Blurring the line between electropop and rock, Nevada natives Imagine Dragons have essentially become the perfect embodiment of a modern rock band. With a taste for booming instrumentals, folk strings, and warped synths, the band have been churning out hits for more than a decade that prove their experimentation is an absolute force in music. They’ve earned billions of streams, were Spotify’s most streamed group in 2018, and have been hailed as one of the greatest rock bands of our time.
In honour of their new singles ‘Follow You’ and ‘Cutthroat’ out this Friday, here are our 10 favourite tracks from the iconic band.
1. ‘It’s Time’ (It’s Time EP, 2012)
The startling debut from the band put them on the map as an indie rock group spouting messages of resilience through dark times. And the world absolutely loved it. Featuring a folk twang recurring throughout the track and a massive chorus that just demanded to be chanted, ‘It’s Time’ quickly climbed the charts and featured in multiple pop culture moments and commercials throughout the year.
2. ‘Believer’ (Evolve, 2017)
The explosive hit perfectly showed just how talented the band were at defying genres, mixing elements of R&B, pop and alt-rock into one knock-out track. In his trademark way, frontman Dan Reynolds uses his pain to make art, sending a message to embrace one’s darkest moments as only then will you start to grow. ‘Believer’ made absolute waves with its release and remains not only one of the band’s biggest hits, but one of the best-selling singles of all time.
3. ‘Demons’ (Night Visions, 2013)
A slower tempo but still equally as strong a tune, ‘Demons’ yet again showed the range the group has. One that’s stuck with fans the most, the track forces us to acknowledge our flaws and embrace who they make us; and the inspirational message has seen incredible commercial success. Staying on the Billboard 100 for an entire year, ‘Demons’ is the eighth most downloaded rock song in history and remains a classic for the band.
4. ‘I Bet My Life’ (Smoke + Mirrors, 2014)
Bringing it back to their folksier side, this track mimics the trademark formula the band have come to be known for and provides a booming chorus that can easily fill stadiums. Jumping on the folk-rock trend that was circulating at the time, the tune was incredibly popular among critics alike and even earned the band their first network performance at the American Music Awards that year.
5. ‘Radioactive’ (Night Visions, 2012)
Surprisingly, one of the band’s biggest hits was actually a sleeper hit; not gaining commercial success until about six months after its release. Earning them their first top 10, ‘Radioactive’ became the third best-selling song of 2013, broke the record for slowest ascension to top 5 in chart history, currently holds the crown for most weeks spent on the Billboard 100, and is now considered one of the best-selling songs of all time. A fantastic display of dubstep, rock, electronic and pop, ‘Radioactive’ is an inspiring hit that’s now synonymous with the Imagine Dragons name.
6. ‘Natural’ (Origins, 2018)
The 2018 track is heavier than most the band has made, and reeks of a masculine energy that suits the rock stratosphere well. Which is probably why it became the band’s fifth number one on the US Hot Rock chart. Again, Reynolds spits an inspirational message to stand up to adversity and circulates it around a strong drum beat that the band might as well just go ahead and copyright.
7. ‘Thunder’ (Evolve, 2017)
One of the biggest Imagine Dragons tunes, ‘Thunder’ uses that ridiculously catchy stomp of a beat to again promote one’s endurance. An absolutely eruptive track that sucks you in completely, the hit topped charts globally and was even nominated for a Grammy. With synth-pop, electronic and their classic arena rock sound, ‘Thunder’ is further proof that the band excels beyond any genre.
8. ‘On Top of the World’ (Night Visions, 2013)
The feel-good, bubbling hit has arguably seen the most commercial success for the band; popping up in multiple areas of media in 2013 alone. Stepping away from their heavy rock sound, the band instead opted for a fruity jingle that you can’t help but move to and expanded their audience to fit easy listeners and even children. Again, the track topped charts globally and has since earned over 500 million streams on Spotify.
9. ‘Whatever It Takes’ (Evolve, 2017)
Showcasing their affinity for R&B, this track nicely highlights the band stepping into new elements and making them their own. Blending mid-tempo rhythms with their trademark toe-tapping rock, the tune is meticulously crafted and might just be one of the best they’ve ever written. ‘Whatever It Takes’ became the official theme song for WWE’s pay-per-view event Battleground, was included in the video game Madden NFL 18 and won the MTV Music Award for Best Rock Video.
10. ‘Bad Liar’ (Origins, 2018)
The break-up ballad, penned by Reynolds and his wife before they announced they were divorcing earlier the same year, dropped with the information that actually, the couple were staying together and giving things another go. Maybe that’s why there’s so much passion in Reynolds voice, making the hit one of the band’s most special. A fizzing display of electropop, the track seems to gather all the best parts of previous Imagine Dragons endeavours and stitch them together. Naturally, the hit topped charts globally and remains a fan-favourite.
Imagine Dragons’ two new songs ‘Follow You’ + ‘Cutthroat’ drop on Friday.