Music + Lists = Satisfaction (at Number 7). Thoughts on "The 100 Absolute Best Songs in History"


The Beatles scored 19 hots out of the top 100.

I can't help it. I love lists and I love music. Put them together, and you can keep me busy for hours. A stray link in a pathology listserve (yes, there are still listserves out there,) led me to The 100 Absolute Best Songs in History, a list put together by website 24/7 Wall Street based on "sales, Billboard performance, number of cover versions and recognition among music fans." It's a mixture of stats and opinions made to be disagreed with. I've reproduced the rankings below. Here are my comments on the all-time Hot 100.

Artists With Most Songs Listed

Nine acts plated more than one song. The Beatles dominated with 19 songs (20 if you coount John Lennon's Imagine) including #1 Yesterday. Michael Jackson, Simon and Garfunkel and The Rolling Stones tied for second place with 3 apiece. The biggest surprise of the acts with 2 mentions? Bill Withers, whose pair of hits Ain't No Sunshine and Lean on Me both cracked the Top 50. No surprise that Paul Simon, in addition to his trio of hits with Artie, also had a solo outing on the list. But 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover? That's one he could have written on a napkin in a bar.

Female Artists

Fifteen female acts cracked the list, led by the Supremes with a double of Stop! In the Name of Love and Baby Love (no love for Love Child, though.) The songs varied in quality from Adele's awesome Rolling in the Deep at #3 to the dreadful Brand New Key by Melanie. Girl groups The Shirelles and The Marveletes hit the chart as did mixed gender performing acts Sonny and Cher, Fleetwood Mac, Sixpence None the Richer, and Blondie. The Debbie Harry fronted band made it twice with Call Me and Heart of Glass.

Sickly Sweet

The list had its share of overwrought, tear inducing love songs. Jim Croce measured Time in a Bottle, John Denver worshipped Annie, and John Legend gave Chrissy Teigen All of Me. Olivia Newton-John represented the ladies in this category with I Honestly Love You, while the Association's Cherish said it for the bands. Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, blasting in at #61 would probably not qualify as a tear-jerker.

The Magic's in the Movies

At least 13 songs had strong movie ties, from Isaac Hayes hot -buttered  Theme from Shaft to The Beatles psychedelic Yellow Submarine.  Lulu's To Sir With Love made the cut as did Georgy Girl by the Seekers. Born to be Wild wasn't a title tune, but would there have been an Easy Rider without Steppenwolf roaring through?

We'll Never be Royal

Oh yes, we will. We have the King of Rock'n'Roll (Elvis swiveling with Can't Help Falling in Love,) the King of Pop (Michael Jackson was crowned with Billie Jean, Beat It and Thriller,) a pair of Queens (Bohemian Rhapsody and Another One Bites the Dust,) and Ben E. King asking you to Stand By Me. But the list forgot to coronate Prince. No mention of the Purple One.

One Hit Wonders-Blink and they are Gone

  • ? and the Mysterions-96 Tears
  • Norman Greenbaum-Spirit in the Sky
  • Arthur Connely-Sweet Soul Music

Odds and Sods

  • Most Hated Artist: Nickelback (How You Remind Me)
  • Gratuitous Neil Diamond Shout Out:  Writing I'm a Believer for the Monkees.
  • Surprise, Surprise: These Boots are Made for Walkin'-Nancy Sinatra, but nothing by Papa Frank.
  • Missing in Action 2: (Like a Rolling Stone-Bob Dylan)
  • Missing in Action 3: (Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For-U2)
  • Missing in Action 4: (Won't Get Fooled Again-The Who)

What did I leave out? Lots and lots. Here's the full list (warning, you may need to view this in landscape mode on your phone.)

What are your thoughts?


1 Yesterday The Beatles
2 Bridge Over Trouble Waters Simon and Garfukel
3 Rolling in the Deep Adele
4 Hey Jude The Beatles
5 All of Me John Legend
6 Bad Romance Lady Gaga
7 (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction The Rolling Stones
8 Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
9 Let it Be The Beatles
10 Ain't No Sunshine Bill Withers
11 Can't Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley
12 I Want to Hold Your Hand The Beatles
13 The Sound of Silence Simon and Garfukel
14 Happy Pharrell Williams
15 Eleanor Rigby The Beatles
16 Something The Beatles
17 Help! The Beatles
18 Stand By Me Ben E. King
19 Wichita Lineman Glen Campbell
20 Can't Buy Me Love The Beatles
21 These Boots are Made for Walkin' Nancy Sinatra
22 Come Together The Beatles
23 Just the Way You Are Billy Joel
24 Time after Time Cyndi Lauper
25 Eye of the Tiger Survivor
26 The Letter The Box Tops
27 Lose Yourself Eminem
28 I Can See Clearly Now Johny Nash
29 When a Man Loves a Woman Percy Sledge
30 Downtown Petula Clark
31 Imagine John Lennon
32 Mrs. Robinson Simon and Garfukel
33 We Can Work it Out The Beatles
34 Oh, Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
35 What a Wonderful World Louis Armstrong
36 I'm a Believer The Monkees
37 Will You Love Me Tomorrow The Shirelles
38 Pumped up Kicks Foster the People
39 The Rose Bette Midler
40 Billie Jean Michael Jackson
41 Penny Lane The Beatles
42 King of the Road Roger Miller
43 Honky Tonk Woman The Rolling Stones
44 Lean on Me Bill Withers
45 Light My Fire The Doors
46 I Feel Fine The Beatles
47 Yellow Submarine The Beatles
48 Please Mr. Postman The Marvelettes
49 A Hard Days Night The Beatles
50 Born to Be Wild Steppenworlf
51 Wooly Bully Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
52 How To Save a Life The Fray
53 Proud Mary Creedence Clearwater Revival
54 To Sir With Love Lulu
55 Call Me Blondie
56 Hello Lionel Richie
57 Annie's Song John Denver
58 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover Paul Simon
59 Stop! In the Name of Love The Supremes
60 Gold Digger Kanye West
61 Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
62 I Get Around The Beach Boys
63 96 Tears ? And the Mysterians
64 Nowhere Man The Beatles
65 Heart of Glass Blondie
66 How You Remind Me Nickelback
67 Time in a Bottle Jim Croce
68 And I Love Her The Beatles
69 Heart of Gold Neil Young
70 Let's Dance David Bowie
71 Georgy Girl The Seekers
72 Beat It Michael Jackson
73 Chain of Fools Aretha Franklin
74 Theme From Shaft Isaac Hayes
75 Angie The Rolling Stones
76 Paperback Writer The Beatles
77 Green Onions Booker T and the MGs
78 Baby Love The Supremes
79 Got to Get You Into My Life The Beatles
80 Get Back The Beatles
81 Thriller Michael Jackson
82 Like a Virgin Madonna
83 Another One Bites the Dust Queen
84 Cherish The Association
85 Fame David Bowie
86 Crazy Gnarls Barkley
87 I Got You Babe Sonny and Cher
88 Dreams Fleetwood Mac
89 My Girl Temptations
90 Brand New Key Melanie
91 Dizzy Tommy Roe
92 Sweet Soul Music Arthur Conley
93 I Honestly Love You Olivia Newton John
94 Band of Gold Freda Payne
95 Kiss Me Sixpence None the Richer
96 Africa Toto
97 Jump Van Halen
98 Everyday People Sly and the Family Stone
99 Spirit in the Sky Norman Greenbaum
100 Kung Fu Fighting Carl Douglas


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