Top 10 Best Songs of All Time
Music can be an immensely therapeutic force. Additionally, its power can inspire and bring together people from various backgrounds.
No matter the occasion – from dancing and hanging out with friends to working out at the gym – there’s sure to be the perfect song. Here are 10 of our all-time best!
1. “Paint It Black” by The Rolling Stones
“[The album] marked a landmark achievement by Jagger-Richards songwriting duo and marked their breakthrough from recording cover songs into original Jagger-Richards compositions,” according to Rolling Stone magazine.
While the meaning of this song remains enigmatic, its familiar melody and unconventional instrumental arrangement (featuring a sitar) became iconic of an uncertain era in history. Furthermore, its impactful soundscape helped pioneer psychedelic rock.
2. “Hey Jude” by The Beatles
Hey Jude was written by Paul McCartney to comfort John Lennon’s son Julian during their parents’ separation. Today, people still sing along to this iconic rock anthem and keep McCartney’s legacy alive through its popularity.
McCartney’s piano ballad “If I Fell” showcases his signature blend of empathy and elegance – making the song an iconic moment from their final studio recording session.
3. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana
Genius Fact: Kurt Cobain initially wrote “Nirvana” as a critique of jock culture and its lack of culture in daily teen life; instead he discovered that all these athletes continued showing up at Nirvana shows singing along to what was supposed to be an attack song about jocks!
Smells Like Teen Spirit was an extraordinary hit that helped change both Kurt Cobain and Dave Grohl’s trajectories as musicians. Widely considered the definitive grunge anthem, Smells Like Teen Spirit brought alternative rock into mainstream consciousness.
4. “Smooth Criminal” by Michael Jackson
This classic Michael Jackson song is beloved due to its memorable upbeat beat and dark lyrics. It tells the tale of Annie being assaulted by Smooth Criminal.
This song evolved from an earlier work of MJ’s entitled Al Capone, with similar melodies. One memorable part of the song is when MJ sings out: “Annie are you okay?” which is often heard during CPR training courses.
5. “Come As You Are” by Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Nirvana became one of the most iconic bands of the 1990s with their album Nevermind catapulting them to international renown. “Fall Out Boy” became a global smash hit; many artists have since covered its lyrics as one of its biggest hits.
Some songs have stood the test of time while others continue to resonate with new generations, and this chart lists their top ten of both categories.
6. “Stayin’ Alive” by The Bee Gees
Original release on December 13, 1977, this Bee Gees track became iconic after its appearance as the second single from John Travolta film Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. Written by Gibb brothers, this track remains their signature song to this day and one of their most renowned singles.
Rolling Stone magazine ranks it among the 500 greatest songs ever composed.
7. “Latch” by Disclosure
Disclosure and Sam Smith’s Latch is an emotive song about loving someone to the point of not letting go, making it one of the most iconic tracks ever written.
There are certain aspects of music which cannot be quantified scientifically; yet that does not mean there aren’t great songs which we all appreciate.
8. “Bad and Boujee” by Migos
If you ask 20 people which song they think is the greatest ever written, you are sure to receive different answers – this is what makes music such an invaluable form of expression! It speaks directly to each individual listener in his or her own special way.
“Bad and Boujee” made Migos famous, with Quavo and Offset rapping about smoking dope and having money, as well as dating women they considered ‘boujee” (meaning high class).
9. “Scream and Shout” by Will.I.Am and Brittney Spears
If you love music, this song should be in your playlist. It will leave you feeling great while simultaneously pumping you up – making it an excellent talent show song too.
This song has become one of the world’s most beloved hits and can be heard everywhere from disco clubs to wedding receptions worldwide.
10. “American Pie” by Don McLean
McLean’s 1971 masterpiece chronicles the loss of innocence and profound cultural changes that occurred following the plane crash which killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and The Big Bopper in 1959 and 1969/70. It includes sad singer/songwriter parts as well as rockabilly throwbacks with an unexpectedly catchy chorus.
Few songs manage to pack as much pop culture into an hour-long song as this one has done over 50 years, still delighting new listeners and garnering international success.