BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

Over the years since its release, I have found myself not going back to it as much as some of the other tracks from​
. The reason? I'm not too sure... because I still enjoy it when it comes on. I wonder if any of you have felt the same?​

I get that too. It was one of my biggest favourites on release, but I wouldn't put it in the album's top 5 now. I think it might be down to it sounding a bit of its time while most of the rest of the album feels a bit more timeless.
Actually, this is our #15...


SCORE: 9.241

HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 11 ( @allyshone, @Sprockrooster, @boombazookajoe, @Ana Raquel, @odyism, @Remorque, @eatyourself, @soratami, @Purple, @Music Is Death, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 7 x 1 ( @Phonetics Girl )
MY SCORE: 10/10

Our surprise entry! BREAK MY SOUL is the lead single from Beyoncé's seventh studio album, Renaissance and all of us, bar a couple, sent in votes to see where it would land in the rate. I'm now wondering if anyone's opinion of the song has risen since the album release, because babyyyyy... the CUFF IT/ENERGY/BREAK MY SOUL trifecta is such a fucking moment... within an album that IS the moment! BREAK MY SOUL was co-written with The Dream, Tricky Stewart, Jens Christian Isaken and Jay-Z. The song samples Big Freedia's Explode and the well known Robin S hit from the early 90s, Show Me Love.

As the internet was abuzz with talk about Beyoncé doing a house-inspired album, when BREAK MY SOUL eventually dropped, I have to say I liked it, but was slightly whelmed. The track itself was completely inoffensive and enjoyable, but I had dreamt of Beyoncé going a lot further with the production if she was going to do the house genre justice. Those days are long gone now and as you can see, I gave it a big, shiny, fat 10! Obviously, some of the other girlies have dipped their toes into house here and there, but BREAK MY SOUL truly feels like an homage to a genre that is steeped in black culture. The powerhouse vocals, the Big Freedia sample and the not blatantly obvious Show Me Love sample all elevate this track into something truly special and again, something completely different for Beyoncé.

We still have no video or performance of the song, but that didn't stop it from becoming a huge hit worldwide. Yes, the haters who continuously claimed, "Beyoncé can't get a hit anymore! The Gift was a flop! She's over!" were silent, as BREAK MY SOUL peaked at #1 in the US and #2 in the UK respectively. It's pretty astonishing that a woman who is over 20 years into her career and over the age of 40 is still able to dominate the charts (almost against her will it seems at times dddd) and social media as well, especially in a world which is so quick to throw out female artists once they reach a certain age.

Last month, Beyoncé released THE QUEENS REMIX of the track, featuring none other than Madonna! The remix is fucking camp as hell and Beyoncé gets to give a nod to a plethora of female artists showing how she truly is MOTHER of the music industry right now.

With rumours of a tour announcement coming soon, we'll probably have to wait until next year to get a performance of this, but the album is just so good, she can make us wait as long as she wants... but seriously, give us the video Bey!

Now I have to retroactively go and change all the positions in my posts...


I actually considered changing my 11 to Break My Soul, but a) that might have been a bit premature and b) I wasn't sure it was actually going to be properly included in the rate dd, but yeah, definitely one of Beyoncé's best to me, and one of the best songs of the year so far too.
Wait. How many 10's did you hand out then?!
I think I gave a total of 16 or 17 perfect scores, but I was referring to "Daddy Lessons" as top 5 out of the remaining songs, because most of my 10s already vacated.

Every elimination has now been updated with the correct position and the correct increase/decrease/non-mover number from the 2016 rate. Phew!
You didn't exactly have to do all that dd, especially since we have 15 more songs that we could've rated. Just putting it as #15(a) would've been perfectly fine too. I love the dedication though.
I agree that "XO" isn't among the standouts in Beyoncé's discography - definitely a really cute little bop but it sounds like it could've been released by any other artist (I'm mainly picturing Rita Ora for some reason) and still would've been a... really cute little bop. The production is great but I wish the song itself was stronger.
Makes sense it did really well as this forum seems to lap up that type of sound.


SCORE: 9.258

16/113 (+2) | 8.792 (+0.466)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 16 ( @Sprockrooster, @lalaclairi_, @Aester, @BubblegumBoy, @odyism, @Remorque, @Maria, @eatyourself, @soratami, @Crisp X, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Music Is Death )
LOWEST SCORE: 7 x 1 ( @Robert )
MY SCORE: 9/10

Released as the fourth single from Beyoncé’s fourth studio album, 4, Love On Top undoubtedly became one of the album's biggest moments, mostly kick started by one of her many career defining performances at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2011. The song was written with The Dream and Shea Taylor and like many of the songs on 4, it has a distinctly classic feel due to its throwback inspiration from the likes of The Jackson 5 and Stevie Wonder. Love On Top is, of course, a love song. There’s no doubt in Beyoncé’s mind here, she is deeply in love and her man is deeply in love with her. The song is uptempo and includes four key changes, adding to the overall joyous occasion, and making it hell for those who have to listen to someone attempt this on karaoke. Beyoncé told the audience at the VMAs at the beginning of her performance, “I want you to feel the love that’s growing inside of me”, and by the end of those key changes, Beyoncé did the ultimate Drag Race reveal and showed off her baby bump.

Over the years, Love On Top has slowly creeped its way into becoming an all-time great Beyoncé track, celebrated by fans and casual listeners alike. On paper, you would think the song would get incredibly tiring after a while, but I still enjoy it just as much today as I did back in 2011. Nothing can beat listening to those key changes for the first time though. It was an experience. Now more than 10 years on, it remains incredibly fun and positive. It’s sonically and thematically the core of 4. Love On Top is a timeless classic.

The music video was directed by Ed Burke and Beyoncé herself. It was released on October 16, 2011 and uses a shorter version of the song. Echoing the VMA performance, the video follows a similar concept with Beyoncé taking centre stage as she’s joined by five male backing dancers. As we go up through the key changes, the outfits change in accordance. A lot of the choreography resembles the same moves from 1960s male groups. The song didn’t need more as it sells itself. The video has over 450m views and was nominated for Best Female Video at the 2012 VMAs.

After the VMA performance, sales for the song shot up in the US, and the song debuted and peaked at No.20 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song eventually ended up hitting No.1 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Elsewhere, Love On Top didn’t have many great peaks on the charts, but had infinite staying power. Peaking at No.13 on the UK charts, it would eventually be certified platinum in 2015, having sold over 600,000 copies. With streaming added, the song has sold over 6.5 million copies worldwide and is usually in Beyoncé’s most popular songs on Spotify, with around 460m streams. A hit!

Back to the VMA performance, Beyoncé had the whole show in awe, and that was even before the Blue Ivy reveal. The thought of Blue Ivy being an integral part of a VMA performance when she was just a foetus. I’m scared of the superstardom that child, now 10, is going to unleash on the world, if she wants to of course. Being such a crowd pleaser, the song has been performed many times and on many tours since. It was part of the 4 Intimate Nights with Beyoncé shows at the Roseland Ballroom in New York City. She kicked off her first Super Bowl performance with a small acapella version and it was on the setlist for the Revel revue shows in Atlantic City, the On The Run Tour and The Mrs Carter World Tour. Beyoncé performed a fuller acapella version of Love On Top on The Formation World Tour where in Düsseldorf she was overwhelmed by the crowd’s reaction. Finally, the song was included on the Coachella setlist.

I didn't know Daddy Lessons was so loved because the only reason it got a 6,5 from me was because of the feat fffff the original would have been scored waaaaaaaay lower than that. Hold Up and Sorry 100% deserved to be above it.
It's interesting how songs from Lemonade have generally maintained more or less the same average from the last rate while ones from previous albums have seen some huge bumps. I guess you could say Lemonade benefited a bit from recency bias last time. It does make me glad this rate happened before Renaissance rather than shortly after.
"BREAK MY SOUL" was also whelming to me upon first listen, but it really grew on me later on, especially in context of the album. I gave it an 8.5 because it bops but doesn't reach her more impressive heights.

"Love on Top" is an 8 - yes, all the key changes are iconic and I find the song enjoyable but don't seem to revisit it that much. Seems like it's the first song that got more than 15 perfect scores (which is more than half of total voters) and given we're not yet in the top 10, that's impressive.
oh na na na


SCORE: 9.258

15/113 (+2) | 8.794 (+0.464)
HIGHEST SCORE: 11 x 2 ( @TéléDex, @Music Is Death ) | 10 x 16 ( @Sprockrooster, @lalaclairi_, @Daniel_O, @Phonetics Girl, @odyism, @Dijah., @Maria, @eatyourself, @soratami, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @godspeed, @klow, @Ramalama, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 4 x 1 ( @Epic Chocolat )
MY SCORE: 8/10

Matching the average on Love On Top, Don't Hurt Yourself squeaked ahead due to its two shiny 11s!

As we continue to eliminate songs from Lemonade, I just have to keep repeating how many of these songs are outliers in Beyoncé's discography, but somehow combine masterfully to make a near perfect album. Don't Hurt Yourself is really the prime example of this. Co-written with Jack White, who gets a feature credit, as well as Diana Gordon, Don't Hurt Yourself is a rock song... a Beyoncé rock song! It comes after Hold Up in the tracklist and it completely flips whatever preconceived notions you might have expected from Beyoncé in 2016 on its head. Don't Hurt Yourself contains a sample of the Led Zeppelin version of When The Levee Breaks.

Speaking of the song's origin, Jack White said, "You know, I just talked to her and she said, "I wanna be in a band with you." [Laughs.] I said, "Really? Well, I'd love to do something." I've always loved her voice — I mean, I think she has the kind of soul singing voice of the days of Betty Davis or Aretha Franklin. She took just sort of a sketch of a lyrical outline and turned into the most bodacious, vicious, incredible song. I don't even know what you'd classify it as — soul, rock and roll, whatever. "Don't Hurt Yourself" is incredibly intense; I'm so amazed at what she did with it."

I remember listening to Don't Hurt Yourself for the first time and being completely blown away. Growing up in a household where rock music was played all the time, I've always appreciated it, but it's just not a genre I actively look out for in my life. However, when your fave and rock music decide to join forces in such a way like this, it's hard to ignore! Beyoncé puts her entire soul into this track and if you hadn't got the message of the album from the first two tracks, well Don't Hurt Yourself was literally going to spell it out for you. Critics compared the type of fire Beyoncé was feeling to Ring The Alarm, and the comparisons are definitely justified, hence why Beyoncé eventually joined the two on tour. White's feature works really well and it really does feel like the two are in a band, as Beyoncé had wanted.

"If you try this shit again... you gon' lose your wife." *throws wedding ring to camera*
Erm... excuse me?!!!
I was SHOOK!
The Don't Hurt Yourself portion of the Lemonade film... *shivers*.
Period. Dot.

Beyoncé performed the song during her 2016 Lemonade medley performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Again... just incredible. 10/10. I'm actually sick of praising her dddd!

Additionally, the song was performed on The Formation World Tour as well as at Coachella and the On The Run II Tour and is currently approaching 50m streams on Spotify. At Coachella, Beyoncé included an excerpt from Malcolm X. Yes, the song was birthed out of Beyoncé's hurt and betrayal she felt in her marriage, however she expands its meaning back into the culture, politics and America where the frustration and anger is still valid.





SCORE: 9.266

5/113 (-7) | 9.402 (-0.135)
HIGHEST SCORE: 10 x 18 ( @theincredibleflipper, @boombazookajoe, @Ana Raquel, @Daniel_O, @Aester, @Dijah., @Remorque, @Maria, @soratami, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @Ensnare, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Music Is Death, @Ramalama )
LOWEST SCORE: 6.75 x 1 ( @Maki )
MY SCORE: 9.5/10

The ultimate Beyoncé sexual anthem! Partition is a song taken from Beyoncé's Self-Titled fifth studio album. Actually, it's a two part song, the first being Yoncé. Co-writing and co-production credits on Partition come from The Dream, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, J-Roc, Key Wane, Mike Dean and BOOTS. Yoncé is a super fun shit-talking, feel-good track over a simple drumbeat, which birthed the famous lines such as, "Yoncé all on his mouth like liquor", "sneezed on the beat and the beat got sicker" and "radio said 'speed it up', I just go slower" to name a few. Between the two songs, we get a sample from the following paparazzi clip:

A lot of Beyoncé's relationship with Jay centres around Paris, and I believe the inspiration around Partition came from being in the Crazy Horse cabaret club there, which is eventually where they shot some of the video. So that's where the paparazzi audio, "are you happy to be in Paris?" comes into play. But let's talk about Partition! A hyper-sexual, electronic R&B song which quickly became a fan favourite within the Beyhive. The song is filled with catchy hooks, classic Timbaland production and very memorable lyrics. Sorry Monica. That's a topic for another conversation.

Beyoncé talked about the creation of the song in the making of Self-Titled. As always, it's great to hear Beyoncé talk about her music, which I would LOVE for Renaissance please! The main takeaway I think from the absolute bopATION of Partition though is Beyoncé reclaiming her sexual energy after having a baby. What's great is, the song is not only a big fuck you to misogyny, as a lot of Beyoncé's work is, but it's still very personal to Beyoncé and clearly a big part of who she is, hence it's placement on the album.

The videos are both complete serves as well. Yoncé features models Jourdan Dunn, Joan Smalls and Chanel Iman and was directed by Ricky Saiz. The video doesn't need much more than all these women looking stunning together and doing a model catwalk down the street. I lived and I still live. Partition, directed by Jake Nava, details exactly how Beyoncé probably imagined the song to be when she heard the beat. We get the famous chair silhouette choreography, which she would incorporate into her live performances of Partition and then later Rocket. Funnily enough, the video has a lot of similar themes to Naughty Girl, which was also directed by Nava.

Beyoncé performed the songs in her 2014 MTV Video Music Awards medley, as well as on The Mrs Carter Show World Tour, On The Run Tour and The Formation World Tour. Yoncé, which I feel is just easier to slot into a setlist, made an appearance for BEYCHELLA as well.