You’ll probably receive 20 different answers if you ask 20 people which are the best songs of all time. That’s the power of a great song: it can impact you on a deeply personal level, which is far more significant than what others think. However, in order to produce a list of the greatest songs of all time, we took into account the opinions of both professional music critics and fans and compiled a list of the best songs of all time.
Here is a compiled list of the best songs of all time ranked by the fans and critics :
1. ‘Imagine’ – John lennon
John Lennon’s “Imagine,” which was ranked second by the Ranker community and third by Rolling Stone, is deserving of our top slot. It was Lennon’s best-selling solo hit when it was released in the United States in October 1971 and the United Kingdom in October 1975.
“Imagine” is listed No. 30 on the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the 365 Songs of the Century, and it’s been covered by Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Elton John, and many others. It’s also been played before the New Year’s Time Square Ball drops in New York City since 2005.
Lennon stated shortly before his death that much of the song’s content and lyrics were inspired by his wife at the time.
2. ‘Hey Jude’ – The Beatles
Thousands of Ranker users voted it the finest song of all time, and it ranks eighth on the Rolling Stone list. The Beatles’ first single, “Hey Jude,” was a No. 1 smash in numerous countries and the best-selling single of 1968 in the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, and Canada.
The song’s message is heartfelt and extremely personal: The first lines, according to McCartney, are “a hopeful message for Julian: ‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.’”
He eventually changed his name from “Jules” to “Jude,” after Jud from the music of “Oklahoma!”
3. ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ — The Rolling Stones
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” voted the second-best song of all time by Rolling Stone, gave The Rolling Stones their first No. 1 in the United States, and despite being restricted to pirate radio stations in the United Kingdom (due to its sexually suggestive content), it eventually topped the charts there as well.
The song’s recognisable riff came to Keith Richards in a dream one night in May 1965, while the Rolling Stones were on their third U.S. tour, in his motel room in Clearwater, Florida. “He woke up and grabbed a guitar and a cassette machine,” Rolling Stone reports. Richards slept for a while after playing the sequence of notes.
4. ‘Yesterday’ — The Beatles
The Ranker community voted the Beatles’ most renowned ballad third best, and Rolling Stone ranked it thirteenth greatest. It was also named the best song of the twentieth century in a BBC Radio 2 poll of music professionals and listeners in 1999. It was also ranked third on BMI’s list of the Top 100 Songs of the Century.
Only one of the Fab Four is featured on “Yesterday,” with McCartney’s vocals over a string quartet. “One of the most instinctive songs I’ve ever written,” McCartney said. While sleeping at his then-girlfriend Jane Asher’s residence, the melody came to him in a dream. However, the band was first “a little ashamed” to record a song so far off from its rock-and-roll background.
5. ‘Good Vibrations’ — The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” was a massive hit in 1966, earning them No. 1 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and a slew of other countries.
With a $50,000 studio bill, it was the most costly single ever recorded at the time. Brian Wilson wrote and produced the song, which was inspired by his obsession with cosmic vibrations, which began when his mother attempted to explain why dogs growled at some people but not others when he was a child.
Wilson remarked. One of his goals with the song was to write a song that was better than “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin,” and Rolling Stone and Ranker both think he succeeded, rating “Good Vibrations” at No. 6 and No. 8, respectively.
6. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ — Nirvana
Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the single ’90s release on the list, became an anthem for an indifferent generation. The song, which was named after a female deodorant brand, was the band’s biggest hit in most countries, earning platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (1 million copies sold) and propelling the album “Nevermind” to the top of the charts at the start of 1992. However, the song put undue strain on the band.
Kurt Cobain, the band’s leader, remarked, “There are many other songs that I have written that are as good, if not better,” “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is ranked No. 9 by Rolling Stone, and No. 13 by Ranker voters.
7. ‘Johnny B. Goode’ — Chuck Berry
“Johnny B. Goode,” a 1958 smash for Chuck Berry, has been dubbed “the first rock & roll hit about rock & roll stardom” and “the best rock & roll song about the democracy of fame in pop music” by Rolling Stone.
The semi-autobiographical song, about an illiterate “country lad” from New Orleans who plays the guitar “like ringing a bell,” reached No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its impact as a rock-and-roll hit in 1999, and it is ranked No. 1 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time. It’s also a big hit with Ranker voters, who ranked it No. 11 on the list.
8. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ — The Beatles
“I Want to Hold Your Hand,” another of The Beatles’ “best song” entries, is ranked sixth on Ranker and 16th on Rolling Stone. It was the group’s first No. 1 success in the United States, and it spent 21 weeks in the top 50 in the United Kingdom.
The song was composed “eyeball to eyeball” with McCartney, according to John Lennon in 1980.
9. ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’ — Bob Dylan
“Blowin’ in the Wind” has been called “Dylan’s first important composition,” “the most renowned protest song ever,” “a anthem of the civil rights struggle,” and “the tune Dylan is most known for,” therefore it’s surprising that it didn’t chart for Bob Dylan. In the summer of 1963, however, it was a huge hit for the folk band Peter, Paul, and Mary, and it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994.
It is ranked No. 14 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 best songs of all time, and No. 17 by Ranker voters.
10. ‘God Only Knows’ — The Beach Boys
“God Only Knows” wasn’t the Beach Boys’ biggest chart hit (it was released as the B-side of “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” in the US), but it remains a firm fan favorite.
It was ranked 25th by Rolling Stone, 19th by the Ranker community, one of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the greatest song of the 1960s by Pitchfork Media. In fact, it was chosen the best Beach Boys song by Rolling Stone readers, and Paul McCartney, another ’60s creative talent, has declared it is his favorite song of all time.
The list can satisfy your thirst of making a killer playlist of the best songs of all time that are considered ‘iconic’ for a reason. Which song among the above mentioned is your favorite ? Let us know in the comment section.
Also checkout: 10 Most Inspirational Songs Of All Time