Are you aware that the Rolling Stone compilation for the greatest songs of all time had hundreds of millions of views after it was published in 2004? Presently, lots of things have changed based on technology and the use of iPods to listen to music. Some of these songs in this content were great hits when they were released.

Before creating this list, lots of artists, producers, musicians, journalists, and music critics came together to rank these songs. Therefore, songs in this content were ranked based on the 4,000 votes that were collected. You will see different music genres on the list, such as Latin Pop, Modern Country, Hip-hop, Indie rock, R&B, and lots more.

Greatest Songs of all Time

Here they are:

1. Aretha Franklin – Respect (1967):

Franklin was with Columbia Records before Atlantic Records signed her in 1966. After she was signed, Jerry Wexler, the label’s Vice President wanted him to do covers for either two of these songs, A change is gonna come, or Drown in my tears. Those were great ideas, but she has a personal song titled “Respect” that she will like to promote, and at the end of the song became a hit song. She performed in different live shows.

2. Public Enemy – Fight the Power (1989):  

Most people compared the song to Pete Seeger singing “We shall overcome”. When the song was out, it gained ground and became popular by making radio waves. Spike Lee brought out a suggestion for Public Enemy to compose an anthem for his movie “Do the right thing”. The theme of the music is concerned with confronting white supremacy. Later, a classic anthem was composed which was played over and over again. 

3. Sam Cooke – A change is gonna come (1964):

Sam was the first great soul vocalist in America, and he is also successful when it comes to pop music. After listening to a song titled “Blowin in the wind” by Bob Dylan, he got inspired and compared a song similar to it. The song was recorded on the 30th of January, 1964 with an awesome orchestral arrangement. There was a part in the song where he used lyrics to mourn his late 18-month old son who got drowned with the lines “There have been times that I thought/I couldn’t last for long.

4. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone (1965):

He recorded the song in June 1965, and it was well composed and produced. Bob was barely 24 when he released the song. The lyrics of the song has lots of metaphor infused in it. He decided to team up with a popular guitarist to create something different with the song. With his electrifying vocal, he created a timeless piece of music that shows why he gave it “Rolling Stone”.

5. Nirvana – Smells like Teen Spirit (1991):

A renowned music producer was amazed when he heard the song “Smells like a Teen Spirit”, and decided to do a song with the title “Nevermind”. The song has insidious hooks similar to John Lennon, and the tone of his voice has lots of vulnerabilities. In late 1993, Cobain was obsessed with the song he has written for Nirvana to the extent he played it every night before he falls asleep. He confessed there are songs he has written that are good even if they were not better.

6. Marvin Gaye – What’s Going on (1971):

The theme of the song conveys a message “exquisite plea for peace on planet earth”. The Motown singer was their top male vocalist, but he was in deep crisis on the assembly-line role he had to play on his hits. Another thing that intensify his frustration was the demise of his duet partner Tammi Terrell who died of a brain tumor. Also, he was in a troubled marriage with his partner Anna Gordy and was being tormented by his puritanical father Marvin Snr. As a result, Gaye was finding a way to have inner peace in his heart.

7. The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever (1967):

John Lennon wrote the song for the Beatles and he introduced a new psychedelic era for the music group about Pop music. The beginning of the song started with Lennon playing acoustic guitar on a Spanish beach composing musical lyrics on his painful memories in his childhood days. He gave the title of the song “Strawberry Fields Forever” to remember a Liverpool orphanage where he play guitar to hide from the world. George Martin shows his skills in the production of music.

8. Missy Elliott – Get ur Freak On (2001):

In 2020, Missi Elliott told Rolling stone about her future upcoming single with the music prodigy Timbaland. The sound was something hypnotic based on its funky sound. There was something unique about it because the sound was different from others that we’re in vogue. On the Bill Board, it was the longest-running collaboration, and it became a global hit. Most people felt the sound was some Japanese stuff infused with an uptempo hip-hop beat. The whole world went crazy with the song and the way Missy Elliott yelled “Hollaaaaa!” was catchy. 

9. Fleetwood Mac – Dreams (1977):

Steve Nicks the songwriter for the song made justice with her writing prowess. According to a rumor, Nicks spent her off day in one of the rooms closed to the Record Plant meant for the Family Stone and Sly. The room had a sunken pit in the middle with a piano, and she got the inspiration after reflecting on the various troubles in her relationship with her lover Lindsey Buckingham. In decades to come, the new generations will keep on falling in love with it.  

10. Outkast – Hey Ya (2003):

The song is both radical and fun at the same time with different music genres infused together – rap, funk, rap, pop, and rock. One of the duo Andre 3000 started composing the lyrics of the song through the help of a box guitar using different chords to make it sound like the Buzzcocks and Smiths. Fortunately for him, he had the idea of how he wanted the song to sound mad it made it easier for him to share the idea with John Frye (Recording Engineer).


These songs were hit songs and they will remain evergreen because of the effects they have created on music lovers. Before these songs were listed amongst the greatest songs of all time, they have been screened properly by different music aficionados to ensure they fall into this category.  

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