The 15 Best Songs Ever Written

This post may contain affiliate links.

Music has a unique ability to transcend time, evoke deep emotions, and bring people together. Whether it’s a soulful ballad or an electrifying rock anthem, the power of a great song is undeniable.

These timeless tracks aren’t just songs; they’re anthems, poignant stories, and soundscapes that have stood the test of time and continue to rock our worlds.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen

Image provided by: Faza Zeed

Released in 1975, this six-minute epic defies musical norms with its unique rock, opera, and ballad elements blend. From the poignant piano intro to the thunderous guitar solos, “Bohemian Rhapsody” takes listeners on a soul-stirring journey. Notably, it contains 180 overdubs, with multi-tracked harmonies and dynamic shifts that have dazzled fans and musicians for decades.
Upon its release, “Bohemian Rhapsody” quickly ascended the charts, claiming the number one spot on the U.K. Singles Chart for nine weeks. In 2018, the biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody” introduced the song to younger audiences, propelling it to surpass 1.6 billion streams globally across all major streaming platforms (Universal Music Group).

“Imagine” by John Lennon

Image provided by: Keira Burton

Released in 1971, this poignant masterpiece quickly became a global sensation and is still cherished by millions today. Lennon’s vision of a world living in harmony, without borders or conflicts, struck a chord and continues to resonate with people across generations.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked it number three on its “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list. The song has sold over 1.6 million copies in the United States alone. UNESCO honored “Imagine” as a “World Peace Song,” cementing its status as more than just a piece of music but a universal call for hope and togetherness.

“Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

Image Credit: Hungs

You’re hooked when Al Kooper’s iconic organ riff kicks in. Dylan’s cutting lyrics, delivered with his unmistakable rasp, tell a vivid tale of a fallen socialite, capturing the existential angst of an entire generation. The song’s groundbreaking fusion of folk and rock elements blew listeners away, blending poetic complexity with raw rock ‘n’ roll energy.

It’s been covered by countless artists, from Jimi Hendrix to The Rolling Stones, each rendition reinforcing its place in music history. The song’s innovative structure was revolutionary—eschewing the standard verse-chorus format for a more freeform, stream-of-consciousness approach.

“Respect” by Aretha Franklin

Image provided by: Jennifer Enujiugha

Originally written and released by Otis Redding in 1965, Aretha’s 1967 rendition took the song to new heights and transformed it into a rallying cry for both the Civil Rights Movement and feminist empowerment. With unparalleled vocal prowess and infectious charisma, Aretha turned “Respect” into a groove-laden masterpiece that demanded attention and admiration.

Its bold incorporation of gospel and soul elements exemplified musical innovation, blending genres freshly and timelessly. The call-and-response nature of Franklin’s delivery, coupled with that oh-so-memorable ‘R-E-S-P-E-C-T’ chorus, makes it impossible not to sing along. The song was also inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana

Image provided by: Jennifer Enujiugha

“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” released in 1991, is an anthem for the ages. This iconic track, often called the tune that propelled grunge into the mainstream, encapsulates a generation’s raw energy and angst. Written by Kurt Cobain, it immediately resonated with fans and critics alike, becoming a defining moment in the alternative rock scene.

It became the anthem of Generation X, capturing the spirit of disaffected youth worldwide. It topped the charts in several countries, including Spain and Belgium, signaling its global appeal. The song’s hard-hitting riff, with Cobain’s gritty vocals and a dynamic shift between the verse and explosive chorus, set a new standard for rock music.

“What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

Image provided by: nappy

Written by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele, this 1967 gem stands as a beacon of optimism during turbulent times. Initially struggling in the U.S. due to its political climate, it found resounding success in the U.K., spending 29 weeks on the U.K. Singles Chart and peaking at number one.

Its universal appeal was magnified when it was featured prominently in the 1987 film “Good Morning, Vietnam,” uplifting the spirits of a generation. From its hopeful lyrics like “I see trees of green, red roses too” to Armstrong’s unforgettable delivery, “What a Wonderful World” is more than just a song. The use of harmonic chords and a string section not only complements Armstrong’s vocals but elevates the song to an ethereal level.

“Hotel California” by Eagles

Image provided by: Buro Millennial

With its haunting melody and enigmatic lyrics, this masterpiece snagged the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978, solidifying its place in music history. The track is renowned for its musical innovation, particularly the iconic guitar solo by Don Felder and Joe Walsh, which consistently ranks among the most excellent guitar solos ever.

Its chilling narrative captures the imagination, offering endless interpretations, from critiques of the hedonistic Southern California lifestyle to a cautionary tale about excess and entrapment. Add to that the song’s intricate composition, blending elements of rock, folk, and jazz, and you have a recipe for a track that keeps listeners coming back for more.

“Billie Jean” by Michael Jackson

Image by Monstera Production

Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk while performing this song on Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, a moment that remains etched in pop culture lore. The song soared to the top of the Billboard Hot 100, holding the coveted #1 spot for seven straight weeks.

Not just confined to the U.S., it clinched the number one spot in countless countries, including the UK, Canada, and Australia. With a practically irresistible bass line, “Billie Jean” marries funk, pop, and R&B in a way ahead of its time. Quincy Jones, the legendary producer, played a pivotal role in bringing those infectious beats to life.

“Hey Jude” by The Beatles

Image Credit: Urban Farmie

Released in 1968, this phenomenal track was the band’s first single on their Apple Records label. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership, this seven-minute masterpiece might be the grooviest serenade the Fab Four ever produced. Fun fact: the final 36-piece orchestration added layers of depth that were groundbreaking for a rock song.

The song’s universal message of encouragement—”take a sad song and make it better”—continues to resonate with listeners of all ages. “Hey Jude” starts with a simple piano melody and gradually builds into a euphoric crescendo. Its four-minute coda, featuring exuberant “na-na-na” choruses, defied the conventional pop song structure of its time and showcased The Beatles’ innovative spirit.

“Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin

Photo by Karolina Kaboompics

From the moment the gentle acoustic guitar intro begins, you know you’re in for something special. This sensational track is a brilliant fusion of folk, hard rock, and progressive rock, making it a standout with its dynamic shifts and intricate arrangements. Written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the song gradually builds in intensity, leading to the explosive guitar solo that has become iconic in its own right.

“Stairway to Heaven” was voted the number one rock song in a poll of over 123,000 listeners by a BBC Radio 2 initiative in 2012. Additionally, the song’s sheet music has been one of the highest sellers among guitar players.

“I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston

Photo by Pranidchakan Boonrom

Originally penned by the legendary Dolly Parton in 1973, this song took on a new life when Houston covered it for the 1992 film The Bodyguard soundtrack. Whitney’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You” sat pretty at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks!

The song showcases vocal techniques like impeccable breath control and dynamic phrasing, making it a masterclass in performing a ballad. Houston’s version transformed a country ballad into an R&B/pop powerhouse, forever changing how crossover hits were viewed. “I Will Always Love You” remains a go-to song for declarations of love and heartbreak.

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon & Garfunkel

Image by Mike Lawrence

Released in 1970, this soulful ballad captures the essence of comfort and hope, making it a transcendent anthem for times of struggle and triumph. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified the song platinum in 1991, and it has garnered numerous accolades, including five Grammy Awards.

Paul Simon’s masterful songwriting truly shines in this piece, showcasing a blend of gospel and pop influences that was groundbreaking at the time. Notably, the use of reverb and echo effects enhances its ethereal quality, and the piano accompaniment—especially the opening—has become one of the most recognizable intros in music history.

“Purple Rain” by Prince (feat. The Revolution)

Image provided by: nappy

Released in 1984, this transcendent track showcased Prince’s supreme talent and captured the hearts of millions around the globe. The track won Prince two Grammy Awards in 1985, earning him an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.

This epic ballad harmoniously blends rock, R&B, and orchestral music, creating a spectacular fusion that feels groundbreaking and timeless. Prince’s soulful, passionate vocals and virtuosic guitar solos elevate the track to legendary status. The song’s rich, emotional depth resonates with listeners, telling a story of love, loss, and redemption.

“One” by U2

Image provided by: Liza Summer

Released in 1991 as part of their influential album Achtung Baby, “One” quickly became a beacon of unity and hope. The song’s creation stemmed from intense band disagreements, which were miraculously channeled into creating this masterpiece—talk about turning conflict into harmony!

Bono, U2’s enigmatic frontman, has often highlighted its significance, saying it’s “a song about coming together.” The Edge’s signature chiming guitar riff provides a perfect backdrop to Bono’s expressive vocals. The song’s structure defies conventional patterns, making it a unique listening experience that’s hard to forget. Rolling Stone says the track is a “sonic treasure.”

“Rolling in the Deep” by Adele

Photo by Whitney Bennett

Released in 2010 as the lead single from her second studio album, “21,” this song quickly skyrocketed to iconic status. It became the best-selling digital song by a female artist in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan, with over 8 million copies sold. It clinched three Grammy Awards in 2012, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year.

Adele and producer Paul Epworth seamlessly fused blues, pop, gospel, and soul elements to create an irresistible track. The song’s dark, brooding intro slowly builds into a powerful and anthemic chorus that captures the listener with its emotional depth. It’s a sonic rollercoaster that perfectly mirrors the tumultuous feelings of heartbreak and betrayal.

13 Once Popular Figures Who Absolutely Murdered Their Own Careers

Image provided by: Alex Green

The wheel of fortune turns for us all, but nowhere is it more fickle than in the dazzling yet unforgiving world of celebrity. Once basking in the glow of the limelight, certain stars have experienced a dramatic fall from grace, a plummet precipitated by their actions.

13 Once Popular Figures Who Absolutely Murdered Their Own Careers

17 Unforgettable Movies You’ll Want to Watch Again and Again

15 Words And Phrases You Might Not Realize Originated From A Movie Or TV Show
© 1997 – Paramount Pictures

Let’s admit it, we’ve all got that movie. The one we could recite line for line, scene for scene, yet still find ourselves reaching for the DVD or streaming it online on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Here are 17 unforgettable movies you’ll find impossible to enjoy just once, like a sound potato chip.

17 Unforgettable Movies You’ll Want to Watch Again and Again

15 Actors Who Showed Up In Movies To Say One Line

15 Actors Who Showed Up In Movies Just To Say One Line
Photo by Amy Sussman

In cinematic history, renowned actors have made fleeting appearances on the silver screen, leaving an indelible mark. This article will celebrate these brief yet captivating moments, often just a single line. Join us on a nostalgic journey as we highlight 15 performers who turned their brief screen time into unforgettable cinematic moments.

15 Actors Who Showed Up In Movies To Say One Line

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *