The best songs about paranoia capture the irrational nature of this sensation and the many reasons why a person becomes paranoid.
It’s a popular subject featured in various musical styles, from hard-hitting rock songs to the best of hip-hop’s output over the years.
This playlist brings together some of the greatest songs of all time to explore paranoid feelings in all their forms from the biggest acts on the planet.
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The 23 Best Songs About Paranoia
Feelings of paranoia have inspired everyone from legendary folk music singer Bob Dylan to pop singer Ellie Goulding to write stirring songs on the topic.
We’ve covered a broad selection of singers and bands with their unique take on the subject to bring you this diverse music playlist.
Here’s our playlist of the 23 best songs about paranoia:
23. “Paranoid” – Jonas Brothers
One of the most common causes of paranoia comes when a relationship starts to break down, as the Jonas Brothers’ song “Paranoid” explores.
It’s a fun, dance-based song with a smattering of guitars for good measure, with an underlying light-hearted vibe.
One of the most popular songs about paranoia to be released by the Jonas Brothers, “Paranoid,” reached the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart in 2008.
22. “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” – Bob Dylan
Popular American folk singer Bob Dylan tackled the topic of paranoia in his song “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blue.”
In this song, Dylan sings about the paranoia that dominated the political world during the 1950s, with the real and imaginary threat of Communism.
A prolific singer-songwriter with many releases, Bob Dylan also wrote one of the best songs of all time, “Like a Rolling Stone.”
21. “Afraid Of Everyone” – The National
Sometimes paranoia can become all-consuming, impacting everything from our personal lives to the world around us.
This is how The National approaches paranoia songs with “Afraid of Everyone,” which explores the uneasiness of paranoia and how to protect our loved ones.
Written by Matt Berninger and Aron Dessner, “Afraid of Everyone” was released on the National’s 2010 album, High Violet.
20. “Demons” – Imagine Dragons
The band Imagine Dragons tackle the paranoiac personality with their song “Demons,” released on their 2012 album Night Visions.
“When the lights fade out, all the sinners crawl,” the lyrics sing, continuing, “So they dug your grave and the masquerade.”
The song earned the band a win for Best Rock Video at the MTV Video Music Awards and is among their more popular releases.
19. “Love/Paranoia” – Tame Impala
The title of Tame Impala’s song about paranoia cuts to the heart of one of the core emotions that drives paranoid feelings.
“Love/Paranoia” brings the band’s trademark guitars and synthesizers to the table as it dives into the paranoia of not trusting your partner.
Tame Impala released the song on their 2010 EP of the same name, combining the aforementioned mind-bending synths and guitars with a catchy beat.
18. “Paranoid” – Juice WRLD
American rapper Jarad Anthony Higgins, also known as Juice WRLD, kept things nice and simple with the song’s title, “Paranoid.”
He discusses the high levels of paranoia he’s felt while dealing with women while struggling to overcome his issues with addiction.
Juice WRLD released “Paranoid” on the Bingedrinkingmusic EP, which hit the charts two years before Higgins sadly passed away.
17. “Don’t Panic” – Ellie Goulding
English singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding has released several popular songs over the years, including two top ten hits on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
Her song “Don’t Panic” offers sound advice to anyone who happens to be experiencing paranoia and how the feeling will pass with time.
Ellie Goulding also wrote another popular song about paranoia, “Lights,” released in 2011 as part of her album Bright Lights.
16. “Paranoid” – Ty Dolla $ign ft. B.o.B
Ty Dolla $ign teamed up with B.o.B for the track “Paranoid,” one of the best-produced songs about paranoia you can listen to.
The song describes how a man deals with spending time in prison without understanding what his crime was.
“Paranoid” was the second single released from the Beach House EP, released in 2013 and reaching number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
15. “Time Is Running Out Fast” – James Brown
James Brown weighed in on the subject of paranoia with an idiosyncratic funk song, “Time Is Running Out Fast.”
It’s a lively and soulful song featured on the 1973 James Brown album The Payback, originally intended to be used for the soundtrack to the film Hell Up in Harlem.
James Brown has released many hit songs over the years, including one of the best songs about power, “Soul Power.”
14. “The Book Of Soul” – Ab-Soul
While we’re on the subject of soulful music, the song “The Book of Soul” by Ab-Soul takes another unique approach to paranoia.
It’s a great hip-hop song that infuses religious symbolism in its lyrics, including the line, “I still believe in God, we just ain’t never spoke.”
American rapper Ab-Soul released the track “The Book of Soul” in 2012 on the album Control System, which featured a guest appearance from Danny Brown.
13. “Spies” – Coldplay
The world of international espionage and paranoia goes hand-in-hand and was the focal point for Coldplay’s song “Spies.”
This is a song that pays homage to the classic James Bond movies, with political undertones that led to the track being banned in China.
Coldplay has earned many accolades over the years, including multiple Grammy Award wins and nominations.
12. “How Soon Is Now?” – The Smiths
The song “How Soon Is Now?” brings alternative rock style and infuses it with a psychedelic edge brought by the Smiths.
It’s a great song about paranoia from the mid-80s that explores the topic from the point of view of a failing relationship.
The Smiths were an underground hit throughout the 1980s and wrote and produced one of the best songs about sleep, 1985’s “Asleep.”
11. “Paranoid Eyes” – Pink Floyd
The impact of war and how this changes the mindset of soldiers is explored in detail in the Pink Floyd song “Paranoid Eyes.”
It’s an incredibly powerful and moving piece of music that makes the most of the band’s musicianship and lyricism.
A rock classic, “Paranoid Eyes” is among the most original songs about paranoia and was taken from their 1983 studio album The Final Cut.
10. “Gas Panic” – Oasis
Oasis burst onto the music scene in the 1990s and quickly rose through the ranks to become one of the biggest bands of the decade.
Their song “Gas Panic” is all about supernatural possession, inspired by the experiences Noel Gallagher had following on from prescription medication.
The band wrote many popular tracks over the years, including one of the best karaoke songs of all time, “Wonderwall.”
9. “Paranoid” – Black Sabbath
English heavy metal band Black Sabbath released the song “Paranoid” in 1970, taking it from their second album of the same name.
The track covers the protagonist’s general paranoia and dissatisfaction with life, where nothing seems to make him happy.
It’s a popular song that has been used in various films and video games, including Dazed and Confused and Guitar Hero III.
8. “Life During Wartime” – Talking Heads
Paranoid undertones run through the heart of warfare, impacting everyone from the soldiers on the front lines to civilians caught up in the conflict.
The Talking Heads explore this concept in the song “Life During Wartime,” which addresses the paranoia many feel when living in the shadow of conflict.
Released in 1979, “Life During Wartime” is one of the most moving and powerful songs you can listen to from Talking Heads.
7. “Paranoid” – Kanye West ft. Hudson
Kanye West has made headlines several times for his mental health issues, which he addresses directly in the song “Paranoid.”
Featuring a loud chorus and aggressive production, “Paranoid” features the powerful lyrics, “My therapist said it’s agoraphobia, that’s why I stay at home and write songs.”
Kanye West released many hit songs, with “Paranoid” one of the stand-out tracks from his 2010 album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
6. “Fear Of The Dark” – Iron Maiden
From the icon of hip-hop to one of the most celebrated metal bands in history, Iron Maiden, and the song “Fear of the Dark.”
This song features a narrator who sings about the imminent arrival of something dark and disturbing after watching too many horror movies.
“Fear of the Dark” was released in 1992 on the album of the same name, which proved to be a bigger hit for the band after the disappointing performance of previous releases.
5. “Basket Case” – Green Day
Green Day is no stranger to writing controversial music about challenging topics, and “Basket Case” is no exception.
This song addresses the confusion and paranoia of excessive drug consumption and the panic attacks some people get from smoking marijuana.
Green Day has been responsible for many hit songs over the years, including one of the best songs about peace, “Holiday.”
4. “Paranoid” – Post Malone
Post Malone takes fears for his safety induced by paranoia as the subject of his song “Paranoid,” where only one person is to blame for the situation.
The song mentions, “a paranoid man makes paranoid plans,” and captures the interplay between paranoia and anxiety.
Released on the Post Malone album Stoney, it has been featured in an episode of the American comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Simpsons.
3. “March Madness” – Future
Rapper Future tackles paranoia in his song “March Madness,” released in 2015 and featured on his mixtape 56 Nights.
It’s a typically abrasive hip-hop track from Future, with excellent production values and powerful lyrics that cut to the heart of paranoia.
The song was a big hit, was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and was later remixed by Nas.
2. “Paranoid Android” – Radiohead
One of Radiohead’s biggest releases, “Paranoid Android,” is also one of the best-known songs about paranoia you can listen to.
Singer Thom Yorke explores paranoia and how it can feel like being infected by a disease, inspired by a night of bar-hopping in Los Angeles.
Radiohead has been responsible for many popular tracks over the years and wrote one of the best songs about suicide you can listen to, “How To Disappear Completely.”
1. “Somebody’s Watching Me” – Rockwell
Rockwell teamed up with Jermaine and Michael Jackson for the song “Somebody’s Watching Me,” which was a chart hit when it was released in 1984.
In this song, the narrator sings about how they are afraid to wash their hair, wondering who might be standing there when they open their eyes.
Given that the song was written in 1984, references to George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel set during that year tie it nicely with overarching themes of paranoia and mistrust.
So there you have it, our complete playlist covering the greatest songs about paranoia you can listen to if you feel like the world is out to get you.
Paranoia can be fueled by many things, as these songs ranging from dealing with drug addiction to cheating lovers, stand as a testament to.
More well-known songs about paranoia can be discovered throughout the history of music, with many other tunes on the subject lively to come.
What’s the best song about paranoia, in your opinion? Leave a comment below.
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