T Nation

100 Greatest Songs of Past 25 Years

For your amusement and debate:

100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years, as chosen by VH1

  1. Nirvana, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
  2. Michael Jackson , “Billie Jean”
  3. Guns N’ Roses, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
  4. Eminem ), “Lose Yourself”
  5. U2, “One”
  6. Run-D.M.C., “Walk This Way”
  7. Prince, “When Doves Cry”
  8. Whitney Houston (), “I Will Always Love You”
  9. The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
  10. Madonna (“Like a Virgin”
  11. Van Halen, “Jump”
  12. Alanis Morissette (“You Oughta Know”
  13. TLC, “Waterfalls”
  14. Sinead O’Connor (), “Nothing Compares 2 U”
  15. Pink Floyd, “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”
  16. No Doubt, “Don’t Speak”
  17. Def Leppard, “Photograph”
  18. R.E.M “Losing My Religion”
  19. Public Enemy, “Fight the Power”
  20. AC/DC, “You Shook Me All Night Long”
  21. U2, “With or Without You”
  22. Cyndi Lauper , “Time After Time”
  23. Prince, “Little Red Corvette”
  24. Celine Dion “My Heart Will Go On”
  25. Rick James, “Super Freak”
  26. Bon Jovi, “Livin’ on a Prayer”
  27. Grandmaster Flash, “The Message”
  28. Britney Spears “… Baby One More Time”
  29. Bruce Springsteen , “Born in the U.S.A.”
  30. Janet Jackson (), “Nasty”
  31. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg, “Nuthin’ but a `G’ Thang”
  32. Pearl Jam, “Jeremy”
  33. Tina Turner , “What’s Love Got to do With It”
  34. Peter Gabriel “In Your Eyes”
  35. The Sugarhill Gang, “Rapper’s Delight”
  36. Joan Jett, “I Love Rock 'n Roll”
  37. Alicia Keys “Fallin’”
  38. The Clash, “London Calling”
  39. Tom Petty , “Free Fallin’”
  40. Michael Jackson, “Beat It”
  41. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Under the Bridge”
  42. Blondie, “Heart of Glass”
  43. The Go-Go’s, “Our Lips Are Sealed”
  44. Gloria Gaynor, “I Will Survive”
  45. Aerosmith “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”
  46. Queen and David Bowie , “Under Pressure”
  47. Shania Twain , “You’re Still the One”
  48. Naughty By Nature, “O.P.P.”
  49. Journey, “Don’t Stop Believin’”
  50. Lenny Kravitz “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”
  51. George Michael , “Faith”
  52. The Rolling Stones, “Start Me Up”
  53. Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing”
  54. Goo Goo Dolls , “Iris”
  55. Talking Heads, “Once in a Lifetime”
  56. Sheryl Crow , “All I Wanna Do”
  57. Eric Clapton “Tears in Heaven”
  58. The Notorious B.I.G. feat. Puff Daddy & Mase, “Mo Money Mo Problems”
  59. Meat Loaf “Paradise By the Dashboard Light”
  60. Santana feat. Rob Thomas , “Smooth”
  61. Backstreet Boys , “I Want It That Way”
  62. Pretenders, “Brass in Pocket”
  63. Beck, “Loser”
  64. The Knack, “My Sharona”
  65. Nelly, “Hot in Herre”
  66. Squeeze, “Tempted”
  67. John Cougar Mellencamp, “Jack and Diane”
  68. Chic, “Good Times”
  69. Mary J. Blige , “Real Love”
  70. Culture Club, “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me”
  71. Dave Matthews Band, “Crash Into Me”
  72. John Lennon “(Just Like) Starting Over”
  73. LL Cool J, “Mama Said Knock You Out”
  74. Hall & Oates, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”
  75. The Ramones, “I Wanna Be Sedated”
  76. Eurythmics, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
  77. Missy Elliott, “Work It”
  78. Green Day, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
  79. Destiny’s Child, “Say My Name”
  80. Duran Duran, “Hungry Like the Wolf”
  81. OutKast, “Ms. Jackson”
  82. Soft Cell, “Tainted Love”
  83. Band Aid, “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
  84. Radiohead, “Creep”
  85. Eminem, “My Name Is”
  86. Tracy Chapman, “Fast Car”
  87. The Who, “Who Are You”
  88. Metallica , “Enter Sandman”
  89. Pat Benatar , “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
  90. The Police, “Roxanne”
  91. Melissa Etheridge , “Come to My Window”
  92. Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It”
  93. Nine Inch Nails, “Closer”
  94. Cheap Trick, “Surrender”
  95. Oasis, “Wonderwall”
  96. Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)”
  97. Devo, “Whip It”
  98. Hanson, “MMMBop”
  99. Norah Jones , “Don’t Know Why”
  100. Madonna, “Ray of Light”

How in the hell would you even begin debating something like this?

I would feel bad for someone, if there is anyone, who’s entire musical universe is defined by VH1.

But amusing? oh, absolutely

once i saw eminem at #4 i stopped reading it…as this list lost all validity at that point.

You should have kept going. Whitney #8. OMG. NOW its time to quit reading the list.

Those were good… only a couple I would remove… what about old school stuff like MC Hammer’s “Can’t touch this” or Tone Loc’s “Wild thing” even Vanilly Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby”
Are songs like Desparado, and Hotel California and Roxanne too old? What about Poison’s “Every Rose has it’s thorn” or Journeys “We built this city” or “Open arms” or “Faithfully”… Guns and Roses’ “Every Rose has it’s thorn” or any other of their songs… Michael Bolton’s “Faithfully”… I could go on. There needs to be a top 200.

I meant to add “When a man loves a Woman”…
I also want to add, that these are the songs I listen to, but classics that stick out in my mind over the last 25 years, whether I liked them or not. Just pop culture songs every should be familiar with, although there were some on the list I didn’t know.

I’m sorry, but fuck Nirvana. So what if they were super popular. I say retire that song, and wait about 10 years to have another top 100 songs … because this list changes so slightly every year.

Oh well I guess … just more garbage they can’t put on TV.

Landon

Journey’s “we built this city” Wasn’t that Starship?

Anyway, no Elvis, Sinatra, The Who . . .

Argh.

STU

It was Boston I thought

It was Starship… my bad.

This is why we have Mp3 players now. We can make our own top 100 all on the same disk… Gotta love free music!!

Let’s think for a second:

[1] It’s the last 25 years - that’s back to 1978, so you can forget elvis, beatles, manfred mann etc.

[2]It’s VH1 - would they not logically focus on songs with videos.

[3]The list is also predominantly US. From a chart perspective, relatively few British Bands/ singers have ever made it big in the US.

[4] With a few notable exceptions the music is MOR/ AOR mainstream.

  • Off the top of my head, and to epmhasize the above points, missing are the following.
  1. Joy Division - Love Will tear Us Apart
  2. New Order - Blue Moday
  3. New Order - True Faith
  4. XTC - Making Plans for Nigel
  5. World Party - Ship of Fools

etc ad infinitum

In my most humble of opinions, this list is based upon chart rankings and video rotations, not on any artistic merit. If greatest is defined by most commercially successful, then this is is most likely accurate. Fucking Mmmmmbop? I don’t think so.

Another thought: I’d be curious to find out (but not motivated to do any looking) the sales totals for each of the albums on the list. Is Teen Spirit #1 because Nevermind sold x number of copies? Just musing.

#49. Journey

yes, journey, very important. where would we be without them? perhaps we wouldn’t know how to tolerate pure swill like creed…

Yeah, Where’s Sinatra!?!

Where’s “Snowblind” by Black Sabbath?

This list has no merit!

oops, Vol.4 was released in 1972 so “Snowblind” wouldn’t make the list.

Still, I only see about 10-12 decent songs on the list.

Remember, these are the “best” songs of the “past 25 years”. I think Elvis has been dead for at least 25 years.

And did Sinatra come out with anything new in the last 25 years or was he just singing the same 4 songs since 1950? I’m not being sarcastic, I really don’t know.

And while I’m not a big country fan, I just noticed they left off that whole genre. VH1 has a bad habit of calling everything “rock” though. You know, having shows on “rock stars” featuring Pink and Britney.

OOps… I noticed a typo in one of my posts. It should have said “that these are NOT the songs I listen to”. Not these ARE…
Also… I didn’t think about the video perspective. That obviously make since. I didn’t have cable as a kid, so I didn’t watch videos… gasp So I guess my opinion isn’t valid… Off to another thread. Sorry.