If you do a survey, asking people what’s the 20 greatest songs they ever heard in their entire life, you’ll probably receive different answers. Some people like songs that make them feel something and bring them into a stare where they go on a deeper level of emotions. Like movies, songs break records and reach new heights that most of them go down in history books. This article will show you the 500 Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time and Ranker’s The Best Songs of All Time. Check it out!
‘Gimme Shelter’ — The Rolling Stones
Can you believe that this song was written only within 20 minutes? It only took 20 minutes for Keith Richards to write the song “Gimme Shelter.” It was mentioned that the song was not inspired by Vietnam or social unrest; instead, it was inspired by seeing people running looking for shelter during a rainstorm. “Well, it’s a very rough, very violent era. The Vietnam War. Violence on the screens, pillage, and burning… That’s a kind of end-of-the-world song. It’s apocalypse; the whole record’s like that,” Jagger told The Rolling Stones in an interview.
‘One’ — U2
The song One, as we all know, is a popular wedding song. However, did you know that it wasn’t intended to be used for weddings? The lyrics of the songs interpret disunity. You can check it out for yourself. This song was made after the band got inspired by the chords that Edge played in a studio. The band also got almost disbanded because of tension for the song as it was a spinoff of their second single “Mysterious Ways.”
‘No Woman, No Cry’ — Bob Marley
This song of Bob Marley has been widely known, and up until now, people still play it. Some people may think that the song interprets the men having guarded feelings for women when, in reality, what it truly meant is not to let the women cry. The best version known for this song is not the original one but the live performance recorded as part of the Marley Natty Dread Tour that happened on July 17, 1975, at the Lyceum Theater in London.
‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling’ — The Righteous Brothers
This song of the Righteous Brothers, entitled “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” did hit and managed to take the top spot of the song charts in the United States and the United Kingdom in 1964. Also, it became the fifth best selling song in 1965 in the United States. The song’s popularity never seemed to go away even after a year of its release. That’s just how good it was and how people relate to this song by The Righteous Brothers.
‘Sympathy For The Devil’ — The Rolling Stones
This song of the Rolling Stones was indeed one of the most controversial songs in history. From the title itself, you will know why. Their album “Beggars Banquet, Sympathy For The Devil” was released in 1968, and indeed, it put everyone in awe just how ridiculous the content was. The song made the religious groups from all over the world mad and furious about creating the songs that they even called the band devil worshippers.
‘I Walk The Line’ — Johnny Cash
When he was stationed with the Germany Air Force, Johnny Cash began to work on “I Walk the Line.” The music is very straightforward. A few years later, when he decided in 1956 to record it, he found the actual tape damaged. Luckily, that turned out to be a great advantage; it embraced its unique sound by trying to wrap a part of wax paper around its guitar strings. And he had been granted his first No. 1 on Billboard charts because of that.
‘River Deep – Mountain High’ — Ike and Tina Turner
Producer Phil Spector considers his most excellent work to be the release of “River Deep – Mountain High” by Ike and Tina Turner in 1966. It ranked No 33 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and was inaugurated in 1999 in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Tina Turner had an amazing privilege of getting the song together. It might have taken years for the song to be recognized and awarded, but it was truly worth the wait.
‘Help!’ — The Beatles
Everybody knows who this band is and its members. Up until now, they are still loved by many. One of the great songs they ever contributed to the music industry is their song titled “Help!”. “Most people think it’s just a fast rock ‘n’ roll song. Subconsciously, I was crying out for help. I didn’t realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie.”John Lennon mentioned in an interview with Playboy in 1980.
‘People Get Ready’ — The Impressions
“People Get Ready” is The Impressions’ best-known hit. The Gospel-orientated song was written and constructed by Curtis Mayfield, who had shown a greater awareness of political and social conscious awareness in his writings. It has become an iconic symbol of the Civil Rights Movement. Throughout 1998, the soundtrack was also brought to the Grammy Hall of Fame and chosen as one of the ten best songs ever by a committee of 20 songwriters, which include Paul McCartney, Brian Wilson, Hal David for the 2000 British Mojo Music Magazine.
‘In My Life’ — The Beatles
If it wasn’t for John Lennon, the soundtrack “In My Life,” the 1965 Beatles single from the “Rubber Soul” would have had a place in all the “best lists” — at least from the band’s back catalog. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked the song 23rd in “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Times” and 5th in its “100 Biggest Hits” list by the Beatles. The song came second on the 50 tracks of CBC.
‘Layla’ — Derek And The Dominos
Eric Clapton’s so fascinated by Persian poet Nizami Ganjavi ‘s book “The Story of Layla and Majnun” of the 12th century, which he had been advised by his colleague Ian Dallas, who was switching into Islam. Nizami’s tale of a princess of the Moon engaged to be married to a man she had not loved and assigned by her dad, leading in the insanity of Majnun, and it touched a profound chord with Clapton to write “Layla.” It is applauded as one of the greatest rock songs.
‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock Of The Bay’ — Otis Redding
Otis Redding wrote in a dock in the bay, or at least a rented houseboat in Sausalito, California, the lyrics of his most famous song after the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Redding was able to finalize the writing and producing the piece with Steve Cropper, the guitarist. Cropper mixed “Dock of the Bay” at Stax Studios after Redding died. The first posthumous single to reach No. 1 in the United States and to go No. 3 in the United Kingdom was “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.”
‘Let It Be’ — The Beatles
The Beatles start to crumble apart, but McCartney took comfort in a dream wherein his late mother, Mary, gave him a few guidance. The situation impacted “Let it be”: “When I’m in trouble, Mother Mary comes to me.” “Let it be” was the title song of the last studio album produced by The Beatles in March 1970, and was the band’s closing song before the band disclosed its breakdown.
‘The Times They Are A-Changin” — Bob Dylan
Dylan recalled composing the song to construct a hymn of transformation. In 1965, on a single chart, it managed to reach no. 9; however, it could not be drawn in the United States. It remained amongst the most influential and famous music of Dylan. It was coated by various performers such as Nina Simone, Simon & Garfunkel, Beach Boys, and Bruce Springsteen. The connection with Dylan and the song does seem more complicated. It was a standard setlist between 1965 and 2009 when it was set to release.
‘Baba O’Riley’ — The Who
Greatly affected by India’s spiritual leader, Meher Baba, and the songwriter, Terry Riley, The Who’s Pete Townshend was recognized with the simple aesthetic style of composition. At one point in the Townshend songwriting, he combined the two, and the outcome was “Baba O’Riley.” There will be many unexpected things that will inspire you to something or create something out of the ordinary in life. This is one of those moments.
‘Be My Baby’ — The Ronettes
Among others, Rolling Stone, NME, Time, and Pitchfork entailed “Be My Baby” in their best music list. Phil Spector’s other creation included a complete combination and a young Cher on vocal back-up. It was positioned in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2006 the Library of Congress recognized the edition of the Ronettes by trying to add it to the National Registry of the United States. In 2017, Billboard named the song number 1 on its catalog of the “100 greatest girl group songs of all time.”
‘Born To Run’ — Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen’s most adventurous recording ever happened was the Springsteen song from his 1975 album, “Born to Run.” He informed Rolling Stone, “I wanted to make the biggest rock record I had ever heard.” Although it only hit the final 20 rankings in the United States, it’s his first international launch. It has become a tremendous underground achievement; the new song’s Philadelphia requirement was powerful as per The Atlantic. WFIL, the town’s top 40-morning station, played this too many times each day. Born to Run got positive reviews from critics.
‘Behind Blue Eyes’ — The Who
Behind the Blue Eyes, tracked in 1971, a groupie that persuaded Pete Townshend during The Who concert in Denver was said to have impacted him extensively. Rather than falling prey to the temptation, Townshend was reportedly heading back alone into his room in a hotel and did write a prayer starting with the lines “When my fist is clanging, crack it open.”
‘La Bamba’ — Ritchie Valens
The far more widely known version of a song, the Los Lobos cover of Mexican song “La Bamba,” is the 1987 film’s name. The movie featured Lou Diamond Phillips, who played as Ritchie Valens, a rock ‘ n ‘ roll singer.t Nonetheless, it’s the Valens version of 1958 that was featured in the Ranker chart and the Rolling Stone Top 500.
‘Hound Dog’ — Elvis Presley
“Hound Dog,” before Elvis Presley sang it, was a success of R&B singer Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, but it is the version of Presley that ranked No 19 among the top 500 of the Rolling Stone. The music was intended to sing to a female chastening, “her selfish and exploitative man.” Within it, she “expresses a man’s rejection by a female dog in the title” After listening to Freddie Bell and the Bellboys.
‘Rock Around The Clock’ — Bill Haley And The Comets
Bill Haley and the Comets have made this iconic rock ‘ n ‘ roll soundtrack and the famed (and most successful) edition. The official cover song title was, “We are Gonna Rock Around the Clock Tonight!” and afterward, “(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock,” even though this is usually only used for the Bill Haley Decca Records launched in 1954, it was shortened yet again by Haley and others (including Sonny Dae) to “Rock Around the Clock.”
‘Break On Through (To The Other Side)’ — The Doors
The first separate launch of the band was also the first song on The Door’s debut album, “Break on Through (To the Other Side),” which didn’t work well during its first record, achieving only No. 126 on US charts. In reality, until around the 1990s, all new releases of the soundtrack disregarded the word “high.”
‘Here Comes The Sun’ — The Beatles
The 1969 album “Abbey Road,” by The Beatles, featured “Here Comes the Sun.” Paul McCartney and John Lennon constructed most Beatles songs, but George Harrison has done all this. It is revealed that Harrison did write, “Here’s the Sun,” at Eric Clapton’s residence, at which he went to prevent taking part in an Apple Corps organization meeting. It’s a substantial selection of Beatles supporters, and this is the most popular of all their music in the UK as of January 2020.
‘Rebel Rebel’ — David Bowie
“Rebel Rebel,” also considered the David Bowie’s departure from the rock and roll revolution he managed to help lead in 1974, is all about a kid who is rebelling toward his parents with makeup and women’s clothing. His most excellent chart standings in the US was No. 16 (Billboard Rock Songs). It was 5th in the United Kingdom. It identifies and continues to remain a thrilling “glam anthem” today. “Rebel Rebel” is among Bowie’s most coated tracks, from Bryan Adams to the Smashing Pumpkins.
‘You Got Me’ — The Kinks
In the United Kingdom Single Chart of 1964, “You Really Got Me,” written by Ray Davies for The Kinks’ third single, came No. 1. It reached its peak at No. 7 in the U.S. Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone said that the 17-year-old guitarist Dave Davies, of the band, used a navel on his amp’s speaker cone to make the legendary audio at the riff in the middle of the song. “The song came out of an environment of working-class environment,” he told reporters. “People fighting for something.”
‘Purple Haze’ — The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The second single of The Jimi Hendrix Experience in 1967, “Purple Haze,” was written by Jimi Hendrix. It is at No. 17 on the list of the best tracks of Rolling Stone. Many people who first tasted his unparalleled hypnotic style music loved this release of Hedrix. It is indeed another addition to the widely-loved tracks ever made under his creation. He has consistently placed himself high up on the most excellent guitar album tracks, including number two by Rolling Stone and number one by Q Magazine.
‘London Calling’ — The Clash
The Clash’s “London Calling” was published on the same album as the solo in the UK and managed to reach 11th place in the charts during 1980 and became the band’s success until ten years. After that, the band produced yet another hit that became number 1. The title of the song is “Should I Stay or Should I Go.”
‘What A Wonderful World’ — Louis Armstrong
“What a Wonderful World” is on the best song list of Ranker, which ranked number 15, and is composed by Bob Thiele (as “George Douglas”) and George David Weiss, and Louis Armstrong’s as their first recording. It overtook the UK music chart. It reached only No. 32 in the U.S. in 1967 but was brought to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999.
‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ — Sam Cooke
The 1964 hit “A Change is Gonna Come” of Sam Cooke came out in December 1964 only days after his funeral, being the B-side for his lifetime achievement debut song, “Shake”; he had been shot dead at a motel in Los Angeles. Though not a massive hit like his other song in the chart, it hit its peak in the national pop chart as number 31st and went up to number nine in the chart of R&B.
‘The Sound Of Silence’ — Simon & Garfunkel
“The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel was placed 10th in the Ranker community and released in 1964. The song “Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M.” was a number one hit on Billboard Hot 100 in January 1966 and became the top 10 hit in various countries, including Australia, Germany, West, and Japan.
‘A Day In The Life’ — The Beatles
One of Lennon-McCartney’s final genuine collaborative efforts was widely seen as one of the most significant accomplishments of the Beatles, “A Day in Life” was the thrilling end to their 1967 album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” It was listed as the first one in Rolling Stone’s reviews of the top tracks of The Beatles in 2011, and Acclaimed Music mentioned that it is indeed the third celebrated famous song in the music industry and ever recorded in the music history.
‘My Generation’ — The Who
The 11th biggest Rolling Stone song ever listed is The Who’s “My Generation.” Multiple achievements involve place 13 on the VH1 list of the 100 most influential rock and roll music and placed 37 on the Greatest Hard Rock songs of VH1. Throughout their 100 Best Songs during the 1960s, NME manages to write: “Taking in a timeless sense of youthful disaffection via counter-cultural, Mod Lens, Pete Townshend’s age-defying ditty distilled what it feels like to be young, energized and in the prime of life into 3:18 minutes of bristling hedonism.”
‘Light My Fire’ — The Doors
The Doors’ song “Light My Fire” was released on the same album in 1967 and ranked 16th on the Ranker community’s best tracks. It became number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and lasted three weeks as a retouched single and was responsible for pushing the band’s professional life to another development stage. They were welcomed, amongst other things, to appear on the “Ed Sullivan Show,” but he included the prohibited line, and that was their first and last occurrence in the show.
‘What’d I Say’ — Ray Charles
“What’d I say” is Rolling Stone’s choice for Ray Charles’ 10 Greatest Song of All Time. It was written in 1958, while Charles and his group were in Pittsburgh on the stage with a particular time to fill up in the dead of night. The crowd’s response was genuinely enthusiastic, and Charles did manage to be the first top ten pop single with his hit, “What’s it?” Throughout his career, Charles ended each stage performance with that track.
‘Paint It Black’ — The Rolling Stones
The 1966 single The Rolling Stones released and the number one of both Billboard Hot 100 and UK, “Paint It Black,” is the fifth in ranking among Ranker’s best-ever music. Singles Chart; the band hit the number spot yet again for the third time with this song in the US and sixth in the UK. Rolling Stone’s readers evaluated “Paint It Black” as the band’s third-largest hit between “Gimme Shelter” and “Sympathy for the Devil.”
‘Respect’ — Aretha Franklin
Two years later, the soul singing artist Aretha Franklin transformed “Respect” into a theme song for female empowerment. “Respect” earned 2 Grammy awards for Best Rhythm & Blues and Best Rhythm and Blues solo vocal performance, Female, in 1968, and was incorporated into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. It’s the fifth biggest song ever, as mentioned by Rolling Stone.
‘All Along The Watchtower’ — The Jimi Hendrix Experience
It is the updated version of the Jimi Hendrix Experience that the group of the Ranker rates the fourth best song of all time. “All Along the Watchtower” has initially been on Dylan’s 1967 album “John Wesley Harding” and was recorded six months later by Hendrix on the album “Electric Ladyland.” In 1968, this edition was listed 47th in Rolling Stone’s list of the biggest songs ever. Neil Young, U2, and Eddie Vedder are just a few of the music industry names who covered the same song.
‘What’s Going On’ — Marvin Gaye
Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” release, inspired by California police brutality, was rejected as a “non-commercial” launch in 1971. It reached number two on Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the stars’ best Motown songs. It is called “an exquisite plea for peace on earth” by Rolling Stone and is ranked in the fourth position among all the best music ever made. “The peerless voice of Marvin Gaye sent a message to millions,” The Guardian published.
‘Stairway To Heaven’ — Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” is considered the groundbreaking recording of the group in 1971 and was indeed a significant success in the Ranker group that it was ranked as their seventh-best song. Planet Rock readers voted it the most excellent rock song of all moments. Although it was not extensively released in the U.S. as one alone, it was the most widely known song in the 1970s on FM radio stations, having shown the adverse effect of the growing audience of the group.
‘Like A Rolling Stone’ — Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan hit in 1965, “Like a Rolling Stone,” is the biggest song ever known as per Rolling Stone. Radios were initially reluctant to play this because it’s six minutes and 13 seconds, not the standard duration of a song, but it became a major worldwide hit and even reached number two at Billboard Hot 100.l Almost everyone covered it, including Jimi Hendrix Experience and Green Day. According to the review aggregator, Acclaimed Music, it is the most recognizable song of all eras.
‘God Only Knows’ — The Beach Boys
The song Rolling Stone, ranked 19th by the Ranker group, is one of the 500 tracks which hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame hard and the best song in the 1960s in by the Pitchfork media. “God Only Knows” wasn’t an enormous hit for Beach Boys, but it remained one of the fans’ favorites. Rolling Stone readers voted for the best Beach Boys track, and even Paul McCartney, an artistic personality from the 60s, told him it was his favorite song on all era.
‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ — Bob Dylan
The song of Dylan, Blown in the Wind, was interpreted as his first major song in the music industry. However, it was a massive success for the folk band Peter, Paul, and Mary in the summer of 1963 and was introduced to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994. Rolling Stone ranks the song in the top 500 songs of all times in the fourteenth place, and Ranker Voters placed the song in number seventeen.
‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ — The Beatles
The song “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” placing sixth on Ranker and sixteenth on Rolling Stone, tells us that there is actually another “biggest hit” for the Beatles. The very first hit the band had in the United States in 1963 and managed to remain also at the top of 50 in 21 weeks.
‘Johnny B. Goode’ — Chuck Berry
People recognized Chuck Berry’s hit song in 1958, “Johnny B. Goode” as the first rock & roll hit stardom and the greatest song of the democracy of fame in pop music. It was included in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999 and placed number one on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time for its impact. It’s a blazing achievement among Ranker fans, who also put it on number eleven spot.
‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ — Nirvana
“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana was the only chart song of the ’90s that has become a theme song for an apathetic generation. The new song was the band’s biggest success worldwide. The Recording Industry Association of America also certifies platinum, and at the beginning of 1992, it sent the “Nevermind” album on top of the charts. The song does, however, put negative pressure on the band. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is placed on number nine by Rolling Stone and number thirteen by the Rankers voters.
‘Good Vibrations’ — The Beach Boys
“Good vibrations,” which earned its number spot in charts in the United States and the United Kingdom and other countries, were an enormous success for the Beach Boys in 1966. Brian Wilson wrote and produced music inspired by his love of cosmic vibrations. One of his goals was to create a better song than “You’ve Lost The Lovin’ Feelin,” and both Rolling Stone and Ranker did agree that he managed to do so what he wanted, and the “Good Feelings” ranking was at number 6 and 8.
‘Yesterday’ — The Beatles
Yesterday, this song was voted by the Ranker Community as the third-best song of the rock band. The Rolling Stones also ranked it at the thirteenth spot while ranking the third in the BMI’s Top 100 Songs of the Century. In fact, the group was “a bit embarrassed” to record the song quite far from their history of rock and roll.
‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ — The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones gave their first American song, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” Rolling Stone’s second-best song, and ranked number one, though initially restricted British pirate radio stations. It was also later topping the charts (because of its sexually suggestive content). On Keith Richards’ third US tour, he dreamed of this song in his motel room in Clearwater, Florida, one night.
‘Hey Jude’ — The Beatles
According to thousands of Ranker Voters, it’s the best song ever, and it’s in the Rolling Stone chart at number 8. The first single on the Beatles’ Apple Label was “Hey Jude,” which was the number one hit in many countries worldwide, with the top-selling single of the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada in 1968.