The very best of The Gaslight Anthem in six killer tracks

The Gaslight Anthem group shot
(Image credit: Ashley Maile)

It didn't take long for The Gaslight Anthem to move from the promising newcomer file into the fully-finished product division. 2007's debut Sink Or Swim made a lot of the right noises, but the following year's The ’59 Sound was the real deal, an album that pulled from The Clash, Bruce Springsteen and The Replacements and played out like a soulful combination of all three.

Three more albums followed before 2014 saw the Gaslight Anthem go on hiatus. "We’d like to recharge and take a step back until we have something we feel excited about," said the band, "rather than making a record just for the sake of making the next record."

In 2022 the Gaslight Anthem returned, and work has started on songs for a sixth LP. They're also back in the road, with a North American tour in the headlights as a triumphant run of European shows recedes in the rear-view mirror. The next leg kicks off on September 13 at the Roseland Theater in Portland, OR. Tickets are on sale now

Below are the six Gaslight Anthem songs you absolutely need to know. 


I'da Called You Woody, Joe (Sink Or Swim, 2007)

Brian Fallon makes no bones about his Joe Strummer worship, and the highlight of The Gaslight Anthem’s debut album is this passionate, open-hearted tribute to The Clash: “The sound of the very last gang in town.”

Great Expectations (The ’59 Sound, 2008)

The opening track on the best Gaslight Anthem album crackles into life with the sound of a spinning vinyl disc, and explodes into a Bruce Springsteen-esque tale of regrets, hope and possibilities.

The Backseat (The ’59 Sound, 2008)

Arguably the definitive Gaslight Anthem er, anthem, the fabulously punchy The Backseat tells of young dreamers gunning their vehicle west towards ’Californian lights’. When Brian Fallon promises ‘Come July we’ll ride the ferris wheel, go round and round and round/And if you never let me go, well, I will never let you down’ you might just feel tears prickling your eyes. We certainly do.

American Slang (American Slang, 2010)

As the opening and title track of The Gaslight Anthem’s third album, American Slang had to offer emphatic proof that the New Jersey soul-punks weren’t one-hit wonders. ’Look what you started,’ Fallon sings over waves of soaring guitars. ’I seem to be coming out of my skin.’ It’s the perfect reintroduction.

“45” (Handwritten, 2012)

Working with producer Brendan O’Brien in Nashville seemed to bring the best out of the band, and they’re cooking with gas here on album four’s blasting title track. ’I can’t move on and I can’t stay the same,’ Fallon sings at one point, foretelling existential crises to come.

Get Hurt (Get Hurt, 2014)

The most nakedly emotional track on ‘The Divorce Album’, written as Fallon’s 10-year marriage crumbled to dust. While the Get Hurt album failed to deliver on the singer’s promises of tearing up the Gaslight blueprint, its title track emerged as another masterpiece.

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.

With contributions from