Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Dave’s Music Database: Top 10 Songs by Year (1980-2023)

Dave’s Music Database:

Top 10 Songs by Year
(1980-2023)

These are the top 10 songs for each year based on their overall performance in Dave’s Music Database, which is determined by combining chart data, sales figures, streaming, video views, and aggregates from year-end lists and charts. You can also click on the “decade” buttons to see the top 100 songs for each decade.

Check out “Top Songs and Albums of the Year” lists here.


2023

  1. Miley Cyrus “Flowers
  2. Morgan Wallen “Last Night
  3. Olivia Rodrigo “Vampire
  4. Billie Eilish “What Was I Made For?
  5. Doja Cat “Paint the Town Red
  6. Zach Bryan with Kacey Musgraves “I Remember Everything
  7. Luke Combs “Fast Car
  8. Dua Lipa “Dance the Night
  9. Jack Harlow “Lovin’ on Me
  10. The Beatles “Now and Then

2022

  1. Harry Styles “As It Was
  2. Taylor Swift “Anti-Hero
  3. Lizzo “About Damn Time
  4. SZA “Kill Bill
  5. Steve Lacy “Bad Habit
  6. Sam Smith & Kim Petras “Unholy
  7. Jack Harlow “First Class
  8. Beyoncé “Break My Soul
  9. Rema with Selena Gomez “Calm Down”
  10. Future with Drake & Tems “Wait for U”

2021

  1. The Kid Laroi with Justin Bieber “Stay
  2. Olivia Rodrigo “Drivers License
  3. Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson.Paak) “Leave the Door Open
  4. Olivia Rodrigo “Good 4 U
  5. Adele “Easy on Me
  6. Lil Nas X “Montero (Call Me by Your Name)
  7. Lil Nas X with Jack Harlow “Industry Baby
  8. Ed Sheeran “Bad Habits”
  9. BTS “Butter”
  10. Justin Bieber with Daniel Caesar & Giveon “Peaches”

2020

  1. Dua Lipa with DaBaby “Levitating
  2. Glass Animals “Heat Waves
  3. Xiao Zhan “Spotlight
  4. Cardi B with Megan Thee Stallion “WAP
  5. The Weeknd with Ariana Grande “Save Your Tears
  6. 24K Goldn with Iann Dior “Mood
  7. BTS “Dynamite”
  8. DaBaby with Roddy Ricch “Rockstar”
  9. Chris Brown with Young Thug “Go Crazy”
  10. Jawsh 685 with Jason Derulo “Savage Love (Laxed – Siren Beat)”


2019

  1. The Weeknd “Blinding Lights
  2. Billie Eilish “Bad Guy
  3. Post Malone “Circles
  4. Shawn Mendes with Camila Cabello “Señorita
  5. Tones and I “Dance Monkey
  6. Ariana Grande “7 Rings
  7. Dua Lipa “Don’t Start Now
  8. Roddy Ricch “The Box”
  9. Jonas Brothers “Sucker”
  10. Harry Styles “Watermelon Sugar”

2018

  1. Lil Nas X with Billy Ray Cyrus “Old Town Road
  2. Drake “God’s Plan
  3. Lady Gaga with Bradley Cooper “Shallow
  4. Drake “In My Feelings
  5. Post Malone with Swae Lee “Sunflower
  6. Ariana Grande “Thank U, Next
  7. Lewis Capaldi “Someone You Loved
  8. Cardi B with Bad Bunny & J. Balvin “I Like It”
  9. Zedd with Maren Morris & Grey “The Middle”
  10. Drake “Nice for What”

2017

  1. Ed Sheeran “Shape of You
  2. Luis Fonsi with Daddy Yankee & Justin Bieber “Despacito
  3. Ed Sheeran with Beyoncé “Perfect
  4. Maroon 5 with Cardi B “Girls Like You
  5. Camila Cabello with Young Thug “Havana
  6. Post Malone with 21 Savage “Rockstar
  7. Kendrick Lamar “Humble
  8. Cardi B “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)
  9. The Chainsmokers with Coldplay “Something Just Like This
  10. Bebe Rexha with Florida Georgia Line “Meant to Be

2016

  1. The Chainsmokers with Halsey “Closer
  2. Drake with WizKid & Kyla “One Dance
  3. Rihanna with Drake “Work
  4. Justin Timberlake “Can’t Stop the Feeling!
  5. Sia with Sean Paul “Cheap Thrills
  6. The Weeknd with Daft Punk “Starboy
  7. Bruno Mars “That’s What I Like
  8. Pinkfong! “Baby Shark
  9. Rae Sremmurd with Gucci Mane “Black Beatles”
  10. Twenty One Pilots “Heathens”

2015

  1. Adele “Hello
  2. Wiz Khalifa with Charlie Puth “See You Again
  3. Justin Bieber “Love Yourself
  4. The Weeknd “Can’t Feel My Face
  5. Justin Bieber “Sorry
  6. Drake “Hotline Bling
  7. The Weeknd “The Hills
  8. Justin Bieber “What Do You Mean?
  9. Lukas Graham “7 Years
  10. Twenty One Pilots “Stressed Out

2014

  1. Mark Ronson with Bruno Mars “Uptown Funk!
  2. Ed Sheeran “Thinking Out Loud
  3. Taylor Swift “Shake It Off
  4. Meghan Trainor “All About That Bass
  5. Taylor Swift “Blank Space
  6. Iggy Azalea with Charli XCX “Fancy
  7. Sam Smith “Stay with Me
  8. OMI “Cheerleader (Felix Jaehn Remix)
  9. Maroon 5 “Sugar
  10. Sia “Chandelier

2013

  1. Pharrell Williams “Happy
  2. Robin Thicke with T.I. & Pharrell Williams “Blurred Lines
  3. Lorde “Royals
  4. John Legend “All of Me
  5. Daft Punk with Pharrell Williams “Get Lucky
  6. Katy Perry “Roar
  7. One Republic “Counting Stars
  8. Avici with Aloe Blacc “Wake Me Up!
  9. Idina Menzel “Let It Go
  10. Katy Perry with Juicy J “Dark Horse

2012

  1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz “Thrift Shop
  2. Psy “Gangnam Style
  3. Bruno Mars “Locked Out of Heaven
  4. The Lumineers “Ho Hey
  5. Imagine Dragons “Radioactive
  6. Passenger “Let Her Go
  7. Florida Georgia Line with Nelly “Cruise
  8. Pink with Nate Ruess “Just Give Me a Reason
  9. Rihanna “Diamonds
  10. Taylor Swift “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together

2011

  1. Gotye & Kimbra “Somebody That I Used to Know
  2. Carly Rae Jepsen “Call Me Maybe
  3. LMFAO, Lauren Bennett & GoonRock “Party Rock Anthem
  4. Rihanna & Calvin Harris “We Found Love
  5. Adele “Someone Like You
  6. Maroon 5 with Christina Aguilera “Moves Like Jagger
  7. Fun. & Janelle Monáe “We Are Young
  8. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis with Ray Dalton “Can’t Hold Us
  9. LMFAO “Sexy and I Know It
  10. Pitbull with Ne-Yo, Afrojack, & Nayer “Give Me Everything”

2010

  1. Adele “Rolling in the Deep
  2. Eminem & Rihanna “Love the Way You Lie
  3. Bruno Mars “Just the Way You Are (Amazing)
  4. Katy Perry “Firework
  5. Katy Perry & Snoop Dogg “California Gurls
  6. Cee-Lo Green “Fuck You (aka “Forget You”)
  7. Foster the People “Pumped Up Kicks
  8. Rihanna “Only Girl in the World
  9. Bruno Mars “Grenade
  10. Taio Cruz “Dynamite


2009

  1. Black Eyed Peas “I Gotta Feeling
  2. Ke$ha “Tik Tok
  3. Jay-Z with Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind
  4. Lady Antebellum “Need You Now
  5. Lady Gaga “Bad Romance
  6. Miley Cyrus “Party in the U.S.A.
  7. Train “Hey, Soul Sister
  8. Flo Rida with Ke$ha “Right Round
  9. Owl City “Fireflies”
  10. Jay Sean & Lil Wayne “Down”

2008

  1. Beyoncé “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)
  2. Lady Gaga “Poker Face
  3. Coldplay “Viva La Vida
  4. Black Eyed Peas “Boom Boom Pow
  5. Jason Mraz “I’m Yours
  6. Lady Gaga & Colby O’Donis “Just Dance
  7. Taylor Swift “Love Story
  8. Katy Perry “I Kissed a Girl
  9. Lil Wayne with Static Major “Lollipop
  10. Kings of Leon “Use Somebody

2007

  1. Rihanna with Jay-Z “Umbrella
  2. Flo Rida & T-Pain “Low
  3. Leona Lewis “Bleeding Love
  4. Alicia Keys “No One
  5. Kanye West with Daft Punk “Stronger
  6. Soulja Boy Tell’em “Crank That (Soulja Boy)
  7. M.I.A. “Paper Planes
  8. Kid Rock “All Summer Long”
  9. Sara Bareilles “Love Song”
  10. Rihanna “Don’t Stop the Music”

2006

  1. Gnarls Barkley “Crazy
  2. Justin Timberlake “Sexyback
  3. One Republic with Timbaland “Apologize
  4. Shakira & Wyclef Jean “Hips Don’t Lie
  5. Beyoncé “Irreplaceable
  6. Amy Winehouse “Rehab
  7. Fergie “Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)
  8. Snow Patrol “Chasing Cars
  9. Nelly Furtado & Timbaland “Promiscuous
  10. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California”

2005

  1. Kanye West & Jamie Foxx “Gold Digger
  2. Mariah Carey “We Belong Together
  3. Daniel Powter “Bad Day
  4. Plain White T’s “Hey There Delilah”
  5. Gorillaz with De La Soul “Feel Good Inc.
  6. Arctic Monkeys “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  7. The Fray “How to Save a Life
  8. 50 Cent with Olivia “Candy Shop”
  9. Carrie Underwood “Before He Cheats
  10. Madonna “Hung Up”

2004

  1. Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris “Yeah!
  2. Green Day “Boulevard of Broken Dreams
  3. James Blunt “You’re Beautiful
  4. Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out
  5. Gwen Stefani “Hollaback Girl”
  6. Kelly Clarkson “Since U Been Gone
  7. Mario “Let Me Love You”
  8. Snoop Dogg with Pharrell Williams “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
  9. Tim McGraw “Live Like You Were Dying
  10. U2 “Vertigo”

2003

  1. OutKast “Hey Ya!
  2. Beyoncé with Jay-Z “Crazy in Love
  3. The White Stripes “Seven Nation Army
  4. The Killers “Mr. Brightside
  5. Evanescence with Paul McCoy “Bring Me to Life
  6. Britney Spears “Toxic”
  7. Hoobastank “The Reason
  8. Jay-Z “99 Problems”
  9. Black Eyed Peas with Justin Timberlake “Where Is the Love?”
  10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs “Maps”

2002

  1. Eminem “Lose Yourself
  2. 50 Cent “In Da Club
  3. Nelly “Hot in Herre
  4. Coldplay “Clocks
  5. Nelly & Kelly Rowland “Dilemma
  6. Johnny Cash “Hurt
  7. Avril Lavigne “Complicated
  8. Eminem “Without Me
  9. Ashanti with Ja Rule “Foolish
  10. Christina Aguilera “Beautiful”

2001

  1. Nickelback “How You Remind Me
  2. Alicia Keys “Fallin’
  3. Kylie Minogue “Can’t Get You Out of My Head
  4. Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott “Get Ur Freak On
  5. Train “Drops of Jupiter (Tell Me)
  6. The Strokes “Last Nite
  7. Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil’ Kim & Mya “Lady Marmalade
  8. The White Stripes “Fell in Love with a Girl”
  9. Staind “It’s Been Awhile”
  10. Enrique Iglesias “Hero”

2000

  1. U2 “Beautiful Day
  2. Eminem with Dido “Stan
  3. Lee Ann Womack with Sons of the Desert “I Hope You Dance
  4. Madonna “Music
  5. OutKast “Ms. Jackson
  6. Destiny’s Child “Independent Women
  7. Eminem “The Real Slim Shady
  8. 3 Doors Down “Kryptonite
  9. Coldplay “Yellow
  10. Linkin Park “In the End


1999

  1. Santana with Rob Thomas “Smooth
  2. Lonestar “Amazed
  3. Ricky Martin “Livin’ La Vida Loca
  4. TLC “No Scrubs”
  5. Backstreet Boys “I Want It That Way
  6. Lou Bega “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of…)
  7. Destiny’s Child “Say My Name”
  8. Creed “With Arms Wide Open”
  9. Faith Hill “Breathe”
  10. Christina Aguilera “Genie in a Bottle”

1998

  1. Britney Spears “Baby One More Time
  2. Aerosmith “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing
  3. Goo Goo Dolls “Iris
  4. Cher “Believe
  5. Lauryn Hill “Doo Wop (That Thing)
  6. Brandy & Monica “The Boy Is Mine”
  7. Eminem “My Name Is…”
  8. Madonna “Ray of Light”
  9. Barenaked Ladies “One Week”
  10. Korn “Freak on a Leash”

1997

  1. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On
  2. Elton John “Candle in the Wind 1997 (Goodbye England’s Rose)
  3. The Verve “Bitter Sweet Symphony
  4. Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112 “I’ll Be Missing You
  5. Shania Twain “You’re Still the One
  6. Natalie Imbruglia “Torn
  7. Blur “Song 2
  8. Green Day “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)
  9. Hanson “Mmmbop
  10. Radiohead “Paranoid Android

1996

  1. Spice Girls “Wannabe
  2. Celine Dion “Because You Loved Me
  3. Toni Braxton “Un-Break My Heart
  4. Blackstreet with Dr. Dre & Queen Pen “No Diggity
  5. Donna Lewis “I Love You Always Forever
  6. R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”
  7. Fugees “Killing Me Softly
  8. Bone Thugs-N-Harmony “Tha Crossroads”
  9. Eric Clapton “Change the World”
  10. Shawn Colvin “Sunny Came Home”

1995

  1. Oasis “Wonderwall
  2. Los Del Rio “Macarena (Bayside Boys Mix)
  3. Coolio with L.V. “Gangsta’s Paradise
  4. Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men “One Sweet Day
  5. No Doubt “Don’t Speak
  6. Alanis Morissette “You Oughta Know
  7. Pulp “Common People
  8. Alanis Morissette “Ironic
  9. Oasis “Don’t Look Back in Anger
  10. Mariah Carey “Fantasy

1994

  1. Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You
  2. Mariah Carey “All I Want for Christmas Is You
  3. TLC “Waterfalls
  4. Seal “Kiss from a Rose
  5. Oasis “Live Forever
  6. All-4-One “I Swear
  7. Soundgarden “Black Hole Sun
  8. Jeff Buckley “Hallelujah
  9. Bruce Springsteen “Streets of Philadelphia
  10. Madonna “Take a Bow

1993

  1. Beck “Loser
  2. Meat Loaf “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
  3. Janet Jackson “That’s the Way Love Goes
  4. Ace of Base “The Sign
  5. Sheryl Crow “All I Wanna Do
  6. Mariah Carey “Dreamlover
  7. Tag Team “Whoomp! There It Is
  8. Mariah Carey “Hero
  9. Nirvana “All Apologies
  10. Nirvana “Heart-Shaped Box

1992

  1. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You
  2. Radiohead “Creep
  3. Boyz II Men “End of the Road
  4. Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven
  5. Sir Mix-a-Lot “Baby Got Back
  6. House of Pain “Jump Around
  7. R.E.M. “Everybody Hurts
  8. Kris Kross “Jump
  9. Dr. Dre with Snoop Doggy Dogg “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang
  10. Billy Ray Cyrus “Achy Breaky Heart

1991

  1. Nirvana “Smells Like Teen Spirit
  2. Bryan Adams “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You
  3. R.E.M. “Losing My Religion
  4. U2 “One
  5. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Under the Bridge
  6. Metallica “Enter Sandman
  7. Pearl Jam “Jeremy
  8. Guns N’ Roses “November Rain
  9. Natalie Cole with Nat “King” Cole “Unforgettable”
  10. Nirvana “Come As You Are

1990

  1. Sinéad O’Connor “Nothing Compares 2 U
  2. Madonna “Vogue
  3. MC Hammer “U Can’t Touch This
  4. Garth Brooks “Friends in Low Places
  5. Vanilla Ice “Ice Ice Baby
  6. Mariah Carey “Vision of Love
  7. Depeche Mode “Enjoy the Silence
  8. C + C Music Factory “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)
  9. Roxette “It Must Have Been Love”
  10. Deee-Lite “Groove Is in the Heart”


1989

  1. Madonna “Like a Prayer
  2. The B-52’s “Love Shack
  3. Public Enemy “Fight the Power
  4. Phil Collins “Another Day in Paradise
  5. Tom Petty “Free Fallin’
  6. Bette Midler “Wind Beneath My Wings”
  7. Young MC “Bust a Move
  8. Alannah Myles “Black Velvet”
  9. Depeche Mode “Personal Jesus”
  10. Soul II Soul “Back to Life (How Ever Do You Want Me)”

1988

  1. Tracy Chapman “Fast Car
  2. Poison “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”
  3. Bobby McFerrin “Don’t Worry, Be Happy
  4. Bangles “Eternal Flame”
  5. Tone Loc “Wild Thing”
  6. Bobby Brown “My Prerogative”
  7. Mike + the Mechanics “The Living Years
  8. Paula Abdul “Straight Up”
  9. Steve Winwood “Roll with It”
  10. The Beach Boys “Kokomo”

1987

  1. Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine
  2. U2 “With or Without You
  3. Whitney Houston “I Wanna Dance with Somebody Who Loves Me
  4. U2 “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  5. Guns N’ Roses “Welcome to the Jungle” (1987)
  6. Def Leppard “Pour Some Sugar on Me
  7. George Michael “Faith
  8. Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes “I’ve Had the Time of My Life
  9. Rick Astley “Never Gonna Give You Up
  10. INXS “Need You Tonight

1986

  1. Bon Jovi “Livin’ on a Prayer
  2. Run-D.M.C. with Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler & Joe Perry “Walk This Way
  3. Prince “Kiss
  4. Peter Gabriel “Sledgehammer
  5. Beastie Boys “You Gotta Fight for Your Right to Party
  6. Berlin “Take My Breath Away
  7. Bangles “Walk Like an Egyptian
  8. Crowded House “Don’t Dream It’s Over
  9. Madonna “Papa Don’t Preach”
  10. Steve Winwood “Higher Love”

1985

  1. U.S.A. for Africa “We Are the World
  2. Tears for Fears “Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  3. Dire Straits “Money for Nothing
  4. Simple Minds “Don’t You Forget about Me
  5. Dionne & Friends “That's What Friends Are For
  6. Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls
  7. Lionel Richie “Say You Say Me
  8. Huey Lewis & the News “The Power of Love
  9. Madonna “Into the Groove
  10. Robert Palmer “Addicted to Love”

1984

  1. Prince “When Doves Cry
  2. A-ha “Take on Me
  3. Foreigner “I Want to Know What Love Is
  4. George Michael “Careless Whisper
  5. Tina Turner “What’s Love Got to Do with It?
  6. Stevie Wonder “I Just Called to Say I Love You“ (8 wks)
  7. Madonna “Like a Virgin
  8. Bruce Springsteen “Dancing in the Dark
  9. Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?
  10. Kenny Loggins “Footloose

1983

  1. The Police “Every Breath You Take
  2. Van Halen “Jump
  3. Eurythmics “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This
  4. Lionel Richie “All Night Long (All Night)
  5. Cyndi Lauper “Girls Just Want to Have Fun
  6. Irene Cara “Flashdance...What a Feelin’
  7. Cyndi Lauper “Time After Time
  8. Frankie Goes to Hollywood “Relax
  9. Bonnie Tyler “Total Eclipse of the Heart
  10. Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton “Islands in the Stream

1982

  1. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean
  2. Survivor “Eye of the Tiger
  3. Michael Jackson “Beat It
  4. Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five “The Message
  5. Dexy’s Midnight Runners “Come on Eileen
  6. Willie Nelson “Always on My Mind
  7. Michael Jackson “Thriller
  8. Culture Club “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me
  9. Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder “Ebony and Ivory” (1982)
  10. Prince “1999

1981

  1. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts “I Love Rock and Roll
  2. Journey “Don’t Stop Believin’
  3. Lionel Richie & Diana Ross “Endless Love
  4. The Human League “Don’t You Want Me?
  5. Soft Cell “Tainted Love
  6. Kim Carnes “Bette Davis Eyes
  7. Olivia Newton-John “Physical
  8. Men at Work “Down Under
  9. Phil Collins “In the Air Tonight
  10. J. Geils Band “Centerfold

1980

  1. Joy Division “Love Will Tear Us Apart
  2. AC/DC “You Shook Me All Night Long
  3. Queen “Another One Bites the Dust
  4. Blondie “Call Me
  5. Kool & the Gang “Celebration
  6. Kenny Rogers “Lady
  7. AC/DC “Back in Black
  8. Diana Ross “Upside Down
  9. Dolly Parton “9 to 5
  10. John Lennon “Just Like Starting Over

Resources/Related Links:


First posted 1/7/2024; last updated 2/20/2024.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Nirvana: Top 20 Songs

Nirvana

Top 20 Songs

Grunge rock trio from Aberdeen, Washington. Singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain (1987-94) and bassist Krist Novoselic (1987-94) formed the band in 1987 with drummer Chad Channing (1987-90). Other members included guitarist Jason Everman (1989), drummer Dan Peters (1990), and drummer Dave Grohl (1990-94).

They became the most iconic group of the 1990s with their blockbuster album Nevermind and its anthemic “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” which ranks as one of the top 10 songs of all time according to the DMDB. They released one more studio album, 1993’s In Utero, before Kurt Cobain tragically committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27. He has been celebrated as the voice of a generation.

Grohl went on to form the Foo Fighters who are still active today and have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Nirvana.


Links:

Awards:


Top 20 Songs


Dave’s Music Database lists are determined by song’s appearances on best-of lists, appearances on compilations and live albums by the featured act, and songs’ chart success, sales, radio airplay, streaming, and awards.

DMDB Top 1%:

1. Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991)
2. Come As You Are (1991)
3. All Apologies (1993)

DMDB Top 2%:

4. Heart-Shaped Box (1993)
5. Lithium (1991)

DMDB Top 5%:

6. In Bloom (1991)
7. About a Girl (1989)
8. You Know You’re Right (recorded 1994, released 2002)

DMDB Top 10%:

9. Rape Me (1993)
10. Aneurysm (1991)
11. Something in the Way (1991)
12. The Man Who Sold the World (live, 1994)

DMDB Top 20%:

13. Sliver (1990)
14. Dumb (1993)
15. Where Did You Sleep Last Night (live, 1994)
16. Polly (1991)
17. Lake of Fire (live, 1994)

Beyond the DMDB Top 20%:

18. Pennyroyal Tea (1993)
19. Been a Son (1989)
20. Drain You (1991)


Resources and Related Links:


First posted 2/19/2024.

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Dave’s Faves: My Top 100 Acts of All Time

Dave’s Faves:

Top 100 Acts

These are my personal favorites. To offer some context, I was in grade school in the ‘70s and middle school through college in the ‘80s. As is the case with most people, it is the music of my youth which most dictates my personal tastes. Under each bio is a link to the acts’ DMDB encyclopedia entry or profile page. Beside the act’s photo are ten songs I’ve picked to represent the act.

See other Acts/Music Makers by Genre lists.

The Beatles (#1)

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Bruce Springsteen (#2)

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Marillion (#3)

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Styx (#4)

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The Rolling Stones (#5)

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profile page: 1972-2002

David Bowie (#6)

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U2 (#7)

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John Mellencamp (#8)

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Kevin Gilbert (#9)

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Bob Dylan (#10)

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Sting (#11)

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  • If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (1985)
  • We’ll Be Together (1987)
  • They Dance Alone (1987)
  • Englishman in New York (1987)
  • All This Time (1991)
  • It’s Probably Me (with Eric Clapton, 1992)
  • Fields of Gold (1993)
  • Epilogue (Nothing ‘Bout Me) (1993)
  • Desert Rose (with Cheb Mani, 1999)
  • Stolen Car (Take Me Dancing) (2003)

Eric Clapton (#12)

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Prince (#13)

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Pink Floyd (#14)

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Alan Parsons Project (#15)

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The Police (#16)

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Led Zeppelin (#17)

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Billy Joel (#18)

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Pearl Jam (#19)

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Elton John (#20)

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Tears for Fears (#21)

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Squeeze (#22)

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  • Take Me I’m Yours (1978)
  • Cool for Cats (1979)
  • Up the Junction (1979)
  • Pulling Mussels from the Shell (1980)
  • Tempted (1981)
  • Black Coffee in Bed (1982)
  • Heartbreaking World (1985)
  • I Won’t Ever Go Drinking Again (?) (1985)
  • Hourglass (1987)
  • Slaughtered, Gutted, and Heartbroken (1989)

Journey (#23)

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Olivia Newton-John (#24)

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Eagles (#25)

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Pat Benatar (#26)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

The Who (#27)

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The Rainmakers (#28)

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  • Let My People Go Go (1984)
  • Big Fat Blonde (1984)
  • Nobody Knows (1984)
  • Downstream (1986)
  • Snake Dance (1987)
  • Small Circles (1987)
  • The Wages of Sin (1987)
  • Spend It on Love (1989)
  • Another Guitar (1994)
  • Like Dogs (2011)

Lyle Lovett (#29)

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  • An Acceptable Level of Ecstasy (1986)
  • L.A. County (1988)
  • Pontiac (1988)
  • She’s No Lady (1988)
  • Nobody Knows Me (1989)
  • Church (1992)
  • You’ve Got a Friend in Me (with Randy Newman, 1995)
  • Step Inside This House (1998)
  • Till It Shines (with Keb’ Mo’, 1999)
  • 12th of June (2022)

Queen (#30)

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R.E.M. (#31)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Elvis Presley (#32)

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Fish (#33)

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  • Shortcut to Somewhere (with Tony Banks, 1986)
  • A Gentleman’s Excuse Me (1990)
  • Cliché (1990)
  • Vigil (1990)
  • Another Murder of a Day (with Tony Banks, 1991)
  • Just Good Friends (1991)
  • Solo (1993)
  • Fortunes of War (1994)
  • Garden of Remembrance (2020)
  • This Party’s Over (2020)

Crowded House (#34)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Michael Jackson (#35)

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Sheryl Crow (#36)

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Tori Amos (#37)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Indigo Girls (#38)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Hey Jesus (1987)
  • Closer to Fine (1989)
  • Prince of Darkness (1989)
  • Hammer and a Nail (1990)
  • The Girl with the Weight of the World in Her Hands (1990)
  • Galileo (1992)
  • Leeds (1997)
  • Bitterroot (2002)
  • Tether (2004)
  • Dear Mr. President (with Pink, 2006)

Stevie Wonder (#39)

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Jimi Hendrix (#40)

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Rush (#41)

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Tom Petty (#42)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • American Girl (1976)
  • Refugee (1979)
  • Don’t Do Me Like That (1979)
  • Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around (with Stevie Nicks, 1981)
  • You Got Lucky (1982)
  • I Won’t Back Down (1989)
  • Free Fallin’ (1989)
  • Alright for Now (1989)
  • Into the Great Wide Open (1991)
  • Mary Jane’s Last Dance (1993)

Paul McCartney (#43)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Maybe I’m Amazed (1970)
  • My Love (with Wings, 1973)
  • Live and Let Die (with Wings, 1973)
  • Band on the Run (with Wings, 1973)
  • Silly Love Songs (with Wings, 1976)
  • With a Little Luck (with Wings, 1978)
  • Coming Up (live with Wings, 1980)
  • Ebony and Ivory (with Stevie Wonder, 1982)
  • Say, Say, Say (with Michael Jackson, 1983)
  • Pipes of Peace (1983)

Genesis (#44)

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  • Supper’s Ready (1972)
  • The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974)
  • Follow You, Follow Me (1978)
  • Turn It on Again (1980)
  • Misunderstanding (1980)
  • Man on the Corner (1981)
  • That’s All (1983)
  • Invisible Touch (1986)
  • Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (1986)
  • No Son of Mine (1991)

Yes (#45)

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  • I’ve Seen All Good People (1971)
  • Roundabout (1972)
  • Long Distance Runaround (1971)
  • Close to the Edge (1972)
  • Wonderous Stories (1977)
  • Owner of a Lonely Heart (1983)
  • Changes (1983)
  • Leave It (1983)
  • Shoot High Aim Low (1987)
  • Lift Me Up (1991)

Melissa Etheridge (#46)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Bring Me Some Water (1988)
  • Occasionally (1988)
  • No Souvenirs (1989)
  • You Can Sleep While I Drive (1989)
  • I Will Never Be the Same (1990)
  • I’m the Only One (1993)
  • Come to My Window (1993)
  • Thunder Road (live with Bruce Springsteen, 1995)
  • Scarecrow (1999)
  • Tuesday Morning (2004)

Madonna (#47)

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Van Halen (#48)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Fleetwood Mac (#49)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Hooters (#50)

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  • All You Zombies (1983)
  • And We Danced (1985)
  • Day by Day (1985)
  • Where Do the Children Go (with Patty Smyth, 1985)
  • Johnny B (1987)
  • Satellite (1987)
  • 500 Miles (1989)
  • The Boys of Summer (2007)
  • Morning Buzz (2007)
  • White Jeans (2007)

Aerosmith (#51)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Rod Stewart (#52)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Peter Gabriel (#53)

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David Baerwald (#54)

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  • Welcome to the Boomtown (David + David, 1986)
  • Swallowed by the Cracks (David + David, 1986)
  • Ain’t So Easy (David + David, 1986)
  • Being Alone Together (David + David, 1986)
  • Walk Through Fire (1990)
  • Hello Mary (1990)
  • Secret Silken World (1992)
  • The Waiter (1992)
  • A Friend Like Our Dear Stranger (1999)
  • I Won’t Back Down (2006)

Del Amitri (#55)

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  • Kiss This Thing Goodbye (1989)
  • Move Away, Jimmy Blue (1989)
  • The Return of Maggie Brown (1989)
  • Always the Last to Know (1992)
  • Just Like a Man (1992)
  • Be My Downfall (1992)
  • Roll to Me (1995)
  • Driving with the Brakes On (1995)
  • Not Where It’s At (1997)
  • Jesus Saves (2002)

Neil Young (#56)

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Crosby, Stills & Nash (#57)

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  • Suite: Judy Blue Eyes (1969)
  • Teach Your Children (with Neil Young, 1970)
  • Our House (with Neil Young, 1970)
  • Woodstock (with Neil Young, 1970)
  • Helpless (with Neil Young, 1970)
  • Ohio (with Neil Young, 1970)
  • Just a Song Before I Go (1977)
  • Wasted on the Way (1982)
  • Southern Cross (1982)
  • American Dream (with Neil Young, 1988)

Eurythmics (#58)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Love Is a Stranger (1982)
  • Sweet Dreams Are Made of This (1983)
  • Here Comes the Rain Again (1983)
  • Who’s That Girl? (1983)
  • Would I Lie to You? (1985)
  • Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves (with Aretha Franklin, 1985)
  • There Must Be an Angel Playing with My Heart (with Stevie Wonder, 1985)
  • Missionary Man (1986)
  • Beethoven (I Love to Listen To) (1987)
  • Brand New Day (1987)
  • I Need You (1987)

Lou Reed (#59)

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  • I Can’t Stand It (1972)
  • Walk on the Wild Side (1972)
  • Satellite of Love (1972)
  • Perfect Day (1972)
  • Caroline Says I (1973)
  • Sally Can’t Dance (1974)
  • Coney Island Baby (1975)
  • Street Hassle (1978)
  • Dirty Blvd. (1989)
  • What’s Good (1992)

Don Henley (#60)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Leather and Lace (with Stevie Nicks, 1981)
  • Dirty Laundry (1982)
  • I Can’t Stand Still (1982)
  • The Boys of Summer (1984)
  • All She Wants to Do Is Dance (1984)
  • Sunset Grill (1984)
  • The End of the Innocence (1989)
  • The Heart of the Matter (1989)
  • New York Minute (1989)
  • Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough (with Patty Smyth, 1992)

Foreigner (#61)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Alabama (#62)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • My Home’s in Alabama (1980)
  • Love in the First Degree (1981)
  • Mountain Music (1982)
  • Take Me Down (1982)
  • Dixieland Delight (1983)
  • The Closer You Get (1983)
  • Roll on Eighteen Wheeler (1984)
  • Forty Hour Week for a Livin’ (1985)
  • I’m in a Hurry and Don’t Know Why (1992)

Velvet Underground (#63)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • I’m Waiting for the Man (with Nico, 1967)
  • Heroin (with Nico, 1967)
  • Venus in Furs (with Nico, 1967)
  • All Tomorrow’s Parties (with Nico, 1967)
  • Femme Fatale (with Nico, 1967)
  • White Light/White Heat (1968)
  • Pale Blue Eyes (1969)
  • Lisa Says (1969)
  • Rock and Roll (1970)
  • Sweet Jane (1970)

Bob Seger (#64)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Beautiful Loser (1975)
  • Turn the Page (live, 1976)
  • Night Moves (1976)
  • Old Time Rock and Roll (1978)
  • Still the Same (1978)
  • Against the Wind (1980)
  • Fire Lake (1980)
  • Shame on the Moon (1982)
  • Like a Rock (1986)
  • Shakedown (1987)

Frank Sinatra (#65)

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The Doors (#66)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Break on Through (1967)
  • Light My Fire (1967)
  • The End (1967)
  • People Are Strange (1967)
  • Hello I Love You (1968)
  • Touch Me (1968)
  • Roadhouse Blues (1970)
  • Riders on the Storm (1971)
  • L.A. Woman (1971)
  • Love Her Madley (1971)

Aretha Franklin (#67)

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The Beach Boys (#68)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Elvis Costello (#69)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Tracy Chapman (#70)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Fast Car (1988)
  • Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution (1988)
  • Behind the Wall (1988)
  • Across the Lines (1988)
  • Freedom now (1988)
  • Crossroads (1989)
  • All That You Have Is Your Soul (1989)
  • Give Me One Reason (1995)
  • Telling Stories (There Is Friction in the Space Between) (2000)
  • I Did It All (2008)

Sinéad O’Connor (#71)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Mandinka (1987)
  • I Want Your Hands on Me (1987)
  • Jump in the River (1988)
  • Nothing Compares 2 U (1990)
  • The Emperor’s New Clothes (1990)
  • Black Boys on Mopeds (1990)
  • Mother (live with Roger Waters & the Band, 1990)
  • You Made Me the Thief of Your Heart (1994)
  • Fire on Babylon (1994)
  • No Man’s Woman (2000)

Phil Collins (#72)

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REO Speedwagon (#73)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Asia (#74)

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Simple Minds (#75)

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  • Life in a Day (1979)
  • Promised You a Miracle (1982)
  • Waterfront (1983)
  • Don't You Forget about Me (1985)
  • Alive and Kicking (1985)
  • Sanctify Yourself (1985)
  • This Is Your Land (with Lou Reed, 1989)
  • Mandela Day (1989)
  • See the Lights (1991)
  • She’s a River (1995)

Mike + the Mechanics (#76)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Silent Running (1985)
  • All I Need Is a Miracle (1985)
  • Taken In (1985)
  • Nobody’s Perfect (1988)
  • The Living Years (1988)
  • Word of Mouth (1991)
  • Everybody Gets a Second Chance (1991)
  • Over My Shoulder (1995)
  • Someone Always Hates Someone (1995)
  • Now That You’re Gone (1999)

Robert Plant (#77)

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  • In the Mood (1983)
  • Big Log (1983)
  • Sea of Love (The Honeydrippers, 1984)
  • Little by Little (1985)
  • Heaven Knows (1988)
  • Ship of Fools (1988)
  • Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes on You) (1990)
  • 29 Palms (1993)
  • If I Were a Carpenter (1993)
  • Please Read the Letter (with Alison Krauss, 2007)

Guns N’ Roses (#78)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Dennis DeYoung (#79)

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  • Desert Moon (1984)
  • Don’t Wait for Heroes (1984)
  • Call Me (1986)
  • This Is the Time (1986)
  • Black Wall (1986)
  • Harry’s Hands (1989)
  • Someone to Watch Over Me (1994)
  • One Hundred Years from Now (2007)
  • To the Good Old Days (with Julian Lennon, 2020)
  • Isle of Misanthrope (2021)

Split Enz (#80)

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  • Late Last Night (1976)
  • I See Red (1978)
  • I Got You (1980)
  • One Step Ahead (1980)
  • What’s the Matter with You? (1980)
  • I Hope I Never (1980)
  • History Never Repeats (1981)
  • Hard Act to Follow (1981)
  • Six Months in a Leaky Boat (1982)
  • Message to My Girl (1983)

Aha (#81)

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  • Take on Me (1984)
  • The Sun Always Shines on TV (1985)
  • Hunting High and Low (1985)
  • I’ve Been Losing You (1986)
  • Cry Wolf (1986)
  • Maybe Maybe (1986)
  • The Living Daylights (1987)
  • Stay on These Roads (1988)
  • Crying in the Rain (1990)
  • Dark Is the Night for All (1993)

Roger Waters (#82)

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  • The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking (1984)
  • Folded Flags (1986)
  • Radio Waves (1987)
  • Sunset Strip (1987)
  • Who Needs Information? (1987)
  • The Tide Is Turning (1987)
  • What God Wants (1992)
  • Each Small Candle (2000)
  • Smell the Roses (2017)
  • Déjà Vu (If I Had Been God) (2017)

Little River Band (#83)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • It’s a Long Way There (1975)
  • Happy Anniversary (1977)
  • Help Is on Its Way (1977)
  • Reminiscing (1978)
  • Lady (1978)
  • Lonesome Loser (1979)
  • Cool Change (1979)
  • The Night Owls (1981)
  • We Two (1983)
  • Soul Searching (1988)

John Lennon (#84)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Give Peace a Chance (1969)
  • Instant Karma (We All Shine On) (1970)
  • Imagine (1971)
  • Jealous Guy (1971)
  • Happy Xmas (War Is Over) (with Yoko Ono, 1971)
  • Mind Games (1973)
  • Whatever Gets You Through the Night (1974)
  • Just Like Starting Over (1980)
  • Woman (1980)
  • Nobody Told Me (1984)

Marvin Gaye (#85)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

ZZ Top (#86)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • La Grange (1973)
  • Tush (1975)
  • I Thank You (1979)
  • Cheap Sunglasses (1979)
  • Pearl Necklace (1981)
  • Gimme All Your Lovin’ (1983)
  • Sharp Dressed Man (1983)
  • Legs (1983)
  • Sleeping Bag (1985)
  • My Head’s in Mississippi (1990)

Ray Charles (#87)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Bing Crosby (#88)

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Shawn Colvin (#89)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Steady On (1989)
  • Shotgun Down the Avalanche (1989)
  • Diamond in the Rough (1989)
  • You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go (1991)
  • I Don’t Know Why (1992)
  • Round of Blues (1992)
  • Polaroids (1992)
  • Every Little Thing He Does Is Magic (1994)
  • Get Out of This House (1996)
  • Sunny Came Home (1996)
  • Nothin’ on Me (1996)

Johnny Cash (#90)

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  • Folsom Prison Blues (1955; live: 1968)
  • I Walk the Line (1956)
  • The Ballad of a Teenage Queen (1957)
  • Don’t Take Your Guns to Town (1958)
  • I Got Stripes (1959)
  • Ring of Fire (1963)
  • Jackson (with June Carter Cash, 1967)
  • A Boy Named Sue (live, 1969)
  • The Man in Black (1971)
  • Hurt (2002)

Berlin (#91)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Alanis Morissette (#92)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • You Oughta Know (1995)
  • Hand in My Pocket (1995)
  • Ironic (1995)
  • You Learn (1995)
  • Uninvited (1998)
  • Thank U (1998)
  • Unsent (1998)
  • Hands Clean (2002)
  • Everything (2004)
  • Reasons I Drink (2019)

Nirvana (#93)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Violent Femmes (#94)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Blister in the Sun (1983)
  • Add It Up (1983)
  • Kiss Off (1983)
  • Country Death Song (1984)
  • Faith (1986)
  • No Killing (1986)
  • Nightmares (1989)
  • Fat (1989)
  • Nothing Worth Living For (1989)
  • American Music (1991)

Boston (#95)

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  • More Than a Feeling (1976)
  • Foreplay/Longtime (1976)
  • Rock and Roll Band (1976)
  • Don’t Look Back (1978)
  • Amanda (1986)
  • We’re Ready (1986)
  • Can’tcha Say/Still in Love (1986)
  • I Need Your Love (1994)
  • Higher Power (1997)
  • I Had a Good Time (2002)

Dire Straits (#96)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Sultans of Swing (1978)
  • Skateaway (1980)
  • Romeo and Juliet (1980)
  • Industrial Disease (1982)
  • Money for Nothing (1985)
  • Walk of Life (1985)
  • So Far Away (1985)
  • Brothers in Arms (1985)
  • Calling Elvis (1991)
  • Heavy Fuel (1991)

Terence Trent D’Arby (#97)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • If You Let Me Stay (1987)
  • Wishing Well (1987)
  • Sign Your Name (1987)
  • As Yet Untitled (1987)
  • Wonderful World (live, 1987)
  • This Side of Love (1989)
  • She Kissed Me (1993)
  • Undeniably (1995)
  • Tension Inside the Sweetness/Frankie and Johnny (T.I.T.S./F&J) (1993)
  • O Divina (2001)

Def Leppard (#98)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Bringin’ on the Heartbreak (1981)
  • Photograph (1983)
  • Rock of Ages (1983)
  • Animal (1987)
  • Hysteria (1987)
  • Pour Some Sugar on Me (1987)
  • Love Bites (1987)
  • Armageddon It (1987)
  • Let’s Get Rocked (1992)
  • Work It Out (1996)

Willie Nelson (#99)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

Lynyrd Skynyrd (#100)

DMDB encyclopedia entry

  • Free Bird (1973)
  • Gimme Three Steps (1973)
  • Simple Man (1973)
  • Sweet Home Alabama (1974)
  • Don’t Ask Me No Questions (1974)
  • Call Me the Breeze (1974)
  • Saturday Night Special (1975)
  • Gimme Back My Bullets (1976)
  • What’s Your Name (1977)
  • You Got That Right (1977)

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First posted 1/15/2013; last updated 2/13/2024.