Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Top Songs by Decade, 1900-present

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. Click on a badge to see the full top 100 list for that decade. Letter codes following a song indicate a publication or organization which acknowledged the title as song of the year. See the key at the bottom of the page.

1. Hey Ya!...OutKast (2003) DM, VF, Q, RS
2. Lose Yourself…Eminem (2002) DM, VF, SS
3. Rolling in the Deep…Adele (2010) BB, DM, G-R, G-S, RS, SS
4. Crazy in Love… Beyoncé with Jay-Z (2003) PC, SS
5. Crazy…Gnarls Barkley (2006) DM, Q, RS, SS
6. Umbrella…Rihanna with Jay-Z (2007) DM, VF
7. Love the Way You Lie…Eminem with Rihanna (2010) VF
8. Yeah!...Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris (2004) BB, DM, VF, PC
9. Somebody That I Used to Know…Gotye with Kimbra (2011) BB, DM, G-R, VF
10. We Belong Together…Mariah Carey (2005) BB, DM

Hey Ya!

1. I Will Always Love You…Whitney Houston (1992) BB, DM, G-R, VF, SS, JW
2. Smells Like Teen Spirit…Nirvana (1991) DM, MJ, NME, SS
3. Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)…Elton John (1997) BB, DM, VF, JW
4. (Everything I Do) I Do It for You…Bryan Adams (1991) BB, CB, VF, JW
5. My Heart Will Go On…Celine Dion (1997) G-R, G-S, VF
6. Losing My Religion…R.E.M. (1991) RS
7. Nothing Compares 2 U…Sinead O’Connor (1990) DM, MJ, VF, RS
8. Gangsta’s Paradise…Coolio with L.V. (1995) BB, DM, VF, RS, SS
9. One…U2 (1992) Q
10. I’ll Make Love to You…Boyz II Men (1994) CB, DM, JW

I Will Always Love You

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

Every Breath You Take

1. Imagine…John Lennon (1971) DM, Q, RS
2. Bridge Over Troubled Water…Simon & Garfunkel (1970) BB, DM, G-R, G-S, MJ, SS, JW
3. Bohemian Rhapsody…Queen (1975) CB, DM, Q
4. Hotel California…Eagles (1977) DM, G-R, VF RS, SS
5. Stairway to Heaven…Led Zeppelin (1971)
6. American Pie…Don McLean (1971) VF
7. Let It Be…The Beatles (1970) VF
8. Layla…Derek & the Dominos (1971)
9. Stayin’ Alive…Bee Gees (1977) DM, VF, RS
10. What’s Going On…Marvin Gaye (1971) MJ, NME, SS


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

Like a Rolling Stone

1. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock…Bill Haley & His Comets (1954) DM, HP, PC, VF
2. Heartbreak Hotel…Elvis Presley (1956) DM, MJ, NME, RS
3. Don’t Be Cruel…Elvis Presley (1956) PC, JW
4. Mack the Knife…Bobby Darin (1959) CB, DM, G-R, VF, PC, JW
5. Jailhouse Rock…Elvis Presley (1957) DM, VF, PC
6. Johnny B. Goode…Chuck Berry (1958) DM, MJ, NME, RS
7. Hound Dog…Elvis Presley (1956) PC, JW
8. Tennessee Waltz…Patti Page (1950) DM, JW
9. Goodnight Irene…The Weavers with Gordon Jenkins’ Orchestra (1950) SS
10. That’ll Be the Day…Buddy Holly & the Crickets (1957) MJ, NME, RS

Rock Around the Clock

1. White Christmas...Bing Crosby with the Ken Darby Singers (1942) DM, PC, SS, TS, JW
2. Star Dust...Artie Shaw (1941) DM, HP, PC
3. Paper Doll...The Mills Brothers (1943) EG, TS
4. Sentimental Journey...Les Brown with Doris Day (1945) DM, EG, PC, SS
5. I’ll Never Smile Again...Tommy Dorsey with Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers (1940) DM
6. As Time Goes By…Dooley Wilson (1942) DM, SS
7. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer...Gene Autry (1949) DM
8. Body and Soul...Coleman Hawkins (1940) SS
9. Riders in the Sky (A Cowboy Legend)...Vaughn Monroe (1949) VF, PC, TS, JW
10. Near You...Francis Craig with Bob Lamm (1947) DM, VF, JW

White Christmas

1. Over the Rainbow...Judy Garland (1939) DM, PC, TS
2. In the Mood...Glenn Miller (1939) VF, SS, TS, JW
3. Night and Day...Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman (1932) DM, PC, TS, JW
4. Cheek to Cheek...Fred Astaire with Leo Reisman (1935) DM, HP, VF, SS, TS, JW
5. Begin the Beguine...Artie Shaw (1938) DM, HP, SS, TS
6. Stormy Weather (Keeps Rainin' All the Time)...Ethel Waters (1933) DM, SS, TS
7. The Way You Look Tonight...Fred Astaire with Johnny Green (1936) DM, TS
8. Pennies from Heaven...Bing Crosby with George Stoll (1936) HP, PC, VF, JW
9. Mood Indigo...Duke Ellington (1931) DM, SS
10. A-Tisket, A-Tasket...Ella Fitzgerald with Chick Webb (1938) VF, JW

Over the Rainbow

1. My Blue Heaven...Gene Austin (1927) DM, VF, SS, JW
2. Whispering...Paul Whiteman (1920) DM, EG, VF, SS, TS
3. April Showers...Al Jolson (1922) DM, VF, PC, SS, JW
4. St. Louis Blues...Bessie Smith with Louis Armstrong (1925) DM, SS
5. Swanee...Al Jolson (1920) PC
6. The Prisoner’s Song...Vernon Dalhart (1925) JW
7. Dardanella...Ben Selvin (1920) JW
8. Ain’t Misbehavin’...Thomas “Fats” Waller (1929) DM, SS
9. Ol’ Man River...Paul Whiteman with Bing Crosby (1928) DM, SS
10. It Had to Be You...Isham Jones (1924) DM, JW

My Blue Heaven

1. Alexander’s Ragtime Band...Arthur Collins & Byron Harlan (1911) DM, EG, VF, SS, JW
2. Over There...American Quartet (1917) DM, EG, VF, SS, TS, JW
3. Let Me Call You Sweetheart...Peerless Quartet (1911) TS
4. By the Light of the Silvery Moon...Billy Murray with the Haydn Quartet (1910) DM, EG, VF
5. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want to Do It)...Al Jolson (1913) DM, EG, SS
6. Tiger Rag...Original Dixieland Jazz Band (1918) DM, SS, TS
7. Moonlight Bay...American Quartet (1912) DM, VF, JW
8. Casey Jones...American Quartet with Billy Murray (1910) SS, JW
9. After You’ve Gone...Marion Harris (1919) DM, SS
10. Some of These Days…Sophie Tucker (1911)

Alexander’s Ragtime Band

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

You’re a Grand Old Flag

Key to the Codes:
  • BB: Billboard magazine song of the year
  • CB: Cashbox song of the year, 1950-1996
  • DM: Dave’s Music Database
  • EG: Gardner, Edward Foote. Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century (book)
  • G-R: Grammy for Record of the Year
  • G-S: Grammy for Song of the Year
  • MJ: Mojo magazine song of the year, 1955-2005. Based on aggregated Mojo lists.
  • VF:
  • NME: NME magazine song of the year, 1953-2008. Based on aggregation of NME lists and year-end lists.
  • PC:
  • Q: Q magazine, 1954-2013. Determined by year-end polls and highest-ranked song on aggregate of Q lists.
  • RS: Rolling Stone magazine, determined by year-end polls and highest-ranked song on aggregate of RS lists.
  • SS: Sullivan, Steve. Top 100 Songs from 1897-1956
  • TS: TSORT Song of the Year, 1900-1949
  • JW: Whitburn, Joel. A Century of Pop Music, 1900-1999 (book)


  1. Music Albums. is your Number #1 Source for Music. Listen and download top songs 2014, top 10 songs, top 20 songs, top 30 songs, top 100 songs, best song ever, best loves songs, top country songs.

  2. 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".

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

  3. 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