After Glee began airing in 2009, it has covered well over 500 songs, bringing to light some great new music for me. Albeit, some of their songs are not so great, and some may argue that they ruin a lot of classic songs. I’d like to argue that some of the covers are even better than the original (one springs to mind straight away – Glee’s cover of Rebecca Black’s song ‘Friday.’) For me, I like to take the covers as what they are and appreciate the work, effort and the voices behind them, because Glee has some brilliant voices within its cast. So without further ado please see my personal top 50 Glee songs: (as I’m terrible at favourites I’ll be organising this list in season order)
- Don’t Stop Believing
The song that made Glee famous is first on this list; at the end of the Pilot episode when Mr Schue was walking away from his teaching career, he heard faint voices in the distance, and as the cast’s version of this Journey song gets louder, the love for this show and its cast does too.
2. Somebody to Love
The cast’s group performance version of this Queen classic is a winner also, bringing the group together at a pivotal time.
3. Hate on Me
This is the first song from the episode Throwdown that I’ve picked and I love this song; it has got such a beat and Amber Riley singing the main vocals for this is fantastic.
4. Keep Holding On
The end song for this episode is Avril Lavinge’s ‘Keep Holding On’, and it’s one of the first songs that brought me to tears. Coming at the end of an episode where Sue and coincidentally the entire school finds out about Quinn’s pregnancy, you feel the emotion that’s coming out of the Glee club as they support their member
5. Thong Song
My first guilty pleasure song of the list is this as Mr Schue desperately tries to hide his feelings for Emma by helping her with her wedding songs. It’s a amusing performance of a classic 90’s song.
6. True Colours
Another end of the episode song now and a chance for Jenna Ushkowitz to properly shine for the first time.
7. Don’t Rain on My Parade
Lea Michele’s first solo song on this list and it’s a corker – singing this as their first song to launch their bid for Sectional glory, it’s sung with determination and finesse.
8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Their other song sung at Sectionals, this classic rock song is fab and showcases the vocals of Cory Monteith and Lea Michele particularly.
9. Like a Prayer
The Madonna tribute episode ends with this beaut of a track and it’s a group effort, with a little help from a full gospel choir that just helps to make the atmosphere electric.
10. Total Eclipse of the Heart
Following Rachel’s faux par at trying to juggle 3 boys’ feelings for her, it all ends in tears with her losing Jesse and her shot at Finn. Queue this guilty pleasure classic, complete with ballet dancing scenes.
This U2 classic rock song is a fantastic end to an episode that is a bit underwhelming. However, his song is further proof that the cast know how to belt out a rock song.
12. Dream On
Neil Patrick Harris and Matthew Morrison duet this Aerosmith song – do I need to save more?
13. Poker face
After the truth about Rachel’s birth mum is revealed (in the form of Idina Menzel), the two come together at the end to sing this Lady Gaga hit, but much slower than Gaga’s version. However it’s gorgeous to hear these two voices together.
The season finale and the New Directions are at Regionals and their set list is filled with Journey songs. This duet between Finn and Rachel is their opening number and just before it, Finn tells Rachel he loves her. It makes their duet to each other even lovelier.
15. Empire state of mind
We enter Season 2 and the Glee cast belt out this in the season 2 opener, trying to drum up their rep. It’s a great way to open the season and recent enough that new viewers to the show will feel at ease with the format.
16. One of Us
At the end of an emotional episode in which Kurt thought he had lost his Dad, the Glee group come together for this sweeping song that emits love and hope.
17. Teenage Dream
It’s the introduction of the Warblers and another iconic moment for Glee – the introduction of Darren Criss as Blaine Anderson. As he takes lead vocals on this Katy Perry number, you know you’re witnessing a special moment and thankfully he’s stuck around to create more magic.
18. Singing in the Rain/Umbrella
This episode introduces us to Holly Holliday and Gwyneth Paltrow’s first guest appearance on the show. The mash-up of the musical classic and Rihanna’s first big hit sang by Paltrow and Matt Morrison in the lead vocals is a hit.
19. Dog Days are over
Mercedes and Tina take the lead on my favourite Florence and the Machine song; another end of episode number it’s a positive ending, despite the fact that the end of this episode saw the break-up of Finn and Rachel.
20. Thriller/Heads will Roll
This fantastic mash-up completely works and the performance itself is brilliant with a Halloween-esque style and a pop/rock feel.
21. When I get you alone
The Valentine’s Day episode had a particular angle that had many fans rejoicing – Blaine and Kurt admitted that there could be something for them in the future. But before that, Blaine had a crush on an older department store worker and he enlisted the help of the Warblers to serenade him with this song – it’s only short, but it’s brilliant.
This cover of the My Chemical Romance song is punchy and made even more awesome with the fact that Sue joins in for a one-off performance with the kids.
Another Warbler tune and this one has joint lead vocals for Blaine and Kurt, and the performance is made comedic when in a bid to be sexy, Kurt only manages to look pained and uncomfortable. Blaine and the rest of the Warblers however look cute, especially in their Dalton uniforms.
Gwyneth Paltrow’s back and she that initial chemistry between her and Matt Morrison’s Mr Schue is built upon in the episode, culminating in their duet of Kiss, with them performing a sizzling tango and a gorgeous tone to the song.
This beautiful duet at Sectionals comes after the first kiss of Blaine and Kurt; its soft nature and the passion behind it means that this song is a perfect fit for Chris Colfer and Darren Criss.
I’ll be posting part 2 of this countdown in a couple of days – comment below if you agree/disagree on what should be on this list