From Jacksonville, Florida comes an outstanding American rock band that formed in 2001. Shinedown is a hard rock group that still brings us amazing music. Initially, the band members of Shinedown were; Brent Smith (lead singer), guitarist Jason Todd, Brad Stewart on bass guitar, and Barry Kerch on the drums. These musicians recorded two studio albums; Leave a Whisper in 2003 and Us and Them in 2005.
A couple of years after the second studio album, the band changed a couple of the members. Zach Meyers took over on the guitar and Eric Bass came in as the bassist. Shinedown recorded four more studio albums. The Sound of Madness (2008), 2012 brought their fans Amaryllis, Threat to Survival came in 2015, and in 2018 Shinedown gave the fans Attention Attention. Shinedown has the most number-one singles, sixteen, on the Billboard Mainstream Rock Track charts. With over ten million records sold worldwide, Shinedown rocks the world. The band has been influenced by a wide variety of groups from Soundgarden to Iron Maiden, from Pink Floyd to Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The Top 10 Shinedown Songs is a difficult one because they have so many excellent songs. It is hard to just choose ten. But, let us get started.
# 10 – Unity
This is the second single released from the fourth studio album, Amaryllis. The album was announced in January 2012 and was released in March 2012. The album was actually named after a flower that is native to South Africa. “Unity” is a song about uniting the world, loving your brothers and sisters. The song was released in March 2012 and landed in the number one chart position in August of the same year. “Unity” is a very powerful song with amazing lyrics. Instead of tearing each other down, we need to stand together and help each other up when we fall.
# 9 – Save Me
Jumping back to 2005 and Shinedown’s second studio album, Us and Them, which was released in October 2005. “Save Me” is the first song released from the album. The song was actually released before the album was completed, a “promotion” for the upcoming album. “Save Me” hit the number one spot on the Mainstream Rock charts in November 2005. The song was used for WWE and the No Mercy pay-per-view live event. Brent Smith wrote this song from personal experiences. “Save Me” is a song that confronts suicide; a person crying out for help and wanting to be saved.
# 8 – Second Chance
Fast forward to 2008. The second single from Shinedown’s third studio album, Sound of Madness, released in 2007. “Second Chance” was released in September 2008 and is one of their highest charting singles. Brent wrote the lyrics centered around his leaving his hometown in Tennessee to pursue his career as a rocker. In December 2008, “Second Chance” peaked at number one on the Mainstream charts. The song was used for the WWE Tribute to the Troops and for the second season of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. The Sound of Madness is Shinedown’s most successful album, certified 2x platinum, selling over two million copies. “Second Chance” is a multi-platinum single.
# 7 – State of My Head
From the fifth studio album, Threat to Survival, released in September 2015; comes “State of My Head.” The album was certified Gold in February 2018. “State of My Head” was released on October 9, 2015, the second single from the album. The song reached number one on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart, their tenth single to make it to number one. Brent Smith stated that “this song was written to a drum track, it was built around the rhythms.” “State of My Head” has a slightly different vibe and style than the other songs on the Threat to Survival album.
# 6 – Sound of Madness
From the album, Sound of Madness comes another number one hit single, “Sound of Madness.” Hitting number one on the charts in June 2009. The album, Sound of Madness was released in June 2008. The song, “Sound of Madness” has been said to be “a rant about self-involved drama queens.” “Sound of Madness” is twelve years old and is still one of the most popular and listened-to songs by Shinedown. Every song on each one of their albums has a ton of depth and meaning. Brent is an extremely talented songwriter and vocalist.
# 5 – The Crow & The Butterfly
Hitting the middle of our Top 10 Shinedown Songs; “The Crow & The Butterfly.” From the Sound of Madness album. The song hit the number one position on the Mainstream Rock chart in July 2010, “The Crow & The Butterfly” was written based on a dream that vocalist Brent Smith had. In an interview with Rockline, Brent said, “the dream was about a mother whose daughter died a month before her son Trevor was born.” “The Crow & The Butterfly” is one of Shinedown’s most intense “stories.” It shows how the mother is trying to cope with her tragic loss while trying to move on with the new miracle in her life. The song has some sort of significant meaning to everyone who listens to it.
# 4 – 45
Coming off the debut album, Leave a Whisper, is the song “45.” The album was released in May 2003 and is Shinedown’s second best-selling album. In August 2004 it was certified Gold and in October 2005 it went platinum, selling over one million copies. The song, “45,” peaked at number three on the charts. Many listeners assume the song is about suicide; but according to Smith in an inter with Foundry Music, “is about the day you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and finally decide that you want to try to be comfortable in your own skin.” “45” is used as a metaphor for the world outside closed doors, not a reference to a gun.
# 3 – Atlas Falls
“Atlas Falls” was slated to be on Shinedown’s Amaryllis album, but it didn’t make the cut. The guys kept it on a ‘shelf’ until March 2020 when they released it (along with a t-shirt) as a download only, to help raise relief funds in the midst of COVID-19. In May 2020 Shinedown decided to release “Atlas Falls” as a non-album single. In August 2020 it was the band’s sixteenth song to reach the number one spot on the Mainstream charts. I highly recommend watching the “Atlas Falls” (Lyric Video) on YouTube. This is an impactful, deep, and moving song.
# 2 – Monsters
From the sixth studio album, Attention Attention comes a superb ‘hard’ rockin’ song; “Monsters.” Attention Attention was released on May 4, 2018. “Monsters” is the third single from the “concept album.” The entire album focuses on an individual that is overcoming negativity. Over the duration of the fourteen songs on the album, the individual deals with all of the negativity and problems in their life, working through all the issues. By the end of the last song, they are a completely new person. “Monsters” peaked at number one in June 2019.
# 1 – Bully
Our number one pick for the Top 10 Shinedown Songs; “Bully.” Reaching number one in February 2012. “Bully” is the lead single from the album Amaryllis. “Bully” was the first song that fans had heard since 2008 with the album Sound of Madness. This, personally, is one of my all-time favorites by Shinedown. It is an anthem for bullying, something that has become huge with our youth and so out of hand. Something that has caused so many young kids, teenagers, and others to commit suicide. “Bully” sends a positive message of strength to individuals, letting them know they are not alone. Giving them the strength and confidence to make it through and not give up or give in.
Shinedown has tour dates listed on their website, www.shinedown.com, through October 2021. As I stated in the text, their songs are very in-depth, intense, and they all hold a personal meaning to someone in the band and too many of their loyal followers. I anticipate a new album soon, I hope. Shinedown is one of the best hard-rockin’ bands that I have come across in a long time. Take a look and listen to the videos and songs above. Have tissues handy just in case, and make sure your neighbors aren’t home, so you can turn it up!!
Top 10 Shinedown Songs Of All Time article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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