Over seven albums, Queens Of The Stone Age have done everything from blues-rock bangers to metallic modern grooves. They’re unpredictable while putting their unmistakeable DNA on everything they do – a ton of raunch and sauciness, and blistering riffs. There’s rarely a misstep in their arsenal of songs, but some shine that bit brighter than others. Here’s QOTSA’s 10 best songs.
‘If I Had A Tail’ (‘…Like Clockwork’, 2013)
Why it’s great: It’s slinky and sexy in the way only Queens Of The Stone Age can be – that sleazy, sticky way that makes you feel like you’re listening to it from a seedy, backstreet saloon.
Best moment: Josh Homme’s nonchalantly lusty delivery of the lines “I wanna suck, I wanna lick/I wanna grind, I wanna spit.“
‘Make It Wit Chu’ (‘Era Vulgaris’, 2007)
Why it’s great: If ‘I Had A Tail’ is sexy, it’s got nothing on this. ‘Make It Wit Chu’ slows things down to a loungy shimmy, libido dripping off of every note.
Best moment: That soulful, coquettish chorus.
‘Feel Good Hit Of The Summer’ (‘Rated R’, 2000)
Why it’s great: It’s a knowing wink at stoner rock and the hedonism of rock’n’roll in general, and actually started out as a joke. That tongue-in-cheek spirit is why it works so well, though.
Best moment: When the roll call of drugs ends with an ostentatious “C-c-c-c-c-cocaine!”, followed by a searing guitar solo.
‘No One Knows’ (‘Songs For The Deaf’, 2002)
Why it’s great: That staccato riffing is simple but iconic and it was an early hint that QOTSA could be both hard-rocking and wield big hooks.
Best moment: The riff on the chorus – complicated and weaving, but great for headbanging to.
‘Smooth Sailing’ (‘…Like Clockwork’, 2013)
Why it’s great: It snaps with bluesy licks and Josh’s falsetto purrs in a way that’s both urgent and sultry.
Best moment: The sheer braggadocio of “I got bruises and hickeys, stitches and scars/Got my own theme music, plays wherever I are.“
‘Feet Don’t Fail Me’ (‘Villains’, 2017)
Why it’s great: It’s a hulking great big dance song with a riff that sounds like Blur’s ‘Girls And Boys’ repurposed for the rock dancefloor.
Best moment: The way it builds from a series of monastic chants before exploding into life.
‘If Only’ (‘Queens Of The Stone Age’, 1998)
Why it’s great: It’s grungier and a little sparser than most other QOTSA tracks, but its simplicity is what makes it, giving more room for the noodling guitar solo to breathe and standout.
Best moment: That aforementioned solo – it’s brief, but a blinder.
‘Little Sister’ (‘Lullabies To Paralyze’, 2005)
Why it’s great: It’s maybe the biggest earworm QOTSA have ever written, with the power to get stuck in your head for days.
Best moment: The buzzsaw riff that drives the whole thing and oozes an alluring danger.
‘The Lost Art Of Keeping A Secret’ (‘Rated R’, 2000)
Why it’s great: It nails the quiet-loud dynamic, with the band sounding like they’re struggling not to let rip too soon at the end of each verse.
Best moment: Those creeping notes drifting over the muted guitar chug in the verses – the song’s atmosphere all comes from them.
‘Go With The Flow’ (‘Songs For The Deaf’, 2002)
Why it’s great: It’s a total rush of nagging melodies and drums contrasted with Josh’s more languid vocals.
Best moment: The whole thing is one rolling highlight.