Where love, lust, and passion reign, lies, liars, and deceit (unfortunately) do not stay away. The following ranking shows that these topics may experience a special musical reception.
(You can find a Spotify playlist at the end of this article.)
1st place: Love the Way You Lie – Eminem feat. Rihanna
Singer-songwriter Skylar Grey wrote and recorded a song demo with producer Alex da Kid when she felt she was in an abusive romantic relationship with the music industry. Eminem wrote the verses and chose Rihanna to sing lead, resulting in a collaboration influenced by their past experiences in difficult relationships.
The track, backed by guitar, piano, and violin, is a midtempo hip-hop ballad with a pop chorus sung by Rihanna and describes two lovers who refuse to break up despite being in a dangerous love-hate relationship.
The music video, directed by Joseph Kahn, features Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox in an abusive relationship and shows Eminem and Rihanna in front of a burning house. The clip was shot differently due to scenes of domestic violence. Journalists suggested that the song and accompanying video were influenced by Eminem and Rihanna’s abusive relationships with their respective ex-lovers, Kimberly Scott and Chris Brown.
2nd place: Bad Liar – Selena Gomez
The song samples the bassline from Talking Heads’ 1977 single “Psycho Killer”. “Bad Liar” was universally praised by music critics; Billboard ranked it the best song of 2017. “Bad Liar” has been described as a pop-rock song and “slow-building song” that “has its roots in indie rock and new wave” and “pushed Gomez into indie-pop territory”.
In the lyrics, Gomez recounts events where she avoids admitting her feelings for a new love interest but later admits that its difficulty makes her a “bad liar.” Upon its release, “Bad Liar” was misPerformered as a breakup song, prompting co-writer Justin Tranter to explain in a tweet, “You got some of the lyrics wrong, and it’s actually about hiding magical feelings for someone new but not being able to.”
3rd place: Little Lies – Fleetwood Mac
Tracking down a liar can lead to dramatic complications in one’s private life, but also to great success in the international music business. This is what happened with Fleetwood Mac, the band around frontwoman Stevie Nicks and drummer Mick Fleetwood.
The success of “Little Lies” came late – the single was released in 1987 on the already 14. Fleetwood Mac released their first studio album “Tango in the Night” and it immediately made it into the Top 10 in many countries. In Germany, “Little Lies” remained in the Top 3 for 16 weeks.
4th place: You Know I’m No Good – Amy Winehouse
Century voice Amy Winehouse dedicates this song to the theme of self-deception, deception, and the eternal struggle against temptation. In this song, those who know how long she has battled her demons and addictions may already recognize a dark foreboding, or self-fulfilling prophecy. For unbiased listeners, “You know I’m no good” is a classic Amy Winehouse hit whose strength and intensity are hard to resist.
Their second (and last) studio album “Back to Black” made it to № 1 in the charts worldwide, went gold and platinum several times, and was awarded a Grammy for best album in 2006. But greater than fame and success was the singer’s continuous drive for a life in the fast lane. Amy Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning in London at just under 28.
5th place: Liar – Queen
In 1973 on the debut album “Queen,” “Liar” is certainly a Queen hit often underestimated. Originally, the song should have been called “Lover.”
However, the lover then became the liar after all. However, the band’s typical sound around the charismatic frontman Freddie Mercury is already clearly recognizable. Once again, Queen deals in “Liar” with the theme of religion and the church, the lie as a sin – one of many and the (eternal?) Search for Absolution.
However, even less die-hard Queen fans must pay tribute to this song: The solo alone is a testament to why Queen is still one of the true greats of the music business.
6th place: Would I Lie To You? – Eurythmics
The song, released as the lead single from the band’s fourth studio album, “Be Yourself Tonight,” was the first song by the duo to show a change in musical direction from a predominantly synthpop style to rock and rhythm and blues.
Lyrically, “Would I Lie To You?” Lennox faces a cheating lover when she leaves him forever. This was conveyed in the music video for the single, in which actor Steven Bauer played the role of the boyfriend.
“Would I Lie to You?” is one of Eurythmics’ best-known tunes and continued the band’s string of hit singles. In Great Britain, the song peaked at number 17, while it reached number five on the U. S. charts.S. Billboard Hot 100, making it the third top 10 hits in the U.S.
It is also the duo’s biggest hit in Australia, where it topped the Kent Music Report for two weeks.
7th place: Suspicious Minds – Elvis Presley
From Elvis in Memphis” legendary album, “Suspicious Minds” has put the right words in the mouths of countless unhappy lovers since its release in 1969. The Cover song, which was originally written for B. J. Thomas gave Elvis a hit in the millions.
The authentic message of the classic is probably only one reason for it. He describes the dilemma of relationships where trust has been destroyed right in line 1: “We’re caught in a trap – I can’t walk out…”. Those who know a little about the King’s life and love story know the personal meaning of these lines.
1969 was a year of professional and musical reorientation. His show in Las Vegas started, his management was looking for new material to catapult the King back into the charts. At the same time, his marriage with Priscilla, which he contracted in 1967, began to crumble; jealousy and distrust were the order of the day.
Thus, the success of “Suspicious Minds” was based not only on lyrics and music from capable hands but also on the authenticity of its unique performance by Elvis Presley.
8th place: Cry me a River – Justin Timberlake
Even the most steadfast anti-fan of Justin Timberlake will have to admit with “Cry me a River” that the man knows music and performance. The mix of various style elements convinces even spoiled ears at once. If you listen carefully, use good headphones, or have no neighbors, you can even detect style elements of Gregorian chant in this song.
Overall, “Cry me a River” delivers everything a hit song needs musically, visually, and as a total package. More beautifully suffered hardly any other man in the history of popular music. If you can’t follow the storyline – woman cheats on man, woman wants man back, man remains steadfast despite a river full of tears – acoustically, you should watch the official video for the single: Ear feast meets here quite clearly and perfectly staged eye feast.
9th place: Living a Lie – Aimee Mann
The U.S. singer-songwriter addresses with “Living a Lie” the everyday life in an unhappy, chilled relationship. The song was first released in 2012 on her album “Charmer,” She often performs it as a duet with James Mercer or Ted Leo. Women and men should listen to this song only in an emotionally stable state.
The sheer suffering of both protagonists over the failed relationship is otherwise hard to bear.
10th place: Cheat’n lie – Uriah Heep
When great artists like Uriah Heep find out about betrayal and deceit, sometimes it ends up in a song, in this case in an entire album. “Innocent Victim” was released in 1977 and already clearly marked the transition towards 80s rock music. Packed in solid guitar riffs, the great masters skillfully express their disappointment musically.
Even if the band, which borrowed its name from a character in Charles Dickens’ novel “David Copperfield,” couldn’t come close to matching successes like Lady in Black (1971) or Free me (1977) with “Cheat’n lie,” this song was and still is sure to earn sympathy points today.
11th place: Lie to me – Tom Waits
If the old master of great and deep feelings had nothing to contribute to the topic of “lies,” the music world would not be the same. In particular, for Tom Waits, the difficult and dark aspects of interpersonal relationships have always been more interesting than the ideal romance.
He set himself a musical monument with “Lie to Me” and the companion album “Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards” from 2006. The classic rock song in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry surprises several times over. Tom Waits himself describes the album as a kind of collection box with pieces that somehow, at some point, had fallen by the wayside and didn’t fit on a themed album.
Musical orphans, as they can only come from the pen of Tom Waits.
# 12: White Lie – Foreigner
The popular and widespread form of white lie also made it into the international music world with Foreigner. If you like 80s classic rock, you’ll love Foreigner.
The single from what was intended as a comeback album, “Mr. Moonlight” only made it to number 54 in Germany in 1994, but still makes young rockers’ hearts beat faster today. The message: Nothing can really shake true love!
13th place: Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
The fact that it can sometimes be difficult for cheaters and notorious cheaters to remember the name of the lady present at the moment, Destiny’s Child has set a monument with this catchy hit. The band around icon Beyoncé Knowles, The Girl Band, had numerous hits until their breakup in 2006. Say my Name” was rewarded with 35 weeks at № 1 in the American R&B charts in the year of its release 2000. The year 2001 brought the song additionally two Grammy Awards.
Most notably, the music editors of the legendary magazine “The New Yorker” found Beyoncé’s rap style in the song to be an unprecedented type of performance. An award of a completely different kind received “Say my Name” still years after its publication. In a cover version, the song is supposed to musically support the scary shocker “Candyman,” which will be released in 2021.
It should be clear to everyone that cheating does not pay off at the latest.
14th place: Lie down in Darkness – A-ha
Quite pleasingly in the typical style of the sympathetic 80s cult band from Norway, this wordplay (lay – lie) comes to hearing. As with many of A-ha’s songs, the message is hidden between the melodic, almost sweet lines: In the dark is good Dunkeln. And: In the night, all cats are gray.
The single from the 5th album was released exclusively for the US market. The studio album “Memorial Beach”, but could not reach a top chart position.
15th place: Liar (It takes one to know one) – Taking Back Sunday
This song is dedicated to the old, but still valid wisdom: One wolf recognizes another one. Or: To catch a thief, you need a thief.
The progressive guitar sound delivers solid confessions of a drama queen: I’m an addict to dramatics! The album “Louder Now” from 2006 didn’t manage a unique chart position in Europe, but the Alternative Rock band nevertheless made a name for itself in her home country, the USA.
16th place: Would I lie to you? – Charles & Eddie
Charming cheaters make it to pretty high in the music business. The duo Charles & Eddie could score with this innocent musical look in 1992, at least musically.
But it would help if you certainly didn’t believe the beautiful words of the two protagonists with their cheeky, unabashed lyrics.
#17: I’d lie for you (and that’s the truth) – Meat Loaf
Meat Loaf provides us with a completely different aspect of the lie in love. Do almost anything for the beloved, even lie would the strong-voiced “meatball.”
An honest statement was first released in 1995 on the album “Welcome to the Neighbourhood.” The song stormed the charts mainly in England, in Germany it remained at number 17.
18th place: This is a Lie – The Cure
Known for melodic and partly very poetic songs, The Cure stay true to their line with this statement song. Not shying away from crossover elements, the song begins with dramatic strings that introduce the typical storyline in the usual lyrical imagery. The song was released in 1996 on the 10.
The studio album “Wild Mood Swings”, but a single release failed to materialize. The album itself reached number 17 in the German charts.
#19: Don’t Lie to Me – Barbra Streisand
What sounds like a classic Streisand anti-love song in the first few bars is a prominent, system-critical statement against the practice of “alternative facts,” for which the American government under Donald Trump sometimes gained dubious notoriety. Like numerous other American artists, Streisand used the weapon of music and artistic freedom to rebel against the lies of this world’s “big boys.”
The song was released in 2018 on the album “Walls” and already went down in music history as an anti-Trump song immediately after its release.
20th place: Liar, Liar – Cris Cab
Sound with earworm guarantee the American singer/songwriter delivered in 2014 with “Liar, Liar”. The album “Where I belong” even made it into the Top Ten in Germany.
Theme: Beautiful woman lies and cheats. The danceable beat mix of funk and disco makes you forgive the fact that liar only rhymes with fire.
#21: I’m not calling you a Liar – Florence and The Machine
Florence Welsh tries with this song to turn the tables for once. She doesn’t call her counterpart a liar, so she would prefer not to lie.
The song was released in 2009 on the hit album “Lungs.” However, it was not released as a single.
#22: Honesty – Billy Joel
This song went down in the annals of late ’70s pop culture as an anthem to honesty. It earned Billy Joel much praise from critics. The gentle piano ballad appeared on the album “52nd Street” in 1978 and stormed the charts in the U.S. and Europe alike.
The song was a fixture at Billy Joel’s live concerts, legendarily performed with Elton John and Bryan Adams.
#23: Bed of Lies – Matchbox 20
You made your bed, now sleep in it – that’s the message of “Bed of Lies.” Like no other song, the carrying ballad expresses feelings that lie, empty words, and false promises trigger the recipient.
Even if the soft rockers from Orlando could not reach a chart position in Europe with this song, the sympathies of all disappointed and unhappy lovers were sure for them.
Places 24-104 songs about lies, liars, and deception:
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Wie das Ranking zeigt, haben auch weniger romantische Themen ihre Daseinsberechtigung in der Musikgeschichte. Many a hit would not have landed, many a song would not have been written if the coexistence of humanity consisted only of love and harmony. Moreover, these songs are in excellent company as far as the emotional background of their genesis is concerned: Without lies and deceit, there would be neither the “Windsbraut” by Oskar Kokoschka, nor would Goethe ever have put “Faust” on paper.
From the state of the most remarkable anguish of the soul, some of the most important works of art of all time have emerged.