Music

7 songs that span the spectrum of color

Want to make a rainbow connection? Turn up the volume on these color-themed tunes.

Color has long been an inspiration for songwriters.Color has long been an inspiration for songwriters.The colors of the rainbow have long been an inspiration for songwriters. (Photo: Thorsten Schmitt / Shutterstock)

Sometimes there is no better way to describe a mood or emotion than by using color. In this curated playlist, talented artists from around the world express themselves by spanning the spectrum of color. Not surprisingly, they also range the scale of emotion. So sit back and enjoy this rainbow of music!

'Orange Crush,' R.E.M.

Even though this song shares a name with a delicious orange soda, "Orange Crush" is anything but sweet. Legendary American rock band R.E.M. released this hit in 1988, from their sixth album, ironically titled “Green.” The song describes the journey of a young American man sent off to fight in the Vietnam War. The song won an MTV Video Music Award for “Best Post-Modern Video.”


'Lady in Red,' Chris de Burgh

“I’ve never seen you looking so lovely as you did tonight.” British-Irish singer songwriter Chris de Burgh starts this hit with so much emotion for the love of his life – his wife. Debuting in 1986, "Lady in Red" became de Burgh’s signature song. It was a No. 1 hit in countries around the world, including Canada, the U.K. and Ireland. This colorful tune was also a common anthem in proms, weddings and other romantic occasions in the United States, reaching No. 3 on the Billboard charts.


'Black & White,' Aviv Geffen

Israeli singer-songwriter Aviv Geffen tackles color in his ballad "Black & White." While Geffen has been making music since the 1990s, he did not release this single until 2009. As a seasoned artist, he reaches deep, and expresses concern that the woman of his dreams is living a life without color. He asks, “How many years passed you by in black and white?” As the music builds, so does the music video – and eventually crescendos by changing into vibrant color.


'Yellow,' Coldplay

This song is quintessential Coldplay. Originally released in 2000, it is still one of the British rock band’s most popular songs. "Yellow" was released on the band’s debut album "Parachutes" and helped launch Coldplay's success in America. Since then, the song has been covered by artists around the world. The music video features lead singer Chris Martin singing on the beach. Despite the grey skies and blue day, his love is bright and yellow.


'Green Onions,' Booker T & the M.G.'s

It only takes a few seconds to recognize this classic instrumental hit by R&B funk band Booker T and the M.G.’s. Originally recorded in 1962 in Tennessee as the title track for the album "Green Onions," the song is still popular today. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named "Green Onions" one of the 500 greatest songs of all time, and the song earned its place in the Grammy Hall of Fame. It has been used in countless movies and TV shows, including "Happy Gilmore," "The Sandlot" and "Glory Road."


'Purple Haze,' Jimi Hendrix

Purple Haze is one of the biggest hits from American singer-songwriter and wildly talented guitarist Jimi Hendrix. This unmistakable psychedelic rock sound is a true symbol of the 1960s and has made this song a cultural classic. "Purple Haze" joins "Green Onions" in the Grammy Hall of Fame as an icon of American music. Check out this spectacular performance, including the man himself on guitar.


'Back to Black,' Amy Winehouse

British singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse belts out this colorful hit with serious grit. "Back to Black" is the title track for Winehouse’s most popular album that won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal album of the year in 2008. In fact, the album garnered Winehouse five Grammy Awards, and has been crowned the United Kingdom’s best-selling album of the 21st century. The song was written by Winehouse and producer Mark Ronson, and has since been covered numerous times from artists across the globe. Beyoncé and Andre 3000 debuted a powerful cover in 2013, two years after the singer’s tragic death, for the soundtrack of the film adaptation of "The Great Gatsby."

Have any favorites that did not make the list? Let us know what color song fits your mood in the comments below.

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