20 Best Songs to Listen to While High
A world without music would be a puritanical hell where everyone is forced to ‘conform’ and listen to daily lectures from Mike Pence. If the eyes are the windows to the soul, music is the back and front doors, as it fills you with a wide range of emotions. There is music for every mood: Unbridled joy, longing, anger, and lust.
When you include marijuana with the magical magnetism of music, you have a combination that goes together better than a low-rent wannabe dictatorial leader and prison. In this list, we look at 20 songs that sound incredible when you’re stoned, but they aren’t necessarily about Mary Jane.
Music is a subjective art form, so we don’t expect you to agree with all, or even any, of these choices! As such, we invite you to provide your own stoner classics in the comments section below. So here they are, the 20 best songs to listen to while high:
1 – Led Zeppelin – Ramble On
This English band is one of the greatest in rock n’ roll history, and there are about a dozen songs from their back catalog that you could listen to while high. ‘Stairway to Heaven’ deserves an honorable mention simply for being one of the greatest songs ever written. However, ‘Ramble On’ is arguably an even better choice when one is utterly stoned.
‘Ramble On’ contains wonderful, soothing guitar riffs along with heavy guitar music that brings you into the complex world of Robert Plant and co. It is part of the album Led Zeppelin II which was released in 1969. According to Plant, the lyrics to the song were inspired by The Lord of the Rings.
2 – Tame Impala – Yes, I’m Changing
This Australian band has been described as a cross between John Lennon and Pink Floyd. Their brand of psychedelic rock has become extremely popular with stoners, and there is a multitude of songs by Tame Impala that you could listen to while baked. The track ‘Yes I’m Changing’ comes from the band’s third album, Currents, which was released in 2015.
3 – Radiohead – 15 Step
Radiohead is a UK band that has always tried its best to move away from convention. Their seventh album, In Rainbows, was released in 2013 without the aid of a major record label and is arguably one of the band’s finest. The entire album is a triumph of alternative music with piano, electronics, strings, and the ondes Martenot all getting an airing.
‘15 Step’ is an atmospheric track that transports you to another realm when you are sober, let alone when you are high. The song utilizes the rare 5/4 meter which makes it extremely hard to clap along to. Not that you’ll care because you’ll be too busy remaining in awe of a masterpiece.
4 – Glass Animals – The Other Side of Paradise
This is another psychedelic band, and the British quartet is known for pushing the boundaries of music in almost every one of its songs. Glass Animals has gained fame for their remarkable live shows which involve dance-heavy versions of their songs. The song ‘The Other Side of Paradise’ comes from the band’s second studio album, How to Be a Human Being which was released in 2016.
5 – Bob Marley & The Wailers – Sun is Shining
If you don’t have a Bob Marley track on your stoner playlist, you are doing it wrong! ‘Sun is Shining’ was first released as part of the Soul Revolution album in 1971. It reappeared on African Herdsman two years later and was re-recorded by Marley on his 1978 album, Kaya. It is one of his most popular songs and is widely credited as one of the tracks that led to the explosion of reggae fusion into the mainstream.
Back in 2015, UK newspaper The Independent released a list of the 20 most-streamed tracks from 420 playlists. Naturally, ‘Sun is Shining’ features prominently! It is a fantastic tune to listen to in concert with an uplifting marijuana strain. A deep examination of the lyrics suggests the song is praising Jah for the sunshine and the gift of another day. It is very much a song that should make you celebrate life.
6 – Gorillaz – Feel Good Inc.
Gorillaz was a unique concept at the time. It was a ‘virtual’ band created by several individuals, including Blur frontman, Damon Albarn. Bizarrely, ‘Feel Good Inc.’ was the only track in Albarn’s career to reach the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 list of singles. It ultimately became Gorillaz’s most commercially successful track as part of the group’s second album, Demon Days, which was released in 2005.
The track seems to be a protest against the evils of consumerism. In the music video, you clearly see the windmill mentioned in the song, which is perhaps a reference to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, where a windmill powered the farm. We recommend getting stoned and watching the trippy music video while listening to the song.
7 – Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
To lovers of psychedelic music, the British band Pink Floyd needs no introduction. Not everyone ‘gets’ this group, but those who do have become devoted followers. The song ‘Comfortably Numb’ was released as a single in 1980 and is part of the band’s 11 th studio album, The Wall, which was released in 1979.
‘Comfortably Numb’ is famous for being the last song the original band performed together live, in 2005. The song begins thoughtfully only to build up into a crescendo of one of the great guitar solos in musical history. You could choose one of several Pink Floyd songs while stoned, but we believe this one is the best.
8 – John Coltrane – In a Sentimental Mood
Those of you who lament the lack of ‘real’ talent in modern music will doubtless be delighted to see jazz legend John Coltrane on the list. However, ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ is proof that it isn’t just modern artists who gain fame from another person’s work. The song was originally recorded by Duke Ellington in 1935, but he recorded a version with Coltrane in 1963.
There are few jazz tracks more suitable for when you’re high than this one. You can imagine yourself smoking a joint in a café in a prominent European city surrounded by culture and elegance. It is the epitome of a laid-back track and is ideal for listening with a joint in hand at the end of a hard day at work.
9 – The Doors – Riders on the Storm
Once again, The Doors is a band you simply can’t ignore when discussing stoner music. This legendary psychedelic rock band did things its own way and wasn’t around for long enough as lead singer, Jim Morrison, died at the age of 27. ‘Riders on the Storm’ is part of the group’s sixth studio album, L.A. Woman, which was released in 1971. It was the last album featuring Morrison.
10 – Kid Cudi – Marijuana
We didn’t say that this list would have NO songs dedicated to marijuana! Kid Cudi is an American hip hop artist, and he doesn’t hide his love of ganja on this track. ‘Marijuana’ is on Kid Cudi’s second studio album, Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager, which was released in 2010.
The song itself is an ode to weed and is famed for being exactly 4:20 long. In case you are in doubt as to the purpose of the track, Kid Cudi even says ‘and 4:20’ right at the end. ‘Marijuana’ includes a small electric guitar solo to mix things up a bit. Kid Cudi later revealed that he stopped smoking in 2011 because he was frustrated with being associated with stoner culture.
11 – Tool – Stinkfist
This Californian rock band has been around for a LONG time. However, they have only released four albums since their debut, Undertow, which was released in 1993. The epic ‘Stinkfist’ is on the band’s second album, Enima, in 1996, and was the first single from the album.
Contrary to what you may think from the title, the song is actually about drummer Danny Carey and the fact he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty. According to lead singer, Maynard James Keenan, it is all about choosing compassion over fear. If you really want an ‘experience,’ get high while watching the music video; it is epic!
12 – Wiz Khalifa – Never Been
Wiz Khalifa is in many ways, the modern era’s version of Snoop Dogg. Like Snoop, you could make a case for many of Wiz’s songs making the stoner playlist. However, ‘Never Been,’ from the album Kush & Orange Juice, released in 2010, is an exceptionally chill track that makes you want to get stoned if you aren’t already.
In fact, you could listen to the entire Kush & Orange Juice album while high, because it seems as if the record was specifically designed for weed lovers! The album is all about smoking marijuana, attractive women, and partying. Indeed, Wiz admitted that he gave the album its title because it is the ideal wake and bake combination!
13 – Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
We could easily choose Hendrix’s version of ‘All Along the Watchtower’ here, but we’ve opted for ‘Purple Haze’ instead. When the song was released as only the second single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967, it was many peoples’ first exposure to the unique psychedelic sound of the master.
It regularly features on the list of all-time great guitar songs, but even though it is associated with drugs (Purple Haze marijuana anyone?), there is no evidence that it is a song about any type of narcotic. While some say it is because openly writing about drugs at that time would have been professional suicide, others believe it is a love song.
14 – Cinnamon Chasers – Luv Deluxe
It isn’t exactly easy to find information about this electro music outfit. Even a Wikipedia entry is elusive! We know that the band is based in London, England and that it is comprised of lead singer Russ Davies and his backup group whom he calls Cinnamon Chasers. The group doesn’t seem to have released an album since 2012 which is a shame because ‘Luv Deluxe’ is a prime example of its talent.
If you love electro music and don’t mind feeling a little tearful, give Cinnamon Chasers a try. The track, ‘Luv Deluxe’ has a haunting, award-winning video that may make you re-evaluate a few things in your life. If you like this track, you’ll probably love the band’s two albums.
15 – Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg – Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang
It simply wouldn’t be a list worth considering if there weren’t a track from Mister Marijuana himself, Snoop Dogg. The track ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang’ features Snoop but is actually part of Dr. Dre’s debut solo album, The Chronic, which was released in 1992. It is unquestionably one of the great tracks in the hip-hop genre and was even named as one of the 500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll by Rolling Stone magazine.
The music video is pure gold as it involves the two legendary rappers going to a block party at Long Beach. In many ways, it is the stereotypical hip-hop video featuring scantily clad women, drug paraphernalia, and alcohol. MTV ended up editing significant parts of the video, including nudity and drug use!
16 – David Bowie – Space Oddity
It would be easier to list the drugs that David Bowie did NOT consume during his lifetime! The English musician is quite simply one of the greatest musicians in history, and it is such a shame that he is no longer with us. From the late 1960s right through to the mid-1980s, Bowie released an extraordinary list of epic albums.
‘Space Oddity’ is the first track of his second album, David Bowie, which was released in 1969. It was obviously inspired by the movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey, which had been released the previous year. The song involves a fictional astronaut called Major Tom and is possibly a criticism of the British space program which had yet to launch. It is a psychedelic folk song that will transport you into the stars and beyond.
17 – The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever
For most music fans, The Beatles need no introduction. The Liverpool-based quartet is arguably the most famous music group in history. To date, the group is estimated to have sold over 800 million albums around the world – more than any other music act ever. The band began as a cheery pop group but soon created a more ‘grown-up’ sound with later albums veering into brand new territory for the era.
‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ was released in 1967 and eventually became part of the Magical Mystery Tour LP released in the United States. The song initially confused and even confounded critics, who didn’t seem to realize that it would become an influential track in the emerging psychedelic genre. John Lennon later claimed that it was his greatest achievement as a member of The Beatles, and if you want to choose one of their songs to get stoned to, this is the best!
18 – The Stone Roses – Begging You
The Stone Roses quickly became one of the biggest bands in the UK, but their star didn’t shine for long. After just two albums, the band broke up and left fans wondering what might have been. Fortunately, the two records they created lived long in the memory and remain as some of the finest work by any British band.
You could easily choose ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ as the best stoner track from this band, but ‘Begging You’ is an even better choice if you’re using an uplifting marijuana strain. ‘Begging You’ was the final single from The Second Coming album in 1993 and was also the last one released before the band broke up. It is a song that makes you want to dance like crazy and enjoy an energetic high.
19 – Jon Lajoie – High as F**k
Lajoie is a Canadian comedian, actor, and musician who has gained great fame online. Since 2008, he has released a variety of novelty songs which you are NOT supposed to take seriously! His videos often feature alter egos such as MC Vagina and Everyday Normal Guy. There’s no doubt that he offends a lot of people, but we think that’s the point!
Not every stoner song is meant to be serious, and High as F**k certainly falls into the humor category. It was his first release way back in 2008 and outlined the symptoms we sometimes get when we are too high. If you have ever felt your heart pumping so fast that you feel as if you’re going to have a heart attack, this song will resonate with you.
20 – Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
This British group is perhaps best known for songs such as ‘Walk of Life’ and ‘Money for Nothing’, but ‘Sultans of Swing’ is arguably the band’s finest work. The track was released as part of the band’s self-titled debut album in 1978. When it was re-released the following year, it became a major hit in the United States and the UK.
The song has aged tremendously well and is a wonderful combination of laid-back rock music interspersed with phenomenal guitar work. It is one of those rare songs that sounds great no matter your mood; whether you want to get amped up or relax, if you have a bottle of rum or a bag of weed.
Final Thoughts on the Best Songs to Listen to While High
We don’t expect you to agree on every track on this list, and some of you may not like any of them. But that’s the beauty of music; it is incredibly subjective! Let us know the songs you love to listen to when stoned.
If you’re in the mood to get high, kick back, and listen to some tunes, here are a list of tracks that are perfect when you next blast a joint.
The 24 best weed songs ever
Here’s our pick of the best tracks to blaze to – we were going to choose 25, but we got sleepy…
Weed, pot, herb, bud, dope, skunk, hash, ganja, marijuana, indo, cheeba, chronic, dank, spliff… it’s been celebrated for hundreds of years, under hundreds of names. No wonder hundreds of musicians have written songs in its illicit honour too.
From reefer-puffing jazz pianists through red-eyed rockers and ripped rappers, right up to the bong-toking skate-punks of the 2010s, weed’s been the catalsyt for all sorts of great music. We’re not advocating drug use, obviously, but if you are getting blazed on 4/20 (a day traditionally associated with getting mellow) here’s your ideal soundtrack.
Did we miss out your favourite? Let us know in the comments box below or tweet us at @TimeOutMusic.
24. ‘Joint’ – Rihanna
You know that meme with a picture of Rihanna gazing longingly at a joint? It often comes with the heading ‘find someone who stares at you the same way Rihanna stares at weed’. Well, this is the musical version. A beautiful strung out funk love letter at just over one minute. This isn’t pretense, it’s love. Amy Smith
23. ‘Marie’ – Vybz Kartel
While Vybz was still a free man, and not making music from prison, he penned this tender ode to spliff. It naturally begins with a coughing fit, soft, lilting acoustic guitar and high level of chirpsing lyrics: ‘Yuh look good inna di rizzla when yuh fold up’. Amy Smith
22. ‘Ganja Farmer’ – Marlon Asher
The controversial first hit from Trinidadian reggae singer manages to be the most laidback riposte to police burning marijuana fields using helicopters ‘spitting fire’. Over a warm, skipping rhythm, Asher (never actually a farmer) questions why the police took action only once the plants were tall and healthy and not ‘when me wa totin water or when me did applying fertilizer’. Amy Smith
21. ‘The Irony of It All’ – The Streets
Mike Skinner deftly exposes the irony of criminalising cannabis by presenting two instantly recognizable characters: there’s Terry, a man who dashes pints while getting bolshy in the pub and then there’s peaceful Tim, a student who likes to lose hours toking and watching old kung fu movies sequestered on the sofa. The Streets makes any question of changing legislation look so easy. Amy Smith
Getting stoned? Light up, tune in and chill out with some of the best songs about weed ever made.