Back To Black – Amy Winehouses Top Songs

Amy Winehouse’s was a musical powerhouse who took the world by storm with her soulful voice & iconic beehive. Her songs, a blend of jazz, pop & R&B, captured the raw emotions of love, loss, & everything in between. Her music features in the new biopic opening in Irish cinemas on April 12th, starring Marisa Abela as the Grammy-winning singer. Picking just 10 tracks is no easy feat, but here’s a taste of the incredible music Amy left behind.

10. I Heard Love Is Blind
As recounted in the 2015 documentary film ‘Amy’, the singer auditioned for her record label with this self-penned song. It later became one of the highlights on her debut album ‘Frank’.

9. F**K Me Pumps
What a title, eh? Amy has dollybirds & wannabe footballer’s wives in her sights here. But while the lyrics don’t pull any punches, it’s also a surprisingly sweet tribute to these ladies, laughing with them as much as at them, celebrating them as fun and resilient 21st century dreamers.

8. Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow
Amy’s cover of the Carole King-written Shirelles hit from 1960 exists in a few different forms (not least on the soundtrack to Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason). But the best rendition is the unplugged one. Slowed down, with just a guitar for company, Amy’s raw voice turns a pop classic into a bittersweet symphony.

7. Wake Up Alone
Amy never shied away from writing about her problems & demons, here she conjures the feeling of missing someone so badly that you just have to keep busy or else you might go mad. But cleaning the house to avoid drinking and never stopping, so you don’t have to be alone with your thoughts only gets you so far. Those feelings have to come out somewhere, so Amy ends up having almost hallucinogenic dreams about the thing (the person) she’s trying to forget.

6. You Know That I’m No Good
This song is just full of brassy attitude from the very start. With references to Tanqueray & Roger Moore before the first chorus (as well as a ‘pita’/’bitter’ rhyming later on), you can tell Amy is having fun on this one. “I told you I was trouble,” she sings… “You know that I’m no good.” We wouldn’t have you any other way, Amy.

5. Valerie
Think of this song as Amy’s ‘Mr Brightside’: an iconic banger that automatically turns large groups of people (usually at weddings) into leaping, clapping, jig-acting eejits. Amy took the Zutons’ more melancholy original and spiffed it up into a soulful, playful blast of pure pop. Truly, that voice could do anything.

4. Back to Black
The title track of her biggest album (and the title of the upcoming movie) is full of ‘60s doowop sounds but very modern lyrics about a fraught relationship that, ahem, may or may not be about Amy and Blake Fielder-Civil. It also features a string section worthy of a Bond song.

3. Rehab
The song that for so long was her signature track, a status that quickly became problematic, if not downright bad taste following her death. Still, there’s no denying the sheer power and sarcastic knowingness of Amy’s defiant delivery. She won’t admit there’s a problem, let alone need help for it, and the song manages to sound like youthful cockiness and horrible foreshadowing all at once.

2.Tears Dry On Their Own
This song has such a boppy, ‘60s girl group sound to it that you might first miss how dark and sad the lyrics are. Do yourself a favour and look up the version that Amy performed at her legendary Other Voices session in the Church of St James, Dingle in 2006. It’s truly something else.

1. Love Is A Losing Game
There was only ever going to be one song to top the list. George Michael named it his favourite song of all time. Prince covered it. Featuring on the Back to Black album, there’s no mischief, sarcasm or playfulness here. It’s just pure, unironic, anguished pain, an eternal testament to the once-in-a-generation talent we all lost.

Words : Declan Cashin


BACK TO BLACK is at Irish cinemas from April 14th