They say you should dance like nobody’s watching and sing like nobody’s listening. Music provides one of life’s purest joys – it can take us back to a nostalgic moment or inspire us to step into a brighter future. Many songs today echo the same way they did when they first came out, decades ago.
Here’s a list of some of the best songs that ever came out. We bet you can’t stop yourself but sing along….
49. Nothing Compares 2 U – Sinead O’Connor
Prince originally wrote this song, and recorded it. The version he made back in 1984 was never published, and it was later given to the Irish sensational. singer. Nothing Compares 2 U had reached the top of the charts in 17 different countries upon its publication.
Overall, it’s been four weeks in the Top 100 and has been heard in all radio stations around the world. Today the video clip is still famous: Sinead O’Connor’s one-shot, staring into the camera and weeping resonates with audiences across the globe.
48. Jailhouse Rock – Elvis Presley
One of the biggest songs by Presley hit our radios back in 1957, and is still enjoyed today. It was featured in the same-name film and showed the singer playing the song in a jail.
Today, Jailhouse Rock is viewed as one of the most legendary songs of the 1950s and speaks to most vintage Americana. This is only one of Elvis Presley’s huge hits and is being considered, even 60 years later, to be one of the best party songs ever. Are you also a fan?
47. Hit Me Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
It’s hard to imagine that, 21 years ago, this famous song was first aired. Hit Me Baby One More Time was played by the 17-year-old Britney dressed up as a youthful school girl who took over the charts all over the world in an instant.
Also today, the video has remained a popular hit, solidifying itself as one of the decade’s greatest songs. And people of all ages may remember the first set of beats. None other than Max Martin was the mastermind behind other songs for bands like The Backstreet Boys.
46. Let It Be – The Beatles
There are lots of The Beatles songs that deserve to be on this list. In 1970, Paul McCartney published Let It Be which focuses primarily on solely four piano chords. The song refers to a ‘ Mother Mary ‘ that some find to be a gesture to faith.
Although music can be a personal and intimate experience, McCartney confirmed that it is a reference to his mother who died when he was 14 years old. She spoke to him in a dream, apparently, reassuring him to ‘ let it be. ‘ As we know the rest is history.
45. We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
In 2005 Mariah Carey has won her a Grammy for that year’s best R&B album. We Belong Together has spent an incredible 14 weeks at # 1 on the Billboard charts after its debut. 21st century ,up until today, this is the longest time a song has ever been at the top of the Billboard charts.
The music video shows the actress wearing a wedding dress-the same one she wore in 1993 when she got married to Tommy Mottola. Sadly, a few years later they split, yet she did not have any problem wearing it again.
44. Yeah! – Usher feat. Lil’ Jon and Ludacris
This hit soared to # 1in 2004 once it had been released to listeners around the world. It’s sold an impressive one million copies in its first week. Once it became available to listeners, the album, Confessions, had three songs in the top 10 charts.
Surprisingly, after The Bee Gees and The Beatles, Usher was merely the third artist to achieve this success, having 3 song simultaneously in the top 10 charts. Amazingly, fifteen years later and the song still has a place in worldwide parties. It’s familiar beat flows through your body & sould and makes you dance wherever you are.
43. Endless Love – Diana Ross and Lionel Richie
Endless Love bears its deserved title as one of the most romantic duets ever. This featured the same name in the 1981 film. Although the movie didn’t leave too much of an impact to its audience, the song has unmistakably stood the trial of time.
Surprisingly, these two stars were hard to get together because of their busy schedules. Following a Nevada concert the studio opened its doors at 3:30am. The song was recorded and finished, two hours later.
42. I’ll Make Love To You – Boyz II Men
Boyz II Men had a great year in 1994-for over 14 weeks, their biggest single hit # 1 and was heard all over radio station worldwide. I’ll Make Love To You clearly left a mark on its listeners and is still considered one of the most romantic songs ever made.
It won the Grammy by A Duo Or Group With Vocal for Best R&B Performance in 1994. It almost didn’t make it on to the album until a last-minute change, according to Babyface-the writer of the record.
41. Lose Yourself – Eminem
Eminem’s 2002 hit may, and for good reason, be considered his most famous one. For his 2002 film 8 Mile, a semi-biographical film set in Detroit, Lose Yourself has served as the soundtrack.
Even today, the personal lyrics and catchy rhythm make Lose Yourself a famous song, resonating with people who chase their own goals as well. It won the Oscar for Best Soundtrack and in the last 20 years Eminem has become one of the most famous rappers we have ever known.
40. (Everything I Do) I Do It For You – Bryan Adams
The famous ballad was first published in 1991 and featured in Robin Hood movie: Prince of Thieves, a film by Kevin Costner. The movie studio did not approve of the song at first, since it did not fit with the period in which the movie was set.
They approved it in the end and the rest is history. (Everything I do) I do it for You was # 1 in the UK for a immense 16 weeks and in the US for seven weeks.
39. Last Christmas – Wham!
Wham’s! one of their greatest hits was released in the mid-1980s, giving it the iconic sound we all know today. It was written and produced by George Michael, and, despite not being about the actual holiday, became a hit for Christmas.
The song refers simply to a broken relationship that occurred over Christmas and New Year. At Christmas time it is an annual staple on radio stations, especially in the UK. Unfortunately, George Michael died in 2016, on Christmas Day.
38. Dancing in the Street – Martha and The Vandellas
Not many songs would sum up the 1960s with such eloquence as Dancing in the Street. The Motown sound, released in 1964, would soon become a sign of the times and a changing culture of minority civil rights and social mobility.
The feel-good beats and lyrics reflect the ‘ swinging ‘ 60s ‘ era, which was often romanticized by generations to come. People can still find comfort today by dancing to the tune.
37. Somebody That I Used To Know – Gotye Feat. Kimbra
Somebody That I Used To Know is a brilliant example of an ‘ One Hit Wonder. ‘ The 2011 single, written and performed by Gotye, shot the Belgian-Australian singer to achieve global fame and recognition. The album received the 2013 Grammys Album of the Year, ever since we have unfortunately not heard a lot from the artists.
Gotye turned it into a duet after writing the song, and is one of the most covered tracks in the last few years. The unique sound has been resonating with people all over the world.
36. Sweet Child O’Mine – Guns N’ Roses
What happens when one of your hits drives you insane? Well, for Slash, that’s precisely what happened. In 1988, Sweet Child O’Mine hit radios but it took only two years to drive the band crazy.
The song was composed during a jam session in the Sunset Strip, according to Guns N ‘ Roses. Today, it is one of their best-known songs and it reflects beautifully the late 1980s and early 1990s. Looks like they’ll have a few more years to play it!
35. Born To Run – Bruce Springsteen
Surprisingly, ‘ Born To Run ‘ was the last effort by Springsteen to create something groundbreaking in the music industry. Released back in 1974, two albums that didn’t make the impact the singer had hoped for had followed this classic song.
Well, it looks like it paid off! Born To Run has earned its place as one of the most iconic tunes in the United States. There are 11 guitar tracks on the album to get the sound ‘ just ‘ right according to Springsteen.
34. Every Breath You Take – The Police
The song, which this year is to celebrate its 36th birthday, has become known as the signature song of the band. Every Breath You Take accounts for about 30% of the band’s entire income, according to reports in 2010.
And there is good reason for that. The song describes exactly what it means to be in love and being infatuated with your dream partner. After his split from Frances Tomelty, Sting wrote the Ballad. Do you like anthem from the early ‘ 80s?
33. Macarena – Los Del Rio
The Spanish dance song from 1993 has been an immediate hit worldwide. We were all standing in the middle of the dance floor before we knew it, copying the easy but unforgettable moves in large crowds.
It spent 14 weeks in Number 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart at the time of its release. Nevertheless, it is the remix which is most popular and is being played today across all radio stations. The Macarena encouraged many additional uniform dances over the years.
32. Mambo No. 5 (a Little Bit of…) – Lou Bega
Mambo No. 5 is a timeless classic from the opening introduction to a appealing few beats, engaging people of all ages to jump onto the dance floor. Describing the loves of his life, with a brass band and special rhythms Lou Bega pays homage to the ladies he once loved.
Mambo No. 5 won the NRJ Music Award for International Song of the Year upon its publication. Twenty years later, it is an important part of music culture and a must-play at weddings and special occasions.
31. Shape of You – Ed Sheeran
In 2017 Shape of You hit streaming services and turned out to be one of the most played songs in history. On Spotify alone to date, it has more than two billion views, not including other music channels or physical records were his hit was and still is being listened to on a daily basis.
You shape has an irresistible beat and rhythm that makes almost anyone stand up and dance. Sheeran originally wrote this song for Rihanna yet decided in the last minute that it was more suitable for him to sing. Can you imagine Rihanna singing this song? We certainly can’t…
30. Gimme Shelter – The Rolling Stones
Gimme Shelter is just one of the many songs which came out during the 1969 Vietnam War. The 1969 hit is meant to highlight how there is always a fear of war and a concern for young men and women.
Sixty years later, as a reminder of the hippy era and the swinging ‘ 60s, it is still played in bars around the world. Mary Clayton performed with such strength the iconic female vocals that she sadly ended up miscarrying her child.
29. No Woman No Cry – Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley’s popular No Woman NO Cry is another song that fits perfectly within this decade. One of the all-time favorite Reggae songs was published in 1975 and has ever since been played in the college dormitories. The original lyrics were ‘ no woman nuh cry ‘ and ‘ Nuh ‘ was translated as ‘ don’t ‘ from Jamaican.
“No Woman, Don’t cry” is basically the meaning of the song. This turned the song to have a romantic meaning, since the interpretation means that without woman, man has no reason to be upset.
28. Dancing Queen – ABBA
ABBA is perhaps the most successful example of a Eurovision band that has achieved fame and recognition for their work worldwide. Once of their mist iconic songs is most certainly “Dancing Queen” which gets almost every listener on his or her feet dancing along to the addicting lyrics.
This song was the only one to make it to #1 in the US charts, despite their place in history today. The musical based on their discography “Mamma Mia!” hit the stages in London in 1999. A film edition and a sequel has since came out, and we just love it.
27. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Simon & Garfunkel
Bridge Over Troubled Water, another song from the 1970s to highlight the romanticism of its time, has solidified itself as one of the most iconic songs ever written. Even though Paul Simon wrote it, it is Art Garfunkel who would eventually lend his voice to the song.
In an interview Simon stated that “he had no idea where it came from”. It came all of a sudden. It was one of the most shocking moments in his songwriting career. He remember thinking to himself, ‘This is considerably better than I usually write.’”
26. Hotel California – The Eagles
The Hotel California has been called one of the most iconic songs of the decade ever since its release in 1977. Its catchy lyrics and familiar guitar coda have been selected as one of the best solos ever. The Hotel California is basing itself on a real location: the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The band explains how it had become a literal and symbolic crucial theme hotel in all of their lives. The song acts as a tribute to a place which has meant so much to them. Likewise dear Eagles, your music means so much to us today, it never gets old!
25. Respect – Aretha Franklin
The world said goodbye to Aretha Franklin in 2018, but her 1967 album will live on forever, younger fans might not know that Respect is just a two-year-old version of the original Otis Redding.
Franklin had her own unique style and voice to the album that has become an anthem for civil rights and feminist movement across the United States ever since. Even fifty years later this song turn out to be more significant than ever. Do you remember when you heard that song for the first time?
24. Stairway to Heaven – Led Zeppelin
This classic rock song was released in 1971 and contributed to transforming the genre. The 8-minute mega hit is a journey to a massive climatic masterpiece from the calm and humble. Throughout the song, listeners get to feel the shift in melody, pace and tune throughout the song.
Guitarists around the world today pay tribute to the song by adding their own variations and turning it on. There are many genre fans who can turn to Stairway to Heaven as a staple in the era.
23. Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit played on radios for the first time in 1990, becoming Nirvana’s iconic song. Kurt Cobain admired The Pixies, according to sources, and wanted to write a song in the same style as them.
As Kobain admitted, while writing Smells Like Teen Spirit: ”I was trying to write the ultimate pop song. I was basically trying to rip off the Pixies. I have to admit it.” Now, only a few different notes will define the song in its beginning.
22. Like A Rolling Stone – Bob Dylan
This is obviously another classic hit from the 1960’s, right in the middle of the swinging 60’s this groundbreaking song, Like A Rolling Stone, came into this world in 1965. Like A Rolling Stone is the album that turned Bob Dylan from a folk singer to a bonafide rock star by many musical historians.
Through his career Bob Dylan encountered several ups and downs but this song ended up resonating with fans all over the world. Today it is one of the best songs that has ever been written.
21. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
The catchy tune can definitely be heard for generations to come at weddings and birthdays. The summer hit of 2014 profoundly influenced listeners and became a staple of pop culture instantly.
Part of Ronson and Mars ‘ winning formula was to embrace to their listeners a classic sense of nostalgia. They did this by mirroring classic 80s songs and simultaneously matching the style. When you hear this song, can you actually stop tapping your feet?
20. Smooth – Santana ft. Rob Thomas
Another instant classic: Santana’s Smooth grooved along the radio waves in 1999, and in recent years was one of the most successful collaborations ever made. They combined Santana’s Latin rock with American soul of Thomas, and created something unique.
Twenty years later this song is still as popular as ever. It has helped to incorporate Santana into American pop culture and hastened Rob Thomas to become a bonafide star. Who do you think the ‘Spanish Harlem Mona Lisa’ actually is? Might be a long lost love of his…?
19. Imagine – John Lennon
Also considered to be one of the best songs ever written, Imagine is as important today as it was in 1971. With wife Yoko Ono on his mind, Lennon wrote the song and eventually, she as well received a writing credit for her help inspiring him to sit down and record his feelings.
The song asks us to ‘ imagine ‘ a better war and conflict-free future. Many have not instantly accepted his radical philosophy, but in recent years it is only gaining more popularity. If you could, what would you wish for?
18. One – U2
The lead singer Bono has written one of the best songs to come from U2, One. The song was inspired by all the broken relationships encountered by members of the band according to reports. Surprisingly, we can all find something in his lyrics to remind us of a love of the past.
Most ballads tap into love and loss emotions, but few produce the same emotional response as U2 does. Twenty-eight years later, the song is still repeatedly used in pop culture.
17. September – Earth, Wind, and Fire
Few songs like September touch the soul of the 1970’s. The song manages to get everyone dancing the night away from its first few beats all the way through to its chorus. It’s an indispensable record at weddings, even 40 years later.
Lyricist Maurice White was once asked in an interview what ‘ba-dee-ya’ meant. He replied openly: “Who cares? Never let the lyrics get in the way of the groove.” It turns out that countless millions of us fans don’t really care. Do you?
16. Daydream Believer – The Monkees
Sometimes, the Monkees don’t get the credit they deserve when it comes to their music. Daydream Believer, published in 1967, told a sad story about a husband looking inside the mirror and discovering that his marriage is very much over.
Nevertheless, the feel-good beat and tune mix our sensations as we’re left tapping our feet while singing along. The song naturally reached Number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, where it remained for four proudly weeks.
15. Johnny B. Goode – Chuck Berry
Johnny B. Goode is one of the most quintessential songs of the 1950’s, made famous by the 1985 film Back to the Future. The lyrics tell the story of a New Orleans illiterate man who wows people with his guitar.
The lyrics originally referred to Goode as a ‘ colored boy ‘ but radio stations told him they wouldn’t be able to play it. To make it more radio friendly, Berry changed the lyrics and the impact has had lasting effects all the way to today.
14. I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
Throughout their glory years, the Black Eyed Peas had many classic hits but perhaps the most famous one was I Got ta Feeling. Released in 2009, and produced by David Guetta, each member of the group has written and performed the album.
Will. I.Am, the frontman of the band, explained the purpose behind the weekend evening jam that rocked the world. “Times are really hard for a lot of people and you want to give them escape and you want to make them feel good about life, especially at these low points.”
13. Relax – Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Relax was released to a wave of controversy in 1983, perhaps became more popular by the 2001 hit Zoolander. Because of its provocative lyrics that can be interpreted as too pornographic the BBC banned it from its airwaves.
The song was ahead of its time, like most great art, yet it still captures the era of its own time. The fun and disco song reeks of the 1980s, with many people still loving the song today.
12. Happy – Pharrell Williams
Happy, One of the greatest dance songs ever, with a huge 13.9 million singles sold, became the bestselling hit of 2014. The song was featured on the soundtrack Despicable Me 2 and boosted Williams to worldwide fame.
Listeners are immediately caught in its catchy beat and melody after only a few beats,. Whether it’s your first listen or your 100th, we’re certain you’ll still be tapping your feet along, and we do not blame you! Years from now, people will expectedly still be dancing along to this instant and captivating song.
11. Your Song – Elton John
The king of the music world in the 1970s was most certainly the British pop star Elton John. He co-wrote the ballad with longtime friend Bernie Taupin. It was initially released in 1970 and has ever since become an utter classic.
Even today, it is often appearing on countless lists that highlight some of the world’s best tunes. The gentle tune and powerful lines make for an unmistakable anthem which resonates today. It’s even been covered by musicians like Ellie Goulding, Lady Gaga, and Ewan McGregor.
10. Thriller – Michael Jackson
Is there anything other song more famous than Thriller? The record Michael Jackon was released as the seventh and final single from the album of the same name in January 1984. Produced by Quincey Jones, an entire music video accompanied Thriller, which was just as a hit as the song itself.
The music video – featuring a Vincent Price dance performance and voice over – has secured its part in pop culture. Almost all of us know even 36 years later the rhythm and dance moves. In fact, his outfit is still a common costume for Halloween among children as well as adults.
9. Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys
Ever since released in 1966, Good Vibrations was bringing the good vibes. Brian Wilson inspired the theme, and his interest in cosmic space vibrations. He wanted to explore people’s good and/or bad vibes.
Today, Good Vibrations is still played and appreciated by millions of people across the world. It is still considered a summer hymn is can recurrently be heard at all different kind of events such as picnics and parties. Do you like the classic ‘60s song as much as we do?
8. My Way – Frank Sinatra
The famous song, My Way, was released in the midst of Sinatra’s career and remains one of his best songs. Coming from the album of the same name in 1969, it is a remake of the same song of a French hit. It spent over 75 weeks in the UK on the Top 40 charts.
The album is a love letter to the past and events of one’s lifetime. Despite the uplifting message of nostalgia and taking control of one’s life, it is the most played song at funerals.
7. Sexual Healing – Marvin Gaye
Sexual Healing was featured on the 1982 album Midnight Love.The album marked Marvin Gaye’s first release since his exit from his record label Motown. It is often classified as one of the best ever written songs. The post-disco, soul, and funk album is known to be ‘ the hottest turn on pop culture in America. ‘
Even today, the song is often considered of as one of the most… well… romantic songs written in recent years. Its explicit meaning often thrills those who listen to it…
6. Comfortably Numb – Pink Floyd
Numb appeared happily on the band’s eleventh album, The Wall, in the year of 1980. Nearly 40 years later, the two guitar solos and evocative lyrics make the album one of their most iconic songs.
Many people think it refers to drug use, and while this claim has been disputed, we can’t be sure if it can be trusted. Comfortably Numb was composed by both Roger Waters and David Gilmour who regularly perform the song.
5. Wonderwall – Oasis
Oasis rapidly became one of the most iconic bands of the mid-90s with their immense hit Wonderwall. From their album, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? The tune describes “an imaginary friend who’s gonna come and save you from yourself”.
To this day, Wonderwall remains one of the most popular songs from the band, and one of the most successful exports from Britain. Nearly 25 years have passed but the lyrics and unique instrumentals remain iconic. Who is the Wonderwall of your heart?
4. Piano Man – Billy Joel
Piano Man tells the semi-true stories of the time Billy Joel was playing in a bar as a piano man. Through its various lines, Joel takes us through the different characters he’d encounter throughout the day.
Piano Man was first released more than 45 years ago, but the album still resonates with music fans from all over the world. In 2016 it was selected by the Library of Congress to be housed in the National Registry. It quotes its “cultural, historic, or artistic significance”.
3. Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
No album is fuller of heartbreak and turmoil than the 1977 album Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. Four of the band members divorced each other during their recording, another four clashed during an acrimonious affair and the fifth member had personal domestic issues.
Despite all this mess, Dreams cuts through the emotional chords of its artists and listeners to discover the emotional state of love and hurt. Its beat and lyrics remain incredibly powerful to future generations all these years later.
2. Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Another song which hit the radio in the 1970s was the iconic hit Superstition by Steve Wonder. Wonder has written a groovy hit from the 1972 album Talking Heads which electrifies the hearts of all its listeners.
Resisting to dance to the powerful funk and bass lines that float through the speakers and into the airwaves is nearly impossible. To date, it clearly encourages people to jump on the dance floor is still a tradition at most parties or weddings. Can you resist?
1. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
It may sound crazy now but when the song was first released in 1975, Bohemian Rhapsody was considered somewhat of a gamble. The band desperately needed a sensational hit, but a ballad of 7 minutes, with opera solos and grunge riffs, all blended with poetry and screams.
It’s a mixture of themes and styles that blend together seamlessly to tell a group of misfits ‘ tale. You’ll be hard-pressed today not to find anyone who doesn’t know the song lyrics.