Known as the key of melancholy, A minor is one of the most popular keys in the world of music.
Musicians often use this key in ballads to create a sense of longing and that has given us some of the most iconic pieces of music ever written. In fact, some of the best songs ever written have been crafted in the key of A minor.
With that being said, here is a list down 20 of the best songs that we feel cover the best of this key.
List Of Popular ‘Songs in A Minor’ Of All Time
1. Hurt by Johhny Cash
The first song on this list is ‘Hurt’ by Johnny Cash which is probably one of the most powerful and iconic songs ever produced in A minor from his ‘American IV: The Man Comes Around album.
Although it is a cover version of the song originally written by Trent Reznor who wrote this for the Nine Inch Nails’ album, Cash brings his own distinctive quality and personality to the track that has made this song so iconic.
Backed by a simple arpeggiated guitar riff that goes from A minor to C major and back again, this song does an absolutely brilliant job of creating an atmosphere of sorrow and despair right from its initial ‘I hurt myself today, to see if I still feel’.
We are sure that even if you are not a fan of Johnny Cash, this song will still manage to evoke some sort of response and you will thank me later.
2. Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin
‘Stairway to Heaven’ is another epic ballad in ‘a minor’ from one of the greatest rock bands in history – Led Zeppelin. Featuring brilliant chord changes and progressive structures this song managed to top the world charts over upon its release.
The song starts with an awesome guitar riff played in A minor and moves on to explore different keys before finally settling down in E major for the rest of the song creating a sense of euphoria at the end.
Besides that, the lyrics tell an amazing story which is something I find to be very important when it comes to music, as well as Robert Plant’s amazing vocals which, in my opinion, is the best he has ever sounded.
3. Californication by RHCP
‘Californication’ is one more funk-rock song in a minor written by all the four members of the band: Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, Flea, and John Anthony Frusciante.
Despite being released 20 years ago, this song remains a staple in their live shows and to your surprise, they have played it over 500 times according to Wikipedia.
The song features intelligent use of major and minor textures, odd time signatures, creative chord progressions, an unforgettable bassline played by Flea, as well as an excellent guitar solo by Frusciante – all of which culminate to create one of the best songs in A minor.
We highly recommend you watch the music video of this song if you haven’t- it is quite interesting.
4. The Unforgiven by Metallica
‘The Unforgiven’ is one of the many songs written by this legendary metal band that features a great guitar riff played in A minor over which James Hetfield’s vocals create an epic atmosphere.
Truly innovative for its time, this song was unlike anything else Metallica had released at the time and showed their fans another side to their music which they really enjoyed.
This song starts off quietly and as it builds on, it gives you that strong sense of tension and drama before finally exploding with heavy guitar riffings that will send shivers down your spine. Even the tone bending solo by Kirk before the last chorus is equally amazing which adds up a lot to the overall power of this song.
As far as Metallica songs in ‘a minor’ go, ‘The Unforgiven’ is definitely one of the best ones out there and should be heard by all music lovers.
5. Losing My Religion by R.E.M.
Whether you like this band or not, there is no denying that R.E.M. had a massive influence on the music scene since the early ’80s and continues to do so even today.
One of their many brilliant songs is ‘Losing My Religion’ which was released as a single from their 1991 album “Out of Time” and was a major commercial success.
Like most of their songs, this one too was written by lead singer Michael Stipe and guitarist Peter Buck and features some great chord changes which keep building up until it reaches the climax during the chorus when we hear ‘you lose your religion’.
Unarguably one of their best tracks, ‘Losing My Religion’ is a must-listen for all music lovers and an excellent example of how to write a song in A minor.
6. Bark At The Moon by Ozzy Osbourne
Ozzy is one of the most influential rock singers in history and this amazing song, despite its pop-oriented nature, has gained a lot of respect from metal fans around the world. This is one of those songs that will grab your attention the moment you hear it.
Written by Ozzy, Jake E. Lee and Bob Daisley, the song is full of great guitar riffs, basslines, and drums along with equally amazing vocals by Ozzy himself which makes it one of the best songs in A minor that should be heard by all heavy metal lovers.
7. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga
Lady Gaga is one of the most successful pop stars out there who doesn’t shy away from experimenting with her sound. ‘Bad Romance’ is an excellent example of how she moved on to making her music more electro-pop orientated at times.
This song is composed in a minor and highlighted by Gaga’s amazing vocals and the influence of new wave and techno music to give it quite an unusual sound.
‘Bad Romance’ went on to become one of Lady Gaga’s most commercially successful songs and rightly so, as the song has that unique quirkiness about it that makes it very catchy.
8. Save Tonight by Eagle-Eye-Cherry
A song with a very interesting and laid back feel to it, Save Tonight was written by Eagle-Eye Cherry himself which gained worldwide recognition and became one of his signature songs.
The track has everything from soft drumming and basslines to the steady-paced strumming on the guitar as well as some soulful vocals that add up to make it one of those songs you just can’t stop listening to.
What makes it even more interesting is the fact that this song was recorded and released by a Swedish musician and yet manages to sound so very American, just like many other great songs out there.
9. New Rules by Dua Lipa
With more than 2.5 billion views on YouTube as of now, New Rules by Dua Lipa has become somewhat of a phenomenon as it reached the top 10 charts in more than 22 countries.
This song has a bit of a surprising tone to it with Dua adding some interesting vocal inflections at times along with the slight twang in her voice which altogether makes it one amazing track in a minor from her self-titled album.
One of the main reasons why this song was such a big hit was that it came at the right time when we needed an anthem about female empowerment sung by a female musician.
10. Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias
‘Bailamos’ is one of those songs that brought Enrique Iglesias into the limelight.
A track with a slight Latin feel to it, with some hints of flamenco thrown in for good measure, this song was hot on the charts throughout most parts of 1999-2000 peaking at number 2 in UK and Germany.
It’s one of those rare songs where Enrique’s amazing vocals are both properly showcased along with some great instrumentation thanks to the brilliant guitar playing.
There are some great guitar riffs throughout this song with a perfect blend of strings and drums that make it another of the best songs in A minor.
11. I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry
If you caught on to Katy Perry’s career during the year 2008, then I’m sure you remember this hit of hers, ‘I kissed A Girl’.
Katy Perry’s amazing voice along with the clever lyrics which are both relatable and funny at the same time, this song is one of those rare gems that you can’t get out of your head once you hear it.
Moreover, the melodic instruments along with Katy’s amazing voice makes this one of those songs in a minor that you just don’t want to miss out on.
12. Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson
There is no doubt that Kelly Clarkson has earned quite a name for herself as far as pop/rock goes, and she’s done it all by having one amazing voice which can go from high to low notes at the drop of a hat.
Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You) is an excellent example that showcases just how powerful Kelly Clarkson’s vocals are, with the chorus being absolutely stunning.
One of those tracks that will have you hooked from the very first note and will make you want to listen to it over and over again.
The song also has a great message about rising from the ashes and being stronger after being knocked back, something that is relatable to most people.
13. Adventure Of A Lifetime by Coldplay
When it comes to Coldplay, most people would instantly think of their biggest hits, but you’d be surprised at just how many gems are hidden away in their discography.
‘Adventure Of A Lifetime’ is one such amazing song in a minor that has some great drumming along with brilliant vocals and falsetto notes that will have you mesmerized.
The entire track is absolutely brilliant from start to finish and makes for a great listen every time you feel like hearing some outstanding music.
In fact, if it wasn’t already released as a single, I’d say that this song deserves all the accolades that the band has received just because of how good it really is.
14.The Pretender by Foo Fighters
You might be wondering why I included a Foo Fighters song in this list, but trust me when I say that, you’d be surprised at how many people are unaware of the sheer brilliance of their track called ‘The Pretender’ which is in a minor.
Dave Grohl’s vocals are great throughout this one, while Taylor Hawkins does his part in adding just that little something extra with his drums that drives this song forward relentlessly until it reaches its explosive.
This song also has a stunning chorus filled with raw power which makes for an amazing listen each time you play the song.
On top of that, what also makes this song so special is The Foo Fighters great guitar-work and the lyrics which are incredibly catchy.
15. All the Right Moves by OneRepublic
This masterpiece from OneRepublic’s ‘Waking Up’ album is one of those songs in a minor that you’ll find yourself listening to over and over again with a smile on your face.
There aren’t many bands in the business with a voice as good as lead singer Ryan Tedder, and you can just tell from this song how much effort he puts into his tracks since most of them have incredibly strong vocals.
‘All the Right Moves’ has a great beat, an amazing chorus and some incredible vocals throughout that makes for one hell of an anthem.
Despite being released back in 2009, ‘All The Right Moves’ is still one of the best songs that OneRepublic has ever produced with the lyrics being especially brilliant.
16 You’re So Vain by Carly Simon
When most people think of Carly Simon, they immediately picture the song ‘You’re So Vain’ and how it has withstood the test of time ever since its first release.
One thing that makes this track different from all the rest is just how hauntingly beautiful it sounds with some strings being played throughout in the key of a minor.
As far as lyrical content goes, the song is about a lover who Carly Simon can’t seem to get out of her mind.
Besides, it’s an incredibly well-crafted song that deserves all the praise it has received over the years, with Carly Simon definitely being one of the greatest musicians of her time.
17. Senorita by Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello
Shawn Mendes hasn’t exactly received the amount of hype he deserves despite making some great songs throughout his career.
However, one of his best tracks has to be the song ‘Senorita’ which was released back in 2015 and contains some amazing vocals from Shawn Mendes and Camila Cabello that will make you want to just get up and dance.
‘Senorita’ is one of those songs that makes you feel great about yourself, but most importantly it has a fantastic melody, the lyrics are very relatable and Mendes does an incredible job with the vocals throughout.
This is definitely one of his best tracks to date and it’s easily among the most popular songs in a minor on this list.
18. When I’m Gone by 3 Doors Down
When you think of 3 Doors Down, it’s very likely that one of the first songs that comes to mind is ‘Kryptonite’, a fantastic rock anthem from their debut album.
However, another equally brilliant song from this band is ‘When I’m Gone’ which was released back in 2003 and contains some amazing lyrics fit for all those who have been through a tough time.
Besides that, the song has some brilliant vocals from lead singer Brad Arnold as well as a great guitar riff throughout which makes it one of the best songs in A minor that you’ll find.
19. One by U2
One of the best things about U2 is that they’re always trying to push their music in a different direction and creating something new for their fans, which is what makes them such a great band.
However, one of the few songs from this legendary group that will be remembered for years to come has to be the song ‘One’ which was released back in 1991 and features some heart -touching lyrics that will make you think about life as a whole.
Apart from that, Bono’s vocals are on point throughout the song and even though it’s not one of their fast-paced tracks, ‘One’ has some great instrumentation in the key of a minor that fits for all rock fans out there.
Another thing that I like about this track is that fact that it tells a different story compared to other songs on this list, making it very unique in that regard.
20. White Coma by Marilyn Manson
Last but not least, we have a song from an equally remarkable artist who deserves a lot more recognition throughout the music industry.
And that artist is Marilyn Manson who has been around for decades and still going strong despite being one of those musicians who never got the amount of praise they deserve.
However, among the many songs he has created over the years, one of his best has to be the song ‘White Coma’ which was released back in 2003 and contains some amazing vocals from Manson who definitely isn’t as weird as he used to be.
Powered by its strong guitar riff throughout which is accompanied by some atmospheric keys, ‘White Coma’ has everything you could ever ask for in an alternative rock track which is why it’s one of the favorite songs of many in the key of A minor.
More Songs in A Minor
|I Will Survive||Gloria Gaynor|
|Tearin’ Up My Heart||NSYNC|
|King Of Wishful Thinking||Go West|
|Stressed Out||Twenty One Pilots|
|Dying In Your Arms||Trivum|
|Devil In My Veins||Yelawolf|
|I Write Sins Not Tragedies||Panic! At The Disco|
|Bringin’ On The Heartbreak||Def Leppard|
|You Got Lucky||Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers|
|She Loves Me Lot||Papa Roach|
|Dragostea Din Tei||O-Zone|
|Waiting For Superman||Daughtry|
|Holding Out For A Hero||Bonnie Tyler|
|Can’t Feel My Face||The Weekend|
That was our list with 20 of the most popular songs in A minor that you should listen to or learn them on your respective instrument.
And even though the list is over, I will be updating this page with more songs in a minor since there are tons more out there. So, do come back and give this page a check and don’t forget to share this page on social media if you found it useful.