Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 8 Songbook

The Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 8 collection features twelve piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "I Will Buy You a New Life" (Everclear), "Runaway Train" (Soul Asylum), "Stacy's Mom" (Fountains of Wayne) and "What's My Age Again?" (Blink 182).

This post is part nine of the Pop Rock Favorites Songbook Series.
Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 8 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 8 Songbook

The following twelve songs are included in the Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 8 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. As I Lay Me Down (Sophie B. Hawkins)
  2. Basket Case (Green Day)
  3. Black Balloon (Goo Goo Dolls)
  4. I Will Buy You a New Life (Everclear)
  5. No Rain (Blind Melon)
  6. Radioactive (Imagine Dragons)
  7. Runaway Train (Soul Asylum)
  8. Stacy’s Mom (Fountains of Wayne)
  9. Standing Still (Jewel)
  10. Take Me Out (Franz Ferdinand)
  11. Thnks fr th Mmrs (Fall Out Boy)
  12. What’s My Age Again? (Blink 182)

🎹 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 8 songbook.

1. “No Rain” by Blind Melon (1993)

“No Rain” is a popular song by the American rock band Blind Melon, released in 1993 as the second single from their debut album. The song’s memorable music video features the “Bee Girl” character and was directed by Samuel Bayer, receiving extensive airplay on MTV and contributing to the band’s success. The song reached number 20 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped both the Billboard Album Rock Tracks and Modern Rock Tracks charts. Internationally, it reached number one in Canada and number eight in Australia.

The song is written in the key of E Mixolydian and conveys the theme of struggling with depression and finding excuses to avoid facing the day, inspired by bassist Brad Smith’s personal experiences.

The music video stars Heather DeLoach as the “Bee Girl,” a tap dancer in a homemade bee costume, and features her journey through Los Angeles while trying to connect with others. It ends with her joyfully joining a group of fellow “bee people” in a green field. The video garnered attention, with DeLoach performing her “Bee Girl” dance at the 1993 MTV Video Music Awards.

Pitchfork described the song as having a catchy riff, charismatic vocals, and a poignant lyric about observing the world, despite its depressed theme, creating a unique and appealing musical experience.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

2. “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand (2004)

“Take Me Out” is a notable song by the Scottish indie rock band Franz Ferdinand. Released as the second single from their debut studio album, it achieved commercial success in both the UK and the US. In the UK, it reached number three on the singles chart, while in the US, it peaked at number three on the Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 66 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also certified gold in the US and received critical acclaim.

The song’s theme was inspired by a scene in the movie “Enemy at the Gates” and explores romantic situations, drawing from a sniper’s duel as a metaphor. Musically, it incorporates elements of post-punk revival, indie rock, dance-rock, garage rock, and art rock, featuring a unique structure with fast and slow tempo sections. The call-and-answer guitar riff and vocal melody were influenced by blues musician Howlin’ Wolf.

Recorded in Sweden, the song’s tempo changes were captured live in the studio, and multiple echo effects were used to create an industrial feel. The music video, directed by Jonas Odell, combines live-action band footage with Dadaist animation, drawing influences from Dada art, Busby Berkeley’s films, Soviet propaganda, and Terry Gilliam’s Monty Python animations.

“Take Me Out” received numerous accolades, including being voted the best single of 2004 by The Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll. It also ranked on various lists of the greatest guitar tracks, British band tracks, and indie anthems, receiving praise for its distinctive sound and visual appeal. Pitchfork, for instance, included it in its top 500 tracks of the 2000s. Rolling Stone placed it at number 327 on its list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

3. “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum (1993)

“Runaway Train” is a power ballad by American alternative rock band Soul Asylum, released in 1993 as the third single from their album “Grave Dancers Union.” The song achieved international success, reaching number five on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topping the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart. It earned a gold certification from the RIAA and won a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song in 1994.

The song’s creation was influenced by lead singer Dave Pirner’s experience with depression, using a runaway train as a metaphor. It was recorded with producer Michael Beinhorn and featured a distinctive, emotionally charged vocal performance.

Critical reception praised the song’s poignant lyrics and restrained lead vocal, although some found it too slow and sentimental. The music video, directed by Tony Kaye, featured images of missing children and was broadcast with variations to match the location, displaying missing children relevant to the audience.

“Runaway Train” delivered a powerful message and was recognized for its impact, making it one of Soul Asylum’s most iconic songs.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

4. “As I Lay Me Down” by Sophie B. Hawkins (1995)

“As I Lay Me Down” is a pop ballad composed and performed by American singer-songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins. It was released as the third single from her second album, “Whaler,” in February 1995 and also appeared on “The Best of Sophie B. Hawkins” (2002). The song became one of her biggest hits, reaching number six on the US Billboard Hot 100 and holding the number one position on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart for six weeks in 1995. Internationally, it reached number six in Canada, number seven in Australia, number 19 in New Zealand, and number 24 in the United Kingdom. The music video for the song was directed by Sophie Muller.

The song was originally intended for Hawkins’ debut album but was excluded due to objections from the record label. It’s a pop ballad where the singer reflects on a distant loved one as she prepares for bedtime, expressing hope to reunite with them. The song was written in memory of her father. Despite a low-key release, the song gained popularity on adult contemporary stations, leading to its success in mid-1995. A remix also contributed to its airplay on various radio stations.

Critical reception of “As I Lay Me Down” was generally positive, with reviewers praising its gentle and lulling melody. Some noted its sentimental nature and its role in reviving Hawkins’ career. The music video for the song features scenes of Hawkins singing on stairs in New York City, as well as in a forest, swinging on a swing, and sitting on a bench. It also includes a representation of Hawkins as a child through a little girl running in the forest.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

“What’s My Age Again?” is a pop-punk song by American rock band Blink-182. Released in April 1999 as the lead single from their album “Enema of the State,” it was primarily composed by Mark Hoppus and became the band’s first single featuring drummer Travis Barker. The song explores themes of aging and immaturity, though it’s not strictly autobiographical. It’s known for its catchy arpeggiated guitar intro and follows a I–V–vi–IV chord progression.

The song’s title was originally “Peter Pan Complex” but was changed for marketing reasons. It achieved commercial success, reaching number two on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart and number 58 on the Billboard Hot 100. It also reached number 17 in the UK and had positive critical reviews.

The song’s music video, directed by Marcos Siega, famously features the band running nude through the streets of Los Angeles. The video received heavy airplay on MTV and contributed to the band’s reputation for nudity.

Over the years, “What’s My Age Again?” has remained one of Blink-182’s most popular songs and is considered influential in the pop-punk genre. It has been celebrated for its representation of youthful rebellion and remains a fan favorite, even inspiring birthday cake decorations with the lyric “Nobody likes you when you’re 23.” The song’s impact is still felt, and it has been praised for its structure and tone, with some seeing moments of reflection in its lyrics.

🔎 Sheet music sneak peek:

6. “Standing Still” by Jewel (2001)

“Standing Still” is a folk-pop song by American singer-songwriter Jewel. It was included in her fourth studio album, “This Way,” released in 2001. The song conveys the idea of stepping back to escape the stagnation caused by a busy career and the desire for a change of scenery from fame.

Released on September 24, 2001, “Standing Still” received positive reviews and achieved commercial success. In the United States, it peaked at number 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 in February 2002 and reached the top 10 on the Billboard Adult Alternative Songs and Adult Top 40 charts. Internationally, the single reached the top 40 in Australia, the Netherlands, and New Zealand, where it peaked at number seven and became the 40th-most-successful single of 2002.

Jewel explained that the song was inspired by her three-year hiatus from the music business, during which she found it challenging to maintain her passion for fame. It addresses the irony of how much a person travels in her job, causing emotional life to stand still.

🔎 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.

Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 3 Songbook
Pop Music Songbooks
Pop Rock Songbooks

Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 3 Songbook

The Pop Rock Favorites: Volume 3 collection features twelve piano solo arrangements for intermediates and up by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like, "Collide" (Howie Day), "One Headlight" (The Wallflowers) "She Hates Me" (Puddle of Mudd) and "Wonderwall" (Oasis).

  • 16 min read
Read more
Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 8 Songbook
Pop Music Songbooks
Yacht Rock Sheet Music
Yacht Rock Songbooks

Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 8 Songbook

Sail away with the Yacht Rock Favorites: Volume 8 songbook featuring ten ultra-smooth soft rock hits from the 1970s and 80s like "Caribbean Queen," "Leather and Lace," "Steppin' Out," and "Ride Like the Wind." These piano solo arrangements by Jennifer Eklund are appropriate for intermediates and up.

  • 14 min read
Read more
Taylor Swift Favorites: Volume 2 Songbook
Pop Music Songbooks
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift Songbooks

Taylor Swift Favorites: Volume 2 Songbook

Calling all Taylor Swift enthusiasts and piano lovers! Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of Taylor Swift's iconic melodies, brought to life through ten thoughtfully arranged intermediate solos by Jennifer Eklund. Includes favorites like "Cardigan," "Mean," "Willow," and "Love Story."

  • 5 min read
Read more