British singer and songwriter Amy Winehouse, truly made her mark in the pop, jazz and RnB landscape during her brief life and career.
Although she left a relatively small body of work after her sad, untimely death in 2011, she has undeniably left a legacy with many memorable singles! In honour for her memory and birthday, we recount our favourite Amy Winehouse songs from the beloved Grammy Award-Winning singer and Queen of Soul herself.
(please note - it was actually difficult to narrow her best songs down to ten!)
There's no denying this song gave us feels. Based on the singer/songwriter's problems with drinking, and her management company encouraging her to check into rehab, this is the very song that made Winehouse a worldwide star.
Infused with a funky Mowtown beat (created by Mark Ronson), Amy Winehouse in her sultry vocals argues with her audience, explaining why she won't check into rehab. A Grammy Award well deserved!
Back To Black
If we had to pick a quintessential Winehouse song, it would have to be Back To Black. This song sums up Amy Winehouse at her best.
We still tear up whenever we hear the ballad on the radio. Back To Black is just saturated in the music artist's style, from the black and white music video, iconic Motown minor chords to the 60s-esque ballad the pop song evokes. Passionate and soulful, the title-track is labelled as the most iconic break-up song written in history.
We can't help it. We're ADDICTED to this song! Timeout London described this as a moody tune and rightly so.
No one but Amy Winehouse can write an entire jazz song about additiction, and being in a dark place. In this timeless song, the artist takes a dig at her friend's user boyfriend, issuing one of the most memorable threats/lyrics from her Back To Black album: "I'll check him at the door, make sure he go green / I'm tighter than airport security teams"
Valerie (with Mark Ronson)
Originally written and performed by the Zutons, music producer Mark Ronson later modernised it for his covers album Version 2007.
Having worked with Amy for her Back to Black album, the producer recruited Winehouse and her soulful vocals to create a version that is without a doubt, better than the original! Ultimately, this is a go-to song to sing in the shower!
Stronger Than Me
If you want nothing but blues chords and banging vocals non-stop, Winehouse's 'Stronger Than Me' has it all.
This is the moody song of Amy Winehouse taking down her waster boyfriend. Yay Girl Power! Fed up with the sad, 'dry your tears / woe is me' kind of ballad, Winehouse creates a memorable song that speaks to and empowers the women who've dated whiny, good for nothing men.
Love Is A Losing Game
If you need a song to cry to in the car, you've come to the right place!
Amy Winehouse's Love Is A Losing Game is stripped back, raw and real music at its finest! The moment that beat hits, you're taken back to a vibey 30s lounge bar, with a cocktail in hand. This is the song where she silenced critics with her incredible talent at the 2007 Mercury awards, her first appearance since her alleged drug overdose.
Tears Dry On Their Own
Tell me I wasn't the only one who could hear a sample of the classic Motown song 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'? Anyone?
We didn't think the concept of giving yourself a verbal beating could work in a pop song... but, Winehouse makes it work! Hinting at all her life's excesses, she mentions that she "should be (her) own best friend, and not to f**k with stupid men". A great song to get yourself out of a funk and push you in the right direction.
You Know I'm No Good
Deep and honest, this groovy track was the second single to Amy's album Back To Black.
With Winehouse's magic, a jazzy background orchestra ensemble, divine vocals and playful lyrics to boot, 'You Know I'm No Good' is the second best Back To Black song from this soul diva
Me & Mr Jones
Between the Cheats
Winehouse reinvents a classic 50s-60s 'doo-wop' and works it into a memorable tune of sparring, cheating lovers!
If you want a song that demonstrates the songwriter's talent for wordplay, Between the Cheats (aka. between the sheets...), is the song to jam too. This song features on her posthumous collection, hinting she was going for a more laidback sound compared to her ealier and more passionate style.