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 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

5 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. - naFrovivuS

This needs torn be no. 1 - GreenDayFan21

108 time signatures to be exact. - MetalMania

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 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

8 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

9 Master of Puppets - Metallica
10 A Change of Seasons - Dream Theater

The Newcomers

? Man Who Sold the World - Nirvana

David Bowie is a rip-off, nirvarna are where it’s at baybee! ¡!

The Contenders

11 Lateralus - Tool

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

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 Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds - The Beatles

Some believe that the song is about drugs. - Alpha101

15 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

16 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. - naFrovivuS

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

17 Sacred Worlds - Blind Guardian
18 Paranoid Android - Radiohead
19 Chance - Savatage
20 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

21 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

22 Baba O'Riley - The Who
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 Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones

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

25 Migraine - Twenty One Pilots

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

26 Morphine Child - Savatage
27 Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys

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

28 Supper's Ready - Genesis
29 Echoes - Pink Floyd
30 You're So Vain - Carly Simon
31 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

32 Ghosts N' Stuff - Deadmau5

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

33 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

34 Chinese Food - Alison Gold
35 Comatose - Skillet

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

36 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?

37 The Trial - Pink Floyd
38 Let Down - Radiohead
39 Proclamation - Gentle Giant
40 Time - Pink Floyd
41 March of the Black Queen - Queen
42 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

43 Harlequin Forest - Opeth
44 Ghost of Perdition - Opeth
45 Black Lake Nidstång - Agalloch
46 A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers - Van Der Graaf Generator
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Most Complex Iron Maiden Songs Top Ten Movies With the Most Complex Plots Most Complex Metal Genres Most Complex Music Genres Most Complex Total Drama Characters

List Stats

100 votes
47 listings
3 years, 324 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


Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.