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The 12 Best Blink 182 Songs

best blink 182 songs

Every Millenial’s first favorite pop-punk band, Blink-182, have a wealth of insanely well-written songs in their back catalog, despite a fixation on juvenile potty humor. I have to admit, I still revisit them every now and again, even as I stride confidently through my late 30s.

Who could have thought decades ago this ragtag team of man-boys obsessed with sex and petty rebellion would develop such an outstandingly impactful and, in places, emotionally mature oeuvre?

Forever barking the anthem of the underdog, their appeal is utterly universal, and honestly, this list could easily be 50 songs long, but I’m going to try my best to bring it down to a tight 12 for brevity’s sake.

Ready to revisit your reckless youth? What’s that… you never left? Cool, me neither!

Here Are The Absolute Best Blink 182 Songs

best blink 182 songs

12. “What’s My Age Again” (Enema Of The State, 1999)

Okay, so I know that some of you are already scoffing… One of their biggest hits in the 12th spot?!!

Well, I ain’t no fake fan, folks, and although I’m taking popularity into account, it’s not my primary ranking criterion.

There’s no denying that, compositionally, “What’s My Age Again” is a triumph, and the production is tighter than tight, too, but I consider this track to be one of their shallowest, leaning into a purely comic vein.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a hoot and a holler, but Blink has so much more to give!

11. “Reckless Abandon” — (Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, 2001)

To me, “Reckless Abandon” is the perfect example of Blink-182 in transition, with the band developing musically, and the members growing as individuals.

Tom Delonge is still singing about the joy of flouting authority and living with careless abandonment — “He took a shit in a bathroom tub and fed the dog brownie drugs” — yet there’s a hint of melancholy to the tail end of the chorus, and, dare I say it… regret, as if Tom’s starting to accept that his youth has been and gone.

This is a “passing the torch track”.

Tom welcomes the listener to outdo them, raise hell, and make the most of their childhood, while the band closes this chapter of their lives and career so they can turn to face the future and address more pressing (and adult) social issues.

RELATED: 10 Essential U2 Songs

10. “Carousel” (Cheshire Cat, 1995)

I hear a lot of Title Fight and maybe even a little bit of Joyce Manor in Blink-182’s earlier work, especially in their thrashy masterpiece, “Carousel”, highlighting the band’s raw potential from the very beginning.

If anything, this track is more akin to the punk I listen to currently than it is the ToYPaJ-era Blink-182 I fell in love with when I was a kid, which, in a way, is a strange full-circle realization for me.

Another surprising element of this track is the poetic nature of the lyrics:

“I stop to think at a wishing well

My thoughts send me on a carousel

Here I am standing on my own

Not a motion from the telephone

I know not a reason why

Solitude’s a reason to die”

Considering Delonge was only 19 when Cheshire Cat was released, and likely even younger when he penned these words, you have to respect his emotional maturity.

For all the time Blink-182 spend with their heads in the clouds and their mouths in the gutter, “Carousel” is a wonderfully grounded, almost Bukowskian piece that tackles the everyday struggles of life head-on.

9. “Dammit” (Dude Ranch, 1997)

Nowadays, I find the opening guitar riff of “Dammit” to be grotesquely pop-punk, but that’s a large part of this track’s appeal and no doubt what helped catapult it to success as their first commercial hit on the Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart.

Boasting an especially angsty performance from the typically aloof Mark Hoppus, there’s an unpolished quality to the verses of “Dammit” that give the track some serious teeth, helping to communicate the full range of complex emotions we feel when we see an ex with a new partner.

8. “Feeling This” (Blink-182, 2003)

The phased-out drums and ferocious octave-heavy riff that open “Feeling This” set an impulsive and desirous tone right from the get-go, establishing the perfect pulse-raising backdrop for one of Delonge’s most impassioned and breathless vocal performances (“I wanna take off her clothes”) pleasantly offset by Mark’s measured romanticism (“Place your hand in mine”).

“Feeling This” also exhibits perhaps the most impressive harmony work between Mark and Tom to date, the duo finally succumbing to the pop-punk trope they had largely avoided until this point.

RELATED: The Best Genesis Songs For People Who Like It Heavy

7. “I Miss You” (Blink-182, 2003)

If – like me – you were accustomed to Blink’s blistering pop-punk pace and perpetual puerility, the 2nd single off their self-titled record hit different.

The soft, childlike piano lines and swelling string section were such a departure, such a stark loss of momentum that it gave me a sense of sonic whiplash.

For the longest time, I couldn’t decide if I liked it, but now, I consider “I Miss You” to be one of the all-time best Blink-182 songs.

I especially like the fact that Tom Delonge attempts to out Tom Delonge himself on the mic — “Don’t waste your time on me, you’re already the voice inside moy’ehhhhhhd!!!!”

6. “Down” (Blink-182, 2003)

Perfectly depicting the hysteria of a breakup, “Down” is another indicator of the band’s growth on their self-titled album.

The timid verses pulse with uncomfortable tension as the characters’ relationship teeters over the edge of oblivion.

You can feel a finality brewing in the ascending chord progression before a death blow chorus tears the couple in two for good. 

5. “Mutt” (Enema Of The State, 1999)

Enema of the State gave us our first taste of Travis Barker’s crisp drumming chops, and “Mutt” puts his rhythmic talents on front-street for all to hear.

This articulate and razor-sharp drumming points a gun at Tom and Mark’s feet and tells them to “Dance!”, amounting to one of the liveliest Blink cuts in their entire back catalog.

RELATED: The Best Lenny Kravitz Songs Of All Time

4. “Always” (Blink-182, 2003)

With the final single of their self-titled album, Blink-182 put on a clinic in channeling influences without losing your core sound.

The endless bed of soft synths combined with Mark’s overtly Nu-wave leaning, chorused-out bass line on the second verse pay homage to 80s musical aesthetics, yet these features don’t reach out and slap you in the face with nostalgia a la Stranger Things.

Rather, they elevate Blink’s emotive pop-punk sound without stealing too much mix real estate — Props to producer Jerry Finn for cutting this one just right!

3. “Adam’s Song” (Enema Of The State, 1999)

If I had to sum “Adam’s Song” up in one word, it’d be “tragic”. Presented in part as a teenager’s suicide note, we’re welcomed into a wounded world that cannot be escaped by any means other than death.

The lyrics pinpoint seemingly trivial events in the protagonist’s life, i.e. spilling apple juice in the hall, which strikes as odd at first, but it’s actually a very clever lyrical device, as it veers clear of any overtly woe-is-me sentiment, thereby removing theatrics, and placing the narrative firmly in our own stark and often brutal reality.

2. “All The Small Things” (Enema Of The State, 1999)

“All the Small Things” is the pop-punk anthem, and positioned Blink-182 as modern pioneers of the genre.

A true love song, it also shows Blink-182 at their sweetest. It just so happens that this earnestness comes hand-in-hand with an absolute banger of a musical backdrop.

Punchy palm-muted guitar chords follow the baseline in the verse until Tom goes full Angus Young and rips out a C chord that rings out for a lifetime while he sings the most singalong-friendly refrain in music history: “Say it ain’t so, I will not go / Turn the lights off, carry me home”.

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1. “Stay Together For The Kids” (Take Off Your Pants And Jacket, 2001)

Written about a messy divorce from a child’s perspective, never has Blink-182’s music been so utterly gut-wrenching as it is when the chorus of “Stay Together for the Kids” ignites the mix with an almost brutalist passage of powerful distortion and minimalist, visceral chords — A progression that sounds best when played violently!

Pedaling between the G and G minor root notes, Tom achieves a lot with very little, and with his signature cutting vocals soaring atop the demolishing riff, you’re left gritting your teeth and clenching your fist as deep, once forgotten feelings stir within.

Mark Hoppus’ verses form the perfect low-key counterpoint to Tom’s incendiary chorus, presenting a narrative with a fully realized and emotionally complex character, a young one at that, which I find endlessly intriguing.

Consider this… for all the people telling Blink-182 to grow up through the years, the band had to inhabit the persona of a small child to broach their most adult themes and produce their most mature music.

Final Thoughts

While some might forever consider Blink-182 an infantile exercise in poor taste, even their earlier work on albums such as Dude Ranch and Enema of the State toils with an undertow of raw emotion, which, in my opinion, is the true power of Blink-182.

You might turn your nose up at their adolescent gags, but do so at the risk of the joke being on you, as the teenage jokes threaded throughout Blink’s music were just a front allowing this band to smuggle “the feels” into the ears of emotionally stifled young listeners like myself, struggling to find their place in the world.