Most Complex Songs of All Time

These are the most complex songs of all time. Songs that have more than one meaning, or make you really think about why the artist wrote the song.

The Top Ten

1 Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

Not only the best song of all time, but certainly the most complex. Doesn't necessarily have a double meaning, that I know of though. - Alpha101

Written by the amazing Freddie Mercury.

One of the least complex progressive rock songs ever. - Caleb9000

Obvious. No rival in this list.

V 1 Comment
2 Octavarium - Dream Theater

Not only it lasts 24 minutes but it also changes time signatures a lot of times.

This song is complex asf

How exactly is Bohemian Rhapsody more complicated than this? For one, it doesn’t have a 16 piece orchestra, it doesn’t have all the damn time signature changes, it’s nowhere near as technical, and, most importantly, THERE’S NOT 24 MINUTES OF MUSIC TO PLAY AND REMEMBER. - NightmareCinema

3 Hotel California - The Eagles

Some believe that "Hotel California" is basically a replica of the Playboy Mansion. Others believe that the Hotel is full of drugs. But most, including me, don't believe in this nonsense, and just believe that the song is meant to be taken as, "you should always lie life to the fullest." - Alpha101

So basically you think the song's meaning is you should always be lying about your life as much as possible. - Skullkid755

4 The Dance of Eternity - Dream Theater

This is easily #1. I mean, 130 time signature changes in just 6 minutes? Surely no band has gone as complex as this. Dream Theater is amazing.

This needs torn be no. 1 - GreenDayFan21

108 time signatures to be exact. - MetalMania

It’s not a song, it’s a piece - every music snob ever

5 Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin

There are many different theories for what the meaning of the song truly is, a few of them really creepy. But it is a wonderful song! - Alpha101

6 Hey Jude - The Beatles

Some believe that the song was written about using heroin. But the song is really about Lennon's son Julian, after his parents broke up. - Alpha101

7 Lateralus - Tool

Tool are like the Pink Floyd of the 21st century, and this song proves it. This is a masterpiece! The rhythms and tempos change very often thorough the song and the lyrics are amazing... Made by GENIUSES!

This song is one of the most complex songs I've ever heard. Bohemian Rhapsody was legendary, but not as complex as this mind****.

8 Walk This Way - Aerosmith

Some believe that the whole song is talking about sex, which makes sense if you listen to it closely. Also, when played backwards, "Walk This Way" turns into "Hail Satan." - Alpha101

God, why do people always believe in Satanic messages...they're not true... - galaxyfox

9 And Then There Was Silence - Blind Guardian

This song is so complex and long, with so many tracks that it alone required as much production time as the rest of the album. - Metal_Treasure

10 Master of Puppets - Metallica

The Newcomers

? Copper Wasp - Night Verses
? Bleed - Meshuggah

The Contenders

11 A Change of Seasons - Dream Theater
12 Let It Be - The Beatles

Some believe that the song is about Jesus's mother, Mary. Others believe that "Mary" is actually marijuana. And some believe that "Mary" is Paul's mother, and that she came to him in a dream and said, "Let it be." - Alpha101

McCartney has stated that he had a dream about his mother (who died before hia rise to fame) during the Beatles' breakup in which she told him everything would be all right. - PetSounds

13 Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian
14 Paranoid Android - Radiohead

Bohemian Rhapsody but with better lyrics and better everything else.

One of the most sonically complex songs I’ve ever heard. Similar to, but more modern than Bohemian rhapsody

15 Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles

Some believe that the song is about drugs. - Alpha101

16 Imagine - John Lennon

The original meaning of the song is that, imagine what the world would be like if we all lived as one. It would be perfect. But some people believe hat Lennon mean that he believed in World Order, and that he was part of the Illuminati. - Alpha101

17 Car Radio - Twenty One Pilots

It's about Tyler getting his car radio stolen, not much complexity to that. Instrumental wise, bland as usual. Dream Theater below this? No.

The meaning is hard to uncover at first, but it is very complex and deep. - Alpha101

18 Sacred Worlds - Blind Guardian
19 Chance - Savatage
20 Baba O'Riley - The Who
21 Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana

Doesn't have a double meaning that I know of, but the song is really hard to fully understand. - Alpha101

22 American Pie - Don McLean

Virtually every single line has another meaning; see if you can figure them all out.

The most brilliant lyrics ever put to music. - PetSounds

23 My Last Sunrise - Demons & Wizards

The structure of this song is so progressive that all parts are different and it doesn't even have a chorus. And the meaning is difficult to understand without additional research. - Metal_Treasure

24 Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

Shouldn't be as low as 25. Easily in the top 5. Revolutionary, timeless, and still catchy

The lyrics are relatively simple, but the arrangement is as complex as it gets. - PetSounds

25 Morphine Child - Savatage
26 Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones

"Brown Sugar" is another name for heroin, so some believe that the whole song is about drugs. - Alpha101

27 Migraine - Twenty One Pilots

Very hard to understand, but a very good song! - Alpha101

28 Supper's Ready - Genesis
29 Proclamation - Gentle Giant
30 Echoes - Pink Floyd
31 Time - Pink Floyd
32 March of the Black Queen - Queen
33 Frownland - Captain Beefheart

First part of the song:
-Guitar 1, bass, and drums all play 7-beat phrase
-Guitar 2 plays 5-beat phrase in a different tempo

Second part:
-Guitar 1 repeating 5-beat phrase in ternary rhythm
-Guitar 2 repeating dyads
-Bass Guitar repeating 5-beat phrase
-Guitar 1 later shifts to C minor/major

-Guitar 1 shifts to Bb major
-Guitar 2 remains in C major
-Bass Guitar in C major


-Guitar 1 in G major/minor
-Guitar 2 in G
-Bass in F major/G major

-Guitar 1 in E minor
-Guitar 2 in G major
-Bass playing no key signature

34 Ghost of Perdition - Opeth
35 Get Back Up Again - Anna Kendrick

So coplexomanaawaqaqa

36 Innuendo - Queen

No explanation needed. This song and the lyrics are brilliant! - Userguy44

37 Stupid Hoe - Nicki Minaj

Why is this on the list? It is the simplest song anyone could ever think of.

38 The Gates of Delirium - Yes
39 You're So Vain - Carly Simon
40 We Are All Made of Stars - Moby

There's several different scientific, philosophical and thought-provoking concepts laid out in this song. In my mind, the most complex of all. - PositronWildhawk

41 Ghosts N' Stuff - Deadmau5

How you perceive this song is entirely down to independent perspective. - PositronWildhawk

42 Extreme Ways - Moby

On the one hand, it's about his great ambitions and his seemingly flawless perception of his lifestyle, and his surprise at the point where he collapsed. On the other hand, it's about the thought that his downfall was predictable and it was worth appreciating his hardships. However you see it, one basis would contradict the other. - PositronWildhawk

43 Chinese Food - Alison Gold
44 Comatose - Skillet

Don't get me wrong, I love this song. But I don't really find it very complex... - Alpha101

45 One-X - Three Days Grace

Don't get me wrong people. I really love this song, but the only complex thing about it is when Adam says "i need to figure out who's behind me." Was he talking about God or some other kind of spiritual being? Or was he talking about the people who wish death and misery upon you?

46 The Trial - Pink Floyd
47 Let Down - Radiohead
48 Harlequin Forest - Opeth
49 Black Lake Nidstång - Agalloch
50 A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers - Van Der Graaf Generator
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List Stats

200 votes
55 listings
4 years, 163 days old

Top Remixes

1. Octavarium - Dream Theater
2. Wheel of Time - Blind Guardian
3. And Then There Was Silence - Blind Guardian
1. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
2. Stairway to Heaven - Led Zeppelin
3. Hotel California - The Eagles
1. Master of Puppets - Metallica
2. Hotel California - The Eagles
3. Octavarium - Dream Theater


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