The 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever

MOJO #109Back in December 2002, MOJO magazine compiled a list of the 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever. Six years ago today, GLONO published an Open Letter to the Music Director of Mojo Magazine’s Mix CDs, essentially thanking them for the CD included with that issue, Feed Your Head: 16 Mind-Blowing Classics, which contained tracks by the Small Faces, Funkadelic, Chris Bell, Sebadoh, et al.

After the jump, you’ll find the complete list as well as the tracklist of the CD. The question for you is: What are the best drug songs released since 2002? I nominate MGMT‘s “Time to Pretend.”

MOJO’s 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever

Thanks to ilxor for typing out the list back in 2002.

  1. Afroman: “Because I Got High” (Universal, 2001)

  2. Peter Cook and Dudley Moore: “The L.S. Bumble Bee” (Decca, 1967)

  3. Brewer & Shipley: “One Toke Over the Line” (Kama Sutra, 1971)

  4. Wink: “Higher State of Consciousness” (Strictly Rhythm, 1995)

  5. Syd Barrett: “If It’s in You” (Harvest, 1970)

  6. Cab Calloway: “Reefer Man” (Brunswick, 1932)

  7. King Hannibal: “The Truth Shall Make You Free” (Aware, 1972)

  8. Fred Neil: “Sweet Cocaine” (Capitol, 1967)

  9. The Doors: “The Crystal Ship” (ELektra, 1967)

  10. James Brown: “King Heroin” (Polydor, 1972)

  11. Husker Du: “Pink Turns to Blue” (SST, 1984)

  12. Townes Van Zandt: “Waitin’ Around to Die” (Poppy, 1968)

  13. Fingers Inc.: “Mystery of Love” (Alleviated, 1985)

  14. The Creation: “How Does It Feel to Feel” (Polydor, 1968)

  15. Donovan: “Hurdy Gurdy Man” (Pye, 1968)

  16. The Chemical Brothers: “The Private Psychedelic Reel” (Virgin, 1997)

  17. Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band: “Ah Feel Like Ahcid” (Blue Thumb, 1968)

  18. Steppenwolf: “The Pusher” (Stateside, 1968)

  19. Bob Dylan: “Desolation Row (Live)” (Sheffield, May 1966) [from Genuine 1966 Live bootleg]

  20. The Count Five: “Psychotic Reaction” (Double Shot, 1966)

  21. Queens of the Stone Age: “Feel Good Hit of the Summer” (Interscope, 2000)

  22. The Beach Boys: “Good Vibrations” (Capitol, 1966)

  23. The Other Half: “Mr. Pharmacist” (GNP Crescendo, 1968)

  24. The Stranglers: “Golden Brown” (Liberty, 1981)

  25. Underworld: “Born Slippy” (Junior Boys Own, 1995)

  26. Billy Boy Arnold: “Whiskey, Beer & Reefer” and “Sunday Morning Blues” (Alligator, 1993 and 1995)

  27. The Temptations: “Psychedelic Shack” (Tamla, 1970)

  28. The Dramatics: “The Devil is Dope” (Stax, 1973)

  29. Spacemen 3: “Walkin’ with Jesus” (Glass, 1986)

  30. Pulp: “Sorted for E’s & Wizz” (Island, 1995)

  31. The Rolling Stones: “Mother’s Little Helper” (Decca, 1966)

  32. The Flamin’ Groovies: “Slow Death” (United Artists, 1972)

  33. Pink Floyd: “Astronomy Domine” (Columbia, 1967)

  34. Eric Burdon & the Animals: “A Girl Named Sandoz” (MGM, 1967)

  35. Etta James: “I’d Rather Go Blind” (Chess, 1967)

  36. The Orb: “Little Fluffy Clouds” (Big Life, 1990)

  37. Traffic: “Hole in My Shoe” (Island, 1967)

  38. Empirion: “Narcotic Influence” (Wanted/XL, 1994)

  39. The Holy Modal Rounders: “If You Want to Be a Bird a.k.a. Bird Song” (Elektra, 1968)

  40. Primal Scream: “Loaded” (Creation, 1991)

  41. Bomb the Bass: “Bug Powder Dust” (Stoned Heights/Island, 1995)

  42. KRS-One: “I Can’t Wake Up” (Jive, 1993)

  43. Bert Jansch: “Needle of Death” (Transatlantic, 1965)

  44. The Fall: “Totally Wired” (Rough Trade, 1980)

  45. Roland Stone: “Junco Partner/Preachers Daughter” (Ace, 1961)

  46. The Allman Brothers Band: “Whipping Post” (Capricorn, 1969)

  47. The Only Ones: “Another Girl, Another Planet” (CBS, 1978)

  48. Rick James: “Mary Jane” (Motown, 1978)

  49. Louis Armstrong: “Muggles” (OKeh, 1929)

  50. Kenny Rogers & the First Edition: “Just Stopped In (to See What Condition My Condition Was In)” (Reprise, 1967)

  51. Flowered Up: “Weekender” (Heavenly, 1991)

  52. The Third Bardo: “Lose Your Mind” (Sundazed, 1967) [EP]

  53. Ella Fitzgerald w/Chick Webb & His Orchestra: “Wacky Dust” (Decca, 1938)

  54. MC5: “Rocket Reducer no. 62” (Elektra, 1969)

  55. Phil Phillips “Sea of Love” and “The Evil Dope” (Khoury’s/Mercury, 1959 and Lanor, 1972)

  56. Country Joe & the Fish: “Bass Strings” (Vanguard, 1967)

  57. Funkadelic: “Maggot Brain” (Westbound, 1971)

  58. My Bloody Valentine: Glider EP (Creation, 1990)

  59. 13th Floor Elevators: “Roller Coaster” (International Artists, 1966)

  60. Black Sabbath: “Sweet Leaf” (Vertigo, 1971)

  61. Happy Mondays: “Do It Better” (Factory, 1988)

  62. Tim Hardin: “Red Balloon” (Verve-Forecast, 1967)

  63. David Essex: “Rock on” (CBS, 1973)

  64. Arlo Guthrie: “Coming into Los Angeles” (Reprise, 1969)

  65. Oasis: “Morning Glory” (Creation, 1995)

  66. The Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Purple Haze” (Track, 1967)

  67. Rodriguez: “Sugarman” (Sussex, 1970)

  68. David Peel & the Lower East Side: “I Like Marijuana” (Elektra, 1968)

  69. The Heartbreakers: “Chinese Rocks” (Track, 1977)

  70. The Beatles: “Rain” (Parlophone, 1966)

  71. Lemonheads: “My Drug Buddy” (Atlantic, 1992)

  72. The Temptations: “Cloud Nine” (Motown, 1968)

  73. The Byrds: “Artificial Energy” (CBS, 1968)

  74. The Velvet Underground: “I’m Waiting for the Man” (Verve, 1967)

  75. John Prine: “Sam Stone” (Atlantic, 1971)

  76. The Grateful Dead: “Dark Star” (Warner Bros., 1969) [Live/Dead version]

  77. The Beatles: “Got to Get You Into My Life” (Parlophone, 1966)

  78. Country Joe & the Fish: “Section 43” (Rag Baby, 1966) [EP]

  79. The Charlatans: “Codine Blues” (Big Beat, rec. 1966/rel. 1996)

  80. Electric Prunes: “I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)” (Reprise, 1966)

  81. The Smoke: “My Friend Jack” (Columbia, 1967)

  82. Curtis Mayfield: “Pusherman” (Curtom, 1972)

  83. The Amboy Dukes: “Journey to the Center of the Mind” (Mainstream, 1968)

  84. Ramones: “Carbona Not Glue” (Sire, 1977)

  85. Ry Cooder/Buffy Sainte-Marie: “The Hashishin” (Warner Bros., 1970)

  86. Bob Dylan: “Rainy Day Women no. 12 & 35” (CBS, 1966)

  87. Fats Waller: “The Reefer Song” (V-Disc, 1943)

  88. The Byrds: “Eight Miles High” (CBS, 1966)

  89. Harry “the Hipster” Gibson: “Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine?” (Musicraft, 1944)

  90. Neil Young: “The Needle and the Damage Done” (Reprise, 1972)

  91. Plastic Ono Band: “Cold Turkey” (Apple, 1969)

  92. Primal Scream: “Higher Than the Sun” (Creation, 1991)

  93. Love: “Signed D.C.” (Elektra, 1966)

  94. Dillinger: “Cokane in My Brain” (Channel One, 1976)

  95. Grandmaster & Melle Mel: “White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It)” (Sugarhill, 1983)

  96. The Small Faces: “Here Comes the Nice” (Immediate, 1967)

  97. Rolling Stones: “Sister Morphine” (Rolling Stones, 1971)

  98. The Velvet Underground: “Heroin” (Verve, 1967)

  99. The Beatles: “Tomorrow Never Knows” (Parlophone, 1966)

  100. Jefferson Airplane: “White Rabbit” (RCA, 1967)

Spotify: Mojo Magazine’s 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever

Feed Your Head: 16 Mind-Blowing Classics

  1. The Dramatics: “The Devil is Dope”

  2. The Sonics: “Strychnine”

  3. Nat Adderley: “Quit It”

  4. The Small Faces: “Here Comes the Nice”

  5. Dillinger: “Cocaine in My Brain”

  6. Donovan: “Sunny Goodge Street”

  7. Country Joe & the Fish: “Bass Strings”

  8. The Pretty Things: “Defecting Grey”

  9. The Flaming Groovies: “Slow Death”

  10. Chris Bell: “I am the Cosmos”

  11. Grandmaster Flash: “White Lines”

  12. Sebadoh: “Too Pure”

  13. The Mighty Hannibal: “The Truth Shall Make You Free”

  14. James Booker: “Junco Partner”

  15. Funkadelic: “Maggot Brain”

  16. Harry the Hipster Gibson: “Who Put the Benzadrine”

Spotify: Mojo Magazine’s Feed Your Head: 16 Mind-Blowing Classics

Apple Music: Mojo Magazine’s Feed Your Head: 16 Mind-Blowing Classics

MP3: Spacemen 3 – “Walking With Jesus” (single version) (courtesy of the Finest Kiss)

85 thoughts on “The 100 Greatest Drug Songs Ever”

  1. The Velvet’s “Heroin” pretty much set the bar for drugs songs (i.e., songs that offer a “virtual” high). Too many songs on the list seem like anti-drug songs (“Needle and the Damage Done”)–when there are plenty of other Neil songs that offer a glimpse of the high (from “Sugar Mountain” to “C’mon Baby Let’s Go Downtown”). And “Desolation Row” is a bad trip compared to “Mr Tambourine Man.” I’d glad to see Chris Bell but what about Big Star? A number of songs from the first three albums can go drug-for-drug with “I am the Cosmos.” And Syd Barrett’s “Octopus” or one of the early Pink Floyd songs like “Astronomy Domine” or even “The Gnome” get at the psychedelic dissociation better than anything the all too obvious Doors or Jefferson Airplane had to offer. As for Beatles: “Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields” is the epitome of drug consciousness in song. I’d also place “Dead Flowers” above “Sister Morphine”–not to mention pretty much every other song on Exile on Main St. “Mother’s Little Helper” is a wimpish choice at best. Who made these selections? Nancy Reagan? And is my brain addled, but does David Peel make the list and not Bob Marley? You better hope a Duppy Conqueror won’t be coming after you. What you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

  2. This list is a joke, RIGHT!?!?! Only ONE Syd Barrett song when he was w/ Floyd!?! One solo song. Why isn’t “See Emily Play” on here?!?! Anyone ever hear of the MOVE??? I’ll send you all a quarter so you can buy a freaking clue…DEPLORABLE!!!

  3. You are wrong in one GIANT omission.

    The Beatles may claim otherwise but HEY JUDE( ah-jud) is ARABIC for heroin!!

    So please ‘let it in and begin to make it better.”

    Now will you get the list right by adding hey Jude?

  4. People, I want to share with you songs from the best band here in Argentina. “Patricio rey y sus redonditos de ricota”, that’s the complete name, also known as “Los redondos”.

    I’ll put some of the songs I like most, specially about cocaine, to follow the subject, but some are not:



    -Vencedores vencidos

    -Yo canibal

    -Mi genio amor

    -Tarea fina

    -Juguetes perdidos

    -Salando las heridas

    -Ñam fri fruli fali fru

    -Mariposa pontiac

    -Nadie es perfecto

    -Yo no me cai del cielo

    -Todo un palo

    You won’t regret downoading this songs. The ideas in the lyrics are very filosofical and also very very difficult to understand, even to spanish speakers.

  5. A few glaring omissions: Guns ‘n Roses – Mr Brownstone; Bowie’s Space Oddity and China Girl. China Girl was written by Iggy Pop about his favourite brand of heroin – China White.

  6. two massive ones missed for me here;

    lou reed- perfect day

    beatles – lucy in the sky with diamonds

    and my favourite, but not in the same style,

    the shamen – ebeneezer goode

  7. Justin timberlake

    (although horridly overplayed by todays musically challenged teenagers)

    has a song called ‘losing my way’ which i like – and believe me, i hate to say i like a justin timberlake song

  8. i once heard a song like 10 years ago i think it was by tom petty about that went over all the girls he knew and thedrugs they did and why it ddnt work out …

    such as i once knew a girl she did cocain but she was ….. for me…

    the first gilr drank too much Jack

    the second smoked POT

    the next did cocain…

    want o get the song but i dont know who sang it or what the name is… can some one help me????

  9. Comfortably numb. Where is it? I may have overlooked it because I just did a quick scan but surely that has to be on there somewhere.

  10. I miss “used to get high” from the John Butler Trio, great song ’bout getting high.

    Especially the first line is epic: “Used to get high for a living, believing everything that is saw on my tv”

  11. My Top 10!

    Honorable Mentions: Rehab – Amy Winehouse, White Lines – Grandmaster Flash, Smuggler’s Blues – Glen Frey

    10) Hits from the Bong – Cypress Hill
    9) Mary Jane – Rick James
    8) Cocaine – Eric Clapton
    7) She Talks to Angels – Black Crowes
    6) Mr. Brownstone – Guns N’ Roses
    5) Brick – Ben Folds Five
    4) Lucy in the Sky – The Beatles
    3) Holy Diver – Dio
    2) Master of Puppets – Master of Puppets
    1) Purple Haze – Jimi Hendrix

  12. The Best from ’02 & on:
    1. rehab – amy winehouse
    2. im on everything – bad meets evil
    3. space ship – benny benassi
    4. purple pills – D12
    5. Kush – dr dre, eminem, akon
    6. these drugs – eminem
    7. get em high – kanye west
    8. everyones at it – lily allen
    9. I get high – lloyd banks
    10. blueberry yum yum – ludacris
    11. how high – method man & redman
    12. bomb intro/pass the dutch – missy elliot
    13. 4 my people – missy elliot
    14. high as a kite – nicki minaj
    15. army’s on ecstacy – oysterhead
    16. how to roll a blunt – redman
    17. sensimillia – slightly stoopid
    18. above the clouds – slightly stoopid
    19. fat spliffs – slightly stoopid
    20. this joint – slightly stoopid
    21. everything you need – slightly stoopid
    22. officer – slightly stoopid
    23. stay fly – three 6 mafia
    24. fire – twista
    25. hash pipe – weezer

    and i could name about 3 dozen more songs that would’ve been better suited for your list than some listed above! you guys should’ve done your homework better!!!

  13. Where is Tom Petty’s Last Dance with Mary Jane? Or Clapton’s Cocaine? Steppenwolfs “The Pusherman”?

  14. Where are The Doors songs?

    1. The End
    2. The Crystal Ship
    3. Light My Fire
    4. Tell All The People
    5. Five to One
    6. Waiting For The Sun

    just to name a few………..

  15. This list definitely sucks. Clapton’s Cocaine should be number one not even on the list?!?!!? WTF Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, yes, this list SUX.

  16. I agree with the others, where’s Comfortably Numb? And I’m still having a hard time understanding why Afroman’s “Because I Got High” is on any kind of great song list.

  17. This list is a joke. Hello ?

    Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – The Beatles
    Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles
    Revolution 9 – The Beatles
    A Day in the Life – The Beatles
    Strange People – The Doors
    Glass Onion – The Beatles

    Just to name a few

  18. Strawberry fields isnt about drugs – never was – it was about a childrens home in Liverpool – check your facts

    A day in the life wasnt about drugs either

    some people should keep things to themselves until they have all the facts in hand

  19. Kickstart my heart- motley crue. he says he gets high on speed in the first verse.
    oviously shoulda been on there. and to think cocaine eric clapton wasnt on that list is a disgrace.

  20. LMAO!!! The editor is obviously a moron wasting everyones time. So many important songs missed, including Rolling Stones- Angie.
    And WTF is up with the list?!?!? #66 Etta James- I’d Rather Go Blind? LOL If he spent less time making up fake list and more time expanding his/her mind and heart, maybe he/she would have a better researched list.

  21. tho these songs all have merrit ,there is one factor we should all consider ,anyones list will be different do to age group. my list in part would have some classic songs .i did grow up in the time of experimenting with drugs.all the songs mentioned by all of you may have a place on the list and some omitted because they are not considerd drug related. once again listen to the songs lyrics. and for claptons cocaine,is not his song. look up the real artist. JJ Cale wrote the song. while on the subject no one mentioned Commander Cody’s seeds and stems. wether it be alchol or some mind bending chemical ,drugs do not enhance ones ability to see clear a plath of self awareness.

  22. In my opinion, Heroin should’ve come first, it really feels like a trip and has just some of the greatest lyrics ever, the end of the song feels like you’re really on drugs with the shrieking viola and the drums’ random tempo. The song is not condamning drugs use but it’s not encouraging it neither, it’s just describing it. The slow crescendo during all the song that becomes so chaotic at the end is the perfect example of whet you’d expect from taking drugs. I think it really should be first, but third place is good too afer all.

  23. WTF?Drinking is very bad for you and you shouldn’t be drinking…if you drink you are very BAD!…SO DON’T DRINK!Drinking makes me very depressed.

  24. too much metal….
    capital letters smoking my ganja
    peter tosh legalise it
    the wailers kaya

    and there’s one song I can’t recall from the 90’s about some guy on a bad trip who met himself coming down an up escalator…any ideas?

  25. Missing:
    Comfortably Numb-Floyd
    Sweet Virginia-Stones
    Tales of Brave Ulysses-Cream
    Entire STICKY FINGERS album-Stones

    That’s just the first couple that popped into my head. This list sucks.

  26. I love the fact that Rodriguez made this list with “Sugar Man.” His induction to music is well overdue and the lyrics he wrote were tales few artists could even promote.

  27. Where is Alice in chains?? What’s my drug of choice, well what have you got, I don’t go broke, and I do it a lot!

    I love the cocaine- buck cherry

  28. There are plenty of omissions, including…

    Along Comes Mary – Association

    Something Happened To Me Yesterday – Stones

    Legend Of A Mind – Moody Blues

    Kid Charlemagne – Steely Dan

    Time Out Of Mind – Steely Dan

    I Can See For Miles -Who

    Itchycoo Park -Small Faces

    I See The Rain – Marmalade

    Winchester Cathedral -CSN

    I’m Five Years Ahead Of My Time – Fifth Bardo

    Let’s Go Trippin’ – Dick Dale

    Snowblind Friend – Steppenwolf

    Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes – Kevin Ayers

    …saved the best for last!!

  29. I dare somebody to by a friend and fix me, and everybody, a on screen lyrics on youtube for the songs that are missing on screen lyrics on youtube!

  30. There’s a lot of dispute about loads of the Beatles songs – the Beatles themselves contradicted themselves over and over re: song ‘meanings.’ I don’t think anyone mentioned Day Tripper either…

  31. what about “LOW” by Cracker, “LOSER” by 3 doors down, “I WANA BE SEDATED” by the ramones, “HURT” by NIN, “HATE ME” by blue october, “POPPIES and SEX N CANDY” by marcy`s playground, “CHAMPAGNE SUPERNOVA” by oasis and i dont think i saw “THAT SMELL” by lynard skynard.

    Also “COMFORTABLY NUMB” is not a heroin song!!!

    1. Champagne Supernova is not about heroin. WTF is wrong with you? Read Noel Gallagher’s own words about the song he wrote for information on it. And you are criticizing others about what they say when you have no clue what you are even talking about? Jesus.

  32. i dont think “MARY JANE`S LAST DANCE” is a drug song….hey, Indiana Girl was its original title before rick ruben changed it at its release. being that the producer not the song writer made the change makes me think tom petty didnt have intentions for it to be about drugs.

  33. Just a small list of tunes from my 490 gigabytes of music . I hope someone here checks these out. There is over an hour of enjoyable listening, especially under the influence of your favourite substance.

    Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz: Weedman
    The Beatles: Another Girl
    Tim Buckley: Hallucinations
    Kaleidoscope: Keep Your Mind Open
    The Troggs: Night of The Long Grass
    The Electric Prunes: Get Me to The World on Time
    The Attack: Colours of My Mind
    The Beau Brummels: Magic Hollow
    The Pretty Things: Loneliest Person
    The Hollies: King Midas in Reverse
    Steppenwolf: Magic Carpet Ride
    The Jimi Hendrix Experience: The Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice
    Amorphous Androgynous: A Monstrous Psychedelic Bubble Exploding in Your Mind. Volume’s 1,2,3
    Amon Dull: Sandoz in The Rain
    Dr. Dre: Let’s Get High
    Timothy Leary: Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out
    Little Feat: Spanish Moon
    Hawkwind: Hashish
    The Move: I Can Hear The Grass Grow
    The Purple Gang: Granny Takes a Trip
    Donovan: The Trip
    The Small Faces: Green Circles
    Led Zeppelin: Going To California
    Traffic: Dealer
    Ultimate Spinach: Mind Flowers
    The Beatles: Get Back
    Billy Joel: Captain Jack

  34. Where is janes addiction? EVERY junkies anthem is quitting TOMMORROW and under the bridge “i drew blood but i couldnt draw enough” hey anthony i got that problem too morphine (which is what h turns into upon entering the bloodstream) causes collapsed veins
    And if we r gonna include alcohol and weed there are a long list of country to b included

  35. I am a drug head Alice in chains since gsd several songs. Sludge factory. Junk heads down in a hole. No exuses, grind. Get with it.

  36. I was recently lent the magazine this list recently appeared in and discussing the list with the muso friend who originally bought it we were both shocked by the omission of Steely Dan’s Time Out of Mind: one of the most blatant and enthusiastic songs about heroin ever. I’d also have included something by Gil Scott-Heron, a man who knew about addiction from the inside, probably Esther Phillips’ chilling cover of his Home is Where the Hatred Is. And maybe Etta James and Harvey Fuqua’s smirking double entendres about injecting heroin in their take on Spoonful. And as a huge Only Ones fan the one song Peter Perrett wrote solely about drugs (as opposed to many references/imagery in the others), the Beast is very impressive.

  37. Dead Flowers is barely mentioned here. If there ever was a heroin promotional song, there it is

  38. I feel like the guy who made this is about 40 years older than me and bias. I’m 38. I can’t believe there is not 1 red hot chili pepper song up here. Also grunge music put out some of the best drugs songs.

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