I’m something of a cultural iconoclast at the best of times, but at least 3/4 of Rolling Stone‘s list of the best songs of all time* did not deserve to be there at all (does anyone genuinely believe that I Wanna Hold Your Hand is a good song?), and they’d made some very notable omissions.
First of all I removed all the overhyped songs that are simply OK, and then reordered the tracks and filled in the blanks to form a top 100 of my favourite singles.
The criteria: pure, simple enjoyment. I don’t care if they’re unfashionable or cheesy, it’s a simple chart of what makes me smile. I can click on any of those links and think “f***ing hell, that song’s fantastic!”
Also, the songs actually had to have been released as singles, so I can’t fill it up with favourite album tracks (but of course that also precludes older songs). I also tried to balance it so any one act was not over-represented (to avoid it consisting solely of Bowie and Queen). I was too distracted by the furore surrounding him to really be able to enjoy the music of Michael Jackson, hence omission. Sure, it’s unscientific, but any subjective list like this is an exercise in futility, since ranking order would change hour to hour let alone day to day. Ultimately its sole purpose is to give an excuse to listen to some great music.
Sure, a lot of great songs aren’t on here – but if I included them all, it wouldn’t fit on a top 1000 …
100. Black Steel, Tricky
99. If I Can’t Have You, Yvonne Ellimon
98. Theme From S-Express, S-Express
97. I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor
96. Knock On Wood, Eddie Floyd
95. Love’s Sweet Exile, Manic Street Preachers
94. To The End, Blur
93. Give It Away, Red Hot Chili Peppers
92. Poison, Alice Cooper
91. America (What Time Is Love), KLF
90. NWO, Ministry
89. Nothing Really Matters, Madonna
88. Plasticity, Front Line Assembly
87. Teardrop, Massive Attack
86. Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, Kylie
85. Transmission, Joy Division
84. Hey Ya!, Outkast
83. You Keep Me Hanging On, The Supremes
82. Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), Eurythmics
81. True Colors, Cyndi Lauper
80. Ashes to Ashes, Faith No More
79. Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dylan
78. Breathe, Prodigy
77. Livin’ On A Prayer, Bon Jovi
76. Johnny B Goode, Chuck Berry
*Yes, I know that link’s old. And I care because …?