Top 10 Best Porcupine Tree Songs

The Top Ten
1 Arriving Somewhere but Not Here

It's very hard to make a Top Ten list for Porcupine Tree, but this song is a complete trip. The gloomy intro, the amazing unique riffs - this is one of the songs that goes with everything. Whether you're stoned, drunk, depressed, happy, or whatever, it just fits.

The lyrics are deep as hell! You can understand the song in so many ways. It was really hard to choose among all those songs, but this one is unique.

This had a long stretch as my favorite song, which is pretty impressive, seeing as I don't like metal. That's how great it is.

It wrings a huge amount of feeling out of a simple chord progression. And God, that intro! Best thing since Floyd.

2 Anesthetize

This song wins just by sheer length. It's basically three songs that flow into each other really well, and all three parts are great. Even if you dislike a part, the song changes, and you might like it again. There's just so much content here that most listeners would likely be pulled in by at least one section.

Part 1 is mysterious and tense, part 2 is heavy and moving, and part 3 is very emotional, psychedelic, and calming.

In comparison to Arriving Somewhere But Not Here (which is also great, but the two-minute atmospheric intro is something that not everyone may like, has two solos, one of which is very long, and the main melody becomes quite repetitive), I feel like Anesthetize's emotional sections are much more hard-hitting, and the heavy sections are more interesting. I also really like its lyrics. It's got such a long text with so much meaning to each line.

3 Trains

You don't talk, you don't think, you don't do anything at all while this song plays... Just enjoy! This should be at the top of the list. Wish I could vote for this a thousand times!

Believe it or not, I heard it for the first time yesterday. I've played it 100 times since. It's one of the most achingly, beautifully crafted songs I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. Perfection.

Awesome music. Guitar strumming and hammering are simple and catchy. The lyrics maintain simplicity and stay in your head.

4 Lazarus

Try listening to this song on a full moon night when the clouds are drifting through the sky, painting an abstract picture on the waxed moon, and you'll experience your soul leaving your body behind, becoming one with the universe. I guess that says it all.

This is a wonderful song with great depth. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you listen to the perfect song happens every time I listen to this song. It should be on the top!

My personal favorite. Whenever I am feeling alone, down, and out, I listen to this song, get lost in it, and forget the rest of the world. It's magic.

5 Russia on Ice

Russia on Ice presents us with what Porcupine Tree does best. A depressive intro, evocative of cold, oppressive weather, and a heartfelt guitar solo that reaches into your guts. Then, glimpses of hope in the middle of all the tragedy, reminiscent of Pink Floyd's style. Then the song explodes into another dimension with the guitar and Chris Maitland's rocking drumming.

"Russia on Ice" isn't only a damn beautiful and intense song. It's a real story narrated perfectly with cryptic lyrics and a crescendo in the melody. I really had to think hard to understand the metaphor of "But Russia on ice is burning a hole." "Russia on Ice" symbolizes alcohol, the vodka that burns his throat (the hole). Damn, Steven is really a genius.

The entire song is about a drunken man who floats with his mind lost in his thoughts (which are like coal, as in "all my thoughts are like coal"), fueling the "flame" of his pain. The melody perfectly matches the changes in his emotions throughout the alcohol-induced journey. It starts with a psychedelic intro (the beginning of the trip), shifts into a metal melody (when he becomes consumed by the alcohol), and ends with bells. To me, the bells represent the end of the trip and the start of the only thought that remains: death.

Simply amazing.

6 Way Out of Here

This is one of Porcupine Tree's most intense songs. A dark composition that tells a sad story. The guitar solo is full of passion and it sends shivers down my spine every time.

This piece truly transports me way out of here.

Have you guys listened to the live version of this (Live in Tilburg)? It sounds better than the album version! How they managed to do that is beyond me. Brilliant is an understatement.

What the hell, the #1 song is #11! This song is soothing to the senses. The intro, riffs, and lyrics are all awesome. Vote, guys!

7 Dark Matter

Dark Matter was one of the songs that really got me into this band. Can it get more epic than this? Richard Barbieri's intro is reminiscent of another planet, full of light, then the other instruments join in to create a beautiful harmony. Then, from the 5:10 mark until the end of the song, we are presented with a crescendo of brilliant guitar work by Steven Wilson.

Someone wrote that "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" encompasses everything Porcupine Tree is about. I totally disagree with this assessment because I would categorize "Arriving Somewhere But Not Here" as a great example of Porcupine Tree's later prog-metal stuff. Mainly because Steven Wilson directly said in a recent interview that Porcupine Tree is about expressing and understanding the darker side of existence. Thus, "Dark Matter," at least content-wise, is the most potent representation of what Porcupine Tree represents.

8 Blackest Eyes

Man, the first time I heard this song, I became a devotee of Porcupine Tree and Steven Wilson. The chorus is catchy, and so is the blend of the raw acoustic sound with thunderous drumming and guitar. Blackest Eyes forever! Anesthetize, Strip the Soul, and Lazarus are great songs, but this one has to be the best. That's what I think.

Listen to it, man! What are you waiting for?

I was hooked after hearing Blackest Eyes. To me, PT has tapped into the interplay between melancholy and mania, conveying a kind of beauty in something bipolar about the human soul. I just love the contrasts between the two, brought together by layers of ambient backgrounds. I do not know how they flew under my radar for so long. My God, I just learned of PT here in 2016. Where have I been? Better late than never.

9 Fear of a Blank Planet

I'm surprised this song is not in the Top 5! This is an awesome song, and Fear of a Blank Planet is itself a great album. The vocals in this song, the lyrics, the riffs - oh, Steven Wilson, you're a legend.

There's a great shift towards the half of the song and a mini drum solo by Gavin Harrison, and then it gets heavy again, followed by a great guitar solo. The ending is just perfect, with Richard Barbieri giving the atmospheric feel, not to forget Colin Edwin's awesome bass line throughout the song. This song deserves to be in the Top 5, at least.

10 The Sky Moves Sideways

This song easily makes it into my top 3 list. There isn't any better song than this to take you on a 'space voyage' for more than half an hour! Each phase of the song is better than the rest.

My third favorite Porcupine Tree song. It puts me in a complete trance. The closest song to Shine On You Crazy Diamond you could possibly get. The instrumentals are absolutely stunning, and so are the vocals.

Definitely top 3, definitive PT. This song is such a trip... Awesome!

The Contenders
11 The Sound of Muzak

Amazing! My personal favorite from PT. I love the meaning. It's about the dying art of music, how today's music is absolute crap, and the only people who make good music are the old rock groups that still remain. I feel the same way.

The song that tells me how great a drummer Gavin Harrison is! What great lyrics. Amazing! The "Arriving Somewhere" DVD has a fabulous live version of this song.

It rings true. But the prophecy hasn't come to pass yet. Though the situation is arising, all the music that is worth my while is from people nearly twice my age.

12 Even Less

Even Less captures the atmosphere of pure rock and roll and is full of fast-paced moments. The live version on Arriving Somewhere is my favorite.

"I had a stupid dream, that I could change things." You did change things, Wilson! You are the best musician of this century. And this is one of the best songs by PT. Do listen if you haven't yet.

Beautiful epic! The 14-minute version, of course. All the transitions are so smooth, and it goes from mellow ballad to acid rock. Everything a song needs.

13 Buying New Soul

Buying New Soul was one of the last Porcupine Tree songs I discovered when listening to their studio albums. The version on Arriving Somewhere absolutely blew my mind. Barbieri's intro is truly out of this world, and then the acoustic slowly comes in. After the beautiful chorus, every musician on that stage was on the same page to recreate one of the band's most heartfelt compositions.

There has never been a better song than Buying New Soul. Everything about this song is perfect. At over ten minutes long, it has the rare ability to make you wish it was even longer.

14 Shesmovedon

Amazing song. The guitar riff is definitely one of the best I've heard in a long time. The lyrics are painful and talk about heartache. Amazing.

One of the most underrated songs ever. You can listen to just the solo at the end and tell what the entire song is about. Steven plays the notes like a man possessed.

I genuinely think this should be in the top 3. Listen to it, and you'd agree. There are multiple versions of this song. Personally, I think the live version is far better than the studio version!

15 The Start of Something Beautiful

Such a beautiful song. Nothing like anything they've ever done. You think it's going to build up to a metal part like in Arriving Somewhere, but it transitions into a melodic and perfect bridge, building up to the final chorus. Amazingly put together song.

This has to be in the top 10! It leaves me in a trance every time. If there was any doubt that Gavin is one of the best out there, listen to the bridge again!

It is indeed something beautiful. If the section before the ending isn't enough to make you shed a tear, then I don't know what will.

16 Radioactive Toy

Best piece of PT's early work. This is the one that started it all, and it's fantastic.

17 Heartattack in a Layby

You must be joking!? This song never deserved such a bad ranking (well, it sure is not the only one on this list).

The lyrics are plain cute, like a poem you learn in the first years at school. The melody, once heard, will follow you the whole day.

This has got to be my favorite song, not just by PT, but by any band I've ever heard of. The sheer sadness and beauty of this track are beyond words.

It gives me a feeling of the deepest depression yet the most hope at the same time. This song keeps me alive.

This is one of my favorite Porcupine Tree songs, and I like it especially for the amount of ambience it contains. Ambience fully loaded!

18 Open Car

What? This song should be #1. What is wrong with you guys? Not even a vote for this. What a shame!

Just awesome! Porcupine Tree is one of the best bands active nowadays.

The way it starts, the chorus just drives me insane! Deserves top 3.

19 Gravity Eyelids

This song is just the best on In Absentia along with Trains. The first part is relaxing and suggestive while the second is aggressive.

The best part comes with the passage to a 5/4 time signature.

Reminds me a lot of Arriving Somewhere But Not Here. The way it's slow at the beginning and then kicks you in the balls with some killer metal riffs.

20 Feel So Low

The second saddest song I know, after "Heartattack in a Layby."

Second saddest love song I've ever heard.

21 The Incident

Has a tendency to meander a bit, but it affects me emotionally more than any other PT song. Honorable mention for Anesthetize.

Underrated song. Number 5 for this.

22 Time Flies

The beginning of this song is like a breath of fresh air in a glowing field out in warm weather. The acoustic guitar builds and builds to make room for the ripping sounds of the electric. The piercing solo emanates hardships that might arise in life, but in the end, back comes the harmony, and one is left hopeful about what the future might bring.

This song somehow evokes echoes of Pink Floyd's Animals, but it has a more modern twist to it. It's not easy doing progressive these days, especially a slow song, but they managed to make it sound so crisp and with such a beautiful melody. The nostalgic lyrics and slow parts almost hint at a sad song, but it gets such a lift from the band that you can't help but feel like running out the door and doing something to seize the day after you listen to it!

23 Stranger by the Minute

This song is something else. It feels like a song from your dreams. It's original, emotional, and catchy. Probably one of the more upbeat tracks you'll find in Porcupine Tree's dark discography.

24 .3

Seriously? Far from being in the top 10, this song isn't even on the list! The bass is cool, the chords in the middle are dream-like, and the ending concludes the whole thing marvelously, leaving you speechless and feeling like you're in a dystopia!

Porcupine Tree's most beautiful song. Listening to it always makes me feel as if I'm flying near a snowy mountain above the clouds. Really, the word to describe it would be soaring.

Beautiful bassline. This is the kind of sound that I really love from Porcupine Tree, slow and melodic, and the simple, meaningful lyrics coming in at the middle are perfect. Amazing song.

25 Prodigal

No idea how this song is all the way down at #29. Lyrically and instrumentally, this song is genius. Easily top 5, if not the best PT song.

Incredible riff and songwriting. Should easily be top 3.

I just love the lyrics! I can relate to them.

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