Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook

The Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 collection features twelve piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "Champagne Supernova" (Oasis), "Somebody Told Me" (The Killers), "Iris" (Goo Goo Dolls) and "If You're Gone" (Matchbox 20).

This post is part two of the Pop Rock Favorites Songbook Series.
Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook

🎸 About the Pop Rock Favorites songbook series:

Pop rock is a genre of music that emerged in the late-20th century, combining elements of both pop and rock music styles. It is characterized by catchy melodies, straightforward song structures, and a focus on hooks that are easily accessible to a broad audience. Pop rock songs typically feature a strong emphasis on vocals and harmonies, often accompanied by electric guitars, drums, and other traditional rock instruments. This genre is known for its radio-friendly sound, making it a staple of mainstream music charts and appealing to a wide range of listeners.

These song selections are drawn primarily from the 1990s and 2000s and feature tracks played often on the PopRocks channel on SiriusXM (channel 12) and the arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

🎶 Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 Songbook

The following twelve songs are included in the Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 songbook.

These are all available as separate singles, but you get the most value by purchasing the whole collection. All of these arrangements are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  1. Bitter Sweet Symphony (The Verve)
  2. Champagne Supernova (Oasis)
  3. If It Makes You Happy (Sheryl Crow)
  4. If You’re Gone (Matchbox 20)
  5. Iris (Goo Goo Dolls)
  6. Out of my Head (Fastball)
  7. Peaches (The Presidents of the United States of America)
  8. Second Chance (Shinedown)
  9. Sex and Candy (Marcy Playground)
  10. Somebody Told Me (The Killers)
  11. Someday (Sugar Ray)
  12. What’s Up (4 Non Blondes)

🎹 Watch a performance of the entire volume:

Let’s dive deeper with some more details about a few of my personal favorites from Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 1 songbook.

1. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by The Verve (1997)

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” by the English rock band the Verve, released in 1997 as the lead single from their third album, “Urban Hymns,” is a song steeped in controversy and musical innovation. The track is built upon a sample from the Andrew Oldham Orchestra’s 1965 rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “The Last Time.” The Verve added their unique elements, including strings, guitar, percussion, and layered vocals, creating a lush and captivating sound. Despite securing rights to the “Last Time” sample from Decca Records, the band faced a legal battle with the Rolling Stones’ former manager, Allen Klein, resulting in the relinquishment of royalties and adding Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to the songwriting credits. The song’s music video, featuring Richard Ashcroft walking through Hoxton, London, received critical acclaim and numerous award nominations.

“Bitter Sweet Symphony” achieved significant commercial success, reaching number two on the UK Singles Chart and number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US. It garnered critical acclaim, earning accolades like Rolling Stone and NME Single of the Year and nominations at the MTV Video Music Awards and Brit Awards. The song’s enduring legacy includes its recognition as one of the defining tracks of the Britpop era and its inclusion in lists of the greatest songs of all time by publications like Rolling Stone.

In recent years, the song’s credits and royalties were returned to Richard Ashcroft, marking a significant resolution to the long-standing dispute over its ownership. “Bitter Sweet Symphony” remains an iconic and influential piece of music history, celebrated for its rich sound and the complex narrative surrounding its creation and ownership.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

2. “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America (1996)

No, not the one from the Mario movie, or the Justin Bieber song. This one’s the OG and even better…

“Peaches” is a song by the American alternative rock band the Presidents of the United States of America, released as a single in February 1996 and featured on their self-titled debut album. Produced by Conrad Uno, the song incorporates riffs from Bad Company’s 1975 track “Feel Like Makin’ Love.” “Peaches” achieved notable success, peaking at number 29 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number eight on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. It also reached number one in Iceland and the top 20 in several countries, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. The song received a gold certification in Australia and earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 1996.

The composition of “Peaches” is inspired by two incidents in lead singer Chris Ballew’s life. The first took place in Boston, where Ballew, under the influence of LSD, waited for a woman he was attracted to under a peach tree, mixing his desire for the girl with the fallen peaches he found. The second incident occurred in Seattle when Ballew overheard a homeless man muttering the phrase “I’m moving to the country, I’m gonna eat a lot of peaches.” This phrase, originally from John Prine’s 1971 song “Spanish Pipedream,” stuck with Ballew, leading to the development of the song’s lyrics. Ballew aimed to emulate the “gnarly and growly” style of Nirvana in the song’s verses.

The music video for “Peaches” features the band performing in an orchard filled with trees growing peach cans. During the instrumental break, the band is attacked by ninjas, and they engage in a comical battle throughout the video until eventually defeating their assailants. The video was remastered in HD and uploaded to YouTube in February 2023 after years of being available only in low quality.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

3. “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis (1996)

A standout track from the Britpop era:

“Champagne Supernova” is a classic song by the British rock band Oasis. It was released as the closing track on their hugely successful second album, “(What’s the Story) Morning Glory?,” in 1995. The song is widely regarded as one of Oasis’ greatest and most iconic works.

The song is characterized by its anthemic and expansive sound. It features a distinctive guitar riff and soaring vocals by Oasis’ lead singer, Liam Gallagher. The lyrics are somewhat abstract and have been subject to various interpretations. “Champagne Supernova” is notable for its extended length, running for over seven minutes on the album version. It’s known for its lengthy instrumental outro that contributes to its epic feel.

The song’s lyrics are often seen as abstract and open to interpretation. They include lines like “Someday you will find me / Caught beneath the landslide / In a champagne supernova in the sky.” Many listeners and critics have found these lyrics to be somewhat enigmatic, but they contribute to the song’s dreamy and atmospheric quality.

“Champagne Supernova” was a critical and commercial success. It received positive reviews from music critics and became a fan favorite. While it was not released as a single in the United Kingdom (unlike in some other countries), it remains one of Oasis’ most beloved tracks. Oasis frequently included “Champagne Supernova” in their live performances, and it became a staple of their concerts. The band’s live renditions often featured extended jam sessions, making the song even longer than the album version.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

4. “Out of My Head” by Fastball (1999)

Two and a half minutes of perfect late-90s nostalgia:

“Out of My Head” is a rock ballad with gospel influences by the American band Fastball, featured on their second studio album, “All the Pain Money Can Buy” (1998). The song is notable for its use of the Hammond organ and piano, and it features bassist Tony Scalzo as the lead singer, with guitarist Miles Zuniga harmonizing during the final chorus. The track was released to American rock radio in January 1999 and later to contemporary hit radio.

The song performed well on the charts, reaching number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and number 11 on the Canadian RPM 100 Hit Tracks chart. It also reached number 19 on the Icelandic Singles Chart. The music video for the song, directed by Jim Gable, features the band performing in sepia tone. Notably, in 2016, an adapted version of the chorus was used in the song “Bad Things” by Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello.

Critical reception for “Out of My Head” was generally positive, with comparisons made to the Partridge Family’s style. The song was described as “ultra-simple and super-catchy,” with its short length and memorable guitar riff noted. It was considered a testament to Fastball’s ability to combine catchy melodies with ear-catching lyrics.

In the United States, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 64 and peaked at number 20 nine weeks later. It spent a total of 20 weeks on the Hot 100 and ended 1999 as the 88th-best-performing song in the country. The track also made appearances on several other Billboard charts, including the Adult Alternative Songs, Mainstream Top 40, and Adult Top 40 charts.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

5. “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls (1998)

Their signature song that was featured in “City of Angels”:

“Iris” is a notable song by the American alternative rock band Goo Goo Dolls. Initially written for the soundtrack of the 1998 film “City of Angels,” the song later found its place on the band’s sixth album, “Dizzy Up the Girl.” It was released as a single on April 1, 1998, and quickly became a significant part of the band’s career.

The song’s success was remarkable, reaching number one in several countries, including Australia, Canada, and Italy. It also made it to number three in the United Kingdom and number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. “Iris” is often considered the Goo Goo Dolls’ signature song and has received critical acclaim, known for its ubiquitous presence in the band’s live performances.

“Iris” is a power ballad with emotional depth, featuring lead singer John Rzeznik’s poignant vocals. The song’s inspiration came from the movie “City of Angels” and the idea of sacrificing immortality for a deep human connection. The name “Iris” was borrowed from country folk singer-songwriter Iris DeMent, whose name caught Rzeznik’s attention in an LA Weekly concert listing.

In addition to its chart-topping success, “Iris” received multiple Grammy Award nominations, including “Record of the Year” and “Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.” It was certified septuple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and remains one of the Goo Goo Dolls’ most iconic and enduring songs.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

6. “What’s Up” by 4 Non Blondes (1993)

A wondrous one-hit-wonder:

“What’s Up?” is a song by the American rock group 4 Non Blondes, released in March 1993 as the second single from their debut album, “Bigger, Better, Faster, More!” The song achieved significant popularity in both the United States and several European countries. It reached the number one spot on the charts in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The song’s origins can be traced back to a private session between Linda Perry, who would later become the band’s lead singer, and Stephan Jenkins, the frontman of Third Eye Blind. Both artists played early versions of “Semi-Charmed Life” and “What’s Up?” during that session, and these songs would go on to become massive hits for their respective bands. The phrase “What’s going on?” is prominently featured in the chorus, even though it doesn’t appear in the song’s lyrics.

The song received critical acclaim for its powerful and soulful vocal performance by Linda Perry. It was described as a “massive, neo-hippie anthem” and a “charming” and “anthemic” pop song. “What’s Up?” also achieved notable chart success, peaking at number 14 on the US Billboard Hot 100. However, it reached higher positions in several other countries, including number one in multiple European nations.

The song’s impact and legacy include rankings on lists of one-hit wonders, such as VH1’s “100 Greatest One-Hit Wonders.” While it received praise from many, some critics and musicians had negative opinions about it, with Dean Ween famously stating that “it’s as bad as music gets.” Nonetheless, “What’s Up?” remains a memorable and enduring track that has continued to be a fixture on radio playlists. The music video, directed by Morgan Lawley, also contributed to the song’s popularity and has amassed millions of views on YouTube.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

🤔 Looking for more Pop Rock sheet music? We’ve got you covered!

👋 Do you have a favorite Pop Rock tune from this volume? I’d love to hear about it!

Jennifer Eklund
Written by Jennifer Eklund
Jennifer Eklund holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in music from California State University, Long Beach. She is an avid arranger, composer, and author of the Piano Pronto® method books series as well as a wide variety of supplemental songbooks. She is also a Signature Artist with Musicnotes.com with a large catalog of popular music titles for musicians of all levels.


User's avatar

No comments yet
Be the first to comment.

Billie Eilish Piano Songbooks
Pop Music Songbooks

Billie Eilish Piano Songbooks

Billie Eilish piano songbooks for intermediate piano with arrangements by Jennifer Eklund each include nine hits like "Bad Guy," "When the Party's Over," "Ocean Eyes," and "Six Feet Under."

  • 2 min read
Read more
ABBA Favorites Songbook
Pop Music Songbooks
Disco Sheet Music
1970s Sheet Music

ABBA Favorites Songbook

The ABBA Favorites collection features eight iconic hits including "Dancing Queen," "Mamma Mia," "The Winner Takes It All," and "Thank You for the Music." These piano solo arrangements by Jennifer Eklund are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  • 10 min read
Read more
Weezer Favorites Songbook Series
Pop Music Songbooks
Pop Rock Songbooks

Weezer Favorites Songbook Series

Are you a fellow Weezer-stan? Join the party and come explore the Weezer Favorites Songbook Series featuring piano solo arrangements by Jennifer Eklund.

  • 4 min read
Read more