Our top 10 Clean Bandit songs introduce us to a music group famed for its popular electronic music and multiple star guest vocalists.The group was formed in 2008 by former University of Cambridge undergraduates Grace Chatto, Neil Amin-Smith, Luke Patterson, and Jack Patterson. Clean Bandit had its name derived from a Russian phrase that means “complete bastard.” Prior to the formation of Clean Bandit, Neil led a quartet together with Grace. At the beginning of the group’s journey, Ssegawa-Ssekintu Kiwanuka was the group’s designated vocalist, only to have him leave the group to pursue a PhD degree. Clean Bandit went on for several years without any releases taking this time to establish itself as one of the most formidable electronic music bands. Jack and Grace went on to form Cleanfilm, where the group would record its music alongside other artists.
In December 2012, the group released its debut single, which received a nice reception peaking at the hundredth position on the UK Singles Chart. It only took Clean Bandit four single releases to top the UK Singles Chart, thanks to the band’s superb production and featuring of awe-inspiring artists on the vocals. The band’s fourth song, “Rather Be,” became the fastest-selling song in the UK since 1996, only to be outdone the same year by Pharrell Williams’s “Happy.” It also ushered in Clean Bandit to massive international success, with the song peaking at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 and winning a Grammys for Best Dance Recording. Since then, Clean Bandit has been releasing smashing hits, leading the band to win many awards. Here are the top 10 Clean Bandit songs that bring the best of the band’s short yet sublime musical career.
#10 – Come Over
Ushering us to the top 10 Clean Bandit songs is the hit “Come Over.” The song features reggae artist Stylo G who Grace described as an incredible force of energy. “Come Over” was written by Grace, Jack, and Jason McDermott for the band’s album New Eyes. Grace has her vocals auto-tuned to deliver some sublime yet inspirational advice on the verses. “Come Over” peaked at number forty-five on the UK Singles Chart.
#9 – Extraordinary
“Extraordinary” is yet another great release from the group’s album New Eyes. Clean Bandit features the soulful vocals of the then sixteen-year-old Sharna Bass. The group met Sharna singing for the first time when she was only fourteen. Clean Bandit would later get in touch with her after penning down the lyrics for “Extraordinary.” The song lyrics allude to an intricate three-way relationship where lines are blurred between amity and more. Jack was inspired by his friend Jess who he knew was dating but felt she was better off with him. The song peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart.
#8 – I Miss You
The song “I Miss You “is released in the album What Is Love? is the song “I Miss You” is one of the best releases of all time. It features Julia Michaels, who is known for her successful music career as a writer and artist. She is also known for co-writing tons of hits such as “Issues” by Selena Gomez and “Good for You” by Justin Bieber. Julia Michaels penned the tune for this song at the height of an emotional roller coaster. The song’s lyrics allude to the unbelievable pain of separating from someone you truly love. We all miss them! “I Miss You” peaked at number four on the UK Singles Chart and ninety-two on the Billboard Hot 100.
#7 – Mama
“Mama” is one of the best Clean Bandit songs from the album What Is Love? The song features Ellie Goulding on the vocals with whom the band co-wrote the song’s lyrics. “Mama” is especially known for its video, which features a character who resembles former US President Donald Trump. The song is about a young man who had his power taken away from him when he was a child, only to have him grow determined to take it back. “Mama” peaked at number ninety-eight on the UK Singles Chart.
#6 – Tears
Number six on our top 10 Clean Bandit songs is the ballad “Tears.” The electro-classical hit features vocalist Louisa Johnson on the vocals for the band’s album What Is Love? Louisa had earlier gained fame after winning the twelfth series of The X Factor. The song finds heartbroken Louisa fighting to get over the gentleman she had fallen in love with. This break-up ballad went on to peak at number five on the UK Singles Chart.
#5 – Baby
Featured on the band’s album What Is Love? the song “Baby” has Clean Bandit team up with Marina and Luis Fonsi. The Latino-fused hit has Marina handle most vocals while Fonsi spices up the song with a Spanish verse. “Baby” has its lyrics allude to a long-lost love having Marina reminisce on a fiery romance that she ruined after moving on to another guy. However, she regrets this but concludes it was probably for the best, and now she belongs to someone else. The song peaked at number fifteen on the UK Singles Chart.
#4 – Rather Be
“Rather Be” was the first song by Clean Bandit to peak on the UK Singles Chart. The song is featured on the band’s debut studio album New Eyes, having Clean Bandit team up with Jess Glynne for the hit. “Rather Be” is a romantic song whose lyrics allude to being fully content with someone you are currently dating. The song won the Best Dance Recording in the 2015 Grammy Awards ceremony. “Rather Be” was also the first song by the band to reach the top ten songs on the Billboard Hot 100.
#3 – Solo
Clean Bandit teamed up with Demi Lovato to release the hit “Solo” on the band’s album What Is Love? Demi Lovato is heard lamenting about how she has been left alone without a lover in the song. Grace Chatto revealed that the song was reflective of the heartache she had been struggling with since splitting with her ex. It is clear in the song that you cannot just replace your ex-partner. The song also peaked at number one on the UK Singles Chart while reaching position fifty-eight on the Billboard Hot 100.
#2 – Symphony
“Symphony” is yet another great song from the band’s album What Is Love? The song features iconic Swedish singer Zara Larsson in releasing this song which served as a follow-up to the band’s hit “Rockabye.” “Symphony” finds Zara Larsson comparing her relationship with her fiancée to a symphony in which their union yields a beautiful tone that has every melody be timeless. The song performed fairly well compared to other “Symphony”-titled ballads. “I Hear a Symphony” by The Supremes is the highest-charting “Symphony”-titled ballad having it top the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Clean Bandit’s “Symphony” performed well on the charts, peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart.
#1 – Rockabye
Number one of our top 10 Clean Bandit songs is the hit “Rockabye” from the band’s album What Is Love? “Rockabye” is a popular dancehall hit that features Anne-Marie and Sean Paul. The song tells of a single mom who gives her best in trying to afford her son the best life. At the time of the song’s release, “Alarm” by Anne-Marie was charting high on the UK Singles Chart. However, “Rockabye” would surpass “Alarm” on the charts peaking at number one on the UK Singles Chart while reaching number nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
Top 10 Clean Bandit Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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