Does someone hear depressing music?

Of course, hardly anyone feels like being sad for a long time. And yet it is the case that there are millions of people who listen to melancholy songs with great passion. Especially in autumn and winter, when the rain is dripping from the gray clouds and the sun is scarce. But also in summer, when the incessantly shining sun starts to get on your nerves.

Editor's recommendation

Aside from the fact that there are simply tons of depressing songs, such dull sounds are actually good for your health. Two researchers from the Free University of Berlin showed in a study with over 700 participants that many people, when they were grieving, resorted to melancholy melodies - to regulate their emotions. The feeling that the music triggered in most of the test subjects was not sadness, but basically nostalgia. Memories put you in a sad mood. Music gives comfort. But she probably doesn't leave any sadness behind.

Many people love melancholy songs - but why?

Songs like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" thus serve as a concrete bridge to deal with your own tears and unpopular memories. ROLLING STONE has therefore selected - as a sound pharmacy, so to speak - 20 of the most poignant melancholy pieces in music history. They prove that sadness can sometimes also be sadness for no reason, that this feeling can also lead to great clairvoyance or is driven by great skepticism.

1. Simon And Garfunkel - "Bridge Over Troubled Water"

When Paul Simon wrote this anthem of friendship in 1970, his partnership with Art Garfunkel was already strained. The duo even argued over whether Garfunkel was the right singer. “He thought I should have sing,” said Simon in 1972. “And I often think that would have been better too.” The third verse (“Sail on silver girl / Sail on by / Your time has come to shine / All your dreams are on their way ... “) was Garfunkel's idea. Simon wrote it himself, but he never liked it - and was always happy to let his colleagues know. Meanwhile, English students wondered whether the famous line “Like a bridge over troubled water / I will lay me down” is grammatically correct.

🛒 Buy "Bridge Over Troubled Water" from Amazon.de

2. Roy Orbison - "Cryin"

According to Orbison, "Cryin '" came about after meeting an ex - "and whether I cried only inside or actually is the same". Which of course he is right: The song definitely hits the heart. His almost operatic performance rises to a high note, which he was always able to hit until the end. The admiration of great colleagues was not lacking. "He sounded like he was singing down from an Olympic mountaintop," wrote Bob Dylan recently in his Chronicles. “He sang his compositions now over three or four octaves that made you want to drive over a cliff. He sang like a professional criminal. “Like one with a big, sore heart, of course.

🛒 Buy Roy Orbison: The MGM Years 1965 - 1973 (Remastered) from Amazon.de

3. Procol Harum - "Whiter Shade Of Pale"

A dark hymn ("We skipped the light fandango ..."), carried by the drawn out melody from Johann Sebastian's "Air" from the orchestral suite No. 3 in D major. Nothing on the radio sounded like it in 1967. It was also the only song that Procol Harum recorded with the original line-up (which started as R&B band The Paramounts in 1963). “Whiter Shade Of Pale” became a world hit, sold more than six million copies, quickly found its place in many marriages and kicked off a small classic rock boom.

🛒 Buy "Still There’Ll Be More" by Procol Harum at Amazon.de

4. Sinead O'Connor - "Nothing Compares 2 U"

The original version came from a failed Prince project, The Family, and only became a world hit in Sinead O'Connor's version. The unforgettable video shows her face in close-up for four minutes until a lonely tear finally rolls down. “I didn't intend to do this,” says Sinéad, “but when it happened, I let it happen.” Later she ruined her career with strange impulses.

🛒 Buy "So Far: The Best of Sinéad O'Connor" from Amazon.de

5. Joy Division - "Love Will Tear Us Apart"

Unfortunately, singer Ian Curtis should no longer be allowed to watch as his band's best single became a hit. He committed suicide in May 1980, two days before the announced US tour. "Ian's influences were probably madness and madness," reflected guitarist Bernard Sumner. After Curtis ’suicide, Joy Division became New Order.

🛒 Buy Joy Division Unknown Pleasures Shirt at Amazon.de

6. Jeff Buckley - "Hallelujah"

Jeff Buckley broke hearts with this Cohen cover at his legendary early gigs at the Siné club in New York. He himself called these songs in his enigmatic way an homage to "the alleluia of orgasm" and hoped "that Leonard does not hear that". On the posthumously released live album “Mystery White Boy” you can hear the song in a medley with the no less eerie “I Know It's Over” by the Smiths.

🛒 Buy Grace (Legacy Edition) by Jeff Buckley at Amazon.de

7. The Cure - "Pictures Of You"

“Most love songs are calculated commercial rip-offs. It has nothing to do with love as I understand it, ”scolded Cure singer Robert Smith. After the relatively happy pop songs on "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me", he wrote what was probably the most melancholy song of his band until then, an epic full of synthie swaths and broken dreams. One of the highlights of the dark "disintegration".

🛒 Buy "Mixed Up" from The Cure on Amazon.de

8. Neil Young - "Heart Of Gold"

Before he started “Harvest” in 1971, Young had a herniated disc and had to be hospitalized for two years: “I was physically unable to play the guitar.” So he took a few local studio aces on the occasion of a television appearance in Nashville like Kenny Buttrey and Ben Keith on a series of mellow songs. One of them, the longing "Heart Of Gold", became the only number one hit in Young's long career.

🛒 Buy “Songs For Judy” by Neil Young from Amazon.de

9. Pink Floyd - "Wish You Were Here"

While Pink Floyd was recording this swan song on her burned-out ex-frontman Syd Barrett, he suddenly appeared in the studio in such desolate condition that no one recognized him. "He got up and said, 'Okay, when is my guitar part coming?‘ "Said keyboardist Rick Wright. “Of course he didn't have a guitar with him. So we said: 'Sorry, Syd, but unfortunately the guitar is already finished ‘."

🛒 Buy "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd from Amazon.de

10. Eric Clapton - "Tears in Heaven"

On March 20, 1991, four-year-old Conor Clapton died after falling out of an apartment window in New York. His father wrote the heartbreaking Tears In Heaven and The Circus Left Town for his son. "They are cute little songs, almost like folk songs, and I feel a need for people to hear them," he told Rolling Stone. 'Tears In Heaven' was the highlight of his 1992 MTV Unplugged set.

🛒 Buy "Unplugged" by Eric Clapton from Amazon.de

11. The Verve - "Bitter Sweet Symphony"

Bittersweet indeed. A sample from the orchestrated version of a Stones song (produced by Andrew Loog Oldham) officially turned the Verve hit into a Jagger / Richards composition - whereupon ex-manager Allen Klein asked to pay. Ashcroft derided that it was the best song the Stones had written in 20 years.

🛒 Buy “Urban Hymns” by The Verve from Amazon.de

12. Bob Dylan - "Tangled Up In Blue"

When Bob Dylan played “Tangled Up In Blue” at a concert in 1978, he said beforehand that the song would have taken “ten years to live and two years to write”. To this day, he is one of those Dylan plays most often. He wrote “Tangled” when his first marriage broke up. Dylan adapts influences from classic country singers like Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell, tells the story of a wobbling heart that travels through the 60s and 70s. But over the years he has radically changed and rebuilt the song: On the “Real Live” album from 1984 he played with the chords and the lyrics and told a completely new story.

🛒 Buy “More Blood, More Tracks” by Bob Dylan from Amazon.de

13. Tindersticks - "Kathleen"

The most beautiful song by the great Townes Van Zandt inspired the greatest achievement of the British Romantics: After their triumphant first album, they released their billowing, majestic version of the deathly drunk, unspeakably sad masterpiece. "Strange to see, the sun don't shine today", emphasizes Stuart Staples, filled with tongue, even the wrong grammar announces the impending disaster, "but I ain't in the mood for sunshine anyway / Got to stop the pain / Maybe I go down to see Kathleen. ”Then you can hear him breathing. "Stars hang high / But the ocean roar / The moon has come to lead me to a door." The rest is a devouring vortex of strings, crazy piano strumming and desolate trumpet, the most shocking finale of rock music.

🛒 Buy "Tindersticks I" from Tindersticks at Amazon.de

14. R.E.M. - "Find The River"

Despite the encouraging “Everybody Hurt”: “Automatic For The Poeple” was basically a collection of “songs about death”, stated R.E.M. sober firm. But in the end there was hope again. After the nostalgic “Nightswimming” comes “Find The River”, a piece about the possibilities that life offers you if you just want to see them - if you have a little courage and don't have tired eyes. Michael Stipe wanders through flower and spice gardens, the band follows with a luxuriant melody that finally leaves this auspicious sentence hanging in the air: "All of this is coming your way."

🛒 Buy “Automatic For The People” from Amazon.de

15. Bonnie "Prince" Billy - "I See A Darkness"

It takes light to see, and Will Oldham sees the darkness. In fact, it seemed to have brightened up around the self-proclaimed prince. His voice has never been more beautiful, the company has never been more comfortable. A cozy place between libido and lethe. "Well you know I have a love for everyone I know / And you know I have a drive to live I won't let go". Johnny Cash is just waiting for lines like this.

🛒 Buy "I See A Darkness" by Bonnie "Prince" Billy at Amazon.de

16. Scott Walker - "The Seventh Seal"

Scott in the self-chosen captivity of European high culture: "The Seventh Seal" is an ingenious interpretation of the Ingmar Bergman film of the same name, apocalyptic and threatening, the epidemic epidemic, God absent and the knight without a chance at the game of chess with the devil. An original composition, for Scott fans back then even more strange than his Brel arrangements. Art!

🛒 Buy "Scott 4" by Scott Walker from Amazon.de

17. Randy Newman - "I Think It's Going To Rain Today"

Randy Newman once said that anyone who walks through the world awake can only become a culture pessimist: "Scarecrows dressed in the latest styles / With frozen smiles to chase love away / Human kindness is overflowing / And I think it's going to rain today." today for anxiety and embarrassed silence in concert halls. You won't find a more lucid and laconic song. Nowhere.

🛒 Buy Randy Newman's "Original Album Series" from Amazon.de

18. Element Of Crime - "White Paper"

Today Sven Regener writes novels very successfully, but his talent is wasted in large form. The Bremer Bollerkopf has been Germany's best songwriter since he first used German texts, in 1991 on “Back then behind the moon”. Two years later he succeeded in creating this perfect farewell song, an ode to transience and the pain of memory: “I'm not even allowed to see the sea again / Where the wind misses your hair / Where every wave is a sigh / And every grain of sand is a look from you / I will never be as pure and as stupid as white paper again. ”The music of Element Of Crime is on a par with the grandiose soul dramas of the Tindersticks.

🛒 Buy "White Paper" from Element Of Crime at Amazon.de

19. David Bowie - "Space Oddity"

“Ground control to Major Tom,” begins the space saga, “may God’s love be with you.” The latter, once again, shines through its absence, which gets our astronauts in trouble. The end is approaching, the tone becomes defeatist: "Here am I floating round my tin can / Far above the moon / Planet earth is blue / And there’s nothing I can do." No Odyssey, an "Oddity". Certainly to be understood as Bowie's skeptical contribution to the space euphoria and unquestionably inspired by the space egos "2000 Light Years From Home" of the Rolling Stones.

🛒 Buy "Space Oddity" by David Bowie from Amazon.de

20. Willie Nelson - "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain"

Nelson had already written hits for Patsy Cline and others, but for himself the breakthrough came with this cover of an old country standard originally sung by Roy Acuff. In Nelson's jazz phrasing, it became the heart of his concept album “Red Headed Stranger” about love and death in the Wild West. The title track of his probably best album is also a cover.

🛒 Buy "Legend: The Best Of Willie Nelson" from Amazon.de

This list contains texts from the "500 best songs of all time" selected by ROLLING STONE.

Do you miss Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, the Eels, Coldplay, Radiohead, Portishead or others? Write to us on Facebook: Which melancholy songs should definitely be on this list?

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