Top 10 Panic! At the Disco Songs

The Best from the Alternative Pop Band

Panic! At the Disco
Panic! At the Disco. Photo by Timothy Norris / WireImage

The best Panic! At the Disco songs are connected by clever wordplay and a sense of the theatrical. However, the similarities end there. The band has ranged far and word in musical styles from electropop to punk. The act led by vocalist Brendon Urie has proved itself to be durable through more than a decade of work.

01
of 10

"I Write Sins Not Tragedies" (2006)

Panic! At the Disco I Write Sins Not Tragedies
Panic! At the Disco - "I Write Sins Not Tragedies". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

Released as the second single from their debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" became the breakthrough single for Panic! At the Disco. Lyrically, the song tells a story about events surrounding a wedding backed up by frenetic, theatrical emo pop music. Many radio stations insisted on an edited version of the song to avoid questionable words. The resulting "shh" sound added to the mix was a perfect fit for the group's style.  "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" broke into the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #2 on mainstream pop radio. It was also a top 20 hit on alternative and adult pop radio.

The accompanying music video depicts a circus-themed wedding. The Los Angeles-based performance troupe Lucent Dossier Experience appeared in the clip. Panic! At the Disco earned the Video of the Year award at the MTV Video Music Awards for the clip. It was the first occasion in the history of the awards that the Video of the Year did not win any other honors.

02
of 10

"Hallelujah" (2015)

Panic At the Disco Hallelujah
Panic! At the Disco - "Hallelujah". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

"Hallelujah" was the first single from Panic! At the Disco's fifth studio album Death Of a Bachelor. The group's Brendon Urie says he wrote the song in response to his religious upbringing. He was particularly intrigued by the concept of absolving oneself for sins. The opening fanfare of the song comes from the band Chicago's 1969 hit single "Questions 67 and 68." "Hallelujah" was the first Panic! At the Disco song released following the departure of drummer Spencer Smith from the group. "Hallelujah" became Panic! At the Disco's second top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 nine years after the first "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." The song hit #3 at rock radio and #11 at alternative radio. It earned a Song of the Year nomination at the Alternative Press Music Awards.

03
of 10

"Victorious" (2015)

Panic At the Disco Victorious
Panic! At the Disco - "Victorious". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

The chorus that opens "Victorious" sounds somewhat like a cheerleader chant. The song was the second official single from the album Death Of a Bachelor. Rivers Cuomo of Weezer co-wrote the "Victorious." The song climbed into the top 10 at rock radio and #11 on alternative radio. "Victorious" was part of a string of three consecutive top 10 hits on the rock songs chart. It also reached the top 40 at mainstream and adult pop radio. "Victorious" earned a gold certification for sales.

The accompanying music video shows vocalist Brendon Urie celebrating victory in a number of situations. Among those are a dodgeball game and helping an older woman cross the street. Brandon Dermer, who has worked extensively for Comedy Central, directed the clip.

04
of 10

"This Is Gospel" (2013)

Panic At the Disco This Is Gospel
Panic! At the Disco - "This Is Gospel". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

"This Is Gospel" was the second single from Panic! At the Disco's fourth studio album Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die. It was a musical response to drummer Spencer Smith's drug addiction and features a loud singalong chorus. "This Is Gospel" climbed to #12 on the rock songs chart and the top 25 at alternative radio. It earned a platinum certification for digital sales over one million. 

The accompanying music video appeared on the same day as the song's release. Daniel "Cloud" Campos directed the clip. Scenes in the video include lead vocalist Brendan Urie tied down for a medical inspection by surgeons and struggling to escape a box filling with water. The music video for the song "Emperor's New Clothes" continues the story.

05
of 10

"Nine in the Afternoon" (2008)

Panic At the Disco Nine In the Afternoon
Panic At the Disco - "Nine In the Afternoon". Courtesy Fueled by Ramen

Panic At the Disco released "Nine in the Afternoon" as the first single from their second studio album Pretty. Odd. It was their first song after the group temporarily dropped the trademark exclamation point from the group title. The sound of the song is baroque pop related to the 60s studio pop of the Beatles. "Nine in the Afternoon" broke into the top 10 at alternative radio and top 20 at adult pop radio. It earned a platinum certification for sales. Fellow Decaydance label band The Academy Is... covered "Nine in the Afternoon" on the 2008 Warped Tour

The Beatles connection is made even more evident in the accompanying music video with references to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Help!, and the iconic "I Am the Walrus" video. Shane Drake, who worked with the band on their award-winning "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" video, "Nine in the Afternoon." The music video earned a nomination for Best Pop Video at the MTV Video Music Awards. 

06
of 10

"The Ballad Of Mona Lisa" (2011)

Panic At the Disco Ballad Of Mona Lisa
Panic! At the Disco - "Ballad Of Mona Lisa". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

"The Ballad Of Mona Lisa" was the first single from the Panic! At the Disco album Vices & Virtues. The song was a leftover from songwriting sessions that took place before the band worked on their preceding album Pretty. Odd. The band considered recording it multiple times and then set it aside. "The Ballad of Mona Lisa" is primarily about lead vocalist Brendon Urie's struggles in life. He finds personal inspiration in Leonardo da Vinci's legendary painting of the Mona Lisa. "The Ballad Of Mona Lisa" reached the top 25 on alternative radio.

The accompanying music video adopts a steampunk style. Shane Drake directed the clip, and many observers saw similarities to his work on "I Write Sins Not Tragedies." The story in the video is the steps for preparing and displaying a body for burial in the Victorian era. As such, it represents a sense of closure for the band as they moved forward into new musical ideas. The performance art group, the League of S.T.E.A.M., appears in the video.

07
of 10

"Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" (2006)

Panic At the Disco Lying Is the Most Fun
Panic! At the Disco - "Lying Is the Most Fun a Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

"Lying Is the Most Fun A Girl Can Have Without Taking Her Clothes Off" is the third single released from Panic! At the Disco's debut and breakthrough album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. The title comes from a line in the 2004 film Closer. The full line is "Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off, but it's better if you do." Panic! At the Disco also included a song "But It's Better If You Do" on their album. The accompanying music video depicts people with fish tanks on their heads. The song climbed to #28 on the alternative songs chart. "Lying Is the Most Fun..." is featured on the soundtrack for the video game Saints Row 2.

08
of 10

"Miss Jackson" featuring Lolo (2013)

Panic At the Disco Miss Jackson
Panic! At the Disco - "Miss Jackson". Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

Butch Walker, known for his work with Avril Lavigne and Pink, produced "Miss Jackson" and it features vocals from singer-songwriter Lolo. She also recorded the sample of "Tom's Diner" that kicks off Fall Out Boy's top 10 hit "Centuries." "Miss Jackson" was the first single from the Panic! At the Disco album Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die. When first recorded, it was titled "Bad Apple" and included a sample from Fiona Apple's "Every Single Night." However, Fiona Apple refused publishing rights to the melody. The reworked song is titled in reference to Janet Jackson and refers to the star's iconic hit "Nasty" in the line "Miss Jackson, Are you nasty?" which is part of the "Miss Jackson" chorus. "Miss Jackson" broke into the top 10 on alternative radio and earned a platinum certification for sales.

09
of 10

"The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage" (2005)

Panic At the Disco A Fever You Can't Sweat Out
Panic! At the Disco - A Fever You Can't Sweat Out. Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

"The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage," the first single from Panic! At the Disco's debut album A Fever You Can't Sweat Out, gave the group exposure to alternative rock audiences. Chuck Palahniuk's novel Survivor was an inspiration for the song title. A remix of the song appears on the soundtrack to the film Snakes On a Plane. "The Only Difference Between Martyrdom and Suicide Is Press Coverage" was the group's first to chart and reached #5 on alternative radio while breaking into the top 40 at mainstream pop radio. The song reached #77 on the Billboard Hot 100.

10
of 10

"Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time" (2015)

Panic At the Disco Death Of a Bachelor
Panic! At the Disco - Death Of a Bachelor. Courtesy Fueled By Ramen

This song, released as a promotional single from the album Death Of a Bachelor, kicks off with the memorable guitar hook from the B-52's' "Rock Lobster." It was co-written and co-produced by J.R. Rotem, known for helping guide Jason Derulo to stardom. "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time" broke into the top 10 at rock radio.

In the surreal accompanying music video, Panic! At the Disco's Brendon Urie is attacked by a girl who morphs into a tentacle creature and kills him. At the end of the clip, the creature takes on Brendon Urie's form, puts on his clothes, and heads out to a nightclub to flirt with a woman and attack her.