Top 10 Best Deftones Songs

What are the best Deftones songs ever? That's what we asked UG readers after the tragic death of bassist Chi Cheng this week, and the results are in.

Ultimate Guitar

What is the best Deftones song?

That's what we asked UG readers on Wednesday, in the wake of bassist Chi Cheng's tragic death after battling with ill health since a car crash in 2008.

While many are still mourning Cheng's loss, this list wasn't just about his magnificent bass work. We wanted to find out what the greatest Deftones tracks are, and after hundreds of votes fro UG readers, we have the results.

Most Deftones fans seem to praise their 2000 album "White Pony" as their best album, so it was good to see that the final results draw from almost 15 years of Deftones albums.

If you're new to the band, this could be the perfect time to hear the different sides of Deftones' sound. Of course, if you're a seasoned Deftones fan, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the final top 10 in the comments too.

10. "Pink Maggit" ("White Pony", 2000)

Slow as a glacier and as emotional as a breakup at a funeral, nothing else would be a more fitting finale to their best loved album. A label exec once heard the band jamming a fast version of this song with singer Chino Moreno rapping over it, and insisted they release it - the result was single "Back To School," the only release the band later admitted that they didn't like.

9. "Hexagram" ("Deftones", 2003)

Deftones had a lot to live up to after "White Pony," so it was a relief to hear "Hexagram" as the opening track to its self-titled successor. High-energy, bloog-curdling screams from Chino and a hint of electronic sampling in the "Worship/Play" pre-chorus. If anything, this album found it hard to live up to its opener.

8. "You've Seen The Butcher" ("Diamond Eyes", 2010)

The first track in this list that beloved former bassist Chi Cheng doesn't appear on, after his accident and resulting coma in 2008. Perhaps that's what spurred on this triumphant return to glory for the band, because tracks like this showed Deftones were still one of the most creative and angst-driven forces in metal history.

7. "Passenger" ("White Pony", 2000)

This song would be amazing even without Maynard James Keenan's contribution, but of course, the Tool singer finds a way to make it truly glorious. As a nod to Chi Cheng, listen to his finely controlled bass slides from around 4:15 to understand exactly why he was so revered as a bassist.

6. "Swerve City" ("Koi No Yokan", 2012)

So we've established that Deftones' 2010 album "Diamond Eyes" was a return to form - the big question was, could they keep it up? And then people bought the new record, hit play, and were hit by a big wall of guitarist Stephen Carpenter. And Deftones fans answered that question with a resounding "Yes."

5. "My Own Summer (Shove It)" ("Around the Fur", 1997)

It was 1997, and nu-metal was on its way to being the most consumed metal genre in the world. On one hand you had bands like Korn with an edgy unsettling sound, and on the other you just had Deftones with riff-storming tracks like this. It's hard not to scream along to a chorus this big.

4. "Minerva" ("Deftones", 2003)

Early Deftones fans might complain that this earned more votes than other tracks because it was a big single, but they'd be forgetting how important ambient tracks are to the Deftones catalog. In fact, as the next few entries show, the softer side of Deftones could be exactly what people really love so much about this band.

3. "Digital Bath" ("White Pony", 2000)

Drummer Abe Cunningham at his finest. In fact, this song is the perfect showcase of why "White Pony" is so special; huge drum dynamics which put a spotlight on every ghost note, guitars which act as a pad to cushion the fall from cliff-sized choruses, and moments of explosive dissonance which shoot out the speakers like glass. Incredible.

2. "Change (In The House Of Flies)" ("White Pony", 2000)

The video looks like it tires a little hard in hindsight, so shut your eyes and listen to to each chorus ignite. The versus are another great opportunity to hear Cheng's delicate bass work.

1. "Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)" ("Around the Fur", 1997)

While Deftones were already much loved in the nu-metal community for their debut album "Adrenaline," this song was what tipped them towards the mainstream. And the best part? It was a great song. Good music always wins, and it looks like thats exactly what happened with this heavy love song. Good choice, UG readers!

That's the end of our top 10 Deftones songs. What do you make of the list? Which track would you place as your personal number one? Let us know your opinion on today's results in the comments.

Trending stories

120 comments sorted by best / new / date

comments policy
    this is actually the best list ive seen on UG. not a single complaint
    agreed. great list. nice to see such a great diverse selection of their tracks in this list.
    could have used Bored, 7 Words or Engine No. 9 but Deftones have so many good songs it's hard to choose.
    Beat me to it, I've never seen a list yet where I've agreed with it until now and even the order of the songs is nearly perfect. Way to go UG readers.
    I would have put "Rocket Skates" somewhere on here myself, but still a killer list.
    definitely. fantastic selection even though i'd argue some of their other songs are oh so slightly better but i totally agree with number one. that song has about as much meaning to me as a song possibly can
    It's tough with Deftones to make a list like this because all there albums are really different but UG did a great job on this one.
    I don't get why the self-titled album gets so much shit. It's a great album.
    Shrey Kundra
    That's actually my favourite album by Deftones. Needles and Pins, Deathblow, Battle Axe, Hexagram, Bloody Cape, Lucky You, Moana - What an album! Plus Abe's drums sound so raw yet massive on it. Or maybe its just me.
    Great list, I only wish Bloody Cape made it from Deftones
    Bloody Cape and When Girls Telephone Boys are two of their most badass songs they ever wrote. Also Rocket Skates. Not the same list I would've made. Seems mostly like singles. But that's Democracy for you. Still a cool list
    I personally think a few songs from Saturday Night Wrist could have used a little more love (I think the album is a lot better than what people give it credit for), but other than that, great list.
    i honestly can't believe theres nothing from Adrenaline OR Saturday Night Wrist personally love SNW my fave deftones album not fussed on adrenaline but SERIOUSLY no adrenaline songs?
    Would have liked to see Cherry Waves, Sex Tape and Xerces on the list, but hey, I suppose these are considered the "classics". Good list nevertheless.
    No one mentions MX off Around the Fur, but that song was awesome.
    I was like the only person to mention that on the voting, I guess it didn't get voted much more after that.
    Great list..I could do an additional top 10 off the top of my head that would be just as strong. This band has ALOT of good material.
    The only thing wrong with this list is that 10 really isn't enough! Some less obvious songs like Prince and Royal get my vote!
    Prince is one of the best songs from Diamond Eyes. Also Cherry Waves is amazing and completely underrated, as well as Beware.
    Ah man I remember seeing change for the first time, what a video. The thing about Deftones, do they even really have one bad song? I mean really haha They are just one of those bands that within every song holds its own little pieces of perfection. RIP Chi Cheng.
    Passenger should be higher up, but still a great list
    Higher up than a mention in the top 10?!? I cant be arsed to count however many songs they've done altogether but Id say its placed pretty well...
    My top 10 best songs: Bored Elite Knife Party Hexagram Feiticeira My Own Summer (Shove it) Back to School (Mini Maggit) Bloody Cape Battle-Axe Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
    good job UG, so glad that passenger made it, shame cherry waves didn't, but great list nonetheless!
    Yeah, pretty damn good list. I'm a little disappointed Cherry Waves didn't make it in, though.