My Favourite 50 Songs Of All Time

22 December 2008

I was supposed to post this list on the same day that Dan did his, but I screwed up.

So, in addition to my top songs of the year post last week, here’s my list of my favourite 50 songs ever (in alphabetical order).

  1. The Animals – House of the Rising Sun
  2. The Beatles – A Day in the Life
  3. Big Sugar – Wild Ox Moan
  4. Beastie Boys – Sabotage
  5. Bob Dylan – Like a Rolling Stone
  6. Bob Dylan – It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
  7. Bob Dylan – The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
  8. Bob Dylan – Masters of War
  9. The Clash – London Calling
  10. Creedence Clearwater Revival – I Heard it Through the Grapevine
  11. Curtis Mayfield – (Don’t Worry) If There’s a Hell Below We’re All Going To Go
  12. The Doors – Break on Through
  13. The Doors – Roadhouse Blues
  14. The Guess Who – American Woman
  15. Guns ‘n’ Roses – Paradise City
  16. Hank Williams – I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry
  17. The Hooters – All You Zombies
  18. James Brown – The Payback
  19. Jimi Hendrix – Purple Haze
  20. Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
  21. Jimi Hendrix – Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
  22. John Lee Hooker – I’m Bad Like Jesse James
  23. Johnny Cash – I Walk the Line
  24. Lard – Forkboy
  25. Led Zeppelin – Black Dog
  26. Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks
  27. Leonard Cohen – First We Take Manhattan
  28. The Mamas and the Papas – California Dreamin’
  29. Michael Jackson – Billie Jean
  30. Ministry – Burning Inside
  31. Monster Magnet – Space Lord
  32. Nine Inch Nails – March of the Pigs
  33. Nine Inch Nails – Head Like a Hole
  34. Patsy Cline – Crazy
  35. Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb
  36. Pink Floyd – Shine On You Crazy Diamond
  37. Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here
  38. Prince – Kiss
  39. Rage Against the Machine – Maggie’s Farm
  40. Robert Johnson – 32-20 Blues
  41. The Rolling Stones – Sympathy For the Devil
  42. The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter
  43. Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
  44. Sinead O’Connor – Fire on Babylon
  45. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – The Tracks of My Tears
  46. Soundgarden – Superunknown
  47. Spiritualized – Cop Shoot Cop
  48. Stevie Wonder – Higher Ground
  49. Tom Waits – Earth Died Screaming
  50. The Who – The Seeker

I could have done an entire list of 50 with Dylan alone. I could also probably do a list of 50 with Zeppelin, Hendrix and Floyd. What can I say: most songs need time to achieve greatness, even in the space of a single person’s opinion.


  1. hi….since house of the rising sun is your favorite song (at least the one by the animals)….I was wondering if you’d heard the great versions that bob and odetta have done of it?….I too am a huge bobby d fan and could list forever my fav bd songs….it might be simpler to list the 10 or so that I don’t care for out of 600 or 700 he has written…..he is something else…I have almost everything he’s ever done…….. plus a zillion bootlegs…..and books, posters, photos, signed items….been collecting bob for 40 yrs……my top 5 fav artists are..bob, van, tom waits, david gray, jeff beck…….with strong runner up’s with peter green (early fleetwood mac), howlin’ wolf, frank sinatra, led zep, pink floyd…..there are so many….anyway, if you haven’t heard house of the rising sun by bob odetta, you might enjoy them…if you need help finding them…let me know………debbie

  2. Surely if you did this list again tomorrow or next week, you’d come up with a slightly different list? Although I’d hope that The Tracks Of My Tears would still be on there – a surefire classic.

    And if you had to pick just one…??

  3. @Debbie Yes, I have heard that version. And I’m with you right up to…David Gray? Eeeep.

    @Dylan As soon as I finished I started changing my mind. It’s true, it’s arbitrary and temporary. But it’s just for fun. Tracks…is definitely a great song, and probably should be on there somewhere.

    If I had to pick just one: Like A Rolling Stone.

  4. I’m actually kind of surprised that we had six in common, and there were a few more (Superunknown, Fire on Babylon, Sabotage) which very nearly made my list. The only one I knew for sure that would be on both our lists would be Break On Through.

    Anyway, nice list, and good job getting it written up so quickly!

  5. It’s easy if you don’t obsess.

    Thanks for the idea.

  6. ..some very good tunes..make a great i-tunes list..

  7. tee hee…. I take it you’re not a david gray fan…

  8. […] little over a week ago I blogged about my 50 favourite songs of all time. A few days later my brother Tim did the same. When I showed my father our lists he immediately felt a compulsion to make his own list, to the […]

  9. Very impressive list. Respec’ ‘n’ all that 😉

  10. […] The Plummet Onions Science and music hurtling Londonwards at eye-watering velocity « Goodbye, Astoria Another 50 best songs 1 January 2009 A little while ago my brother Dan posted his list of his 50 favourite songs of all time. Last week I posted my list. […]

  11. I think you need some Matthew Sweet in there. 🙂

  12. I thought about him right after I finished the list. You’re probably right. But I’ll let it stand.

  13. […] I did my favourite 50 songs ever a few years back I don’t know how I missed these […]

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