Table of Contents
- 1. “Zombie” by The Cranberries
- 2. “Zannalee” by Prince
- 3. “Zig Zag Stories” by Vanilla Ice
- 4. “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie
- 5. “Zebras and Airplanes” by Alicia Keys
- 6. “Zendaya” by J. Cole
- 7. “Zoo Station” by U2
- 8. “Zen Brain” by Nada Surf
- 9. “Zero And Blind Terry” by Bruce Springsteen
- 10. “Zack and Codeine” by Post Malone
- 11. “Zebras Crossing the Street” by Scooter
- 12. “Zero” by Chris Brown
- 13. “Zero The Hero” by Black Sabbath
- 14. “Zoe Jane” by Staind
- 15. “Zeus” by Eminem
- 16. “Zombie Stomp” by Ozzy Osbourne
- 17. “Zoosk Girl” by Flo Rida
- 18. “Zorro’s Ascent” by Alice Cooper
- 19. “Zero Mechanism” by The Used
- 20. “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Paula Abdul
The letter “Z” may not be the most common letter in the English language, but it has inspired some truly great songs over the years. From classic rock anthems to modern pop hits, there’s no shortage of fantastic music that starts with the letter Z. In this list of the 20 best songs that start with the letter Z, we’ll explore some of the most iconic and memorable songs ever written. From Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same” to Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” this list has something for every music fan. Whether you’re a fan of classic rock, hip-hop, or anything in between, these songs are sure to get your feet tapping and your heart pumping. So sit back, relax, and enjoy a musical journey through some of the best songs that start with the letter Z.
1. “Zombie” by The Cranberries
“Zombie” by The Cranberries is a powerful and haunting song that captures the frustration and pain of living in a world marred by conflict and violence. The song was written in 1993 during the height of the conflict in Northern Ireland known as The Troubles, but its message continues to resonate today. The song’s opening riff sets a somber and intense tone, while lead singer Dolores O’Riordan’s distinctive vocals deliver the lyrics with an urgency and passion that can’t be ignored. The chorus, with its repetition of the phrase “in your head,” is particularly impactful, as it emphasizes the lasting impact of violence and trauma on the human psyche.
2. “Zannalee” by Prince
“Zannalee” is a lesser-known gem by the iconic musician Prince. The song was released in 1981 as part of the album “Controversy” and showcases Prince’s unique blend of funk, rock, and soul. The song begins with a groovy bass line and a driving drumbeat, setting the stage for Prince’s signature guitar riffs to come in. The lyrics tell the story of a woman named Zannalee, who is described as a “foxy little mama” and a “funky love machine.” The song has a playful and flirtatious tone, with Prince using his silky-smooth vocals to seduce Zannalee and the listener. One of the standout features of the song is the infectious chorus, which is sung in a call-and-response style between Prince and a backing vocal group. The chorus is catchy and fun, with the repetition of “Zannalee, Zannalee” becoming a memorable hook.
3. “Zig Zag Stories” by Vanilla Ice
“Zig Zag Stories” is a song by Vanilla Ice, released in 1994 as part of his album “Mind Blowin’.” The song showcases Vanilla Ice’s versatility as an artist, combining elements of hip hop, rock, and electronic music. The song begins with a distorted guitar riff that sets a rebellious and edgy tone. Vanilla Ice’s rap verses are delivered with a confident swagger, showcasing his technical skills as a rapper. The chorus is catchy and upbeat, with Vanilla Ice singing about the ups and downs of life and the importance of perseverance in the face of adversity. One of the standout features of the song is the use of electronic music elements, particularly in the bridge section where a synthesizer riff is used to build tension and excitement. The song also features a guitar solo towards the end, adding a rock element to the mix.
4. “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie
“Ziggy Stardust” is a classic song by the iconic musician David Bowie, released in 1972 as part of his album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” The song tells the story of Ziggy Stardust, an androgynous rock star who becomes a messiah-like figure for the youth culture of the time. The song begins with a catchy guitar riff that immediately grabs the listener’s attention. Bowie’s vocals are charismatic and theatrical, perfectly capturing the persona of Ziggy Stardust. The lyrics describe Ziggy as an otherworldly figure who has come to save humanity with his music. One of the standout features of the song is its use of storytelling, with Bowie painting a vivid picture of Ziggy’s rise to fame and eventual downfall. The chorus, with its repetition of “Ziggy played guitar,” is instantly memorable and has become an iconic part of Bowie’s legacy.
5. “Zebras and Airplanes” by Alicia Keys
“Zebras and Airplanes” is a song by the multi-talented musician Alicia Keys, released in 2016 as part of her album “Here.” The song is a soulful and introspective ballad that showcases Keys’ powerful vocals and poetic lyricism. The song begins with a simple piano melody that sets a melancholic and reflective tone. Keys’ vocals are emotive and raw, as she sings about the complexities of life and the struggle to find meaning and purpose in a world that can be confusing and overwhelming. One of the standout features of the song is its use of metaphor, with Keys comparing the elusive nature of happiness to “zebras and airplanes.” The lyrics are poignant and thought-provoking, with Keys reflecting on the fleeting nature of time and the importance of cherishing every moment.
6. “Zendaya” by J. Cole
“Zendaya” is a song by rapper J. Cole, released in 2014 as part of his mixtape “The Revenge of the Dreamers.” The song showcases J. Cole’s lyrical prowess and storytelling abilities, as he reflects on the challenges and joys of pursuing a career in music. The song begins with a sample from an interview with actress Zendaya, who speaks about the importance of following one’s dreams and staying true to oneself. J. Cole’s verses are introspective and personal, as he describes the struggles of balancing his passion for music with the realities of life. One of the standout features of the song is J. Cole’s use of wordplay and metaphor, particularly in the chorus where he compares his music career to a “rollercoaster ride.” The song’s production is minimalistic, with a simple beat and sparse instrumentation that allows J. Cole’s lyrics to take center stage.
7. “Zoo Station” by U2
“Zoo Station” is the opening track of U2’s seventh studio album, “Achtung Baby,” released in 1991. The song sets the tone for the album’s experimental and electronic sound, with its distorted guitar riffs, thumping bassline, and driving drum beat. The lyrics are equally intense and enigmatic, with Bono’s vocals ranging from whispery to urgent as he delivers lines like “I’m ready for the crush” and “We’re a long way from home.” The title “Zoo Station” references the train station in Berlin where U2 first recorded “Achtung Baby,” and the song’s lyrics explore the idea of transformation and reinvention. The band was going through a period of artistic and personal upheaval at the time, and “Zoo Station” serves as a fitting introduction to an album that sees them exploring new sounds and pushing their creative boundaries. The song has become a staple of U2’s live shows, with its energetic opening riff and pulsing beat setting the crowd on fire. The band has also incorporated snippets of the song into other tracks and medleys, making it a recurring theme throughout their live performances. “Zoo Station” remains a fan favorite and a crucial part of U2’s musical legacy, encapsulating the band’s spirit of experimentation and their willingness to push themselves to new heights.
8. “Zen Brain” by Nada Surf
“Zen Brain” is a captivating song by the American alternative rock band Nada Surf. Released in 2020, the song appears on the band’s ninth studio album “Never Not Together.” The song opens with a subdued guitar riff before launching into a driving beat that propels the track forward. Matthew Caws’ vocals are as introspective as they are soothing, with lyrics that explore the concept of achieving inner peace and clarity of thought through meditation and self-reflection. The chorus, which features a catchy hook and a rousing guitar solo, encourages listeners to “let your mind float free” and embrace the present moment. One of the most striking aspects of “Zen Brain” is its instrumentation. The song is filled with intricate guitar work, lush harmonies, and dynamic shifts in tempo and mood. The production is crisp and polished, with each instrument occupying its own sonic space while still blending together seamlessly.
9. “Zero And Blind Terry” by Bruce Springsteen
“Zero and Blind Terry” is a lesser-known but deeply impactful song by Bruce Springsteen, released in 1973 as part of his debut album “Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.” The song tells the story of two young men, Zero and Blind Terry, who are struggling to find their place in the world. The song begins with a haunting harmonica melody that sets a melancholic and introspective tone. Springsteen’s vocals are raw and emotive, as he sings about the harsh realities of life for young people living in poverty. One of the standout features of the song is its use of storytelling, with Springsteen painting a vivid picture of Zero and Blind Terry’s struggles and dreams. The lyrics are poignant and thought-provoking, with Springsteen reflecting on the human toll of poverty and social inequality.
10. “Zack and Codeine” by Post Malone
“Zack and Codeine” is a song by American rapper and singer Post Malone, released in 2018 as part of his album “Beerbongs & Bentleys.” The song showcases Post Malone’s unique style, blending elements of hip-hop, rock, and pop to create a distinct sound. The song begins with a catchy guitar riff that sets an upbeat and energetic tone. Post Malone’s vocals are confident and charismatic, as he raps about his success and the luxuries that come with it. One of the standout features of the song is its use of repetition, with Post Malone repeating the phrase “Zack and Codeine” throughout the song’s chorus. The song’s production is heavily influenced by rock music, with distorted guitars and heavy drums giving the song a gritty and raw edge.
11. “Zebras Crossing the Street” by Scooter
“Zebras Crossing The Street” is an electrifying electronic dance music (EDM) track by the German group Scooter. Released in 2002, the song is a blend of dream, trance, and hard trance genres, featuring pulsating beats, driving synths, and high-energy vocals. The song opens with a hypnotic melody and builds up to a euphoric climax, with a pounding bassline and soaring synths driving the rhythm. The lyrics are simple but effective, repeating the phrase “zebras crossing the street” in a chant-like manner that adds to the song’s hypnotic and trance-inducing effect. Scooter is known for their high-energy and euphoric music, and “Zebras Crossing The Street” is no exception. The song is a favorite among EDM fans and is often played at clubs and festivals around the world. Its infectious beats and catchy melody make it a perfect track for dancing and letting loose.
12. “Zero” by Chris Brown
“Zero” is a pop and dancehall-influenced track by American singer Chris Brown. The song was released in 2015 as the lead single from his seventh studio album, “Royalty”. The upbeat tempo and catchy melody of “Zero” make it a popular party anthem. The song opens with a pulsing electronic beat and Brown’s distinctive vocals, which are smooth and melodic. The chorus is particularly catchy, with Brown singing “I’m just trying to be the best me, oh oh oh” over a driving dancehall rhythm. The song’s lyrics encourage listeners to let go of their worries and just enjoy the moment. The music video for “Zero” features Brown and a group of dancers performing an energetic and intricate dance routine in a colorful, retro-style setting. The video’s vibrant visuals and high-energy choreography perfectly capture the song’s upbeat and carefree vibe.
13. “Zero The Hero” by Black Sabbath
“Zero The Hero” is a heavy metal track by the iconic English rock band Black Sabbath, and it was released in 1983 as part of their album “Born Again”. The song starts with an ominous, distorted guitar riff and a powerful drum beat that sets the tone for the rest of the song. The lyrics describe a hero who has risen from the ashes to save the world, with the band’s signature dark and mystic undertones. Vocalist Ian Gillan’s wailing and high-pitched screams in the chorus add an additional layer of intensity to the track, showcasing the band’s signature style. The song features a number of intricate guitar solos and fills, with guitarist Tony Iommi’s virtuoso playing adding to the track’s heavy sound. Overall, “Zero The Hero” is a standout track in Black Sabbath’s discography and an example of their heavy metal prowess. Its dark and heavy sound, complex guitar work, and powerful vocals make it a favorite among fans of classic heavy metal music. The song also showcases the band’s ability to experiment with different musical styles while maintaining their signature sound, making it a great representation of Black Sabbath’s evolution as a band over the years.
14. “Zoe Jane” by Staind
“Zoe Jane” is a poignant and emotional rock ballad by the American rock band Staind. The song was released in 2001 as part of their album “Break the Cycle”. It is a tribute to lead singer Aaron Lewis’s daughter, Zoe Jane, who was born with a congenital heart defect and had to undergo surgery at a young age. The song’s gentle acoustic guitar melody and Lewis’s heartfelt vocals create a somber and reflective atmosphere, with lyrics that express his love and concern for his daughter. The chorus is particularly moving, with Lewis singing “I want you to know that I love you, and I’m always here for you” over a melodic guitar solo. The music video for “Zoe Jane” features footage of Lewis and his daughter, adding a personal touch to the song’s emotional lyrics. The video captures the band’s intimate and emotional side, highlighting their ability to write songs that are both powerful and deeply personal.
15. “Zeus” by Eminem
“Zeus” is a rap song by the legendary American rapper Eminem, released in 2020 as part of his album “Music to Be Murdered By – Side B”. The track features production from legendary hip-hop producer Dr. Dre, and showcases Eminem’s lyrical prowess and introspective side. The song opens with a sample of a speech by comedian Chris Rock, before Eminem launches into his trademark rapid-fire delivery. The lyrics are introspective and personal, with Eminem reflecting on his past mistakes and the impact of his words on others. He also addresses his critics, declaring that he is still one of the best rappers in the game. The chorus features a sample from the 1994 Wu-Tang Clan song “Bring Da Ruckus”, with the repeated phrase “Bring the noise when you hear this, knocking at your door”. The beat is driven by a powerful drum loop and features sparse piano chords and orchestral samples that add a haunting and melancholic atmosphere to the song.
16. “Zombie Stomp” by Ozzy Osbourne
“Zombie Stomp” is a hard-hitting heavy metal song by the iconic British musician Ozzy Osbourne, released in 1991 as part of his album “No More Tears”. The track features Osbourne’s trademark aggressive vocals and a driving, riff-heavy instrumental backing that showcases the skill of his talented band. The song’s lyrics tell a story of a zombie apocalypse, with Osbourne’s powerful vocals describing the gruesome details of the undead rising from their graves and terrorizing the living. The chorus features a catchy hook, with Osbourne singing “Zombie stomp, zombie stomp, zombie stomp”, backed by a driving drumbeat and heavy guitar riff. The instrumental break features a blistering guitar solo by Osbourne’s longtime collaborator Zakk Wylde, who showcases his incredible skill and dexterity on the instrument. The song’s climax features a frenzied breakdown, with Osbourne’s vocals screaming over a pounding drumbeat and heavy guitar riff.
17. “Zoosk Girl” by Flo Rida
“Zoosk Girl” is a pop-rap song by the American rapper Flo Rida, released in 2010 as a single from his album “Only One Flo (Part 1)”. The track features a catchy, upbeat instrumental backing and Flo Rida’s trademark smooth flow, and tells the story of a girl he meets on the online dating website Zoosk. The song’s lyrics are filled with references to modern technology and popular culture, with Flo Rida rapping about his love for the girl’s “swag” and her ability to “type LOL on her BlackBerry”. The chorus features a catchy hook, with Flo Rida rapping “Zoosk girl, Zoosk girl, you’re my Zoosk girl”, backed by a pulsing synth riff and infectious dance beat. The instrumental backing features a mix of electronic and acoustic elements, with a heavy emphasis on danceable rhythms and catchy hooks. The song’s bridge features a breakdown, with Flo Rida’s vocals echoing over a sparse instrumental backing before building back up into the driving chorus.
18. “Zorro’s Ascent” by Alice Cooper
“Zorro’s Ascent” is a theatrical rock song by the American musician Alice Cooper, released in 1987 as part of his album “Raise Your Fist and Yell”. The track features Cooper’s signature theatrical vocals and a driving instrumental backing that blends elements of hard rock and heavy metal. The song’s lyrics tell the story of the legendary masked hero Zorro, with Cooper’s powerful vocals describing his daring feats and heroic deeds. The chorus features a catchy hook, with Cooper singing “Zorro, Zorro, the fox so cunning and free”, backed by a pounding drumbeat and heavy guitar riff. The instrumental break features a blistering guitar solo by Cooper’s longtime collaborator Kane Roberts, who showcases his virtuosity and flair on the instrument. The song’s climax features a frenzied breakdown, with Cooper’s vocals soaring over a pounding drumbeat and heavy guitar riff.
19. “Zero Mechanism” by The Used
“Zero Mechanism” is a post-hardcore track by the American rock band The Used, released in 2017 as part of their album “The Canyon”. The song features a powerful, aggressive instrumental backing that blends elements of punk rock and metal, with driving rhythms and heavy guitar riffs. The song’s lyrics address the theme of addiction, with the band’s vocalist Bert McCracken singing about the struggle to break free from destructive habits and behaviors. The chorus features a catchy hook, with McCracken’s vocals soaring over the heavy instrumental backing, as he sings “One more time and I’m done with this / One more time and I’m done with you”. The instrumental break features a blistering guitar solo, with the band’s lead guitarist Justin Shekoski showcasing his virtuosity and technical skill on the instrument. The song’s climax features a frenzied breakdown, with McCracken’s vocals reaching a fever pitch as he delivers the song’s final message of hope and determination.
20. “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Paula Abdul
“Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” is a classic song originally written for the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South”, and later covered by various artists over the years, including Paula Abdul in 1991. Abdul’s version of the song features a contemporary pop sound, with a bouncy, upbeat instrumental backing and lively vocals. The song’s lyrics celebrate the simple joys of life, with the narrator singing about the beauty of nature and the happiness that comes from being alive. The chorus features the iconic refrain “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay”, a catchy hook that has become synonymous with the song and its uplifting message. Abdul’s version of the song features her signature vocals, with her upbeat delivery and lively energy perfectly capturing the song’s joyful spirit. The instrumental backing features a mix of electronic and acoustic elements, with a prominent bassline and lively percussion that give the track a danceable, upbeat feel.