Tuesday, December 31, 2019

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

Originally posted 7/10/2011. Updated 12/31/2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Dave’s Faves: My Top 100 Songs

First posted 7/3/2011; last updated 12/24/2019.


Here are my personal top 100 favorite songs. Note: year of release is when song was first released, whether it be as a single or part of an album. Links on songs will take you to a page on this blog dedicated to that song.

A note regarding the images: Most are from singles’ artwork. However, in some cases, a single wasn’t released for the song or a cover simply wasn’t available so another image, usually the parent album, was substituted. Enjoy!

1. Marillion “Kayleigh” (1985)
2. Styx “Renegade” (1978)
3. Marillion “Script for a Jester’s Tear” (1983)
4. The Police “Message in a Bottle” (1979)
5. Otis Redding “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” (1968)
6. David + David “Welcome to the Boomtown” (1986)
7. Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine” (1989)
8. Styx “Come Sail Away” (1977)
9. XTC “Dear God” (1986)
10. The Alan Parsons Project “Old and Wise” (1982)

11. Squeeze “Tempted” (1981)
12. Furniture “Brilliant Mind” (1986)
13. Led Zeppelin “Stairway to Heaven” (1971)
14. Queen “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975)
15. Pink Floyd “Another Brick in the Wall Part II” (1979)
16. The Beatles “A Day in the Life” (1967)
17. Styx “The Best of Times” (1981)
18. Queen “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” (1977)
19. Pink Floyd “Comfortably Numb” (1979)
20. Little River Band “Cool Change” (1979)

21. Soft Cell “Tainted Love” (1981)
22. Marillion “Estonia” (1997)
23. Toy Matinee “There Was a Little Boy” (1990)
24. Styx “Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)” (1977)
25. Crowded House “Silent House” (2007)
26. Shawn Colvin “I Don’t Know Why” (1988)
27. Lyle Lovett “Step Inside This House” (1998)
28. Styx “Suite Madame Blue” (1975)
29. The Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” (1969)
30. Kate Bush “This Woman’s Work” (1988)

31. The Police “I Burn for You” (1982)
32. U2 “Bad (live)” (1984)
33. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
34. The Rolling Stones “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” (1965)
35. Tori Amos “Me and a Gun” (1991)
36. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967)
37. Peter Gabriel “Biko” (1980)
38. Prince & the Revolution “Purple Rain” (1984)
39. Squeeze “Up the Junction” (1979)
40. Crowded House “Better Be Home Soon” (1988)

41. Del Amitri “Kiss This Thing Goodbye” (1989)
42. Willie Nelson with Lukas Nelson “Just Breathe” (2012)
43. The Williams Brothers “Can’t Cry Hard Enough” (1991)
44. Michael Franti & Spearhead “Everyone Deserves Music” (2003)
45. U2 “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1983)
46. Pink Floyd “Mother” (1979)
47. Eagles “Seven Bridges Road (live)” (1980)
48. David Bowie “Changes” (1971)
49. Eagles “Hotel California” (1976)
50. Supertramp “The Logical Song” (1979)

51. Toto “Africa” (1982)
52. Fish “Cliché” (1990)
53. Air Supply “Lost in Love” (1980)
54. Melissa Etheridge “Occasionally” (1988) 55. Bing Crosby with David Bowie “Peace on Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” (1977)
56. Michael Andrews & Gary Jules “Mad World” (2003)
57. Styx “Babe” (1979)
58. Kenny Rogers “Coward of the County” (1979)
59. Blondie “Heart of Glass” (1978)
60. Sting “Message in a Bottle (live)” (1981)

61. The Harry Simeone Chorale “The Little Drummer Boy” (1958)
62. Prince “1999” (1982)
63. R.E.M. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” (1987)
64. Gerry Rafferty “Baker Street” (1978)
65. Peter Gabriel “Solsbury Hill” (1977)
66. Alan Jackson “Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning” (2001)
67. Styx “Mr. Roboto” (1983)
68. The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby” (1966)
69. Violent Femmes “Add It Up” (1983)
70. Melissa Etheridge with Bruce Springsteen “Thunder Road (live)” (1995)

71. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1982)
72. Eagles “Desperado” (1973)
73. David Bowie “Space Oddity” (1969)
74. Bing Crosby “White Christmas” (1942)
75. Tears for Fears “The Working Hour” (1985)
76. The Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966)
77. The Righteous Brothers “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” (1964)
78. Tears for Fears “Head Over Heels” (1985)
79. Tracy Chapman “Fast Car” (1988)
80. Harry Chapin “Cat’s in the Cradle” (1974)

81. Foreigner “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (1981)
82. Journey “Open Arms” (1981)
83. The Beatles “With a Little Help from My Friends” (1967)
84. Chic “Le Freak” (1978)
85. Johnny Cash “Hurt” (2002)
86. Bruce Springsteen “American Skin (41 Shots)” (2001)
87. U2 “With Or Without You” (1987)
88. Israel Kamakawiwo’ole “Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” (1993)
89. John Mellencamp “If I Die Sudden” (2008)
90. Kevin Gilbert “Song for a Dead Friend” (1995)

91. Pearl Jam “Jeremy” (1991)
92. K’s Choice “Not an Addict” (1996)
93. Sting “They Dance Alone” (1987)
94. Metallica “One” (1988)
95. Dresden Dolls “Sing” (2006)
96. Eric Clapton “Circus Left Town” (1992)
97. Journey “Feeling That Way/Anytime” (1978)
98. Sandi Thom “I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker with Flowers in Her Hair” (2006)
99. Sam Cooke “A Change Is Gonna Come” (1964)
100. Rush “Tom Sawyer” (1981)