Adele's 10 best songs so far, ranked

19 March 2021, 15:44

Adele's 10 best songs so far, ranked
Adele's 10 best songs so far, ranked. Picture: YouTube/Columbia

By Tom Eames

In under 15 years as a recording artist, Adele has cemented herself as one of the world's most successful singer-songwriters.

Adele released her debut album 19 in 2008, and by the release of her second album 21 three years later, she became a worldwide phenomenon.

She has sold over 120 million records, won countless Brit and Grammy awards and we can't wait to hear what she comes up with next.

Here are her 10 best songs so far:

  1. Rumour Has It

    Adele - Rumour Has it (Glastonbury 2016)

    This track was co-written with and produced by OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder.

    Adele later explained that the song was not inspired by the media, but was actually aimed at her own friends, who had spread rumours about her break-up with her boyfriend.

    Read more: The emotional day Adele went in disguise to surprise a group of Adele impersonators

    "People might think it's about blogs and magazines and papers, but it's not. It's about my own friends believing stuff that they hear about me, which is pretty mortifying really."

  2. Chasing Pavements

    Adele - Chasing Pavements

    This was Adele's second ever single, taken from her debut album 19 in 2008, and was many people's first time their heard her talent.

    The song was inspired by an incident Adele had with a ex-boyfriend of six months. After find out he had cheated on her, she went to the bar he was at and punched him in the face.

    After being thrown out, Adele walked down the street and thought: "What is it you're chasing? You're chasing an empty pavement." She sang and recorded it on her mobile phone and arranged the song's chords when she got home.

  3. When We Were Young

    Adele - When We Were Young (Live at The Church Studios)

    This was the second single from 25, and was co-written with Canadian musician Tobias Jesso Jr.

    Read more: Watch when Adele performed stunning acoustic Smooth gig a week before superstardom

    The heartfelt ballad sees Adele reminiscing about past memories with a loved one, and won high critical acclaim.

  4. Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

    Adele - Send My Love (To Your New Lover)

    Adele co-wrote this upbeat track with pop supremos Max Martin and Shellback for her 25 album, after being inspired by Martin's 'I Knew You Were Trouble' by Taylor Swift.

    The singer described the track as a "happy you're gone" song dedicated to an ex-boyfriend.

  5. Make You Feel My Love

    ADELE - 'Make You Feel My Love'

    Bob Dylan first recorded this song for his 1997 album Time Out of Mind. Adele's version has now since become perhaps the most famous version.

    In 2010, two years after its release, the song became a UK chart hit after it was performed a number of times on shows like Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor. It was arguably this which helped her find new fans just before the release of her next album 21.

  6. Hello

    Adele - Hello

    This song was the lead single from Adele's third album 25, and was an instant success, achieving number one placings around the world.

    This song looks back at nostalgia and regret, playing out like a conversation, revolving around relationships of the past.

  7. Skyfall

    Adele - Skyfall (Lyric Video)

    One of the best-selling digital single of all time, this was the theme tune to Daniel Craig's third outing as James Bond.

    Film company Eon Productions invited Adele to work on the theme song in early 2011, a task that she accepted after reading the film's script.

    While composing the song, Adele and Paul Epworth tried to capture the mood and style of the other classic Bond themes, and it worked.

  8. Someone Like You

    Adele - Someone Like You (Official Music Video)

    After Adele performed this heartbreraking piano ballad at the 2011 Brit Awards, it sold by the bucketload, and was that year's bestselling single in the UK.

    Read more: The Story of... 'Someone Like You'

    Written with Semisonic's Dan Wilson, it was inspired by a breakup. She later said: "Well, I wrote that song because I was exhausted from being such a b***h, I was really emotionally drained from the way I was portraying him.

    "Because even though I'm very bitter and regret some parts of it, he's still the most important person that's ever been in my life, and 'Someone like You,' I had to write it to feel OK with myself and OK with the two years I spent with him. And when I did it, I felt so freed."

  9. Set Fire to the Rain

    Adele - Set Fire To The Rain (Live at The Royal Albert Hall)

    Taken from the 21 album, this became Adele's third consecutive number one single in America in 2011.

    Written with Fraser T Smith, the song describes the complex elements of a relationship, and the difficulties of letting go, despite stark reasons to do so.

  10. Rolling in the Deep

    Adele - Rolling in the Deep (Official Music Video)

    This was arguably the song that took Adele to stratospheric level of fame, particularly in the States, where it was number one for seven weeks in 2011.

    The song was apparently inspired by a Nashville tour bus driver, and written by Adele with Pau Epworth in a single afternoon after Adele's breakup with her boyfriend.

    It was "her reaction to, 'being told that my life was going to be boring and lonely and rubbish, and that I was a weak person if I didn't stay in the relationship. I was very insulted, and wrote that as a sort of "f*** you".