she was a part of Fleetwood Mac. ‘Little Lies’ is a poignant song about failing relationships. The quintessential Fleetwood Mac sound accompanied by McVie’s husky vocals make the song remarkable. There has been a lot of discussion surrounding the song being written for her ex-husband and the band’s bassist John McVie. Regardless, as a listener, one can’t help but put themselves in the shoes of a lover who is unwilling to give up on their love yet.
“No more broken hearts
We’re better off apart
Let’s give it a try
Tell me, tell me, tell me lies
Oh no no, You can’t disguise”
The lyrics may look simple but when blended well with abstemious music and whispering echo by legends Fleetwood Mac… It is like Saffron Truffle Mocha, a perfect blend of Starbucks’!
“We Can Work It Out” Band ‘The Beatles’
A beautiful collaboration between the band members Paul McCartney and John Lennon, this song is a perfect example of great collaborative song-writing. “We Can Work It Out”, like the name suggests, is an optimistic, happy, motivating song that encourages to live the best life, because well, life is short! The song is upbeat and fresh, with some beautiful use of harmonies by Lennon. All in all, it is a great ‘ditty’ for a rainy day, to cheer yourself up!
# Ditty – a short, simple song.
आँखों का मुलाकात को
रवैये ने रोख लिया
मगर दिल ने
नक़ाब और ज़ंज़ीर तोड़ के
हज़ारो बात किया
(Ankhon Ka Mulaakaat Ko
Ravaiye Ne Rokh Liya
Magar Dil Ne
Naqaab Aur Zanzeer Tod Ke
Hazaaro Baat Kiya)
“Meeting of eyes
Scuttered by attitudes
But both hearts
Broke masks and chains
Spoke a thousand words”
“Life is very short
And there’s no time
For fussing and fighting, my Friend
I will ask you one more time
We can work it out”
The Beetles, The King of Kings Band, who makes simple thing looks extraordinary delivered this masterpiece; well garnished simple dish presented by The Beetles.
“Come As You Are” Band Nirvana
The grunge and alternative ‘Rock’ pioneers, Nirvana, released ‘Come As You Are’ as a single from their album ‘Nevermind’ in 1991. During that time, the band was at its peak of popularity, and this song helped them climb the ladder of commercial success. The peculiarity of the lyrics of the song is the use of antithesis by Cobain, to depict his angst towards the fake friends around him. This song has the unique Nirvana song-writing method of ‘quiet-loud-quiet’ and the distinctive opening riff of the song makes it memorable. Meanwhile, the catchy melody makes it an absolute winner.
“Come as you are, As you were, As I want you to be
As a trend, As a friend, As an old memoria
Take your time, Hurry up, The choice is yours”
The lyrics transcend time and the music too.
“Soldier of Fortune” Band ‘Deep Purple’
Although this song by the legendary Hard Rock / Heavy Metal band didn’t receive the kind of commercial success when it was released, it has developed a niche following over time. A bluesy-ballad, this song is a slight shift from their original songwriting style but it oozes with feels. The rich vocals by Ian Gillan are calming, yet so evocative and powerful. The melancholic melody combined with the potent lyrics make for a great song. The song has also been covered by some great bands like ‘Opeth’, ‘Whitesnake’ and ‘Black Majesty’.
“I have often told you
About the way
I lived the life of a drifter
Waiting for the day”
“I feel I’m growing older
The songs that I have sung
Echo in the distance”
This song melts you, freezes you and gives you a roller coaster ride on a smoothie.
“Paint It, Black” Band ‘The Rolling Stones’
Widely associated with the Vietnam war, this song by the British Rockers is an iconic musical composition. The band’s guitarist Brian Jones, at his experimental best, decided to use the ‘sitar’ instead of the usual guitars for the song, making it the first ever hit rock song to have done so. Penned by Mick Jagger, he explained that the lyrics of the song speaks about death and grief (original thoughts have nothing to do with the interpretations; it is not on Vietnam War or mafia or whatsoever rumored around). As admitted in various interviews, the song was originally meant to be a pop number but gained a different direction to attain a more psychedelic sound.
“I see a red door
And I want it painted black
No colors anymore
I want them to turn black”
“I look inside myself
And see my heart is black”
“It’s not easy facing up
When the whole world is black”
It has got baited beauty in the lyrics.
“High Hopes” Band ‘Pink Floyd’
Pink Floyd, is one of the most influential bands in the history of Rock music who have inspired countless musicians. Their progressive and psychedelic sound was way ahead of its time. ‘High Hopes’ is a haunting and moving song, that expresses forlorn desire. The two guitar solos by David Gilmour are absolute masterpieces and can move one to tears while the lyrics of the song create beautiful imagery.
“Our thoughts strayed
Constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell
हमारे विचार भटक गये
लगातार और सीमा के बिना
विभाजन की घंटी
बजन शुरू हो गया
“Stairway to Heaven” Band ‘Led Zeppelin’
Often regarded as the best song to have ever been made, listening to Stairway to Heaven, no matter how many times, induces chills. Composed by band members Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the song is out of this world. It has a climaxed structure, starting out soft and acoustic and ending with an absolute bang. The lyrics are cryptic and the song arrangement is impeccable. Plant’s powerful vocals are an absolute cherry on top.
“Dancing Queen” Band ‘ABBA’
This chartbuster by the Swedish pop band was a disco regular in the 70s and 80s. The song has a sweet melody with some great grooves that make it irresistible to tap your feet at the least. The simple and relatable lyrics make the song relevant even at the present times. This song was a worldwide sensation, helping ABBA leave their imprints on the global music scene and making them one of the most successful pop bands in history.
“Sound of Muzak” Band ‘Porcupine Tree’
Porcupine Tree’s seventh studio album marks their move into Heavy Metal and Progressive Rock sound. With the band making a line-up change, welcoming their new drummer Gavin Harrison, the band produced some brilliant sound that was both technically superior and musically intense. The sound of Muzak, in the midst of the tracklist that contained great songs, stood out. Steven Wilson’s aversion towards the new wave and direction of the music industry has been beautifully woven into the lyrics of the track. Another fascinating thing about the song is the use of odd-time signatures, deviating from generic routes.
“Music of the future will not entertain
It’s only meant to repress
And neutralize your brain
One of the wonders of the world is going down
No one cares enough”
Prediction on the future of the music was written, composed and sung majestically. This kind of all-rounder song can only be created by Porcupine Tree, The Royal Muzak Masters.
After watching these Signature Songs of Iconic Bands, we would like to know, how do you feel about them? Please write it in the comments section below 🙂