CLEVELAND, Ohio — Compiling a list of the greatest songs of all time is a monumental task.
The choice of important recordings seems endless. The subjective importance or quality of a song can change from day to day, from season to season. Nobody on this planet will believe that your list is 100% correct.
However, that didn't stop us from trying.
First the rules. Living in Cleveland, these are the "Top 100Hall da Fama makes rock 'n' rollSongs of All Time," meaning they must be by Rock Hall members who have been elected artists to the museum (including theClass of 2022).
That leaves iconic songs like The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie", Derek and the Dominos' "Layla" and Don McClean's "American Pie" out of the question. The same goes for artists who are yet to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (sorry Beyonce, Kanye West and Taylor Swift fans).
We also decided to limit it to ONE song per artist. Without this rule, the Beatles would dominate. But we didn't want this to be a showcase for the Fab Four, Bob Dylan, Prince, Madonna or Led Zeppelin (plus, picking just one song from those artists was a fun challenge).
This left many great artists and songs on the list. No "Hotel California"? let the hate in Where is "Smoke on the Water"? Not here. No AC/DC, Van Halen, Billy Joel or Janis Joplin? Trust us, it wasn't easy.
As always, this is just a cover of the best songs that will surely be considered fake. But hey, it's just rock and roll.
100. The Shirelles - "Will You Love Me Tomorrow?" (1960)
The list of artists that Gerry Goffin and Carole King covered on "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" is a list of great singers, from Smokey Robinson to Dionne Warwick and Roberta Flack (and Carole King herself on "Tapestry"). But none of them can top the original, which sounds like the perfect song for a girl group. In fact, history suggests The Shirelles launched the girl group genre with a blueprint that hasn't changed much since their cover of "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," a beautiful mix of doo-wop and soul which became the first song on a black girl group at number 1.
99. Cheap Trick - "Surrender" (1978)
There aren't many teen angst anthems quite as outlandish as "Surrender." There aren't many that are better either. Surrender is about culture shock, particularly to the WWII generation compared to the kind of kids you see in the movie Dazed and Confused. But Cheap Trick's anthem can be timeless in both its message and its energy. It's such a fun rock 'n' roll song you'll never hear that it needs to be played really loud. It's impossible not to sing.
98. Roy Orbison - "Chorando" (1961)
From the start, Roy Orbison was different from his rock and roll pioneers. Whether through her voice or the use of orchestral accompaniment on some of her biggest hits, Orbison's pop music has been able to explore diverse and profound emotions. On "Crying," Orbison goes all out with one of the grittiest, most emotional songs of his time. Orbison's style allowed him to dive into the drama in brief bursts. The "crying" registers in less than three minutes, but it takes everything away.
97. Jackie Wilson - "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" (1967)
Jackie Wilson launched his solo career after Dominoes with fairly straightforward love songs that established him as the defining voice and performer of the late 1950s, but it wasn't until 10 years after his solo debut that he finally hit the mark. If "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher," released on Brunswick Records, has a distinctly Motown feel to it, then it should be. Wilson hired several members of Motown Records' house band The Funk Brothers who were looking for extra money. Wilson originally approached the song as a ballad. But producer Carl Davis urged him to pursue the Funk Brothers' upbeat drumming. Wilson complied and created one of the greatest feel-good songs of all time.
96. The Doors - "Light My Fire" (1967)
There aren't many songs that come to mind more quickly when thinking of psychedelic rock than The Doors' "Light My Fire." It's all about vibes and Jim Morrison singing about the intersection of love, life and death. In album form, "Light My Fire" is all about The Doors. Robby Krieger wrote the middle part of the song and allowed his bandmates to build on it and unleash their inner madness. Morrison has always been off the rails, but organist Ray Manzarek taps into his inner psychedelic beast and lends his hypnotic spine to "Light My Fire."
95. Pearl Jam - "Jeremy" (1991)
Pearl Jam's rise to fame was slow. The band toured for a while based on their first two singles Ten, Alive and Even Flow. However, when 'Jeremy' scored, all bets were void. Much of this had to do with the music video, the popularity of which pushed Pearl Jam out of the limelight. But as a song, "Jeremy" is an incredible force of nature rising above grunge. Eddie Vedder has become the unmistakable voice not only of grunge music, but of all alternative rock. The somber vocal performance of "Jeremy" and Vedder spawned hundreds of bands that people would hate well into the 21st century. Whether they were good or not (most weren't), they never would with Vedder and his bandmates can keep up achieved.
94. ABBA - "Dancing Queen" (1976)
ABBA has always been smarter than many gave the pop sensation credit for. The group's mega hit "Dancing Queen" is enjoying its disco vibe. But it's the injection of Europop sound that makes it timeless. There's a reason Dancing Queen survived the disco craze (and it's not just because of Mamma Mia!). It's a perfect "have a lot of fun" song, heralding the rollicking dance-pop that has dominated radio ever since.
93. Jerry Lee Lewis - "Big Balls of Fire" (1958)
Jerry Lee Lewis helped set the standard for high-energy rock 'n' roll with 1957's "There's a Whole Lotta Shakin' Going On," a defining statement of a genre that was still going strong. Lewis had a way of taking other people's compositions, in this case Otis Blackwell and Jack Hammer's, and making them all his own. Great Balls of Fire reaches its surprise ending where Lewis and his piano almost spiral out of control. "Great Balls of Fire" is impressive as a performance record.
92. Eminem - "Stan" (2000)
"Stan" seemed to be an exception for Eminem when it was released in 2000. Established as the greatest rapper alive, Eminem dominated MTV and the charts with rap-pop songs like "My Name Is" and "The Real Slim Shady." .” But his brilliant lyrical performance from an obsessed fan would prove to be his most enduring song. Musically, "Stan" uses British singer Dido's song "Thank You," giving Eminem's rap a chilling vibe from his fans' perspective, while things get tragic with references to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight." "Stan" was so shocking it's still the term for extreme fandom.
91. Muddy Waters – „Got My Mojo Working“ (1957)
Muddy Waters has left his mark on music history for almost a decade and a half. But "Got My Mojo Working" was the moment Waters inspired a generation of rock 'n' roll stars. Fusing a traditional bluesy rhythm with a simple chord progression, Waters' rendition of "Got My Mojo Working" created the ultimate bridge between blues and rock 'n' roll. It's impossible to hear and not hear the impact it would have on the likes of Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Brian May, Angus Young and many others.
90. Metallica - "The Puppeteer" (1986)
A headbanging opening riff. Four breathtaking moves that will keep you on your toes for eight and a half minutes. This is heavy metal at its fast pace with a level of sophistication appreciated by the finest artists of any genre. Written by all four members of Metallica's classic line-up, "Master of Puppets" marks a moment that raises the bar, not just for thrash metal but hard rock in general. Metallica would have bigger hits. But "Master of Puppets" is the song that sits at the forefront of the band's incredible legacy.
89. The Mamas & the Papas - "California Dreamin'" (1965)
After backing Barry McGuire's original version of "California Dreamin', The Mamas & Papas created their own version of the song that was far more euphoric. No song since has managed to embody the sound of the counterculture era and, perhaps most poignantly, the nostalgia for it. The way the group's harmonies cascade through the song makes you feel like you're falling into a dream. It's an escapism song that depicts a dream location.
88. Foo Fighters - "Ever Long" (1997)
"Everlong" was the second single from Foo Fighters' second album. Hearing it straight away you could tell it was a defining moment for the band. "Everlong" is a post-grunge masterpiece written by Dave Grohl when he was just getting out of a divorce. He wasn't sure about the future of his personal life or that of his band. Everlong is about holding on to something so solid it can pull you out of the darkness. You feel every note Grohl sings, every cymbal crash and every guitar riff. It's the most genuine and brilliant thing the Foo Fighters have ever done.
87. Bob Marley and the Wailers - Concrete Jungle (1973)
"Concrete Jungle" isn't as appealing as later anthems in Bob Marley's career. You have to pay more attention to the opening song of 1973's flawless "Catch a Fire," but eventually the themes, messages, and ideas intrude and overwhelm you. Marley and the Wailers paint a stunning picture of partnership that could translate to the world. And while Marley's lyrics are front and center: "No chains on my feet, but I'm not free. I know I'm being held captive...' The song's musicality (particularly the guitar solo) is equally intriguing. "Concrete Jungle" is the sound of a generation's voice consolidating.
86. Eurythmics - "Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" (1983)
When it comes to the pinnacle of synth-pop and new wave, few things are quite as imposing as the Eurythmics' signature hit. With a growing interest in electronic music, Dave Stewart produced the song on new synthesizers. After listening, Annie Lennox wanted to join. This dueling synthesizer sound is the song's bread and butter, shaping "Sweet Dreams" into a haunting portrait. The song also left its mark visually, as Annie Lennox became a pop star with a look that set her apart from all other artists. A monster single, "Sweet Dreams", put Eurythmics on the map and took electronic music to new heights.
85. Ike und Tina Turner - "River Deep - Mountain High" (1966)
"River Deep - Mountain High" is Tina Turner's song that was released musically. For the first time, Ike Turner had nothing to do with one of his songs, as producer Phil Spector paid him to walk away. It was Spector who saw Tina as the ideal vacuum for his Wrecking Crew endorsed Wall of Sound production style. When first published, Spector seemed wrong. "River Deep - Mountain High" wasn't a hit, which allowed Ike to say I Told You So. Looking back, the song is recognized as the glorious masterpiece that it is, from one of the greatest producers of all time and a singer who finally had her moment to shine.
84. Bo Diddley - "Bo Diddley" (1955)
Bo Diddley didn't invent the signature rock 'n' roll beat. But he certainly perfected it to the point where he got his name. On the surface, there's not much about the iconic rock 'n' roll song that gave Bo Diddley its name. The lyrics couldn't be simpler, based on the nursery rhyme "Hush Little Baby". But the magic is in the sound Diddley creates with his guitar. "Bo Diddley" jumps right into the middle section and hooks you immediately. Diddley drew inspiration from Afro-Cuban music, delivering a syncopated musical beat that would give rock 'n' roll its backbone.
83. Martha und die Vandellas - "Dancing in the Street" (1964)
On the surface, "Dancing in the Street" is a song fueled by unbridled joy, brilliantly written from the ground up as a ballad by William "Mickey" Stevenson. At Marvin Gaye's urging, the song was transformed into a danceable tune where it reached magical levels. Martha Reeves' powerful performance, backed by Motown's Funk Brothers, would take center stage as a civil rights anthem, calling for America to unite regardless of race at a turbulent time that perhaps good music could heal. .
82. Dusty Springfield - "Son of a Preacher" (1968)
With his career seemingly at an end, Dusty Springfield came to Atlantic Records in hopes of working with Jerry Wexler, the man who helped Aretha Franklin reach her full potential. Wexler, along with writers John Hurley and Ronnie Wilkins, gave Dusty a group of songs like "Son of a Preacher Man" that terrified Springfield. Fusing her traditional pop with powerful soul music wasn't Springfield's comfort zone. But at Wexler's urging, he threw himself down. "Son of a Preacher Man" would define the sound of blue-eyed soul whose influence has been felt throughout the 21st century in the careers of Amy Winehouse, Adele, Sam Smith and others.
81. Buddy Holly and the Crickets - "This Will Be the Day" (1957)
Buddy Holly first recorded "That'll Be the Day" in 1956, at a time when his fledgling career was destined to go nowhere. What a difference a year makes. The version, released on a different label and under the Crickets name, proved to be much more sophisticated, not only with its instrumentation (highlighted by Holly's lead guitar), but also with the distinctive vocal style that would delight an endless number of fans. scroll songs. Singers on the rise. Holly released several legendary singles during her short time on this planet. But it all starts with their first #1, "That Will Be the Day."
80. Guns N' Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" (1987)
Grunge deserves credit for killing Hair Metal. But Guns N' Roses should also get criticism (or credit). Of course they also had long hair. But GN'R didn't get carried away by the glamour. From the opening sounds of "Welcome to the Jungle" it was clear that Guns N' Roses were different. Emerging from the darker side of Los Angeles' hard rock scene, it had been a while since the world had seen a band that embodied and sounded like Guns N' Roses sex, drugs and rock & roll. the best rock bands. any times. "Welcome to the Jungle" sounds like something plucked from the 1970s in the best possible way.
79. Lou Reed - "Walk on the Wild Side" (1972)
Like many of Lou Reed's signature songs, "Walk on the Wild Side" became an anthem for misfits. It's still unlike anything I've recorded though, blending delicious glam rock with a doo-wop aesthetic. The track is autobiographical, with each verse referring to someone in Reed's circle during his time at Andy Warhol's The Factory in New York. Although most of us weren't there, "Walk on the Wild Side" makes us feel like we're part of something special.
78. Beastie Boys - "Sabotaje" (1994)
Rap rock doesn't have the best reputation. But when done right, it can be a force of nature. In 1994, the Beastie Boys created a chaotic, unrelenting sound that would strike the perfect balance between punk and rap on "Sabotage." The key is the beasts' ability to dissect each gender into its most primitive form before piecing them together. Everything about "Sabotage" feels iconic, from the incredible bassline to Ad Rock's rousing vocal performance and the Spike Jonze-directed video. "Sabotage" came about at a time when the Beastie Boys were reportedly in their "maturation" phase. But without a playful love of music that never fades, none of this is possible.
77. Dolly Parton - "Jolene" (1973)
Rock 'n' roll history is littered with songs of men begging women not to leave and vice versa. Unsurprisingly, Dolly Parton's most-recorded song "Jolene" is another heartbreak story. It requires Parton to be the narrator at its most vulnerable, making up a story about a woman begging another not to steal her husband. The track is only made more harrowing by Chip Young's haunting guitar sound.
76. Simon & Garfunkel - "The Sound of Silence" (1965)
If "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is Simon & Garfunkel's "Yesterday," the song everyone knows used to mark millions of cheesy life events, then "The Sound of Silence" is the duo's "Eleanor Rigby," something else . scary and much more understandable. Whether you think "The Sound of Silence" is the best Simon & Garfunkel song is down to your taste. But Paul Simon's Ode to Solitude is as memorable as any folk-rock song. "Hello Darkness, my old friend..." No wonderMetal bands are drawn to this thing.
75. Janet Jackson - "I Miss You So Much" (1989)
"You got it? Good. Let's dance." To fully understand the genius of "Miss You Much," the first single from Janet Jackson's hit album Rhythm Nation 1814, you have to hear the interlude before it. "Let's Dance"/ "Miss You Very." Much marks the moment that "Rhythm Nation 1814" breaks away from the high-concept artwork Jackson presented alongside production duo Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis more than any other song on the album "Miss You Much" is a monumental pop effort. Call it New Jack Swing or dance-pop, "Miss You Much" is a party starter that marked Janet Jackson's rise as a sex symbol and megastar on a par with her brother or anyone other.
74. Otis Redding - "Try A Little Tenderness" (1966)
When Kanye West cut a sample of Otis Redding's voice for the single "Watch the Throne.""Otis"In 2011, West simply repeated what people had known since the 1960s: there's more power in a snippet of Redding's voice than most five-piece rock bands can muster. This sample is from Redding's monstrous soul anthem "Try a Little Tenderness". Redding assisted by Booker T. & the M.G. and Stax producer Isaac Hayes reworked the original Ray Noble Orchestra version into an album built on Redding's vocal explosion.
73. Etta James - "Finally" (1961)
"At Last" was originally written and recorded as the orchestral tune for the 1941 musical film Sun Valley Serenade. Etta James' version follows a similar melody (courtesy of Riley Hampton), but her voice dominates. James sings the song in a way that makes his ode to romance universal. But the music is clearly his. Nobody ever got close to him, not even in camouflage form (sorry, Beyonce, Celine Dion and others). Few love songs are more iconic.
72. Jay-Z - "99 Probleme" (2004)
When it came to tackling his latest project, The Black Album, Jay-Z wanted to work with a who's who of hip-hop production kings. Perhaps the strangest choice was Rick Rubin. Jay rarely delved into old-school hip-hop before the 1990s, and yet it came together perfectly. Rubin brought the hard-hitting guitar and drum riffs that helped popularize the Beastie Boys and LL Cool J. Jay brought his lyrical genius to the table, weaving a story about the issues and jealousy that comes with being black while altering his voice and flow of words to play different roles on the track. Even when he (theoretically) gave up, Jay-Z continued to show his ability to surprise.
71. Bill Withers - "Ain't No Sunshine" (1971)
"Ain't No Sunshine" finds the radiant soul of the blues. The first 30 seconds or so are illuminated by the tone of Bill Withers' voice, evoking devastating emotion. Instrumentation by Donald "Duck" Dunn on bass, Al Jackson Jr. on drums, Stephen Stills on guitar and Booker T. Jones on string arrangements make The Darkness even more epic. Wither's incredible vocal meltdown ("I know, I know, I know, I know, I know") instills a sense of paranoia in a heartbreaking song. And it all happens in just over two minutes.
70. Whitney Houston - "I Want to Dance With Someone (Who Loves Me)" (1987)
The first chapter in Whitney Houston's career was based on ballads. But after the release of "How Will I Know" as the final single from Houston's self-titled debut album, Arista's team quickly learned that the singer's voice could pack a punch on the dance floor. Enter "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" as the second single from 1988's "Whitney," a dance-pop explosion fueled by Houston's impeccable vocals. The song played non-stop on the radio and the video showcased Houston's charisma. Houston had already achieved three No. 1 singles prior to the release of "I Wanna Dance with Somebody." But the song, produced by Narada Michael Walden, made all of that seem small.
69. Nine Inch Nails - "Hurt" (1994)
"Today I got hurt, let's see if I still feel it..." Few songs in the history of popular music get so somber from the start. And they are seldom that powerful. Hurt closes Nine Inch Nails' epic album The Downward Spiral and concludes the project's documentary about a man's emotional death. It's a song about self-harm and addiction that Trent Reznor spices up with his usual sonic power. But nothing can take away the pain in his voice, which lends itself to one of the best Johnny Cash covers of all time. You can debate which version is best all day long. Cash's cover simplifies things by foregrounding the idea of a man coming to an end. But the song's brilliance evokes Reznor's original vision of something so dark but inevitable.
68. The Supremes - "You Keep Me Hangin' On" (1966)
The Supremes spent a long time climbing Motown Mountain, eventually scoring their first No. 1 with 1964's "Where Did Our Love Go." But the group never stopped innovating. "You Keep Me Hangin' On" was part of The Supreme's second wave of hits. The harmonies are top notch as always. But the song stands out for the production work by Holland-Dozier-Holland that would prove influential in the development of funk music for years to come.
67. Elton John - "Little Dancer" (1972)
Rocket Man, Levon, Bennie and the Jets. Many of Elton John's most popular songs are performances designed to send the crowd into a frenzy. But none of them have the power of <Tiny Dancer>. From the start of their careers, there was something timeless about the ballads John and Bernie Taupin produced (see: "Your Song"). And "Tiny Dancer" is his masterpiece. Piano driven music is the best sing along track. And while other contestants wait until the chorus to get you hooked, Tiny Dancer will have you screaming every word from the start and invite your friends to join in.
66. Sex Pistols - "Anarchy in the UK." (1976)
The Ramones' debut album preceded the Sex Pistols' UK debut by a few months. But one could argue that the latter was more influential. The title tells you everything you need to know about the Sex Pistols' aggressiveness and anti-establishment stance. But Johnny Rotten was sure to make that point with his fiery lyric "I am the antichrist, I am an anarchist." Aside from Rotten's performance, what stands out most about the song "Anarchy in the U.K." is the guitar attack unleashed by Steve Jones and refined by producer Chris Thomas. It was an invitation to anyone, anywhere, with no experience (or talent) to pick up the instrument. Puckrock was on.
65. The Temptations - "Daddy Was a Rolling Stone" (1972)
Papa Was a Rolling Stone began in May 1972 as a song for producer Norman Whitfield's pet project, The Undisputed Truth. The song didn't get very far in the charts. Whitfield became more comfortable with his psychedelic soul production techniques and less than five months later adapted the song into an epic 12-minute version for The Temptations. The group, which featured the best vocal artists of their time, hated it. Papa Was a Rolling Stone was more of a showcase for Whitfield than her. But there's no denying how amazing it is. Whitfield does all the tricks and throws all the bells and whistles he can think of. The Temptations deliver another outstanding performance, although Whitfield's instrumentation steals the show.
64. Tom Waits - "Train Downtown" (1985)
Tom Waits' style can be challenging. That's not to say that even their most outlandish songs don't have something majestic and compelling about them ("What's He Building" grabs you by the throat). But it makes sense that their best music is their most universal. And that happens almost by accident. Waits' vocal performance on "Downtown Train" is saturated with his signature rasp. But it's the bright guitar sound combined with Waits' vocals that elevates it to a mature blues anthem, with Waits' incredible lyrics painting a captivating picture of New York at night. You lose yourself in it.
63. Jefferson's Airplane - "White Rabbit" (1967)
"White Rabbit" is an acid trip that builds and builds and builds. Inspired by the literary works of Lewis Carroll, Grace Slick wrote "White Rabbit" as a version of naïve fairy tales. But the song also reflects the loss of innocence that was brewing in the second half of the 1960s. The mood of the song has only gotten darker in the modern sense, taking on the symbolism of the blue or red pill. But behind the drug and hallucinatory innuendo lies a musicality Slick gleaned from Miles Davis' Sketches of Spain. "White Rabbit" pulls you in, only to have Slick punch his stomach with his performance in the final phase of the song.
62. The Band - "O Peso" (1968)
Gram Parsons (along with The Byrds) is perhaps the most important artist in country rock history. But the first song that comes to mind when it comes to genre might be The Band's "The Weight." It's a vibrant song that evokes the idea of classic America. Much of the lyrical content - a traveller, the frontier, religious imagery and quirky creatures - is open to interpretation. Close your eyes and let everything sink in. "The Weight" is a slow-paced classic just waiting to be toasted at your favorite bar.
61. U2 - "Where the Streets Have No Name" (1987)
The opening track of "The Joshua Tree" is the moment when U2 reach for the stars and finally touch one. "Where the Streets Have No Name" exudes so much spirituality that it's easy to overlook just how amazing it is musically, from its percussion and The Edge's signature guitar riffs to Bono's acceptance of himself as a rock god. That's enough to make U2 haters roll their eyes twice. But for those willing to embrace its power, "Where the Streets Have No Name" can become more than just a rock anthem, especially in a live setting where it morphs into a full-fledged religious experience.
60. Pink Floyd - "I Wish You Were Here" (1975)
Although Syd Barrett left Pink Floyd midway through the recording process for the band's second album, his spirit stayed with the band. "Dark Side of the Moon" refers to his absence. But Wish You Were Here was an entire album dedication to his genius. The album's title track was perhaps the most straightforward rock song Pink Floyd had created up to that point, and arguably the band's most soulful. As much as David Gilmour's guitar notes could soar and captivate the band's quirkiness, "Wish You Were Here" makes it clear that great songwriting has always been Floyd's backbone, both at Barrett and since.
59. NWA - Straight Outta Compton (1988)
Revolutionary songs only come up so often. The 1988 single from N.W.A. came with a statement: "Now witness the power of street intelligence." In a way, "Straight Outta Compton" was the rap version of shock rock. The only shocking thing was that it was so realistic. This "crazy motherfucker" named Ice Cube and his crew brought wrestling from 1980's Black America into your living room. The sweeping beat of Dr. Dre and DJ Yella made it so easy for mainstream America to embrace this N.W.A. it reached the top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart. Hip hop (and pop music in general) would never be the same again.
58. Miles Davis - "Also was" (1959)
Kind of Blue, widely regarded as the greatest jazz album of all time, was not one of Miles Davis' "rock" records. They would come later. But it remains the jazz legend's greatest triumph in a career of triumphs and reinventions. "So What," Kind of Blue's signature composition, became the pinnacle of the modal jazz movement of the 1950s and 1960s, but its impact would be felt decades later. Part of this is the incredible diversity of musicians, including Bill Evans, whose innovative piano playing changed the game, and tenor saxophonist John Coltrane, who would place more emphasis on modal jazz on his own future recordings. As "Kind of Blue" and specifically "So What" evolved and took on a life of its own during the recording process, it inspired improvisation and improvisation in all forms of music.
57. Depeche Mode - "Enjoy the Silence" (1990)
Depeche Mode's ode to appreciating what you started, quite simply. After recording a demo, guitarist Martin Gore and the band intended the song to be a ballad. Turning it into a dance-pop song seemed daunting until producer Flood started working on his new Roland modular synth. The result is Depeche Mode's most recognizable and catchy song that says something. "Enjoy the Silence" is a love song that benefits from Dave Gahan's rendition. But sonically, it creates a sense of euphoria that reflects the song's theme. What at first sounds like Depeche Mode toning down its experimental leanings turns out to be the band's most imaginative pop masterpiece.
56. Al Green - "Let's Party Together" (1971)
"Let's stick together" has been around since it opened. Your parents know "Let's stick together". Your grandparents know "Let's stick together". Al Green's signature song has been setting the mood for 50 years. On paper, "Let's Stay Together" is a plea for a woman to stay by your side. However, Green couldn't help but sound sexual for the sake of the song. His vocal inflections are masterful. Even when Green looks like he's begging, he's irresistible.
55. Creedence Clearwater Revival – „Lucky Son“ (1969)
Largely because of its title, "Fortunate Son" has been misinterpreted by some as a patriotic anthem. Rather, it is a brilliant dismantling of classicism written by John Fogerty in under half an hour. One would imagine that such songwriting skills were fueled by frustration and anger at what was happening in America. Fogerty's hard-hitting vocal performance and guitar playing drive home along with Doug Clifford's tension-inducing drums. "Fortunate Son" is at the heart of a surprisingly fruitful period for CCR, as the band has released album after album, all of which are top notch.
54. The infamous B.I.G. - "Juicy" (1994)
"Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis / When I was broke man I couldn't imagine it..." The Notorious B.I.G. He may be the most naturally gifted hip-hop emcee you'll ever see. It has more complex and complicated rhyme schemes than those on "Juicy". But no song, by any rapper, better encapsulates the aspirations of being a rapper. As Biggie said, "I've gone from being a common thief to Robin Leach." "Juicy" is the ultimate hip-hop tale (set in a magical sample of Mtume's 1983 "Juicy Fruit") about going from nothing to something with a mic in hand. If you need to explain hip hop to someone, play this song.
53. Leonard Cohen - "Aleluja" (1984)
Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" was played to exhaustion, allowing fans to ignore the cataclysmic power of Cohen's anthem. Even when praised, "Hallelujah" is often defined by its incredible covers, most notably those by Jeff Buckley and John Cale. But it was Cohen who laid the foundation with his poetry. The original blend of rock 'n' roll and gospel is as soulful as it gets, with Cohen's tone balancing the light and dark of the song. In the end it's uplifting. Like the best songs by Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan, Cohen's "Hallelujah" is perfectly structured for fascinating covers for decades to come.
52. Neil Young - "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" (1979)
"Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" gets a lot of acclaim as the essential proto-grunge song, and rightly so (which grunge band hasn't hijacked that guitar sound?). But the song's inspiration is rooted in the more artistic punk bands of the late 1970s, Devo. Neil Young's association with band leader Mark Mothersbaugh coincided with Young's growing fondness for the burgeoning punk rock scene. Young always played hard enough to turn into Hard Rock if he wanted to. But "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)" takes it to the next level sonically, mixing themes of mortality and carrying the rock 'n' roll flare.
51. Smokey Robinson e Miracles - "The Traces of My Tears" (1965)
No one wrote songs in the 1960s (or perhaps any other time) that left such a vivid image in your mind as Smokey Robinson. Written with Miracles members Pete Moore and Marv Tarplin, "The Tracks of My Tears" is a harrowing song about the sadness that accompanies longing for love. It's Robinson, the composer at his liveliest. But his singing doesn't always get enough credit. Robinson's falsetto is pure ecstasy, matched only by the subtle but fantastic instrumentation by the Funk Brothers and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. "Tracks of My Tears" is one of the few songs that could be Motown's biggest.
50. The Kinks - "Atardecer en Waterloo" (1967)
In "Waterloo Sunset," Terry and Julie meet at Waterloo Station every Friday night while the song's narrator observes worldly life in London. Most great love songs are about a specific person. However, in The Kinks' best song, Ray Davies is overcome by the love between two other people. It is as powerful and uplifting as a noble story made transcendent by a glorious arrangement. Whether you're in a relationship or just contemplating a city that fades into nothingness, "Waterloo Sunset" will put a smile on your face. You can't ask for more from a song.
49. Led Zeppelin - "Cachemira" (1975)
Remarkably, Led Zeppelin's two most popular songs are the ones that most clearly show them attempting to create rock 'n' roll epics. One of those tracks is of course “Stairway to Heaven”. The other is "cashmere". Never released as a single, "Kashmir" Led Zeppelin is at its peak, opening with a thunderous beat that threatens to burn the earth. There's a plethora of Zeppelin songs that try to embody everything the band has created (think "Over the Hills and Far Away"). Some of these songs wear out their greeting. But "Kashmir" retains its admiration for eight and a half fascinating minutes.
48. Madonna - "Im Takt" (1985)
Madonna has spent her career pushing boundaries. But perhaps the most impressive thing he did was create the sexiest dance song of the 1980s, "Into the Groove." Lyrically, it is one of Madonna's simplest compositions. But the production is fantastic, blending synths and drums with clever vocal effects that make Madonna feel like she's armed with an army of backing vocals. If there was a picture next to the word "bop" in the dictionary, it would definitely be the "Into the Groove" single cover.
47. Curtis Mayfield - "Move Up" (1971)
"Move on Up" wasn't just the standout track on Curtis Mayfield's debut solo album. It's a complete mission statement about persevering through a difficult time that would become the backbone of his label, Curtom Records. Mayfield had already made a huge impact on music during his time with The Impressions. But he was always looking for something more. Much of his solo material would end up being much darker. But "Move on Up" is where Mayfield opens things up for his incredible collection of studio musicians to deliver an impressive dose of progressive soul.
46. Ejecutar-D.M.C. - "Sucker MCs" (1983)
"Sucker M.C.'s" is the sound that birthed new school hip-hop and paints a picture of where the genre would be headed in terms of sound, attitude and style. And yet it all sounds so primitive. Driven by Larry Smith's hard-hitting DMX drums along with Jam Master Jay's scratches, Run-D.M.C. paired perfectly with 1980s avant-garde rock Joseph "Run" Simmons and Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels would take care of the rest, dripping with swagger on the first sly hip-hop record. They were in good faith to double down as rock stars.
45. Black Sabbath – „Paranoico“ (1970)
Black Sabbath did some groundbreaking things on their first album and birthed heavy metal through blues mixed with downbeat. But it was "Paranoid," the song the band reluctantly recorded for their second album, that brought heavy metal to the masses. Tony Iommi's finely tuned guitar sound remains the backbone. But as things picked up, "Paranoid" set a pace that rivaled anything that came out in the 1970s. It helps when you have a singer like Ozzy Osbourne, whose wails give the song a sense of urgency, that few hardcore bands can... could fit.
44. Ramones - "Blitzkrieg Bop" (1976)
The Ramones played over 100 live shows in New York in the two years leading up to the release of the band's debut album. The punk scene was still going underground. But the Ramones' desire to have their own anthem made all the difference. "Blitzkrieg Bop" drew on the band's classic pop influences (particularly the Bay City Rollers' "Saturday Night") while maintaining its street-punk craze. In just over two minutes, the Ramones proved that punk rock is a viable art form that can endure.
43. Sly & The Family Stone - "I Want to Take You Higher" (1969)
When Sly Stone announced, "I want to take you higher," he wasn't kidding. The song is not an anthem message, but a statement on how to get high from music. "I Want to Take You Higher" remains the most compelling Sly and the Family Stone single ever released, with an intensity that would make it a hallmark of the psychedelic soul and funk genre. Not surprisingly, the song served as the centerpiece for the group's legendary performances at Woodstock and Soul Train.
42. Rainha - "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975)
"Bohemian Rhapsody" was never a critical favourite. It's been grossly exaggerated as an obvious jab at rock's immortality that fans of intellectual music can't help but tease. Queen had to fight to become the opening single of the band's best album, A Night at the Opera. Once released, however, it became a generational anthem not only in 1975, but again for Generation X when it was featured in Wayne's World. Bohemian Rhapsody was given new life when the 2018 film of the same name became a box office hit. For decades, critics have tried to dismiss "Bohemian Rhapsody" as a gimmick (perhaps Galileo's number justifies that). However, Freddie Mercury's music contains a soulful human element in every note he sings.
41. Die Byrds – „Eight Miles High“ (1966)
The Beatles dabbled in the basic elements of psychedelic rock, while the Yardbirds focused more on it. But it was the Byrds' "Eight Miles High" that provided the template for the most influential song of the counterculture era. Before 1966, the Byrds' greatest songs were outstanding covers. But "Eight Miles" was the band's hypnotic beast, with guest appearances from John Coltrane, Ravi Shankar and The Fab Four. The impact of the music is the main reason the Byrds are one of the few artists whose influence comes close to that of the Beatles or Bob Dylan.
40. Grandmaster Flash und die Furious Five – „The Message“ (1982)
The Sugarhill Gang first brought hip-hop onto the mainstream map with 1979's "Rapper's Delight." But the song, which builds on the bass line of Chic's "Good Times," was more of an extension of disco than it was. a new genre. This finally happened three years later when Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five delivered The Message. The third single from the group's eponymous album, "The Message" took rapping behind the scenes of the New York party and became a socially conscious art form capable of articulating the struggles of black America. No song has influenced the hip-hop genre more.
39. James Brown - "Get up (I feel like I'm) a sex machine" (1970)
Of all the great funk anthems James Brown produced, this is oneIsone. Nothing has ever sounded more fun. Brown laid the groundwork for funk with 1960s tracks like "Cold Sweat" and "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." In the 1970s, however, he knew when to let his band take the limelight. "Get up, I feel like a sex machine" usually comes with the tagline "with the original J.B.s." As it should. Phelps "Catfish" Collins' dirty guitar is the definition of funky. On "Get Up (I Feel Like Being) a Sex Machine," Brown switches from bandleader to bandleader for the second half of the song, conducting every major instrumental part. And J.B., they put on a flawless show for almost 11 minutes, made even more incredible by the fact that it was recorded live.
38. Patti Smith - "Gloria" (1975)
Calling Patti Smith's "Gloria" the cover is a bit misleading. Smith's version of the song, written by Van Morrison and originally recorded by his band Them, only clings to Morrison's chorus. Smith is responsible for the most iconic parts of the track, including the stunning spoken word intro: "Jesus died for someone's sins, but not mine." "Gloria" certainly follows Them's proto-punk ideology. But it's Smith who becomes a worthy anthem for the burgeoning punk scene. Years before Prince and Madonna started mixing topics like religion and sex, Smith turned that controversy into cutting-edge art.
37. Funkadelic - "Worm Brain" (1971)
If someone told you to make music like your mother just died, how would you react? Somehow, when stoned George Clinton made such a request for the opening track of Funkadelic's third studio album, guitarist Eddie Hazel knew how to react. "Maggot Brain" is a 10+ minute instrumental (aside from a brief spoken introduction) that focuses on Hazel's guitar work, with minimal support from the rest of Clinton's band. Hazel channels her idol Jimi Hendrix for a performance that's hard to describe, save for perhaps the most incredible guitar this rock 'n' roll side of Hendrix has ever seen.
36. Isaac Hayes - "Walk Through" (1969)
Dionne Warwick's original version of "Walk On By" is a simple and beautiful soul song. What Isaac Haye did to him is a testament to his genius as a composer. A few years before Marvin Gaye released What's Going On and Stevie Wonder launched his incredible creative career in the 1970s, Hayes took soul to a new prog peak with Walk on By. He turns the song into a 12-minute funk powerhouse. It wasn't just going to be one of Hayes' signature songs. But his rendition of "Walk on By" is a perennial hit of epic proportions and the first real display of authorship in the soul genre.
35. The Jackson 5 - "I want you back" (1969)
The greatest bassline in popular music history introduces one of the most incredible instrumental openings of any song. And it all happens before the real star of "I Want You Back" arrives. Michael Jackson was only 10 years old when he recorded "I Want You Back". And yet he offers a better voice than most grown men. Motown's The Corporation (headed by Berry Gordy) was known for giving its best acts adequate support from a production standpoint. But even they outdid themselves with "I Want You Back," a song that raised the bar for a Motown star.
34. The Who - "Baba O'Riley" (1972)
Pete Townshend has witnessed the teenage wasteland firsthand. He saw that at Woodstock in 1969 when young people were high on LSD. He saw it again in the rubbish littering the field at the Isle of Wight Festival that same year. It gave Townshend all the lyrical inspiration he needed for another classic anthem about teenage heartbreak. What made "Baba O'Riley" different from, say, "My Generation" was that the former grew out of an abandoned rock opera that would follow "Tommy". These origins give "Baba O'Riley" its cinematic feel, which is more than just a song about teenage angst. It's a rock 'n' roll powerhouse that has stood the test of time.
33. Johnny Cash – „Folsom Prison Blues (Live)“ (1968)
Although recorded live, the 1968 version of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues" (performed at Folsom Prison) benefits from some studio improvements, most notably the added applause from the prisoners during certain parts of the recording track. It all adds to the energy of Cash's stunning performance, which takes on and revs up Sun Records' original 1995 version of Folsom Prison Blues. Thanks to Cash and his band's signature rhythm, you can almost hear the "a-comin'" train. In a live setting, Cash's voice sounds like it's coming from above (or below) to tell a story only Cash could place the emphasis on.
32. Public Enemy (1989)
Much has been said in recent years about Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing being as moving as it was when it was released in 1989, which is both a tribute to Lee's filmmaking skills and an indictment of modern society. That's nothing compared to how the film's title track still feels today, though. "Fight the Power" is the musical way to take off the gloves. Just read the one-liners: "Our freedom of speech is liberty or death," "Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant anything to me..." Chuck D is a lyrical master with flavor flav delivering the punch of grace ( "Fuck him and John Wayne!"). The Bomb Squad's production, on the other hand, strikes a balance between brilliant samples and a drumbeat that hits you like a machine gun. "Fight the Power" isn't just the modern blueprint for black protest music. It's still the modern blueprint for a great rap song.
31. Bruce Springsteen - "Born to Run" (1975)
While many of the great rock artists of the 1970s wrote darker songs about what it was like to live in the post-hippie era of the 1960s, Bruce Springsteen celebrated life. "Born to Run" was the first track to prove Springsteen had staying power in the mainstream, thanks to its emotionally charged summary of teenage turmoil that drives you to get out there and chase the American dream. Springsteen was still chasing his happy moment from "Be My Baby," and "Born to Run" contained a sentiment for everyone to cling to. The song combines 1960s pop magic with 1970s punch like no other song could.
30. Blondie - "Heart of Glass" (1979)
Blondie emerged as a regular on New York's CBGB, also known as the epicenter of the punk cast, in the mid-1970s. Members Debbie Harry and Chris Stein worked on Heart of Glass before Blondie made it a reality. During the recording sessions for the Parallel Lines album, producer Mike Chapman spotted the song, which he saw as a perfect match given the record's rise to the top of the charts. As much New Yorker as it gets, Blondie noticed the shift in the music scene as dance music took hold and aspired to make a standout anthem. "Heart of Glass" became a defining moment in synth-pop and new wave, and Blondie was at the forefront of popular music in the 1980s.
29. Ray Charles - "What I Said" (1959)
Everything Ray Charles was working on in the 1950s set the stage for him to establish soul music as the defining subgenre of R&B. Before the release of "What'd I Say," a catchy R&B song, it was used to slow it down and prepare you for pop supremacy. But even though Charles made music while seated at the piano, he wanted people to move. "What'd I Say" combines elements of gospel, soul and jazz with the added bite of rumba. It made all the difference as the first mainstream soul song guaranteed to consume the dance floor.
28. R.E.M. - „Radio Europe Libre“ (1981)
Not only because R.E.M. was an unnamed band popular only on college radio stations prior to "Radio Free Europe". It's just that alternative and indie rock as a whole hasn't been visible in the mainstream. All of that started to change with “Radio Free Europe,” the song that R.E.M. her record deal and number one on the charts. "Radio Free Europe" may seem like one of the milder entries on this list to spark the rise of a genre that became much more aggressive in the 1990s. But there is an urgency that "Radio Free Europe" accompanies its signature notes, who would lay the foundations for much of the indie rock that has dominated music blogs for the last 40 years.
27. Little Richard - "Tutti-Frutti" (1955)
Rock 'n' roll's origins date back to the 1940s, but nobody had put it all together performantly: the energy, the powerful voice, the beat and the beat like Little Richard did in "Tutti Frutti". Right off the bat it's a bop: "Whop bop b-luma b-lop bam good!" Tutti Frutti is the most influential performance album you will find. Richard so embodies the spirit of rock 'n' roll that not even his fellow pioneers who covered the track, from Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis to the Beatles, could manage to play him.
26. Aretha Franklin - "Respeito" (1967)
Aretha Franklin's signature song has been hailed as the ultimate female empowerment anthem and even named the best song of all timeRolling Stonein 2021. And yet "respect" is still not enough... well, respect. It's more than just an impressive vocal performance. Franklin rewrote the book about someone else's interpretation of the song. His rendition of Otis Redding's "Respect" is less a cover than a mind-blowing transformation. Knowing that Redding's original reinforced the archetypal vision of American marriage, Franklin changed the genre of the lyrics, gave the rhythm section a new direction, played the piano, and even created (along with her sisters Erma and Carolyn) the iconic "sock it to." . me". me" and the spelling of "R-E-S-P-E-C-T". It's a lesson in making someone else's music your own.
25. The Clash - "London Calling" (1979)
What made The Clash a different breed of punk rock band wasn't just their eclectic sound. It was that Joe Strummer was a news junkie. The title track of The Clash's seminal album, 'London Calling', transcends bratty punk. He transforms the Sex Pistols' call for revolution into something more elaborate and instinctive as Strummer explains how the world can end in a variety of ways, from an ice age to nuclear war. It's the sound of The Clash fully realized as something powerful that also veers into classic rock territory because it's so accessible.
24. Marvin Gaye - "What Happens" (1971)
Soul music was a recipe for success in the 1960s. When Marvin Gaye approached Berry Gordy about doing something socially conscious and political, the Motown founder was stunned. Gaye had a reason for changing his address. He was depressed after the death of his girlfriend and singing partner Tammi Terrell and the collapse of his marriage, which led to drug addiction and financial problems. The rest of the world was no fun either. "What's Going On," both the song and album, were conceived while Gaye was touring and witnessing police brutality against protesters in the Vietnam War. In crafting his new album's title track, Gaye summed up the state of a country in crisis, something no soul singer before him had done so eloquently. But the appeal of the music wasn't just the subject. "What's Going On" reshaped R&B with its multi-layered vocal work and instrumentation.
23. The Cure (1987)
On their previous album, The Head on the Door, The Cure fused elements of alternative rock and pop. But "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" marked a real breakthrough in terms of Robert Smith providing the melody and sound that would define the band's best music. "Just Like Heaven" isn't just a perfect pop song. It is considered one of the best love songs of all time. Smith sings of a love so overwhelming it incapacitates him. Smith and his bandmates present every aspect of "Just Like Heaven" in a fascinating way, from the individual introduction of each instrument, to the guitar downline, to those stunning keyboards. It's pure bliss.
22. Sam Cooke - "A Change Is Coming" (1964)
Sam Cooke knew how to play the music industry game. He began his career as a gospel and soul singer. Over time, he transformed his graceful voice into something that a broad white audience could digest, giving him a sense of power and independence that few black artists experienced in the early 1960s. Career. And in 1964 he gave the cause its most moving anthem. Cooke was inspired to write A Change Is Gonna Come after being turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. In short, he's had enough. But "A Change Is Gonna Come" isn't full of anger. It's a song supported by brilliant orchestration that addresses the trials and tribulations of black people. Cooke's incredible vocal performance conveys the message that there is something better, whether in this life or the next.
21. The Stooges - "I Want to Be Your Dog" (1969)
Iggy Pop was a blues boy at heart. It wasn't until they formed their own band that the pop version of the blues became a force of desperation in the form of The Stooge's garage rock, heralding punk and heavy metal. "I Wanna Be Your Dog" was the Stooges' first incredible example. The pop vocals along with Ron Asheton's guitar, Dave Alexander's bass and Scott Asheton's drums create a menacing, muddy texture that's accentuated by producer John Cale's piano and bells. Cale was the right man to produce "I Wanna Be Your Dog," considering the song picks up where The Velvet Underground's "Venus in Furs" left off. But Iggy and The Stooges cracked the whip a lot harder on "I Wanna Be Your Dog."
20. Stevie Wonder - "Superstition" (1972)
For every artist, “Superstition” marks the beginning of the greatest creative period in pop music history. According to the story, Stevie Wonder was in the studio working with Jeff Beck on his now legendary Talking Book album. Beck created the drumbeat for "Superstition," a song that would be included on Beck's next album. But the ever-wise Berry Gordy wanted Wonder to record it. Wonder then went into Virtuoso mode with a Hohner Model C Clavinet and a Moog bass synth (Trevor Lawrence and Steve Madaio provided saxophone and trumpet, respectively). The result was Wonder's first #1 hit as an adult on the pop charts, spawning a spate of chart hits and classic albums that would cement him as artist of the decade.
19. Talking Heads – „Psychokiller“ (1978)
At the time of the release of their hit "Psycho Killer," Talking Heads were still rooted in the New York punk scene. But the influences of the members' art school were beginning to show. David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth played with Psycho Killer for a number of years prior to its release. The end product is an accurate new wave masterpiece unlike any other song in its genre. Byrne explores the mind of a serial killer and the frightening energy that goes with it. After all these years, it remains his most soulful vocal performance, erupting from one of the greatest basslines in music history. Talking Heads later recorded more extensive material, but the anxious energy of "Psycho Killer," fueled by the synergy of a consolidating group, remains unrivaled.
18. Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991)
In the late 1990s and into the 2000s, grunge's legacy morphed into something that inspired some of the most hated rock bands of the era. However, this did not detract from the legendary status of Nirvana. The genre peaked with the rise of Kurt Cobain and company and the success of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" as a generational anthem and groundbreaking music video. But it went beyond that. Cobain remains an icon whose influence is felt even more today on artists outside of the rock genre, from Jay-Z and Lil Wayne to Lana Del Ray and Lil Nas X. As deep as his knowledge of Nirvana's catalog is, everything starts with "Smells". like youthful spirit." As previously mentioned, the song was Cobain's attempt to write the "ultimate pop song" and steal it from the Pixies. That he did it so brilliantly is worthy of all praise. The impact of "Smells Like Teen Spirit ' was felt immediately. Grunge took over, supplanting classic rock and headbands, and Cobain became rock's greatest icon, albeit within a few years.
17. Radiohead – „Android paranoico“ (1997)
Paranoid Android was originally written as a 14 minute epic, which considering how good it is at 6.5 minutes, probably would have worked. It was the first single from Radiohead's "OK Computer". The band who made Creep before redefining their sound on The Bends. But with their third album, Radiohead apparently went nuts. What starts out as typical indie rock quickly resolves into a 4/4 time signature that threatens to crack over time. Since then, "Paranoid Android" has been considered the "Bohemian Rhapsody" of indie rock. But it's modeled after The Beatles' "Happiness Is a Warm Gun" in the way it's broken up into multiple parts. In terms of subject matter, Thom Yorke was inspired by a group of cocaine users he met at a Los Angeles bar, which he found inhuman and boring. That's where the most interesting music of the 90's came from.
16. Donna Summer - "I Feel Love" (1977)
"I Feel Love" didn't invent electronic music. But after its release, the dance floor (and the charts) would never be the same. Donna Summer and producer Giorgio Moroder had already released an epic dance hit in 1975 with the Eurodisco anthem "Love to Love You Baby". But "I Feel Love" was even more surprising. It went beyond disco thanks to Moroder's Moog synthesizer and Summer's hypnotic vocals, which bridged the seminal work of Kraftwerk in the late 1970s and modern electronic music. In a pop music universe where the presence of electronic music is growing by the day, so is the radiant impact of Summer's signature statement.
15. Elvis Presley - "Hound Dog" (1956)
Elvis Presley didn't create anything new with "Hound Dog". The original Big Mama Thornton recording has been re-recorded over a dozen times. However, Presley and producer Stephen H. Soles insisted on speeding it up, something writers Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller weren't fans of. But Presley had the swagger, along with Scotty Moore's groundbreaking guitar work, to pull it off. Presley's rousing renditions of the song were widely acclaimed even before he appeared as Elvis on The Milton Berle Show in 1956. When the rest of the country saw his hips move and heard that voice, the rock 'n' roll revolution officially began.
14. The Velvet Underground – „Heroína“ (1967)
His intention was bold: a song to capture the feeling of being high on heroin. The Velvet Underground's "Heroine" doesn't advocate drug use, but serves as a documentary about the story of a topic that has been taboo to this day. Musically broken down, “Heroin” is brilliant. Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison trade guitar riffs over slowly building percussion before John Cale enters with a mesmerizing viola sound. To keep things from exploding, Reed's lyrics are paired with a controlled vocal delivery that never succumbs to pressure. "Heroin, be the death of me" feels euphoric salvation and a cry for help at the same time. Fittingly, it all ends with the sonic equivalent of a car crash.
13. Die Ronettes – „Be My Baby“ (1963)
Producer Phil Spector released several excellent recordings before teaming up with Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich to create The Ronettes' Be My Baby. But music was the first time he reached perfection. He is considered by many to be the archetypal example of his wall-of-sound recording technique. Spector's genius is well documented. But he also had the voice he needed to make everything work. Veronica Bennett, who the world would know as Ronnie Spector, walks a fine line between beautiful vocals and an all-consuming emotional range. Her vocals combined with the richness of Phil Spector's sound give "Be My Baby" the extra power to make it fiery.
12. The Jimi Hendrix Experience - "Purple Haze" (1967)
Blues on steroids filtered through a fuel-acid trip. This is "Purple Haze" by Jimi Hendrix. Hendrix did many extraordinary things in the 1960s, including turning Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" and perhaps the decade's heaviest anthem into "Manic Depression." But "Purple Haze" remains her quintessential song, both for its influence and boisterous nature. Hendrix's guitar sounds like it could crush anything in its path, while his amplified version of the blues would set a new standard for any difficult or heavy song. There's a reason Hendrix singing "Excuse me while I kiss the sky" is so amazing. Because only gods can do that.
11. Bob Dylan – „Like a Rolling Stone“ (1965)
The opening snare drum at the beginning of "Like a Rolling Stone" marks the beginning of something special. Before the song's release and the famous 1965 Newport Folk Festival, Dylan was a folk music star. hell he wasIsFew folk music stars could have imagined trying their hand at a fad like rock and roll. But "Like a Rolling Stone" changed everyone's mind. Their harder rock sound was born out of necessity. Dylan wasn't a fan of the early sessions, which gave the song a softer feel. But it all came together when Dylan and Mike Bloomfield's guitar work was combined with Al Kooper's improvised Hammond B2 organ riff. The soulful instrumentation combined with Dylan's voice was unlike anything the world had ever heard and helped validate rock 'n' roll and fuel its greatest artistic period.
10. Michael Jackson – „Billie Jean“ (1982)
Pop songs, and especially #1 hits, can be judged by what came before "Billie Jean" and what came after. The second single from Michael Jackson's hit album Thriller was all about taking the music industry by storm. Jackson had done the child star thing. He had reset the record on "Off the Wall". What was left was world domination. And Jackson knew his mix of post-disco, R&B, funk and dance-pop would be a hit with its polished groove and catchy hook. How large? Well, few could have predicted that. "Billie Jean" put Jackson on the path to becoming the biggest pop star of all time, raising the stakes for any musician looking to claim supremacy thereafter.
9. Chuck Berry – „Johnny B. Goode“ (1958)
Rock'n'Roll was already established in 1958. However, no one had fully defined the blueprint for the sound of modern rock 'n' roll, taking everything that came before it and wrapping it into something that people would follow for decades. Enter Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode," a song that lacked a wholly original structure. The opening one-note solo kickstarted guitarist Carl Hogan's work on Louis Jordan's Ain't That Just Like a Woman, released in 1946. But Berry certainly took it to the next level in volume and quality. All these years later, even with the arrival of Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and so many others, nothing has ever been stronger, catchier and funnier. Keith Richards once said that he stole everything he made from Berry. Him and everyone else.
8. Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams" (1977)
Everyone who has heard Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" has a favorite song. What makes "Dreams" the best of the bunch is that it's the song that people who don't listen to "Rumours" can fall in love with. From the opening drums to the lyrics by Stevie Nicks, "Dreams" feels comfortable and haunting. It's one of Fleetwood Mac's most straightforward songs and a definitive demonstration of Nick's impeccable voice and songwriting. Despite all the drama the Fleetwood Mac members went through during the making of Rumors, it was Nicks who provided the lyrics, "Thunder only happen when it's raining..." that became most moving. Who doesn't hate to love or doesn't love to hate a stormy day?
7. Los Rolling Stones - "Give Me Shelter" (1969)
With "Gimme Shelter" Mick Jagger and Keith Richards wanted to write an apocalyptic masterpiece. To say that they succeeded is obvious. But it's also interesting how the music develops. Richard's gentle guitar riffs open the track, which slowly repeats its apocalyptic feel. Jagger's voice becomes a force of nature. But Jagger is also left with Merry Clayton's guest voice. The lyrics "Rape, Murder/It's just a shot away..." make you shudder. But the way he sings always gives you goosebumps. Beautiful and scary, Gimme Shelter is the best thing you'll ever hear.
6. Prinz - "Purple Rain" (1984)
Prince's artwork incorporated elements of R&B, soul, gospel, pop, rock and even country music. What makes "Purple Rain" her go-to song is that it has everything. Despite being a ballad, everything about "Purple Rain" feels overdone. Much of this has to do with the fact that Prince recorded it live, giving it an energy few pop songs can match. There's also Prince's ability to keep raising the bar for his voice and guitar. Prince said Purple Rain is about blood in the sky and being with your lover when the world is about to end. Fittingly, the ending to "Purple Rain" is as chilling as any other pop song in history. It would be a great way for the end of the world.
5. Os Beach Boys - "Good Mood" (1966)
Just as the Beatles' "Pet Sounds" and "Revolver" turned the recording studio into a science lab, "Good Vibrations" took it to the next level, pushing the boundaries of progressive pop and experimentation. The most impressive thing about the Beach Boys' innovative music is that it all pulls together effortlessly. Though "Good Vibrations" didn't make the cut for "Pet Sounds," it proved to be the most complex and expensive single ever created up to that point, and it took its toll. Brian Wilson would never be the same after the Beach Boys' creative peak and countless hours in the studio. But hey, nobody said creating life-changing art would be easy.
4. Nina Simone - "Sinner Man" (1968)
"Sinnerman" is a very old black spiritual song, with a recording history dating back to the 1950s, and it carries tremendous emotional weight. Maybe only Nina Simone could take her power to the next level. "Sinnerman" is about the coming of Judgment Day. What makes Simone's version so impressive is how immersive and haunted it feels. The instrumentation is downright soulful, with haunting handclaps and Simone's piano playing as highlights. However, it's the confusion emanating from his voice that gives you goosebumps. Simone's version of "Sinnerman" offers one of the best arrangements of any song in history and one of the most moving vocal performances (especially the stunning finale) ever delivered.
3. Os Beatles – You Never Know Tomorrow (1966)
It seems every musical fad since the 1960s (Yes, even hip hop.) can be traced back to the Beatles in a way. "Tomorrow Never Knows" was considered the first example of psychedelic rock. It also influenced future developments in electronic, avant-pop, kraut, raga, and acid rock music. To put it in perspective, everything from The Doors' "The End" and Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" to Kraftwerk's "Trans-Europe-Express" and The Chemical Brothers' "Block Rockin' Beats" is "Tomorrow Never Knows" owe ". ". of gratitude marks the moment the Beatles stopped obsessing about what they could do with a pop song and started changing the idea of what a pop song really was.
2. Joni Mitchell - "Um Caso Tuyo" (1971)
There's probably never been a more honest, unfiltered singer-songwriter than Joni Mitchell on "Blue." And the song that has won people over the most for 50 years is "A Case of You," the greatest love song ever written. It begins with a revelation about a relationship: "Just before our love was lost..." This isn't a fairy tale. When Mitchell first stops singing "Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine..." you're a complete mess. love is never perfect The good and bad that comes with the relationship is what A Case of You is about. And it really is a songwriter song, as this provesvariety of coversthat exists.
1. David Bowie - "Life on Mars?" (1973)
"Life on Mars?" It was not released as a single until almost two years after it was recorded and a year and a half after it first appeared on "Hunky Dory". But you can't blame RCA Records for being late to the party. Bowie's music took art-pop to strange new heights. "Life on Mars?" it had to sound like the most unsettling thing in the world at the time. Which of course was its main attraction. It's a track put together to perfection with the right musicians including Mark Ronson on guitar and Rick Wakeman on piano. And Bowie is at his weirdest and most relatable when he sings about escapism while also becoming a compelling voice for fear and disenfranchisement. "Life on Mars?" It wouldn't be the last time Bowie redefines pop music. But it was the historic moment that laid the foundation for becoming a voice for generations to come.
If you purchase a product or create an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation.