Top 10 Best Adele Songs of All Time

Adele Grammy's 2017
Steve Granitz / WireImage
01
of 10

"Rolling In the Deep" (2010)

Adele Rolling In the Deep
Courtesy Columbia

"Rolling In the Deep" is the song that turned Adele into a pop superstar in the US. Fusing elements of pop, blues, disco, and gospel, it is a song that is without a specific genre. Consequently, "Rolling In the Deep" set a  Billboard record for appearing on more different genre radio charts than any other song. It topped the mainstream pop, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio charts while making a significant impact on Latin and rock radio. "Rolling In the Deep" was released as the first single from Adele's second album 21. It has sold nearly six million copies in the US alone and spent seven weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. "Rolling In the Deep" won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Prior to his work with Adele, producer Paul Epworth was best-known for his work with Florence and the Machine on their debut album Lungs. Adele had some trepidation about working together because she thought their musical styles were too divergent. She has now referred to it as a "match made in heaven." Paul Epworth and Adele composed "Rolling In the Deep" in one afternoon in the wake of Adele's breakup with her boyfriend.

Watch Video

Read Review

Buy on Amazon

02
of 10

"Someone Like You" (2011)

Adele Someone Like You
Courtesy XL

Adele says that she wrote "Someone Like You" when she was exhausted from writing angry songs about her broken relationship. She wrote it to feel okay with herself about the two years in the relationship. Adele performed "Someone Like You" live at the Brit Awards in February 2011 and nearly broke down in tears at the end. The performance was lauded with praise and the song nearly instantly went to the top of the UK pop singles chart. In August of 2011, Adele performed the song live at the MTV Music Awards and it had similar chart impact in the US climbing to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 for five weeks. "Someone Like You" became the first recording of only a piano and solo voice to hit #1 on the US pop chart. It also reached #1 on the adult pop and adult contemporary charts. "Someone Like You" crossed over to the top 10 on the Latin Songs chart and the top 25 on the rock radio chart.

Adele wrote the song "Someone Like You" with American songwriter Dan Wilson. He was a Grammy Award winner for writing "Not Ready To Make Nice" with the Dixie Chicks.  "Someone Like You" was one of the last songs written for the album 21. Adele said that writing the song made her feel at peace with the ending of her relationship with her boyfriend.

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

03
of 10

"Chasing Pavements" (2008)

Adele Chasing Pavements
Courtesy Columbia

"Chasing Pavements" became Adele's breakthrough pop hit in the UK hitting #2 on the pop singles chart. Later, the song became Adele's first chart hit in the US peaking at #21 and ultimately being certified platinum for sales. "Chasing Pavements" was nominated for Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Adele won the Grammy Awards for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal. It gained its first major exposure in the US when Adele performed on Saturday Night Live in October 2008. It climbed even higher on charts in the US after the Grammy Award victories. The accompanying music video received acclaim for its unique dance routine with the dancers lying horizontally on the pavement.

Adele says that she wrote "Chasing Pavements" after an incident involving her boyfriend of six months. She found out he was cheating on her, and she went to a pub and punched him in the face. She was kicked out and walked down the street alone thinking about what she was chasing. She initially wrote the song by singing it and recording it on her cell phone.

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

04
of 10

"Hello" (2015)

Adele 25
Courtesy Columbia

Adele's first new single in three years became a record-shattering hit. "Hello" sold 1.11 million copies in its first week of release in the US. That nearly doubled the previous one-week sales record of 636,000 by Flo Rida's "Right Round." It is a powerfully emotional song that fulfilled all of the high expectations for Adele. It set up the album 25 to be a massive hit out of the gate. 25 sold over 3.3 million copies in the US alone in its first week of release shattering the old record of 2.4 million by *NSYNC. "Hello" ultimately spent ten weeks at #1 on the pop chart in the US. It hit #1 in nearly every other significant pop market in the world. In the US, "Hello" also reached #1 on the mainstream top 40, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio charts as well as topping the dance chart.

Adele wrote "Hello" with Greg Kurstin. He was known for his Grammy-nominated work with Kelly Clarkson on "Stronger" and Sia on "Chandelier." Greg Kurstin also produced "Hello." The process of writing the song took over six months and was written primarily in London instead of at home where Adele prefers to write.

Watch Video

Read Review

Buy on Amazon 

05
of 10

"Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" (2016)

Adele Send My Love To Your New Lover
Courtesy XL

Adele describes "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" as a "happy you're gone" song. It is dedicated to a former boyfriend. She decided to work with Max Martin and Shellback on the song after hearing their work with Taylor Swift on "I Knew You Were Trouble." The Swedish pair co-wrote and produced the record. "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" has a more upbeat, rhythmic pop feel than most of Adele's work. It was released as the third single from the album 25. "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" became a top 10 pop hit in the US and reached the top 10 at adult pop and adult contemporary radio as well.

The skeleton of "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)" was written when Adele was only thirteen. She was inspired by Amy Winehouse's first album Frank. Max Martin visited London to work on the song with Adele. She said that it was a lighter song because she couldn't go dark all the time.

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

06
of 10

"Skyfall" (2012)

Adele Skyfall
Courtesy Columbia

Adele was hesitant to accept the assignment to perform the next James Bond theme song when asked in early 2011. The producers thought that she could bring back the feel of Shirley Bassey's classic James Bond themes. Ultimately, after she and producer/songwriter Paul Epworth ("Rolling In the Deep") completed "Skyfall," Adele said it was a fun experience. The first draft of the song reportedly took ten minutes to write. "Skyfall" looks back at such classic James Bond themes as "Goldfinger" and "Live and Let Die" for inspiration. When released in October 2012, "Skyfall" earned critical acclaim and soared into the pop charts in both the US and UK. It peaked at #8 on the US pop chart and #2 in the UK. Remixes helped "Skyfall" turn into a top 10 dance hit. The song won the Academy Award for Best Original Song and the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for Visual Media.

Reportedly, the Skyfall film director Sam Mendes encouraged Adele to write a personal song with Carly Simon's classic "Nobody Does It Better" as inspiration. She read the script for the film and said that she fell in love with it. That made the song easy to write. Fine tuning of the recording took longer. The entire process for creating the "Skyfall" recording took eighteen months.

Listen

Buy on Amazon

07
of 10

"Make You Feel My Love" (2008)

Adele Make You Feel My Love
Courtesy Columbia

The song "Make You Feel My Love" was originally written and recorded by Bob Dylan for his 1997 album Time Out Of Mind. Billy Joel covered the song and took it to #50 on the US pop chart the same year. His version also reached the top 10 on the adult contemporary chart. In 1998 Garth Brooks went to #1 on the country chart and the top 10 on the adult contemporary chart with the song under the title "To Make You Feel My Love." Adele's version was released as a single from her album 19. It didn't become a major hit until the song was covered by contestants on the show X Factor. "Make You Feel My Love" has landed in the UK top 10 on five different occasions. In March 2016, Adele dedicated a performance of "Make You Feel My Love" at the O2 Arena to honor the memory of the victims of the Brussels bombings.

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

08
of 10

"Set Fire To the Rain" (2011)

Adele Set Fire To the Rain
Courtesy Columbia

"Set Fire to the Rain" was Adele's third consecutive #1 hit single in the US from the album 21. The song uses a lush string arrangement that stands apart from many of the other songs on the album. Lyrically, it is one of the most powerful of all Adele songs. Adele co-wrote the song with Fraser T. Smith, and he produced it. "Set Fire to the Rain" has followed in the footsteps of its two predecessors from 21 in reaching across a wide range of genre charts in the US. It has appeared on the rock, dance, Latin, and pop charts reaching #1 across mainstream top 40, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio charts. A live recording of "Set Fire to the Rain" from the DVD Live At The Royal Albert Hall won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance. "Set Fire to the Rain" was one of two Adele songs, along with "Rolling In the Deep," that Aretha Franklin covered on her 2014 album Aretha Franklin Takes on the Great Diva Classics.

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

09
of 10

"Rumour Has It" (2011)

Adele 21
Courtesy Columbia

"Rumour Has It" takes Adele's bluesy vocals and welds them to 60s girl group backing vocals and a stomping soul beat. Although some believed the song must be about Adele's relationship with the media, she insisted it was aimed at her friends who spread rumours about her breakup with a boyfriend. "Rumour Has It" was produced by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder. It was part of a critically acclaimed Glee mash-up with "Someone Like You" that reached #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. Released as the fourth single from 21, "Rumour Has It" soared into the top 10 across mainstream, adult pop, and adult contemporary radio. 

Adele has stated that it is easy to recognize a Ryan Tedder song, so when she collaborated with him, she tried to do something a little bit different on "Rumour Has It." She has also identified the song as coming out of the same frustrated moods that resulted in creating "Rolling in the Deep." Adele describes "Rumour Has It" as a "bluesy-pop stomping song."

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon

10
of 10

"Hometown Glory" (2007)

Adele Hometown Glory
Courtesy Columbia

"Hometown Glory" was released as Adele's first single from her album 19. She claims to have written the song in 10 minutes. She wrote it after her mother tried to convince the young Adele to leave her home in the London suburbs to go to university. The song did not sell well in its initial release. It was released in a pressing of only 500 copies on the independent label Pacemaker Recordings. Later, with excitement over the release of the album 19, "Hometown Glory" finally hit the pop top 40 in the UK. It ultimately reached #19 on the chart. In the US

"Hometown Glory" was featured on the soundtrack for the TV show Grey's Anatomy. Powerful TV music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas chose the song after she saw Adele sing it live at the Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles. She was encouraged to see the performance by Columbia Records executive Jonathan Palmer. "Hometown Glory" received additional exposure when it was used as dance accompaniment on the competition show So You Think You Can Dance. Adele received a Grammy Award nomination for Best Female Pop Vocal for "Hometown Glory."

 

Watch Video

Buy on Amazon