Previously on the Top 100 emo songs of all time…….

100 – Reggie and the full effect – Thanx for stayin

99 – Roadside Monument – Sunken Anchor

98 – Boilermaker – Slow Down

97 – Hundred reasons – If I could

96 – Jets to Brazil – Chinatown

95 – Coping – F For now

94 – Inside – Ray Brower

93 – Basement – Grayscale

92 – The Jazz June – Viva La speed metal

91 – Everyone Everywhere – I feel fine by Everyone Everywhere

To read more about these songs (100-91) click HERE

90 – Hunter Gatherer – Low standards for high fives

89 – Football, etc. – Safety

88 – Race Car Riot – Raincheck

87 – Taking Back Sunday – Bike scene

86 – Leiah – Tiglio

85 – Brandtson – Still life

84 – Polar Bear Club – Bottled wind

83 – Starmarket – Losing track

82 – Sunny Day Real Estate – Guitar and video games

81 – Grade – Stolen bikes ride faster

To read more about these songs (90-81) click HERE

80 – Bob Tilton – September

79 – The Autumn Year – Little lost words

78 – Koufax – Going to happen

77 – Wavelets – Julio won’t get out of the car

76 – The Get Up Kids – Forgive and Forget

75 – Hot Rod Circuit – At nature’s mercy

74 – The Appleseed Cast – Steps and numbers

73 – Stapleton – International departures

72 – New End Original – Lukewarm

71 – Hundred Hands – A Replay

To read more about these songs (80-71) click HERE

70 – Knapsack – Cellophane

69 – Elliott – Dionysus Burning

68 – The Lapse – We Must Move Backwards To Progress

67 – Owls – Everyone Is My Friend

66 – Suis La Lune – Quiet, Pull The Strings!

65 – Sunday’s Best – Winter Owned

64 – CSTVT – Hiccups

63 – Vitreous Humor – Sharin’ Stone

62 – Beezewax – Dead End Kids

61 – Death Cab For Cutie – A Movie Script Ending

To read more about these songs (70-61) click HERE

60 – Grown Ups – Three Day Weekend

59 – Funeral Diner – We Become Buried

58 – Snowing – I Think We’re In Minsk

57 – Imbroco – You’re My Lionkiller

56 – Maritime – Tearing Up The Oxygen

55 – Engine Down – The Offer Of Something

54 – Boy’s Life – Sight Unseen

53 – Benton Falls – All These Things

52 – Further Seems Forever – Madison Prep

51 – The Casket Lottery – Ever Since Sulfur

To read more about these songs (60-51) click HERE

50 – Ghosts And Vodka – Sex Is Popular

49 – Transit – Footwork

48 – Jejune – Solar

47 – Hey Mercedes – Quality Revenge At Last

46 – Jeremy Enigk – Lewis Hollow

45 – Cursive – The Radiator Hums

44 – Joan Of Arc – Post Coitus Rock

43 – Pianos Become The Teeth – Cripples Can’t Shiver

42 – The Get Up Kids – Coming Clean

41 – At The Drive-In – Heliotrope

To read more about these songs (50-41) click HERE

40 – Owen – O, Evelyn..

39 – This Beautiful Mess – Don’t Go There

38 – Rites Of Spring – Remainder

37 – Rainer Maria – Artificial Light

36 – Sunny Day Real Estate – Theo B

35 – The Gloria Record – Grace The Snow Is Here

34 – Saves The Day – Holly Hox, Forget Me Nots

33 – Penfold – M

32 – The Promise Ring – A Picture Postcard

31 – Mineral – If I Could

To read more about these songs (40-31) click HERE

30 – Sense Field – Building

29 – Death Cab For Cutie – The Ice Is Getting Thinner

28 – Dashboard Confessional – Turpentine Chaser

27 – Beezewax – The Snooze Is On

26 – The Anniversary – All Things Ordinary

25 – Dismemberment Plan – What Did You Want Me To Say?

24 – The Appleseed Cast – Forever Longing The Golden Sun

23 – Far – Really Here

22 – Pop Unknown – Half Of Ninety

21 – Hot Water Music – Remedy

To read more about these songs (30-21) click HERE

20 – Thursday – Cross Out The Eyes

19 – Jimmy Eat World – Goodbye Sky Harbor

18 – Algernon Cadwallader – Some Kind Of Cadwallader

17 – Christie Front Drive – Radio

16 – The Promise Ring – Red & Blue Jeans

15 – Reiziger – Waiting day

14 – Cross My Heart – It Doesn’t Take That Many Pills To Sleep Forever

13 – The Van Pelt – Speeding Train

12 – Texas Is The Reason – The Magic Bullet Theory

11 – Planes Mistaken For Stars – Copper And Stars

To read more about these songs (20-11) click HERE

10 – Braid – The New Nathan Detroits

Every time I used to make a mixtape for myself or a friend this would always be the first track I’d put on. It’s the ultimate opener, a big catchy brilliant emo blast. It opens their classic album, ‘Frame and Canvas’, and sets the tone for the rest of the record. Braid are a legendary band, they maybe didn’t get the plaudits they thoroughly deserved when emo first broke big but I like to think that has changed since. Especially as they have returned with new music in recent times.

9 – Jimmy Eat World – No Sensitivity

Despite making some of my favourite albums packed with great songs, my favourite Jimmy Eat World song is taken from the split they did with Jebediah. ‘No Sensitivity’ is a great showcase of Jimmy Eat World doing what they do best, making incredibly likeable emo rock songs with killer choruses. This is always a favourite when they play live and somehow I’ve managed to see Jimmy Eat World play 7 times, every time a pleasure.

8 – Spy Versus Spy – Helpless, Sign In Please

Out of all the bands in the UK emo scene in the late 90’s, Spy Versus Spy was the band we held in the highest regard, to me they were like our Cap’n Jazz. There was just something about them that set them apart from the rest of us, while there were plenty of good bands about in those days Spy Versus Spy were always the band I thought I would love forever. And more than 10 years later I still do so maybe that will be true. Their first mini album is still my favourite although they did go on to make the fantastically brilliant album ‘Little Lights’ which you should stop at nothing to get hold of.

7 – The Get Up Kids – I’m A Loner Dottie, A Rebel

Getting to see the Get Up Kids while they were touring in support of ‘Something to write home about’ is still one of the best live experiences I’ve ever had. I got to see them play a few times again but nothing will beat that first time, there was just so much energy and fun surrounding their performance that night. Without the slower songs that filled ‘On a wire’ the show zipped along with the band seeming to have the time of their lives, which in turn meant that we were having the time of our lives. ‘I’m a loner dottie …’ is a classic amongst an album full of classics.

6 – Sunny Day Real Estate – In Circles
 I have always loved this song since the first time I heard it all those years ago, but since their reunion show 2 years ago it has seemed even more special. I had tickets to see them play London in 2001, the show got cancelled because of something to do with their booking agents and then the band split up for the 2nd time. I was gutted and thought I’d never get to see this very special band play live. But, years later it was announced they were going to play a one off reunion show in London, excitedly I snapped up tickets only for that show to get cancelled because of the volcanic ash cloud. They did reschedule however and managed to play and the reaction was incredible. When they launched into ‘In Circles’ the excitement in the crowd was palpable and the noise deafening. Guitarist Dan Hoerner looked blown away by this and seeing his reaction made this amazing song even more so.

5 – The Promise Ring – E. Texas Ave
This song is Taken from probably the greatest split 7 inch ever released. The Texas is the reason song on the other side is fantastic, the artwork equally so but it’s the Promise Ring song that makes it truly great. Weirdly my favourite Promise Ring song is the Promise Ring song that sounds least like a Promise Ring song. It’s a lot heavier than they usually are and a lot darker. But it still sounds uniquely like the Promise Ring with Davey Von Bohlen unmistakeable voice sounding better than ever.

4 – Cap’n Jazz – Little League

 Iconic, influential and downright briliant, Cap’n Jazz created a sound that would go on to be copied many times over. ‘Little League’ is a song I can never grow tired of listening too, It’s energy is completely infectious. The way the song sounds out of control and all over the place is its charm. It breaks down, it builds up, it screams at you and makes you want to get up and throw yourself about like a crazy person. Absolute genius.

3 – The Appleseed Cast – Marigold And Patchwork

 One of the best shows I ever got to attend was when my old band supported The Appleseed Cast the first time they played in Margate. At the time they had only released their debut album, ‘End of the ring wars’, but to us they were massive and we were totally excited to have them play in our small town. They seemed really touched by the reaction they got that night and told us that when we sang along to ‘Marigold and patchwork’ it was one of the first times that that had happened to them. They must’ve liked it here because they came back to play twice more. ‘Marigold and patchwork’ will always remind me of a special time when music was the most exciting thing in my world and will forever be one of my favourite songs. You can download this song for free, see below for details.

2 – American Football – Never Meant

 It’s amazing how some of the most influential and incredible music that came from the emo genre was from bands with short existences and limited output. I know Mike Kinsella has been very prolific in his output in various guises, but American Football had one album and one EP yet remain one of the best emo bands of all time. ‘Never meant’ is beautiful, it’s simple yet complicated at the same time and makes me fall in love each and every time I hear it. It’s the perfect song to do that old emo dance to, you know the one where you put your hands in your pockets and gently sway back and forth with your eyes closed? No? Just me then.

1! – Mineral – &Serenading

 I have said for many years that this is the best emo song of all time. If I have said that to you then I’m sorry for the advance spoiler and apologise for the anti-climax to this list. It’s not just my favourite emo song of all time, it is in fact my favourite song of all time. If anyone mentions emo then Mineral is always the first band that jumps to mind, to me they are THE emo band. ‘EndSerenading’ is a beautiful album, Mineral made music so open and emotional that it shouldn’t work but it does work incredibly so. ‘&serenading’ is the penultimate song from that album, it is heart breakingly gorgeous in every way, lyrically and musically. The ending is just perfect, it builds up with repetitive vocals that harmonize at the right moment to elevate the song into the most beautiful of end riffs. Pure brilliant genius!!!!!

That’s it, the list is done.

FREE MUSIC!!! To celebrate ‘Is this thing on?’ has teamed up with the influential and legendary emo label, Deep Elm, to bring you a free 12 track download sampler featuring every Deep Elm song on the list. That includes music by The Appleseed Cast, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Cross My Heart, Pop Unknown, Benton Falls and many more. Click the link below to go there and download it.

Also, while you’re there you can check out the infamous 12 volume Emo Diaries compilation series featuring 147 unreleased tracks by Jimmy Eat World, The Appleseed Cast, This Drama, Further Seems Forever (featuring Chris Carrabba of Dashboard Confessional), Planes Mistaken For Stars, The Movielife, Samiam and many more. Download the lot for $29!!

Here is the link:

Thank you so much for reading. It has been an unforgettable few weeks sharing this list with you and I want to thank everyone that has read/shared/retweeted/commented etc.. It’s great to know that this music still means a hell of a lot to a lot of people. Feel free to share this and let me know what you think, whether you agree or totally disagree either on here or on twitter (@alex_itto)

Now have a facebook page for the blog too, come and say hi

I have updated the spotify playlist, click the link below for that.

Emo 100 (100-1)

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50 thoughts on “THE ‘IS THIS THING ON?’ TOP 100 EMO SONGS OF ALL TIME PART 10!! (10-1)

  1. Gary Sleith says:

    Thanks for doing this list man, it’s got me into so many acts i was previously unaware of that I know I’m gonna listen to forever(Algernon Cadwallader & Casket Lottery to name but a few), reignited my love for past favourites that I hadn’t listened to in an age (Promise Ring & Braid amongst others) and left me pounding my fist on the table in disbelief at the bands that didn’t make the cut!(Handsome, Fireside, Farside, Douglas……….all eating their lunch at the losers table) and I know I’m gonna keep coming back to this list for years to come, great work!

    • alextb3 says:

      I love the thought of a losers table, poor guys. I’m excited that it’s introduced bands to you that you might’ve otherwise missed. It’s great to hear what bands other people would have included instead, will have to do a list of what was missed and why etc..
      Cheers again x

      • Gary Sleith says:

        In fairness, it wouldn’t be too big a table, you’ve pretty much covered all the greats, and the list does come across as painstakingly put together after serious thought, not like you just sat down and picked names out of thin air. What sets it apart from any other list is the memory or experience you an attach to every track or band. I could identify with most, especially the Promise Ring experience when they supported JEW at Brixton – I seen Planes Mistaken For Stars play bottom of a 3 band bill in Belfast many years ago(supporting either Hundred Reasons or Biffy Clyro….I can’t recall) and nobody cared, I was enthralled and wanted them to know there were genuine fans in attendance but everyone just talked through their set, horrible. And i’ve only managed to see JEW 5 times so you’ve got me beat!

      • alextb3 says:

        It’s heartbreaking watching a band you love with a crowd that doesn’t care. At least you got to see PMFS though, would’ve loved that.
        The list has been a lot of work, lots of head scratching and mind changing. But finding out people still really live this music has made it totally worth it.
        Cheers again

    • Harjit says:

      anyway someone could make a decent kbs torrent of this list? Would be an amazing road trip playlist….

  2. wallernotweller says:

    yeah yeah, okay good choice for top spot. you win. i will give american football another chance but i have to say the promise ring track would have battled it out for my top spot. remember when we were sat in my room listening to the sunny day album for the first time. it could only have been better if we made out with each other. deep loves brudda.

    if you are in the uk and want to bid on the mineral 7″ before this you can do so here

  3. Adam Willard says:

    You should find some way to compile all those songs somewhere for download!

  4. lee says:

    Alex, I can’t thank you enough for this list. Not so much for introducing me to new acts (I was already on board with all but a handful) but for the enjoyment of reading of someone’s experience of emo that so closely mirrors my own. I even suffered the same noughties disillusionment only to be rescued by a great new album – in my case the Arrows’ wonderful Modern Art & Politics.

    Cracking list, the top ten was pretty much bang on, although I’d have the top two the other way round! Good to see some obscure stuff I love in there, and some fantastic UK acts (always loved that Spy vs Spy mini album). Some surprise absentees for me: Jawbreaker, Farside, Chamberlain, Fireside and Compound Red. Would also love to see some Understand, Copperpot Journals, Rydell and Sunfactor, and some recent acts like A Plastic Rose, Bayonets and Sights & Sounds.

    Also, a search for CSTVT led me to the horribly-named but excellent Absolute USA Punk compilation, so cheers for that too!

    Keep up the good work mate!

    • alextb3 says:

      All good points, most of those bands were all considered but made the hard choice of going with what I did. I left Rydell and Sunfactor out because my old band, babies three, toured and put out a split with them. Didn’t want people to think I was biased, but I still love those bands.
      Thanks for reading and commenting. It means a lot

  5. Alex – I’ve been following your list for the past few weeks and just wanted to say thank you for making this and sharing your favorites! This music has been incredibly important to me throughout my life and it has been an amazing experience to revisit some of these songs through your list. I still can’t believe I had never heard “The Speeding Train,” but hey – there’s nothing quite like the feeling of discovering a new favorite song!


    • alextb3 says:

      Totally, that’s a great feeling. Speeding train is a classic, there’s a video on YouTube of Appleseed cast covering it which is worth a look.
      Thanks a lot for following the list. It’s been really fun

  6. Alabaster Codify says:

    Well done Alan, brilliant list mate!!! I’m going to have a very emo drive to work in a min. Beer soon?

  7. Frode Jørum says:

    Wow, that top 3 could have been on my top 3 too (maybe Parking Lot by Mineral would have been number 1), and 80% of the top 10 would be on my list too.

    Nice job! Thank you again for these fantastic songs and making it exciting! 🙂

  8. l0rdhumung0us says:

    great list, but was a bit disappointed that a few pioneers of the genre weren’t on the list as well as a few songs/bands that should have been but to each their own right?? i have about 75%+ of these songs/bands so i have most of them on a playlist now! good looks

    • alextb3 says:

      Cheers for reading. What bands were you disappointed about? Love hearing what other people would have gone for.
      Thanks again

      • l0rdhumung0us says:

        sorry didnt see i left 2 comments! rites of spring should def be on the list as should jawbreaker, as for the rest of them its a matter of opinion, i felt that bands such as i hate myself lanemeyer and lifeime to name a few should have made the cut… its very hard to put a specific grouping but there are def many more bands that could have made the list (i’m not trying to offend just offering some friendly criticism!!) on that note you did a great job with what ya gave us!

  9. l0rdhumung0us says:

    liked the list, i have over 75% of these songs on my itunes, i was a bit disappointed that a few songs/bands/pioneers of the genre werent on it however, good looks though

  10. […] not meant to be a dissection and dialectic on emo, well, sort of, no, this is a vague response to Is Thing On?’s top 100 emo songs. I think the author alextb3 probably knows his emo, screamo, post hardcore etc much better than I […]

  11. Maarten says:

    It surprises me that there’s no ‘On The Might Of Princes’ on this list and no ‘I Hate Myself’. Otherwise good list.

  12. Kyle says:

    Nice list, but it needs Jacksonhole Wy by The Summer We Went West.

  13. […] I’ve definitely listened to my share of it. Is Thing Thing On? recently counted down their Top 100 Emo Songs of All Time. I saw a lot of bands there that brought back a lot of memories. I spent a fair bit of time […]

  14. adthey says:

    Well, this looks like quite a hard work. I just wanted to comment a couple of things:

    – I don’t really see how Death Cab, Hundred Reasons or Polar Bear Club are emo. On a general look, the list seems pretty compact but bands like Dashboard Confessional or Suis la lune (screamo rather than emo…?) seem like a little out of place to me.

    – Eternal thanks for discovering me E. Texas Ave. I just recently started to listen to the promise ring (I’m stuck with very emergency, oh, how good), but by all chances I would have missed that song if it weren’t for this. Really, that shout towards the end is just simply amazing.

    • alextb3 says:

      cheers, that is an awesome Promise ring song, glad you’ve now heard it.
      Emo has various definitions and means different things to different people, I included bands that I consider fall under that banner but can see how others don’t see them that way. At least we’re agreed on the promise ring, amazing band
      thanks again

  15. Adam G says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Great write ups of some awesome ’emo’ songs from the era before the term got corrupted. I agree with much of the selection and obviously its personal choice but… seriously, nothing by Samiam?! Take your point about the Rydell exclusion – yeah in any other list they would be on there too.

    • alextb3 says:

      Samiam were in contention but decided to go with the others. I see your point but that was my personal choice.
      Cheers for reading and commenting

  16. Kevin says:

    I was reviewing some of the analytics of some Mineral live videos I posted online and saw that you embedded one of them (& Serenading). Very good list. I saw good deal these bands back in the day. I couldn’t agree more with the inclusion of The Van Pelt/Lapse, such a great and often over looked band(s).

    The one gripe I would have is that Chamberlain has to be mentioned on this list. They would certainly be in my top five. Magnetic 62nd was a game changer for the whole scene.

    I’ve got a few live shows (most notably Boy’s Life and Roadside) I never uploaded but now that I see that there’s still interest, maybe I’ll get to it.

    • alextb3 says:

      Thanks. I def considered Chamberlain for the list and you’re not the only one to mention them.
      That’s amazing that you have those shows recorded, would love to see them. Let me know if you do upload them.
      Cheers again

  17. Dude no my chemical romance no black veal brides and no bullet for my valatine you suck sorry

  18. […] people don’t change’ and ‘At least I tried’ aren’t included in the Is This Thing On? top 100 emo songs of all time because they deserve to be there. I will have to do an updated list at some point. Although […]

  19. […] they would by playing ‘Safety’. A few months ago you may have read that I posted the Is This Thing On? top 100 emo songs of all time, ‘Safety’ came in at number 89, which having listened to that song a lot since […]

  20. Awesome list. I bet it took a while and lots of dedication. As much as I love the list, I would have loved to have seen Jack’s Mannequin – Dark Blue make the list. Awesome Emo tune!

  21. Jim says:

    I’m really glad I found this list, thank you for making it. I remember walking into Tempest Records in Birmingham maybe 12 years ago and telling the guy at the counter that I liked The Get Up Kids and The Ataris and I wanted an emo record to listen to. He gave me A Lull in Traffic by The Gloria Record and it has been my most treasured possession ever since. Perfection, they’ll always be my no.1 so i’m glad Mineral topped this list at least!

    Great to see new bands making it on here, there’s stuff i’m discovering now that almost makes me feel like I did 12 years ago. I guess that’s why I found this blog too. Thanks again.

    • alextb3 says:

      Thanks! I feel exactly the same, just as excited now about this music as i was in the late 90’s. That guy in Tempest Records obviously knew his stuff, i miss being able to walk in to a place like that and walk away with something on a recommendation alone. You probably know them already but if you love the gloria record then you will really like Joie De Vivre, absolutely brilliant band.
      cheers again

  22. John says:

    Yeah, this list is VERY liberal as far as the term “emo” goes.

  23. Caleb says:

    Although I somewhat stumbled upon this list on accident, I was completely blown away by its rare and unique conglomeration. Awesome selections man, too many great bands to count, many or perhaps most with such substantial contributions in the whole movement. I absolutely adore some of these bands and it’s always been rough trying to find other fans beyond insipid youtube comments; so not only finding something tangible like this but such accurate expostulations is just well…simply awesome. Keep up the great work, it’s fantastic.

    • alextb3 says:

      Hey, thanks so much. I’ve found so many like minded people by doing this list, this music still means a lot to a lot of people which I didn’t realise before and has been amazing finding out. Cheers again

  24. Riche richardson says:

    Sir, you’re a fag
    Most of the bands or songs you included are not even emo, and how could you miss so many cult bands and put this new wave of “emo” bands in a higher rank than them…

  25. h says:

    Brilliant list you have up there 🙂 Looks like it took a lot of effort, and the end result certainly shows. Amazing songs, I love Mineral as well. Gonna keep coming back to milk the good music here for all it’s worth!


  26. Mikie says:

    Were the fuck is Saetia?

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