Top 10 Songs About Jealousy

Songs About Jealousy

Feature Photo: Syda Productions

Top 10 Songs About Jealousy presents the best Jealousy songs including “You Oughta Know,” “Jessie’s Girl” and many more. When the green-eyed monster known as jealousy is awakened, the flood of emotions can be so overwhelming that any ounce of calm and common sense that was there once upon a time will get thrown out the window quicker than a Nolan Ryan fastball. Among couples, when one has given their heart to another, this is based on an agreement there will be no actions taken to jeopardize the union. When someone fails to honor this agreement and their life partner learns of it, the breach of trust becomes so severe that most of the time there is no going back. In some cases, as a means to get even, the victim of a cheating loved one will seek revenge of some sort. It also makes really good songwriting material as some of the best musicians in the business have brought forth some rather epic songs about jealousy.

Top 10 Songs About Jealousy

#10 – Jealousy

Natalie Merchant’s 1995 single, “Jealousy,” came from her album, Tigerlily. Although in the song it suggested Merchant was no longer with her love interest, it did paint the obvious he left her to be with another woman. Scorned, she wondered what the other woman looked like. On the US Billboard Hot 100, “Jealousy” was a number twenty-three hit. On the US Billboard Adult Top 40 it peaked at number five and it charted as high as number eight on the US Billboard Mainstream Top 40 chart. It also peaked as high as number seventeen on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart.

#9 – Jealous

Sometimes, the feeling of jealousy doesn’t come from being cheated on but upon learning your ex-lover is with someone new and happier with that person compared to you. For Labrinth, his 2014 “Jealous” single dealt with this issue as he secretly wishes the people leaving him behind aren’t nearly as happy as they seem. This R&B ballad by an artist best known as an electronic musician came from the heartbreaking experience he felt as a child when one of his parents left him behind while he was still just a child.

In the UK, “Jealous” became a number seven hit and was a top forty single on official charts belonging to Australia, France, Ireland, and Scotland. It was not officially released as a single in the US but it does have a loyal fan following. In the UK, “Jealous” was certified platinum by its British Phonographic Industry (BPI). It was double platinum in Denmark and triple platinum in Australia.

#8 – Nobody

Technically designed as a country single, “Nobody” by Sylvia was a 1982 single that featured the narrator’s confrontation against her lover over a phone call she received from someone whom he kept telling her was “Nobody.” In the song, not only did Sylvia corner the recipient of her statement, she also pointed out she could love him better than “Nobody” can.

The popularity of “Nobody” not only topped the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, on the US Billboard Adult Contemporary chart, and on the RPM Canadian Country Tracks chart. This crossover hit also peaked at number fifteen on the US billboard Hot 100. This was Sylvia’s breakthrough single that earned her a 1983 Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and a win for Top Female Vocalist of 1982 with the Academy of Country Music Awards. In 1983, BMI announced “Nobody” was the Song of the Year for receiving the most radio airplay.

#7 – Mr. Brightside

“Mr. Brightside” was the debut single released by The Killers that dealt with the harsh reality the narrator’s girlfriend was cheating on him. The very thought of his beloved out with another man sent the vocalist of The Killers over the edge as he expressed himself as a victim of a romance that wasn’t as pure as he originally thought it was. From the 2004 album, Hot Fuss, “Mr. Brightside” was actually released during the fall of 2003, then again in 2004. On the US Billboard Hot 100 and on the UK Singles Chart, it was a number ten hit.

“Mr. Brightside” almost became one of the most downloaded rock tracks in UK history. It was also named Song of the Decade by the UK’s radio stations, Absolute Radio and XFM. The popularity of “Mr. Brightside” became so great The Guardian considered it as one of the most overplayed songs during the first two years of its release as it was apparently heard everywhere. The commercial success of this jealousy-based single saw it earn gold certification in Brazil and New Zealand, as well as platinum certification in Germany and Italy. Among the nations of Australia, the UK, and the US, it became, at the very least, double platinum.

#6 – Angeleyes

Whether it’s out of jealousy or as a friendly warning, ABBA’s “Angeleyes” focused on warning another woman about a man that used to be her love interest until she learned about his cheating ways, as well as other bad character traits. “Angeleyes” was recorded in 1978 and was featured on the group’s sixth studio album, Voulez-Vous. The single was released in 1979 and has become one of the most popular tracks in their discography. In the UK, “Angeleyes” peaked as high as number three and was a number sixty-four hit on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also became certified silver with the BPI.

#5 – Who’s That Girl

“Who’s That Girl” saw Annie Lennox asking her love interest who and why is there another woman hanging around with him. In the music video, Annie Lennox played the male character that kissed her female character thanks to genius editing that made her appear as two different people. “Who’s That Girl” was especially popular in Lennox’s UK as it peaked as high as number three after it was released in 1983. On the US Billboard Hot 100 it was a number twenty-one hit. On a global scale, it was at least a top forty hit among the nations of Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, and Sweden.

#4 – Jessie’s Girl

It’s not a good sign when the narrator is pining away for a woman that happens to be the girlfriend of his good friend. “Jessie’s Girl” was a big hit for Rick Springfield as he aggressively sang about his interest in a woman he has found too irresistible for him to just put out of his mind. He longingly wishes to find a woman just like that as he sees “Jessie’s Girl” as the perfect woman for him. This 1981 fan favorite came from Springfield’s album, Working Class Dog. On the US Billboard Hot 100 it slowly ascended to become a number one hit but spent a total of thirty-two weeks on the chart overall. It also won him a 1982 Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance.

#3 – Take It on the Run

REO Speedwagon brought forth the single, “Take It on the Run,” as a lyrical statement against his love interest whom he learned from some friends was messing around with other men behind his back. Upon learning this about her, he made it clear if it’s true then he no longer wanted anything further to do with her. It was a follow-up single to REO’s number one hit, “Keep on Loving You,” which also saw a hint of jealousy as there were questions about his love interest’s fidelity issues there.

That was the entire theme behind the 1980 album release, Hi Infidelity. Since its original release, “Take it on the Run” has been covered by many artists, also serving as an inspiration behind Pitbull’s 2017 song, Messin’ Around as his guest vocalist, Enrique Iglesias, interpolates “Take It on the Run” during his performance. On the music charts, REO’s “Take It on the Run” original peaked as high as number two on the Canadian Singles Chart and at number five on the US Billboard Hot 100. The popularity of this song also earned it an RIAA-certified gold. Lyrically speaking, REO Speedwagon’s tale didn’t always seem to make sense but this would be normal if a jilted man was fueled with jealousy and has begun to express trust issues with that significant other that has let him down.

#2 – Don’t You Want Me

Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” was a duet performance that saw a Hollywood-style parting of the ways the man in the story disagrees with while the woman stressed it’s something she needed to do. The tale was more about a mentor taking a struggling young woman under his wing, shaping her up to become a better version of herself as time went by. She went from being a waitress to a star destined for greater things. Although grateful, the woman wants to move on to see how far she can go on her own. However, the man objects and goes as far to threaten her if she doesn’t change her mind about what she wants to do.

#1 – You Oughta Know

Angry and honest, “You Oughta Know” was an aggressive single performed by Alanis Morissette as a jilted lover that just larned her lover has cheated on her. Screaming it’s not fair, this raw belt out of a woman scorned is the perfect jealousy song to just “let it out” and let the cheater be on the receiving end of a soldering well-deserved. This was Morissette’s official departure from the bubblegum pop genre as she blasts forward into grunge style alternative rock.

This brilliant career move catapulted her popularity as she reached a whole new audience that loved this edgier side to the Canadian songstress. Both the single and the album, Jagged Little Pill, were released in 1995. The popularity of the song earned her 1996 Grammy Award wins for Best Rock Song and Best Female Rock Vocal Performance. On the official music charts, it was a number one hit on the US Billboard Alternative Airplay and was, at the very least, a top ten hit in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.

Top 10 Songs About Jealousy article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022

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