Top 10 Arcade Fire Songs, Ranked

21 April 2022 | 12:08 pm | Staff Writer

With Arcade Fire’s first album in five years, ‘WE’, set to drop on May 6, we revisit the band’s epic catalogue, highlighting their top 10 tracks in order of brilliance.

(Pic by Michael Marcelle)

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10. The Lightning I, II

While this is a very new addition to the band’s catalogue and might seem like a somewhat premature addition to a list like this, the new single from Arcade Fire’s forthcoming album WE is significant for a few reasons and thus deserves a mention on this list. It teases big things to come from the band’s first record in five years and showcases they’re still at the top of their songwriting game. It’s also one of the last to feature founding member Will Butler, who announced his departure from the group last month.

9. Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)

Honestly, it was hard not to populate this entire list with songs from 2004’s Funeral. While other songs from the band’s seminal debut appear on this list, it’s this 2006 Juno Award-winning track that best captures the essence of the record and what the band were all about during that period.

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8. Neon Bible

A follow-up to Funeral, Neon Bible put Arcade Fire on the map in a big way. Their breakout album charted across the globe (peaking at #7 in Australia, while going to #1 in Canada) and featured heavily on Best Of lists that year. The album’s title track, with delicate instrumentation, careful pacing and soothing vocal delivery from Win Butler, is hypnotic.

7. Everything Now

As noted by The Music reviewer Guido Farnell when the band’s Everything Now album dropped in 2017: “The anthemic title track is loaded with hooks that drill deep into your head. Everything from the rolling ABBA-esque piano to the pan pipe riff and the glorious hands-in-the-air ‘na na na’ of the chorus will have listeners reaching for the repeat button.”

6. Reflektor

Arcade Fire are a band that seem set on doing things their way, which often leads to great flashes of brilliance. Eight-minute, disco-tinged epic Reflektor is a perfect example of that.

5. Keep The Car Running

The band chose this song when playing Saturday Night Live ahead of the release of Neon Bible, which says a lot. It was covered live the same year it was released by Foo Fighters and Bruce Springsteen (the latter of whom played it alongside Arcade Fire members). Good enough for The Boss, good enough for us.

4. No Cars Go

Forgive us for back-to-back Neon Bible tracks, but No Cars Go just had to be next. For many fans, it’s quintessential Arcade Fire. It’s bold, emotional and beautiful. It’s also catchy as hell.

3. The Suburbs

Speaking with Spin around the release of The Suburbs, Win Butler described the band’s third album as “a mixture of Depeche Mode and Neil Young". It’s a combination many didn’t know they needed until they heard it and the album’s opening title track is as quirky as it is inspirational.

2. Rebellion (Lies)

Narrowing down this list was hard enough, but finalising the top two spots was very difficult. As you might have guessed earlier on, the home stretch leans heavily on Funeral, and Rebellion (Lies) was always going to be near the top (if not #1). The song has been known to appear towards the end of the band’s live set and was their go-to finale around the album’s release, including their 2008 Big Day Out run.

1. Wake Up

You guessed it! Wake Up was the fifth and final single from Funeral, and seems they were saving the best for last. As it closes in on its 20th anniversary, the track continues to make Best Of lists and is frequently cited as Arcade Fire’s top track. As well as featuring across a number of films over the years, it’s also been covered by David Bowie, Macy Gray and more. All the best elements of Funeral coalesce in Wake Up for a song that’s both intimate and perfect for a stadium.