Ellie Goulding singles ranked

Every Ellie Goulding single, definitively ranked from worst to best

All three Calvin Harris collabs are a stone-cold classics

Something has shifted. Ellie Goulding has evolved from consistent chart menace who no one really openly stanned into pop princess we all can’t get enough of. Right now, The Goulding sits at the coveted number one spot of the UK chart as the proud owner of the number one album and single positions. It’s quite a feat, especially considering how many years into her career she is. So what changed? The Goulding changed. She’s in on the joke, she’s making her “least personal” music yet, she’s signing vinyls with a FakeShowbizNews running joke. She’s all the better for it. Here are all 42 Ellie Goulding singles – definitively ranked from worst to best.

42. The Writer

Truly one of the corniest, cringiest, most insufferable slices of electro pop balladry you could ever hope to hear. The rage and venom this sickly chorus stirs inside me is unprecedented. If someone made me out of clay and this came on, I would smash the clay.

41. Your Song

Rock bottom cursive vocals that had Diana Vickers slathering. HATE.

40. Wonderman (with Tinie Tempah)

Truly the most 2010 thing you could ever choose to listen to. It sounds like what AI would whip up for you if you asked it to make a 2010s British chart hit.

39. Love I’m Given

The final single from Brightest Blue, a bizarre and flavourless entry into the Ellie discography canon. Love I’m Given does nothing wrong but little right – it sounds like an album track and should have been left as one.

38. First Time (with Kygo)

It’s no It Ain’t Me with Selena Gomez, is it?

37. Army

Never redeemed itself from the insufferable ITV advert.

36. Mama (with Clean Bandit)

Clean Bandit never letting us down and managing to make every single one of their features, no matter who is singing, sound the exact same. It is just a Clean Bandit song with Ellie Goulding Clean Banditing. You could swap her out for Anne-Marie and no one would know the difference.

35. Slow Grenade

This boring Brightest Blue single features Lauv, because it was released in that random era where Lauv was everywhere for some inexplicable reason. Some nice vocoder moments on this one, though.

34. Beating Heart

Why does Ar Ellie have so many songs recorded for film soundtracks may I ask? This one was for Divergent. It’s fine.

33. Love Me Like You Do

WELL, here it is. You know it. You might love it, you might hate it. The Goulding’s juggernaut. Her biggest ever song that belted its way into everyone’s brains when it led the soundtrack for Fifty Shades of Grey. Personally, I think it’s utterly insufferable – a rare Tove Lo penned miss that’s as annoying as the film it was made for. But that being said, I can hear exactly why this was such a smash and there’s a big corner of the world who lap it up. I’m happy for them, but I’m never listening to this out of choice.

32. Sixteen

Quite a random one, this. Another Brightest Blue single dump track from the first era of songs that came from it. The pre chorus and verses are pop magic but I hate the instrumental drop chorus. A friend of mine who’s a Goulddigger despises this song with all his heart and soul and it annoys him so much that I actually don’t mind it. Sorry!

31. Hate Me

This weird, trap production, bad bitch era was so jarring? And yet, Hate Me was a gargantuan hit. I’m right down the middle on this one. I don’t get what’s going on. Who was this made for? Does The Goulding even like it? Do I like it? It’s a mess. But does it bop? Occasionally.

30. All By Myself (with Alok and Sigala)

Shoved right at the end of her magnum opus, this year’s Higher Than Heaven, All By Myself is a bog standard Becky Hill impersonation that sounds pretty good when you’re running as fast as possible on a treadmill but leaves no impression when you’re not.

29. New Love (with Silk City)

Of all the Ellie Goulding singles ranked here, it’s New Love that feels like a forgotten fever dream. Made no ripples anywhere, but to be fair we were trying to slog our way through a pandemic. It actually kind of bangs.

28. Flashlight (with DJ Fresh)

It’s no Hot Right Now and it’s no Gold Dust, but what is?

27. Explosions

She was kind of in her Björk bag for this one! OKAAYYY!

26. O Holy Night

Erm, just a pretty gorgeous rendition of one of the most beautiful Christmas classics you could ever choose to stream. Mariah’s version isn’t exactly quaking in its snowboots, but I think this is pretty stunning.

25. Worry About Me

If Ellie was going to subject us to her bad bitch era in 2020, her Taylor Swift Reputation era, this is actually the best of the offering. I am quite partial to it, even though this sound feels jarring and a bit dated. Brightest Blue was so randomise Sim.

24. How Long Will I Love You

ANOTHER FILM SOUNDTRACK SINGLE? The chokehold Ellie Goulding has on the film industry must be studied. Thankfully, this one was for About Time – for my money, the best British romcom ever made. A lovely cover of a lovely song, sentimental but not in an evil Your Song way.

23. Still Falling For You

I’m not even joking, it’s ANOTHER soundtrack single! Just give her the best song for visual media Grammy and we can all put this silliness to bed. (It’s less annoying than Love Me Like You Do).

22. Figure 8

Overshadowed by the huge single that came before it, this is the shaved side of head Ellie Goulding you know and you love. One of the Ellie Goulding singles ranked here that deserves a fair few more cheers than it got at the time – peak 2012 chartable dubstep.

21. Vincent

Another gorgeous little cover from Elena here – this one a nice little Don McLean take that really showcases how her voice translates itself really well to acoustic balladry as well as electropop. Thank the lord she released this after she stopped singing in cursive.

20. River

The Goulding covering The Mitchell? Just stunning – the Joni song doing so much heavy lifting here considering how beautiful it is anyway, but Ellie does it justice and it’s lovely for her considering how much she loves Joni Mitchell anyway. The excellence of Vincent and River make me wish for Ellie sings the Great American Songbook cover album. The last ever UK number one single of the 2010s!

19. Powerful (with Major Lazer and Tarrus Riley)

Ellie Goulding gives an excellent featured vocal on this Major Lazer single that deserved to be huge. Thrilling production, soaring chorus – it’s aged like a fine wine as well, still sounding effortlessly cool eight years after release.

18. I Need Your Love (with Calvin Harris)

The first of three dance collaboration singles with Calvin Harris ranked here, this one was the first Ellie Goulding did with the Scottish super producer and DJ. It still goes as hard as it did in 2014 – an EDM, balls to the wall rammer that fills any dance floor you want it to.

17. Outside (with Calvin Harris)

Who says that sequels are never as good as the original? They’re pretty much sister songs in both quality and style, but I think Outside edges I Need Your Love slightly. It’s perfect dance music. We need them to do a full album together and we need it now. This sounds like uni pre drinks to me and I love it.

16. Flux

As a general rule, I do not come to The Goulding for balladry. Flux, though? Oh catch me coming to Flux 24/7 dorlin’. This is a ballad of the highest order. Gorgeously written, wonderfully sand, intensely atmospheric but in a way that feels personal. It’s another jumble sale single from Brightest Blue – but one that stands out from the pack with its quiet specialness.

15. Power

A mid era single from Brightest Blue AGAIN – Power is a great signifier of the style and sound Ellie will journey into on her following (and best) record – Higher Than Heaven. It’s Dua Lipian in its pop, crescendoing with a strut and attitude and then pulling itself back with a moody synth baseline. Underrated.

14. Guns and Horses

Her third ever single, this early cut from The Goulding really highlights what she burst onto the music scene representing: Some high quality folktronica. The fusion of the guitar and the pop production is joyous. A great single that was ahead of its time, to this day it sounds so fresh. Her ear for music was always astute.

13. Close to Me

Bizarre to think of Close To Me as the lead to Brightest Blue considering it came out like two years before the album surfaced and we endured an entire pandemic between the two releases, but hey ho – it’s brilliant. I have always loved this little bop. It’s uncomplicated, it’s Diplo fodder – but it slaps. I’m sorry, it absolutely slaps.

12. Under the Sheets

This is how you do a debut single, people! Nearly 15 years after Ellie Goulding debuted, the first of her singles still gets ranked so high thanks to its snarling attitude, breathy vocals that sizzle with menace and innocence in equal measure. It’s a tour de force pop banger and sounds like a superstar storming into existence.

11. Anything Could Happen

Some songs sound too huge for their own good, and that’s Anything Could Happen. It’s anthemic from start to finish. It’s the kind of song I feel like Ellie must have sat back after writing and recording like … Wow. That’s the lead single. Thumping, warm, shoutalong chorus – a signature song for sure.

10. Starry Eyed

The first song I ever heard from Ellie Goulding, and what a way to kick off the top 10 Ellie Goulding singles ranked. Her commercial breakthrough, and a song that is so well produced every time you listen to it you find a new and weird intricate detail you feel like you’ve never heard before. It’s dreamy and hopeful, but somehow never twee. Just outstanding pop music.

9. Something In The Way You Move

A hefty pop banger with a strut to die for, the kind of pop that would sit right at home on 1989 by Taylor Swift. Something In The Way You Move is as pure pop as The Goulding gets, and it’s got a Kylie-esque feel good cheer to it that hits like instant serotonin every time I press play on it. Pure pop euphoria.

8. Goodness Gracious

Goodness Gracious, twee title aside, is pop perfection. It’s the perfect fusion of Ellie’s early sound, the amplified edge of Halcyon and a dash of HAIM shoved in there. Does anyone else hear HAIM? Maybe I’m insane, maybe I have elevated ears – but this is a masterpiece to me. I think in big eras like Halcyon was, songs get a bit swallowed up – but writing this Ellie Goulding singles ranked I’m reminded how prolific and consistent she is on the charts. She has the hits!

7. Miracle (with Calvin Harris)

We are wowing, we are bowing, we are streaming the Church Version with tears streaming down. After all these years, The Goulding and The Harris not only still have it – they’re better than ever. Their trilogy together feels like it’s about to become a franchise thanks to Miracle’s trance throwback sound that’s shot them to the top of the UK Singles Chart where they belong. An instant classic, one of the best songs of 2023 and one of the greatest Ellie Goulding singles of them all ranked here. Will be streaming for the rest of my life, mark my words.

6. Let It Die

The absolute titslapper of a second single from Higher Than Heaven, Let It Die is a the kind of song that Tove Lo wishes she released – a throbbing little burst of life with the dirtiest production you can find on any Goulding tune. It’s a riproaring pop banger than Ellie herself blind ranked as her second fave song of hers. Taste, tbh.

5. Burn

Okay I’m about to take the compliment of taste back off Ellie, because she ranked Burn last and I can’t support or abide that. Has she ever heard it? Has she ever seen the pivotal scene in The Killing of a Sacred Deer in which a character sings it without context and changed the trajectory of both my life and of cinema forever? Come on darling. It’s a classique.

4. Like a Saviour

I’m sorry, but from that instant “Sleep with my shadow” you just know you’re in for the time of your life. Three minutes 40 of the most meticulously crafted, unwavering pop music you could ever want. An absolute HIT.

3. On My Mind

When Ellie Goulding aligned with Max Martin, one of the best of all her singles emerged – ranked third in honour of how much of a storming pop banger it is. On My Mind is pop music of the highest order, the kind you hope and pray comes on shuffle whenever you’re craving THAT song. The one that comes up and your finger doesn’t even nearly waver over the skip button.

2. Easy Lover

The monster lead single for Higher Than Heaven made no ripples and no noise – this, my friends, is a travesty. Easy Lover is one of the best pop songs of the decade so far – another monster tune from her current and best album that sounds like it would fit right at home on Future Nostalgia. The way The Goulding’s vocals flip up into the chorus and she growls the title out like her life depends on it qualify it as a track that deserves its place as a huge hit across the globe. She was robbed of this one.

The Big Sean verse is inessential but goes off, and is worth it for the adlibs Ellie does in the background. If you don’t fancy Big Sean, she kindly dropped a solo version of the song with its own second verse. Failing that, the Four Tet remix is so good it deserves its own single release as far as I’m concerned. What a sensational song this is. Listen to it right now, I implore thee!

1. Lights

No, no, no. You don’t understand. This song is… It’s the one that we will cherish her for forever. Whether it’s the original or the Sped Up TikTok hit version, that I perhaps sacrilegiously think is marginally better than the original version, Lights is electropop at its twinkliest and most jubilant. It’s the kind of song that feels like it’s soundtracking the most seminal aspects of your life. Your first kiss, your first night out, the first time you t**k dr*gs.

A seminal banger from one of the best British pop stars of our lifetime. She’s a miracle.


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Featured image courtesy of @elliegoulding.