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 411mania » Music » Columns

The 411 Music Top Five 02.18.14: The Top 5 Earworm Songs
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.18.2014


Criteria: You ever get a song stuck in your head? Of course you have. We all have, because there are people out there who want to drive us all insane with songs that we will never be able to stop thinking about. "Earworms," as they are popularly known, can either be great songs that stay forever and give you a personal soundtrack even when there is no music going or agonizing, maddening experiences that we can't escape. This week the 411 staff is looking at the best.


5. Lady Gaga - "Judas"

Blame this on the Top mash-ups list the week before last, I have randomly found myself singing the part where Gaga says "JudaS" but does it 400 times, leads to some odd looks around the house, but still worth singing a catchy song.

4. Sabaton - "Ghost Division"

From the opening beat, this song will dig its way into your head. It is like a metal drillbit with a tank led drill. Once the chorus hits you will be singing about the Panzer elite for days! If anyone says anything to you, tell you that they never retreat, and are always ahead, that'll fix 'em.

3. Bon Jovi - "Living on a Prayer"

seriously loathe Bon Jovi, but damn if this song doesn't get into my head every time I hear it. It's like that one summer that one summer where every time I heard a Kesha song, it would get in my head and I would hate myself until I got it out. This song is better than Kesha, though, but I don't have to tell you that. Hell, it's one of the Bon Jovi songs I can actually say that I moderately like, which to my whiny ass is a stamp of approval.

2. Europe - "The Final Countdown"

THAT SYNTH BEAT, THAT SYNTH BEAT. That's pretty much ALL that needs to be said about this song. Though I will close by saying that before I got into metal like I have now (which means before I became an obsessed lunatic) I have no earthly idea that Europe were considered anything close to metal, true story.

1. Queen - "We are the Champions"

This is by far the catchiest song of all time, at least in my opinion. Nothing gets me more refreshed than listening to this song when I'm down, then it stays with me, because it's so catchy and powerful. Slight story time, when my baseball team won the title when I was 8, we sang this song for the entire night. Though mind you, I had no business singing, because I hit 5 balls all year, treated my teammates like trash, and danced in the outfield. At least I'm not that big of an asshole anymore, right? But back to Queen, they will forever be the champions in my book, even though when I look at what I listen to and my favorite bands, Queen isn't there, but they are forever in my heart as that one band that I can always go back to me on my brightest days or even when my deepest roots are in the darkest blues. God bless you, Freddie Mercury and Co!


Honorable Mention: Gnarls Barkley - "Crazy," Journey - "Don't Stop Believin'," Foster the People - "Pumped Up Kicks"

5. White Stripes - "Seven Nation Army"

The bassline helps drive this one home. Actually, "Seven Nation Army" is a rock song that is practically constructed to set up permanent shop in your mind. The pounding drumwork, that simple yet memorable bass work, Jack White's staccato vocal delivery...all of which breaks at just the right moment so it doesn't drone into a homogenous goop. It's one of the best's best songs to boot, which doesn't hurt.

4. Eminem - "Lose Yourself"

Rap is a little bit harder to make really good earworm music for. Because it is so lyrically based, you can't just repeat certain lyrics nonstop the way you can in pop. Eminem has managed to great several great earworm songs though such as "The Real Slim Shady," "My Name Is" and more recently "The Monster" and "Berserk." For my money "Lose Yourself" is the catchiest of his numbers. It isn't nearly as poppy as any of those other songs I mentioned but the chorus is one you will find yourself running throuh again and again. It also happens to be (like all those other songs mentioned) a fantastic song as well.

3. Michael Jackson - "Beat It"

One of the earliest earworm songs in my personal world, "Beat It" is definitely Michael Jackson's catchiest number. With a little bit of funk and rock playing into the music and Jackson's signature voice driving the tune forward, you find yourself nodding along even if you don't want to. And the repeated "Beat it/just beat it" lets the number imprint itself on your brain so you find yourself going back to it long after the song has finished playing. Definite earworm material, in the good way.

2. Justin Timberlake - "Rock Your Body"

"Rock Your Body" is also known in my head as "the song just makes me move." When I'm in an upbreat and bouncy mood, this is usually the song that's popping its way through my cranium. Justin Timberlake was on a firm course to build his reputation as more than just another boy band graduate and with this single off his solo debut LP Justified, he made a very strong case. Every single bit of the lyrics can get stuck in your head, whether the disco-styled verses or back-and-forth refrain and the uptempo sound just drives the point home. I dare you to try and stop thinking about this song if you're brave enough to click "Play" below.

1. Queen - "We are the Champions"

Yeah, I can't disagree with this one at all. "We Are the Champions" is without a doubt the catchiest song of all-time that doesn't make you want to drive an ice pick through your temple. And with good reason; Freddie Mercury's triumphant declarations strike a chord not only of easily-remembered words, but pride-inspiring ones. With the anthemic instrumentation building to a crescendo, the song lifts you up emotionally which is the best possible way to become inescapabably memorable. Anthems are instant earworms and they're designed to be; this is probably the best anthem ever and thus the best earworm song.

As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:

5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it


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