The most beautiful songs of all time according to Rolling Stone: the top 20 positions
The well-known US magazine Rolling Stone in 2021 has updated the list of the 500 most beautiful songs of all time.
The ranking was first published on December 11, 2003 and was compiled by a jury chosen by the editorial staff, composed of 172 musicians, music critics and experts in the recording industry. Subsequently, the ranking was changed twice: the first in 2010, the second in 2021, when 254 songs that were previously not present were added.
Obviously, there is nothing more subjective than music: these songs are considered the best according to the criteria defined by Rolling Stonemagazine, but each of us has his own personal ranking of the best songs ever. Here, however, is the Top 20 of Rolling Stone.
The Top 20 of the most beautiful songs of all time according to Rolling Stone
The well-known magazine Rolling Stone in 2021 has updated the list of the 500 most beautiful songs of all time. The list was first published on December 11, 2003, by a jury chosen by the editorial staff, composed of 172 musicians, music critics and experts in the recording industry. Subsequently, the ranking was changed twice: the first in 2010, the second in 2021. Obviously, there is nothing more subjective than music: these songs are considered the best according to the criteria defined by Rolling Stonemagazine, but each of us has his own personal ranking of the best songs ever. Here, however, is the Top 20 according to Rolling Stone.
20. Dancing on My Own - Robyn (2010)
The Top 20 begins with Dancing on My Own of the Swedish singer Robyn. The song received a nomination at the 2011 Grammy Awards in the Best Recording dancecategory. The British singer Calum Scott performed an acoustic version of the song in 2015 and later this version was also released as a single.
19. Imagine - John Lennon (1971)
Imagine is the most famous and representative song by John Lennon among those made during his solo career. Produced by Lennon himself and Yōko Ono, this song is universally considered a hymn to peace, even if the message that the former member of the Beatles wanted to send was also political.
18. Purple Rain - Prince and The Revolution (1984)
Taken from the album of the same name, this song is one of the greatest successes of Prince's extraordinary career. The singer-songwriter stated that Purple Rain's lyrics referred to the end of the world. Prince performed the song as a closing piece during theHalftime Show of Super Bowl in 2007, in pouring rain: this was judged one of the best performances in the history of the Halftime Show.
17. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (1975)
It is impossible to label this wonderful song in a single musical genre, but on the other hand it is precisely this that makes Bohemian Rhapsody so unique. The release of the single was accompanied by a music video still considered among the most famous and important in the world, one of the first to be broadcast on television.
16. Crazy in Love - Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z (2003)
Crazy in Love is the first single taken from the first solo studio album by Beyoncé. The song achieved great success among both the public and specialized critics, going so far as to win a Grammy Award in the category of Best Collaboration with an Artist Rap.
15. I Want to Hold your Hand - The Beatles (1963)
With over 15 million copies, I Want to Hold Your Hand/This Boy is one of the best-selling singles of Beatles ever: this song allowed Beatles to establish themselves in the US market. In the original recording of the song, just before the second chorus, one between John Lennon and Paul McCartney is heard getting the lyrics wrong, in fact Paul sings: "I want to hold your hand", while John says "Let me hold your hand".
14. Waterloo Sunset - The Kinks (1967)
The lyrics of the song describe a lonely narrator observing, or imagining, two lovers (Terry & Julie), crossing a bridge over the Thames: this narrator reflects wistfully on this couple. The song was performed by Ray Davies, frontman of the group, during the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics in London.
13. Gimme Shelter - The Rolling Stones (1969)
Gimme Shelter has always been considered one of the most representative songs of the Rolling Stones's career. The director Martin Scorsese used Gimme Shelter in several of his films such as Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995) and The Departed.
12. Superstition - Stevie Wonder (1972)
This song won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Song and Best Male R&B Vocal performance in 1973. Originally, Wonder had written Superstition for Jeff Beck, but his manager convinced him to keep the song to himself, while Beck was offered Cause We've Ended As Lovers. Despite this, Beck later recorded a cover of Superstition.
11. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys (1966)
God Only Knows is part of the album Pet Sounds and compared to the other songs of the group, this song represents a more technical and sophisticated twist. In the introduction of the song it is possible to hear some rather unusual instruments for the genre of music of the Beach Boys: among these instruments we find the harpsichord and the horn.
10. Hey Ya! – Outkast (2003)
In tenth position there is Hey Ya, that has had a planetary success and is also famous for the acoustic version ofMatt Weddle of the Obadiah Parker. This song has achieved a total of 19 platinum records.
9. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac (1977)
Dreams was the only one of the Fleetwood Mac to reach the top spot in the U.S. sales chart. Over the years many artists have recorded a personal cover of this song, taken from the famous and best-selling album Rumours.
8. Get Ur Freak On – Missy Elliott (2001)
The song is strongly influenced by the typical sounds of India. The text also contains phrases in Japanese and Hindi. Initially, Get Ur Freak On was placed at position 466 in the ranking: 17 years later it rose to eighth place.
7. Strawberry Fields Forever – The Beatles (1967)
The Beatlesare back in the rankings. The composition of this song dates back to a time of great changes for John Lennon and for the band. The group, in fact, had just left the concerts after one of the most difficult and troubled periods, following the famous interview in which Lennon had said that the Beatles were now more famous than Jesus.
6. What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye (1971)
The song is a reflection on the problems plaguing the world and marks a turning point in Gaye's musical style. The cover made by Cindy Lauper in 1987 was also very successful.
5. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana (1991)
Kurt Cobain drew inspiration for the title of this song from a crazy night spent in the company of Kathleen Hanna, her friend and singer of the band Bikini Kill. With spray paint, he drew Kathleenthe words "Kurt smells like teen spirit" on the wall of Cobain's house with the intention of ridiculing him. The phrase referred to a popular teen deodorant at the time, "Teen Spirit".
4. Like a Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan (1965)
In 2003 the song was in first place in the Rolling Stone chart: in 2021, the song fell to fourth position. "Like a Rolling Stone" represents the turning point of Dylan's career and still today is one of the symbolic songs of the sixties and of the whole history of music.
RCA Victor Records, via Wikimedia Commons
3. A Change is Gonna Come - Sam Cooke (1964)
The song had great importance in the sixties, as it represented the anthem of the African American civil rights movement. A Change is Gonna Come was published shortly after Sam Cooke's death, which occurred at the age of 33 in circumstances never fully clarified.
2. Fight the Power - Public Enemy (1989)
Fight the Power is considered the political testament of band, and is the group's most successful single. The text is an invitation to revolution, with the aim of fighting the strong powers.
1. Respect - Aretha Franklin (1967)
Recorded in 1965 by the American singer Otis Redding, it will be sung in 1967 by Aretha Franklin, representing one of the greatest hits of the Queen of Soul. Respect has become the anthem of the feminist movement and the fight against forms of racism against African Americans.
What may have been the best-selling single in the entire history of music? This record belongs to an obviously very famous song, composed many decades ago but still very topical. We hear it every year, as do all the top 10 best-selling songs of all time.
The calculation has been split in two, due to the advent of technology, downloads and Spotify streaming, which have 'drugged' the market and made the previous charts truly obsolete. This calculation was therefore split between physical single sales and digital sales. Here we will only deal with sales of physical singles, and therefore you will not find the most recent songs.
This is a compendium of the best-selling music singles. The criterion for inclusion is to sell at least ten million copies worldwide. The singles listed here have been quoted from reliable sources in various media, such as digital journalism, newspapers, magazines and books.
Enough, after this preamble we won't keep you waiting any longer, your curiosity will already be tingling: here are the 10 best-selling physical singles in music history.