What’s great about music is that nearly any kind of topic can be turned into a memorable hit. Considering the fairly rebellious nature of music in general, conformity finds its way into the mix across nearly any kind of popular genre.
It also resonates heavily with listeners as each person has to deal with conformity to varying degrees throughout their life.
In this article, I’m going to dive into the 10 best songs about conformity that became widely popular upon release.
1. Another Brick in the Wall – Pink Floyd
Featuring a danceable tempo and catchy melodies to match, this song has a lot of memorable qualities that make it timeless. With a grooving bass line, enticing hook, and sound that makes you want to move, “Another Brick in the Wall” is still loved by many.
Pink Floyd is a group that won’t be forgotten, and although their discography is vast, this record easily stood out among the rest. The song features clean electric guitar melodies with light yet persistent percussion, and the vocals are definitely the highlight of the record.
2. Imagine – John Lennon
A song that’s full of passion and melancholic dynamics, John Lennon never disappoints, and this song has left an impact on many listeners. It primarily focuses on his vocals, but they’re supported by an authentic piano melody that’ll tug at your emotions.
Although there are other elements, such as faint percussion, most people’s ears sink into what the vocals have to offer. It’s a relaxing yet saddening record, and the storyline takes a very general approach that many people can cling to.
3. It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me – Billy Joel
Another groovy record, “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me” is a fan favorite for many Billy Joel fans. It carries a classic sound and prepares listeners for a danceable record, even though the instrumentation remains fairly simple.
It’s a record with a knack for putting you in a good mood while delivering a pretty solid message in the lyrics. Overall, this is one of the best songs about conformity, in my opinion, and it has an excellent replay value as it sounds great on a loop.
4. Leave it Alone – NOFX
Offering a sound that’s very reminiscent of a fond punk sound, “Leave it Alone” brings a lot of nostalgia to many listeners nowadays. The erratic and rather rebellious nature of this genre can be heard in full force throughout the record.
The vocals are excellent, and the overall distortion of the track helps drive the energy it’s looking to portray. I like to focus on the mix as there’s so much going on, yet every layer has ample space to shine through.
5. Subdivision – Rush
With a blend of organic and synthesized instruments, this record has a futuristic sound, yet you can also tell where they take influence from. The vocals have an excellent mix, and they did a great job of using sound effects to make them seem larger than life.
This is a record that has stellar production quality, one where you can see how it’d be a hit during a live show. There’s a sense of rebellion and adventure with the dynamics, and it’ll continue to be loved as the years pass by.
6. Hip to Be a Square – Huey Lewis
Likely to be one of the best songs about conformity from Huey Lewis, every member of this group had the energy and flair that made them so memorable. It has a groove that’s beyond infectious, and the lead vocals have a blend of grit and excitement that perfectly matches the energy of the instrumentation.
With big pop drums and influence from aspects of rock music, “Hip to Be a Square” is a timeless classic from the group. There’s also sufficient space in the record for many instrumental solos to take center stage.
7. Goodnight, Saigon – Billy Joel
Another record from Billy Joel, the message behind this song has a special place in many people’s hearts. This record can be considered a generational classic, and even if the message isn’t as relevant in our current era, there are a lot of people that’ll never forget the meaning behind it.
It offers long, drawn-out drums and passionate piano melodies, in addition to Billy’s strong vocals that never disappoint. Although Billy made plenty of fun music, he also produced many insightful and deeply meaningful records like Goodnight, Saigon.
8. When in Rome (I Do As the Romans Do) – Barbra Streisand
Boasting a classic sound that Barbra Streisand is known for, this record brings a nostalgic tone that we simply don’t get out of music anymore. Many would consider this to be lounge or “elevator” music, but the authentic quality of this record can’t be ignored.
It’s great for casual dancing, and her voice delivers a sound that never gets old, and it makes you wish the song lasted a little longer. The instrumentation in this song is beautiful and cinematic while carrying many addicting traits.
9. I Will Follow Him – Little Peggy March
The sound this song brings sounds like the epitome of its era. Not only was this production style popular at the time, but it’s a sound that many people love even today, and it has many timeless qualities that keep the track relevant for many more decades.
At the time, this record was definitely one of the best songs about conformity, and although it has upbeat qualities, the message can be saddening in a few ways. Above all, the vocals are rich and passionate, with an undeniably loving tone.
10. Why Can’t You Behave – Ella Fitzgerald
Full of authentic emotion and organic instrumentation, there’s a lot to love about Ella’s record “Why Can’t You Behave.” Regardless of which generation of music you come from, the message in this record can be pretty relatable.
It has a swing that makes it perfect for a slow dance, and there’s a sense of pain in the vocals that are echoed by the main instrumental melodies. There’s also a sense of peace in this song, and every aspect of it brings a relaxing feeling that you never want to end.
Justin is an audio engineer with years of experience in the field. He has been creating and playing music his entire life, but he really found his passion for engineering when he was introduced to Logic Pro at age 10. Justin has spent countless hours perfecting his craft and now works as a freelance engineer out of Boston, MA.