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Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time


The Rolling Stone Magazine is about to release another collector’s issue which contains the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. The list was updated recently after it was first compiled and released in 2004.

The Beatles had the most number of songs on the list with 23 songs that made in the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. These includes “Come Together,” “All You Need Is Love,” “Ticket Ride,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Eleanor Rigby,” “She Loves You,” “Help,” “Let It Be,” “Yesterday,” and “Hey Jude”.

The band Rolling Stones came second with 14 songs on the list. Their “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” ranked number two on the list.

Here are the top 50 on the list:

1 Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan 1965
2 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones 1965
3 Imagine John Lennon 1971
4 What’s Going On Marvin Gaye 1971
5 Respect Aretha Franklin 1967
6 Good Vibrations The Beach Boys 1966
7 Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry 1958
8 Hey Jude The Beatles 1968
9 Smells Like Teen Spirit Nirvana 1991
10 What’d I Say Ray Charles 1959
11 My Generation The Who 1965
12 A Change Is Gonna Come Sam Cooke 1964
13Yesterda y The Beatles 1965
14 Blowin’ in the Wind Bob Dylan 1963
15 London Calling The Clash 1980
16 I Want to Hold Your Hand The Beatles 1963
17 Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix 1967
18 Maybellene Chuck Berry 1955
19 Hound Dog Elvis Presley 1956
20 Let It Be The Beatles 1970

21 Born to Run Bruce Springsteen 1975
22 Be My Baby The Ronettes 1963
23 In My Life The Beatles 1965
24 People Get Ready The Impressions 1965
25 God Only Knows The Beach Boys 1966
26 A Day in the Life The Beatles 1967
27 Layla Derek and the Dominos 1970
28 (Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay Otis Redding 1968
29 Help! The Beatles 1965
30 I Walk the Line Johnny Cash 1956
31 Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin 1971
32 Sympathy for the Devil The Rolling Stones 1968
33 River Deep, Mountain High Tina Turner 1966
34 You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling The Righteous Brothers 1964
35 Light My Fire The Doors 1967
36 One U2 1991
37 No Woman, No Cry Bob Marley 1975
38 Gimme Shelter The Rolling Stones 1969
39 That’ll Be the Day Buddy Holly 1957

40 Dancin’ in the Streets Martha and the Vandellas 1964
41 The Weight The Band 1968
42 Waterloo Sunset The Kinks 1968
43 Tutti Frutti Little Richard 1956
44 Georgia on My Mind Ray Charles 1960
45 Heartbreak Hotel Elvis Presley 1956
46 Heroes David Bowie 1977
47 Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel 1970
48 All Along the Watchtower Jimi Hendrix 1968
49 Hotel California The Eagles 1976
50 The Tracks of My Tears Smokey Robinson 1965

No Responses to “Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”

  1. ralph esposito says:

    i only wish the chart had the beatles or solo beatles at all 500 positions!

  2. Mike says:

    What a crock of a list. The Beatles should have the top 10. Then enter other artists!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Emmy says:

    I totally agree! Go Beatles!

  4. Sall York says:

    I love the Beatles as much as anybody, but I have to say that Jimi Hendrix deserves more than two spots in the Top 50. What about Foxy Lady? Voodoo Chile? Fire? Crosstown Traffic? Hey Joe? Listening to his stuff again lately, I remain astonished by this genius of a songwriter and guitarist who – after 40 years – is still way ahead of everybody else, including, evidently, the editors at Rolling Stone.

  5. chrisp says:

    bob dylan is SO overated…a tired list.

  6. Janet says:

    I disagree with chrisp. I love dylan; he was a poet, but definitely jimi hendrix should have been in the top 10. As for the Beatles, Now they are overrated.

  7. j man says:

    its about a 90s group broke the top ten. Nirvanas album Nevermind is one the greatest albums ever.The 90s was one of the best decades ever for music and movies.Nirvana,Red Hot Chilli Peppers,Sound Garden,Rage Against The Machine,Pearl Jam,2 Pac,Biggie to name a few.

  8. Joe Erickson says:

    The Beatles Are the Idenity of the entire generation and could fill the list all by themselves…however that wouldn’t be near as interesting…I do think Buddy Holly’s That’ll be the Day should have finished Higher…and also the Beatles, I Saw Her Standing There, even though not a single should have a place here somewhere…

  9. Asidabut says:

    No.1 and no. 2 … Smells like Rolling Stones… it’s because the name of this Magz. I think it’s not fair… so the thruth is Imagine was #1

  10. bizzle says:

    only one zeppelin song come on

  11. Ashley says:

    Wow, so many Beatles songs! Complete win there.

  12. SubOfSixtyNine says:

    Great list! I think Dylan deserves the # 1 spot. Nobody is overrated.
    And for people’s information it wasn’t only Rolling Stone’s editors who deicided this… many different people in the music branch voted for songs… Yoko Ono was one of them.

  13. awesome person says:

    i agree with everyone that thinks dylan is way over rated. he really cant sing that well at all. there definatly should have been more ac/dc led zeplin. lol im kinda happy that two eminem songs made the list :)

  14. john z says:

    Good list. I would have liked to see Pink Floyd and Queen on there.

  15. jeremy says:

    and what about queen, man, these guys played everything. Bohemian rhapsody is one of the best song( for me the greatest one), mixing opera hardrock rock and slow music in just one song. a masterpiece…come on…

  16. Jeff Fiore says:

    I’m happy Nirvana got a top 10 spot, Smells like teen spirit is definitely the song that will stir my memories of this time period 10 years from now (i’m only 17) i must hear that song 10 times a day, wether it be from my guitar amp or friends car, it’s really iconic to me. RIP Kurt.

  17. david says:

    Sadly, those who don’t agree that Dylan’s “Rolling Stone” should be number one, are completely missing the point of Dylan’s music, lyrics, groundbreaking artistry. If you are determining whether this song should not be number-one because you believe “Dylan can’t sing” – well, I feel very sad for you. You are missing the entire point and missing out on some of the greatest pieces of music ever written.

    AC/DC???? Please.

  18. ANTHONY R says:

    NO MICHAEL IN THE TOP 50? YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME??

  19. David Michaels says:

    I love the Beatles as much as anyone, but to say they should have the Top 10, or the entire list, is way out of touch. The Beatles are second to the Rolling Stones, the greatest rock and roll band in the WORLD. No Michael in Top 50 – GOOD! He was an entertainer, not a singer. He really didn’t do anything that hadn’t already been done.

  20. Billycan says:

    I have so many problems with the full list of 500 songs, I can’t even count them. For a start, it isn’t even the 500 greatest songs. There are so many songs that are so much better than the ones selected. Lennon and McCartney were great songwriters but “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There” are not 2 of the greatest songs of all time though certainly worthy songs of the early 60′s era. To say that they are better songs for instance, than almost everything Benny Andersson & Bjorn Ulvaeus wrote in the 70′s is laughable. If Rolling Stone called it the “500 greatest recorded performances of all time” I would argue that all Dylan’s songs are worthy but almost only when performed by other artists. To include the same song by multiple artists is also laughable. Of course, any list would provoke debate but as far as as I am concerned “Rolling Stone’s” list is total rubbish from start to finish.

  21. RandomGirl says:

    I totally agree with billy can. Do you ever wonder why it’s called of all time but mostly contains 70′s and 60′s hits ?

  22. leebiel says:

    Why can someone write a bubblegum song in the 60s and it’s touted as awsome, but the same song written in the 90s would be considered rubbish. Most of Dylan’s ‘songs’ are just poems to a beat akin to rap. Stairway to Heaven was touted as the greatest song of all time back in the 70s, so how did 29 songs that existed back then suddenly pass it. You can guess the age of the voters by what they voted for. I would say about 1/2 of the songs on the list deserve the honor. My personal favorite song of all time is Carry On My Wayward Son by Kansas, but neither that or the classic Dust In The Wind made the list. Boston made 500 cool that really is an awsome song. Tears for Fears had some phenominal songs Woman In Chains should be in the top 10. Alanis Morrisette? Avril Levine? they should definately be there. Tori Amos? Jumpin Jack Flash is just silly “it’s a gas” compared to Grand Illusion by Styx

  23. Brian says:

    music is much too subjective for a top 500 list to be even remotely pleasing to everyone.

    Case in point.
    ….”you just don’t understand the words because if you did you would understand that it’s one of the best pieces of music ever written”…. completely miss the point. If you’re so into the words mister deep thinker, why not go to a poetry reading? Some people listen to music because of how it sounds…not because of the deep meanings which you take from the words. Don’t feel sorry for people that don’t understand what you do. Just be grateful that you take something from it and accept the fact that some people don’t give a rat’s ass about what Dylan says or doesn’t say. That doesn’t make you better than them, or them better than you.

    I mean, I could feel sorry for you because you may lack the ability to enjoy the raw power of Tool or Rage against the Machine. That must really suck to not be able to enjoy it as much as I can because I am the center of the universe…..blah blah blah

    Get over yourself dude, and just enjoy music.

    We’re all different, no one is right, no one is wrong

  24. Renee says:

    I have no problem with the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, or Bob Dylan. They are greats. If this is the greatest songs “of all time” then there are some real greats missing. My son the musician, 33 years old, created a better list. Where is “Take Five” by Dave Brubeck? “Crazy” by Patsy Cline? Where are the big bands of the 40s? This is a very *young* list. :-)

  25. C.L. Marshall says:

    Where the hell is Bill Hailey and the Comets’ Rock around the clock? I mean Jesus Christ… #159! Ingrates.

    Other thoughts:

    Jerry Lee, Michael Jackson, Fats Domino, Pink Floyd, and Little Richard also got violently hosed. Elvis too in the rankings, though he atleast got some quantity on there. Dylan got way too much props, as the format of this seems to be all about finished recordings rather than song writing and his recordings just don’t stand up to the others who top the list. I’m not saying he’s not great, especially as a song writer, but just listen to his best song after the others in the top 50 and it just doesn’t hold up. Prince, U2, and Sting also get too much love.

    Chuck Berry got a decent amount of love, but how on earth did any given Beach Boys songs get on there before “Sweet Little Sixteen”? This number by Chuck absolutely encompasses and surpasses everything the Beach Boys ever did. And if you have to have the Beach Boys in the top 10 for some reason, why not “Surfin’ USA” or “Little Old Lady from Pasadena?

    We all have the utmost respect for Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin, but this is just an unreasonable level of pandering to R&B(without properly honoring Michael Jackson). Neither of those songs belong anywhere near rock’n'roll masterpieces like Tutti Fruiti, Great Balls of Fire, Hound Dog, Purple Haze, Stairway to Heaven, and so on, much less miles ahead of them in the top 10.

    Also they chose some weak Beatles songs:
    Twist and Shout > I Want to hold your hand
    Revolution > A Day in the life
    Penny Lane & Strawberry Fields > Let it be (plus its redundant since they already have Hey Jude, which is the same thing but way better)
    All you need is love > Help!

    Rolling Stones, Paint It Black should have been in the top 20, and way before Sympathy for the Devil, Jumpin Jack Flash, or Give me Shelter.

    How the hell did Roy Orbison’s Crying get on here before Oh, Pretty Woman, or failing that You Got It/Only the Lonely

    Its been 10 years, its time you start being fair to the 90′s. Especially since so much of the list is taken up by 60′s/70′s also-rans like The Kinks, The Band, Derek and The Domiones, etc. Its about time we see some respect for the Chilli Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Sublime, Blind Mellon, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails and so on. Then when they try to do the 90′s you wind up with Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve, too much U2, Salt’n'Peppa, and a bunch of randomly selected B-list gansta rap in a completely random order (Tupac was confusingly low rated while Public Enemy and others are way too high).

    Green Day’s Basket Case should be on there, and American Idiot, though I’m not personally fond of it, is definitely better and more significant than a lot of the songs they have ranked much higher. It does not belong in the 400s.

    The Screaming Jay Hawkins selection was the best gutsy decision they made.

    Amy Winehouse was a good gamble. I think after her next release she will be solidified as a long lasting contender. Also a good bet on Outkast Hey Ya.

    It was nice to The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, get props with Maps, and Strokes with Last Nite, but Last Nite should have been a lot higher. Dare I say a little higher than Maps.

    Under Pressure by Queen and Bowie, has no business being left off of the top 10, much less ommitted entirely. Where the hell is Journey with Don’t Stop Believing? That’s easily a top 20 tune. Modest Mouse probably deserves a nod for Float On. Violent Femmes have earned it with Blister in the Sun, but get no mention. The Joy Division mention was great but didn’t go far enough. It should be higher and followed by atleast one more of the following: control, shadowplay, disorder. Also atleast one AC/DC song somewhere on the lower half of the list would have been fair.

    When they try to flex their out-dated street cred with The Pixies, they bungle it with a lame song choice ‘this monkey’s gone to heaven’. Culturally “Where is my Mind” has taken on way more importance aside from just being a better song. If they wanted to shirk the Fightclub hipsters and pick something more obscure, Wave of Mutilation would have been a better pick.

    This one may sound a little out there, but I think if they were still in touch and on their toes they would have stuck Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt on there. That song will live forever and has crazy broad apeal. It’s the textbook example of how to end a legendary 50 year career on a strong note with class and dignity. It also recognizes the changes in music and culture over time and reflects on his legacy of influence on later artists who followed in his wake. The most obvious pick of the 2000′s and they missed it.

    Not that I really mind, but its worth noting that they neglect electronic genres by failing to include the most influential groups like prodigy, moby, crystal method, postal service, Kraftwerk, etc.

    MGMT will be completely forgotten within a year and a half and RS will look foolish. The same way they already look foolish for Gnarls Barkley. If they have to pander to right now, they could atleast make a safe bet like Lady Gaga. She will be remembered and should probably have a tune or two in the bottom 100.

    And I could go on and on, but I will leave with the biggest most obvious problem with the list. Jay-Z. First off he’s not that good/important. They stick him on the bottom half of this list half a dozen times for some weak tracks and then when he actually manages to put together a good song with a universal apeal, they leave it off. Clearly I’m referring to “New York State of Mind” with Alicia Keys.

  26. Chips! says:

    Not that they are not an amazing and iconic band, but the The Beatles are way overrated!
    And being iconic is something to be amazingly proud of, however that label does not, by any means, make you a great band, influentual perhaps, but not necessarily amazing.

  27. hard-core fucker says:

    Bob marley all the way but only i song cum on xXx Fuck hardcore all day, every day

  28. STONES says:

    there should be way more rolling stones songs. i mean the rolling stones are rock n roll.

  29. cm means says:

    Some comments not only miss the point…they comment on what they haven’t read. Pink Floyd and Queen did make the list. And there were 4 Led Zep songs total. But back to the point. At least in my opinion, the judges were wide ranging in their backgrounds and expertise but some of the songs they picked for the top 500 of ALL TIME were songs I ran across the room to turn off on the radio before they made me sick. We’ve Only Just Begun by the Carpenters? Pleeeezzze. Young Americans by Bowie? I’m Eighteen by Alice Cooper? I Want to Know What Love Is by Foreigner? I Shot the Sheriff? The Twist? I Got You Babe?Alone Again? Don’t Fear the Reaper? Tonight’s the Night? How Deep is Your Love? Killing Me Softly with His Song? The Locomotion? La Bamba? Jim Dandy? School’s Out? Like a Prayer? Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? She’s Not There? Tighten Up? Wild Thing? Rocket Man? Mack the F’ing Knife? I could go on with the list of songs that made the issue but it’s too tiresome.

    I spent every penny I had from 1964 to about Nirvana on music – live or recorded. Attended everything within driving distance and even resorted to lifting a few albums, cds, tapes I couldn’t afford but HAD to have. I won’t comment on music I just don’t appreciate or list songs that didn’t make the list that I feel should have. But I don’t understand how Rolling Stone could have lost touch after so many decades of expertise and championship of musicians who took chances and interpreted the world for those of us who needed a voice but couldn’t express our feelings. I could go on and on but I’ll just say that list broke my heart at what passes for good music from people who should know better.

  30. Red says:

    Where is RHCP???)

  31. Javier says:

    Lists are personal. And we are all influenced by our day and age. Has anyone wondered how EVERY ONE OF US is obsessed by the music that came out when we were 17 to 21? In my case that was 1978-1982, and I would have tens of songs of just those four years. Those born in the 70s typically rave about the 90′s and so on. And then, after we turn 27 or so, we start with that stupid “they don’t do them songs like they used to”. It’s obvious the list has been made by both mythomaniacs and people over 50.

  32. Marz says:

    As a deep lover of music history, I can understand everyone’s point of view on the subject of how opinionated a list like this tends to be. However, I feel there is a core problem not yet discussed…What exactly defines a great song?

    This could mean anything to any number of people. But if Rolling Stones took the time out to hire an expert music panel who went through every song in existence to form this list, I feel I should at least give it it’s due respect. And as one who has looked at many lists like this over the years, I know you can’t take compilations like this too seriously. There are many great artists out there, and even more great songs. There is no possible way to have room for them all.

    But back to my original point. View this list in the context of history. Great songs generally have two things in common: 1) groundbreaking musical content (for its time), and 2) I hate to say it, but popularity. A great song should transcend generations, ethnicities, and biased musical tastes. As an example, I’ll take Dylan’s reign over number 1. “Like a Rolling Stone” may not be everyone’s absolute favorite song of all-time (it certainly isn’t mine), and Dylan himself may not be the greatest performer by today’s standards, but you have to respect what that song did for its time. You have to respect what Dylan did for his time.

    Anyway, if you go back through the list, and really research all these great artists and all these great songs, I think you’ll get more of what Rolling Stones was trying to do here. Otherwise, it’s just a list of bands and songs not picked in your favorite order.

  33. Angelaa says:

    There’s no MJ…? King of pop…? And Beatles with John Lennon are totally overated, most songs here’s their, and there’s no any Michael’s songs… This list is so stupid, and that’s not only my opinion…

  34. Wakko says:

    the list is stupid. no rush at least tom sawyer could be on there jeez.

  35. wazzza says:

    Like A Rolling Stone deserves the top spot. Dylan deserves the top spot. If it wasnt for him The Beatles might have never smoked weed and wrote their greatest songs (He introduced them to marijuana). He was the first one to criticise the social system and everything which great artists after him started to do.He was an infuence for all to come after him. He cant sing today like he did before but still is capable of writing stuff like Missisipi about 40 years after his most famous albums ( Highway 61,Freewheelin,Blonde On Blonde).However, I feel that Stairway to Heaven does deserve a top 5 place. I would have liked some Tool song there too and no hiphop shit like Umbrella. Pink floyd deserves atleast 8 songs there. Metallica and Maiden too.

  36. Jay says:

    I really don’t hope anyone takes these Rolling Stone list’s serious. The persons at RS are so obsessed with The Beatles, and in general all other 60 music, being naive enough to most let out all other time periods of music. I mean for example, why the hell is Bohemian Rhapsody placed as 150 or so? Ground breaking song of the 70′s, and being one of the biggest sellers of all time.

    Yep, and The Beatles are overrated.

  37. JO says:

    Where the hell is Bat out of Hell?

  38. hbomb says:

    jimi hendrix deserves to have way more songs on the list and they should be at a higher rating. all along the watchtower is one of the hardest songs to play, hendrix was a genius and deserves a few top tens

  39. Goodlistbut says:

    Okay list, i suppose. However, there are a few problems. Where the hell is ”American Pie” by Don McLean?! That’s eaaasily a top 20 song! And since when is Crazy in Love better than Bohemian Rhapsody?! That’s ridiculous! I have no clue what they based this list upon, but their selections and placements are quite off! End rant.

  40. Smokey says:

    In all th lists like this there’s always a reasonless exclusion or rap music. I’m glad to see Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z on there. Next time 2pac and Eazy-E.

    James Brown forever…

  41. Альберт says:

    I believe Metallica and RHCP are best!!

  42. orangecrateart says:

    Many of the songs listed in these comments are certainly worthy of the list. I can think of 2 more that haven’t been mentioned thus far: “I’m Not In Love” by 10cc and “Go All The Way” by the Raspberries.

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    Awesome post , I am going to spend more time reading about this topic

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  45. Scott says:

    “Take it Easy” by the Eagles deserves top 10 and I don’t think it’s in the entire 500.

  46. ananzaaaa says:

    i think yesterday by the beatles was no1 . this list is not right.

  47. DrakVLA says:

    It’s so bad that you don’t add in this list Simple Minds band. Very bad

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