BEYONCÉ: the discography rate ~ WINNER revealed!

Okay so we are finally here! Here's your #2 track people...


SCORE: 9.633

1/113 (-1) | 9.494 (+0.139)
HIGHEST SCORE: 11 x 2 ( @allyshone, @Ensnare ) | 10 x 20 ( @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @lalaclairi_, @Ana Raquel, @Daniel_O, @Phonetics Girl, @odyism, @Dijah., @Remorque, @Maria, @eatyourself, @soratami, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @godspeed, @klow, @Lost In Japan., @Music Is Death, @Ramalama )
LOWEST SCORE: 6 x 1 ( @Epic Chocolat )
MY SCORE: 11/10

What more is there to say about Formation that hasn't already been said? It's fucking iconic.

Co-written with Mike WiLL Made-It, Swae Lee and Pluss, Formation served as Lemonade's lead single, releasing on February 6, 2016, the day before Beyoncé was set to make an appearance at the Super Bowl again. Pluss created the beat for Formation originally, with Swae Lee coming up with the hook, "Okay ladies now let's get in formation". Mike WiLL was asked by Beyoncé's team to send over some ideas at the time and sent her a version with Swae Lee freestyling over the beat. Beyoncé wrote the verses, taking the concept of the song to an entirely different, broader space than which Mike WiLL had originally thought, with more focus being put on her heritage, identity and the culture. Mike WiLL said, "took this one little idea we came up with on the way to Coachella, put it in a pot, stirred it up, and came with this smash. She takes ideas and puts them with her own ideas, and makes this masterpiece". Yes, that is what Beyoncé does and she is the master of it!

When trying to choose my 11 for this rate, I kept coming back to Formation. There's so many songs from Beyoncé which I consider an 11/10 and even some that I seek out more than Formation, but I don't think there's any other song which truly epitomizes the artist Beyoncé is today more than this one. Of course, she has grown even more since Formation (she's insane!!), but I think this track marked such a pivotal moment in her career, where she shifted once again to delve deeper into her past, deeper into her personal struggles and deeper into the experiences of black people, specifically women in America. You can pinpoint many moments in Beyoncé's career where she takes all of her previous experience, but shifts the direction in her artistry. She has continued to build on what Formation started over the past few years and for that reason I gave it my 11.

It's also a fucking banger, don't get me wrong! The beat immediately catches your attention and while it's clear the song is heavily influenced by trap and bounce, it still manages to sound completely UNIQUE! Can't type that word anymore with writing in capitals and think of ALIEN SUPERSTAR. Anyway, the production is fire, especially with the added Beyoncé horns under the chorus. The lyrics are memorably and noteworthy. Imagine the nerve of Beyoncé to open up her song with the line, "Y'all haters corny with that illuminati mess". That line immediately tells you, this is a Beyoncé song and it's going to be a big FU to all of her haters. Plus, like I mentioned earlier, it just slaps so hard as well.

Formation was a big hit worldwide, despite being fumbled by the TIDAL exclusivity of it all. A peak of #31 in the UK is so wild to me, but we'll move on. I think I got it free with a TIDAL subscription at the time? Okay, moving on. It has sold over 3m copies in the US, and hit Gold in the UK and currently has around 230m streams on Spotify. That number would be much higher if it wasn't for... ANYWAY, moving on!! It was a hit, no matter what the haters say. It won a lot of awards and was on many music publications Best of 2016 lists, even snagging the #1 spot in a few. The Independent included Formation in their 40 Best Song Lyrics of All Time ranking. The list could go on, but the consensus is, the critics couldn't get enough of it.

The release dropped with the music video, directed by Melina Matsoukas. Even though it was shot in Los Angeles, the main influence for the video was New Orleans, which they created sets for to emulate. The video is still one of Beyoncé's best I think. From the sets, the fashions, the choreography, the cameos, the false start, the Big Freedia inclusion... it really set the scene of what was to come with Lemonade and where her mindset was. Also, it's not only her identity and culture which she touches upon in the video, but it's the imagery relating to present day politics which really felt important for Beyoncé to include at the time. Again, Formation really set the groundwork for Beyoncé's later projects.

As we all know, Beyoncé first performed the track at the 50th Super Bowl Halftime Show, which was headlined by Coldplay. This performance caused a whole lot of controversy, which is funny because Beyoncé literally says in the song, "You know you that bitch when you cause all this conversation" and she sure did. To put it briefly, conservatives, the first people to call others "woke" for supporting BLM or "snowflakes" because we fight for Trans rights, were offended by everything Beyoncé and her dancers did on the world's biggest stage. Racists gonna racist, I guess. I don't want to give much time to the controversy to be honest. Let's focus on how Beyoncé shut the entire place down with a song that had been out for less than 24 hours!
That's mother!

All performances of Formation are high energy and mesmerizing. She has performed the song on every tour since it's release and I hope it doesn't go anywhere from the setlist, it's just that good. Special shout out to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards performance, where Beyoncé added some extra choreography moments that had my jaw to the flaw.

Ugh, being a Beyoncé fan is just so satisfying.

You're #1 Beyoncé song of all time (before Renaissance dddd)...


SCORE: 9.775

2/113 (+1) | 9.494 (+0.332)
HIGHEST SCORE: 11 x 2 ( @soratami, @Lost In Japan. ) | 10 x 20 ( @allyshone, @Sprockrooster, @theincredibleflipper, @lalaclairi_, @Ana Raquel, @Daniel_O, @BubblegumBoy, @odyism, @Epic Chocolat, @Dijah., @Remorque, @Maria, @eatyourself, @Purple, @sesita, @TheOnlyOne, @godspeed, @Ensnare, @klow, @Music Is Death, @Ramalama, @Robert )
LOWEST SCORE: 7.5 x 1 ( @Aester )
MY SCORE: 10/10

If there was a checklist of what is needed in a perfect debut pop single, Crazy In Love would surely tick every box. It’s huge and it did the almighty job of successfully separating Beyoncé from her peers, her time as a girl group member and made her a household name. It’s almost too perfect of a debut single! A song this huge could have cast a large shadow over the rest of Beyoncé’s Dangerously In Love era and career to be honest. But, this is Beyoncé, she was never going to let that happen. It has the classic Beyoncé horns we've all come to love and adore from her, it has the vocal delivery we've all come to love and adore from her and it has the confidence and vitality we've all come to love and adore from her.

As we know by now, one of Beyoncé’s many talents is her ability to tap into the culture and make her songs 'meme-worthy', if you would call it that. Yes, she has been doing it since the early days and she did it here when she came up with the famous "uh oh uh oh uh oh oh no no" hook, which paired with the choreography has become a staple move every time people hit the dancefloor. Fun fact: when I was around 12 years old, I studied the Crazy In Love music video whenever it would pop up on the music channels, as you do when you're a little gay kid, and I eventually thought I nailed the "uh oh" choreography. I showed my 12 year old twerking to a few girls from my school and for years after was known as the Beyoncé boy. Quite an achievement, but what a mess dddd.

Speaking of achievements, the song went on to sell over 11m copies, it peaked at No.1 in both the US and the UK and currently has is approaching 800m streams on Spotify. It also nabbed Beyoncé two of her 24 Grammys for Best R&B Song and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. You will also find Crazy In Love on almost every music publication’s Best Of lists, whether it’s Best of the 2000s or Best Records of All Time, Crazy In Love WILL be on there.

The video was directed by longtime collaborator Jake Nava and rightfully went on to earn critical acclaim from music critics and snapped up 3 VMAs. Beyoncé struts directly towards the camera in a white vest, denim shorts and red pumps and asks the viewer if they’re ready and from that moment, you know she’s about to kill! Beyoncé once said the video was about a girl who "realizes she’s in love, she is doing stuff she would not normally do but she does not care. It does not matter, she is just crazy in love." The looks, the choreography, the bubblegum popping… this was the birth of Beyoncé the superstar. It really is the perfect pop music video to accompany the perfect pop song. The video has been viewed over 630m times on YouTube.

One of Beyoncé’s most iconic early performances of the song was on the BET Awards in 2003 where performed on top of her name. A fucking star! Since then, the song has probably been performed a billion times with it being a staple on tour and a guaranteed crowd pleaser. Performances haven’t changed too much over the years, but somehow she still manages to perform it with as much gusto as she did back in 2003, maybe even more so. Watching her vocals improve throughout the years is a reason to sit through a load of Crazy In Love performances. That run before the final chorus is still everything.

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Well, there we have it! I would've been happy either way - a battle between Beyoncé's most iconic song and her most important song was never going to end badly. That being said, my fellow 11 provider for 'Formation'... @allyshone, you're that girl I knew you were. Taste.

Brilliantly run (with some rather odd results towards the end!), and it's been thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait for the next one in a few years - I think a big reshuffle could be on the cards!

Thank you so much, @allyshone! What a huge undertaking. You've done Beyoncé proud.



Album Average: 8.717
(Standard Edition: 8.792)
2016: 8.487



2. Formation (9.633)
4. All Night (9.501)
7. Freedom (9.425)
13. Don't Hurt Yourself (9.258)
17. Daddy Lessons (9.146)
18. Sorry (9.04)
19. Hold Up (9.016)
29. Pray You Catch Me (8.86)
32. 6 Inch (8.828)
50. Love Drought (8.316)
68. Sandcastles (7.991)
75. Sorry (Original Demo) (7.818)
142. Forward (6.493)


Top Scorers:

9.807 - @Music Is Death
9.692 - @sesita
9.653 - @Phonetics Girl


Bottom Scorers:

6.146 - @Epic Chocolat
7.423 - @Ana Raquel
7.653 - @Daniel_O


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Well, there we have it! I would've been happy either way - a battle between Beyoncé's most iconic song and her most important song was never going to end badly. That being said, my fellow 11 provider for 'Formation'... @allyshone, you're that girl I knew you were. Taste.

Brilliantly run (with some rather odd results towards the end!), and it's been thoroughly enjoyable. Can't wait for the next one in a few years - I think a big reshuffle could be on the cards!

Thank you so much, @allyshone! What a huge undertaking. You've done Beyoncé proud!

Thank you! It's been a lot of fun doing it, and hard work at times - but I've got Beyoncé as inspiration so.

And yes, I agree, I definitely think a reshuffle will happen when it comes time for the next rate. I can't wait!


Album Average: 6.860
(Standard Edition: 7.113)
2016: 5.984



1. Crazy In Love (9.775)
20. Baby Boy (9)
33. Naughty Girl (8.808)
48. Me, Myself and I (8.35)
65. '03 Bonnie & Clyde (8.033)
83. Work It Out (7.683)
94. Dangerously In Love (7.451)
96. Be With You (7.348)
98. Speechless (7.298)
120. Yes (6.916)
137. Hip Hop Star (6.566)
138. What's It Gonna Be (6.525)
144. I Can't Take No More (6.458)
152. Signs (6.366)
159. That's How You Like It (6.205)
165. My First Time (6.025)
180. The Closer I Get To You (5.525)
183. Gift From Virgo (4.95)
184. Bienvenue (4.391)
186. Daddy (3.53)


Top Scorers:

8.75 - @TéléDex
8.225 - @Dijah.
7.937 - @odyism


Bottom Scorers:

5.225 - @Robert
5.6 - @Phonetics Girl
5.7 - @Aester


Gagged at the results.

@allyshone: the fact that you started this rate after mine, had a song list 3-4x as long, and finished it before I cracked the Top 40 of my own rate. The level of professionalism, far too much. Thank you for being an excellent rate host!! You did that.

Thank you! It was rough for you in here for a long time dddd. I was like, not another one of boom's 10s leaving! But, I appreciate the kind words!
Album rankings have all been updated on the first page. Kind of funny that we finished with Beyoncé's worst rated album! Overall though, she has great album averages, with Lemonade still dominating, with Self-Titled behind it. Had we rated B'Day without any bonus tracks, it would have come 2nd!

Here's the spreadsheet as well, if anyone wants to look at it. It's probably a bit messy in places, hence my early mistakes in the rate ddd.
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Not B'Day not having my highest average ffffff and that's just because of a few 5s, most to bonus tracks? Also it's funny to see those averages because years ago I would say that I found the self-titled overrated and Lemonade was on par with B'Day as my favorite album. Tables have turned, it seems.

Perfect winner. This is basically one of the songs that turned me into a pop stan. My favorite of all-time when I was 7.

Thank you for the rate! @allyshone
I had 7.5 vs 9 in the final and therefore had an obvious preference, so it's good to see this turnaround compared to the previous rate. "Crazy in Love" might not be among my absolute fave songs by Beyoncé, but it surely is an excellent tune and staple hit of the early 00s for a reason.
When we reached the top 5, I was honestly hoping for a surprise "Déjà Vu" win, but seeing it was only 0.5 points away from "Formation" is really impressive.

Thank you so much for hosting this rate, @allyshone! You really did a fantastic job, especially considering there were nearly 190 songs in total, it was done so efficiently that it's definitely something to be proud of.
Thank you for somehow getting us very promptly through this HUGE catalogue of classics @allyshone! A mammoth effort. I really enjoyed your write ups and the discourse because I learnt all sorts of random new things about songs I thought I knew inside out.

I’ve also got a newfound appreciation for songs in her catalog that I had initially dismissed. It’s now very obvious to me that a discography so expansive in both genre and scale is going to attract different people to different elements.

Crazy In Love feels like a very apt winner. It’s probably one of, if not the, best debut single ever. The way it just announces her arrival, we simply have to stan. That said I’m exceptionally pleased to see my unexpectedly controversial 11 make it to #3.

Until next time!
The way this is my first Rate where I wasn't able to give an 11 to any song... I just couldn't decide! All Night, End of Time, Formation, I Miss You, Love On Top or XO were massive candidates but I just couldn't betray the others like that. Pair a Libra with a catalogue as strong as hers and it's an impossible task to decide!

Thank you @allyshone for this lovely ride, it's been a wild ride going through Bey's music all together - and even experiencing a new classic dropping right in the middle - an album FULL of 11s while we're at it! Being her fan is truly a blessing.
I know I am extremely late to the party and I am deeply ashamed and sorry for it, but the rate wrapped up when I was away on vacation after a very busy time at work so I only followed it from afar and stopped posting. In the process, I forgot to write a few words to share my appreciation of this beautiful Joyride™ of a rate. First and foremost, thank you so much @allyshone for hosting it. This rate was fantastic on every level: the write-ups that made me re-live some of the greatest and most gruelling moments of being a Beyoncé stan throughout all these years, the beautiful graphics, the satisfying pace of the results, the many performances and extra tidbits you've shared – some I discovered for the first time. It was a glorious celebration of the artist and performer of a generation that is Beyoncé. I can tell you've put so much love and passion into it and I'm really glad you've shared that with us. I also fully believe this rate manifested RENAISSANCE into our lives, so for this I'll forever be grateful to you @allyshone.

To my fellow participants, you were an amazing bunch of people to share this experience with! I could talk about Beyoncé's work all day long and all of you had so many interesting insights and personal stories to share. That's what makes those rates worth it to me, so thank you so much for this. I also love a rate where people don't get into catty fights, so shout out to us for being somewhat mature and, most importantly, having great taste.

There are many rates where I was thrown-off by the results and some where serious choices were made. But when I look at the leaderboard for this one... I don't know about y'all, but I feel like... we did a pretty good job, didn't we? There was a couple of surprises and, obviously, "THE NILE" and "BOSS" were done wrong, but overall... These results make sense and this top 10 only reminds me that Beyoncé's discography is one of the best things to ever happen to music and pop culture.

I have to say that I did not expect my 11, the extraordinary piece of sonic bliss that is "All Night," to appear in the top 10 so I was pleasantly surprised to see it make the top 5. I'd love to write a few lines about this song but I don't really know what to say about it or why I chose it as my 11... It just felt like an obvious one for me – maybe for personal reasons, maybe for no reason at all, I don't know. I don't necessarily like a happy ending but I always crave for a peaceful ending, and I think that's what "All Night" provides on its parent album. After all the angst, pain, anger, resentment, doubt, struggle and self-reflection of Lemonade, it feels like complete and total solace. Not one that is easily earned, but one that is the result of an often painful and confusing personal journey. Forgiveness is a difficult thing to give to someone else and especially to yourself, so is peace. But, as Sade said, "love is stronger than pride" and maybe it is our greatest life compass in the end. We've heard Beyoncé crave for her husband's love and affection many times in her career, but it never sounded as good and as healing as "All Night." It's a glorious song. A glorious finale. And it samples Outkast's "SpottieOttieDopaliscious" so of course those horns are gonna do something to you. I also have to say that the outro coming full circle with "Pray You Catch Me" is the kind of element that gives me chills. Well, turns out I knew what to say about "All Night," huh?

Thank you again @allyshone and everybody in this thread, this was a lot of fun!
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