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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:


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


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
Recognized Social Butterfly

Not well known in The U.S., but worthy nonetheless for the spirit of its message 'Make Dance Not War':

L'Histoire - Cheb Tarik



Trusted Contributor

Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys would be high on my list. Released in 1966 in the era of the British invasion, Motown, folk songs, and earlier beach/car songs, it definitely has been time tested. You can't dance to it, it hasn't been covered by other groups, but it remains a staple in Brian Wilson's song list.

Bronze Conversationalist

The song, Misty, was originally written as an instrumental by jazz pianist, Errol Garner. Later, lyrics were added by Johnnie Burke (wrote Pennies from Heaven). Johnnie Mathis did the vocals and the song became a big hit in the late 1950's. Over the years, many singers covered Misty expressing their own style. I would nominate Ray Stevens version of Misty released in 1975. He was awarded a Grammy for his upbeat version with a Nashville flavor and hints of a disco beat which was popular at that time. I hope I copied and pasted this "live" recording correctly. It features the outstanding musicians that made this a hit.

Social Butterfly


Honored Social Butterfly

Dedicated to the one I love, Mamas&Papas,


I love everything about this song: the intro, the

words and the incredible harmonies between 

the group. It also reminds me of Schitt’s

Creek, one of my most favorite shows.
It remains my fav song of theirs forever 🎼💜


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For its theme of the necessity of cooperation and unity - Closer To The Heart - Rush.

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A Day In The Life-Beatles 

Come Together-Beatles 

Baba O’Riley-Who

L.A. Women-Doors

Can’t You Hear Me Knocking-Stones

21st Century Schizoid Ma-King Crimson


Music To The Story In Your Eyes-Moody Blues

Long Cool Women-Hollies


Just some great songs with plenty of guitar, drums and great vocals.




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It’s difficult to choose just one “best ever” Bob Dylan song. For me I think Tangled up in Blue  is  that song.
He always said “[This song] took me 10 years to live, and two years to write,” It’s his best short story.

When Bob Dylan had won the Nobel Prize for literature the award citation read “having created new poetic expressions within the great American song traditional.”

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 🎼💜


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:

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! 


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix

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 🎼💜

Super 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!!

0 Kudos
Recognized Social Butterfly

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.


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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. 😣


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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“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. 

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
0 Kudos
Honored Social Butterfly

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. 😖  



“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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



“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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, 



“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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! 😖


“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” - Jimi Hendrix
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