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Best Nickelback Songs: 20 Anthems From Canada’s Rockstars
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In Depth

Best Nickelback Songs: 20 Anthems From Canada’s Rockstars

From country ballads to rock anthems, the best Nickelback songs prove why this divisive band command one of the most loyal fanbases in music.


Nickelback: the Marmite of musicians. The breakers of friendships; the makers of enemies. There is no band more divisive than this Canadian four-piece, and yet Nickelback have remained in the rock pantheon ever since releasing the deathless earworm Rockstar. Ignoring the haters and selling truckloads of records to fiercely committed fans, frontman Chad Kroeger has confidently led the groups through country, nu metal and pop-rock. These 20 best Nickelback songs are a reminder of what they really are: the creators of great rock music

Listen to the best of Nickelback here, and check out our 20 best Nickelback songs, below.

20: Just For (from ‘Silver Side Up’, 2001)

Originally released on Nickelback’s debut album, Curb, Just For was re-recorded for their major-label breakthrough, 2001’s Silver Side Up. Opening with some seriously sultry vocal delivery, its jaunty guitars and rampant drums find a balance between rock and grunge – with a slight lean towards the former – making it a standout among the best Nickelback songs.

19: Hangnail (from ‘Silver Side Up’, 2001)

Even before it was released, Hangnail was a staple in Nickelback’s live sets. The fans all knew it, loved it, so it would have been silly to leave it off Silver Side Up. In fact, its inclusion on the album is a testament to the relationship the band have with their fanbase: they listen, they respond. A deliciously heavy number made for headbanging, it’s no wonder Hangnail got such a response from audiences.

18: Never Gonna Be Alone (from ‘Dark Horse’ 2008)

Nickelback go country on this ballad – a quite lovely love song that’s perhaps the highlight on 2008’s Dark Horse. The sixth and final single from that album, Never Gonna Be Alone was received by critics and fans alike as one of the best Nickelback songs of all time. With wistfully hopeful guitar, reassuring lyrics and an uncannily melancholic aura, Nickelback really hit the nail on the head with this one. Just ask the producers of Brazilian soap opera Caminho Das Índias, who included it in the soundtrack of their short-lived show.

17: Cowboy Hat (from ‘The State’, 1999)

Though not as country as it could be – particularly with a title like that – Cowboy Hat still captures a hazy Wild West atmosphere while maintaining Nickelback’s signature rock sound. You don’t look cool because you say you hate country music – something Nickelback fans know a little bit about.

16: Savin’ Me (from ‘All The Right Reasons’, 2005)

The best Nickelback songs often present a narrative, and Savin’ Me’s themes are further explored in its video, which envisions a world in which you can see how long people have to live. Full of atmospheric acoustics and strings, the song also boasts a signature Nickelback guitar solo, perched happily midway through.

15: Another Hole In The Head (from ‘The Long Road’, 2003)

Capturing what it truly means to be Nickelback, Another Hole In The Head is built on swelling guitar, subtle basslines and Chad Kroeger’s rich vocal. Quick and heavy, it also offers up an incredibly catchy hook the likes of which make the best Nickelback songs pop into your head when you least expect them to.

14: Got Me Runnin’ Round (featuring Flo Rida) (from ‘No Fixed Address’, 2014)

That’s right: Flo Rida. On a Nickelback track. Which means Got Me Runnin’ Round is everything you’d hope it would be and more. An experimental number incorporating drum machines, samples and hip-hop-orientated guitar, it’s a banger whose highlight is Flo Rida’s verse – though that doesn’t make the song any less of a refreshing progression for the group. It’s also proof that, no matter what genre, they’ll find their way in and do their best to make it their own.

13: Too Bad (from ‘Silver Side Up’, 2001)

Nickelback unleash their grungier side with some tasty, reverb-heavy guitars as Kroeger expresses his feelings over growing up with an absent father. Too Bad was the second single from Silver Side Up, and shot to No.1 in the US Billboard Rock chart while going Top 20 in the UK and Ireland. With personal subject matter that revealed a deeper side to Nickelback’s music, the song connected with millions of people worldwide, bringing more fans to the group’s already massive following.

12: This Afternoon (from ‘Dark Horse’, 2008)

A classic Nickelback party tune, This Afternoon recounts the efforts of a group of nerds who want to prove they know how to throw a bash (Kroeger called it “a song about trying to get by and have the best time ever”). Laidback and a little bit rootsy, it strikes a perfect balance between silly and fun while never taking itself too seriously. The result is a deliciously sunny tune purpose-built to be blasted from frat houses.

11: Lullaby (from ‘Here And Now’, 2011)

Nickelback have a thing for bleakly hopeful music, and Lullaby leads the charge in that department. With a brief introduction of steady keys, the song soon erupts into an emphatic piano-centric progression that builds to an optimistic chorus. Remaining true to form, the group throw in soft-rock breakdowns while ensuring their prog-tinged style stays strong and sturdy, providing the backbone to one of the best Nickelback songs of the 2010s.

10: Animals (from ‘All The Right Reasons’, 2005)

Sharing a melody with Eagles’ 1994 reunion single, Get Over It, Animals is in part a tribute to the country-rock pioneers that Kroeger and co count as heroes. The narrative, however, is unique – to say the least. It follows a man getting his driving license back, picking up his girlfriend and then proceeding to get busy with her in his car, before her dad catches them in the act. Story aside, it’s a ferocious song with guitars that writhe above thrashing drums while a quiet yet assured bassline helps the music flow as easily as the action Kroeger sings about.

9: Curb (from ‘Curb’, 1996)

The title track from the group’s debut album, Curb is a brash ode to the grunge scene that dominated the airwaves just before Nickelback’s emergence. Though the group never fully embraced grunge like some of their 90s counterparts, they fused elements of it with their own pop-rock style, creating a distinct sound that was only ever going to take a matter of time to get noticed.

8: Someday (from ‘The Long Road’, 2003)

Released as the lead single from The Long Road, Someday charted for 50 weeks in the US, making it Nickelback’s longest ever Billboard run – and a much-deserved one, too. Kroeger’s signature vocals open the song, his voice raw, cracking slightly, but still as affecting as ever. On this track, however, it’s the backing vocals that stick in the mind, chiming in on the chorus to fantastic effect, adding a layer that makes the song feel more post-rock than rock.

7: Rockstar Sea Shanty (single A-side, 2021)

In collaboration with The Lottery Winners, Nickelback celebrated the 15th anniversary of their classic 2006 single by turning it into a sea shanty with nautical lyrical do-overs (“Everyone’s got a rum-dealer on speed dial”) and a lovely fiddle solo. Refreshingly tongue-in-cheek, it shows that Nickelback never take themselves too seriously, even as it casually brandishes their ease with yet another stylistic switch.

6: Never Again (from ‘Silver Side Up’, 2001)

Sung from a child’s point of view and aiming to raise awareness of domestic violence, Never Again is rightfully angry, its explosive guitars channelling Kroeger’s rage while confidently achieving the band’s objective. Nickelback’s third consecutive Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks No.1, the song picked up an incredible amount of attention, helping to spread the message far and wide.

5: Photograph (from ‘All The Right Reasons’, 2005)

One measure of success is whether you’ve inspired a meme. On that basis, Photograph is easily one of the best Nickelback songs of all time, so ubiquitous on social media that you’ll struggle to find someone who hasn’t heard it. A ballad about goodbyes and memories – whether of the band’s musical experiences together or of fond moments from childhood – everyone can relate to this one.

4: Figured You Out (from ‘The Long Road’, 2003)

Despite being denigrated as the worst Canadian song of all time by the now-defunct Huffington Post Canada, Figure You Out deserves its place among the frontrunners of the best Nickelback songs. Instrumentally, it’s a great track whose rock-centric guitar provides a visceral thrill that keeps you coming back for more.

3: Rockstar (from ‘All The Right Reasons’, 2005)

Whether you first heard this blasting at a school disco, or found yourself giving it some ironic posturing at a club, Rockstar has attained legendary status. Catchy, rambunctious and funny, it offers a slightly exaggerated insight into the rock’n’roll lifestyle while also somehow giving fans both a lot and a little to think about at the same time.

2: Far Away (from ‘All The Right Reasons’, 2005)

Nickelback’s fourth Top 10 single (it reached No.8 in the US charts), Far Away is another moving cut from the group’s fifth album, All The Right Reasons. Though a slower effort than we’re used to from the band, a plucky chord progression provides the backbone, its slow progression creating a steady feeling of unease until the song erupts into its bittersweet chorus. Inspiring a fittingly dramatic music video, this one encapsulates everything about mid-2000s rock music.

1: How You Remind Me (from ‘Silver Side Up’, 2001)

The song that shot Nickelback into stardom, How You Remind Me is a near-perfect radio-rock classic. Perhaps unsurprisingly topping our list of the best Nickelback songs, it elevated the group from rock hopefuls with a devoted fanbase to household names the world over. Whether it’s Kroeger’s powerful, heartfelt delivery of the chorus, or the instantly recognisable guitar riff that carries it, there’s something about this track that just screams perfection.

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