Musicians from Ed Sheeran to Olivia Rodrigo caught up in plagiarism cases over the years have declared, “there are only so many combinations of notes that can be used in songs”. And, likewise, there are also only so many names for tracks out there in the world, too.
On this list, we delve into ten songs by different artists called ‘All For You’ to see what they have to offer and what vibe they may impart on a listener. Which one is your favourite?
1. Cian Ducot (2022)
From Ducot’s 2022 album, ‘Sad Beautiful Songs’.
The Dark Room Recordings star most prominently reached the spotlight with this release after it was discovered last year on TikTok. Climbing up to the nineteenth spot on the UK Singles Chart, Ducot has since gone on to release other tracks achieving similar levels of popularity.
A slow-paced piano ballad floods your ears with emotion-abundant lyrics of loss and regret. Through this track, Ducot clearly expresses the cutting feeling of a void entering one’s life, and the sense of not knowing what the future can hold after someone’s world has been overturned by grief.
Formulaic in its delivery, granting listeners what they may expect from a heartbreak-esque “sad song”, the tune is not overly standout, but it doesn’t particularly need to be. It hits the heart, and would serve well as the soundtrack to your next 3am cry sesh.
2. Imagine Dragons (2014)
An unreleased single, created for the ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’ movie.
Most of us will have heard of Imagine Dragons, an American pop-rock band who have delivered some of our favourite number one hits. Rising to fame in 2012 after the release of their award-winning debut album, Night Visions (2012), there’s been no going back for the band and their journey to musical success.
Although not a chart-topper, their song ‘All For You’ is one that takes on a quieter and more poignant approach than some of their other work.
Yes, Radioactive (2012) and Demons (2012) are great, but this song and the way that it gradually builds up in volume deserves its chance to be appreciated on the same podium. The falsetto on the words ‘all for you’, tonally, creates such a sense of vulnerability, both from within the artist and within the listener. You feel the pain of the vocalist, as well as its transference to you, and leave your listening session with a rawness in your heart.
Delicate but powerful. Well worth a listen, especially if you are a fan of the band but want to see a different side from their later releases.
3. Years & Years (2018)
From the group’s 2018 album, ‘Palo Santo’.
Does anyone else remember the summer that Years & Years’ ‘King’ was relentless on every radio station and shop floor? If so, you remember their rise to fame, or unapologetic ripple of world domination sweeping across 2016. Despite entering the music industry in 2012, debuting ‘I Wish I Knew’, it’s the former track that became what they were known for – producing melodies that just can’t get out of your head.
‘All For You’ is a song, no, an *anthem*, about getting played. An upbeat expression of selfishness, and what it means to emotionally break free from its toxic cycle. A diss track to those who’s version of love is riddled by manipulation and gaslighting, delivered in the form of lyrical dance and a tune that will keep you up at night hitting repeat.
For anyone who needs to celebrate their newfound sense of independence, whether alone in their room or loudly with friends, this track is a must. This track is… all for you.
4. TeeJay3k (2019)
From their 2019 album, ‘Soul Searchin’.
The Florida-based rapper, despite only being in his twenties, prides himself on bringing a degree of seriousness to his lyrics and holds an aim to share truths about the world. Coming from a difficult upbringing, his album ‘Soul Searchin’ navigates what it’s like to be a young person dealing with the weight of adult pressures and loneliness.
‘I’m sick and tired of being tired’ is a lyric from ‘All For You’ which stood out to me. A lot of rap songs today carry little substance and are often hypersexualised. However a track like this, subtle in its poetry yet powerful in its transparency of pain and hardship, is a rare find in recent years.
For lovers of rap this is a must, but I encourage those who usually don’t tune into the genre to give this one a go. The phrase ‘all for you’ can be taken in many forms, but one thing that this piece captures about it well is its sense of openness. Regardless of what the song title is indicating towards, it’s pointing in the direction of an emotion demanding to be felt.
5. Wilkinson ft. Karen Harding (2019)
From Wilkinson’s 2019 album, ‘All For You (Acoustic)’.
A DJ and remixer would, of course, be the mastermind behind such a contemporary, electric dancefloor filler. English-born Mark Wilkinson, together with established singer Karen Harding, collaborated on the EDM piece in 2019, raking in over 4 million hits on YouTube alone to date. This year Wilkinson was given the honour of being the 2023 closing act for Glastonbury Festival.
This rendition of ‘All For You' certainly won’t leave you wanting to spoon ice cream from the tub. Think Sigala but lesser known. Think heartbreak lyrics but communicated in such a way that you want to cheer about it instead of weep.
A prime example of modern day club culture, and perhaps a symbolism of how many heartbroken hopefuls today choose to drown their sorrows at the bar instead of connecting with their broken parts.
6. Janet Jackson (2010)
From Jackson’s 2001 album, ‘All For You’.
Listed on the album of the same name, Janet Jackson’s release of ‘All For You’ draws inspiration from a perhaps lesser known source. Sampling melodies from ‘The Glow of Love’ released by Change in 1980, Janet’s track channels the energy of being the perfect 2000’s throwback whilst adding a pinch of 80’s flare.
If you’re looking for a nostalgia wave, this ‘All For You’ entry won’t be disappointing. From the music video’s visuals and styling, to the upbeat disco tempo, despite the track’s name potentially connoting a sadder melody, this one maintains a flirty, playful vibe.
Jackson’s song would be a great accompaniment to your themed club night (does anyone still have showstoppers from their 2000s wardrobe stashed away for such an occasion?), dancing in the kitchen with the girls or an open-top nighttime drive. Try not to boogie or reminisce too hard on your Walkman days.
7. Ace of Base (2010)
From the band’s 2010 album, ‘The Golden Ratio’.
Ace of Base are a Swedish pop group that formed in the 90’s. After reaching global success following the release of ‘Happy’, the group's debut album, the band received a nomination in the Grammy Awards for Best New Artist. Although the group remains relatively inactive among the music scene today, they never officially announced that they were disbanding. Who knows, maybe they’ll be back?
Released in the same year as Janet’s song of the same name, Ace of Base’s ‘All For You’ manages to replicate the recipe of what today would be deemed as a great, traditional Eurovision song contest entry. It is catchy, contains a clear motivational message for its audience to take away, and it has a prevailing beat that a listener can start clapping along to.
If anyone happens to have their number, maybe we should arrange a comeback. Listen in for an excuse to wave some flags in your living room, front row, representing Sweden.
8. Sister Hazel (2009)
From the 1994 self-titled album release, ‘Sister Hazel’.
A progressive rock band formed in the 90’s, Sister Hazel’s track ‘All For You’ is seen as one of the one-hit wonders of the decade. The track at the time became so popular that it carried their album, ‘Somewhere More Familiar’, into becoming platinum.
Sister Hazel combines elements of folk with snippets into their more rock-centred roots amid this track. It’s upbeat, in-your-face and makes you want to jump around all while conveying messages of undeniable chemistry through its lyricism.
Carrying lines such as ‘words can’t say / and I can’t do / enough to prove / it’s all for you’ deliver a contrapuntal message of adoration and persistence, as if the vocalist holds a burning passion for someone yet can’t get them to see it. This element adds a thought-provoking layer to the song, encouraging listeners to deconstruct it beyond surface level.
Have a listen, have a think, and have a ponder about whoever it is that comes to mind when you close your eyes and hear this song.
9. Stick Figure (2019)
From Stick Figure’s 2019 album, ‘World on Fire’.
Stick Figure is an American reggae band from California. Sitting on seven full-length released albums, the group has many accolades including winning the Symphonic Award for Artist of the Year in 2020, receiving Grammy nomination considerations, and claiming the top spot on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.
Although the group have yet to reach mainstream popularity, they have been faring well headlining festivals over the last couple of years.
Supported by a consistent reggae-style beat, Stick Figure’s ‘All For You’ allows its instrumental to take centre stage. With few vocals between instrumental breaks, the track sings of one’s heart being asleep despite somebody “calling” to it. Perhaps the use of juxtaposing music is a representation of a person trying to distract themself from difficult feelings, or a portrayal of music being used as a coping mechanism when dealing with difficult emotions?
This song is a unique one on this list in the way that it doesn’t appear to be an upbeat track almost celebrating loss or feelings of longing, but it isn’t a sad song either. It remains very neutral, going with its own flow: an alignment to the chilled out air of reggae.
10. Broadway Cast of Seussical The Musical
Sung by Janine LaManna as a part of the Seussical Broadway Musical.
Seussical was a musical comedy based on a compilation of many children’s stories of Dr. Seuss. Opening on the Broadway stage back in 2000, at the time the show was considered to be one of the most widely produced musicals in the country.
‘All For You’ is a quirky song about someone going the extra mile, from travelling afar to getting their mysterious tail removed, all for somebody that they care about. This really goes to show just how different songs of the same name can be, from genre and subject matter to general intention.
You aren’t supposed to leave after listening to this piece feeling filled with philosophy, reaching for your tissues or longing for your crush. You’re meant to laugh, wonder what you just heard and possibly feel inspired to spend your evening sitting with a musical or recounting some childhood memories. Interesting.
Imagine Dragons: https://www.google.com/search?q=night+visions+imagine+dragons+awards&rlz=1CAZJXP_enGB862&sxsrf=APwXEdelJVSkMPL5b2MG6xEZ2FUfKwfv8g%3A1687822447890&ei=byCaZLH-NYjLgAbPvYigBA&oq=night+visions+imagine+dragons+awa&gs_lcp=Cgxnd3Mtd2l6LXNlcnAQARgAMgUIIRCgATIFCCEQoAEyBQghEKABMgUIIRCgAToKCAAQRxDWBBCwAzoKCAAQigUQsAMQQzoNCAAQ5AIQ1gQQsAMYAToPCC4QigUQyAMQsAMQQxgCOgUIABCABDoGCAAQFhAeSgQIQRgAULoDWMIKYKoPaAFwAXgAgAGZAYgB8wKSAQMzLjGYAQCgAQHAAQHIARLaAQYIARABGAnaAQYIAhABGAg&sclient=gws-wiz-serp
Years & Years: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm7043774/awards/