Best Songs in the world
You will find countless lists of the greatest songs in the world when you do a simple search. If each person sits down and attempts to list down his own list of the best songs, the list might differ each day he looks back at that list. If someone asked me to list down the best songs of all time, my list would obviously be clouded by the influence of my growing up days. I believe for most of us the songs of our growing up years are the ones that invariably will find itself on this list.
However, for this list a serious attempt has been made to compile a list that is a mix of past and current, with songs chosen based on their success on the charts, radio playlists and YouTube views.
This updated chart of the best songs of all time has been made with a sprinkling of some of the biggest hits of the 20th and the 21st century. This list includes songs of artists that are hall of famers and multi Grammy award winners and have sold millions of physical format singles and albums and continue to rule the online platforms with their everlasting hit songs.
These are songs that Alexa and Siri are most familiar with for the sheer number of requests that they are ordered to play. So here is the list of the most popular songs of the world.
Imagine — John Lennon
Perhaps the most famous solo song of a member of the Beatles, it was released in 1971. Many popular artists have covered this song such as Madonna, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and most recently Lady Gaga. Not long before the killing of Lennon in 1980 outside his home in London, he had confessed that a lot of the lyrics of the song were from his wife at the time, Yoko Ono. The song completed 50 years this year and is one of the most famous songs in the world. The meaningful lyrics of the song have been projected on to some of the most iconic buildings in England and around the world. The song is one of the most used global anthems to invoke peace.
I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction — The Rolling Stones
It was the first song by The Rolling Stones that reached the No. 1 in the US charts. In the UK, the track first was only played on the pirate radio stations due to its sexually suggestive content, but later made it to the UK charts as well. The story about the iconic riff in the song is credited to Keith Richards who claimed that it came to him in a dream one night in the summer of 1965, while The Stones were on their US tour. A band that has been together for more than 50 years it is difficult to select just one song, but if you really had to pick one song that best represents what the band stood for, then this would be the song. I have been to a Stones concert and this one song is probably the most anticipated song by the crowd in attendance and gets my vote for being one of the top songs in the world.
Yesterday — The Beatles
It is one the most covered song in the world and definitely the most covered song of The Beatles. The song even inspired a film directed by Danny Boyle which was released in 2019. Another musical masterpiece which was the product of the year 1965, this magical track was penned by Paul McCartney and recorded in the famous Abbey Road studio on June 14, 1965. The track was part of their album – Help! and is certainly The Beatles’ most famous song. There are opposing thoughts about the inspiration behind the lyrics which McCartney wrote. Some believe that it was based on his relationship with his then girlfriend Jane Asher. While others say that it sprang from his longing for his mother, whose death had been a tragic blow to the family. With Yesterday, the band experimented for the first time with classical music. However, this was one of the only songs that not all the members of the band were involved in creating. The song was written, composed and sung by Paul McCartney alone.
Blowin’ In The Wind — Bob Dylan
Does Bob Dylan deserve to be on a list of the best songs of all times? The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind, the answer is blowin’ in the wind. The song was part of his second album – The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The song deals with the civil rights movement in the 1960’s and in fact became an anthem for the movement. The song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1994. A song that was written in ten minutes emphatically proves the genius of Bob Dylan. Even though the song is one of the greatest protest songs of all time, it was not intended to be one and when Dylan famously wrote it in ten minutes he did not for once think that the song would become one of the defining anthems of protest. It is said that the inspiration for the song was partly due to his girlfriend at the time – Suze Rotolo, who was an active social justice campaigner. Apparently she was the one to point Dylan towards the oppression and causes in the American society at that time. The lyrics are absolutely wonderful and the song was relevant then and is still relevant still.
Stairway To Heaven — Led Zeppelin
This iconic Led Zeppelin’s immortal masterpiece, was recorded in 1971 and another of the songs on the list that have been rocking the music charts for more than half a century. It is one of the songs that when you listen to them you can never get enough of it. A song that transcends music and endures for eternity. The song is famous for the Jimmy Page guitar solo but equally for John Paul Jones’ keyboards. The lyrics are considered to refer to the occult by some, but we will not dwell on that and rather stick to the song and the magnificent guitar and the powerful riff that it unleashed. It is most definitely the most beautiful solo of all time and Stairway to Heaven’s classic status will continue for a long time. The song was part of the album Led Zeppelin IV which became one of the biggest selling albums in America and is one of the world’s five biggest-selling records of all time.
Rolling in the Deep — Adele
From being a talented English singer and songwriter, Adele in a little over a decade has managed to become one of the most successful and a bestselling music artist in the world. She has received numerous prestigious awards in this short span of time which includes an Academy award and the Golden Globe Award for her song – Skyfall for the James Bond film of the same name released in 2012. Besides these she has also amassed a collection of 15 Grammy Awards so far in her career. She is known to use her age as titles for her album like her recently released album – 30. While the hit track from the album ‘Easy on Me’ has been on the top charts the most successful and the top ranked song of all time has been ‘Rolling in the Deep’. Even though all her songs with their personal and meaningful lyrics appeal to the massive fan following, this song is most definitely her best. The song also won Adele the Grammys for Song and Record of the year. The song was apparently written in a day after her split from her then boyfriend. The heartbreak from that relationship surely paid off big time for the singer as the song became one of the biggest selling single of all time.
Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
The song with over 5 billion views and counting and a track which spent 33 straight weeks in the top 10 Billboard chart, a record breaking feat back in 2017. The song also won for Sheeran the Grammy for the Best Pop Solo Performance in 2018. The song was released as a single from the 2017 released third album of Ed Sheeran. Within a week of its release the song raced on to the top 10 charts in 20 countries including United States, Canada, Germany and Australia. Ed Sheeran has swept the world since his emergence on the music scene way back in 2011 and Shape of You, remains his greatest hit and one of the most famous songs in the world.
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
This masterpiece by the British band is one of the most famous songs of all time and successfully sold a million copies in the year it was released. The hit from 1975, was also chosen to be the title of the film made in 2019 on the life of the ban’s lead singer – Freddie Mercury. Trivia has it that the piano parts played by Mercury was played on the same piano that Paul McCartney used in the song Hey Jude by The Beatles. The song was way ahead of its time which would explain it becoming one of the most downloaded tracks even in 2018. On its release in 1975, the song became the number 1 and stayed there for 9 weeks. The top position was once again achieved by this song after the death of Mercury in 1991. The song proved to be the best choice for Adam Lambert for his audition for the American Idol, which led him to become a part of the band two years later. The lengthy track was part of the – A Night at the Opera and is definitely one of the most iconic songs and one of the best songs in the world.
Billie Jean – Michael Jackson
This list comprises of the best of the best musical talents of all time whether it be a band or a solo artist and no list of the greatest can be complete without the incomparable MJ. This song from his best-selling album – Thriller which was released in 1982, is considered one of Michael Jackson’s greatest songs ever. It has a heady mix of youthful exuberance and grace. It was one of first songs that was written for the album and is also another of those lengthy five plus minute songs. The lyrics of the songs were inspired by the experience of MJ’s brother with groupies while touring with the Jackson 5. With sales of over 10 million, the song is one of the best selling singles of all time and also bagged two Grammy Awards. One of the most famous songs of one of the most celebrated music icons of all times, Billie Jean has been making the world dance ever since it was released almost 40 years ago.
The Sound Of Silence — Simon & Garfunkel
Created by Art Garfunkel and Paul Simon, The Sound of Silence is a song that was released in 1965 and which became a smash hit worldwide, making it to the top 10 list in the U.S., the UK and Australia. It was also in the movie ‘The Graduate,’ for which Simon & Garfunkel also wrote ‘Mrs. Robinson.’ The song was inspired by Art Garfunkel’s roommate in Columbia University who suddenly lost his vision. The song became a hit even though the album which it was part of was a disastrous flop. The song that became a hit is actually the second version which added some electric instruments to the original acoustic version. The song has one of the best opening lines of any song and has a deep meaning to it. The song is amazing and timeless and one of the top songs in the world.
The best pop songs of all time are groundbreaking, chart-topping, downright famous hits that’ll have you singing at the top of your lungs and you can choose from the list above to belt ‘em out as loud as you can.
We will not get in to the debate of whether a song released in 2021 should be make its way into this list of the best songs in the world. The above list contains songs that have been part of the top songs of the world ever since they were released. It would not be fair to put a brand new song which has not been tested or matured over time. Besides, all of the above mentioned songs can pull rank and get into any list that ranks the best songs of the world regardless of the year.
Ask 10 people to make a list of the 10 best songs of all time and you will surely get 10 different lists composed of absolutely diverse songs. A liking for a good song is so personal and could be based on so many factors or memories that it is very difficult to get a common consensus on the list of the 10 best songs in the world. You might as well list down the 10 songs you like best and that’s all that matters, right?
There are numerous ways to find out, if you are absolutely clueless, about the best songs, both past and current. There are numerous lists available that have been compiled by music companies, music magazines and music streaming sites. You need to ask yourself, do you want to listen to what other’s like or to listen for yourself and make up your mind.
What makes a great song? Is it the music composition or the lyrics? When you listen to a song what appeals to you? The list above checks out both the boxes, in terms of music as well as for the brilliant songwriting skills of these artists. Take a pick from the above list which includes songs from the last 50 years.