Words: Priya Elan, Dan Martin, Ailbhe Malone, Rebecca Schiller. Spotify playlist
20A Design For Life
Post-Richey, ‘Design For Life’ came out with all guns blazing, fighting for life. As a cascade of Bacharach-influenced strings came down, the guitar chords sounded bold and triumphant. James Dean Bradfield sings: “We don’t talk about love/We only want to get drunk,” and the full weight of the meaning lay heavily in every listener's heart.
19Enjoy The Silence
Their commercial breakthrough in the US, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard charts. The chorus finds the Basildon boys playing to their strengths, mixing the upbeat nature of the tempo with the downbeat, slightly sinister lyrics. The fact that the demo was originally penned on a gloomy church organ and played at half the speed will come as no surprise.
18I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)
With Whitney’s recent untimely passing, she’s been on all of our minds. Arguably one of the best tracks of her career, this is one of those ultimate club songs that make you want to grab the person closest to you (no matter how creepy that might be). And if nothing else, the chorus successfully distracts us from that guy’s awful dancing in the video…
The B-side to ‘Wonderwall' was just as majestic as Oasis' best-known track. Latterly, Noel chastised himself for being so "young and stupid" as to not release the song as an A-Side. The chorus is a perfect mash up of ‘Whatever’ and ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’, with its quasi-religious lyrics, bell-clear Noel vocal, and titanic singalong value.
16All The Small Things
Though this isn’t the Cali trio’s only earworm, (see also ‘The Rock Show’ and ‘Always’), ‘All the Small Things’ is an explosion of pop-punk joy. The simple "na na na na na na na na na na" chorus combines with brash guitars and snotty harmonies to make a track that’s as much about the fun of listening to music as it is making it. Oh, and the boy-band-mocking video’s pretty rad too.
If the chorus of 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' was essentially meaningless, 'Lithium' was almost wordless: a succession of throat-ripping "Yeah"s, tailor-made for communal moshpit yelling. You have to squint to hear it, but Cobain's love of The Beatles is in evidence. Think of it as a grunge rewrite of 'She Loves You'.
14Life On Mars?
The only thing more explosive than this chorus is the colour of Bowie's hair and makeup in the song's promo video. Never before has the speculation of life on another planet been so appealing. No matter how many covers this song might endure, no one will ever do it the justice Mr. Stardust treats it to (perhaps because he is, in fact, just so other-worldly).
13There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
A love song, Morrissey-style. Pulling on a narrative from Rebel Without A Cause, he croons that "To die by your side, would be such a heavenly way to die". Though the album also featured such masterpieces as ‘The Boy With the Thorn In His Side’ and ‘Bigmouth Strikes Again’, ‘There Is A Light...’ remains the jewel in ‘The Queen Is Dead’s crown.
12Run To The Hills
The killer guitar solo in ‘Run To The Hills’ might be the attention-grabber, but it’s Bruce Dickinson’s hurricane-strength vocal on the chorus that’s the real stand-out. ‘Run To The Hills’ was Bruce’s first outing as Maiden’s new vocalist, and he hit a blinder.
Also known as the track that launched a thousand blogposts, ‘Video Games’ was the making of Lana. Sultry, moody and intimate, the contrast between the frustrated girlfriend of the verses with the pleading lover of the chorus made it irresistible. From the heartfelt "It’s you, it’s you, it’s all for you" to the throwaway "I tell you all the time" aside, the chorus is the icing on the cake.