The Flop of ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ 2021 List by Rolling Stone Magazine

The Rolling Stone magazine is one of the most reputed and pioneering music journalists in the world. So, when they create a list titled ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,’ it carries some weight and music fans do turn their heads to it.

According to Rolling Stone, their ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ lists have attracted hundreds of millions of visitors to their website. This makes sense. It is an amazing list of some of the best musical works of all time. Or at least it was!

Rolling Stone magazine created its first ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ list in 2004. They amended the list in 2010. In 2021, they decided to flush this old list entirely and recreate it for good. Their motivation to recreate the list is justifiable.

But a lot has changed since 2004; back then the iPod was relatively new, and Billie Eilish was three years old. So we’ve decided to give the list a total reboot.

Today, streaming has become the main mode of music consumption. Many new artists pop up every day thanks to the power of social media. But what does make a song ‘great’?

We, at Justrandomthins Music Community, believe a song earns the title ‘great’ when it stands the test of time and wins. Can a song transcend generations? Can a song move generations of people? This tells how much influence a song can have over a large majority of people, and not just one group of people.

The 2021 list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ list fails several times in this regard. There are several songs released in the last 10 years, and even worse so, songs released in 2020!

Granted, there can be a handful of songs that can be labeled ‘great’ right off the oven. Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” is such a song, which also made the list. “Sign of the Times” by Harry Styles is yet another song that is amazing and one that we believe will have a similar level of mass appeal for generations to come. This song made it into the list as well.

But “bad guy” by Billie Eilish at #90 on the list makes less sense. It is a good song. It is a popular song with over 1.8 billion streams on Spotify and 1.1 billion views on YouTube. Maybe streaming stats is what pushed this song into this list. But just as Rolling Stone said even iPod was relatively new in 2004 and Spotify was created in 2006. The songs released before the ’80s would have no edge on streaming compared to new releases.

Rolling Stone ranks Ariana Grande’s 2019 hit “thank u, next” at #69 on the list. Again, a good song with a massive mass appeal in 2019, 2020, and maybe in 2021. In another 20 years, will this song have the same appeal and influence as it does today?

Cardi B’s “I Like It” makes it into the list at #193. This was another massive song and a great dance-BOP. We do believe this song will weather the test of time better than the two songs we mentioned above.

Another interesting addition to the 2021 list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ list is KPOP giants BTS’ 2020 hit “Dynamite.” BTS has made a massive impact on music recently. But can this song stand the test of time? We have doubts since we believe BTS will have at least ten more songs that sound just like “Dynamite” in the next years to come. What unique features of this song make it a contender on this ‘greatest of all time’ list?

The list also inducts Lil Nas X’s breakout hit “Old Town Road” from 2019 on the ‘greatest of all time’ list. This song was absolutely massive during 2019-2020 and saved Lil Nas X’s career and possibly his life, too. This is a great song to head bump, but this song fails in substance. Lil Nas X himself called this song a “gimmick” on his follow-up single “Holiday.” Does a gimmick belong in the ‘greatest of all time’ songs list? Rolling Stone gave up songs like “We Will Rock You” by Queen and “Ziggy Stardust” by David Bowie to include songs like above.

Lizzo’s 2017 breakthrough hit “Truth Hurts” is another track that confuses us. This is a great song and Lizzo is a very talented artist. But it cannot compare against “Save the Last Dance for Me” by The Drifters or “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse, both of which were removed in the 2021 edition of the list.

Don’t get us wrong, all of the above songs are amazing songs on their own. But doubts arise when these songs are compared with the greats like “Yellow” or “Paradise” by Coldplay. These two are absolutely massive songs and have a long-lasting appeal, but did not make the cut into this list.

Removals from ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time List’ from 2010 to 2021

The below songs which made the cut in the 2004 list and its update in 2010, did not make the cut in 2021.

  1. What’d I Say – Ray Charles
  2. Blowin’ in the Wind – Bob Dylan
  3. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – The Righteous Brothers
  4. When a Man Loves a Woman – Percy Sledge
  5. Long Tall Sally – Little Richard
  6. The Times They Are a-Changin’ – Bob Dylan
  7. Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On – Jerry Lee Lewis
  8. For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield
  9. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
  10. California Girls – The Beach Boys
  11. Mystery Train – Elvis Presley
  12. I Got You (I Feel Good) – James Brown
  13. Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) – The Beatles
  14. Blue Suede Shoes – Carl Perkins
  15. Roll Over Beethoven – Chuck Berry
  16. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – The Rolling Stones
  17. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix
  18. Be-Bop-A-Lula – Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps
  19. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
  20. Living for the City – Stevie Wonder
  21. The Boxer – Simon and Garfunkel
  22. Not Fade Away – Buddy Holly
  23. Brown Eyed Girl – Van Morrison
  24. I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (to Stop Now) – Otis Redding
  25. That’s All Right – Elvis Presley
  26. You Send Me – Sam Cooke
  27. Honky Tonk Women – The Rolling Stones
  28. Take Me to the River – Al Green
  29. It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World – James Brown
  30. Shake Rattle & Roll – Big Joe Turner
  31. Rock & Roll Music – Chuck Berry
  32. Born to Be Wild – Steppenwolf
  33. Who Do You Love – Bo Diddley
  34. While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Beatles
  35. I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles
  36. Please, Please, Please – James Brown
  37. I Wanna Be Sedated – The Ramones
  38. Me and Bobby McGee – Janis Joplin
  39. Cathy’s Clown – The Everly Brothers
  40. Earth Angel – The Penguins
  41. Foxy Lady – Jimi Hendrix
  42. A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles
  43. Rave On – Buddy Holly
  44. (We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock – Bill Haley and His Comets
  45. Moment Of Surrender – U2
  46. Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
  47. I Can’t Stop Loving You – Ray Charles
  48. I Fought the Law – Bobby Fuller Four
  49. Don’t Worry Baby – The Beach Boys
  50. Save the Last Dance for Me – The Drifters
  51. The Thrill Is Gone – B.B. King
  52. Please Please Me – The Beatles
  53. Who’ll Stop the Rain – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  54. I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You) – Aretha Franklin
  55. Back in Black – AC/DC
  56. Knocking on Heaven’s Door – Bob Dylan
  57. Rehab – Amy Winehouse
  58. There Goes My Baby – The Drifters
  59. Maybe – The Chantels
  60. Don’t Be Cruel – Elvis Presley
  61. Hey Joe – Jimi Hendrix
  62. Come Together – The Beatles
  63. Positively 4th Street – Bob Dylan
  64. Reach Out, I’ll Be There – The Four Tops
  65. Bye Bye Love – The Everly Brothers
  66. In My Room – The Beach Boys
  67. 96 Tears – ? and the Mysterians
  68. Caroline, No – The Beach Boys
  69. Rockin’ in the Free World – Neil Young
  70. Do You Believe in Magic – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  71. Walk Away Renee – The Left Banke
  72. Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
  73. Dance to the Music – Sly and the Family Stone
  74. Hoochie Coochie Man – Muddy Waters
  75. Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash
  76. Moondance – Van Morrison
  77. Just Like a Woman – Bob Dylan
  78. Only the Lonely – Roy Orbison
  79. We Gotta Get Out of This Place – The Animals
  80. I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better – The Byrds
  81. Everyday – Buddy Holly
  82. I Got a Woman – Ray Charles
  83. I Fall to Pieces – Patsy Cline
  84. The Wanderer – Dion
  85. Stand! – Sly and the Family Stone
  86. Love Shack – The B-52’s
  87. Gimme Some Lovin’ – The Spencer Davis Group
  88. (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson
  89. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down – The Band
  90. Hot Fun in the Summertime – Sly and the Family Stone
  91. Money Honey – The Drifters
  92. Mack the Knife – Bobby Darin
  93. Paranoid Android – Radiohead
  94. Highway to Hell – AC/DC
  95. Mississippi – Bob Dylan
  96. Wild Thing – The Troggs
  97. I Can See for Miles – The Who
  98. Oh, What a Night – The Dells
  99. Ooo Baby Baby by Smokey Robinson
  100. He’s a Rebel – The Crystals
  101. Walking in the Rain – The Ronettes
  102. Tighten Up – Archie Bell and the Drells
  103. Sunday Bloody Sunday – U2
  104. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
  105. Sloop John B – The Beach Boys
  106. Sweet Little Sixteen by Chuck Berry
  107. Somebody to Love – Jefferson Airplane
  108. Born in the U.S.A – Bruce Springsteen
  109. I’ll Take You There – The Staple Singers
  110. Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
  111. Chapel of Love – The Dixie Cups
  112. Call Me – Blondie
  113. (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding – Elvis Costello and The Attractions
  114. Smoke Stack Lightning – Howlin’ Wolf
  115. Walk This Way – Run-DMC
  116. Money (That’s What I Want) – Barrett Strong
  117. Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
  118. She’s Not There – The Zombies
  119. Train in Vain – The Clash
  120. Tired of Being Alone – Al Green
  121. Black Dog – Led Zeppelin
  122. Street Fighting Man – The Rolling Stones
  123. Sign ‘O’ the Times – Prince
  124. One Way or Another – Blondie
  125. One More Time – Daft Punk
  126. Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? – Rod Stewart
  127. Ruby Tuesday – The Rolling Stones
  128. With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles
  129. That’s Entertainment – The Jam
  130. Why Do Fools Fall In Love – Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
  131. Lonely Teardrops – Jackie Wilson
  132. Wake Up Little Susie – The Everly Brothers
  133. In Dreams – Roy Orbison
  134. Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood – The Animals
  135. Many Rivers to Cross – Jimmy Cliff
  136. Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand
  137. Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin
  138. Cortez the Killer – Neil Young
  139. Dancing Barefoot – Patti Smith Group
  140. Good Lovin’ – The Young Rascals
  141. For Your Precious Love – Jerry Butler and the Impressions
  142. The End – The Doors
  143. That’s the Way of the World – Earth, Wind and Fire
  144. We Will Rock You – Queen
  145. I Can’t Make You Love Me – Bonnie Raitt
  146. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
  147. Beautiful Day – U2
  148. Walk This Way – Aerosmith
  149. Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney
  150. You Keep Me Hanging On – The Supremes
  151. Baba O’Riley – The Who
  152. Runaround Sue – Dion
  153. Jim Dandy – Lavern Baker
  154. Piece of My Heart – Big Brother and the Holding Company
  155. La Bamba – Ritchie Valens
  156. Candle in the Wind – Elton John
  157. That Lady (Part 1 and 2) – The Isley Brothers
  158. Spanish Harlem – Ben E
  159. The Locomotion – Little Eva
  160. The Great Pretender – The Platters
  161. All Shook Up – Elvis Presley
  162. Tears in Heaven – Eric Clapton
  163. Watching the Detectives – Elvis Costello
  164. Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  165. Nowhere to Run – Martha and the Vandellas
  166. Got My Mojo Working – Muddy Waters
  167. All You Need Is Love – The Beatles
  168. Complete Control – The Clash
  169. The Letter – The Box Tops
  170. Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan
  171. How Deep Is Your Love – The Bee Gees
  172. White Room – Cream
  173. Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
  174. I’m A Man – Bo Diddley
  175. The Wind Cries Mary – Jimi Hendrix
  176. I Can’t Explain – The Who
  177. Wonderful World – Sam Cooke
  178. Brown Eyed Handsome Man – Chuck Berry
  179. Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 – Pink Floyd
  180. Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead
  181. Hit the Road Jack – Ray Charles
  182. Pride (In The Name of Love) – U2
  183. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John
  184. Tell It Like It Is – Aaron Neville
  185. Bitter Sweet Symphony – The Verve
  186. Ticket to Ride – The Beatles
  187. Ohio – Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
  188. I Know You Got Soul – Eric B and Rakim
  189. Roxanne – The Police
  190. Just My Imagination – The Temptations
  191. Baby I Need Your Loving – The Four Tops
  192. Summer in the City – The Lovin’ Spoonful
  193. O-o-h Child – The Five Stairsteps
  194. Can’t Help Falling in Love – Elvis Presley
  195. Remember (Walkin’ in the Sand) – The Shangri-Las
  196. Thirteen – Big Star
  197. Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd
  198. Tonight’s the Night – The Shirelles
  199. Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) – Sly & the Family Stone
  200. C’mon Everybody – Eddie Cochran
  201. We’ve Only Just Begun – The Carpenters
  202. In Bloom – Nirvana
  203. Sweet Emotion – Aerosmith
  204. Monkey Gone to Heaven – Pixies
  205. The Girl Can’t Help It – Little Richard
  206. Young Blood – The Coasters
  207. I Can’t Help Myself – The Four Tops
  208. It’s Your Thing – The Isley Brothers
  209. Piano Man – Billy Joel
  210. Blue Suede Shoes – Elvis Presley
  211. William, It Was Really Nothing – The Smiths
  212. American Idiot – Green day
  213. Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple
  214. New Year’s Day – U2
  215. Everybody Needs Somebody to Love – Solomon Burke
  216. Ain’t It a Shame – Fats Domino
  217. Ramble On – Led Zeppelin
  218. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett
  219. Alone Again Or – Love
  220. Beast of Burden – The Rolling Stones
  221. Love Me Tender – Elvis Presley
  222. Push It – Salt-n-Pepa
  223. Pink Houses – John Cougar Mellencamp
  224. Come Go With Me – The Del-Vikings
  225. I Shot the Sheriff – Bob Marley and the Wailers
  226. I Got You Babe – Sonny and Cher
  227. Heroin – The Velvet Underground
  228. The Twist – Chubby Checker
  229. Cupid – Sam Cooke
  230. Paradise City – Guns n’ Roses
  231. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
  232. All Apologies – Nirvana
  233. Soul Man – Sam and Dave
  234. Rollin’ Stone – Muddy Waters
  235. Big P*mpin’ – Jay-Z (feat. UGK)
  236. Respect Yourself – The Staple Singers
  237. Rain – The Beatles
  238. Standing in the Shadows of Love – The Four Tops
  239. Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes
  240. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man – Aretha Franklin
  241. I Want to Know What Love Is – Foreigner
  242. Cry Me A River – Justin Timberlake
  243. Lady Marmalade – Labelle
  244. I’m Eighteen – Alice Cooper
  245. Under the Boardwalk – The Drifters
  246. Clocks – Coldplay
  247. I Love Rock ‘N Roll – Joan Jett
  248. Time To Pretend – MGMT
  249. Ignition (Remix) – R. Kelly
  250. Brown Sugar – The Rolling Stones
  251. Running on Empty – Jackson Browne
  252. The Rising – Bruce Springsteen
  253. Miss You – The Rolling Stones
  254. Shop Around – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

With all these questionable inclusions and exclusions, it feels as if Rolling Stone attempted to make their list more ‘today-friendly or make it more ‘current,’ which should not have been a factor for an ‘all time’ list.

Analysis of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ List by Rolling Stone

The Beatles take the lead on the list with the highest number of songs with 12. They are followed by The Rolling Stones with 7 songs, and Bob Dylan and David Bowie with 6 songs each.

According to Rolling Stone magazine, there are 254 new additions to the list compared to their previous list. This is more than half of the list, which is too large of a number to change within a matter of 16 years.

Check out the complete new list below.

2021 list of ‘The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time’ by Rolling Stone

  1. Aretha Franklin – Respect
  2. Public Enemy – Fight the Power
  3. Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come
  4. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
  5. Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  6. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
  7. The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever
  8. Missy Elliott – Get Ur Freak On
  9. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams
  10. Outkast – Hey Ya!
  11. The Beach Boys – God Only Knows
  12. Stevie Wonder – Superstition
  13. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  14. The Kinks – Waterloo Sunset
  15. The Beatles – I Want to Hold Your Hand
  16. Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z – Crazy in Love
  17. Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
  18. Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
  19. John Lennon – Imagine
  20. Robyn – Dancing on My Own
  21. Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit
  22. The Ronettes – Be My Baby
  23. David Bowie – Heroes
  24. The Beatles – A Day in the Life
  25. Kanye West feat. Pusha T – Runaway
  26. Joni Mitchell – A Case of You
  27. Bruce Springsteen – Born to Run
  28. Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime
  29. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg – Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang
  30. Lorde – Royals
  31. The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  32. Notorious B.I.G. – Juicy
  33. Chuck Berry – Johnny B. Goode
  34. James Brown – Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag
  35. Little Richard – Tutti-Frutti
  36. The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
  37. Prince and the Revolution – When Doves Cry
  38. Otis Redding – (Sittin’ On) the Dock of the Bay
  39. Outkast – B.O.B.
  40. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – All Along the Watchtower
  41. Joy Division – Love Will Tear Us Apart
  42. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Redemption Song
  43. The Temptations – My Girl
  44. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  45. Kendrick Lamar – Alright
  46. M.I.A. – Paper Planes
  47. Elton John – Tiny Dancer
  48. Radiohead – Idioteque
  49. Lauryn Hill – Doo Wop (That Thing)
  50. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina
  51. Dionne Warwick – Walk on By
  52. Donna Summer – I Feel Love
  53. The Beach Boys – Good Vibrations
  54. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – The Tracks of My Tears
  55. Madonna – Like a Prayer
  56. Missy Elliott – Work It
  57. Sly and the Family Stone – Family Affair
  58. The Band – The Weight
  59. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five – The Message
  60. Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
  61. Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven
  62. U2 – One
  63. Dolly Parton – Jolene
  64. Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
  65. Earth, Wind & Fire – September
  66. Simon and Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  67. Bob Dylan – Tangled Up in Blue
  68. Chic – Good Times
  69. Taylor Swift – All Too Well
  70. Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds
  71. Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
  72. The Beatles – Yesterday
  73. Beyoncé – Formation
  74. Leonard Cohen – Hallelujah
  75. Pulp – Common People
  76. Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line
  77. The Modern Lovers – Roadrunner
  78. The Four Tops – Reach Out (I’ll Be There)
  79. Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
  80. Ray Charles – What’d I Say
  81. The Velvet Underground – I’m Waiting for the Man
  82. Adele – Rolling in the Deep
  83. Bob Dylan – Desolation Row
  84. Al Green – Let’s Stay Together
  85. Prince – Kiss
  86. The Rolling Stones – Tumbling Dice
  87. LCD Soundsystem – All My Friends
  88. Guns N’ Roses – Sweet Child O’ Mine
  89. The Beatles – Hey Jude
  90. Aretha Franklin – (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman
  91. UGK feat. Outkast – Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)
  92. Little Richard – Good Golly, Miss Molly
  93. Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
  94. Whitney Houston – I Will Always Love You
  95. Oasis – Wonderwall
  96. Jay-Z – 99 Problems
  97. Patti Smith – Gloria
  98. The Beatles – In My Life
  99. Bee Gees – Stayin’ Alive
  100. Daddy Yankee – Gasolina
  101. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Maps
  102. Chuck Berry – Maybelline
  103. Alanis Morissette – You Oughta Know
  104. The Jackson 5 – I Want You Back
  105. David Bowie – Life on Mars?
  106. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy for the Devil
  107. Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.
  108. The Cure – Just Like Heaven
  109. Sly and the Family Stone – Everyday People
  110. The Beatles – Something
  111. Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road
  112. R.E.M. – Losing My Religion
  113. Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
  114. Britney Spears – Toxic
  115. Etta James – At Last
  116. Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock – It Takes Two
  117. Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer
  118. Radiohead – Creep
  119. Marvin Gaye – I Heard It Through the Grapevine
  120. X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
  121. The Beatles – Let It Be
  122. The Impressions – People Get Ready
  123. Talking Heads – This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)
  124. Buddy Holly – That’ll Be the Day
  125. Sex Pistols – Anarchy in the U.K.
  126. George Michael – Freedom! ’90
  127. TLC – Waterfalls
  128. Led Zeppelin – Whole Lotta Love
  129. Drake feat. Majid Jordan – Hold On, We’re Going Home
  130. Martha and the Vandellas – Dancing in the Street
  131. Ben E. King – Stand by Me
  132. Eric B. and Rakim – Paid in Full
  133. Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’
  134. Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do With It
  135. The Beatles – She Loves You
  136. Otis Redding – Try a Little Tenderness
  137. Ariana Grande – Thank U, Next
  138. Blondie – Heart of Glass
  139. Madonna – Vogue
  140. Bob Marley and the Wailers – No Woman No Cry
  141. Rod Stewart – Maggie May
  142. George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today
  143. The Clash – London Calling
  144. The Rolling Stones – Jumpin’ Jack Flash
  145. Outkast – Ms. Jackson
  146. James Taylor – Fire and Rain
  147. Fats Domino – Blueberry Hill
  148. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
  149. Elton John – Rocket Man
  150. Green Day – Basket Case
  151. The Shirelles – Will You Love Me Tomorrow
  152. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Proud Mary
  153. Rick James – Super Freak
  154. Howlin’ Wolf – Spoonful
  155. The Strokes – Last Nite
  156. The Kingsmen – Louie Louie
  157. Sonic Youth – Teenage Riot
  158. The Meters – Cissy Strut
  159. The Who – Baba O’Riley
  160. R.E.M. – Nightswimming
  161. Madonna – Into the Groove
  162. Nick Drake – Pink Moon
  163. Fleetwood Mac – Landslide
  164. Bob Dylan – Mr. Tambourine Man
  165. Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
  166. Mott the Hoople – All the Young Dudes
  167. Eminem – Lose Yourself
  168. Dusty Springfield – Son of a Preacher Man
  169. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – American Girl
  170. The Five Satins – In the Still of the Night
  171. Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
  172. Nina Simone – Mississippi Goddam
  173. Television – Marquee Moon
  174. R.E.M. – Radio Free Europe
  175. The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes for You
  176. The Kinks – You Really Got Me
  177. Van Halen – Jump
  178. Billie Eilish – Bad Guy
  179. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
  180. Lou Reed – Walk on the Wild Side
  181. The Byrds – Eight Miles High
  182. Simon and Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence
  183. Stevie Wonder – You Are the Sunshine of My Life
  184. Sinéad O’Connor – Nothing Compares 2 U
  185. Michael Jackson – Beat It
  186. The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There
  187. Bob Dylan – Subterranean Homesick Blues
  188. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Little Wing
  189. David Bowie – Space Oddity
  190. N.W.A – F*ck tha Police
  191. Bobbie Gentry – Ode to Billie Joe
  192. Geto Boys – Mind Playing Tricks on Me
  193. The Rolling Stones – Wild Horses
  194. PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
  195. Patsy Cline – Crazy
  196. James Brown – Get Up (I Feel Like Being A) Sex Machine
  197. Ann Peebles – I Can’t Stand the Rain
  198. Marvin Gaye – Sexual Healing
  199. Aerosmith – Dream On
  200. David Bowie – Changes
  201. Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire
  202. Elton John – Your Song
  203. Stevie Wonder – Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours
  204. David Bowie – Young Americans
  205. Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
  206. Glen Campbell – Wichita Lineman
  207. Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name
  208. Hole – Doll Parts
  209. Don Henley – Boys of Summer
  210. Funkadelic – One Nation Under a Groove
  211. U2 – With or Without You
  212. Boston – More Than a Feeling
  213. The Rolling Stones – Paint It, Black
  214. Steely Dan – Deacon Blues
  215. Mobb Deep – Shook Ones, Pt. II
  216. Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock
  217. Stevie Nicks – Edge of Seventeen
  218. Wilson Pickett – In the Midnight Hour
  219. Tom Petty – Free Fallin’
  220. New Order – Bizarre Love Triangle
  221. Ike and Tina Turner – River Deep, Mountain High
  222. Crosby – Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
  223. Eminem feat. Dido – Stan
  224. Derek and the Dominos – Layla
  225. Joni Mitchell – Both Sides Now
  226. The Smiths – There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
  227. Creedence Clearwater Revival – Fortunate Son
  228. Beyoncé – Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)
  229. Woody Guthrie – This Land Is Your Land
  230. The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man
  231. Whitney Houston – I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)
  232. The Who – My Generation
  233. Deee-Lite – Groove Is in the Heart
  234. The Supremes – You Keep Me Hangin’ On
  235. New Order – Blue Monday
  236. Bill Withers – Lean on Me
  237. Hank Williams – Your Cheatin’ Heart
  238. Aaliyah – Are You That Somebody?
  239. Big Star – September Gurls
  240. Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
  241. Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance
  242. Jerry Lee Lewis – Great Balls of Fire
  243. The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
  244. Pavement – Summer Babe (Winter Version)
  245. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
  246. Faces – Ooh La La
  247. Joni Mitchell – River
  248. N.W.A – Straight Outta Compton
  249. Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
  250. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Purple Haze
  251. Gloria Gaynor – I Will Survive
  252. Parliament – Flash Light
  253. Willie Nelson – Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain
  254. The Supremes – Stop! In the Name of Love
  255. Loretta Lynn – Coal Miner’s Daughter
  256. Metallica – Master of Puppets
  257. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas – Heat Wave
  258. Gil-Scott Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
  259. Neil Young – Heart of Gold
  260. The Wailers – Get Up, Stand Up
  261. Curtis Mayfield – Pusherman
  262. Paul Simon – American Tune
  263. Dolly Parton – Coat of Many Colors
  264. Marvin Gaye – Let’s Get It On
  265. The Replacements – Left of the Dial
  266. Augustus Pablo – King Tubby Meets the Rockers Uptown
  267. Drake feat. Rihanna – Take Care
  268. The Isley Brothers – Shout (Parts 1 and 2)
  269. The Righteous Brothers – Unchained Melody
  270. Nine Inch Nails – Closer
  271. Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale
  272. Thin Lizzy – The Boys Are Back in Town
  273. Roberta Flack – Killing Me Softly With His Song
  274. Al Green – Love and Happiness
  275. Randy Newman – Sail Away
  276. Buzzcocks – Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
  277. Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
  278. Toots and the Maytals – Pressure Drop
  279. Radiohead – Karma Police
  280. The Beatles – Penny Lane
  281. Clipse – Grindin’
  282. INXS – Never Tear Us Apart
  283. Ray Charles – Georgia on My Mind
  284. Leonard Cohen – Suzanne
  285. Destiny’s Child – Say My Name
  286. ABBA – Dancing Queen
  287. AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long
  288. The Funky 4 + 1 – That’s the Joint
  289. Bruce Springsteen – Atlantic City
  290. Usher feat. Lil Jon and Ludacris – Yeah!
  291. Phil Collins – In the Air Tonight
  292. A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?
  293. Alice Cooper – School’s Out
  294. The Velvet Underground – Sweet Jane
  295. The Who – Won’t Get Fooled Again
  296. Bikini Kill – Rebel Girl
  297. Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice
  298. Bruce Springsteen – Jungleland
  299. Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – I Put a Spell on You
  300. The B-52’s – s, ‘Rock Lobster
  301. Bob Seger – Night Moves
  302. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
  303. TLC – No Scrubs
  304. Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express
  305. The Police – Every Breath You Take
  306. Aretha Franklin – Chain of Fools
  307. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
  308. Liz Phair – Divorce Song
  309. Bill Withers – Ain’t No Sunshine
  310. The Doors – Light My Fire
  311. The Eagles – Hotel California
  312. Isaac Hayes – Walk on By
  313. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles – The Tears of a Clown
  314. The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog
  315. John Coltrane – Pt. 1-Acknowledgement
  316. The Shangri-Las – Leader of the Pack
  317. Bob Dylan – Visions of Johanna
  318. Big Mama Thornton – Hound Dog
  319. Tears for Fears – Everybody Wants to Rule the World
  320. 2Pac – California Love
  321. U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
  322. Neil Young – After the Gold Rush
  323. Everly Brothers – All I Have to Do Is Dream
  324. Billy Joel – Scenes From an Italian Restaurant
  325. Iggy Pop – Lust for Life
  326. Rilo Kiley – Portions for Foxes
  327. Mary J. Blige – Real Love
  328. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Under the Bridge
  329. Bad Bunny – Safaera
  330. The Notorious B.I.G. – Big Poppa
  331. The Marvelettes – Please Mr. Postman
  332. Rihanna feat. Jay-Z – Umbrella
  333. The Temptations – Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone
  334. The Grateful Dead – Ripple
  335. Marshall Jefferson – Move Your Body (The House Music Anthem)
  336. Hall and Oates – She’s Gone
  337. Cher – Believe
  338. Black Sabbath – Paranoid
  339. Prince – 1999
  340. The Clash – (White Man) in Hammersmith Palais
  341. The Monkees – I’m a Believer
  342. Chuck Berry – Promised Land
  343. The Doobie Brothers – What a Fool Believes
  344. Black Sabbath – Iron Man
  345. Carole King – It’s Too Late
  346. BTS – Dynamite
  347. Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
  348. Roxy Music – Virginia Plain
  349. The Zombies – Time of the Season
  350. John Prine – Angel From Montgomery
  351. Jorge Ben – Ponta de Lança Africano (Umbabarauma)
  352. Ice Cube – It Was a Good Day
  353. Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)
  354. Michael Jackson – Rock With You
  355. Thelma Houston – Don’t Leave Me This Way
  356. Cheap Trick – Surrender
  357. Taylor Swift – Blank Space
  358. Patti Smith – Because the Night
  359. Fugees – Killing Me Softly With His Song
  360. Prince – Little Red Corvette
  361. Jimmy Cliff – The Harder They Come
  362. Kacey Musgraves – Merry Go ‘Round
  363. Bob Marley and the Wailers – Could You Be Loved
  364. The Grateful Dead – Box of Rain
  365. Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen
  366. The Crystals – Da Doo Ron Ron
  367. Frank Ocean – Thinkin Bout You
  368. Soundgarden – Black Hole Sun
  369. The Cars – Just What I Needed
  370. Buddy Holly – Peggy Sue
  371. Elton John – Bennie and the Jets
  372. Bonnie Raitt – I Can’t Make You Love Me
  373. Drake – Hotline Bling
  374. William DeVaughn – Be Thankful for What You Got
  375. The Drifters – Up on the Roof
  376. Merle Haggard – Mama Tried
  377. The Cure – Pictures of You
  378. The Killers – Mr. Brightside
  379. D’Angelo – Untitled (How Does It Feel)
  380. Fountains of Wayne – Radiation Vibe
  381. The Slits – Typical Girls
  382. Fiona Apple – Paper Bag
  383. Childish Gambino – Redbone
  384. Cardi B Ft. Bad Bunny & J Balvin – I Like It
  385. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out
  386. The Kinks – Lola
  387. New York Dolls – Personality Crisis
  388. DMX – Party Up (Up in Here)
  389. Pretenders – Brass in Pocket
  390. Metallica – Enter Sandman
  391. Eric Church – Springsteen
  392. Coldplay – Fix You
  393. James Brown – Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)
  394. Jeff Buckley – Grace
  395. Afrika Bambaataa and the Soulsonic Force – Planet Rock
  396. Elvis Costello – Alison
  397. Public Enemy – Bring the Noise
  398. Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf
  399. Sylvester – You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)
  400. David Bowie – Station to Station
  401. Fleetwood Mac – Go Your Own Way
  402. Bill Withers – Lovely Day
  403. Rufus and Chaka Khan – Ain’t Nobody
  404. Kiss – Rock and Roll All Nite
  405. Selena – Amor Prohibido
  406. Run-DMC – Sucker MC’s
  407. Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird
  408. Cat Stevens/Yusuf – Father and Son
  409. Foo Fighters – Everlong
  410. Allman Brothers Band – Whipping Post
  411. Wilco – Heavy Metal Drummer
  412. Neneh Cherry – Buffalo Stance
  413. Them – Gloria
  414. Blondie – Dreaming
  415. Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
  416. Pearl Jam – Alive
  417. Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  418. Booker T. and the MGs – Green Onions
  419. Mariah Carey – Fantasy
  420. The Mamas and the Papas – California Dreamin’
  421. The Smiths – How Soon Is Now?
  422. Craig Mack feat. Notorious B.I.G. – Flava in Ya Ear (Remix)
  423. Fiona Apple – Criminal
  424. Blackstreet feat. Dr. Dre and Queen Pen – No Diggity
  425. Muddy Waters – Mannish Boy
  426. Nicki Minaj – Super Bass
  427. Sugar Hill Gang – Rapper’s Delight
  428. Harry Styles – Sign of the Times
  429. Queen and David Bowie – Under Pressure
  430. Pete Rock and CL Smooth – They Reminisce Over You
  431. Prince – Adore
  432. Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues
  433. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
  434. Ramones – Sheena Is a Punk Rocker
  435. Rush – Limelight
  436. Carly Rae Jepsen – Call Me Maybe
  437. Lucinda Williams – Passionate Kisses
  438. Megan Thee Stallion feat. Beyoncé – Savage (Remix)
  439. Celia Cruz – La Vida Es un Carnaval
  440. Alicia Keys – If I Ain’t Got You
  441. Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me
  442. Motörhead – Ace of Spades
  443. Fall Out Boy – Sugar, We’re Goin Down
  444. 50 Cent – In Da Club
  445. T. Rex – Cosmic Dancer
  446. Bruce Springsteen – Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
  447. The Beatles – Help!
  448. Erykah Badu – Tyrone
  449. Blue Öyster Cult – (Don’t Fear) The Reaper
  450. Neil Young – Powderfinger
  451. Migos feat. Lil Uzi Vert – Bad and Boujee
  452. Toto – Africa
  453. Missy Elliot – The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)
  454. Sister Nancy – Bam Bam
  455. Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit
  456. Lana Del Rey – Summertime Sadness
  457. Bon Jovi – Livin’ on a Prayer
  458. Beck – Loser
  459. Sade – No Ordinary Love
  460. Steel Pulse – Ku Klux Klan
  461. Roy Orbison – Crying
  462. Van Morrison – Into the Mystic
  463. John Lee Hooker – Boom Boom
  464. Joni Mitchell – Help Me
  465. Daft Punk feat. Pharrell Williams – Get Lucky
  466. Luther Vandross – Never Too Much
  467. Nirvana – Come as You Are
  468. Mazzy Star – Fade Into You
  469. Dixie Chicks – Goodbye Earl
  470. Gladys Knight and the Pips – Midnight Train to Georgia
  471. The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun
  472. Peter Gabriel – Solsbury Hill
  473. Tammy Wynette – Stand by Your Man
  474. Curtis Mayfield – Move On Up
  475. Janet Jackson – Rhythm Nation
  476. Kris Kristofferson – Sunday Mornin’ Comin’ Down
  477. The Go-Gos – Our Lips Are Sealed
  478. Juvenile feat. Lil Wayne and Mannie Fresh – Back That Azz Up
  479. Santana – Oye Como Va
  480. Biz Markie – Just a Friend
  481. Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues
  482. Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
  483. The Four Tops – I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)
  484. Weezer – Buddy Holly
  485. Azealia Banks – 212
  486. Lil Wayne – A Milli
  487. Solange – Cranes in the Sky
  488. The Weeknd – House of Balloons
  489. The Breeders – Cannonball
  490. Lil Nas X – Old Town Road
  491. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
  492. Miles Davis – So What
  493. The Pixies – Where Is My Mind?
  494. Cyndi Lauper – Time After Time
  495. Carly Simon – You’re So Vain
  496. Harry Nilsson – Without You
  497. Lizzo – Truth Hurts
  498. Townes Van Zandt – Pancho and Lefty
  499. The Supremes – Baby Love
  500. Kanye West – Stronger

All song lists have been sourced from Rolling Stone.

Let us hear what you think about the brand-new greatest list in the comments below. What are your favorite songs on the list?

Adam McDonald

Hi! I am the founder and lead author and editor of Justrandomthings music community. A vast range of personal interests from Hip-Hop to Country to Hard Rock and Punk music will keep you entertained.

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4 Responses

  1. James Paul Aquino says:

    the lists from 2010 is so trâsh because American Pie, Here Comes The Sun, and Take Me Home Country Roads was not on the list but i’m not expecting this updated lists much tráshier than the previous one

  2. Mspnca says:

    Looks like the list was massively influenced by present day US politics (BLM), what a disappointing list as compared to previous editions.

  3. Michael Hunt says:

    Public Enemy – Fight The Power is the second greatest song ever recorded? That just goes to show you how irrelevant Rolling Stone magazine has become. I wonder *why* they chose that song to be #2? Even Aretha Franklin’s – Respect at #1 is laughable. A great, great, great song…yes! The greatest song ever written? The people who put this list together should all be fired and laughed out of the small world of music journalism.

  4. Kary says:

    Personally I enjoy songs that move me in a deep way, make me want to ponder the meaning or simply elicit a feeling of peace and well being. That is how I judge their quality. I have perhaps been mistaken in believing others look for the same things in the music they are drawn to. Or perhaps American consciousness is deteriorating and we are headed to rock bottom before an awakening can occur. But then again, who is really qualified to create such a list? There are so many fabulous songs that have not been “hits”. And our tastes are our own.

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