When it comes to choosing the top ten songs of all time, it is not an easy list to make. There are so many truly moving and inspiring songs that evoke a range of emotions when listened to. Some of these songs that tell stories about love, hate, anger, betrayal, and sadness can really bring that emotion bubbling up to the surface of our being while others, much like “Push-It”, simply are so catchy and irresistible in their nonsensical way that you just cannot help but bopping your head about and moving your feet to the rhythm. So, disregarding categories and time, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 songs of all time!
Don’t agree with something on the list? Or perhaps you think we’ve missed out on one? Drop a comment and let us know!
Lastly, we finish with another cover song done beautifully by Whitney Houston. Her famously true and stunningly beautiful voice will put goose bumps on anyone’s arms when they listen to her rendition of “I Will Always Love You”.
Whitney Houston’s cover of the song was released in 1992; however the original was by Dolly Parton released on June 6 of 1974. According to Dolly Parton herself, the song was about Porter Wagoner, her ex-partner. Apparently the song described in her words how a woman will still love a man and how despite the relationship disintegrating, that there is no anger, hatred, and turmoil between the two.
While admittedly Dolly Parton’s original singing of the song is very beautiful and inspiring, the cover by Whitney in 1992 was truly a powerful version that warrants the last spot on our list!
Like number five on this list by Aretha Franklin, “Georgia on My Mind” is another cover version that has made it to our list. Originally produced and sang by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell, Ray Charles’ version is the one that sticks out in history because of its soulful tone and bluesy feel.
Ray Charles’ release of “Georgia on My Mind” was in September of 1960 and the history behind its actual meaning is somewhat obscured. According to many, the song is about Hoagy Carmichael’s sister; however Carmichael himself attempted to dispel these accusations that the song was about a person and stated in his autobiography that it was actually about the state of Georgia instead.
Michael Jackson is perhaps one of the most iconic and famous individuals in the music industry and released a number of major hits throughout his career. Songs such as “Thriller” and “Beat It” were definitely close options for number eight on our list; however “Billie Jean” just had to be featured.
Officially released on January 2, 1983, “Billie Jean” was a song that Michael Jackson claimed he wrote for the female fans of his and didn’t represent just one girl, but many of them. He talked about how female groupies would try and have relations with the band members and how later they would all claim to have children sired by them. Michael himself had a horrifying experience with a female “groupie” so this song definitely had some personal meaning to him when it was released.
Straying away from the rock and hard rock, we have “Push It” – a hip hop, synthpop type song released back in 1987 by Salt-n-Pepa. Thanks to this catchy single, the album ??Hot, Cool & Vicious’ reached platinum sales making Salt-n-Pepa the first female rap group to do so!
Written by Hurby Azor and Raymond Douglas Davies, the song itself does not have much of an interesting creation. It does, however, have a massive number of remixes, an incredibly catchy beat, and helped make history for women in the music industry!
Officially released on October 3, 1987, “Welcome to the Jungle” was actually part of Guns N’ Roses first ever album titled Appetite for Destruction. This fantastic single was slightly overshadowed at first by “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door”, however it got its dues in time and is now considered the greatest hard rock song ever!
The history behind the song, unlike many others, is actually quite simple. It is an interpretation of Axl’s view on a city and how he felt. Once the idea began to form the band got together and began working on it – compiling old riffs played a while back with new until “Welcome to the Jungle” was completed.
As many may not know, “Respect” was not actually a song originally sung or even written by Aretha Franklin. In fact, “Respect” was sung by Otis Redding in 1965 and had a whole different meaning than Aretha Franklin’s version sung in 1967.
When you listen to the two differences you’ll find that the word “respect” for Otis Redding, generally means sexual attention from his partner when he gets home – this lovely euphemism is something that Aretha Franklin does away with entirely in her cover of the song when she released it. Her version tells about a fabulous and confident woman who demands respect because she knows she deserves it.
Released in 1977, “Hotel California” is a lovely rock song that earned the Eagles a Grammy Award for the Record of the Year in 1978 and is also considered to have one of the best guitar solos in it of all time.
The song was released on the album titled “Hotel California” and was apparently first named “Mexican Reggae” by the band. According to Glenn Frey, the song took form through a demo tape that was submitted to them by Don Felder. From there the band immediately took in interest in the demo and built upon it to describe a fabulous story of a tired traveler who takes up accommodation in a hotel.
Considered one of the greatest rock songs ever, “Stairway to Heaven” is a truly epic song written and played by the famous rock band Led Zeppelin. The song was released with the fourth album from Led Zeppelin (the untitled one), and had a very patchy creation.
According to the members of Led Zeppelin, it was composed and pieced together over a long period of time, with a good portion of the actual lyrics being improvised while the group was playing it through. The song, as you may know, is about a woman essentially getting everything she wanted and was quite cynical, however it does have a very upbeat tempo that actually speeds up as the song progresses!
Written by Paul McCartney, “Yesterday” is an outrageously popular song that is still so alive even in today’s music culture. There are numerous covers and it is an absolutely beautiful song that grabs at your heart and soul every time you listen to it.
The song is said to have been written completely by Paul McCartney himself and came to him apparently while he was sleeping one night at his girlfriend’s home. When he woke he quickly played the song on the piano so he could remember it then got together with the rest of The Beatles members and began recording it. It wasn’t released until 1965, despite Paul McCartney apparently writing it in 1964.
Considered by many the “best song ever made”, Bohemian Rhapsody is an absolute pleasure to listen to. Written by Freddie Mercury for Queen’s album “A Night at the Opera”, it combines many different musical styles into one true masterpiece.
Once released in 1975 the song immediately flew to the tops of charts and stayed there for nine consecutive weeks on the UK Singles Chart. While the buzz died down a while later, the song again rose to the top of charts in 1991 when Freddie Mercury sadly passed away. Later it was officially part of the Grammy Hall of Fame.