Taking Back Sunday is a band with one heck of a complicated history. The group was formed in Long Island, New York, in 1999 by guitarist Eddie Reyes and bassist Jesse Lacey. But neither of the original members is still in the band. They’ve changed lead singers, lead guitarists, bass players, and drummers. Talk about moving the furniture around!
This band has also put out seven studio albums in their 20+ years of history. Although often called simply an Emo band, they’ve worked with sounds as diverse as Pop, Post-Hardcore, Nu-Metal, Pop Punk, and Alternative Rock.
But one thing that keeps driving fans to continue following them is the power and passion they put into their music. So, let’s get down to it and look at the top 100 Taking Back Sunday songs to date.
Top 100 Taking Back Sunday Songs
You’re So Last Summer (2002)
The very first song on our list of Taking Back Sunday’s Top 100 songs comes from their debut album, Tell All Your Friends, released back in 2002 when the band was still young and so, so charming.
The track “You’re So Last Summer” is a classic Emo-Pop song with a sort of bouncy verse and a slamming chorus. When the chorus comes around, the band does a little stop, then explodes – perfect for leg kicks and stage dives.
For this song…
The lead singer was Adam Lazzara, while you had Eddie Reyes and John Nolan shredding the guitars. Shaun Cooper and Mark O’Connell held down the rhythm, creating a powerful background for the music and lyrics to blast over top of.
This is an emotional song about a guy being in a relationship with a girl who is out of his league and getting burned because of it. Yeah, I think we’ve all been there.
Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team) (2002)
Another great track from 2002’s Tell All Your Friends is “Cute Without the E,” with the alternate title “Cut From the Team.” This is one of my personal favs, not only because of the funny title and clever lyrics. I also love the interplay between Lazzara and Nolan on vocals. They throw all their energy into this song, and the back-and-forth is really cool.
It also speaks to the theme of this song…
The song is all about catching a cheating girlfriend and all the pain and torment that entails. You never want to catch someone cheating, even though you realize it’s better you found out than were totally deceived.
So, this tune is a sort of messed-up love triangle, and the two singers express the hurt of this situation in two different ways. This track is full of energy, even if it’s a sort of tormented energy. Well, that’s Emo for you.
Timberwolves At New Jersey (2002)
The last track from the band’s debut album that deserves a place in the Top 100 Taking Back Sunday songs is “Timberwolves At New Jersey.” This title is some sort of reference to professional basketball, but it’s not clear why Taking Back Sunday chose this name.
The lyrics here are not as clear-cut as some of their other songs, but it seems to be another song about cheating. Or, rather, about having a friend steal your partner away from you.
Maybe this happened at a basketball game?
This song has great energy throughout. There’s a cool drum breakdown in the middle, producing an intense beat and a place to build back up from. After this part, the song explodes, and singers Lazzara and Nolan start to truly wail. The intensity ramps up to level 12, making this the perfect song to jump into a mosh pit and slam your pain away.
This Photograph is Proof (I Know you Know) (2004)
The next song on this list of the best Taking Back Sunday songs comes from their second album, Where You Want to Be, which was released in 2004. But “This Photograph is Proof (I Know you Know)” was also featured on the soundtrack for the movie Spider-Man 2, giving the band some huge exposure.
I love this song because of the beat. It’s very different and very intense, making it completely distinct. The song is hard and heavy, leaning towards Hardcore but still keeping an Emo feel.
The guitar work is particularly cool here, too, although it’s now Reyes with Fred Mascherino, as Nolan had left the band. Mascherino also took over vocal duties from Nolan, and his exchanges with Lazzaro are full of energy and passion. Hands down – a great song!
Number Five With a Bullet (2004)
Also, from 2004’s Where You Want to Be, “Number Five With a Bullet” is #5 on our list of the Top 100 songs by Taking Back Sunday. This song gets its name from a line in the movie High Fidelity, where Jon Cusack’s character obsessively makes Top 5 lists.
This song is a fair bit lighter and poppier than many of the band’s other works, but it still has a whole lot of energy. Once again, it features a vocal alternation between Lazzara and Masherino that works exceptionally well and makes the band’s signature sound.
This song seems to be about a relationship where there is a lot of uncertainty. It seems like the narrator’s partner is really unsure about how far to take things – romantically, sexually – and this seems to be creating a huge barrier between them. So, there’s a strong tension in this song that makes it that much more interesting.
A Decade Under The Influence (2004)
There’s one more track from 2004’s Where You Want to Be that stands out, and it’s “A Decade Under The Influence.” This was the lead single from the album, and the band’s breakout hit. It climbed to #16 on the Billboard Alternative charts.
The music was written by founding guitarist Eddie Reyes and has an Emo edge. But it also shows the band dipping a toe into the Pop-Rock pool. There’s also a bit of a Nu-Metal feel here, especially in the chorus. The chorus is hard and heavy and reminds me a bit of Linkin Park.
The band still uses the trade-off of vocals between Lazzara and Mascherino to great effect. Lyrically, this is a song about a breakup or the feeling of awkwardness you’d get spending time with the person who you recently split with after a long relationship.
My Blue Heaven (2006)
Continuing into 2006, the band still featured the same line-up, and some would say this was their golden period. This is when they put out their third studio album, this time on the major label Warner Bros Records. Louder Now is arguably their finest work, and it’s the album that all of the remaining top 100 songs on this list hail from.
“My Blue Heaven” is one of the best tracks from this album…
This is a track that shows off a more controlled and polished sound from this band. While it doesn’t quite have the unbridled energy of earlier songs, it’s very well-composed and sounds tight and perfected. Lazzara’s voice is quite emotional here, and he does a great job singing the lyrics to life.
Many people think this song is about an incident of cheating in a relationship. However, Lazzara has stated that this is a song about his faith in god.
What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost? (2006)
The next track from Louder Now is excellent. “What’s It Feel Like To Be A Ghost?” starts with a guitar intro, and then the drums and bass kick in, and you get that great, heavy Taking Back Sunday feel.
They do some signature trading off with the vocals between Lazzara and guitarist Mascherina, which is a lot cleaner and better blended than ever before. This song has a cool energy for the first half. Then it drops off and leaves the beat and some lonely guitars to produce a sort of dreamy feel.
This song has a whole lot of different interpretations…
That’s because the lyrics are quite obscure and personal for the band. And the title line, “What’s it feel like to be a ghost?” can make you think of a lot of situations. But, the band has stated that it’s a reference to how they felt returning home after having made it big and gone away on tour. There’s a powerful feeling of having been forgotten that really comes through here.
Liar (It Takes One To Know One) (2006)
“Liar (It Takes One To Know One)” is another great 2006 track that includes all the best parts of Taking Best Sunday. You’ve got strong bass and pounding drums, a great guitar riff, and that signature vocal trade-off. I think Mark O’Connell is at his best on the drums here, keeping the beats interesting and perfectly matched to the different parts of the song. Great fills, too!
What’s this song all about?
Once again, the lyrics here are not so straightforward. But the name of the song and the chorus is definitely clear. They’re calling out a liar, but who? I think this is the band, and probably Lazzara in particular, calling themselves out. This is a critical look at the way we lie and misrepresent ourselves. It sends in a huge amount of energy, and isn’t self-reflection one of the hardest things to do?
Ask around, and you’ll probably find a consensus. Even if Louder Now isn’t everyone’s favorite Taking Back Sunday album, “MakeDamnSure” is the track that fans mention again and again as their favorite Taking Back Sunday song.
Why is that?
Well, it has everything you think of when you think of this band. There’s a smooth, quieter verse with lots of cool vocal work, again by Lazzara and Mascherino. There’s a powerful pre-chorus. And then the chorus hits, and it’s hard, heavy, and full of emotion.
The lyrics are incredibly powerful, too, and you can truly hear the pain and suffering that has been put into this track. It’s also likely the most successful Taking Back Sunday song in their long history and one they continue to play at concerts.
Flicker, Fade (2014) by Taking Back Sunday
One-Eighty by Summer (2004) by Taking Back Sunday
The Union (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
The Ballad of Sal Villanueva (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Set Phasers to Stun (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Little Devotional (2004) by Taking Back Sunday
This Chapter is Called Titles (2006) by Taking Back Sunday
Divine Intervention (2006) by Taking Back Sunday
Catholic Knees (2009) by Taking Back Sunday
Lonely, Lonely (2009) by Taking Back Sunday
Everything Must Go (2009) by Taking Back Sunday
El Paso (2011) by Taking Back Sunday
Who Are You Anyway? (2011) by Taking Back Sunday
This Is All Now (2011) by Taking Back Sunday
You Got Me (2011) by Taking Back Sunday
Stood a Chance (2014) by Taking Back Sunday
Like You Do (2014) by Taking Back Sunday
We Were Younger Then (2016) by Taking Back Sunday
Tidal Wave (2016) by Taking Back Sunday
Death Wolf (2016) by Taking Back Sunday
I Felt It Too (2016) by Taking Back Sunday
In The Middle Of It All (2017) by Taking Back Sunday
You Can’t Look Back (2017) by Taking Back Sunday
Call Come Running (2017) by Taking Back Sunday
All Excess (2017) by Taking Back Sunday
Holy Water (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Love Never (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Wicked Game (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Tidal Wave (Acoustic) (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
New American Classic (Acoustic) (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Everything Is Alright (Acoustic) (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Your Own Disaster ’04 (Acoustic) (2019) by Taking Back Sunday
Cut Me Up Jenny (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Ghost Man on Third (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Great Romances of the 20th Century (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Your Own Disaster (2002) by Taking Back Sunday
Better Homes and Gardens (2006) by Taking Back Sunday
Swing (2009) by Taking Back Sunday
Capital M-E (2004) by Taking Back Sunday
Sad Savior (2009) by Taking Back Sunday
More 50 Taking Back Sunday Songs
- Bonus Mosh Pt. II (2002)
- Liar (2009)
- Call Come Running (2016)
- Swing (2004)
- Carpathia (2006)
- New Again (2009)
- Summer Stars (2009)
- Faith (When I Let You Down) (2011)
- They Don’t Have Any Friends (2002)
- Everything Must Go (2016)
- All Excess (2011)
- Where My Mouth Is (2009)
- My Blue Heaven (Acoustic) (2007)
- Ghosts (2006)
- Sleep (2002)
- We Were Younger Then (2019)
- A Song for Dan (2011)
- What’s It Feel Like to Be a Ghost? (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know) (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- You’re So Last Summer (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- Divine Intervention (2011)
- El Paso (2006)
- Cut Me Up Jenny (2014)
- Ghosts of You (2014)
- You Got Me (2004)
- Head Club (2009)
- Don’t Mind Me (2014)
- Timberwolves At New Jersey (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- We Don’t Go In There (2011)
- A Decade Under the Influence (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- Death Wolf (2014)
- Tidal Wave (Live Acoustic) (2017)
- Brooklyn (If You See Something, Say Something) (2009)
- Summer, Man (2006)
- Best Places to Be a Mom (2011)
- Spin (2016)
- New American Classic (Live Acoustic) (2007)
- Bonus Mosh Pt. II (2004)
- Miami (2006)
- Error: Operator (2009)
- Capital M-E (2009)
- Call Me in the Morning (2011)
- Better Homes and Gardens (2014)
- They Don’t Have Any Friends (2014)
- Eye (2019)
- A Song for Dan (2019)
- Homecoming (2019)
- Bike Scene (2002)
- Eleven (2002)
- Go On (2009)
Want to Discover More Emotionally Charged Music?
Well then, check out our thoughts on the Best Emo Songs Of All Time, the Best Breakup Songs, the Best Songs About Depression, the Top Songs About Unrequited Love, the Top Songs About Losing Someone, and the Best Songs About Falling In Love for more incredible song selections.
Also, you’ll need to listen to them. So, take a look at our in-depth reviews of the Best Headphones for Music, the Most Comfortable Headphones, the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Best True Wireless Earbuds, the Best iPhone Earbuds, and the Best Headphones Under $200 you can buy in 2023.
Top 100 Taking Back Sunday Songs – Final Thoughts
If you’re just discovering this incredible band, this is a great starting point, but they also have a lot more quality music to check out. And, if you’re a fan, well, for sure, you already have your favorites and feelings about these songs in particular.
Taking Back Sundays is a band that plays hard and makes songs that are packed full of emotion. Even though they continue to make music and go through different line-up changes, they keep a core sound and style that really kicks. So, whatever your favorites are, I’m sure they’re excellent.
Until next time, happy listening.