All 71 Panic! At The Disco Songs Ranked From Worst To Best
4 January 2018, 10:53
We count down every single track Brendon and the boys have ever recorded to crown the greatest Panic! song of all time.
With Panic! At The Disco set to release their much anticipated sixth album in 2018, what better time to look back at the Las Vegas group's entire back catalogue and name the track that is their best song of all time.
The band's musical style has obviously changed dramatically since their debut record back in 2005, most likely due to changes in the lineup and number of lead songwriters over the years. Yet somehow, Panic!'s output has remained coherent, all albums feeling like part of one giant musical whole despite the various sudden left turns along the way.
But what about our rankings? How can you choose between so many bangers?
First of all, some ground rules:
- Official songs only (no demos or unreleased stuff we've all spotted online).
- No cover versions (we love 'This Is Halloween' too but it isn't their original song).
- No collabs where Panic! isn't the lead artist ('20 Dollar Nose Bleed' is a banger but it ain't making the cut this time).
Right, everybody 'Ready To Go'? Then let's dive in...
No, it's not really a proper song. Yes, it is on A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Yes, we will just put it at the bottom and get it out the way.
Yes, this counts. No, there aren't any vocals. Yes, it is still pretty damn catchy.
69) 'Can't Fight Against The Youth'
From the Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die period, this has an Imagine Dragons vibe to it that would have perhaps jarred with the more oddball elements of the main album.
68) 'Stall Me'
Surprisingly heavier guitars from the Vice And Virtues sessions, it suffers in comparison to the similar but better 'Memories'.
67) 'All The Boys'
Found on The Nicotine EP, this expands upon the lyrical theme of the lead track's excess and consumption
66) 'I Wanna Be Free'
Positive messaging in this pedestrian radio rock number found in the Vice And Virtues bonus material.
From the soundtrack to Batman-themed video game Arkham City, there's certainly a Joker-esque clown quality to the fairground-style backing instruments.
64) 'Collar Full'
Swaggering and synthy, this listens now like a proto-version of the later (and superior) 'LA Devotee'.
63) 'The Good, The Bad And The Dirty'
Sports-style chant from Death Of A Bachelor, very appropriate for any boxing footage background music.
62) 'Turn Off The Lights'
The Vice And Virtues sessions were very fruitful in terms of bonus material and this hyper arena-rattler is no exception.
61) 'Far Too Young To Die'
1980s style UK synth pop in the vain of Duran Duran at their least boyband-esque.
60) 'House Of Memories'
Minor mid-tempo number with a fantastic tempo-change in the middle eight.
59) 'From A Mountain In The Middle Of The Cabins'
Beach Boys-style close harmonies give this a jolly, almost Disney vibe, complete with a whistling solo.
An off-cut from Vice And Virtues, this is peppy and danceable pop, constantly switching between minor and major chords to give some fitting colour to the songtitle.
57) 'It's Almost Halloween'
A seasonal fave that makes for excellent holiday fare, with or without the iconic video.
56) 'We're So Starving'
The perfect introduction to the Pretty.Odd. album. Like the theme tune to a long lost Monkees episode.
Epic collab with label mates Fun. develops into a rather lovely string-led singalong.
54) 'Impossible Year'
Brendon pushes his Sinatra tribute even further with luscious orchestral flourishes and a commanding vocal performance.
A sister tack to 'There's A Reason These Tables Are Numbered...' with similarly jazzy influences.
52) 'Nails For Breakfast, Tacks For Snacks'
Stabby guitars and jittery 'bleeps and bloops' (official term) bring a heavier sound to the band's debut.
51) 'She's A Handsome Woman'
More 1960s gold sprinkled over a jaunty piano line and a bluesy guitar backing.
50) 'Let’s Kill Tonight'
An anthem for those nights that start off spectacular and end up going to shit. Big synth vibes.
49) 'There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet'
Messing with form, tempo and instrumentation with the confidence of a band on their sixth record, let alone their first.
48) 'She Had The World'
Like a piece of chamber music unearthed in 2008 Vegas and given a cooing vocal line.
47) 'Girl That You Love'
Static, frozen, Berlin synth pop in the mould of Depeche Mode and the Drive soundtrack.
46) 'Build God, Then We'll Talk'
The closer of A Fever You Can't Sweat Out is as oddball and circus-infused as you would hope.
45) 'Trade Mistakes'
A string led, music-box number developing into a U2-esque stadium rocker.
44) 'I Have Friends In Holy Spaces'
A ukulele ditty that is part-busker, part-jazz club that perfectly fits the scrappy Pretty.Odd. aesthetic.
43) 'Feels Like Christmas'
Taking the lead from Mariah, Brendon is clearly aware that all the best festive tracks are fast-paced, danceable and feature a horn section.
42) 'The Piano Knows Something I Don't Know'
Kate Bush-esque ambient vocals bleed into an ELO tribute steeped in 1960s nostalgia.
One of the best intros they've ever put together, building towards one of their biggest choruses and a name drop for A Streetcar Named Desire thrown in for good measure.
40) 'When The Day Met The Night'
The soundtrack of sweet summer days in the park. Big, bold and brassy.
39) 'Folkin' Around'
Does exactly what it says on the tin. Divisive but undeniably fun.
38) 'Nearly Witches (Ever Since We Met)'
From the French language choir intro to the organ noises and intricate lyrical references, this is just weird as hell and all the more glorious for it.
37) 'Golden Days'
The most traditional rock song from Death Of A Bachelor comes ready to slay any festival stage.
36) 'The End Of All Things'
At the time, this piano ballad with grandiose backing was the most ambitious Panic! song ever attempted. The effort paid off.
35) 'Do You Know What I'm Seeing?'
A campfire singalong complete with a string section. Bittersweet and beautiful.
34) 'Casual Affair'
Infidelity never sounded so dirty with a dense, bassy synth line wobbling along beneath.
Gospel-tinged glory with an incredible vocal performance that nails the high register.
32) 'I Constantly Thank God For Esteban'
Spanish guitars lead the way in this passionate and adventurous romp.
31) 'Behind The Sea'
Ryan Ross takes on lead vocals for his joyful, orchestral, shining moment in his time with the group.
30) 'London Beckoned Songs About Money Written By Machines'
Never before has a band simultaneously clapped back and celebrated a scene in the same lyric.
29) 'Vegas Lights'
A hometown homage dripping in glitter and complete with a NYE-style countdown to boot.
28) 'Pas De Cheval'
Equal parts folky, poppy and indie, there is even a country music vibe to Ryan Ross' most genre-pushing Panic! experiment to date.
27) 'The Calendar'
The return of the glorious close harmonies explored in detail during Pretty.Odd., this deserves more regular live airings.
26) 'New Perspective'
Taken from the soundtrack of the Megan Fox-led horror comedy Jennifer's Body, this single manages to not only be the best part of the soundtrack but better than anything else to do with that movie.
25) 'Sarah Smiles'
A tribute to Brendon's then-girlfriend (now wife), this avoids the cheesy cliches that can often bog down such dedications with a melody that is pure joy and endorphins, matching a genuinely sweet lyric encapsulating young love.
The mid-tempo synths are pleasant enough but what kicks this up a gear is the harshness and intensity of the "relax, relapse" moment flowing into the sheer fun of shouting "ba ba ba ohh" at the top of your voice. A high point in an album full of them.
"You'll dance to anything" is a truly iconic lyric and the acapella drop out is the icing on the cake in this horribly overlooked upbeat bop from Vice And Virtues.
22) 'Don't Threaten Me With A Good Time'
Champagne, cocaine, gasoline - debauchery never sounded so appealing as when Brendon croons it over a B-52s number. Enough adrenaline to make you wanna go on an immediate pub crawl.
Doomed love is a recurring theme in much of Panic!'s work but never is it more vital sounding than on this hyper, crunchy anthem. Distinctly not a "fucking drag".
20) 'Kaleidoscope Eyes'
Tragically buried on an expanded edition of Vice And Virtues, this joyful pop song has some Queen vocal stylings and wonderfully playful piano. Would go down a storm in the live show if given the chance.
19) 'Ready To Go (Get Me Out Of My Mind)'
In a parallel universe, this was the earwormy comeback single for the reunited One Direction and it was Number 1 for 25 weeks. You cannot help but get your groove on to this sugary concotion.
18) 'Emperor's New Clothes'
Ever noticed how the piano chord intro sounds like a minor version of 'Nine In The Afternoon'? This synthy beast is like taking that Pretty.Odd. parade into hell and back via the moshpit. Deliciously demonic.
17) 'Mad As Rabbits'
Capturing the spirit of the epic album closers favoured by The Beatles, the duelling harmonies and vocal lines compliment each other perfectly. Who could ask for any more?
Simple, stark and beautifully downplayed, this deep cut from Vice And Virtues maintains some of the folky elements of the Pretty.Odd.-era to create one of the band's most tender and openly emotional ballads.
15) 'Miss Jackson'
Diving deeper into the world of sampling, Butch Walker's production gives Lolo's guest vocal a haunting quality. Plus, any lyrical references to the mighty Janet Jackson are always a welcome addition.
14) 'Nine In The Afternoon'
Bravely changing direction completely from their previous era, this uptempo parade-worthy theme song bounces along and is still a singalong highlight of any live show.
13) 'But It's Better If You Do'
Part showtune, part strip-club cabaret, Brendon channels his best Billy Joel impersonation from behind the keys in another stellar single from the band's debut.
12) 'The Ballad Of Mona Lisa'
Dark in tone and moody as hell, let's bank this one alongside 'It's Almost Halloween' as the perfect pumpkin-baiting banger for your late-October party season.
11) 'The Only Difference Between Martyrdom And Suicide Is Press Coverage'
In terms of setting tone, this is still the standard bearer for all scene albums that followed. They swore to shake it up, we swore to listen, everyone kept their word.
10) 'That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)'
Hopeful, youthful and optimistic, this was one of the first songs written for Pretty.Odd. after the band scrapped almost an entire album's worth of material. It also marks one of the few moments where all members are credited writers and that unity creates an easy, flowing listen that is much missed in the live set.
9) 'LA Devotee'
Brendon's decision to wear his jazz and swing influences on his sleeve has been one of the most satisying elements of Panic!'s latest material, with this horn-filled love letter to the city of angels proving to be an obvious and relentlessly catchy highlight.
Adopted by fans as an LGBTQ anthem, this tale of love and lust, with a groovy and driving Dallon Weekes bassline, sends allcomers to the darkest corner of the dancefloor while never sacrificing the positive message that "love is not a choice".
One of the more obviously poppy moments in the band's recent output, this 2016 single is more than fit to join Fall Out Boy's 'Centuries' as the TV sports anthem of choice for years to come. Swaggering with a 'hands in the air' chorus breakdown that demands a confetti canon moment.
6) 'Lying Is The Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off '
"Is it still me who makes you sweat?". Well, judging by the seductive vocals, filthy lyrics and bracing, crescendoing background riffs, we can only assume that, yes Brendon, the majority of your listeners are very much in a full sweat after having this underrated single on repeat.
5) 'Northern Downpour'
The majority of songs from the Pretty.Odd. era may have disappeared from the current crop of live shows but this tender acoustic-led ballad remains a firm fan favourite online. Seeing the band reflect on their sudden fame and whirlwind success, Ryan Ross delivers arguably his finest lyric with a laid-back, dreamy groove that is both wistful and melancholy in equal measure.
4) 'Time To Dance'
Frenetic and heavy on the synths, this early cut batters the listener into submission with its early 90s rave-vibe and ironic chorus, full of orders to "have some composure". Further experimenting with the cut-up beats and vocal filters they would become quickly associated with, 'Time To Dance' isn't just a title - it's a mission statement.
3) 'This Is Gospel'
Opening up the band's fourth record Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die, the album version is epic in tone, built for stadiums with an accompanying video that is bracing and dramatic. But it is the stripped-down, piano-led version released as a promo single and favoured in recent live shows that allows the true melancholy of the lyrics, said to be inspired by former band member Spencer Smith's struggles with addiction, to shine through to great effect. Proof that Panic! can be just as effective in their softer moments as they are in their trademark rock get up.
2) 'I Write Sins Not Tragedies'
Is it too obvious to have this track up the higher end of the list? Should we have avoided putting the band's most famous song so far up in our rankings? Nope, because even though we have probably heard it more than any other Panic! song in history, it is too easy to forget just how unique and different this track was when it was unleashed back in 2005. And, thousands of streams and live performances later, it still BANGS, from the plucked strings of the intro all the way to that chantalong chorus. As first singles go, you would be hard pressed to find a bolder and more distinctive opening statement than this. An emo classic and deservedly so.
1) 'Death Of A Bachelor'
If we have learnt nothing else from this experience, it is that Panic! are a very different band now than the one that began and nowhere is that evolution more apparent than on this swing-infused title track of the band's remarkably diverse fifth album. Paying tribute to Brendon's vocal hero Frank Sinatra, this romantic mid-tempo bop reads like a musical wedding speech, weaving together a tale of starting a "lifetime of laughter", a counterpoint perhaps to the ruined "beautiful wedding" of 'I Write Sins'. But the truly impressive trick of 'DOAB' is Brendon's ability to take a genre he loves and not only modernise the sound but make it fit seemlessly into the world of Panic!, from the glitchy electronic samples to the falsetto vocal runs. Addressing all their influences and eras in one 3 and a half minute burst, this is about as perfect a Panic! song we could possibly hope for. We look forward to hearing Brendon attempt to top it in the years to come.
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