Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Top Songs by Decade, 1900-present

Originally posted 4/9/2012; updated 1/26/2020.

image from musiccanada.files.wordpress.com

Dave’s Music Database has compiled the best songs of all-time into a variety of lists over the years. Check out the full array of DMDB best-of lists here. However, this page – which at nearly 32,000 hits is the most visited on the DMDB blog – offers snapshots of the top 10 songs of each decade from 1900 to present. To see the full top 100 list for a decade, simply click on the badge.


1. Uptown Funk!… Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars (2014)
2. Rolling in the Deep…Adele (2010)
3. Despacito…Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber (2017)
4. Shape of You…Ed Sheeran (2017)
5. Somebody That I Used to Know…Gotye with Kimbra (2011)
6. Hello…Adele (2015)
7. Happy…Pharrell Williams (2013)
8. Blurred Lines…Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell Williams (2013)
9. See You Again …Wiz Khalifa with Charlie Puth (2015)
10. Closer…The Chainsmokers with Halsey (2016)

1. Hey Ya!...OutKast (2003)
2. Lose Yourself…Eminem (2002)
3. I Gotta Feeling…Black Eyed Peas (2009)
4. Yeah!...Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris (2004)
5. Umbrella…Rihanna with Jay-Z (2007)
6. Crazy…Gnarls Barkley (2006)
7. Crazy in Love… Beyoncé with Jay-Z (2003)
8. We Belong Together…Mariah Carey (2005)
9. Poker Face…Lady Gaga (2009)
10. Low…Flo Rida with T-Pain (2007)

1. I Will Always Love You…Whitney Houston (1992)
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit…Nirvana (1991)
3. Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)…Elton John (1997)
4. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You…Bryan Adams (1991)
5. My Heart Will Go On…Celine Dion (1997)
6. Nothing Compares 2 U…Sinéad O’Connor (1990)
7. Losing My Religion…R.E.M. (1991)
8. Baby One More Time…Britney Spears (1998)
9. One …U2 (1991)
10. Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)…Los Del Rio (1995)

1. Billie Jean…Michael Jackson (1982)
2. Every Breath You Take…The Police (1983)
3. Sweet Child O’ Mine…Guns N’ Roses (1987)
4. I Love Rock and Roll…Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (1981)
5. When Doves Cry…Prince (1984)
6. We Are the World…U.S.A. for Africa (1985)
7. Endless Love…Lionel Richie & Diana Ross (1981)
8. Beat It…Michael Jackson (1983)
9. With or Without You…U2 (1987)
10. Bette Davis Eyes…Kim Carnes (1981)

1. Bohemian Rhapsody…Queen (1975)
2. Imagine…John Lennon (1971)
3. Bridge Over Troubled Water…Simon & Garfunkel (1970)
4. Hotel California…Eagles (1976)
5. Stayin’ Alive…Bee Gees (1977)
6. Layla…Derek & the Dominos (1970)
7. Let It Be…The Beatles (1970)
8. American Pie…Don McLean (1971)
9. Stairway to Heaven…Led Zeppelin (1971)
10. Dancing Queen…Abba (1976)

1. Hey Jude…The Beatles (1968)
2. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction…The Rolling Stones (1965)
3. I Heard It Through the Grapevine…Marvin Gaye (1968)
4. Respect…Aretha Franklin (1967)
5. Good Vibrations…The Beach Boys (1966)
6. I Want to Hold Your Hand…The Beatles (1963)
7. Yesterday…The Beatles (1965)
8. (Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay…Otis Redding (1968)
9. Like a Rolling Stone…Bob Dylan (1965)
10. (Oh) Pretty Woman…Roy Orbison (1964)

1. We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock…Bill Haley & His Comets (1954)
2. Heartbreak Hotel…Elvis Presley (1956)
3. Don’t Be Cruel…Elvis Presley (1956)
4. Mack the Knife…Bobby Darin (1959)
5. Hound Dog…Elvis Presley (1956)
6. Jailhouse Rock…Elvis Presley (1957)
7. Johnny B. Goode…Chuck Berry (1958)
8. Tennessee Waltz…Patti Page (1950)
9. What’d I Say…Ray Charles (1959)
10. That’ll Be the Day…Buddy Holly & the Crickets (1957)

1. White Christmas...Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1942)
2. Stardust...Artie Shaw (1941)
3. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer...Gene Autry (1949)
4. As Time Goes By…Dooley Wilson (1942)
5. Sentimental Journey...Les Brown with Doris Day (1945)
6. Body and Soul...Coleman Hawkins (1940)
7. Paper Doll...The Mills Brothers (1943)
8. Peg O’ My Heart...The Harmonicats (1947)
9. When You Wish Upon a Star...Cliff Edwards (1940)
10. Chattanooga Choo Choo...Glenn Miller with Tex Beneke & the Four Modernaires (1941)

1. Over the Rainbow...Judy Garland (1939)
2. Night and Day...Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman (1932)
3. In the Mood...Glenn Miller (1939)
4. Cheek to Cheek...Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman (1935)
5. Begin the Beguine...Artie Shaw (1938)
6. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)...Ethel Waters (1933)
7. The Way You Look Tonight...Fred Astaire with Johnny Green (1936)
8. All the Things You Are...Tommy Dorsey with Jack Leonard (1939)
9. Pennies from Heaven...Bing Crosby with George Stoll (1936)
10. A-Tisket, A-Tasket...Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb (1938)

1. My Blue Heaven...Gene Austin (1927)
2. Swanee...Al Jolson (1920)
3. St. Louis Blues...Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong (1925)
4. Whispering...Paul Whiteman (1920)
5. April Showers...Al Jolson (1922)
6. Ol’ Man River...Paul Whiteman with Bing Crosby (1928)
7. Ain’t Misbehavin’...Thomas “Fats” Waller (1929)
8. Tea for Two…Marion Harris (1925)
9. It Had to Be You...Isham Jones (1924)
10. Dardanella...Ben Selvin (1920)

1. Alexander’s Ragtime Band...Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (1911)
2. Over There...American Quartet (1917)
3. Let Me Call You Sweetheart...Peerless Quartet (1911)
4. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)...Al Jolson (1913)
5. Moonlight Bay...American Quartet (1912)
6. By the Light of the Silvery Moon...Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet (1910)
7. Till We Meet Again...Henry Burr & Albert Campbell (1919)
8. Rock-a-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody...Al Jolson (1918)
9. Tiger Rag...Original Dixieland Jazz Band (1918)
10. When Irish Eyes Are Smiling...Chauncey Olcott (1913)

1. You’re a Grand Old Flag (aka “The Grand Old Rag”)…Billy Murray (1906)
2. Sweet Adeline (You’re the Flower of My Heart)…Haydn Quartet (1904)
3. Take Me Out to the Ball Game…Haydn Quartet (1908)
4. Give My Regards to Broadway…Billy Murray (1905)
5. Meet Me in St. Louis Louis…Billy Murray (1904)
6. In the Good Old Summertime…Haydn Quartet (1903)
7. Shine on Harvest Moon…Harry MacDonough with Miss Walton (1909)
8. Bill Bailey Won’t You Please Come Home…Arthur Collins (1902)
9. School Days (When We Were a Couple of Kids)…Byron Harlan (1907)
10. Yankee Doodle Boy…Billy Murray (1905)

6 comments:

  1. Dave should fix this. He has "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" twice - once by Marvin Gaye in 1968, which is correct, and once by the Beach Boys in 1966, which is wrong. I'm pretty sure the Beach Boys song was intended to be "Good Vibrations".

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    1. Thanks for the catch, Pat. It has been corrected.

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  2. I love all of them. Incredible list. Thanks for sharing with us. "My Blue Heaven" is my all-time favorite song. I still know that I used to dance on this track like crazy. Here is a website which has huge collection of such 90's Era songs. Visit Here

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  3. Great list of songs from each decade, I really love some of the older ones.
    Just one question, how come "Charleston" isn't with list of 1920s hits?
    Other than that, very good list of some of the best music from the times

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. "Charleston" doesn't make the top 10, but it is on the list of the best songs of the 1920s. You can see the full list here: http://davesmusicdatabase.blogspot.com/2014/07/top-100-songs-from-1920-1929.html

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  4. Hi trying to find song sung in australian schools late 1920 or early 1930 called buttercups and daisies. Anyone able to help identify

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