The Best Silverchair Songs
It was bound to happen. Given I hail from the same city that Silverchair grew up in it was bound to happen that I was going to put together a list of their very best songs. Silverchair were catapulted into stardom in the early 90s thanks to the debut album, Frogstomp, which many Aussie bands still regard as a classic album.
Silverchair existed in this space of Aussie rebellion and grunge inspiration whose songs hit at the right moment in time. Thanks to the efforts of many a promoter in the early 90s and radio station Triple J, Silverchair went on to enjoy huge success – both domestically in Australia and overseas. Despite a long career, they didn’t release a huge smorgasbord of records, so we decided to look back at what they have released.
To see which tracks are the best Silverchair songs of all time.
I remember hearing Freak for the first time on Triple J radio but it’s when I got my very own copy of Triple J Hottest 100 compilation CD that I really got into this track. Nothing spelled out Australia’s answer to Nirvana more than this song. The power chord repetition, the gravelly angst teen vocals and the steady beat. Not to mention the highly relatable lyrics. Freak was the hit of that summer.
Ana’s Song (Open Fire)
I think it’s fair to say that Ana’s Song is one of the most memorable Silverchair tracks. In addition to being a ballad to those suffering from anorexia, Ana’s Song is a painful reflection on Daniel Johns’ own declining health whilst on tour. The fact he’s so skinny and gaunt in the film clip makes the imagery so harrowing. Not to mention the lyric “in your head the flesh seems thicker.” Ana’s Song is probably the most powerful and meaningful track that Silverchair have ever recorded.
Every grunge album has to have at least one track with a bass guitar intro. Israel’s Son does just that – and more. It’s very alternative-grunge Aussie rock sounding. You can almost picture yourself in the mosh pit at Big Day Out back in the early 90s.
Appearing on Frogstomp, Tomorrow is a raw and unfiltered track where the blemishes of a demo shine through. And we love Silverchair for every moment of it. Tomorrow is youthful, rebellious and typical of the Seattle Grunge sound. Only we were fortunate enough to have that sound start here in Newcastle, Australia and evolve into what it would eventually be. Leaving the imprint that Silverchair left on all of our lives.
The Greatest View
Who would’ve known that Daniel Jones collaborating with songwriter Paul Mac would’ve resulted in the mature sound of The Greatest View? Not this guy and certainly not the rest of Australia. The Greatest View is one of the crowning jewels on this list and saw Daniel Johns finally get to a place of comfort in his lyrical and vocal abilities.
For some reason I always thought that Straight Lines was a solo effort by Daniel Johns. I really don’t why? Probably because it’s so far removed from the early work of Silverchair. In the absence of grunge, there is a ridiculous amount of pop injected into the veins of Straight Lines. The result is a feel good track that you’ll blast on your headphones on the way to your dead end job. Feel good? Yeah right. Enjoy the song for what it is.
A simple acoustic diddy, at least that’s how it starts off, sung in an almost monotone by Daniel Johns. An orchestral movement soon joins in, as Johns descends into the most depressive song on this list. Shades of Nirvana’s Something in the Way can definitely be felt throughout every movement in Cemetery.
It’s hard to explain the impact that Without You had on me to someone who wasn’t at one of the Silverchair shows on their Diorrama tour. It’s bold, uncompromising, emotionally heavy and quite pleasant. It’s everything you want Silverchair to be all at once. Without You is as somber as it is heavy rock.
If You Keep Losing Sleep
Don’t get me wrong, most of the tracks on Young Modern are complete trash. While that’s true, take If You Keep Losing Sleep as a fanfare of the many different aspects of Daniel Johns’ brain. It starts off like a lost Mr Bungle song before descending into a grunge riff and then a 2/4 pop swing before the marching drums towards the end somehow brings it all together. If You Keep Losing Sleep is like one big mash of Silverchair in under 4 minutes. It might be odd, it might be bizarre but trust me kids – it’s lots of fun!
Anthem for the Year 2000
Anthem for the Year 2000 is a hard one to explain to anyone who isn’t a millennial. It just works. It came out at the right time, it hit the right notes and defined a generation. On the cusp of a new millennium it was very optimistic despite the hoarse tone of Johns’ vocals. Anthemic is the most accurate descriptor here. It’s still one of the best Silverchair songs of all time!
What’s the best Silverchair song of all time?
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