Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
"The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" was the cover story of a special issue of Rolling Stone, issue number 963, published December 9, 2004, a year after the magazine published its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".
- "Like a Rolling Stone" by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan was chosen as number one. The single was released on July 20, 1965.
- The list is mostly composed of North American and British artists and is largely post mid-20th century. Of the 500 songs, 352 are from the United States and 117 from the United Kingdom; they are followed by Ireland with 12 entries (of which 8 were composed by U2), Canada with 10, Jamaica with 7 (most of them by Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff and Toots & the Maytals), Australia with three (AC/DC with two) and a lone song from Sweden (by ABBA).
- The list includes just one song entirely not in English – "La Bamba" by Ritchie Valens (345).
- Few songs written prior to the 1950s are featured – examples include Robert Johnson's 1936 "Crossroads", here cited in its Cream version, and Hank Williams' 1949 "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry". "The House of the Rising Sun", here cited in the version by The Animals was recorded at least as early as 1934. Muddy Waters' 1950 "Rollin Stone" is based on an earlier song dating to the 1920s.
- There is one instrumental featured on the list; "Green Onions" by Booker T and the MG's, (ranked 181).
- The number of songs from each of the decades represented in the 2004 version is as follows:
|Decade||Number of songs||Percentage|
- With 23 songs on the list, The Beatles are the most-represented musical act. John Lennon is the only artist to place multiple songs in the top 10 (as a member of the Beatles and as a solo artist). The Beatles are followed by The Rolling Stones (14); Bob Dylan (13); Elvis Presley (11); U2 (8); The Beach Boys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience (7); Led Zeppelin, Prince, Sly & The Family Stone, James Brown, Chuck Berry (6); Elton John, Ray Charles, The Clash, The Drifters, The Who (5)
- Three songs appear on the list twice, being performed by different artists; "Mr. Tambourine Man" performed by Bob Dylan and The Byrds (the former at #107, the latter at #79), "Blue Suede Shoes" by Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins (Perkins' version at 95th, Presley's at 430th) and "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith and Run-DMC (the original 1975 recording at #346, the 1986 cover at #293).
- The shortest tracks are "Summertime Blues" (#73) by Eddie Cochran at 1:45, and "Great Balls of Fire" (#96) by Jerry Lee Lewis and "Rave On" (#154) by Buddy Holly, both with a duration of 1:50.
- The longest tracks are the live recording of "Whipping Post" by The Allman Brothers Band at 22:56, "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugarhill Gang at 14:37, "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" by The Temptations at 11:45, "The End" by The Doors at 11:44, "Desolation Row" by Bob Dylan at 11:23, and "Marquee Moon" by Television at 10:47.
In May 2010, Rolling Stone compiled an updated list which was published in a special issue and in digital form for iPod and iPad applications. The list differs from the 2004 version, with all of the new additions being songs from the 2000s with the exceptions of "Juicy" by The Notorious B.I.G. and "Big Pimpin'" by Jay-Z, which were released in 1994 and 1999, respectively. A total of 25 new songs were added, the entire top 25 remained unchanged, however further down the list of 500, many songs have changed their ranking as a result of insertion of new songs causing consecutive shifts among the originally listed songs. The only new entry among the top 100 was Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" at number 100.
The number of songs from each decade in this updated version is as follows:
|Decade||Number of songs||Percentage|
U2 and Jay-Z both have two songs added to the list; however, Jay-Z is also featured in an additional two other new songs on the list, "Crazy in Love" by Beyoncé, and "Umbrella" by Rihanna. The Crystals are the only artists to have had two songs dropped from the list.
- List of songs considered the best
- The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, also from Rolling Stone magazine
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's selection of "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll"
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time". 2004-12-09. Archived from the original on 2008-06-26. Retrieved 2008-04-10.
- "Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads" (PDF). Volume 2 (pages 11–12). Smithsonian Folkways. 2009. pp. 27–28. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
- Palmer, Robert (1993). Blues Masters Volume 8: Mississippi Delta Blues (liner notes). Rhino Records. p. 8. R2 71130.
- "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" by Rolling Stone magazine (updated version of the list)
- "The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" 2004 version of the list by archive.org
- "Dylan track voted 'greatest song'". BBC News. 2004-11-17. Retrieved 2009-11-08.
- "RadioKaKa's Journal – Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2010 Edition) – Last.fm". Lastfm. Retrieved 2013-10-30.