The 108 Best Dave Matthews Band Songs of All Time

by 5 years ago

I used the following criteria in determining my order:

•  Songs I'd most want to hear at a live concert.

•  Songs I'd be least likely to skip if they were to pop up on my iPhone, iTunes, or Spotify shuffle — despite having heard them a thousand times.

•  Songs I'd most want to blast on my car stereo and sing and play steering-wheel drums along to on a road trip.

•  Songs I'd be most stoked to hear in a bar, despite the inevitable eye rolls from other patrons.

•  Songs I have the most personal connection to or affinity for (i.e. lyrics that hit home, a song that stirs a particular memory).

•  I could care less about where tracks charted or rarity of live plays or significance in the course of the band's career.

Yes, I clearly prefer the early albums (“Crash,” “Crowded Streets,” “Under the Table”) over the later ones, but I wasn't trying to be counterintuitive or unexpected or present an uptight DMB connoisseur's list (I'm not one). I steered clear from most covers except “Watchtower” and “Long Black Veil,” and I included a few live-only tracks like “Loving Wings,” “#40,” and “The Maker” because I f*cking love them. I didn't include any of Dave's solo album tracks (“Dodo,” “Stay or Leave,” and “So Damn Lucky” are surely missed), but I did let Dave and Tim's renditions of particular songs influence my ranking (if for no other reason than that I'd take “Luther College” to a desert island).

Last thing: Take the order of those songs between 75 and 108 with a grain of salt; the ranking gets difficult when you wouldn't lay down in traffic for a particular tune. And don't get started on my “snubbing” individual tracks off of “Away from the World” — I've only listened to each a handful of times at this point, so just be happy I expanded the list to include them.

That's about all the explanations and qualifications I'll offer up. Leave your rankings and “no, you're an idiot”s in the comments.

108. Time Bomb
107. Dive In
106. Lying in the Hands of God
105. Sleep to Dream Her
104. Drunken Soldier
103. Mother Father
102. Kit Kat Jam
101. Smooth Rider
100. The Riff
99. I'll Back You Up
98. If Only
97. Belly Full
96. Squirm
95. Steady As We Go
94. Grux
93. Snow Outside
92. Alligator Pie
91. Louisiana Bayou
90. Spaceman
89. Halloween
88. Broken Things
87. Belly Belly Nice
86. Out of My Hands
85. Digging a Ditch
84. Gaucho
83. Stolen Away on 55th & 3rd
82. Raven
81. So Right
80. You Might Die Trying
79. Captain
78. Shake Me Like a Monkey
77. Sweet
76. Minarets
75. Rooftop
74. Everybody Wake Up
73. Big Eyed Fish
72. Hunger for the Great Light
71. #34
70. JTR
69. American Baby
68. Funny the Way It Is
67. Stand Up
66. What You Are
65. If I Had it All
64. Baby Blue
63. When the World Ends
62. Angel
61. You & Me
60. Let You Down
59. Seven
58. So Much to Say
57. Pay For What You Get
56. Rhyme & Reason
55. Recently
54. Drive In Drive Out
53. I Did It
52. Hello Again
51. Lover Lay Down
50. The Song That Jane Likes
49. Too Much
48. Mercy
47. Stay
46. Pantala Naga Pampa/Rapunzel
45. Spoon
44. The Stone
43. Old Dirt Hill
42. Busted Stuff
41. Where Are You Going
40. The Best of What's Around
39. What Would You Say
38. Dream of Our Fathers
37. You Never Know
36. #36
35. Everyday
34. Jimi Thing
33. The Maker
32. Typical Situation
31. Cry Freedom
30. Grace is Gone
29. Long Black Veil
28. Dancing Nancies
27. The Last Stop
26. Why I Am
25. Dreamgirl
24. Satellite
23. Fool to Think
22. #40
21. The Space Between
20. Christmas Song
19. The Dreaming Tree
18. Loving Wings
17. All Along the Watchtower
16. Proudest Monkey
15. Tripping Billies
14. Pig
13. Lie in Our Graves
12. Don't Drink the Water
11. Crush
10. Warehouse
9. Grey Street
8. Bartender
7. Say Goodbye
6. One Sweet World
5. Ants Marching
4. Crash Into Me
3. #41
2. Seek Up
1. Two Step

If you have Spotify, here's a playlist with all the tracks, in order. In the comments, tell me your favorite live versions of specific songs, and I'll swap them in. (By the way, there are 109 tracks below because I combined “Pantala Naga Pampa”/”Rapunzel” above.)

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