Top 10 Lana Del Rey Songs

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey. Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty Images
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10. "Blue Jeans" (2012)

Lana Del Rey Blue Jeans
Lana Del Rey - "Blue Jeans". Courtesy Interscope

"Blue Jeans" was released as the third single from Lana Del Rey's Born To Die album. It spells out the story of a tragic love relationship. Lana Del Rey's performance of "Blue Jeans" on Saturday Night Live January 14, 2012 drew criticism and increased controversy that was developing around her musical persona. Critics insisted that she was not an authentic performer and was incapable of delivering her music live. Lana Del Rey cancelled her world concert tour in response to the negative publicity. When she later performed "Blue Jeans" live on The Voice UK, many observers believed she redeemed herself.

"Blue Jeans" climbed to #41 on the rock songs chart in the US and reached the pop top 10 in Belgium and Israel. It was a top 40 success in the UK. Three music videos were released to accompany "Blue Jeans." The first was created by Lana Del Rey herself in a collage style similar to the clip she created for "Video Games." The second consists mostly of Lana Del Rey singing at a microphone in an empty room. The third music video has become the official accompaniment for "Blue Jeans." It was directed by Yoann Lemoine who also worked on the "Born To Die" clip. It has a film noir feel and features actor Bradley Soileau as Lana Del Rey's love interest.

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02
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9. "Bel Air" (2012)

Lana Del Rey Paradise
Lana Del Rey - Paradise EP. Courtesy Interscope

"Bel Air" was released as part of the Paradise EP, and it is the closing song of Lana Del Rey's short film Tropico.  She has said she created the Tropico film to properly close out her Born To Die / Paradise era in preparation for the upcoming album Ultraviolence. "Bel Air" has a wistful, lighter feel than many of Lana Del Rey's best known songs. Critics compared "Bel Air" both to the work of new age artist Enya and Tim Burton's movie soundtrack music. "Bel Air" hit #50 on the US rock songs chart.

A music video to promote "Bel Air" appeared in November 2012. In consists of images of Lana Del Rey from her "Summertime Sadness" video with swirls of smoke gradually changing from one color to another. Later, "Bel Air" was included in Tropico with new footage accompanying Lana Del Rey singing the song.

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03
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8. "Born To Die" (2011)

Lana Del Rey Born To Die
Lana Del Rey - Born To Die. Courtesy Interscope

The title song from the Born To Die album became Lana Del Rey's second consecutive top 10 pop hit in the UK following "Video Games." It added hip hop influences to the mix that would become even more prominent later on "National Anthem." The accompanying music video was filmed at the Palace of Fontainebleau in France with a concept Lana Del Rey described as, "The Lonely Queen." Model Bradley Soileau portrays Lana Del Rey's love interest. Her life comes to a tragic end in the video. Yoann Lemoine, who also directed Katy Perry's "Teenage dream," directed the "Born To Die" music video. It earned an MTV Video Music Awards nomination for Best Art Direction.

"Born To Die" peaked at #31 on the US rock songs chart. It was an international success reaching the pop top 10 in multiple countries. The album Born To Die was Lana Del Rey's major label debut. It opened at #2 on the US pop albums chart amid swirls of both controversy and acclaim. Ultimately Born To Die sold more than a million copies and earned a platinum certification. 

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04
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7. "West Coast" (2014)

Lana Del Rey West Coast
Lana Del Rey - "West Coast". Courtesy Interscope

As the introduction to her album Ultraviolence, Lana Del Rey takes her damaged free spirit persona to California. Produced by Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, the song moves Lana Del Rey forward while maintaining all of the drama and intensity that made her earlier work powerful. Lana Del Rey says she was inspired by the Beach Boys, Eagles, and 1970s Laurel Canyon folk-rock scene. The mix is more oriented to guitar than her past work and "West Coast" incorporates a notable tempo shift partway through. The song received strong critical acclaim and reached #17 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also climbed into the top 30 at both alternative and rock radio. The album Ultraviolence became Lana Del Rey's first to reach #1.

The accompanying music video was directed by Vincent Haycock in black and white and was shot at Marina Del Rey, California and the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles. Model Bradley Soileau, who appeared in the "Born To Die" music video, plays one of Lana Del Rey's love interests in "West Coast." The clip earned a nomination for Best Cinematography at the MTV Video Music Awards.

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05
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6. "Summertime Sadness (Remix)" (2013)

Lana Del Rey Summertime Sadness
Lana Del Rey - "Summertime Sadness". Courtesy Interscope

"Summertime Sadness" already had success at rock radio in its original mix.  However, when French DJ Cedric Gervais remixed it into a dance music anthem, the song soared on pop charts. "Summertime Sadness" became Lana Del Rey's first top 10 pop hit in the US and ultimately sold over two million copies in the remixed version and over 500,000 copies of the original mix. Cedric Gervais frequently turns down artist requests to create remixes, but he instantly said yes to Lana Del Rey. He was intrigued to work with her style and vocals.

A music video accompanying the initial release of the song features Lana Del Rey and actress Jaime King as a lesbian couple who ultimately jump to their deaths. It was directed by Kyle Newman, Jaime Kings real-life husband, and Spencer Susser. The remix of "Summertime Sadness" topped the dance radio chart and went to #3 at mainstream pop radio. While peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, it also crossed over to earn top 20 success at adult pop radio.

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06
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5. "National Anthem" (2012)

Lana Del Rey
Lana Del Rey. Photo by Christopher Polk / Getty Images

"National Anthem" boldly comments on the power of money in American culture with hip hop beats added to the mix. Light strings kick off a song that is anything but light in its overall approach. "National Anthem" reached #37 on the rock songs chart and is included on the Born To Die album.

The powerful music video reimagines the story of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy with Lana Del Rey and rapper A$AP Rocky playing the roles. Lana Del Rey scripted the music video herself and Anthony Mandler, known for his work with Rihanna, directed it. Lana Del Rey also opens the music video playing Marilyn Monroe in her legendary 1962 singing of "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" to John F. Kennedy. Lana Del Rey told Huffington Post the music video was, "definitely the most beautiful thing" she created.

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07
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4. "High By the Beach" (2015)

Lana Del Rey High By the Beach
Lana Del Rey - "High By the Beach". Courtesy Interscope

"High By the Beach" was released as the first single from Lana Del Rey's fourth studio album Honeymoon. It was recognized as more uptempo and pop-oriented than many of her previous releases. Elements of contemporary trap music figure into the mix and echo the hip-hop influences of the album Born To Die. "High By the Beach" peaked at #51 on the Billboard Hot 100 while it reached the pop top 40 in Canada. The album Honeymoon was a #2 chart hit becoming Lana Del Rey's third consecutive studio album to reach the top 2 on the album chart.

The accompanying music video directed by Jake Nava was film with a hand-held camera technique. It depicts a photographer in a helicopter hovering near Lana Del Rey taking photographs as she dances in a flowing blue robe and white sundress. Eventually, she runs out on to the beach, pulls out a guitar case, opens it, and removes a gun. She fires the gun at the helicopter causing it to explode and kill the photographer. Flaming shreds of tabloid news articles are seen floating through the air in the aftermath.

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08
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3. "Young and Beautiful" (2013)

Lana Del Rey Young and Beautiful
Lana Del Rey - "Young and Beautiful". Courtesy Interscope

Lana Del Rey and The Great Gatsby as imagined by Baz Luhrman are a perfect match here. "Young and Beautiful" brilliantly depicts the fleeting grandeur of America's Jazz Age. The soundtrack song became Lana Del Rey's first top 40 pop hit in the US and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Song Written For Visual Media. "Young and Beautiful" received strong critical acclaim. The song peaked at #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 and climbed to #3 on the Rock Songs chart. It ultimately sold more than a million copies earning a platinum certification.

The music video for "Young and Beautiful" was directed by Chris Sweeney with Sophie Muller operating the camera. Lana Del Rey is shown singing with a string orchestra. After the success of his work on "Summertime Sadness," Cedric Gervais was hired to create the official remix of "Young and Beautiful."

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09
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2. "Video Games" (2011)

Lana Del Rey Video Games
Lana Del Rey - "Video Games". Courtesy Interscope

The "Video Games" single kicked off singer-songwriter Lizzy Grant's transformation into Lana Del Rey.  There is an dread-filled sense of glamor to the song. The homemade collage feel of the music video completes the package. This song remains one of the most powerful of pop music debuts. "Video Games" won the 2012 Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song. The song only climbed to #91 on the Billboard Hot 100, but it earned a gold certification for sales. It also reached the pop top 10 on charts across Europe.

Lana Del Rey created the music video for "Video Games" herself. It is a striking collage of images including skateboarders, old movie scenes, and cartoons. Lana Del Rey is also shown singing with footage created by her own webcam. She performed "Video Games" live along with "Blue Jeans" in her notorious Saturday Night Live appearance.

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10
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1. "Ride" (2012)

Lana Del Rey Ride
Lana Del Rey - "Ride". Courtesy Interscope

Lana Del Rey is at her full cinematic best on "Ride." It's a grand meditation on the joys and costs of true freedom. "Ride" was the first single from the Paradise EP addition to the Born To Die re-release.  It is accompanied by an epic Anthony Mandler video which opens with a spoken word segment that most listeners will either love or hate.  There is little middle ground. Critics compared the clip to both Lolita and A Streetcar Named Desire.

Legendary producer Rick Rubin worked on the record. "Ride" reached the top 30 at both adult alternative and rock radio. The Paradise EP was a top 10 hit on the US album chart and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Vocal Album.

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Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Lana Del Rey Songs." ThoughtCo, Nov. 19, 2017, thoughtco.com/top-lana-del-rey-songs-4057223. Lamb, Bill. (2017, November 19). Top 10 Lana Del Rey Songs. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/top-lana-del-rey-songs-4057223 Lamb, Bill. "Top 10 Lana Del Rey Songs." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/top-lana-del-rey-songs-4057223 (accessed November 21, 2017).