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What Songs Would You Nominate for the Greatest Songs of All Time? And Why?

So, probably everyone knows by now that Rolling Stone Magazine updated its list of 500 Best Songs of All Time. If you haven't read through it yet, here is the link:

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/best-songs-of-all-time-1224767/kanye-west-stronger-12...

 

The list is definitely more diverse than ever before. Some 254 songs are new to the list. The 60's and 70's still dominate the list, but not as much as the 2004 list. You will also find 50's and pre-50's classics on the list. You will likely find many surprises.

 

The Beatles still lead the way with 12 songs. Behind them would be Bob Dylan, and The Rolling Stones as artists with the most songs. (Sorry, I didn't count them). Prince is the dominate artist from the 80's, with a sprinkling of U2. The 90's onwards is a hodge-podge of mostly artists and songs that i don't know or never heard. 

 

But this isn't to rant about what was and wasn't chosen by RS. This is about the songs that YOU would nominate if we were making our own list of greatest songs of all time. You can nominate as many songs as you like. And if you don't mind, please briefly tell us why you chose it. And yes, you can nominate the same song as someone else, or just hit the reply to that song and add your own comments. However you choose to do it okay. You don't have to list them in any particular order unless that's the way you want to roll.

 

I hope this will be a fun topic and folks out there will join in with their songs and comments. 

My first nominee is:  Imagine, by John Lennon, 1971

 

What makes it great?

First and foremost: Beautiful melodic vocals by John

It has a message: Popularized as an anthem for peace, it maintains relevance even today (sadly)

Longevity: The song has been covered more than 200 times by artists from various genres, since 2005 has been played every New Year's Eve at Times Square to ring out the old year

Has won numerous honors throughout the music industry 

That's just a few reasons why I think it's great.

FYI . . . It came in at #19 on RS List

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

Someone saved my life tonight

Sir Elton John, 1975

Doubt this song even made the RS list

(Shame on them) but it’s an incredible 

song from an incredible Artist. It’s about

a failed suicide attempt by him and I can

relate to the songs darkness and light in

the lyrics. And there’s nothing like hearing

him do it live, which I had the privilege of

in 2002. It’s my fav song of his 🎼💜

Regular Contributor

What a long list, some great songs, but some that I think are dubious choices.  I don't think my song is on the list - "SULTANS OF SWING" by DIRE STRAITS, not their most popular song, which would be "Money For Nothing", but I feel their best song, and has all the makings of one of the best songs of all time - great melody, lyrics, vocals, guitar work, instrumentation, anthem quality.  Tough when you release your best song ever on your first go-round!  As for other songs that have those qualities in my book: Stairway To Heaven, Bohemian Rhapsody, Hotel California, Purple Rain... Check out my Spotify playlist of songs that shaped rock rock: 

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1uKjKWrd7mpvLFFGUplUby?si=c2a25c21639a4c97

Honored Social Butterfly

@WilliamS68311  - That’s a nice playlist. Isn’t it hard to find a stopping point? That’s my problem! I created a Classic Rock Favorites playlist, with most songs falling between ‘65 and ‘75. It runs over 7 hrs long! 😂 My Classic 60’s is almost 5 hrs. and 70’s Rock (The Stones, The Who, Deep Purple, Led Zep, Rainbow, Scorpions, Queen, Aerosmith, etc.) runs almost 5 hrs as well!  
Some bands are on multiple lists, but no songs were repeated. So much great music from those years! 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Regular Contributor

Honored Social Butterfly

I’m just a singer (In a rock and roll band),

Moody Blues, 1973.

 

I was already a fan when this song came out,

mainly thanks to Nights in White Satin but this

song showcases what a rock song is all

about. In the video, every member is rocking

on the song from start to finish. They also

all sing and the drumming by Graeme 😪 is incredible. So painful to realize he and

Ray 😪are gone. The words of the song

are still relevant today. It is my favorite

song of theirs forever 🎼💜

Periodic Contributor

I can tell you what i think is the greatest 45 RPM of all time in rock and roll.  Its Devil With the Blue Dress On by Mitch Ryder and the Detroit wheels.  

Honored Social Butterfly

Seriously.... Many better songs!!

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Granted this is a Rock-n-Roll Forum, and the Topic is based on a Rock-n-Roll publication, but the question posed is so general it seems it could include a broad range of music like:


The Medley of Classical selections that are the soundtrack to the original Fantasia movie.


Even kids 2, 3, or 4 years old riding around the grocery store in a shopping cart get excited when they hear a selection from that soundtrack playing on the Musak.

Honored Social Butterfly

@EricC227821  - It’s wide open, any song you choose. This is just for fun.

This year, RS magazine included more genres than their previous list in 2004. The 2004 list was mostly comprised of 50’s rock n roll, with pop, classic rock, and r&b/soul from 60’s and 70’s. The new list includes some of the above, of course, but to a lesser degree, plus some older music, like jazz and blues, a bit of country, and disco plus newer electronic dance, with some hard rock, metal, hip hop, rap, and modern pop thrown into the mix. Pretty much the whole gamut of genres. The oldest song is from 1935, and the newest is from 2019. A bit of a disappointment if you happen to be a classic rock fan, like me. 😐 

 

RS has moved in other directions to appeal to more than just the rock crowd. Same is true for RnR HoF, which is run by the same guy.

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

American Pie, Don McLean, 1971

This incredible song didn’t make the top 50

on the RS list, which is hard to believe!

It starts with the infamous plane crash of 1959

and continues with cryptic lyrics of other life

changing events and social changes as well.

McLean has declined repeatedly to explain

the symbolism behind the song until 2015,

when the songwriting notes were sold and

many subjects of the song were explained.

I have loved it since I first heard it and can

honestly say I know the words by heart

🎼💜

Honored Social Butterfly

Love that song, plus Vincent. I believe that both were on the list just much further down. 😣

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Social Butterfly

.

“Imagine” I see it’s already been selected so I’ll just second the nomination.

 

Plainly spoken Lennon wanted us to “Imagine” a world united, living in peace and harmony and wished everyone would feel the same.

 

If you ever have the chance, watch Netflix, John & Yoko: Above Us Only Sky.

 It tells the story behind the album “Imagine” with interviews and never-before-seen footage with John & Yoko, numerous musicians and other artists that were present during the creation of the album.

 

Honored Social Butterfly

@ReTiReD51 - Thanks for recommending the film. I’ll be sure to look for it. 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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Love, Reign O’er Me -  The Who  1973


I have to add this one to the list:  Also known as "Pete’s Theme", it is the climatic ending to Pete Townshend’s masterpiece rock opera, Quadrophenia. With those powerful and emotional vocals from Roger Daltrey, the song received much critical acclaim, and is considered one of Roger's best vocal performances. It has been a concert favorite among Who fans. Fortunately, I got to see them perform this live in 2002! Roger just killed it (as usual). It is my favorite 💛  Who song, and one of the greatest rock anthems of all time,IMO. It was not on the RS list, however. 😖  

 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

God only knows, 1966, Beach Boys


First it’s from the amazing Pet Sounds

album. This song is just so beautiful

in every way. The harmonies and vocals

that accompany the incredible lead vocals

by Carl are just exquisite. Also there

were 20 session musicians who played

everything from sleigh bells to plastic

orange juice cups. The repeating vocal

rounds at the end were uncommon for the

time. True perfection in song and one of

my all time favs of theirs 🎼💜

Bronze Conversationalist

Being a huge Chicago fan I'd nominate "If You leave Me Now" and "25 Or 6 To 4". 

Honored Social Butterfly

For the fans of Bruce Springsteen - The Boss scored 5 songs on the list behind The Stones and Dylan.( Also with 5 songs were David Bowie and Prince.) Here are the Bruce songs:

 

#27  Born To Run  1975

#111  Thunder Road  1975

#289  Atlantic City  1982

#298  Jungleland  1975

#446  Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)  1973

 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

SO many songs I could add of his but

these two are my favs: Tunnel of Love

and Jersey Girl 🎼💜

Honored Social Butterfly

Streets of Philadelphia 

 This song won every award that there was to win! How is this song not on the list is beyond me,

Human Touch 

A personal favorite, 

 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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Honored Social Butterfly

I agree with you both. Being a huge Bruce fan who has had the privilege of touching his guitar in concert, I have a long list of favorites.....

Honored Social Butterfly

Born To Be Wild - Steppenwolf

 

This one was ranked at #129 in 2004, and was also dropped. It is considered to be the earliest song that could be defined as heavy metal. It was an anthem that defined a generation of rebellion and freedom, it appealed to both bikers and hippies, vets and anti-war protesters, an icon of both pop culture and counterculture. It was even one of the first five songs inducted by RnR HoF, though  the band has yet to be recognized! 😖

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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Social Butterfly

.

First concert I ever saw was Steppenwolf in 1968 in Cleveland.

Honored Social Butterfly

All my loving, 1963, The Beatles

 

I could list so many songs by the Fab 4️⃣

for this post but this song stands out to

me because of what it means to me. It

was the first song the group sang for their

first iconic performance on the Ed Sullivan

show on February 9, 1964. Although I had

already heard “I want to hold your hand”

on the radio (which I loved) I wanted to see

them up close and personal. This performance 

was the one that sealed the deal for me for

my lifetime love affair with them. It is an

absolutely amazing song from the most

amazing group all time 🎼💜

Honored Social Butterfly

Kudos on Immigrant Song (1 of my 2 favs of theirs)

In what Universe does Stairway to Heaven

come in at #61?

For Led Zep I have to add:

Trampled Under Foot

D’yer Mak’er

For The Mac:

Silver Springs

Gypsy (1 of my 2 favs of theirs)

I could go on for both groups, but not today 🎼💜

Honored Social Butterfly

Maybe the lawsuit over the beginning of Stairway being plagiarized had an impact.

I thick insanity has set in at Rolling Stone.

Where is Dylan's Times They Are a-Changin?

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Rolling Stone is going for younger readers, IMO. Like the rest of the American music industry, it is driven by music corporate overlords where money is more important than talent or creativity. 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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@BeatleloverKT  - In a universe where fans don’t vote! 
In 2004 it was #31. Still a far cry from where fan based polls rank it, which is usually in the top 5, if not 3.

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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Here are more of your songs and favorite artists.

 

#61. Stairway To Heaven - Led Zeppelin  1971  by @BeatleloverKT

Also -

#128. Whole Lotta Love 1969

#148. Kashmir 1975  (my personal favorite)

 

#9 Dreams - Fleetwood Mac  1977  by @BeatleloverKT 

Also -

163. Landslide  1975  (one of my favorites)

401. Go Your Own Way  1977

 

I would add - 

 

Immigrant Song - Led Zep 1970

47 years later it is featured in the movie soundtrack, Thor: Ragnarok

When it was pitched to movie execs (from the Marvel comic strip series), they were so young that they never heard the song, thought it was great and asked what it was! LOL. They were told it was only one of Led Zep's most famous songs! And, one of the few songs they issued as a single.

 

And from The Mac - Rhiannon 1975  (#488 on 2004 list)

I think this was their first big hit when Stevie and Lindsey joined the band. It went to #11. It became a signature song for Stevie Nicks. My favorite Mac/Stevie song.

 

 

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
Honored Social Butterfly

Here are the Bob Dylan songs that made the new RS list:

 

4.     Like A Rolling Stone  1965  (was #1 in 2004)

67.   Tangled Up In Blue  1975

83.   Desolation Row  1965

100. Blowin' In The Wind  1963 (nominated by @BobH07 )

164. Mr Tambourine Man  1965 (the first folk-rock hit as performed by The Byrds)

187. Subterranean Homesick Blues  1965

317. Visions Of Johanna  1966

 

@BobH07 also nominated The Times They Are A-Changin'  1964

This song was #59 on the 2004 list! 

 

I would've added Positively 4th Street, 1965. Dylan didn't mince any words expressing his anger and outrage at whomever his intended target(s) was/were. There has been much debate over the years, but it's generally believed to have been directed at his critics, or a compilation of people, as he worked the folk music scene in Greenwich Village on 4th Street where he lived at the time.

 

Any other Dylan songs to add?

 

"Rock 'n' roll might not solve your problems, but it does let you dance all over them." Pete Townshend
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