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Songs You Definitely Know But Cannot Name

You know plenty of these infectiously catchy or just strikingly good tracks you’ve come to recognize. Whether it’s the guitar, vocals, or drums that catch your attention, there are a plethora of songs you totally know, except you couldn’t attach a title to the sound – until now.


  1. Chumbawamba, Tubthumping. One of the most anthemic pick-me-ups, this 90s jam was a product of British anarchist band Chumbawamba. The group has made several full-length albums since, but nothing has landed as big as Tubthumping.

  2. Gorillaz, Feel Good Inc. Taken off a concept album, this Gorillaz song of abstract meaning is among the most recognizable early 2000s hits for its distorted vocals and distinctive guitar chords.

  3. Nirvana, Smells Like Teen Spirit. While you’ve probably seen some preteen girl with a giant Nirvana logo emblazoned on her shirt in the last few years (or you are that girl), you should know this song. Jay-Z even borrowed the lyric “Here we are now, entertain us” on his song Paris. It's the perfect angsty teenage headbanger.

  4. The Smiths, How Soon Is Now? The Smiths were a British group who debuted in the late 80s, but played a large part in shaping the 90's Alternative and Grunge genres. How Soon Is Now? is their most well-known song, characterized by a single electric guitar slide that persists throughout the entire 6-minute long melody.

  5. The White Stripes, Seven Nation Army. Any hockey fan will recognize this song’s unmistakable bass line. Released in 2003 as the lead single off the White Stripes’ fourth album, Elephant, the jam’s warped guitars and hard-hitting power chords are sure to get you fired up.

  6. Ramones, Blitzkrieg Bop. “Ey, oh, let’s go” is a lyrical phrase you’ve most likely heard or sung before. This song is one of the most enduring punk hits, appealing to anyone but your grandparents even today.

  7. Vampire Weekend, A-Punk. This song includes one infectiously cute guitar riff that has carried it since its release in 2007. Its memorability could make it a song our kids dig up, as many teens listen to Queen and the Human League now.

  8. Two Door Cinema Club, What You Know. You actually might not know this song, but there is unmistakable familiarity in its ringing guitars. Two Door Cinema Club as a group practically specialize in catchiness, with songs like Undercover Martin and I Can Talk that are worth checking out as well.

  9. MGMT, Kids. Synth riffs bring Kids to life, giving it an ounce of optimism compared to the rest of the lyrics. There isn't a much better way to describe it than an ever-familiar song of the mid-2000s. Just for the record, MGMT can be noted as a really solid alternative group with some of their other stuff going mainstream (Electric Feel, Time to Pretend).

  10. The Fratellis, Chelsea Dagger. This song isn't even known for lyrics, just nonsensical "da da da"s to the melody. The chorus of Chelsea Dagger is played often at sporting events, but the verses and structure of the song, with strong guitar and distinctly rock n' roll feel, are pretty nice too.

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