Chillout Radio

The best songs of all time

Photo: Marcelo Chagas, Pexels.

Artists don’t generally set out to write or perform one of the best songs of all time, it kind of just happens. These are the songs that transcend time and are relevant and just as popular today as they were when they were first released.

Great songs have the ability to take you back to the first time (or a significant time) when you heard that song. They stick with you for a long time and even though some of these songs are decades old, you can still hear them on the radio today.

Remember, that this list is the best of the best, and there are certainly other great songs that just didn’t quite make this list. So, have a look below at some of the best songs of all time in no particular order (maybe you will rediscover a classic to pop onto your playlist):

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Artist: Nirvana

Album: Nevermind

Release Date: 1991

This reflects what Nirvana and Kurt Cobain were all about and it quickly became one of the biggest anthems of the 90s. With over 1 million copies sold, listeners still fall in love with this song today. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was from the band’s second album and certainly wasn’t their only hit, but it was one of their biggest.

Imagine

Artist: John Lennon

Album: Imagine

Release Date: 1971

After having massive success with one of the best bands of all time, The Beatles –one band member, John Lennon, made a big name for himself as a solo artist with his songs, like “Imagine”. This tune formed part of his second solo album and it has also been covered by many other great artists including Elton John and Stevie Wonder.

Stairway to Heaven

Artist: Led Zeppelin

Album: Officially untitled, but commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV

Release Date: 1971

Also released in 1971, “Stairway to Heaven” formed part of Led Zeppelin’s forth album. The band’s growing fan base in the 70s helped make this song so popular all across the world. It is still one of the biggest classics today and is probably on every classic rock lover’s playlist.

I Want To Hold Your Hand

Artist: The Beatles

Album: Meet The Beatles!

Release Date: 1963

As touched on above, The Beatles were one of the biggest bands of all time, there fan base not only in England, but right across the world ensured that everything they touched turned to gold. Overall, The Beatles released a stack of albums and had a huge amount of hits, and “I Want To Hold Your Hand” certainly deserves a spot on this list.

Good Vibrations

Artist: The Beach Boys

Album: Good Vibrations – Best of The Beach Boys

Release Date: 1966

Another boy band that everyone instantly fell in love with, Good Vibrations was one of their biggest hits that most people today can still remember and love the tune. This single reached number one in both the US and the UK, and was much loved right around the world in many different other countries.

Yesterday

Artist: The Beatles

Album: Help!

Release Date: 1965

Another song from The Beatles makes this list, what a surprise! This single was from an album released two years after “Meet The Beatles”. In the song, listeners can only hear Paul McCartney’s voice, and it was described as one of the best pieces he had ever written. Although the song was a little different to the types of songs The Beatles’ fans were accustom to hearing, they still fell in love with it.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

Artist: The Rolling Stones

Album: Out of Our Heads

Release Date: 1965

The year 1965 was certainly a big year for massive hits from boy bands, with The Rolling Stones releasing their forth album which contained one of their most well known hits, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”. It was their first number one single in the US and later it also topped the UK charts.

Respect

Artist: Aretha Franklin

Album: I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You

Release Date: 1967

“Respect” was a single on Aretha Franklin’s breakthrough album and it is probably one of her most well known songs. This single earned Franklin two Grammy Awards the following year for Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance (Female) and Best Rhythm & Blues Recording. Also, a year later the single was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Hey Jude

Artist: The Beatles

Album: Hey Jude

Release Date: 1970 (album), 1968 (single)

Many fans and critics alike regard this single as the best of all time, certainly the best The Beatles ever sang. It was the number 1 song in a large number of countries right around the world, including; US, UK, Canada and Australia. With The Beatles producing so many albums that had a countless number of hits, you can be the judge if this was your favourite song by this boy band!

Johnny B. Goode

Artist: Chuck Berry

Album: Twist

Release Date: 1962 (album), 1958 (single)

Known as one of the best rock and roll songs every written, this single was later performed live by Jimi Hendrix. Years later in 1999, “Johnny B. Goode” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for its massive influence on the rock and roll genre. It also tops Rolling Stone’s “Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time” list.

Here Comes The Sun

Artist: The Beatles

Album: Abbey Road

Release Date: 1969

Once again The Beatles is featured on this list, this time for their catchy tune “Here Comes The Sun”. The album in itself is so iconic that people all around the world come flocking to the place the album cover was shot to recreate it. It is clearly one of the favourites with fans as it is their most streamed song in the UK (as of January 2020).

Hound Dog

Artist: Elvis Presley

Album: Magic Moments

Release Date: 1956

Elvis Presley wasn’t just famous for his unique voice, but also is killer dance moves. This single was first made a hit by Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton, but Elvis Presley able to take it up a notch and have it as one of the best songs of all time. This song was his best selling single, and with its catchy lyrics it is easy to see why.

River Deep – Mountain High

Artist: Ike and Tina Turner

Album: River Deep – Mountain High

Release Date: 1966

This classic tune is still loved today by many right across the world. It was another song to be inducted to the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1999. It is also one of Tina Turner’s most recognised songs and is still played quite frequently. Its motivational lyrics and catchy chorus make it so memorable even today.

London Calling

Artist: The Clash

Album: London Calling

Release Date: 1979

This was the hero single on the album “London Calling”, it was the third album released by English rock band The Clash. It quickly became the band’s highest charting single, until the single “Should I Stay Or Should I Go”, ten years later, dominated the charts and sat at number one.