Top 100 Songs of 2017 (60-51)

Click here for songs 100-61

60. “Rhythm & Blues” – The Head and the Heart

The Head and the Heart’s “Rhythm & Blues” is a happy-go-lucky track that will put a smile on your face. The Head and the Heart have mastered the art of feel good alt-rock, and “Rhythm & Blues” is no exception.

59. “Perfect” – Ed Sheeran

If Eric Clapton wrote “(You Look) Wonderful Tonight” in 2017, it would be “Perfect.”

Perhaps the most appropriately titled song of the year, “Perfect” is as close to perfect as a song gets.

58. “Sign of the Times” – Harry Styles

“Sign of the Times” is the debut single from former band One Direction’s most well known member, Harry Styles.

If “Sign of the Times” is a sign of what Style’s has up his sleeve, he could be on track to becoming the biggest boy band solo success story since Justin Timberlake.

Call it pop, rock, glam rock, or whatever the hell else you want to call it, but if this is what post boy band sounds like, I am in full support of forcing all boy bands to dismember and go their own ways.

57. “Cocoon” – Milky Chance

With one of the most unique sounds in music today, there is no denying that “Cocoon” is Milky Chance at their best. Putting an end to any neysayers that said they were one hit wonders after the massive success of 2013’s “Stolen Dance,”Cocoon” is fun, catchy, and pure enjoyment.

56. “30 Seconds” – Vinyl Theatre

“30 Seconds” is only the second song I have heard from by Wisconsin-based band, Vinyl Theatre. Their 2014 hit “Breaking Up My Bones” was good, but “30 Seconds” is great.

Wisconsin, I now appreciate exactly three things from you. Beer, cheese, and Vinyl Theatre.


55. “The Day I Die” – ISLAND

Without question, one of the best vocals of the year, UK newcomers, ISLAND is the biggest artist to watch out for in 2018. Their debut album Feels Like Air doesn’t come out until April of 2018, but if the album is as good as “The Day I Die,” expect them to be all over every Best Music of 2018 countdown.

54. “Life Changes” – Thomas Rhett

Nobody does country-pop-rock like Thomas Rhett. Also, nobody else tells a story like Rhett.

Rhett’s music can fall into many categories, country, country-rock, or pop-country, but there is no denying that at the young age of 27, he is dominating the niche that he is so damn good at.

“Life Changes” is a relatable, feel-good song about welcoming the curve balls that life throws our way: making lemonade out of lemons, or whatever the hell that stupid saying is.

53. “Forget Me Not” – Brian Fallon

Brian Fallon, the former lead singer of Gaslight Anthem is back with one of the most fun, energetic, and upbeat songs of the year. “Forget Me Not” is about wanting to be remembered, despite the fact that the relationship ended.

“Could you promise me something? If you find someone, that you forget me not.”

Despite how much of a jerk you are, sometimes, when relationships end you want to be anything but remembered by your ex. However, if things end on a positive note, being remembered fondly is as much as you can ask for.

A Gaslight Anthem reunion is still up in the air, but no matter what happens with the band, Brian Fallon makes it very easy for us to “forget not” what a legendary band they were, and what a complete stud he is.

52. “Remember That Night” – Grouplove

Grouplove’s new track, “Remember That Night” is a perfect reminder that they are one of the best additions to the alt-rock world in the past ten years.

Despite which group member is taking the reigns of any given track, Grouplove has perfected the art of creating uplifting, jovial songs, and in “Remember That Night” co-vocalist and keyboardist Hannah Hooper delivers some of her most impressive work to date.

On a related note: I would love to say I remember that night back in 2011 when I first saw Grouplove live. But, I had been drinking for about 13 hours straight before the show, and therefore barely “remember that night” at all. But I am sure it was a hell of a great show.

51. “The Next Time We Wed” – The Fratellis

Glasgow, Scotland band

The Fratellis have been out of the spotlight for a little while. But with this year’s “The Next Time We Wed” they have shown the world that they were not hibernating, they were working on one of the most fun, dance-worthy tracks of the year.

The Fratellis are back and just as good as they have ever been. Their new album In Your Own Sweet Time will be released on March 9th, and if I know the Fratellis, they have some more tricks like this gem up their sleeves.


Songs 50-41


Top 100 Songs of 2016 (Part 9) #20-11


#100 – 91       #90-81     #80-71       #70-61       #60-51
#50-41      #40-31     #30-21

20. “Still Breathing” – Green Day

“Still Breathing,” by punk rock royalty, Green Day is about looking on the bright side even when you are down on your luck. Hey, your life may completely suck, but at least you’re not dead, right?

A gambler about to lose him last dime, a soldier that dodged a bullet on the battlefield, and a mother that is barely keeping it together are three of the characters Green Day uses to tell the story of survival.

“‘Cause I’m still breathing
‘Cause I’m still breathing on my own
My head’s above the rain and roses
Making my way away”

After 30 years as a band, Green Day has proven time and time again that just because they are getting older does not mean they can’t rock just as hard as when they were kids.


19. “Death Of A Bachelor” – Panic! At the Disco

Brendon Urie, lead singer of Panic! At the Disco, wrote “Death of a Bachelor” as a tribute to the late great Frank Sinatra, who would have turned 100 years old in 2015 (when the song was written.) Not only is it a tribute to Sinatra, but to the end of the era that died when he did.

“His music has been a major player in the soundtrack of my life. So it’s only right that I return the favor and/or pay it forward…Death Of A Bachelor” is very important to me. It expresses the bittersweet (but mostly sweet) end of an era. A look back at a part of my life now deceased. An “It’s A Wonderful Life”-esque look into a possibly different future. But mostly an appreciation for the present.”

“Death of a Bachelor” is vastly different from anything on the radio today, a tribute that Sinatra, and the rest of his rat pack buddies would be proud of.

18. “She’s Out Of Her Mind” – Blink 182

If the video for “She’s Out Of Her Mind” doesn’t make you feel nostalgic for 1999 nothing will. In their latest track off their album California, Blink 182 recreates their infamous video for “What’s My Age Again?” in which the boys in the band run through the streets causing ruckus while completely naked. This time, the video features three beautiful woman running through the streets and mimicking Mark, Tom, and Travis’ every move.

The song is so damn catchy though, that the video only adds to the enjoyment of having Blink 182 releasing their bes

t music in over a decade. Blink 182 for comeback of the year!

17. “Nobody Wins” – Brian Fallon

If you are a fan of Gaslight Anthem, you are already familiar with Brian Fallon, the lead singer of the band (currently on an indefinite hiatus.) I was pretty distraught when I heard that Gaslight Anthem was parting ways, but Brian Fallon’s amazing album, Painkillers, was just what I needed to kill the pain.

Not only is this track, “Nobody Wins,” beautifully endearing and painfully honest, but it can hold a candle to just about any Gaslight Anthem song. Give it a listen, you will not be disappointed. DISCLAIMER: Ryan’s Countdowns’s is not responsible for you crying and embarrassing yourself in front of your co-workers. You should have waited until you got home to watch it.


16. “Run Or Hide” – Run River North”

Described as a Korean-American indie folk-rock band, Run River North formed in 2011 and had their biggest hit to date with 2016’s “Run Or Hide.”

“Run Or Hide” is big, loud, and dynamic. From the first listen you will be captivated, and every time thereafter. I will never “change my mind” about how good this song is, not “a million times,” and not even once.

15. “You & I” – Colony House

“Maybe the world isn’t crazy, maybe it’s you and I” sings Colony House in the first song off their debut album “Only The Lonely,” which is set to drop in January of 2017.

“In a time in history that feels so fragile we feel like this song takes a different perspective,” says the band about the radio friendly track. Colony House has a lot to live up to in 2017, and I for one, can’t wait to see them do it.

14. “Tidal Wave” – Taking Back Sunday

Yes, Taking Back Sunday is still around, and yes, they are still releasing insanely good music. “Tidal Wave” may be a little harder than you remember the “Makedamnsure” guys being, but it is just as damn catchy as anything they have ever put out there.

“Tidal Wave” is so good that I once spent an entire 90 minute car ride listening to the song on repeat, and trying to nail all of the lyrics without messing up. After an hour and a half I had perfected the vocals, and I still couldn’t wait to sing along with it again the next day.

13. “Trouble” – Cage, the Elephant

I am convinced that Cage the Elephant can do no wrong. Year after year they continue to release hit songs. While they have a style all of their own, they still manage to make each song unique in its own right. “Trouble” is one of the slower songs from Cage in recent years, but it just goes to show you that these guys are limitless.

12. “Shovels & Dirt” – The Strumbellas

Continuing their campaign for “Band of the Year,” Canadian rockers, The Strumbellas just keep getting better. “Shovels & Dirt” is one of those songs that is impossible to not love. Seriously, if someone told me they didn’t love this song I would question their hearing, taste in music, sanity and why the hell I am talking to them in the first place.

The repeating phrase of “I put a banjo up into the sky/
It keeps us moving, it keeps us moving” and the way it leads the song to its climax, is arguably one of the best parts in music this year. I am desperately looking forward to what The Strumbellas come up with in 2017.


11. “Better Love” – Hozier

No artist today sings with more passion that Hozier. Upon first hearing, I brushed off “Better Love” as another movie soundtrack dud. But, after each additional listen, I fell in love with the song more and more.

Bottom line is, “Better Love” is not meant to be background music, it is meant to be an experience that makes you feel so hard it hurts. And nobody does that better than Hozier.

Top 10 Songs of 2016 Coming Tomorrow!

5 Songs You Need To Hear Right Now (Feb 2016)

The “5 Songs You Need To Hear Right Now” countdowns has become a staple here at Ryan’s Countdowns, and is one of the most requested countdowns that readers want to see. And who am I to deny the public of what they want? Now that you have listened to the entire Justin Bieber album for 3 straight months, it is time you expand your horizons, and get to know the 5 songs that you should not go another day without hearing.

5. Pride, American Authors

American Authors scored a top 10 spot on last year’s “Top 100 Songs of 2015” with their hit “Go Big Or Go Home”, and the boys from Boston are on track to follow that up this year with “Pride.”

I’ve had a few moments of pride so far this year, but if I had to countdown my “Proudest Moments of 2016” as of right now, learning the ultra fast, tongue twisting chorus to the American Author’s single would be at the top of the list.

The first time I heard the song, I knew that I would not let myself sleep until I was able to sing along flawlessly with one of the catchiest songs of the year. To this day, weeks later, I still give a little fist pump each time I nail the vocals. It may have taken my entire commute to and from work, but I accomplished my goal, and nobody can never, ever, ever, never, ever, take away my pride.


4. I Refuse, Simple Plan

In the early 2000’s no band was better at singing about teen angst than Simple Plan. Now, 15 years later, despite the guys being in their mid-thirties, they are still second to none when it comes to the schizophrenic ups and downs of teenagers.

“I Refuse,” off the bands newest album Taking One For the Team, is the epitome of teen angst. In fact, as a mid-thirties guy myself, it almost made me wish that I was an awkward, angry, confused teenager, just so I could stick up for myself when it came to other kids judging me for who I am.

“I refuse to apologize for who I am… I refuse to ever let somebody say I can’t…. I refuse, I refuse, I refuse….. to let the words you say get to me…. and I refuse… to keep on suffering silently…. I refuse, I refuse, I refuse… So I refuse. 

Not only will this song pump you up, build your confidence, and push you to stand up for what you believe in as an adult but it will also be an anthem for teenagers that have had enough of their shitty lives, and help them make positive changes. Simple Plan have long been known for saving the lives of countless teenagers who felt lost and alone, and “I Refuse,” along with much of the Team album, will no doubt do the same. For a bunch of silly Canadian guys that love speedos and skateboards, that is quite an impressive accomplishment.

3. Nobody Wins, Brian Fallon

WARNING: If you do not feel like crying your eyes out, avoid the video. You’ve been warned.

If you are familiar with Gaslight Anthem, you are already familiar with Brian Fallon, the lead singer of the band (currently on an indefinite hiatus.) I was pretty distraught when I heard that Gaslight Anthem was parting ways, but had I heard then, what I have heard now, I would have thrown the band a heartfelt goodbye party, and escorted Fallon to the studio to begin recording.
Not only is this track, “Nobody Wins,” beautifully endearing and painfully honest, but it is as good as any Gaslight Anthem song to date (and I consider myself a solid Gaslight Anthem fan).

Additionally, as if I needed additional reason to not be able to sleep until March 11th (when Fallon’s debut solo album is released), his other released tracks, “A Wonderful Life”, and “Steve McQueen” are just as good and relatable as “Nobody Wins”.

This is as much of a “must hear track” as it gets, so be among the first of your friends to share the track that is bound to be a 2016 classic, and help make Brian Fallon a household name, as it so desperately needs to be.

(SIDE NOTE: After writing this post, I went to Fallon’s website to check out his tour dates, and sure enough, he is playing in Boston on 3/11, which just so happens to be the day his album comes out. And yes, of course I instantly bought ticket).

2. Spirits, The Strumbellas

I am fairly certain that I could just attach the video, and no words would be necessary for why this is a “must hear” song. If you have heard this track already, you know how catchy it is, if you have not heard it yet… you’re welcome for introducing you to one of your favorite songs of 2016.

The Strumbellas, formed in 2008, are from Ontario, Canada, and made up of a six piece band. After 8 years, they have struck radio gold with “Spirits.” The inspiring song that reminds you to live your life to the fullest, will have you in deep thought about whether or not your are enjoying life as much as you should be. Ladies and Gentlemen, the deepest rock lyrics of 2016 so far….

“….And I don’t want a never-ending life
I just want to be alive, while i’m here.

And I, don’t want to see another night
lost inside of our own life, while i’m here.”

Me. Thinking about those lyrics. (photo credit:

Me. Thinking about those lyrics. (photo credit:


1. I Need Never Get Old, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats.

(True Story: Over an hour and a half passed from when I wrote about song 2)

Why you ask? Because I have watched the above video 17 times in a row. Literally 17 times in a row. I can only remember a televised musical performance bringing me to tears one time in my life, and it just so happened to be a late-night talk show appearance of The Killers performing “A Dustland Fairytale.” It is a story about lead singer, Brandon Flower’s parents meeting, their life together, and the untimely death of his mother, who lost her battle to cancer a few years back.
I cried because of the epic performance, but I’m sure it also had to do with the touching story. So, I have cried over a musical performance ONE time. Until I watched the above video.
Jimmy Fallon’s introduction alone set the stage for the television musical performance of the year (granted, Lady Gaga’s Nation Anthem at the Superbowl was legendary.)
These guys…. I’m telling you…… turn your TV sets up…. turn it loud. Clap. Have a party. THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL.”

The raw emotion that Rateliff exudes during the performance is so awe-inspiring that he could be singing about a razor blade getting old, and it would still make me teary-eyed.
One day, 65 years from now, when my scribe is writing down my final lists, as I lie dying, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats’ performance of “I Need Never Get Old” will most definitely still be remembered as one of the greatest televised performance I have ever seen in my life.
Jimmy Fallon’s reaction after the performance is a sign of how epic it was. Even if you have heard the song, watch the video and the song will take on a much deeper meaning once you see what Nate and the Night Sweats put into it. WATCH THE VIDEO. Do it for me. Do it for Jimmy Fallon. Do it for Nathaniel Rateliff. Do it for the Night Sweats. But most importantly, do it for you.
And IF, for some reason you do not feel some sort of emotional response as to how epic it is, you next beer is on me when I see you out at a bar. Right after I slap you upside your head.

Leave a comment and tell me what you think of the songs. Love the? Hate them? Have a song that you want me to hear? Tell me all about it.