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The 11 best blink-182 songs

Why have a Top 10 when you can have 11? We rank the very best of blink ahead of their huge UK arena tour

2023 was a mighty year for blink-182. After years of founding members Tom DeLonge, Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker repeatedly toing and froing between many personal upheavals, the band’s surprise Coachella performance saw DeLonge join his old friends on stage for the first time in nine years.

Their set was heaps of fun and high emotions, and when Frank Ocean got cold feet for one reason or another (it may have been the ice rink, Frank…), the fact that blink were asked to headline Saturday night instead was a testament to their historic influence on pop-punk.

As the band head this way for a UK arena tour, we get to work on ranking their 11 best ever songs.

11. Dammit

(Dude Ranch, 1997)

Granted, the hardcore blinkers among us may be peeved at the lack of ‘Carousel’, so please accept this early number instead. It apparently only took Hoppus ten minutes to write ‘Dammit’, and though with its four chords it’s hardly ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, it does see him push his vocal range for the first time. Like all of blink’s most beloved songs, its guitar hook is super catchy yet still perfectly achievable to play along to in your bedroom, blissfully unaware of calls from downstairs to turn that racket down.

10. All The Small Things

(Enema Of The State, 1999)

You might have heard this song performed by one too many wedding bands over the years (“This one’s for you, Steve” etc. etc.), but ‘All The Small Things’ is a steadfast piece of the blink canon and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise. An ode to DeLonge’s girlfriend, the song was written with label pressure for a radio-friendly hit in mind, and that’s what they delivered, with Rolling Stone eventually adding it to their list of the 100 Greatest Pop Songs. It even won them a spot on The Simpsons.

bart meets tony hawk and blink-182

9. First Date

(Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, 2001)

Like much of Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, ‘First Date’ captures the sweaty palms and awkward voice-breaking of adolescence, as we get ready for a date with a nervous DeLonge. “Do you like my stupid hair?/ Would you guess that I didn’t know what to wear?” The clarity in the production stepped up a notch on this album and it makes Barker’s drums extra crispy, and that leading hook all the more visceral.

8. Down

(blink-182, 2003)

The band’s self-titled album saw them add some new dynamics and emotional depth to their sound beyond their classic, mosh-friendly pop punk. Still as melodramatic as you like, ‘Down’ perfectly exemplifies this switch, as the guitars give texture to Hoppus’ moody bass and Barker’s gentle breakbeat. It also features a rare vocal from the drummer, who whispers “This can’t be the end” to introduce the chorus. It’s a fun one to sing along to yourself: go on, give that “Down, down, down, down” a little harmony.

7. Going Away To College

(Enema Of The State, 1999)

As if blink-182 couldn’t bottle the sound of late 90s high school angst any better, they go ahead and write a song to soundtrack the journey to college. The lyrics play out like a teen movie themselves (“And I won’t forget you/I’ll write you once a week she said”), which is natural given that Hoppus is said to have written it after watching Can’t Hardly Wait.

6. Feeling This

(blink-182, 2003)

One of blink’s most recognisable intros – thanks to the phaser effect on Barker’s drum opening and that “Get ready for action” sample. The story goes that DeLonge and Barker challenged each other to go into separate rooms for an hour and come back to compare what they’d written. Turns out they both had some, erm, pent up energy, as they’d both written about the same thing: “Let me go in her room (I’m feeling this)/ I wanna take off her clothes (I’m feeling this)/Show me the way to bed (I’m feeling this)”… Horniness aside, the song is miles different from much that came before it, and the twin vocal lines playing at different times embodies the collaboration behind it. Barker added the cowbell as a joke, but it remains one of its defining features.

5. Adam’s Song

(Enema Of The State, 1999)

A song about Hoppus’ loneliness and depression on and off tour, ‘Adam’s Song’ is another example of the trio moving away from spoofs and goofs. It’s probably blink’s saddest song but is held closest by many of their fans, because ultimately it provides a message of hope and resolve: “Tomorrow holds such better days/ Days when I can still feel alive”.

4. What’s My Age Again?

(Enema Of The State, 1999)

OK, time for spoofs and goofs again. Those twinkly guitars suggest something sentimental, and the middle eight definitely gets the goosebumps going, but for the most part this is an irreverent thrasher poking fun at the balance many struggle to strike in their 20s (and early 30s, right? RIGHT?!) between acting like a kid and embracing the responsibilities of adulthood.

3. Stockholm Syndrome

(blink-182, 2003)

This hard-hitting track from the self-titled album boasts a visceral live sound with a post-hardcore angular edge à la At The Drive-In. Barker is of course crucial to this clout, punching through the warm tones of a vintage microphone, but yet again the interplay between DeLonge’s paranoid shouts and Hoppus’ acceleration from low humming melody to gritty shouting makes this track colossal.

2. Not Now

(Greatest Hits, 2005)

A single unreleased in the US but included on the UK release of their self-titled, ‘Not Now’ found a home on blink’s Greatest Hits release in 2005, and rightly so. This is blink at their most existential as we find the protagonist on death’s door, grasping for a hand as life slips away; journos at the time were quick to suggest its foreshadowing the band’s first hiatus. The church organ in the verses help paint this picture without sounding over the top; on the contrary, ‘Not Now’ feels like a song that can appease die-hard blinkers and punk rock musos with its unsparing chops and DeLonge’s syrupy sweet choruses.

1. I Miss You

(blink-182, 2003)

On the topic of syrupy sweet, it wouldn’t be a blink-182 set without ‘I Miss You’. Hoppus and DeLonge repeated the separate room writing process of ‘Feeling This’ but returned with something far more sensitive; a rarity lead by acoustic guitars and soft, rhythmic brushes from Barker. The style was influenced by The Cure’s use of upright bass and jazzy snare brushes on ‘The Lovecats’. Although the songs are tonally opposite, and DeLonge’s unique intonation is miles away from Robert Smith’s own characteristic drawl, you can definitely catch little glimpses of the latter on this hit.

Reaching the UK Top Ten on its release, the song features the band’s most famous lyrics, from having halloween on Christmas to, of course, “Where areeee youuuuu?”

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