Since its inception, Garbage have barely changed the line up, with Shirley Manson on the vocals, Steve Marker (lead guitarist) Duke Erikson (guitar, keyboard) and Butch Vig on drums and production. The band, which was formed back in 1993 in Madison, Wisconsin, features all four members in the songwriting and production of every song. With over 17 million albums sold worldwide, Garbage are one of the most famous alternative rock bands. The group rose to fame with their critically acclaimed self-titled debut album in 1995. The album sold four million copies globally and was certified double platinum in the US, UK and Australia. Several commercially successful singles followed between 1995 and 1996 and the band even went on to perform and co-produce the theme song for the 1999 James Bond Film, The World Is Not Enough. Although the band’s third album, Beautiful Garbage was a critical success, it never lived up to the commercial success of previous albums. Amid rumors of troubled production in the fourth album, the group quietly disbanded but later regrouped for completion of the album, Bleed Like Me, which was released in 2005. The band went on an indefinite hiatus but the band briefly reunited in 2007 and 2011 where they began working on the album, Not Your Kind of People. They released another album, Strange Little Birds in 2016 and their latest album, No Gods No Masters was released in 2021. In the glory days of alternative rock, Garbage were able to thrive and with their impressive catalogue of great hits, it’s easy to see why. Here are the top ten Garbage songs of all time.
10. Even Though Our Love Is Doomed
The number ten song on our countdown is a slow ominous song about the dangers of long-term romance. Shirley Manson’s vocals in the song are magnificent and she pointed out that the vocals were recorded in one take. Despite the sad lyrics, the song has a charming melody and a brilliant video that gives you chills throughout.
9. The Trick Is to Keep Breathing
The title of this song was inspired by a novel written by Janice Galloway which Shirley Manson enjoyed reading so much that she had to pay tribute to the story. The song is quiet and reflective with lyrics that counsel people going through a hard time in life. “The Trick Is to Keep Breathing” is the fourth song from the platinum album, Version 2.0.
8. Push It
The number eight song on our countdown of the top ten Garbage songs is the lead single from their 1998 album, Version 2.0. The song contains a confrontational chorus and a dreamy verse that talks about the schizophrenic feeling that exists when you try to reconcile what you like and what you don’t conform to. The song contains a famous musical quote by the Beach Boys’ 1964 hit, “Don’t Worry Baby.”
7. Fix Me Now
“Fix Me Now” is another song from Garbage’s debut studio album with lyrics that talk about someone who can fix the troubles of a girl by just kissing her. The song is one of the most underrated tracks from the band’s debut album. Shirley Manson’s vocals are absolutely amazing, and the track’s beat is catchy.
6. The Men Who Rule the World
“The Men Who Rule the World” is a track from the band’s seventh studio album. The Billy Bush produced song critiques the world’s negative aspects such as sexism, the rise of capitalism and racism. The track is accompanied by a cinematic video to match, which is so awesome.
5. I Think I’m Paranoid
This song was debuted live by Garbage on 15th May 1998, and the video of the song was inspired by the album cover of With The Beatles. The track was included as a soundtrack in the video game Gran Turismo 2 and on Garbage’s greatest hits album, Absolute Garbage.
4. Cherry Lips
The number four song on our list of the top ten Garbage songs is the track “Cherry Lips,” which is contained in the band’s third studio album, Beautiful Garbage. “Cherry Lips” is one of the band’s most enduring tracks and has often been used as an alternative rock LGBTQ anthem. The song was a massive hit in Italy, where it peaked at #8 on the Italian Charts.
3. Stupid Girl
Garbage’s self-titled debut studio album was something extraordinary, and this song happens to be one of my favourite songs from the album. “Stupid Girl” was excellently produced with lyrics talking about a young girl’s mixed feelings towards someone. At the time of its release, the song was the band’s highest-charting song in the US, and UK charts/ The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards and is one of Garbage’s greatest songs.
2. Number 1 Crush
“Number 1 Crush” is a song that has appeared on several TV shows and movies and is the theme song for the movie Hex. The song contains a distorted sample of Madonna’s 1995 song, “Bedtime Story,” and is one of the first two hit songs from the Romeo + Juliet soundtrack. The song has a fantastic beat, and the lyrics are well crafted.
1. Why Do You Love Me
“Why Do You Love Me” is a significant single in the band’s catalogue since it marked the band’s change in musical direction from the electronic-leaning production of albums such as Version 2.0 to guitar-led alternative rock. The song’s lyrics talk about the insecurity that people feel in relationships to a point where some think they are unlovable. The track received positive reviews from critics, and you will find yourself tapping your feet and bobbing your head anytime you listen to this song.