Dave Matthews Band tends to be a group you love or one you think is overrated. They’ve released several top-flight albums, but they’re better known for their incredible live shows and performances. In this article, we’ll go over 25 of the best Dave Matthews Band songs of all time.
1. Crash Into Me
You might see this song referred to as just Crash. The name changes are mostly because Stevie Nicks covered the song in 2009 and released it as a promo for one of her albums, with her referring to it by its shorter name.
For Dave Matthews Band, the song was released as the third single of their second studio album, peaking at number seven on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The group also earned a nomination for Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group at the 1998 Grammy Awards.
2. Don’t Drink The Water
Don’t Drink The Water was the first song from the band’s Before These Crowded Streets album to have a music video made to promote it. The lyrics primarily address apartheid in South Africa, highlighting the plight of native groups in that country. It made it to number four on the US Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 19 on the Mainstream Rock Airplay chart.
3. Ants Marching
Ants Marching became one of Dave Matthews Bands’ first successful singles. The song ranked at number 18 on both the Billboard Alternative and Mainstream Rock charts in 1995 after being released from their debut studio album.
Prior to that debut album, the song was included on their indie album, Remember Two Things, though that version was over six minutes in length and not cut down for radio play.
#41 got its name reasonably simply. It’s the 41st song by Dave Matthews Band. It started out being named 41 Police, since it was their 41st song and sounded like a song from The Police, but eventually was shortened for the radio version of the song that had to have its length cut significantly.
5. The Space Between
No, this isn’t the 2021 movie. The Space Between became Dave Matthews Band’s first hit single and their first song to break into the Top 40, peaking at number 22 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was originally released on the band’s 2001 album, Everyday, with a promotional music video that was filmed in Florida.
6. What Would You Say
What Would You Say might be the most recognizable song Dave Matthews Band has ever released, seeing radio play and finding audiences that haven’t heard any of the rest of their music.
It was first released as the lead single from their debut album Under the Table and Dreaming in 1994, reaching number 11 on the Modern Rock Track chart and peaking at number nine on the Mainstream Top 40 chart the following year. It also featured John Popper of Blues Travelers as a guest performer, laying down licks on the harmonica for the song.
Granny was the one song meant for their first album that didn’t make the cut for Dave Matthews Band’s debut studio album, being dropped from the tracklist of Under the Table and Dreaming during recording sessions. This is even though it was initially intended to be the lead single for the album.
It’s one of the band’s most famous songs, especially showing up on setlists for live performances, but it never made it onto any of their official album releases. You’ll find the studio version only on the 2014 re-release of Under The Table and Dreaming.
8. You And Me
You and Me was one of the first songs meant for the Big Whiskey & the GrooGrux King album that got completed. After it was released in 2009, it found a ton of success. You and Me peaked at number 32 on the US Billboard Hot Rock Songs chart and number 57 on the Hot 100, but it made it all the way to number two on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs chart. In 2010, it became one of the most-played songs on US radio.
Satellite might have been the last single release from Under The Table And Dreaming, but it was still one of the best songs on the album. You can also find an older version on their independent album Remember Two Things which came out in 1993.
Satellite peaked at number 18 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 55 on the Hot 100. One cool fact about the song is that the guitar portions of the song came from a finger exercise Dave Matthews used to do which the band turned into polished music.
So, I may be cheating a bit by including this song since it’s a Dave Matthews song, not a Dave Matthews Band song. However, it was played often during the Dave Matthews Band tours in 2008 and 2009, so I’m counting it. Gravedigger was the first single released by Dave Matthews as a solo act, winning him a Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance in 2004.
The song was one of the few included on Matthews’ debut solo album, Some Devil, with an accompanying acoustic version, and if you look, you’ll find a cover of the song by Willie Nelson.
Crush was released as the third single from the band’s Before These Crowded Streets album, reaching number 11 on the Modern Rock Tracks chart, number 38 on the Top 40 Mainstream, and 75 on the Hot 100.
The song runs for over eight minutes on the album, though radio versions cut that by more than half. What’s cool about the song is that it almost didn’t make the album, as the band struggled with the opening bass line until Stefan Lessard rescued the band and the track by coming up with the version we have today.
12. Say Goodbye
Say Goodbye was featured on the 1996 album Crash, but it has a fascinating history. It originally evolved from another DMB song, Any Noise/Anti-Noise, that debuted in 1993.
In concert, it was introduced as Say Goodbye by Matthews, finding more mainstream popularity due to playtime in the band’s concert tours. It describes the end of a relationship when it’s time to say goodbye cause you’ve done something you shouldn’t have, according to Matthews.
13. Where Are You Going
You might have heard Where Are You Going in film since it was featured in the 2002 movie Mr. Deeds which starred Adam Sandler. It was also the first single released from the band’s Busted Stuff album, making it to 39 on the Hot 100, 20 on Modern Rock Tracks, and the top of the US Adult Alternative Airplay chart. Of all the songs on Busted Stuff, Where Are You Going is one of two that didn’t come from the Lillywhite Sessions.
The title track of the band’s 2001 album is a song that just kind of resonates with everyone. It’s good enough to put a smile on your face when you’re down and not as out there as most of the stuff we get from Dave Matthews Band. Not only did the song have a long run as a staple of their live concerts, but the song made it to number eight on the Adult Top 40 chart.
Every band should have at least one song that makes all of the members shine, and JTR is that song for Dave Matthews Band. It’s a fan favorite more than a chart-topper, but that isn’t the only measure of how good a song is anyway.
Every second of the song is wonderful, from the intro to the end, and it showcases the skills of each band member in turn. You won’t find JTR on a studio album, it was one of the cut songs from The Lillywhite Sessions, but it’s been featured on several of the band’s live albums.
16. Stay (Wasting Time)
Look, Before These Crowded Streets is definitely not one of the best albums Dave Matthews Band has ever produced. The general consensus for the album is that there are only four songs on it that are worth your time at all, but Stay is one of them. The song rocks, making it to number eight on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 20 on the Adult Top 40s. You’ve also probably heard it in The Kingdom, a movie that came out in 2007.
17. Two Step
Two Step was released as the fourth single from Dave Matthews Band’s Crash album and has appeared on several live album releases in the years since then.
The song made it to number 11 on the US Adult Alternative Airplay charts, one that tracks how often the songs are played on the radio. It ain’t a bad song to dance around to, but the pace is a bit fast for any beginner trying to do the simplistic “two-step” dance.
18. Jimi Thing
Jimi Thing never did as well on the charts as Dave Matthews Bands’ other songs, but it’s still one of their most popular tracks with fans and the band has played it live more than 1,000 times.
It’s about using substances as a coping mechanism, but the song is so catchy and upbeat that it discusses it in a way that’s universally relatable and understood. Sometimes we all should just take a deep breath, take a drink, and relax instead of stressing over life’s problems.
19. Time Bomb
Time Bomb was one of Dave Matthews Band’s most obvious attempts to recapture their original 90s sounds. Tim Reynolds had recently rejoined the group on guitar after a 10-year absence, helping the band put out this slow-burning classic. It was one of the main reasons the album debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 and earned two Grammy nominations.
Bartender starts with some typical military beats before becoming an expansive jam title and referring to Matthews’s time as a bartender in Virginia. It was originally a part of The Lillywhite Sessions, an album recording that was never released because it was considered too depressing. This song got rescued, though, and included on the Busted Stuff album well over a year after initially being recorded.
21. Corn Bread
Corn Bread started out as an unnamed song that only saw seven plays at concerts before 2007, when it became the band’s most-played song of their Summer Tour 2007 and Summer Tour 2008. Oddly enough, though it’s a fan favorite song, it hasn’t been played live since August of 2007 in live shows.
22. Stay Or Leave
Stay Or Leave is a song that seems to explain the growing distance between two romantic partners. It remembers the good, see’s the end, and knows about all the pain that’s coming. Overall, a great song about true love that can be interpreted in a few different ways.
23. Big Eyed Fish
This one might be one of the band’s most underrated songs and one of the best songs on its album. While it overall seems to be pretty upbeat, each of the things in the song ends their own lives, making the song a pointedly dark one and showing that Dave Matthews isn’t afraid to get dark with the band’s music, even if they tend to stay more positively most of the time.
24. Out Of My Hands
Out Of My Hands was one of the better releases on the Stand Up album the band released in 2005, becoming their fourth consecutive number-one album on the Billboard 200.
25. The Stone
The Stone might seem mostly nonsensical from a lyrical standpoint, but it showcases the range and flexibility of the band instrumentally. Switching between chorus and verse is a drastic shift done quickly, definitively showing how great they are at their craft.
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