Friday, February 26, 2021

Top 100 Adult Alternative Albums

First posted 2/26/2021.

Adult Alternative:

The Top 100 Albums, 1990-2021

In 1996, Billboard magazine launched its adult alternative chart, which was tracked radio stations focused on playing rock-oriented heritage artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, and John Mellencamp, as well as newer artists like Counting Crows, Dave Matthews Band, Hootie & the Blowfish, and Matchbox 20.

This list reflects albums which charted at least 3 songs on the adult alternative chart or, in the case of pre-1996 releases, albums which likely would have accomplished the feat based on those artists’ accomplishments on the post-1995 charts. More than 150 albums made the criteria. The top 100 have been ranked here, based on their overall status in Dave’s Music Database.

Check out other best-of-genre/category lists here.

1. R.E.M. Automatic for the People (1992)
2. Adele 21 (2011)
3. Alanis Morissette Jagged Little Pill (1995)
4. Pearl Jam Ten (1991)
5. U2 Achtung Baby (1991)
6. Oasis (What’s the Story) Morning Glory (1995)
7. Coldplay A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002)
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers Blood Sugar Sex Magik (1991)
9. Green Day Dookie (1994)
10. Adele 25 (2015)

11. Oasis Definitely Maybe (1994)
12. R.E.M. Out of Time (1991)
13. Santana Supernatural (1999)
14. Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream (1993)
15. Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (1995)
16. U2 All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
17. Coldplay X & Y (2005)
18. Coldplay Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
19. Hootie & the Blowfish Cracked Rear View (1994)
20. Bruce Springsteen The Rising (2002)

21. Live Throwing Copper (1994)
22. Sheryl Crow Tuesday Night Music Club (1993)
23. U2 How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb (2004)
24. Counting Crows August and Everything After (1993)
25. Kings of Leon Only by the Night (2008)
26. Keane Hopes and Fears (2004)
27. Red Hot Chili Peppers Californication (1999)
28. Mumford & Sons Babel (2012)
29. Red Hot Chili Peppers Stadium Arcadium (2006)
30. Matchbox 20 Yourself or Someone Like You (1996)

31. David Gray White Ladder (2000)
32. Jack Johnson In Between Dreams (2005)
33. U2 No Line on the Horizon (2009)
34. Mumford & Sons Sigh No More (2009)
35. U2 Songs of Innocence (2014)
36. Jewel Pieces of You (1995)
37. Imagine Dragons Night Visions (2012)
38. U2 Zooropa (1993)
39. Sarah McLachlan Surfacing (1997)
40. Lorde Pure Heroine (2013)

41. Sarah McLachlan Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (1993)
42. Jack Johnson Sleep Through the Static (2008)
43. Vampire Weekend Father of the Bride (2019)
44. Sting Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993)
45. Dave Matthews Band Under the Table and Dreaming (1994)
46. R.E.M. Monster (1994)
47. Florence + the Machine Ceremonials (2011)
48. R.E.M. New Adventures in Hi-Fi (1996)
49. Snow Patrol Eyes Open (2006)
50. John Mayer Continuum (2006)

51. Dave Matthews Band Crash (1996)
52. Alabama Shakes Sound & Color (2015)
53. Sting Brand New Day (1999)
54. Sheryl Crow Sheryl Crow (1996)
55. Coldplay Mylo Xyloto (2011)
56. The Wallflowers Bringing Down the Horse (1996)
57. U2 Pop (1997)
58. Bonnie Raitt Luck of the Draw (1991)
59. Melissa Etheridge Yes I Am (1993)
60. The Black Keys El Camino (2011)

61. Beck Colors (2017)
62. Sherly Crow The Globe Sessions (1998)
63. Sting The Soul Cages (1991)
64. Florence + the Machine How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (2015)
65. Kings of Leon Come Around Sundown (2010)
66. Steely Dan Two Against Nature (2000)
67. KT Tunstall Eye to the Telescope (2004)
68. John Mayer Room for Squares (2001)
69. U2 Songs of Experience (2017)
70. The Black Keys Turn Blue (2014)

71. fun. Some Nights (2012)
72. Shery Crow Detours (2008)
73. Tame Impala The Slow Rush (2020)
74. Bonnie Raitt Longing in Their Hearts (1994)
75. Third Eye Blind Third Eye Blind (1997)
76. The Decemberists The King Is Dead (2011)
77. Matchbox 20 Mad Season (2000)
78. Feist The Reminder (2007)
79. Dave Matthews Band Big Whiskey and the Groogrux King (2009)
80. The Raconteurs Help Us Stranger (2019)

81. Cage the Elephant Social Cues (2019)
82. Jack Johnson To the Sea (2010)
83. Dave Matthews Band Before These Crowded Streets (1998)
84. Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up the Girl (1998)
85. The Lumineers The Lumineers (2012)
86. Gin Blossoms New Miserable Experience (1992)
87. Alabama Shakes Boys & Girls (2012)
88. Shawn Colvin A Few Small Repairs (1996)
89. Train Drops of Jupiter (2001)
90. Hozier Hozier (2014)

91. Death Cab for Cutie Plans (2005)
92. Fiona Apple Tidal (1996)
93. Paula Cole This Fire (1996)
94. John Mayer Heavier Things (2003)
95. Toad the Wet Sprocket Fear (1991)
96. One Republic Native (2013)
97. Of Monsters and Men My Head Is an Animal (2011)
98. The Fray How to Save a Life (2005)
99. Joan Osborne Relish (1995)
100. Dave Matthews Band Everyday (2001)

Resources and Related Links:

Monday, February 22, 2021

Dave's Music Database Hall of Fame: Albums (Feb. 2021)

Originally posted 2/22/2021.

January 22, 2019 marked the 10-year anniversary of the DMDB blog. To honor that, Dave’s Music Database announced its own Hall of Fame. This month marks the ninth group of album inductees. These are the top ten classical works of all time, excluding previous inductees George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Johnann Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations, and Monterverdi’s L’Orfeo (Orpheus).

See the full list of album inductees here.

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 5 in C minor (Fate) (1808)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This is “one of the most popular and best-known compositions in all of classical music, and one of the most often played symphonies.” AZ In Howard’s End, E.M. Forster said the symphony satisfies “all sort and conditions” MJ while poet and composer E.T.A. Hoffman called it “one of the most important works of all time.” AZ It took Beethoven more than four years to compose. Read more.

Ludwig van Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major (Emperor) (1811)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This was the last of Beethoven’s completed piano concertos. He never publicly played it. MR. It is often known as the “Emperor Concerto,” so-named by Johann Baptist Cramer, the English publisher of the concerto. WK “There is hardly an adjective that could more aptly evoke the work’s impressive scale and majesty. Despite its considerable technical demands, the ‘Emperor’ Concerto handily transcends the typical role of the concerto as a mere virtuoso vehicle.” MR Read more.

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 7 in A major (1812)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

Beethoven began writing this in 1809, but didn’t finish the composition until 1812, by which time he was seriously deaf. This was “his definitive break with stylistic conventions practiced by Mozart, Haydn, and a legion of lesser mortals who copied them. He stretched harmonic rules, and gave breadth to symphonic forms that Haydn and Mozart anticipated.” RD Read more.

Ludwig van Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Choral) (1824)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This started as two separate works – a symphony with a chorale finale and a purely instrumental work in D minor. Beethoven had worked on the two pieces for almost ten years before deciding in 1822 to combine them. He famously includes Friedrich von Schiller’s “Ode to Joy” in the finale. “The finished work is of visionary scope and proportions, and represents the apogee of technical difficulty in its day.” AMG Read more.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart The Marriage of Figaro (Le Nozze di Figaro) (1786)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This four-part comic opera “tells how the servants Figaro and Susanna succeed in getting married, foiling the efforts of their philandering employer Count Almaviva to seduce Susanna and teaching him a lesson in fidelity. The opera is a cornerstone of the repertoire and appears consistently among the top ten in the Operabase list of most frequently performed operas.” WK Read more.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Don Giovanni (1787)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This two-act opera was a mix of serious and comedic action, telling the story of the legendary Don Juan and how he is destroyed by his excesses. Mozart was commissioned to create the opera in 1787 and finished a day or two before it premiered on October 29 of that year. According to Operabase, it is the seventh most-performed opera worldwide. WK Read more.

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina Pope Marcellus Mass (Missa Papae Marcelli) (1565)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

“Arguably Palestrina’s best-known work,” NB this piece has been recorded often in the latter part of the 20th century. This is “primarily a six-voice mass, but voice combinations are varied throughout the piece.” WK He intentionally composed “in a simplified, easily understood style to please church officials” WK after Pope Marcellus II urged “musicians to strive for simplicity, clarity, and intelligibility in their compositions” in 1555. NB Read more.

Pyotr Il’yich Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat Minor (1875)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

Tchaikovsky composed his first piano concerto between November 1874 and February 1875. He played it for pianist Nikolai Rubinstein, who he hoped would play the piece, but he responded with a list of demanded changes before he would play it. Tchaikovsky was devastated, initially insisting he wouldn’t change a single note. He did, however, make some minor changes before it debuted in 1875 and revised it in 1879 and again in 1888. Rubinstein later retracted his criticisms and championed the work. WK Read more.

Antonio Vivaldi The Four Seasons (1725)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

This group of four violin concertos are centered around the four seasons of the year, inspired by the countryside around Mantua, where Vivaldi lived at the time. Within the pieces, he represented flowing creeks, singing birds, storms, and warm winter fires. Vivaldi also tied the music to texts from poems. The works stand as some of the earliest examples of program music, or music with a narrative element. Read more.

Richard Wagner Der Ring Des Nibelungen (The Ring Cycle) (1874)

Inducted February 2021 as “Top Classical Works.”

All told, this series of four operas, created over a quartet century, stretches to more than 15 hours. The first one is the shortest, running about two and a half hours, while the final one can run as long as five hours. The story follows three generations of protaganists from the Norse sagas. “Wagner wrote for an orchestra of gargantuan proportions;” WK “the music of the cycle is thick and richly textured and grows in complexity as the cycle proceeds.” WK Read more.

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Dennis DeYoung: Artist Profile

Dennis DeYoung:

Artist Profile

Born: February 18, 1947
Where: Chicago, Illinois

Known As: rock singer/songwriter and keyboardist

Significant Bands:
  • Styx (1971-1984, 1990-99)


The Albums:

Hover over an album for the name and year of release. Click to see its DMDB page.


Live Albums:

Key Tracks:
  • Lady (Styx, 1972)
  • Light Up (Styx, 1975)
  • Lorelei (Styx, 1975)
  • Suite Madame Blue (Styx, 1975)
  • Come Sail Away (Styx, 1977)
  • Babe (Styx, 1979)
  • The Best of Times (Styx, 1981)
  • Rockin’ the Paradise (Styx, 1981)
  • Mr. Roboto (Styx, 1983)
  • Don’t Let It End (Styx, 1983)
  • Desert Moon (1984)
  • Don’t Wait for Heroes (1984)
  • Call Me (1986)
  • This Is the Time (1986)
  • Harry’s Hands (1989)
  • Show Me the Way (Styx, 1990)
  • Love at First Sight (Styx, 1990)
  • Paradise (Styx, 1997)
  • While There’s Still Time (Styx, 1999)
  • With Every Heartbeat (2003)
  • One Hundred Years from Now (2007)
  • To the Good Old Days (with Julian Lennon, 2020)
  • Isle of Misanthrope (2021)

Click here to see the top 100 songs of Styx et al.

Early Years (1963-1972):
“Growing up in the Roseland neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois, DeYoung’s career as a vocalist started in 1963 at the age of 16 when he teamed up with his 15 year old neighbors, Chuck and John Panozzo, in a three-piece combo. The trio later added guitarist James Young and John Curulewski to form the band Tradewinds in the late 1960s. The band renamed itself TW4 in 1968 before becoming Styx in 1970.” WK

“Before the band met with success, DeYoung spent time as an elementary school teacher in the southern suburbs of Chicago, where he taught music at Springfield School in Midlothian, Illinois. During this period, the band played a number of small venues and school auditoriums refining their craft.” WK

The Wooden Nickel Years (1972-1974):
Styx released four studio albums with the Wooden Nickel. They got their big break when Lady was picked up by a radio station in 1974, more than a year after its parent album, Styx II, was released. The song became a top-ten hit and launched the band. DeYoung, a self-taught keyboardist, served as the lead vocalist and songwriter and creative force behind the band.

The Rise of Styx (1975-1977):
Styx was signed to the major label A&M. They released Equinox in 1975, Crystal Ball in 1976, and The Grand Illusion in 1977. The latter album was a top-10, multi-platinum seller, fueled by another DeYoung-helmed top-ten hit Come Sail Away.

The Giants of Rock and Roll (1977-1983):
The Grand Illusion was Styx’s first of four consecutive top-10, multi-platinum albums – a feat never accomplished before. They led the way in what has been called arena rock or corporate rock. The band landed its first #1 hit in 1979 with Babe, another song written and sung by DeYoung.

Their 1981 Paradise Theater became the band’s first #1 album. Once again, it was DeYoung out front for the #3 hit The Best of Times from that album. On the follow-up, Kilroy Was Here, DeYoung gave the band two more top-10 hits with Mr. Roboto and Don’t Let It End.

The Solo Years (1984-1989):
“With Styx in limbo following [bandmate Tommy] Shaw’s 1984 departure, DeYoung began a solo career of modest success. His first solo album, Desert Moon, generated a top 10 hit, Desert Moon, and the follow-up single, Don’t Wait for Heroes, cracked the Billboard Top 40 as well.” WK

DeYoung made two more solo albums in the ‘80s featuring gems such as Call Me, This Is the Time, and Harry’s Hands, but none of his songs or albums would be as successful as his first solo album, much less his work with Styx.

Styx Reunites (1990-1992):
“In 1990, Styx (minus Tommy Shaw, who was replaced by guitarist/singer-songwriter Glen Burtnik) returned to the studio for the album Edge of the Century. Show Me the Way, a track written by DeYoung for his son Matthew, received extensive radio play, peaking at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart…particularly after a number of radio stations mixed it with voice tracks of parents headed off to fight in the first Persian Gulf War. This success made the band one of only a handful of bands/artists to have a top ten single under four different Presidents in the United States. The group toured North America extensively before A&M Records…dropped the group from its roster in 1992; the group broke up again shortly afterwards.” WK

DDY on the Theater Stage (1992-1995):
“In 1993, DeYoung, a devout Roman Catholic, joined a touring revival of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar. He appeared in about 200 performances across North America as Pontius Pilate. The experience inspired him to record his 1994 album of Broadway standards, 10 on Broadway, and to begin work on a musical of his own based on The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Styx, Together Again (1995-1999):
“Styx reunited once more in 1995, this time including Shaw but minus a terminally ill John Panozzo (who died a short time later in July 1996), and recorded a new version of the DeYoung-penned ‘Lady’ for their 1995 Styx Greatest Hits album. The group toured in 1996 and 1997, and returned to the recording studio in 1998 to begin work on Brave New World, their first studio album in nearly a decade.” WK

“Creative differences between the band members, and a chronic fatigue syndrome-like disorder affecting DeYoung’s trigeminal nerve – which left him overly sensitive to bright light and sound, making performing on stage nearly impossible” WK – led to a less than amicable split. This time, however, Styx soldiered on with Shaw and without DeYoung.

“A lawsuit between DeYoung and his former bandmates was settled in 2001, with the group being allowed to keep the name ‘Styx’ and DeYoung able to use the name in descriptive phrases such as ‘the music of Styx’ or ‘formerly of Styx’ (but not ‘the voice of Styx’).” WK

Back to the Solo World (2000-:
“In February 2000, DeYoung was approached to perform a concert featuring his many songs from Styx, as well as his solo works and his 1997 stage musical The Hunchback of Notre Dame, with an orchestra. The show, performed at the Rosemont Theatre in DeYoung’s hometown of Chicago, was a family affair for DeYoung. His wife Suzanne,” WK to whom he had been married since even before Styx’s success, “and sister-in-law Dawn Marie Feusi sang backup, his daughter Carrie Ann, was in charge of publicity, while his son Matthew designed the stage lighting. The concert was well received and formed the basis for a touring version of the show, and eventually an 2004 album, The Music of Styx – Live with Symphony Orchestra.” WK “Unlike many musical families, the growing family toured together throughout DeYoung’s career in order to provide stability for the couple’s young children.” WK

“On June 19, 2007, DeYoung released in Canada, One Hundred Years from Now, his fifth solo album, which marks a return to his rock roots. The first single, the title track, is a duet with Québécois singer Éric Lapointe. The single reached #1 on the Québec Radio Single and Soundscan charts. The album was released in the U.S. on April 14, 2009 with slightly different tracks.” WK

“On May 8, 2008, a DeYoung-written musical of The Hunchback of Notre Dame premiered at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in Chicago.” WK

After a 13-year hiatus from the recording studio, Dennis returned with the solo album 26 East Volume 1 in 2020. It was followed by 26 East Volume 2 in 2021. He says it is the last album he’ll make.

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 11/20/2011; updated 6/5/2021.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Canadian Songs: Top 100

First posted 2/4/2021; updated 2/14/2021.


Top 100 Songs

These are the top songs by Canadian artists, as determined by an aggregate of 19 best-of lists. Songs which were only considered which were by artists born in Canada or groups which originated in Canada.

Note: click here to see other genre-specific song lists. You can also check out the DMDB’s rating of Canada’s Biggest #1 Songs, most of which are not actually by Canadian artists.

1. Neil Young “Heart of Gold” (1972)
2. Bachman-Turner Overdrive “Takin’ Care of Business” (1974)
3. Bryan Adams “Summer of ‘69” (1984)
4. The Guess Who “American Woman” (1970)
5. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” (1995)
6. The Band “The Weight” (1968)
7. Loverboy “Working for the Weekend” (1981)
8. Tom Cochrane “Life Is a Highway” (1992)
9. Gordon Lightfoot “If You Could Read My Mind” (1970)
10. Leonard Cohen “Hallelujah” (1984)

11. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On” (1997)
12. Joni Mitchell “Big Yellow Taxi” (1970)
13. Corey Hart “Sunglasses at Night” (1984)
14. Nickelback “How You Remind Me” (2001)
15. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe” (2011)
16. Bachman-Turner Overdrive “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet” (1974)
17. Rush “Tom Sawyer” (1981)
18. Barenaked Ladies “If I Had a $1,000,000” (1992)
19. Gordon Lightfoot “Sundown” (1974)
20. Barenaked Ladies “One Week” (1998)

21. The Tragically Hip “Bobcaygeon” (1998)
22. Steppenwolf “Born to Be Wild” (1968)
23. Men Without Hats “The Safety Dance” (1982)
24. Alanis Morissette “Ironic” (1995)
25. The Guess Who “No Sugar Tonight” (1970)
26. Paul Anka “Diana” (1957)
27. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)
28. k.d. lang “Constant Craving” (1992)
29. Avril Lavigne “Complicated” (2002)
30. Allanah Myles “Black Velvet” (1989)

31. Anne Murray “Snowbird” (1970)
32. Neil Young “Rockin’ in the Free World” (1989)
33. Trooper “Raise a Little Hell” (1978)
34. Gordon Lightfoot “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” (1976)
35. Spirit of the West “Home for a Rest” (1990)
36. Rush “The Spirit of Radio” (1980)
37. The Guess Who “These Eyes” (1969)
38. Glass Tiger “Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone” (1986)
39. Steppenwolf “Magic Carpet Ride” (1968)
40. Justin Bieber “Sorry” (2015)

41. Andy Kim “Rock Me Gently” (1974)
42. Terry Jacks “Seasons in the Sun” (1974)
43. Bryan Adams “Heaven” (1984)
44. The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face” (2015)
45. Daniel Powter “Bad Day” (2005)
46. Neil Young “Old Man” (1972)
47. Justin Bieber “Love Yourself” (2015)
48. Arcade Fire “Wake Up” (2004)
49. Bruce Cockburn “Lovers in a Dangerous Time” (1984)
50. Tom Cochrane & Red Rider “Big League” (1988)

51. Rush “Closer to the Heart” (1977)
52. Five Man Electrical Band “Signs” (1971)
53. Celine Dion “Because You Loved Me” (1996)
54. The Weeknd with Daft Punk “Starboy” (2016)
55. Bryan Adams “Run to You” (1984)
56. Snow “Informer” (1993)
57. Celine Dion “The Power of Love” (1993)
58. The Tragically Hip “Courage (For Hugh MacLennan)” (1992)
59. The Weeknd “The Hills” (2015)
60. Martha & the Muffins “Echo Beach” (1980)

61. The Tragically Hip “New Orleans Is Sinking” (1989)
62. Nelly Furtado with Timbaland “Promiscuous” (2006)
63. Blue Rodeo “Lost Together” (1992)
64. Shania Twain “Man! I Feel Like a Woman” (1997)
65. Drake with Wizkid & Kyla “One Dance” (4/5/2016)
66. Magic! “Rude” (2013)
67. Nick Gilder “Hot Child in the City” (1978)
68. Nelly Furtado “Say It Right” (2006)
69. Sheriff “When I’m with You” (1983)
70. The Guess Who “Share the Land” (1970)

71. Paul Anka with Odia Coates “You’re Having My Baby” (1974)
72. Neil Young “My My Hey Hey (Into the Black)” (1979)
73. Joni Mitchell “Both Sides Now” (1969)
74. Ian & Sylvia “Four Strong Winds” (1963)
75. Barenaked Ladies “Brian Wilson” (1992)
76. Bryan Adams “Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman?” (1995)
77. Neil Young “Cinnamon Girl” (1969)
78. Anne Murray “You Needed Me” (1978)
79. Bryan Adams with Sting & Rod Stewart “All for Love” (1993)
80. Crash Test Dummies “Superman’s Song” (1991)

81. The Crew-Cuts “Sh-Boom” (1954)
82. Nickelback “Photograph” (2005)
83. Drake “In My Feelings” (2018)
84. Justin Bieber “What Do You Mean?” (2015)
85. The Tragically Hip “Wheat Kings” (1992)
86. Shania Twain “You’re Still the One” (1997)
87. Red Rider “Lunatic Fringe” (1981)
88. The Weeknd “Blinding Lights” (2019)
89. Avril Lavigne “Girlfriend” (2007)
90. Shania Twain “That Don’t Impress Me Much” (1997)

91. The Guess Who “No Time” (1969)
92. Sarah McLachlan “Angel” (1997)
93. The Tragically Hip “Ahead by a Century” (1996)
94. Drake “Hotline Bling” (2015)
95. Drake “Nice for What” (2018)
96. Finger Eleven “Paralyzer” (2007)
97. Jeff Healey Band “Angel Eyes” (1988)
98. Celine Dion “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” (1996)
99. Neil Young with Crosby, Stills & Nash “Ohio” (1970)
100. Payola$ “Eyes of a Stranger” (1982)

Resources and Related Links:

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Mainstream Rock: Top 100 Songs, 1981-2021

First posted 1/24/2021; updated 2/92021.

Mainstream Rock:

Top 100 Songs, 1981-2021

Billboard launched its Album Rock Tracks chart (now called “Mainstream Rock”) on March 21, 1981. Since then, more than 7000 songs have hit the chart; 2000 of which went top 10. This list ranks those songs which hit the top 10 in order of their overall status in Dave’s Music Database. These are the top 100 songs:

Note: click here to see other genre-specific song lists.

1. The Police “Every Breath You Take” (1983)
2. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (1991)
3. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You” (1991)
4. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine” (1988)
5. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll” (1981)
6. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion” (1991)
7. U2 “With or Without You” (1987)
8. Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes” (1981)
9. Santana with Rob Thomas “Smooth” (1999)
10. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?” (1981)

11. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger” (1982)
12. U2 “One” (1992)
13. Oasis “Wonderwall” (1995)
14. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer” (1986)
15. Goo Goo Dolls “Iris” (1998)
16. Nickelback “How You Remind Me” (2001)
17. Van Halen “Jump” (1984)
18. Aerosmith “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” (1998)
19. Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” (2004)
20. Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven” (1992)

21. Men at Work “Down Under” (1981)
22. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’” (1981)
23. Foreigner “I Want to Know What Love Is” (1984)
24. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know” (1995)
25. Phil Collins “Another Day in Paradise” (1989)
26. Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Come on Eileen” (1982)
27. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge” (1991)
28. U2 “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” (1987)
29. Pearl Jam “Jeremy” (1991)
30. Meat Loaf “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” (1993)

31. Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time” (1983)
32. Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” (1985)
33. 3 Doors Down “Kryptonite” (2000)
34. Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark” (1984)
35. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing” (1985)
36. Bruce Springsteen “Born in the U.S.A.” (1984)
37. Kenny Loggins “Footloose” (1984)
38. Hoobastank “The Reason” (2004)
39. Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer” (1986)
40. Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget about Me” (1985)

41. J. Geils Band “Centerfold” (1981)
42. Rick Springfield “Jessie’s Girl” (1981)
43. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight” (1981)
44. U2 “Pride (In the Name of Love)” (1984)
45. Oasis “Live Forever” (1984)
46. Metallica “Enter Sandman” (1991)
47. Phil Collins “Against All Odds (Take a Look at Me Now)” (1984)
48. The Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” (1981)
49. John Cougar Mellencamp “Jack and Diane” (1982)
50. Tears for Fears “Shout” (1984)

51. David Bowie “Let’s Dance” (1983)
52. Creed “With Arms Wide Open” (1999)
53. Duran Duran “Hungry Like the Wolf” (1982)
54. Lifehouse “Hanging by a Moment” (2000)
55. Green Day “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)” (1997)
56. Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun” (1994)
57. U2 “Vertigo” (2004)
58. Steve Miller Band “Abracadabra” (1982)
59. Don Henley “The Boys of Summer” (1984)
60. Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love” (1985)

61. Foreigner “Waiting for a Girl Like You” (1981)
62. The Scorpions “Wind of Change” (1990)
63. The Police “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (1981)
64. Nickelback “Photograph” (2005)
65. Queen with David Bowie “Under Pressure” (1981)
66. U2 “Sunday Bloody Sunday” (1983)
67. Huey Lewis & the News “The Power of Love” (1985)
68. Nirvana “Come As You Are” (1991)
69. Midnight Oil “Beds Are Burning” (1987)
70. Smashing Pumpkins “1979” (1995)

71. The Wallflowers “One Headlight” (1996)
72. Hinder “Lips of an Angel” (2006)
73. Rush “Tom Sawyer” (1981)
74. REO Speedwagon “Keep on Loving You” (1980)
75. Nirvana “Heart-Shaped Box” (1993)
76. Tom Petty “Free Fallin’” (1989)
77. Nirvana “All Apologies” (1993)
78. Steve Winwood “Higher Love” (1986)
79. Linkin Park “In the End” (2000)
80. Toto “Rosanna” (1982)

81. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California” (2006)
82. Staind “It’s Been Awhile” (2001)
83. R.E.M. “The One I Love” (1987)
84. Oasis “Champagne Supernova” (1995)
85. Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes’ (1986)
86. Collective Soul “Shine” (1993)
87. Live “Lightning Crashes” (1994)
88. Green Day “American Idiot” (2004)
89. Silverchair “Tomorrow” (1994)
90. Steve Winwood “Roll with It” (1988)

91. Green Day “Basket Case” (1994)
92. Mike + the Mechanics “The Living Years” (1988)
93. The Clash “Rock the Casbah” (1982)
94. Modern English “I Melt with You” (1982)
95. Yes “Owner of a Lonely Heart” (1983)
96. Whitesnake “Here I Go Again” (1987)
97. Pearl Jam “Daughter” (1993)
98. U2 “New Year’s Day” (1983)
99. Stone Temple Pilots “Interstate Love Song” (1994)
100. Bon Jovi “You Give Love a Bad Name” (1986)

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