Top 10 Fall Out Boy Songs
Fall Out Boy rode the pop-punk wave to glory in the mid 2000s and have continued to churn out hits for nearly a decade now. The best Fall Out Boy songs range from the snappy punk-influenced tunes of their debut, to the dance rock of their brand-new album, 'Save Rock and Roll.'
Patrick Stump, Pete Wentz, Joe Trohman and Andy Hurley established a small but dedicated army of listeners with their full-length debut ‘Take This to Your Grave,’ but it was their sophomore effort, ‘From Under the Cork Tree,’ that broke them into the mainstream, earning them multiplatinum status and a Grammy nomination.
The group went on hiatus following the poorly-received ‘Folie a Deux’ record and concert tour, but they returned in 2013 with one of their best albums yet. Now that the guys are enjoying the No. 1 debut of 'Save Rock and Roll' and celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the release of 'Take This to Your Grave,' it's a good time to look back and count down the Top 10 Fall Out Boy Songs.
“I don’t care what you think as long as it’s about me,” Stump shouted on the lead single from ‘Folie a Deux,’ a fierce rock song that Wentz called “a YouTube anthem for the YouTube generation.” The self-absorbed lyrics allowed the group to take on the swagger of a cliched arrogant rock band, a tactic they took to even greater heights in the video, which earned the guys their second straight Best Rock Video nomination at the VMAs.
After ‘From Under the Cork Tree,’ Stump made a concerted effort to improve his vocals, and it showed on songs like the mid-tempo ‘I’m Like a Lawyer...’ “We’re the new face of failure / Prettier and younger, but not any better off,” Stump sang, but he didn’t mean it – the band was at the height of its popularity when the track was issued as a single from ‘Infinity on High.’ The ambitious music video was filmed in Uganda for the Invisible Children non-profit organization.
One of the catchiest Fall Out Boy songs on ‘From Under the Cork Tree,’ this tune was built around Stump’s vocals and guitar riffs that filled every space between the words. Noting the bits of ‘80s pop culture referenced in the song title, Wentz told MTV the track was about the contrast between Molly Ringwald from the movie ‘Sixteen Candles’ and sexpot ‘Touch Me’ singer Samantha Fox. “There’s one girl you wanna bring home and marry, and there’s another girl that you wanna bring home and turns the lights off with,” he explained.
The angsty ballad ‘What a Catch, Donnie’ was the last single issued from 2008’s ‘Folie a Deux.’ “I got troubled thoughts and the self-esteem to match / What a catch,” Stump lamented. The climax was the final minute, when Elvis Costello showed up to sing a verse, followed by an all-star roster of pop singers including Travie of Gym Class Heroes, Gabe of Cobra Starship, and Brendon of Panic at the Disco, each of whom sang lines from classic Fall Out Boy songs over the soaring chorus.
Fall Out Boy made a left-field decision to enlist R&B producer Babyface for two songs on ‘Infinity on High.’ The ‘90s hit maker expertly worked in strings and layers of background vocals and even played mandolin on ‘Thnks fr th Mmrs,’ the second single from the album. The dark verses opened into a killer hook that helped the Fall Out Boy song earn Gold certification even though it just missed the Top 10, peaking at No. 11.
The earliest fans of the band would insist that a list of the Top 10 Fall Out Boy songs should include several tracks from their proper debut, ‘Take This to Your Grave.’ The song from that record that holds up best is ‘Saturday,’ one of the very first songs the guys ever demoed. It's a pop-punk gem that has become a staple of their live shows and one of their personal favorites.
In late 2006, the rock music world was a battlefield, at least according to FOB, who unleashed the forceful ‘This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race,’ which became the band’s highest-charting single. Stump sang, “I am an arms dealer fitting you with weapons in the form of words / Don’t really care which side wins / As long as the room keeps on singing / That’s just the business I’m in.” The song rocketed to No. 2, kept out of the top spot by Beyonce’s ‘Irreplaceable.’
The boys brought out some thumping drums and an anthemic sing-along hook for their 2013 comeback single ‘My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark.’ Recorded in secrecy along with the rest of the album, the track shot up the iTunes charts thanks to its “whoa-oh” chants and Stump’s “fire!” shrieks. ‘My Songs’ served notice that Fall Out Boy didn’t return for a nostalgia tour. They came back with solid new tunes that backed up their tongue-in-cheek desire to save rock and roll.
Years before they incorporated a more distinct dance sound into their music on ‘Save Rock and Roll,’ Fall Out Boy encouraged their listeners to ‘Dance, Dance’ on this urgent, frenetic track powered by Wentz’s bass and a hand-clapping beat. Stump might have been describing a troubled relationship when he sang, “We’re falling apart to half time,” but fortunately everyone was too caught up in the infectious melody to notice the pain.
Fall Out Boy’s breakout hit remains one of the most recognizable hits from the mid-2000s emo-pop-punk era. Though we never quite figured out what a “loaded God complex” was, the combination of Wentz’s odd lyrics, the crunching riffs and Stump’s intentionally slurred delivery made the song a smash. ‘Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down’ didn’t quite go “number one with a bullet,” but it reached No. 8, earned the guys an MTV Video Music Award, and caps off our list of the Top 10 Fall Out Boy Songs.