Every Lana Del Rey single definitively ranked from worst to best
National Anthem not being the actual national anthem is a disgrace
Lana Del Rey has changed two very important things forever – the music industry and my life. The first time I heard Video Games I’d never heard anything like it. Her music has evolved over the years but one thing has remained consistent: Her storytelling is like no one else in the industry. After Norman Fucking Rockwell came out in 2019, Pitchfork named her one of the true great American songwriters and they’re absolutely correct. She’s one of the best we have. Here’s all 33 Lana Del Rey singles, definitively ranked from worst to best.
33. Groupie Love
It knocks me sick that a song this terrible got a single release. Terribly written, tedious production and a phoned in verse from A$AP Rocky. A real low.
32. Once Upon A Dream
Listening to this snoozefest cover feels more like being asleep than actually sleeping does.
31. Summer Bummer
The single choices from Lust For Life are all over the place. I just want to talk, Lana. Cherry was right there!
30. You Must Love Me
Lana absolutely devours this Madonna Evita cover to her credit, but it’s linked with Andrew Lloyd Webber – and this we must not reward under any circumstances. Vocals are incredible, though.
29. Music To Watch Boys To
I always think that with a name as good as Music To Watch Boys To, this should have more of a lasting impact. It’s a pleasant way to spend a few minutes, but you never come away feeling wowed or moved.
28. Dark Paradise
15 year old me would assassinate 25 year old me for putting Dark Paradise this low. It’s just the absolute pinnacle of the Born To Die era. Melodramatic, soaring, campy and not quite as well written as it should be. But it was an era. This song sounds like spending an afternoon YouTube converting songs onto your iTunes because you were too skint to be able to buy them. It sounds like reblogging pastel grunge on Tumblr. A great song, but there’s 27 greater Lana Del Rey singles ranked here.
27. Watercolor Eyes
The latest addition to the Lana Del Rey singles canon comes in the form of this Euphoria soundtrack cut – clearly a leftover from the Blue Banisters sessions. That album was initially titled Rock Candy Sweet, which Lana says on this track. It’s got all the hallmarks of post-NFR Lana but doesn’t quite stack up to how great her other recent singles are.
26. High By The Beach
One of the most straight up POP tracks of Lana’s catalogue. Radio ready, and deserved to be a big hit. Perfect summer vibes. It’s a shame that the rest of Honeymoon doesn’t have the breezy likability that High By The Beach radiates in spade loads.
25. Don’t Call Me Angel
LOOK GUYS. I will die on the hill that this song slaps. I know it’s objectively crap, but I can’t get enough of it. Whoever dreamed up Ariana, Miley and Lana doing a song together deserves some form of knighthood. Completely bizarre and random, but I love it in all its messy glory. Lana’s curveball bridge is iconic and there’s nothing anyone can say that will make me think otherwise!
24. Lust For Life
Lana and Abel have such chemistry on this track that it makes me wish for a whole album. They exchange verses like they’ve been doing it for years. A title track that’s not really like any other songs in her discography. Dreamy. “My boyfriend’s back and he’s cooler than ever.”
When the posters teasing Love started going up in LA and fans were putting pictures on Twitter, that’s when I truly knew what being alive felt like. The vibes shifted with this one. Out of the dark and into the light. For a singer unfairly branded as depressing all the time, Love was something to smile about – pure happiness and warmth.
22. Shades of Cool
The James Bond theme that never was. The fact we’ve had the likes of Sam Smith do a Bond song and not Lana when she sits on songs like Shades of Cool is a disgrace! One of the most sprawling and hypnotic Lana Del Rey singles ranked here, Shades of Cool takes its sweet time and lets you revel in its woozy Dan Auerbach production. Ultraviolence at its best.
21. Summertime Sadness
“Kiss me hard before you go” is a great line to open a song with. Summertime Sadness is a Lana staple. Everyone knows it, and with good reason. As long as that reason isn’t the cursed Cedric Gervais remix, but that goes without saying.
20. Doin’ Time
You know an artist has done a good job covering a song when they make it feel completely their own. Lana’s take on the Sublime classic is woozy, sun drenched, a lazy Saturday afternoon with a beer. Sublime band members themselves absolutely adore it, and that’s all the proof you need.
19. Brooklyn Baby
Ultraviolence gets dark and really goes there, but with Brooklyn Baby Lana takes us to a satire laced dream pop world of hipsters and millenials. The guitar on Brooklyn Baby is just something else – completely infectious.
One of Lana’s most controversial songs due to its lyrical content – detailing a violent relationship where the victim is still infatuated with her abuser. The criticism isn’t warranted – it’s a song with a narrative, not an endorsement. The chorus is one of the most heavenly she’s ever sang.
17. National Anthem
National Anthem stands out on Born To Die, and was clearly begging for single treatment. Outrageously catchy, full of July 4th fireworks and chanting choirs, nonsensical lyrics and a music video that is still one of the best she’s ever released.
16. Blue Jeans
The first four songs I heard from Lana were all during a 2012 YouTube binge – Video Games, Born to Die, Diet Mountain Dew and Blue Jeans. I honestly don’t think I’d ever heard a first verse so arresting – her storytelling here, whilst a bit immature in retrospect, was just unlike anything else in contemporary music at the time. “You fit me better than my favourite sweater” is still such a wow.
15. Let Me Love You Like A Woman
To me, this song feels like my mum putting her arms round me and giving me a hug. Hope that makes as much sense to you as it does to me. They should prescribe this song as a healer on the NHS. It fixes everything.
14. Born to Die
The title track of Lana’s first record is in complete contrast to Let Me Love You Like A Woman – huge grandiose strings, melodrama, the unmistakable drums that defined the era. It’s a song that occasionally feels too big for a casual listen, but when you’re in the mood for it it’s the most blockbuster she’s ever sounded.
I really can’t stress enough how outstanding the songwriting is here. The first verse – where Lana declares her body is a map of Los Angeles, her chest the Sierra Madre and her hips every high and byway. It’s honestly just breathtaking, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the industry writing like this. “Lay your hands on me like you’re a Land Rover” has no right being as sexy a lyric as it is.
12. Tulsa Jesus Freak
Her hyperpop Charli XCX era has arrived! The autotune! RAMP IT UP, BABY! So much to love here, a standout of Chemtrails. I really LOVE that she pronounces Arkansas wrong about 50 times on Tulsa Jesus Freak, because she’s Lana fucking Del Rey and she makes her own rules! I actually think they should change the pronunciation officially in her honour.
11. Young and Beautiful
Lana Del Rey singles ranked wouldn’t be complete without this little masterpiece – her contribution to The Great Gatsby soundtrack (a weirdly excellent album, whilst we’re here). Young and Beautiful is an absolute spectacle – old Hollywood glamour and faded glory, permeating sense of doom and an orchestration to die for. The vocals on the middle eight? Unmatched.
10. Hope Is a Dangerous Thing for a Woman Like Me to Have but I Have It
The showstopping end to Norman Fucking Rockwell is the perfect way to kick off the top 10 ranked Lana Del Rey singles, because every song from here on out is a 10/10 and this song is an absolute feat. The songwriting, the simple piano, the vocal performance. Outrageous. The title alone, so long and wordy, just perfect. Favourite lyric goes to “Hello, it’s the most famous woman you know on the iPad” because it’s perfectly stupid.
9. Blue Banisters
There is something so special and unique about Blue Banisters, and that goes for both this as the lead single and the album itself. Her songwriting has never been so fascinating – the use of colour and the banisters metaphor for a broken relationship and how familial warmth is the healer feels so rich on every listen. The final act, where Lana just notes things going on around her like a diary entry, feels so full of life. It’s so visceral and familiar, but sounds nothing like she’s done before. The vocal choices she makes are inspired.
Following up the phenomenon of Born To Die was never going to be an easy feat – did Lana have longevity or was she going to be a one album wonder? Ride assured the world that she was truly the real deal, if anyone still had their doubts. Its sprawling monologue, the soulful vocal performance, the high notes of the middle eight… A signature song if ever there was one. Just so good.
7. Chemtrails Over The Country Club
A swooning and swirling masterpiece of a song that sees Lana using the light and dark shades of her vocals so wonderfully – as soon as it came out, all wolfed up music video in tow, it just felt like an instant Lana classic. I love how the whole song feels like the spiralling tornado in its video – it descends into a looped mania of the mundane; “Washing my hair, doing the laundry” is sang like it’s life or death and with Lana’s star quality she makes me feel like it is. Future classic.
6. West Coast
The vibes were well and truly shifted when Lana Del Rey left the Born To Die era behind in favour of this woozy, psychedelic track that introduced the Ultraviolence era perfectly. I love how different the verses are to the chorus, the complete tempo change just feels so satisfying as the guitar does that little riff before it. Best bit of the song is in the final chorus is that stray burst of synth – perfectly shrill as Lana dances into the flames.
5. The Greatest
“I miss Long Beach and I miss you, babe.” It feels like a Bowie epic – one of her most existential and timely tracks and a highlight of both Norman Fucking Rockwell and her entire career. She ended careers when she said “Kanye West is blonde and gone”, no, it’s true!
4. Mariners Apartment Complex
The official theme tune of main characters everywhere! The ultimate reading a book in a coffee shop on your own whilst sipping a mysterious and chic coffee. TikTok almost has made this song feel comedic because of how much it’s used for main character vibes but it’s only so good at being used for that because the song is so brilliant. Folky, psychedlic, dream like and perfectly written.
3. Video Games
The song that started it all. And over a decade later, it has never lost its ability to take my breath away. It’s the perfect introduction to everything Lana Del Rey is known for – the Americana, the faded Hollywood glamour, the doomed romance. The chorus is the kind of thing artists would kill for – long, overdrawn, masterful. Almost every line of Video Games feels like an iconic and timeless quote. A song that defined an era and a decade. It’s one for the Great American Songbook.
2. Venice Bitch
Only two songs outdo Video Games when it comes to Lana Del Rey singles ranked, and both of them are weird, brave and bold. Venice Bitch runs close to 10 minutes in length – and not one second of it is wasted. Not one second of it do you wish there was a four minute radio edit. It’s an all encompassing world build, a moody epic of guitar and dreams of jeans and leather. It’s hard to think of another artist who could ever come up with a song like this – classic rock sensibilities but with her own sharp and playful songwriting.
1. White Dress
White Dress. White fucking DRESS. When I pressed play on Chemtrails Over The Country Club for the first time I could not believe my ears. There’s something so ethereal about it – from the second the piano hits, to the yearning vocals on the verses to the whispery desperation in the chorus. The raspy speed of “DownatthemeninmusicBUSINESSCONFERENCE” is just instantly iconic. White Dress is Lana’s greatest achievement to date. All these years and albums in the industry and she is still trying new stuff and pushing her art into new heights.
What makes White Dress so special and actually quite emotional is the way that the lyrics look back at a time before her fame – before she became an industry legend who literally inspired a generation of Eilishes and Lordes. It feels like the song her entire career has been building up towards. It’s for the ages.
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