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Rolling Stone’s Latest Top 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List – Bye Bye, Boomer, Bye Bye

Oops, they did it again.  Having published lists of the Greatest 500 Songs of All Time in 2004 and 2010, Rolling Stone dropped another list based on the same premise this week.  What’s stunning is how little this list has in common with the prior ones.  I counted 180 songs from the 20th Century that wasn’t on any of the prior lists.  The list manages to be both funkier (much more woman and rap) and more mainstream at the same time. The time appears to be ripe for a Missy Elliott/Outkast nostalgia tour.

Speaking of women, “Respect” by Aretha Franklin weirdly has jumped to the top spot.  I say weirdly, since it was slotted at #5 behind “Like a Rolling Stone,” “Satisfaction,” “Imagine,” and “What’s Goin’ On?,” on the 2004/2010 lists and because “What’s Goin’ On?” won Rolling Stone’s latest Greatest Album of All Time list.  But, hey, all hail the Queen.

 

One of the first things that popped out to me was the embracement of what had long been panned in critical circles as “arena” and/or “corporate” rock.  This is a list that includes RUSH, KISS, Bon Jovi, Queen, Toto, and Boston.  Mainstream hard rock, with no connection to traditional blues, is being embraced like never before.  My junior high school parking lot must be beaming with pride.

 

In a larger sense, this list is a big movement away from 1950s and British Invasion era music, with David Bowie (seven entries to include “Under Pressure” with Queen) and Elton John (four entries) now being the new Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry.  Like it or snot, based upon this list, we are all children of the 1970s now, embracing the Slits and X-Ray Spex just as much as Earth, Wind, & Fire and the Cars. (And, God, I hope somebody was ribbing with those two 1970 Grateful Dead stink bombs).

 

Nevertheless, here’s the decade breakdown of entries:

 

1930s – 2

1940s – 1

1950s – 24

1960s – 108

1970s – 143

1980s – 80

1990s – 71

2000-2009 – 36

2010-2019 – 32

2020 -2021 – 3

 

And, for further illustration, here are the Top Twenty Five entries that dropped off the list altogether that were included in the 2004 outing.  Note the gender of each artist:

1. “Hound Dog,” Elvis Presley – 1956
2. “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’,”  The Righteous Brothers – 1964
3. “When A Man Loves A Woman,” Percy Sledge – 1966
4.  “Long Tall Sally,” Little Richard – 1956
5.  “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” Bob Dylan – 1964
6.  “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On,” Jerry Lee Lewis – 1957
7.  “For What It’s Worth,” Buffalo Springfield – 1966
8.   “Sunshine Of Your Love,”  Cream – 1967
9.  “California Girls,” The Beach Boys – 1965
10.  “Mystery Train,” Elvis Presley – 1953
11. “I Got You (I Feel Good),” James Brown – 1965
12. “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” The Beatles – 1965
13.  “Blue Suede Shoes,” Carl Perkins – 1956
14.  “Roll Over Beethoven,” Chuck Berry – 1956
15.  “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” The Rolling Stones – 1969
16.  “Voodoo Child (Slight Return),” Jimi Hendrix – 1968
17.  “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” Gene Vincent And His Blue Caps – 1956
18.  “Hot Stuff,” Donna Summer – 1979
19.  “Living For The City,” Stevie Wonder – 1973
20.  “The Boxer,” Simon And Garfunkel – 1970
21.  “Not Fade Away,” Buddy Holly And The Crickets – 1957
22.  “Brown Eyed Girl,” Van Morrison – 1967
23.  “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),” Otis Redding – 1965
24.  “That’s All Right,” Elvis Presley – 1954
25.  “You Send Me,” Sam Cooke – 1957

 

And, here are the Top 25 new entries from the 20th Century, which is to say, all of this music was in the universe when the 2004 list was made:

 

1.  “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac – 1977

2.  “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday – 1939

3.  “A Case of You,” Joni Mitchell – 1971

4.  “Once in a Lifetime,” Talking Heads – 1980

5.  “B.O.B.,” Outkast – 2000

6.  “Idioteque,” Radiohead – 2000

7.  “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Lauryn Hill – 1998

8.   “Work It,” Missy Elliott – 2000

9.  “Running Up That Hill,” Kate Bush – 1985

10.  “September,” Earth, Wind & Fire – 1978

11.  “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen – 1984

12.  “Common People,” Pulp – 1996

13.  “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” Aretha  Franklin – 1967

14.  “Wonderwall,” Oasis – 1995

15.  “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morisette – 1995

16.  “C.R.E.A.M.,” Wu-Tang Clan – 1994

17.  “At Last,” Etta James – 1960

18.  “It Takes Two,” Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – 1988

19.  “I Say a Little Prayer,” Aretha Franklin – 1968

20.  “Creep,” Radiohead – 1992

21.  “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!,” X-Ray Spex, 1977

22.  “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody),” Talking Heads – 1983

23.  “Freedom! ‘90’,” George Michael – 1990

24.  “Waterfalls,” TLC – 1995

25.  “Paid in Full,” Eric B. and Rakim – 1987

 

So, who isn’t on the list?  Without hurting myself, I immediately thought of Muddy Waters, Dion, The Spinners, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, the Coasters, B.B. King, the  Clovers, Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, Bob Wills, the Platters, Bill Monroe, Little Willie John, Jackie Wilson, Lefty Frizzell, Sam and Dave, Jimmie Rodgers, and Buck Owens.  Still, not everybody gets a ticket to the big dance. 

Here are my personal favorite Top 25 Songs from the 20th Century that didn’t make the list:

 

1.  “Hound Dog,” Elvis Presley

2.  “Rock & Roll,” Velvet Underground

3.  “Ticket to Ride,” Beatles

4.  “Shake Some Action,” The Flamin’ Groovies

5.  “Search and Destroy,” Iggy and the Stooges

6.  “Call Me,” Blondie

7.  “Another Girl, Another Planet,” The Only Ones

8.  “Brown Sugar,” The Rolling Stones

9.  “Eight Miles High,” Hüsker Dü

10.  “I’d Rather Go Blind,” Etta James

11.  “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black),” Neil Young & Crazy Horse

12.  “I Saw the Light,” Hank Williams

13.  “Who Do You Love?,” Bo Diddley

14.  “Rock and Roll,” Led Zeppelin

15.  “All Day and All of the Night,” The Kinks

16.  “I Saw Her Standing There,” The Beatles

17.  “Celebrated Summer,” Hüsker Dü

18.   “Sultans of Swing,” Dire Straits.

19.  “That’s All Right,” Elvis Presley

20.  “Refugee,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

21.  “Knock on Wood,” Eddie Floyd

22.  “Quarter to Three,” Gary U.S. Bonds

23.  “Long Tall Sally,” Little Richard

24.  “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” Marvin Gaye.

25.  “Don’t Be Cruel,” Elvis Presley

 

And, if you need the entire Rolling Stone list in one place, here it is:

 

500.  “Stronger,” Kanye 2007

499.  “Baby Love,” Supremes 1964

498.  “Pancho and Lefty,” Townes Van Zandt 1972

497.   “Truth Hurts,” Lizzo 2017

496.  “Without You,” Nilsson – 1971

495.  “You’re So Vain,” Carly Simon – 1972

494.  “Time After Time,” Cyndi Lauper – 1983

493.  “Where Is My Mind,” The Pixies – 1988

492.  “So What,” Miles Davis – 1959

491.  “Welcome to the Jungle,” Guns ‘n’ Roses – 1987

490.  “Old Town Road,” Lil Nas X – 2019

489.  “Cannonball,” The Breeders – 1993

488.  “House of Balloons,” The Weeknd – 2011

487.  “Cranes in the Sky,” Solange – 2016

486.  “A Milli,” Lil Wayne – 2009

485.  “212,” Azealia Banks – 2011

484,  “Buddy Holly,” Weezer – 1994

483.  “I Can’t Help Myself,” Four Tops – 1965

482.  “Bad Romance,” Lady Gaga – 2009

481.  “Cross Road Blues,” Robert Johnson – 1937

480.  “Just a Friend,” Biz Markie – 1989

479.  “Oye Como Va,” Santana – 1970

478.  “Back That Azz Up,” Juvenile – 1998

477.  “Our Lips Are Sealed,” The Go-G0s – 1981

476.  “Sunday Morning Coming Down,” Kris Kristofferson – 1970

475.  “Rhythm Nation,” Janet Jackson -1989

474.  “Move On Up,” Curtis Mayfield – 1970

473.  “Stand By Your Man,” Tammy Wynette – 1968

472.  “Solsbury Hill,” Peter Gabriel – 1977

471.  “The House of the Rising Sun,” The Animals – 1964

470.  “Midnight Train to Georgia,” Gladys Knight and the Pips – 1973

469.  “Goodbye Earl,” Dixie Chicks – 2000

468.  “Fade Into You,” Mazzy Star – 1993

467.  “Come As You Are,” Nirvana – 1991

466.  “Never Too Much,” Luther Vandross – 1981

465.  “Get Lucky,” Daft Punk – 2013

464.  “Help Me,” Joni Mitchell – 1974

463.  “Boom Boom,” John Lee Hooker – 1962

462.  “Into the Mystic,” Van Morrison – 1970

461.  “Crying,” Roy Orbison – 1962

460.  “Ku Klux Klan,” Steel Pulse – 1978

459.  “No Ordinary Love,” Sade – 1992

458.  “Loser,” Beck – 1993

457.  “Livin’ on a Prayer,” Bon Jovi – 1986

456.  “Summertime Sadness,” Lana Del Rey – 2012

455.  “White Rabbit,” Jefferson Airplane – 1967

454.  “Bam Bam,” Sister Nancy – 1982

453.  “The Rain,” Missy Elliot – 1997

452.  “Africa,” Toto – 1982

451.  “Bad and Boujee,” Migos – 2016

450.  “Powderfinger,” Neil Young – 1979

449.  “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” BOC – 1976

448.  “Tyrone,” Erykah Badu – 1997

447.  “Help!,” Beatles – 1965

446.  “Rosalita,” Bruce Springsteen – 1973

445.  “Cosmic Dancer,” T. Rex – 1971

444.  “In Da Club,” 50 Cent – 2003

443.  “Sugar, We’re Going Down,” Fall Out Boy – 2005

442.  “Ace of Spades,” Motorhead – 1980

441.  “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert – 2010

440.  “If I Ain’t Got You,” Alicia Keys – 2003

439.  “La Vida Es un Carnaval,” Celia Cruz – 1998

438.  “Savage (Remix),” Megan Thee Stallion featuring Beyonce – 2020

437.  “Passionate Kisses,” Lucinda Williams – 1988

436.  “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen – 2012

435.  “Limelight,” Rush – 1981

434.  “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker,” Ramones – 1977

433.  “West End Girls,” Pet Shop Boys – 1984

432.  “Summertime Blues,” Eddie Cochran – 1958

431. “Adore,” Prince – 1987

430.  “They Reminiscence Over You,” Peter Rock and CL Smooth – 1992

429.  “Under Pressure,” Queen and. David Bowie – 1981

428.  “Sign of the Times,” Harry Styles – 2017

427.  “Rapper’s Delight,” Sugarhill Gang – 1979

426.  “Super Bass,” Nicki Minaj – 2010

425.  “Mannish Boy,” Muddy Waters – 1955

424.  “No Diggity,” Backstreet – 1996

423.  “Criminal,” Fiona Apple – 1996

422.  “Flava in Your Ear,” Craig Mack – 1994

421.  “How Soon Is Now,” The Smiths. – 1984

420.  “California Dreamin’,” Mamas and the Papas – 1965

419.  “Fantasy,” Mariah Carey. – 1995

418.  “Green Onions,” Booker T. & the M.G.’s – 1962

417.  “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson – 2015

416.  “Alive,” Pearl Jam – 1991

415.  “Enjoy the Silence,” Depeche Mode -1990

414.  “Dreaming,” Blondie – 1979

413.  “Gloria,” Them – 1965

412.  “Buffalo Stance,” Neneh Cherry – 1988

411.  “Heavy Metal Drummer,” Wilco – 2002

410.  “Whipping Post,” Allman Brother’s Band – 1969

409.  “Everlong,” Foo Fighters – 1997

408.  “Father and Son,” Cat Stevens – 1970

407.  “Free Bird,” Skynyrd – 1973

406.  “Sucker MC’s,” Run-DMC – 1984

405.  “Amor Prohibido,” Selena – 1994

404.  “Rock and Roll All Nite,” Kiss – 1974

403.  “Ain’t Nobody,” Rufus and Chaka Khan – 1983

402.  “Lovely Day,” Bill Withers – 1977

401.  “Go Your Own Way,” Fleetwood Mac. – 1977

400.  “Station to Station,” David Bowie – 1976

399.  “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real),” Sylvester – 1978

398.  “Hungry Like the Wolf,” Duran Duran – 1982

397.  “Bring the Noise,” Public Enemy – 1987

396.  “Alison,” Elvis Costello – 1977

395.  “Planet Rock,” Afrika Bambaataa – 1982

394.  “Grace,” Jeff Buckley – 1994

393.  “Say It Loud,” James Brown – 1968

392.  “Fix You,” Coldplay – 2005

391.  “Springsteen,” Eric Church – 2011

390.  “Enter Sandman,” Metallica – 1991

389.  “Brass in Pocket,” Pretenders – 1879

388.  “Party Up (Up in Here),” BMX – 1999

387.  “Personality Crisis,” New York Dolls – 1973

386.  “Lola,” The Kinks – 1970

385.  “I’m Coming Out,” Diana Ross – 1980

384.  “I Like It,” Cardi B – 2018

383.  “Redbone,” Childish Gambino – 2016

382.  “Paper Bag,” Fiona Apple – 1999

381.  “Typical Girls, The Slits – 1979

380.  “Radiation Vibe,” Fountains of Wayne – 1996

379.  “Untitled (How Does It Feel),” D’Angelo – 2000

378.  “Mr. Brightside,” The Killers – 2003

377.  “Pictures of You,” The Cure – 1989

376.  “Mama Tried,” Merle Haggard – 1968

375.  “Up On the Roof,” Drifters – 1964

374.  “Be Thankful for What You Got,” William DeVaughn – 1974

373.  “Hotline Bling,” Drake – 2015

372.  “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” Bonnie Raitt – 1991

371.  “Bennie and the Jets,” Elton John – 1973

370.  “Peggy Sue,” Buddy Holly – 1958

369.  “Just What I Needed,” The Cars – 1978

368.  “Black Hole Sun,” Soundgarden – 1994

367.  “Thinkin’ About You,” Frankie Ocean – 2012

366.  “Da Doo Run Run,” The Crystals – 1962

365.  “God Save the Queen,” The Sex Pistols – 1977

364.  “Box of Rain,” Grateful Dead – 1970

363.  “Could You Be Loved,” Bob Marley – 1980

362.  “Merry Go Round,” Kacey Musgraves – 2013

361.  “The Harder They Come,” Jimmy Cliff – 1972

360.  “Little Red Corvette,” Prince – 1982

359.  “Killing Me Softly with His Song,” Fugees – 1996

358.  “Because the Night,” Patti Smith – 1978

357.  “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift – 2014

356.  “Surrender,” Cheap Trick – 1978

355.  “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” Thelma Houston – 1976

354.  “Rock With You,” Michael Jackson – 1979

353.  “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” The Eurythmics – 1983

352.  “It Was a Good Day,” Ice Cube – 1992

351.  “Ponta De Lanca Africano (Umbabarauma),” Jorge Ben – 1976

350.  “Angel in Montgomery,” John Prine – 1971

349.  “Time of the Season,” Zombies – 1968

348.  “Virginia Plain,” Roxy Music – 1972

347.  “Heartbreak Hotel,” Elvis – 1956

346.  “Dynamite,” BTS -2020

345.  “It’s Too Late,” Carole King – 1971

344.  “Iron Man,” Black Sabbath – 1971

343.  “What a Fool Believes,” The Doobie Brothers – 1979

342.  “Promised Land,” Chuck Berry – 1964

341.  “I’m a Believer,” Monkees – 1966

340.  “(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais,” The Clash – 1978

339.  “1999,” Prince – 1982

338.  “Paranoid,” Black Sabbath – 1970

337.  “Believe,” Cher – 1998

336.  “She’s Gone,” Hall and Oates – 1973

335.  “Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem),” Marshall Jefferson – 1986

334.  “Ripple,” Grateful Dead – 1970

333.  “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone,” Temptations – 1972

332.  “Umbrella,” Rihanna -2007

331.  “Please Mr. Postman,” Marvalettes – 1961

330.  “Big Poppa,” The Notorious BIG – 1994

329.  “Safaera,” Bad Bunny – 2020

328.  “Under the Bridge,” Red Hot Chili Peppers – 1991

327.  “Real Love,” Mary J. Blige. – 1992

326.  “Portions for Foxes,” Rilo Kiley – 2004

325.  “Lust for Life,” Iggy Pop – 1977

324.  “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” Billy Joel – 1977

323.  “All I Have to Do Is Dream,” Everly Brothers – 1958

322.  “After the Gold Rush,” Neil Young – 1970

321.  “I Still Haven’t Found,” U2 – 1987

320.  “California Love,” 2Pac – 1995

319.  “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” Tears for Fears – 1985

318.  “Hound Dog,” Big Mama Thornton – 1953

317.  “Visions of Johanna,” Bob Dylan – 1966

316.  “Leader of the Pack,” Shangri-La’s -1964

315.  “Pt. 1 – Acknowledgement,” John Coltrane – 1965

314.  “I Wanna Be Your Dog,” Stooges – 1969

313.  “The Tears of a Clown,” Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – 1967

312.  “Walk on By,” Isaac Hayes – 1969

311.  “Hotel California,” Eagles – 1977

310.  “Light My Fire,” Doors – 1967

309.  “Ain’t No Sunshine,” Bill Withers – 1971

308.  “Divorce Song,” Liz Phair – 1993

307.  “Crazy,” Gnarls Barkley – 2006

306.  “Chain of Fools,” Aretha – 1967

305.  “Every Breath You Take,” Police – 1983

304.  “Trans-Europe Express,” Kraftwerk – 1977

303.  “No Scrubs,” TLC – 1999

302.  “Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd – 1975

301.  “Night Moves,” Bob Seger – 1978

300.  “Rock Lobster,” B-52’s – 1978

299.  “I Put a Spell on You,” Jay Hawkins – 1956

298.  “Jungleland,” Bruce Springsteen -1975

297.  “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” Beach Boys – 1966

296.  “Rebel Girl,” Bikini Kill – 1996

295.  “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” Who – 1971

294.  “Sweet Jane,” Velvet Underground – 1970

293.  “School’s Out,” Alice Cooper – 1973

292.  “Can I Kick it,” A Tribe Called Quest.- 1990

291.  “In the Air Tonight,” Phil Collins – 1981

290.  “Yeah,” Usher – 2004

289.  “Atlantic City,” Bruce Springsteen. – 1982

288.  “That’s the Joint,” The Funky Four Plus One – 1980

287.  “You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC – 1980

286.  “Dancing Queen,” ABBA – 1976

285.  “Say My Name,” Destiny’s Child – 1999

284.  “Suzanne,” Leonard Cohen – 1967

283.  “Georgia On My Mind,” Ray Charles – 1960

282.  “Never Tear Us Apart,” INXS – 1988

281. “Grindin,” Clipse – 2002

280.  “Penny Lane,” Beatles – 1967

279.  “Karma Police,” Radiohead – 1997

278.  “Pressure Drop,” Toots and the Maytals – 1970

277.  “Bo Diddley,” Bo Diddley – 1955

276.  “Ever Fallen in Love,” Buzzcocks – 1977

275.  “Sail Away,” Randy Newman – 1972

274.  “Love and Happiness,” Al Green – 1972

273.  “Killing Me Softly With His Song,” Roberta Flack – 1973

272.  “The Boys are Back in Town,” Thin Lizzy – 1976

271.  “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” Procol Harum – 1967

270.  “Nine Inch Nails,” Closer – 1994

269.  “Unchained Melody,” Righteous Brothers – 1965

268.  “Shout (Parts 1 and 2),” Isley Brothers – 1959

267.  “Take Care,” Drake – 2011

266.  “King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown,” Augustus Pablo – 1974

265.  “Left of the Dial,” The Replacements – 1985

264.  “Let’s Get It On,” Marvin Gaye – 1973

263.  “Coat of Many Colors,” Dolly Parton – 1971

262.  “American Tune,” Paul Simon – 1973

261.  “Pusherman,” Curtis Mayfield – 1972

260.  “Get Up Stand Up,” Tne Wailers – 1973

259.  “Heart of Gold,” Neil Young – 1972

258.  “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” Gil-Scott Heron – 1971

257.  “Heat Wave,” Martha and the Vandellas, 1963

256.  “Master of Puppets,” Metallica – 1986

255.  “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” Loretta Lynn – 1970

254.  “Stop! In the Name of Love,” Supremes – 1965

253.  “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain,” Willie Nelson – 1975

252.  “Flash Light,” Parliament – 1977

251.  “I Will Survive,” Gloria Gaynor – 1978

250.  “Purple Haze,” Jimi Hendrix. – 1967

249.  “Bad Reputation,” Joan Jett – 1980

248.  “Straight Outta Compton,” NWA – 1988

247.  “River,” Joni Mitchell – 1971

246.  “Ooh La La,” Faces – 1973

245.  “Sabotage,” Beastie Boys – 1994

244.  “Summer Babe (Winter Version),” Pavement – 1992

243.  “Eleanor Rigby,” Beatles – 1966

242.  “Great Balls of Fire,” Jerry Lee Lewis – 1957

241.  “The Humpty Dance,” The Digital Underground – 1990

240.  “I Want It That Way,” Backstreet Boys – 1999

239.  “September Gurls,” Big Star – 1974

238.  “Are You That Somebody,” Aaliyah – 1998

237.  “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” Hank Williams – 1953

236.  “Lean on Me,” Bill Withers – 1972

235.  “Blue Monday,” New Order – 1983

234.  “You Keep Me Hangin’ On,” Supremes – 1966

233.  “Groove Is in the Heart,” Deee-Lite – 1990

232.  “My Generation,” The Who – 1965

231.  “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” Whitney Houston – 1987

230.  “Mr. Tambourine Man,” The Byrds – 1965

229.  “This Land is Your Land,” Woody Guthrie – 1951

228.  “Single Ladies,” Beyonce. – 2008

227.  “Fortunate Son,” CCR – 1969

226.  “There Is a Light That Never Goes Out,” The Smiths – 1986

225.  “Both Sides Now,” Joni Mitchell – 1969

224.  “Layla,” Derek and the Dominoes – 1970

223.  “Stan,” Eminem – 2000

222.  “Suite – Judy Blue Eyes,” CSN – 1969

221.  “River Deep – Mountain High,” Ike and Tina Turner – 1966

220.  “Bizarre Love Triangle,” New Order – 1986

219.  “Free Fallin’,” Tom Petty -1989

218.  “In the Midnight Hour,” Wilson Pickett – 1965

217.  “Edge of Seventeen,” Stevie Nicks – 1981

216.  “Jailhouse Rock,” Elvis – 1957

215.  “Shook Ones (Pt. II),” Mobb Deep – 1995

214.  “Deacon Blues,” Steely Dan – 1977

213.  “Paint It, Black,” Rolling Stones – 1966

212.  “More Than a Feeling,” Boston – 1976

211.  “With or Without You,” U2 – 1987

210.  “One Nation Under a Groove,” Funkadelic – 1978

209.  “Boys of Summer,” Don Henley – 1984

208.  “Doll Parts,” Hole – 1994

207.  “Killing in the Name,” Rage Against the Machine – 1992

206.  “Wichita Lineman,” Glen Campbell – 1968

205.  “…Baby One More Time,” Britney – 1998

204.  “Young Americans,” David Bowie – 1975

203.  “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours,” Stevie Wonder – 1970

202.  “Your Song,” Elton John – 1970

201.  “Ring of Fire,” Johnny Cash – 1963

200.  “Changes,” David Bowie – 1971

199.  “Dream On,” Aerosmith – 1973

198.  “Sexual Healing,” Marvin Gaye -1982

197.  “I Can’t Stand the Rain,” Ann Peebles – 1973

196.  “Sex Machine,” James Brown – 1970

195.  “Crazy,” Patsy Cline – 1961

194.  “Rid of Me,” PJ Harvey – 1993

193.  “Wild Horses,” Rolling Stones – 1971

192.  “Mind Playing Tricks on Me,” Geto Boys – 1991

191.  “Ode to Billie Joe,” Bobby Gentry – 1967

190.  “Fuck the Police,” N.W.A. – 1988

189.  “Space Oddity,” David Bowie – 1969

188.  “Little Wing,” Hendrix – 1967

187.  “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Dylan – 1965

186.  “I’ll Take You There,” Staple Singers – 1972

185.  “Beat It,” Michael Jackson – 1982

184.  “Nothing Compares to U,” Sinead O’Connor – 1990

183.  “You Are the Sunshine of My Life,” Stevie Wonder – 1972

182.  “The Sounds of Silence,” Simon and Garfunkel – 1964

181.  “Eight Miles High,” Byrds – 1966

180.  “Walk on the Wild Side,” Lou Reed – 1972

179.  “Comfortably Numb,” Pink Floyd – 1979

178.  “Bad Guy,” Billie Eilish – 2019

177.  “Jump,” Van Halen – 1983

176.  “You Really Got Me,” Kinks – 1964

175.  “I Only Have Eyes for You,” Flamingos – 1959

174.  “Radio Free Europe,” R.E.M. – 1983

173.  “Marquee Moon,” Television – 1977

172.  “Mississippi Goddam,” Nina Simone – 1964

171.  “What a Wonderful World,” Louis Armstrong – 1967

170.  “In the Still of the Nite,” Five Satins – 1956

169.  “American Girl,” Tom Petty – 1976

168.  ‘Son of a Preacher Man,” Dusty Springfield – 1968

167.  “Lose Yourself,” Eminem – 2002

166.  “All the Young Dudes,” Mott the Hoople – 1972

165.  “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” Hank Williams – 1949

164.  “Mr. Tambourine Man,” Bob Dylan – 1965

163.  “Landslide,” Fleetwood Mac – 1975

162.  “Pink Moon,” Nick Drake – 1972

161.  “Into the Groove,” Madonna – 1985

160.  “Nightswimming,” R.E.M. – 1992

159.  “Baba O’Riley,” Who – 1971

158.  “Cissy Strut,” Meters – 1969

157.  “Teenage Riot,” Sonic Youth – 1988

156.  “Louie Louie,” The Kinsgmen – 1963

155.  “Last Nite,” Strokes – 2001

154.  “Spoonful,” Howlin’ Wolf – 1960

153.  “Super Freak,” James Brown – 1981     

152.  “Proud Mary,” CCR – 1969

151.  “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” Shirelles – 1960

150.  “Basket Case,” Green Day – 1994

149.  “Rocket Man,” Elton John – 1972

148.  “Kashmir,” Led Zeppelin – 1975

147.  “Blueberry Hill,” Fats Domino – 1956

146.  “Fire and Rain,” James Taylor – 1970

145.  “Ms. Jackson,” Outkast – 2000

144.  “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” Rolling Stones – 1968

143.  “London Calling,” The Clash – 1980

142.  “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” George Jones – 1980

141.  “Maggie May,” Rod Stewart – 1971

140.  “No Woman No Cry,” Bob Marley – 1975

139.  “Vogue,” Madonna – 1990

138.  “Heart of Glass,” Blondie – 1979

137.  “Thank U, Next,” Arianna Grande – 2019

136.  “Try a Little Tenderness,” Otis Redding – 1966

135.  “She Loves You,” Beatles – 1964

134.  “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” Tina Turner – 1984

133.  “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey – 1981

132.  “Paid in Full,” Eric B. and Rakim – 1987

131.  “Stand by Me,” Ben E. King – 1961

130.  “Dancing in the Street,” Martha and the Vandellas – 1964

129.  “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” Drake – 2013

128.  “Whole Lotta Love,” Led Zeppelin – 1969

127.  “Waterfalls,” TLC – 1995

126.  “Freedom! ‘90’,” George Michael – 1990

125.  “Anarchy in the U.K.,” Sex Pistols – 1977

124.  “That’ll Be the Day,” Buddy Holly – 1957

123.  “This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody),” Talking Heads – 1983

122.  “People Get Ready,” Impressions – 1965

121.  “Let It Be,” Beatles – 1970

120.  “Oh Bondage! Up Yours!,” X-Ray Spex, 1977

119.  “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Marvin Gaye – 1968

118.  “Creep,” Radiohead – 1992

117.  “I Say a Little Prayer,” Aretha Franklin – 1968

116.  “It Takes Two,” Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – 1988

115.  “At Last,” Etta James – 1960

114.  “Toxic,” Britney Spears – 2003

113.  “Higher Ground,” Stevie Wonder – 1973

112.  “Losing My Religion,” REM – 1991

111.  “Thunder Road,” Bruce Springsteen – 1975

110.  “Something,” Beatles – 1969

109.  “Everyday People,” Sly and the Family Stone – 1968

108.  “Just Like Heaven,” The Cure – 1987

107.  “C.R.E.A.M.,” Wu-Tang Clan – 1994

106.  “Sympathy for the Devil,” Rolling Stones – 1968

105.  “Life on Mars?,” David Bowie – 1971

104.  “I Want You Back,” Jackson 5 – 1969

103.  “You Oughta Know,” Alanis Morisette – 1995

102.  “Maybelline,” Chuck Berry – 1955

101.  “Maps,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs – 2003

100.  “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Bob Dylan – 1963

99.  ‘Stayin’ Alive,” Bee Gees – 1977

98.  “In My Life,” Beatles – 1965

97.  “Gloria,” Patti Smith – 1975

96.  “99 Problems,” Jay-Z – 2003

95.  “Wonderwall,” Oasis – 1995

94.  “I Will Always Love You,” Whitney Houston – 1992

93.  “Since U Been Gone,” Kelly Clarkson – 2004

92.  “Good Golly, Miss Molly,” Little Richard – 1958

91.  “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You),” UKG – 2007

90.  “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman,” Aretha – 1967

89.  “Hey Jude,” Beatles – 1968

88.  “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Guns ‘N’ Roses – 1987

87.  “All My Friends,” LCD Soundsystem – 2007

86.  “Tumbling Dice,” Rolling Stones – 1972

85.  “Kiss,” Prince -1986

84.  “Let’s Stay Together,” Al Green – 1971

83.  “Desolation Row,” Bob Dylan – 1965

82.  “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele – 2011

81.  “I’m Waiting for the Man,” Velvet Underground – 1967

80.  “What’d I Say,” Ray Charles – 1957

79.  “Back to Black,” Amy Winehouse – 2006

78.  “Reach Out (I’ll Be There),” Four Tops – 1967

77.  “Roadrunner,” Modern Lovers – 1976

76.  “I Walk the Line,” Johnny Cash – 1956

75.  “Common People,” Pulp – 1996

74.  “Hallelujah,” Leonard Cohen – 1984

73.  “Formation,” Beyonce – 2016

72.  “Yesterday,” Beatles – 1965

71.  “Fast Car,” Tracy Chapman – 1988

70.  “Suspicious Minds,” Elvis -1969

69.  “All Too Well,” Taylor Swift – 2013

68.  “Good Times,” Chic – 1979

67.  “Tangled Up in Blue,” Bob Dylan – 1975

66.  “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” Simon and Garfunkel – 1970

65.  “September,” Earth, Wind & Fire – 1978

64.  “Blitzkrieg Bop,” Ramones – 1976

63.  “Jolene,” Dolly Parton – 1974

62.  “One,” U2 -1992

61.  “Stairway to Heaven,” Led Zeppelin – 1971

60.  “Running Up That Hill,” Kate Bush – 1985

59.  “The Message,” Grandmaster Flash – 1982

58.  “The Weight,” The Band – 1968

57.  “Family Affair,” Sly and the Family Stone – 1971

56.  “Work It,” Missy Elliott – 2000

55.  “Like a Prayer,” Madonna – 1989

54.  “The Tracks of My Tears,” The Miracles – 1965

53.  “Good Vibrations,” The Beach Boys – 1966

52.  “I Feel Love,” Donna Summer – 1977

51.  “Walk on By,” Dionne Warwick – 1964

50.  “Gasolina,” Daddy Yankee – 2010

49.  “Doo Wop (That Thing),” Lauryn Hill – 1998

48.  “Idioteque,” Radiohead – 2000

47.  “Tiny Dancer,” Elton John – 1972

46.  “Paper Planes,” M.I.A. – 2008

45.  “Alright,” Kendrick Lamar – 2015

44.  “Billie Jean,” Michael Jackson – 1982

43.  “My Girl,” Temptations – 1965

42.  “Redemption Song,” Bob Marley – 1980

41.  “Love Will Tear Us Apart,” Joy Division. – 1980

40.  “All Along the Watchtower,” Hendrix – 1968

39.  “B.O.B.,” Outkast – 2000

38.  “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay,” Otis Redding – 1967

37.  “When Doves Cry,” Prince – 1984

36.  “Seven Nation Army,” White Stripes. – 2003

35.  “Tutti Frutti,” Little Richard – 1955

34.  “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” James Brown – 1966

33.  “Johnny B. Goode,” Chuck Berry – 1958

32.  “Juicy,” Notorious BIG – 1994

31.  “Satisfaction,” Rolling Stones – 1965

30.  “Royals,” Lorde – 2011

29.  “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang,” Dr. Dre – 1992

28.  “Once in a Lifetime,” Talking Heads – 1980

27.  “Born to Run,” Bruce Springsteen – 1975

26.  “A Case of You,” Joni Mitchell – 1971

25.  “Runaway,” Kanye West – 2010

24.  “A Day in the Life,” Beatles – 1967

23.  “’Heroes’,” David Bowie – 1977

22.  “Be My Baby,” Ronettes – 1963

21.  “Strange Fruit,” Billie Holiday – 1939

20.  “Dancing on My Own,” Robyn – 2010

19.  “Imagine,” John Lennon. – 1971

18.  “Purple Rain,” Prince – 1984

17.  “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Queen – 1975

16.  “Crazy in Love,” Beyonce – 2003

15.  “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” Beatles – 1963

14.  “Waterloo Sunset,” Kinks – 1967

13.  “Gimme Shelter,” Stones – 1969

12.  “Superstition,” Stevie Wonder – 1972

11.  “God Only Knows,” Beach Boys – 1966

10.  ‘Hey Ya!,” Outkast – 2003

9.  “Dreams,” Fleetwood Mac – 1977

8.  “Get Your Freak On,” Missy Elliott – 2001

7.  “Strawberry Fields Forever,” Beatles – 1967

6.  “What’s Goin’ On?,” Marvin Gaye -1971

5.  “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” Nirvana – 1991

4.  “Like a Rolling Stone,” Bob Dylan – 1965

3.  “A Change is Gonna Come,” Sam Cooke – 1964

2.  “Fight the Power,” Public Enemy – 1989

1.  “Respect,” Aretha Franklin – 1967

20 Comments

  1. Michelle on September 17, 2021 at 10:16 pm

    Tell me, in what world does OUTCAST score ahead of Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin or Elton John. This is a really bad bad list!!! Please reconsider you choices!!

  2. George Schemel on September 19, 2021 at 1:51 am

    What a horrible list. You have Suite: Judy Blue Eyes at 222? Are you high? That’s just one example. I understand personal opinion, but you know nothing about the quality of music! Dumb stuff like this is why I stopped subscribing to Rolling Stone Magazine over four years ago.

    • Josh on September 21, 2021 at 2:48 am

      The two stinkers you refer to are two of the best songs on the list, particularly Ripple.

      • Mark Jacobs on September 21, 2021 at 7:14 pm

        I think the list is absurd, at best, but the concept itself is flawed. I’d rather see separate lists by genre: Best Rock (actual rock), Best Jazz, Best Hip Hop, Best Country, Best Pop (not rock), etc.

        How can a list include the puerile “Back That Azz Up” in the top 500 songs OF ALL TIME and be taken seriously? Especially one that excludes Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Dave Brubeck, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Yes,…

        As usual the list makes perfunctory choices. Instead of many great The Chicks songs they chose “Goodbye Earl”? I was glad to see Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, but would have selected other songs.

        And just say your list does not include Jazz rather than put in a couple token songs. I could name 100, but what about Armstrong’s “West End Blues”, Coleman Hawkins “Body and Soul”, Goodman’s “Sing, Sing, Sing”, Weather Report “Birdland”,…

    • Steve Crawford on September 21, 2021 at 12:01 pm

      Mr. Schemel,

      As the author of this piece, I did not list “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” at 222. Rolling Stone magazine did. I can assure you that I am not high. However, if you know a good dealer…

      • Eric Gaede on October 1, 2021 at 9:23 pm

        Mr Crawford, you have a myopic viewpoint on music in general. You are out of touch with both young AND old audiences. How did you manage to make a list so bad that nobody can even remotely nod in agreement?

        Maybe you SHOULD get high, you might actually learn about music that way!

        • Steve Crawford on October 2, 2021 at 8:12 am

          Sir,

          You seem to have basic reading comprehension issues. I do not write for Rolling Stone and it is their list that is included in this piece and not mine.

          As for being “myopic,” this is no place to start discussing your sex life.

          Your friend,

          Steve

  3. Steven on September 20, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Kinda ironic that the movie Respect comes out and the song is on top. Some great songs on that list but looks to me it’s just a political list to keep certain groups happy.

  4. Bruce on September 20, 2021 at 1:49 pm

    Musical taste and styles and opinions always changes through the decades. Of course what criteria you use is always subject to criticism. I see Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell? I Feel Love by Donna Summer really? How about the top 100 from each decade? To many GREAT songs are being omitted. I am a child of the 50’s and 60’s and got out of high school in the 70’s and I can attest that the 50’s, 60’s and 80’s had a lot more greater songs than the 70’s but it’s just an opinion…plus country music in the 60’s and 70’s was very strong stuff and you hardly scratched the surface with your list…. Each decade should have a list……

    • Mark Jacobs on September 21, 2021 at 7:16 pm

      By decade is interesting, too. I suggested by genre.

  5. John Lerch on September 20, 2021 at 8:48 pm

    Having more than zero Prince is ridiculous–I don’t need the sleep that bady

  6. Greg Pedersen on September 22, 2021 at 3:58 pm

    These kind of compilations should be based solely on record sales, if that’s at all possible.

    • Greg Pedersen on September 24, 2021 at 11:22 am

      “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is #5? Com’ on man. And not a single song from ZZ Top.

  7. Nathaniel on September 24, 2021 at 3:55 am

    I agree, the list is abysmal, but the excessive amount of close-minded, boomer-centric opinions on here is insane lol

  8. Alexander K (Russia) on October 2, 2021 at 6:22 pm

    This top has nothing to do with reality. I want to remind you that the thriller was the most sold and significant music album in the history of music… Michael will always be number 1!

  9. Elliott on October 2, 2021 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for putting together the list. Navigating their website with all the ads is a bit of a nightmare.

    • Steve Crawford on October 4, 2021 at 10:29 am

      You are most welcome. Glad you appreciate the effort.

  10. James M on October 5, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Thank you for publishing the list without Rolling Stone’s ad breaks and loading requirements. Like all mass media, the point of this sort of list is to draw your attention to the ads and scholarly thought is, largely, if not completely absent.

    To point out the obvious, songs existed prior to the 1930’s. To cite just one: Amazing Grace. The fact that it is not on a list of Greatest Songs of All Time just proves that it is essentially an ad draw with no real substance or coherent logic behind it.

    Which is not to say that Back That Azz Up shouldn’t be on some sort of song list, just not one that has an arguably misleading premise. I for one would put it on a list that would include- perhaps – Indian Love Call, Ding Dong Daddy, Liquored Up and Florida Man. It just depends on that list’s theme…

  11. Turtledan on October 11, 2021 at 9:46 am

    This is much appreciated. Any list that features Cardi B and omits Joan Armatrading cannot be taken seriously (just one example). It seems that in an effort to be inclusive of all genres, they have sacrificed great songs for mediocrity. Agree that it should be by genre. Once you (not you Steve) put in one Miles Davis and one John Coltrane song, you’ve effed up the whole concept, because now you might as well put all the jazz greats and get all that nonracial BS outta there.

  12. James Paul Aquino on October 17, 2021 at 11:42 am

    the lists from 2010 is so trash because American Pie, Here Comes The Sun, and Take Me Home Country Roads was not on the list but i’m not expecting this updated lists much trashier than the previous one

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