Friday, April 1, 2011

The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999

First posted 7/10/2011; updated 12/31/2019.

Dave’s Music Database:

The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999

The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999 book is available through Amazon or through DavesMusicDatabase.com as a standard book or ebook.

Dave’s Music Database presents this list as it appears in the book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-1999, published April 1, 2011. The concept behind the book was to come up with a definitive list by consolidating hundreds of other best-of lists along with chart stats, sales figures, and awards. Read more about how the book was created here.

Some acts link to their entries in the DMDB music maker encyclopedia. Click on song titles to access their DMDB pages.

You can also check out the Dave’s Music Database Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era playlist on YouTube.

1. The Beatles “Hey Jude” (1968)
2. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
3. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
4. Bill Haley & the Comets “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock” (1954)
5. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968)
6. John Lennon “Imagine” (1971)
7. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992)
8. Simon & Garfunkel “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (1970)
9. The Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)
10. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)

11. The Beach Boys “Good Vibrations (1966)
12. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay (1968)
13. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)
14. The Beatles “Yesterday” (1965)
15. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1983)
16. The Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963)
17. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
18. Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)” (1997)
19. Roy Orbison “(Oh) Pretty Woman” (1964)
20. Elvis Presley “Don’t Be Cruel” (1956)

21. Don McLean “American Pie” (1971)
22. Derek & the Dominos “Layla” (1970)
23. Bob Dylan “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965)
24. The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1964)
25. Elvis Presley “Hound Dog” (1956)
26. Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)
27. The Beatles “Let It Be” (1970)
28. The Animals “The House of the Rising Sun” (1964)
29. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961)
30. The Kingsmen “Louie Louie” (1963)

31. Procol Harum “A Whiter Shade of Pale” (1967)
32. Bobby Darin “Mack the Knife” (1959)
33. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion” (1991)
34. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
35. The Doors “Light My Fire” (1967)
36. Elvis Presley “Heartbreak Hotel” (1956)
37. Percy Sledge “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966)
38. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)
39. Van Morrison “Brown-Eyed Girl” (1967)
40. The Righteous Brothers “Unchained Melody” (1965)

41. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971)
42. Chuck Berry “Johnny B. Goode” (1958)
43. The Bee Gees “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
44. The Temptations “My Girl” (1965)
45. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)
46. Prince “When Doves Cry” (1984)
47. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972)
48. U.S.A. for Africa “We Are the World” (1985)
49. The Kinks “You Really Got Me” (1964)
50. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)

51. Elvis Presley “Jailhouse Rock” (1957)
52. Bruce Springsteen “Born to Run” (1975)
53. Rod Stewart “Maggie May” (1971)
54. Creedence Clearwater Revival “Proud Mary” (1969)
55. Chubby Checker “The Twist” (1960)
56. The Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
57. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U” (1990)
58. Roberta Flack “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (1973)
59. Abba “Dancing Queen” (1976)
60. The Jimi Hendrix Experience “All Along the Watchtower” (1968)

61. The Rolling Stones “Honky Tonk Women” (1969)
62. Elton John “Your Song” (1970)
63. Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962)
64. The Who “My Generation” (1965)
65. Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (1968)
66. U2 “With or Without You” (1987)
67. Michael Jackson “Beat It” (1982)
68. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (1971)
69. Simon & Garfunkel “Mrs. Robinson” (1968)
70. Patsy Cline “Crazy” (1961)

71. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (1979)
72. Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” (1978)
73. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981)
74. The Beatles “Strawberry Fields Forever” (1967)
75. Martha & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” (1964)
76. The Penguins “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” (1954)
77. Elvis Presley “Suspicious Minds” (1969)
78. Willie Nelson “Always on My Mind” (1982)
79. The Beatles “She Loves You” (1963)
80. The Ronettes “Be My Baby” (1963)

81. Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981)
82. Del Shannon “Runaway” 1961)
83. The Mamas & the Papas “California Dreamin’” (1966)
84. Buddy Holly & the Crickets “That’ll Be the Day” (1957)
85. Carl Perkins “Blue Suede Shoes” (1956)
86. Fats Domino “Blueberry Hill” (1956)
87. Ray Charles “Georgia on My Mind” (1960)
88. Elvis Presley “It’s Now or Never” (1960)
89. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart” (1980)
90. Louis Armstrong “What a Wonderful World” (1967)

91. The Everly Brothers “All I Have to Do Is Dream” (1958)
92. The Moody Blues “Nights in White Satin” (1967)
93. Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?” (1956)
94. Jerry Lee Lewis “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” (1957)
95. The Monkees “I’m a Believer” (1966)
96. The Fifth Dimension “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” (1969)
97. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” (1981)
98. Barbra Streisand “The Way We Were” (1973)
99. George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (1970)
100. Jerry Lee Lewis “Great Balls of Fire” (1957)


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