Rolling Stone: 100 Greatest Pop Songs

  • 1. Yesterday - The Beatles
  • 2. (I Can't Get No)Satisfaction - The Rolling Stones
  • 3. Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana
  • 4. Like A Virgin - Madonna
  • 5. Billie Jean - Michael Jackson
  • 6. I Want To Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
  • 7. Respect - Aretha Franklin
  • 8. With Or Without You - U2
  • 9. I Want You Back - The Jackson 5
  • 10. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
  • 11. Hotel California - The Eagles
  • 12. Where Did Our Love Go - The Supremes
  • 13. Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
  • 14. Brown Sugar - The Rolling Stones
  • 15. Imagine - John Lennon
  • 16. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinead O'Connor
  • 17. Superstition - Stevie Wonder
  • 18. Losing My Religion - REM
  • 19. Vogue - Madonna
  • 20. Like A Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan
  • 21. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison
  • 22. Beat It - Michael Jackson
  • 23. Oh, Pretty Woman - Roy Orbison
  • 24. What's Going On - Marvin Gaye
  • 25. Baby One More Time - Britney Spears
  • 26. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
  • 27. When Doves Cry - Prince
  • 28. MMMBop - Hanson
  • 29. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
  • 30. Your Song - Elton John
  • 31. Smooth - Santana ft. Rob Thomas
  • 32. (Sittin On)The Dock Of The Bay - Otis Redding
  • 33. My Generation - The Who
  • 34. Ironic - Alanis Morissette
  • 35. Born To Run - Bruce Springsteen
  • 36. Waterfalls - TLC
  • 37. O.P.P. - Naughty By Nature
  • 38. Changes - David Bowie
  • 39. Iris - Goo Goo Dolls
  • 40. I Will Always Love You - Whitney Houston
  • 41. Proud Mary - CCR
  • 42. Every Breath You Take - The Police
  • 43. Miss You - The Rolling Stones
  • 44. Dancing Queen - Abba
  • 45. Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
  • 46. The Tracks of My Tears - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
  • 47. Jump - Van Halen
  • 48. Jeremy - Pearl Jam
  • 49. Tangled Up In Blue - Bob Dylan
  • 50. Little Red Corvette - Prince
  • 51. Just My Imagination - The Temptations
  • 52. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
  • 53. Faith - George Michael
  • 54. Under The Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 55. Bye Bye Bye - N Sync
  • 56. I Will Survive - Gloria Gaynor
  • 57. Our Lips Are Sealed - The Go-Gos
  • 58. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
  • 59. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life - Stevie Wonder
  • 60. Just The Way You Are - Billy Joel
  • 61. The One I Love - REM
  • 62. Papa Don't Preach - Madonna
  • 63. In My Life - The Beatles
  • 64. Bennie and the Jets - Elton John
  • 65. Just What I Needed - The Cars
  • 66. Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
  • 67. My Name Is - Eminem
  • 68. Only Happy When It Rains - Garbage
  • 69. Just Can't Get Enough - Depeche Mode
  • 70. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
  • 71. I Wanna Be Sedated - The Ramones
  • 72. Free Fallin' - Tom Petty
  • 73. Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? - Culture Club
  • 74. Tiny Dancer - Elton John
  • 75. Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & The Family Stone
  • 76. Creep - Radiohead
  • 77. Let's Stay Together - Al Green
  • 78. Longview - Green Day
  • 79. Nasty - Janet Jackson
  • 80. I Need Love - LL Cool J
  • 81. Don't Speak - No Doubt
  • 82. Rock With You - Michael Jackson
  • 83. I Want To Know What Love Is - Foreigner
  • 84. Wonderwall - Oasis
  • 85. Surrender - Cheap Trick
  • 86. Don't You Want Me - The Human League
  • 87. Brass In Pocket(I'm Special) - The Pretenders
  • 88. Gone Till November - Wyclef Jean
  • 89. Careless Whisper - Wham!
  • 90. The Boy Is Mine - Brandy and Monica
  • 91. No Diggity - Blackstreet ft. Dr Dre
  • 92. You Shook Me All Night Long - AC/DC
  • 93. Stayin' Alive - The Bee Gees
  • 94. All The Small Things - Blink 182
  • 95. Good Times - Chic
  • 96. Photograph - Def Leppard
  • 97. Love Shack - The B-52's
  • 98. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
  • 99. Just A Friend - Biz Markie
  • 100. Tainted Love - Soft Cell

Thanks for posting this, I haven't seen this list yet. But you made a mistake, for "Smells Like Teen Spirit", you put Blink 182 instead of Nirvana.

Hehe, thanks for pointing that out. I can't believe I missed that.

Fairly decent list...for RS, anyway.

Blitzcreig Bob and Rape Me should be on there

I disagree with this list on so many levels, I'm not even going to try to cover it all.

I'll just say this. How could there not be even one Elvis song on the list? Certainly, Teddy Bear, It's Now or Never, The Wonder of You, and Return to Sender are all pop songs and at least one of them should have made the list. Britney Spears is on the list and Elvis isn't. What's wrong with this picture?

The only other thing I'll say is that the Four Seasons, the Grass Roots, and the Righteous Brothers should have been on the list.


These songs were written or otherwise created by the various artists here. I don't remember a song that Elvis wrote, or even sketched out in some basic form. Elvis was a performer, period. And a damn good one.

Man, I LOVE Nirvana. They are the band from my generation that I favor the most. But I don't think "Smells Like Teen Spirit" is the #3 greatest pop song of all time. Nor do I think Madonna's "Like a Virgin" is #4.

I have all kinds of problems with Rolling Stone lists in general.

If such lists are to be made (and who can prevent it?), this one makes some sense, here and there.

Elton John deserves his due, but.."Your Song," one of his most conventional and sort of drippy efforts? I would put "Rocket Man" ahead of "Your Song."

In the same vein, Orbison's "Pretty Woman" is an obvious choice because it became his signature song, but "It's Over" is much the better song.

"Love Shack"? Really? Hmmm, from that era I will offer "Heart of Glass" or "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)."

Ultimately, very little on this list with its very limited
purview can be compared with Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, or Hoagy Carmichael, to name a few artists of song. Or Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen, even.


Hi. First, I don't believe it's a requirement that the songs on this list had to be written by the artist. I don't believe the Supremes wrote any of their songs and they're on the list. Plus, Elvis is listed as a co-writer on these songs:

All Shook Up
Don't Be Cruel
Let Me
Love Me Tender
Poor Boy
That's Someone You Never Forget
We're Gonna Move
You'll Be Gone

The bottom line is I think the list is for the Top 100 Pop Songs; not the Top 100 Songwriters. For me, the list has no credibility if there is not even one Elvis song on it. Just my opinion, of course. ;)

Elvis is the most notable absence, true

Hi, blindsider.

I don't understand how he could be left off, when he basically started it all. Plus, I could see if people today voted. Maybe younger people wouldn't pick Elvis. But this is the Rolling Stone list. They should know better.

I don't consider a lot of these songs pop songs. They are rock songs, but I guess for the purposes of the exercise they are all lumped in the same boat.
I also surmise that you must consider 'Child In Time' a rock song, hence its very notable absence. The song being my all time favourite, although there are many that come close 'Freebird', 'Thank You', The Band's version of 'Midnight Train', 'T for Texas', oh there are so many.
And your number 87 is a joke of immense proportions.

My 87? hold your tongue-this isn't my list

Sorry about that. I too would be quite vocal and outraged if someone like me had made such a statement.

Brass in pocket is a joke of epic proportions, though. It has no place on this list. If this was my list, that song wouldn't be on the list, and there'd be more Elvis. Smells like teen spirit would be down about 50 places, as well :P

Seriously guys, "Brass in Pocket" is the song you object to? Granted, it's not the best Pretenders song, but it comes from a terrific and rightfully acclaimed album (read this song review for a great take on it) and it's loads better than some of the other stuff on this list, including all the boy band dreck, "Ironic," "Waterfalls," etc. etc. Just one man's opinion, of course.

Likewise, my thoughts about the song are my own opinion. I personally despise the song-so it kind of stands out on the list

4, 9, 10, 19, 25 (with triple bullets), 28, 34, 40, 47, 55, 57, 58, 62, 68, 69, 71, 80, 90, 94, 99.
Quite a few others I do not know, not listening to much music of this or the 80s or 90s, but those songs most definitely don't belong. Of course this is just my humble opinion, and yes, I do know everyone also has an arsehole.
And seriously, even though this is a 'pop' 100, where is 'Stairway to Heaven'? Seriously, one of THE all time classics. I agree, it is not a pop song as such, but neither are many on this list. 'Child In Time', 'Freebird', words really fail me here, and RS is supposed to be one of the top music mags.
Fancy putting Britney Spears on the same list as The Who, Sly and The Family Stone, The Rolling Stones, among the others. Let's at least separate the genres, and then we could get a real feel for the list.
And IMHO, Hynde is crap, song 87 is utter crap, the album is crap, and it's a pity the band backing this so far up herself vegetarian don't go their own ways, but I guess they are riding on her 'fame'. They will learn.

I'd have to disagree with 68, 69, 71, 94, 99. I'd also like to hear your thoughts on why those 5 songs in particular aren't right for the list

I actually love 'Just Can't Get Enough', but top 100, not for me. The Ramones would have to be one of the most overrated bands of all time. 'Godfathers' of punk, spare me. Just loud and fast shit music for mine.
Blink 182, spare me. Garbage, garbage song. And number 99, actually I don't know that one, Biz Markie, never heard of 'em, or him, or it, it just sounds too bad to be on such a 'prestigious' list.
Again, no 'Stairway To Heaven' and all credibility goes, even well before that truly rubbishy number 87 song.
Is 'Stairway To Heaven' not considered a pop song?
Again, this is just MHO.

I'd have a hard time placing it in a 'pop' category. Which is odd, given how massively popular the song is. I don't know. Certainly a great song- it was #8 on rollingstone's 100 greatest guitar songs.

Also, #31 on rollingstone's 500 greatest song of all time. I'm not sure why it's not on this list. Oh well

I just don't consider it a pop song

How can they have Good Vibrations as the #6 rock & roll song of all time and it's the #70 pop song of all time? How stoned are they?

Mmmmbop 1 place ahead of Bohemian Rhapsody ? Are these guys for real ? This has to be a wind up ? Look at the other songs further down. Nah man, farcical.

Wasn't "Just The Way You Are" written and sung by Billy Joel ? Not Stevie Wonder .....

Good eye. Yeah, that doesn't make sense, does it? I'm not sure what they meant, but I'll look into it, thx

Odd how Satisfaction is listed as both the second greatest song of all time and second greatest pop song of all time, yet the greatest song is different on both lists. ???

like a virgin ahead of billie jean...what kind of sucking joke is this??? it has to be unbiased whoever wrote the list is mentally unstable..! and beat it aint a pop song!??? were u drunk when u composed it??

Please refer to the comment I made on the 'Greatest Artists of All Time' list that I posted.

10. I Want It That Way - Backstreet Boys
28. MMMBop - Hanson
99. Just A Friend - Biz Markie
LOL, i cant stop, can you fucking believe this, this things in the top 100 pop songs of all time, i dont get it, i dont know what these guys from RSM measure when they make a list, this list is the worse i ever seen, the 3 songs I pointed here is just an example, BACKSTREET BOYS JAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAJAAJAJAJAJAJA
the list have at least 40 mistakes

In this whole list theres only 10-15 really great songs! :(

"Smell like teen spirit" on 3# ha ha ha ha LOL
I have learned a new thing from this list "Smell like teen spirit" is a pop song not Grunge.

Not ashamed to admit that I love me some Mmmbop.... :)