Top 10 Rival Sons Songs

Rival Sons Songs

Originating from the sunny shores of Long Beach, California in 2006, and now with a base in the musical heart of Nashville, this ensemble has woven a tapestry of rock that resonates far and wide. At its core are Jay Buchanan, with his magnetic lead vocals, Scott Holiday strumming the heartstrings on guitar, Dave Beste laying down the groove on bass, and Michael Miley bringing the beat on drums. The touring scene has seen them joined by the talented Jesse Nason on keys, following in the footsteps of Todd Ögren. Their journey is underpinned by their collaboration with Atlantic Records through Dave Cobb’s Low Country Sound, marking their place in the music world with eight albums and an EP to their name.

The seeds of Rival Sons were sown in Long Beach, where Jay Buchanan’s solo artistry and band ventures like Buchanan had already been making waves. The universe conspired when Scott Holiday, previously of bands like Human Lab, stumbled upon Buchanan on MySpace, setting the stage for a new chapter. Michael Miley, a seasoned musician with experiences ranging from Veruca Salt to the Carson Daly TV show band, and bassist Robin Everhart, whom Miley met at a benefit concert, joined forces with Buchanan and Holiday. This fusion of talents birthed Rival Sons.

Initially hesitant, Buchanan’s skepticism melted away with the warm reception of their debut album, Before the Fire, in 2009, produced by the acclaimed Dave Cobb. Their music caught the eye of the media, with Jack Rivera of The Huffington Post hailing them as a band to watch. Opportunities to share stages with legends like AC/DC, Alice Cooper, and Kid Rock soon followed, alongside a memorable performance at the Indianapolis 500.

The momentum continued with the release of a self-titled EP in 2010, drawing the attention of Earache Records’ Digby Pearson, leading to a record deal and the birth of their album Pressure & Time in 2011. Their European debut in Camden Barfly was a hit, setting off a series of sold-out shows across Europe. The release of Pressure & Time marked a significant milestone, topping Amazon’s Hard Rock bestseller list and making a notable appearance on the Billboard Hot 100.

In the whirlwind year of 2011, Rival Sons embarked on a musical odyssey that took them from the vibrant stages of SXSW and the Hangout Festival to the iconic Viper Room, before jetting off to Europe to electrify audiences at premier festivals like Azkena, Sonisphere, and Rock Werchter. Their journey intertwined with legends as they joined forces with Judas Priest, Queensrÿche, and Lady Starlight on a memorable UK tour.

Their track “Torture” found a cinematic spotlight in the film Real Steel, and by a special invitation from Amy Lee, Rival Sons warmed up the crowds for Evanescence, an alliance that resonated so well they teamed up again in early 2012. Their relentless tour schedule included a notable appearance on the Harald Schmidt Show and an acoustic homage at the Classic Rock awards in London, where their rising star was affirmed by being voted ‘Best New Band’ by Planet Rock Radio listeners.

As 2012 unfolded, Rival Sons entered Nashville’s Honey Pye studios with the esteemed Dave Cobb and the award-winning engineer Vance Powell to craft their third album, “Head Down.” This period also saw Pressure & Time reemerge in a deluxe edition, with “Face of Light” captivating audiences in its visual form, shot amidst the natural beauty of the UK’s Peak District. Their tour trail blazed through North America and swept through Europe’s summer festivals, sharing stages with Evanescence, Eagles of Death Metal, and Black Stone Cherry.

“Head Down” was unveiled in September 2012, earning widespread critical praise and climbing charts across Europe. The infectious energy of “Keep On Swinging” ignited a Twitter trend, and its video, set in a church among serpents, captured imaginations. .

The dawn of 2013 saw the release of Until The Sun Comes, accompanied by a visually captivating video directed by the innovative Simon Gesrel. Appearances on Billboard The Beat and Jimmy Kimmel Live showcased their dynamic presence, followed by a European tour with support from The Balconies. The UK leg of their tour, supported by The Graveltones and Ulysses, culminated in a triumphant sold-out show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Their commitment to philanthropy shone through with a performance at St. Pancras, London, benefiting the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.

Mid-2013 brought a brief return to the US before another European festival circuit, sharing stages with the likes of Kiss. It was during this time that bassist Robin Everhart made the difficult decision to step away from the band, citing the challenges of the touring lifestyle. Dave Beste stepped in, bringing fresh energy to the lineup as they supported Sammy Hagar across the US and rocked the Hard Rock Vegas, before heralding the new year with a headline street party in Long Beach, marking another chapter in their remarkable journey.

In the early days of 2014, Rival Sons found themselves back in the creative hub of Nashville, collaborating once again with the legendary Dave Cobb to produce their fourth studio masterpiece, Great Western Valkyrie. Launched in June 2014 amidst high anticipation, the album quickly became a fan favorite and a critical success. The band kicked off their European tour with a bang, sharing the stage with Aerosmith in Helsinki and Stockholm, and continued to electrify audiences across Europe with standout performances at Rock Am Ring, Rock Im Park, and the Isle of Wight Festival, among others.

Their return to the US was marked by a sell-out show in Nashville, setting the tone for a summer tour that saw packed venues and festival appearances. The band’s energy then propelled them back across the ocean for more festival magic in Northern Europe, and an unforgettable journey to South Africa for the Oppikopi Festival.

After a brief respite, the second leg of their US tour saw them lighting up stages from California to the East Coast, with memorable nights at The Fillmore in San Francisco and a sold-out show at the iconic Troubadour. Their television appearances added to the year’s highlights, including a memorable performance on Le Grand Journal (Canal+), where they introduced Todd Ögren as their touring keyboardist, affectionately known as “The Fifth Son.” Their appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Later… with Jools Holland further cemented their status in the rock world.

2015 saw the band back in the studio with Cobb, crafting Hollow Bones in a whirlwind three weeks. The album’s release was followed by a UK tour and a triumphant performance on the main stage at Download Festival in 2016. The year also saw them touring with Deep Purple and joining Black Sabbath as the main supporting act on their iconic “The End Tour.”

2018 marked a new chapter with the band signing to Atlantic Records’ Low Country Sound, led by Cobb. Their sixth studio album, Feral Roots, released in early 2019, received critical acclaim and Grammy nominations, showcasing the band’s continued evolution and depth. Performances on the Late Late Show with James Corden and a co-headline tour with Stone Temple Pilots were among the highlights of a banner year.

The journey continued into 2022 and 2023 with the release of singles like “Nobody Wants to Die,” leading up to their seventh album, Darkfighter and the subsequent release of “Lightbringer.” These albums reflect the band’s most intensive creative effort yet, with deeply personal tracks resonating with both the band members and their fans. Despite Todd Ögren’s departure and the challenges of performing complex vocal pieces live, Rival Sons adapted with innovative arrangements and instruments, ensuring that each performance was as captivating as the last. The “Darkfighter” tour, spanning from America to Europe, showcased the band’s relentless energy and commitment to their craft, proving once again that Rival Sons are a force to be reckoned with in the rock music scene.

# 10 – Nobody Wants to Die

We open up our top 10 Rival Sons songs list with a track taken from the band’s most recent album entitled Darkfighter. This kicking son opens up hard and heavy with guitars blaring and drums slapping you back and forth across the face telling you to wake up bro, it ain’t over, it’s just beginning… Listen to that guitar solo at the break. I’m telling you, baby if you think rock and roll is a thing of the past, turn this sucker up because bands like Rival Sons are setting the stage for an entire new era of classic rock,

# 9 – Tell Me Something

If you want to know what the phrase “down and dirty” means in rock and roll, just press play on this song. Yeah, baby, that’s what I’m talking about. The track “Tell Me Something” was released on the band’s debut album entitled Before The Fire. The album was released in 2009.

# 8 – Sugar On The Bone

I love the sounds that Scott Holiday gets out of his guitar., Some people call him the fuzz lord for his dynamic approach to guitar playing and all that comes with it. Just take a list to Scott open the song “Sugar On The Bone” with that “to die for” lick. It should give you rock and roll chills, making you sweat in boots, wanting more. Within a few measures of the song’s opening, the band does just that.

# 7 – Before The Fire

In October of 2023, Rival Sons released what just may be the best album of their career. It may also be one of the best rock albums released in the past twenty years. That’s how good the album is. The album entitled Lightbringer showcases the band’s continued growth as musical artists. As heavy as they can be at times, their music has grown deeper with every single album release. I hope this band stays together because they are one of the best musical groups to have come around in the past twenty years.

# 6 – Electric Man

Coming in at number six this Rival Sons song list is the smoking track “Electric Man.” The song is taken from the band’s fourth album, Great Western Valkyrie, released in 2014. The song reminds me a bit of The White Stripe on this one. This was the first of three singles to be taken from the album. The mix on the recording is spectacular. Every instrument stands out on its own, all blending together, creating the perfect rock and roll sound for the year 2014 and beyond. What a cool line, “I’m your Electric Man.” The more I listen to Jay Buchanam, the more I feel the presence of Jim Morrison with the chops of a Robert Plant and Paul Rodgers mixed in for good measure.

# 5 – Pressure and Time

I love what the band did with the video of this song. It’s so much fun to watch. Yet you want to know what’s more fun? It’s listening to brand new rock and roll music that sounds phenomenal in the 21st century. The song “Pressure And Time” served as the title track for the album released in 2011. The song not only set the tone for the album but also gained notable recognition by being chosen as the theme for the 2013 action-adventure video game “Ride to Hell: Retribution,” and found its way into the movie “Swearnet” and a commercial for the 2024 Chevrolet Silverado.

# 4 – Do Your Worst

I love the way this band channels the guitar riffs of bands like Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin, the vocal styles of Paul Rodgers and Bad Company, and the feel of Deep Purple, while also adding a bit of a Southern country rock flair to the mix. It just makes for a fascinating and incredibly enjoyable listen. What I always felt was missing from 21st-century rock bands were killer riffs. This band delivers on that big time.

# 3 – Open My Eyes

These guys sound like every band I have ever loved as a rock and roll fan. There is a bit of Queen, Led Zeppelin, Cream, and so many more in their sound. Yet they are not copying anyone, their music is 100% original in their melodies, chord changes, and lyrics. More importantly, they write and record killer cuts. “Open My Eyes” is probably the band’s most popular song. It’s one of our favorites. The song was released on the band’s fourth studio album entiteld Great Western Valkyrie.

# 2 – Darkside

Rival Sons are a pretty heavy band. They balance their heaviness with spectacular riffs, spine-tingling melodies, and emotional lyrics. This song has it all. It opens up as about as heavy as a band can get while keeping it real. Then, suddenly, it all shifts into a dream-like groove as Jay Buchanan creeps into your head, putting you in a trance. There is a Jim Morrison feel to what he does on this one. At the four-minute mark, Scott Holiday tares down that dream like trance crashing in with an apocalyptic style solo that you will never forget. it all begins to calm down again as they bring you back to your senses  wondering …… where the fu*k has this band been my whole life?

# 1 – Darkfighter

On a site called classicrockhistory.com, we tend to write a lot about epic rock and roll pieces like Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, Lynyard Skynyard’s “Free Bird,” Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” you get the point. Most of those songs were released in the 1970s. While there has been great rock and roll even since, we have seen a lack of epic rock and tracks like those mentioned above Until now….. Rival Son’s Darkfighter is a stunning piece of music that echos the days of rock and roll epics. Scott Holiday’s guitar work on the track is stunning. Jay Buchanan takes his vocals to an entirely new artistic level on the piece. The dramatic dynamic changes through the song in volume, tempo, and intensity, leaves the listener breathless wondering what just hit them. The song was released on the album Lightbringer.

Photo: Hinton1994, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

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