The Six Best YEAHs in Rock & Roll
6. Usher (feat. Lil Jon & Ludacris): "Yeah!" (0:14)
"Yeah!" may have been the crowning moment of crunk, that downtempo, handclap heavy strain of hip-hop that was infectious enough to make somebody like Lil Jon famous. The great "yeah" in "Yeah!" is actually the last one: "yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah" (pause, then in a lower voice) "yea-uh." It's a tough word to get two syllables out of. Congrats, Usher.
5. The Beatles: "She Loves You" (0:02)
It's a boring but necessary addition to the list. The Beatles often get credited for adding "yeah" to the rock & roll canon with "She Loves You." Apparently (which means, according to a very brief look at the Wikipedia page to make sure the song doesn't have any "Yeahs" in parenthesis in the song title as I have falsely seen it credited before), "yeah" became a stigma for the young Beatles, who some mockingly called the Yeah-Yeahs. Forty years on, we have the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, the Flaming Lips' "The Yeah Yeah Yeah Song," and "Yeah" by LCD Soundsystem. One generation's insult is the cred play of the next.
4. The (International) Noise Conspiracy - "Abolish Work" (2:07)
Dennis Lyxzen's screams are best known from his work in Refused. On the band's landmark track "New Noise," he alternates badass howls with "woos" and a "yeah" or two, which was not exactly tough guy behavior in the late '90s. After Refused split, Lyxzen started The (International) Noise Conspiracy, a surprisingly funky garage-rock group and transformed from a hardcore frontman into a mod soul singer without even changing his delivery. At 2:07 on the second song from T(I)NC's first album, Lyxzen sets off a series of thrashing "yeahs" that end in one epic "yeeeeeeaaaaaahhhh" scream that can only be topped by the one that tops this very list.