My 10 Favorite Angry Songs Of All Time

Categories: Music

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Here are my top 10 bouts of musical rage.

If you disagree with me, I'll be furious!


(10) "We're Not Gonna Take It," Twisted Sister

Infectious anger at its most rollicking. I always felt this song was the musical equivalent of "I'm mad as hell" from Network.

(9) "Since U Been Gone," Kelly Clarkson

"You had your chance, you blew it / Out of sight, out of mind."

No, she wasn't singing to Simon.


(8) "Hell Is for Children," Pat Benatar

Big-lunged Pat got socially conscious with this impassioned plea for kids' rights, climaxing with the unforgettable "Hell is for hell! Hell is for hell!"


(7) "Irreplaceable," Beyoncé

The melody is actually kind of sweet, but once Beyoncé uses it to start spitting her verbal tacks ("To the left, to the left"), you feel like you'd better get out of the lady's way and let her vent. I'm scared a her.


(6) "So What," Pink

This one has a nyah-yah, bully-in-the-schoolyard quality that I perversely liked, especially when she sings, "I'm still a rock star / I got my rock moves / And I don't need you." You can't argue with logic like that -- just submit.


(5) "Piece of My Heart," Big Brother and the Holding Company, with Janis Joplin

A pained wail of a musical lashing, this was actually originally done by Aretha Franklin's sister Erma, but Janis made it legendary, letting you feel her anguish with every yelp. Actually, it might be more of a hurt song than an angry song, but let me leave it in here anyway or I'll be pissed.


(4) (tie) "I Will Survive," Gloria Gaynor; "Mr. Big Stuff," Jean Knight

Two dance tunes about telling off some loathsome lothario. Cathartic doesn't begin to describe them.


(3) "Hound Dog," Big Mama Thornton

White boy Elvis covered it to big effect, but Mama was there first, growling out her disrespect for the hound dog who done her wrong. Her version is ferocious and scary in the best way possible.


(2) "You Oughta Know," Alanis Morissette

Who needs anger management when you can get it all out by screaming stuff like "It's not fair to deny me of the cross I bear that you gave to me"? As Alanis fumingly read the creep's beads, we all sang along, picturing our own most hated ex-paramour.


(1) "God Save the Queen," The Sex Pistols

Just in time for Queenie's Silver Jubilee in 1977, this screed came out calling the monarchy "the fascist regime" and declaring "no future" for Britain's working class. A brilliant classic that helped usher in punk and still has the power to make us dance furiously -- and I do mean furiously.

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19 comments
davelog
davelog

Seek out 'I've Been So Mad Lately' by Butt Trumpet, and rage with glee.

ghostlectricity
ghostlectricity

Stones: "Street Fightin' Man." Dylan: "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding." John Lennon: "God." U2: "God, Part II." John Lee Hooker: "I'm Mad Again." Beatles: "Run For Your Life." Who: "Substitute." Public Enemy: "Fight The Power." Johnny Cash/NIN: "Hurt." Nirvana: "All Apologies."

JW
JW

I'm Not Angry (Anymore) - Elvis Costello

CMG
CMG

I would say Metallica's "The God That Failed" just due to the back story of the song which was about James Hetfield turning away from his Christian Scientist upbringing that he believes led to his mother dying of cancer at a young age. 

Bob Dylan's "Idiot Wind" is angry. 

Every song that Eminem every referenced his wife in ever, especially the Slim Shady LP.  That was like hearing an internal monologue of a person in a domestic dispute. 

Kimbery D
Kimbery D

Oh now I'm adding So What to my LIST I love that song ! I know how pesky and irritating it is to add but I've been listening to "Cocky" by Kid Rock....I KNOW how ick he is but that song speaks to me :"You say I'm cocky? And I say WHAT? It ain't bragging motherfuc*ker if you can back it up" deep sigh...story of my life <3

ronp954
ronp954

"Not Ready To Make Nice" - Dixie Chicks

Monsieurpatric
Monsieurpatric

Lest we lose perspective and purpose...La Marseillaise.

Monsieurpatric
Monsieurpatric

My lover suggests we not forget Harry Nillson's non-radio playable "You're Breaking My Heart" and for excellent reason.

Jonster
Jonster

Pink really has the market cornered on songs like the one you mention, plus You + Your Hand. 

Keep your drink just give me the moneyIt's just you and your hand tonight.

HA!! 

Rabbit
Rabbit

Marianne Faithful - Why'd you do it.

mYtY
mYtY

Great list, my list my #1  would be "Peace sells but whos buying?"- Megadeth

Kathleen Warnock
Kathleen Warnock

I could add any number of Joan Jett songs, from "Coney Island Whitefish" to "The Only Good Thing You Ever Said (Was Goodbye)" which proves that 1) I have a worrisomely complete knowledge of her catalog and 2) she's written a lot of pissed-off songs.

Natali
Natali

These are all great songs. I don't want to make you mad, so I'll agree w/ you on all of 'em. ;)

Ping
Ping

Thank you for not including Cee Lo Green!

Melinda9
Melinda9

"Actually, it might be more of a hurt song than an angry song..."I think a lot of angry songs are like that, really more sad/resigned/cynical. The only songs I found on my i-tunes that I'd call angry are Rolling in the Deep (I think the back up singers sing 'You're gonna wish you, never had met me) and Institutionalized(Suicidal Tendencies). (Oh, yeah and Fuck You by Cee Lo Green.)

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