Worst of the 50 Best Songs of All Time According to Rolling Stone's BRAND NEW, 100% Revamped Top 500

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"Imagine" never having to hear that song again.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
25. Kanye West feat. Pusha T, "Runaway" 25
17. Queen, "Bohemian Rhapsody" 15
36. The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" 14
50. Daddy Yankee feat. Glory, "Gasolina" 13
19. John Lennon, "Imagine" 12
30. Lorde, "Royals" 10
48. Radiohead, "Idioteque" 6
09. Fleetwood Mac, "Dreams" 4
47. Elton John, "Tiny Dancer" 4
08. Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On" 3
20. Robyn, "Dancing on My Own" 3
46. M.I.A., "Paper Planes" 3
04. Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone" 3
11. The Beach Boys, "God Only Knows" 3
41. Joy Division, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" 3
27. Bruce Springsteen, "Born To Run" 2
10. OutKast, "Hey Ya!" 2
42. Bob Marley & the Wailers, "Redemption Song" 2
32. The Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy" 2
35. Little Richard, "Tutti Frutti" 2
33. Chuck Berry, "Johnny B. Goode" 1
26. Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You" 1
45. Kendrick Lamar, "Alright" 1
07. The Beatles, "Strawberry Fields Forever" 1
40. Jimi Hendrix, "All Along the Watchtower" 1
18. Prince and the Revolution, "Purple Rain" 1
01. Aretha Franklin, "Respect" 1
22. The Ronettes, "Be My Baby" 1
15. The Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" 1
16. Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z, "Crazy in Love" 1
06. Marvin Gaye, "What's Going On" 0
43. The Temptations, "My Girl" 0
44. Michael Jackson, "Billie Jean" 0
24. The Beatles, "A Day in the Life" 0
05. Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" 0
03. Sam Cooke, "A Change Is Gonna Come" 0
02. Public Enemy, "Fight the Power" 0
49. Lauryn Hill, "Doo Wop (That Thing)" 0
12. Stevie Wonder, "Superstition" 0
13. The Rolling Stones, "Gimme Shelter" 0
39. OutKast, "B.O.B. (Bombs Over Baghdad)" 0
23. David Bowie, "Heroes" 0
28. Talking Heads, "Once in a Lifetime" 0
29. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Dogg, "Nuthin' but a 'G' Thang" 0
31. The Rolling Stones, "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" 0
21. Billie Holiday, "Strange Fruit" 0
34. James Brown, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" 0
37. Prince, "When Doves Cry" 0
14. The Kinks, "Waterloo Sunset" 0
38. Otis Redding, "(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay" 0


papal hotwife (milo z), Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:30 (one month ago) link

Most of these are great to pretty good. Imagine is the worst.

chap, Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:33 (one month ago) link

Runaway

Les hommes de bonbons (cryptosicko), Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:33 (one month ago) link

Respect is fine but it's not even the best Aretha song.

chap, Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:34 (one month ago) link

Definitely Runaway

jmm, Thursday, 16 September 2021 22:39 (one month ago) link

Voted for Robyn right away but tbf I don't remember "Runaway".

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Thursday, 16 September 2021 23:03 (one month ago) link

"imagine" is the most obnoxious, also hate "royals"

"dancing on my own" is solid but no way is best synthpop song of all time lmao

ufo, Thursday, 16 September 2021 23:34 (one month ago) link

Seven Nation Army. Still sounds like a goof to me.

Josefa, Thursday, 16 September 2021 23:45 (one month ago) link

don’t really hate any of these but “royals” is comically high so it has my vote here

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Friday, 17 September 2021 00:37 (one month ago) link

10. OutKast, "Hey Ya!"

that was easy

aegis philbin (crüt), Friday, 17 September 2021 00:42 (one month ago) link

“Seven Nation Army” wouldn’t even make my list of best songs released by a male/female duo in 2003.

juristic person (morrisp), Friday, 17 September 2021 01:22 (one month ago) link

I will flip if even a single one of you votes for Gasolina

josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, 17 September 2021 01:34 (one month ago) link

Oh fuck can a mod delete my vote? I voted for my favorite not the worst.

Porking level G4 (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 17 September 2021 13:13 (one month ago) link

NM I was able to change my vote to Imagine, which is objectively terrible on its own merits and has been made unbearable by it's ubiquity.

Plus Lennon would totally be a covidiot or a reactionary today.

Porking level G4 (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 17 September 2021 13:17 (one month ago) link

This Kinks song doesn't belong anywhere near the top 500. Probably between that and Radiohead.

peace, man, Friday, 17 September 2021 13:24 (one month ago) link

I wonder how much gamesmanship goes into this for the voters, like it's not really my favorite Kinks song but I do like The Kinks a lot so I'd vote it highly just to get it on the list

frogbs, Friday, 17 September 2021 13:28 (one month ago) link

I voted Kanye. for one because fuck Kanye but more because I was going to the bars a lot back then and someone would always play that fucking song on the jukebox, it's so goddamn loud and blown out. the first time I heard it I thought "holy shit the speakers in this place are blown". and then the second time "wow their speakers are blown too"

frogbs, Friday, 17 September 2021 13:37 (one month ago) link

The Beatles choice feels particularly picked out of a hat of 50 for them so that

nashwan, Friday, 17 September 2021 13:41 (one month ago) link

Can I change my vote?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fX2FmsH_MYk

jmm, Friday, 17 September 2021 14:03 (one month ago) link

"Seven Nation Army" and "Crazy in Love" are ubiquitous songs that don't do much for me, but for me the most head-scratching inclusion here is "Dancing on my Own", seems instantly forgettable.

o. nate, Friday, 17 September 2021 15:36 (one month ago) link

don’t really hate any of these but “royals” is comically high so it has my vote here

― grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, September 16, 2021 7:37 PM (yesterday) bookmarkflaglink

yep

Indexed, Friday, 17 September 2021 15:43 (one month ago) link

Easy "Seven Nation Army"

justfanoe (Greg Fanoe), Friday, 17 September 2021 15:45 (one month ago) link

Lennon seemed like the most joyless cynical misanthropic creep in the 70s and it’s hilarious that he’s held up as some kind of hippie lovey doves dude cause of (mis)?interpretations of this song.

brimstead, Friday, 17 September 2021 15:49 (one month ago) link

Redemption Song, harmless enough but seems to be the Bob song of choice for every acoustic troubadour wannabe. Also the intro is terrible.

it's gonna take a spiracle (Matt #2), Friday, 17 September 2021 15:54 (one month ago) link

"Paper Planes" for me, but mostly because I was a regular at a mixed/mostly lesbian bar in the three years following its release and it often played multiple times on the jukebox during my daily drinking sessions, so much so that the bartenders eventually had the whole record removed from the jukebox because they were so tired of it. I hate that fucking song, absolutely the worst song on this list afaic.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 17 September 2021 16:39 (one month ago) link

It ranks up there with MGMT's "Kids" for me. Just abysmal crap.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Friday, 17 September 2021 16:40 (one month ago) link

Paper Planes came on a mix the other day and I actively cringed at the gunshots

Indexed, Friday, 17 September 2021 16:57 (one month ago) link

I think I accidentally voted for the "best" pick. Ah whatever

birdistheword, Friday, 17 September 2021 17:13 (one month ago) link

I love 'Paper Planes,' hasn't worn out yet.

I voted for "Runaway" cuz I hate that damn album.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 September 2021 17:21 (one month ago) link

The Beatles choice feels particularly picked out of a hat of 50 for them so that

? All three are major canonical songs for them.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Friday, 17 September 2021 18:47 (one month ago) link

The top 50-placing Beatles songs on the 2004 list were

8. "Hey Jude"
13. "Yesterday,"
16. "I Want To Hold Your Hand"
20. "Let It Be"
23. "In My Life"
26. "A Day in the Life"
29. "Help!"

All of them but "Help!" make more sense to me than "Strawberry Fields Forever," but who knows

the 45-year-old gaz coomber (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:06 (one month ago) link

At least we can all agree that the Beatles have only written two songs better than Robyn's "Dancing on My Own"

the 45-year-old gaz coomber (Whiney G. Weingarten), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:07 (one month ago) link

"Strawberry Fields" among my all-time favourite singles and I'd rank it as a peak in their psychedelic period; great surreal mix of pop melody with studio experimentation.

It's their second-highest ranked song here fwiw: http://www.acclaimedmusic.net/year/alltime_songs.htm

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:12 (one month ago) link

as someone who would put at least two solo lennon tracks in any list i ever made of my favorite songs, i'm still tempted to vote for "imagine," not because i hate it but because it's come to play such an unfortunately prominent place in the post-1980 lennon "brand," the international ambassador for peace and love or whatever who bears very little resemblance to the actual john lennon. i think it's pretty minor next to "instant karma," "cold turkey," or anything on the plastic ono band album; it's not even my favorite track on the imagine album. a lot of solo lennon is genuinely weird and interesting and it's regrettable that people just associate him with that one dippy song.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:18 (one month ago) link

One of these four...

04. Bob Dylan, "Like a Rolling Stone"
19. John Lennon, "Imagine"
25. Kanye West feat. Pusha T, "Runaway"
47. Elton John, "Tiny Dancer"

i carry the torch for disco inauthenticity (Eric H.), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:19 (one month ago) link

"Strawberry Fields" has always been a touchstone for a certain side of the Beatles. Perhaps its recent popularity has been helped by the beautifully restored promotional video and much improved stereo mix that is now the top hit on Youtube. This mix does away with the hard-panning that afflicted earlier stereo mixes and brings out the bass end of the sound to emphasize the proto-trip-hop aspects.

o. nate, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:32 (one month ago) link

what, the hard panning is fucking awesome, what the hell. That's psychedelia!

Porking level G4 (Boring, Maryland), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:39 (one month ago) link

Hard panning gives me a headache.

o. nate, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:41 (one month ago) link

music that causes physical pain is good

strawberry fields is one of my very favorite Beatles songs for sure, great atmosphere, never sounds old or rote, really sounds like the semi-pasted together thing it is, the weird shifts in momentum, like fucked up transmissions from a dream

brimstead, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:44 (one month ago) link

I love all the weird tape manipulation Beatles stuff tho

brimstead, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:44 (one month ago) link

Hard panning gives me a headache.

Lennon was also into Trepanning, is that related?

juristic person (morrisp), Friday, 17 September 2021 19:45 (one month ago) link

Would be interesting to graph the results against the recency of the songs... most of the discussion seems to be about the newest songs in the list.

enochroot, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:45 (one month ago) link

Credit for the way "Strawberry Fields" sounds should probably go at least as much to George Martin as to any of the actual Beatles. To me it sounds like it's trying too hard to be trippy. I'd rather listen to "Octopus's Garden".

o. nate, Friday, 17 September 2021 19:52 (one month ago) link

I will flip if even a single one of you votes for Gasolina
― josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, September 17, 2021 3:34 AM (eighteen hours ago) bookmarkflaglink

That's my vote. Hate that song. Hate even more that it's the only song here from the pan-latin world. It is laughable really. The rest goes from god-like (Get ur freak on) to obvious to indifferent to mildly annoying. Such a pandering safe and incoherent list. What a bunch of wankers. I guess it's a list for 60 year-olds plus their granddaughters.

Nabozo, Friday, 17 September 2021 20:27 (one month ago) link

Also, this list is the definition of white guilt

Nabozo, Friday, 17 September 2021 20:30 (one month ago) link

Tempted by “Redemption Song” but voted for “Love Will Tear Us Apart”; the basic unison playing drives me to distraction.

mike t-diva, Friday, 17 September 2021 20:41 (one month ago) link

Finally listening to the entire list on Spotify. This Miranda Lambert song is good!

bookmarkflaglink (Darin), Friday, 17 September 2021 20:49 (one month ago) link

yep

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 September 2021 20:50 (one month ago) link

When did ilx decide to hate Royals? I feel like I missed a meeting. Voted Tutti Frutti.

29 facepalms, Friday, 17 September 2021 20:57 (one month ago) link

Blue Monday came up for me on youtube after it for some reason, a much much better song

Dan S, Thursday, 7 October 2021 01:39 (one week ago) link

i like hendrix as much as anyone but watchtower was never a particular favorite -- much prefer the original version

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Thursday, 7 October 2021 01:56 (one week ago) link

I can't imagine preferring the original, even Dylan thought Hendrix improved on it.

BrianB, Thursday, 7 October 2021 02:04 (one week ago) link

keep in mind that a lot of people accidentally voted for their fav instead of least fav

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 7 October 2021 02:14 (one week ago) link

I get that “Dreams” and “ Tiny Dancer” are way overplayed by now, but I’d hate to live in the skin of someone who thinks they are the worst songs in here.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 7 October 2021 03:19 (one week ago) link

08. Missy Elliott, "Get Ur Freak On" 3

smh

You syh, I'm happy to see that I'm not the only one who thinks it's shit.

Valentijn, Thursday, 7 October 2021 08:54 (one week ago) link

Which Elliot song do you prefer?

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 October 2021 09:25 (one week ago) link

Had to listen to Runaway to work out if I'd heard it before. My god it's horrible.

I'm not a kneejerk hater of Kanye's music (there are a few things I like) but I often find myself wondering how his 2010s stuff can make people feel good when they listen to it: This claustrophobic, mid-range, coke-eared sound with loads of deliberately horrid sound choices, and largely humourless, self-absorbed lyrics about being proud of how much of a dick he has become despite it making him feel terrible inside.

Earlier Kanye involved the listener; there was self-deprecation but it was done with humour. He was always the main event, but you felt like you were at the party with him, joking around with him. Whereas the main feeling I get from the later stuff is like being at the end of the party when it's just assholes still snorting lines at 7am and talking gibberish as the sun comes up and pierces your senses and you desperately wait for a taxi to take you home

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 7 October 2021 09:59 (one week ago) link

It's the most gratuitous, self-indulgent song on his most gratuitous, self-indulgent album.

Indexed, Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:33 (one week ago) link

self-absorbed, i mean

Indexed, Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:34 (one week ago) link

Oh, it's the "toast for the douchebags" song. I do know it and actually like it OK, ha. Definitely wouldn't change my vote.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:42 (one week ago) link

32. The Notorious B.I.G., "Juicy" 2

DIE

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:49 (one week ago) link

^^ one of those was an accidental vote from me, because i absent-mindedly voted for the *best* track in this worst track poll

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:53 (one week ago) link

pretend there’s one less for that one and one more for royals

― grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Tuesday, October 5, 2021 8:46 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:54 (one week ago) link

you know very well
who you are

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 October 2021 14:55 (one week ago) link

I’ve never understood why Runaway is considered one of his best songs, let alone one of the best songs ever (lol?) MBDTF has way better songs - power, all of the lights, monster… - Runaway just seems to go on and on and on and on and then it ends with a 3 minute bullshit outro. Why do people always flock to the longest tracks as if they were bigger statements? Runaway is about 5 minutes too long.

✖✖✖ (Moka), Thursday, 7 October 2021 15:04 (one week ago) link

it's the centerpiece of an album that everyone (ilm-excluded) loves, and it's kanye at his most self-aware and self-loathing which im sure people like for voyeuristic reasons

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 7 October 2021 15:25 (one week ago) link

It's the aural equivalent of a bad comedown, and yeah that outro isn't anywhere close to earning its welcome

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 7 October 2021 16:01 (one week ago) link

Haha. I spent this whole thread thinking people were talking about Del Shannon's Runaway. I could not figure out why it was garnering so much hate.

"Spaghetti" Thompson (Pheeel), Thursday, 7 October 2021 16:12 (one week ago) link

Marnie singing Kanye at her ex's party on that one episode of Girls casts a long shadow over everything he's done in the last 10 years including "Runaway"

xp Imagine if Rolling Stone had put "Run Away" by The Real McCoy on the all-time best songs list!? I'd respect the hell out of it

Nature's promise vs. Simple truth (bernard snowy), Thursday, 7 October 2021 16:20 (one week ago) link

Runaway by Del Shannon is an excellent song.

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Thursday, 7 October 2021 16:49 (one week ago) link

I still think Paper Planes is the worst on that list.

I'm a sovereign jazz citizen (the table is the table), Thursday, 7 October 2021 17:03 (one week ago) link

Voted Dylan, heartened by two other votes. Don’t tell me they don’t bought they were voting for the best

i carry the torch for disco inauthenticity (Eric H.), Thursday, 7 October 2021 17:08 (one week ago) link

These songs are no fun to listen to at all. Have some fun, goddammit. I guess “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Hey Ya” maybe a little. Dance, you motherfuckers!!!

Mr. Snrub, Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:11 (one week ago) link

Absence of "Fox on the Run" basically disqualifies RS from making lists.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:21 (one week ago) link

rs revised list in 2036

1. fox on the run
2. fox in the snow
3. eye in the sky
4. hole in the sky

grove street (party) direction (voodoo chili), Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:29 (one week ago) link

oh yah, loved listening to Del Shannon's "Runaway" cued up by Dick Biondi on the oldies station when I was 5

Indexed, Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:30 (one week ago) link

Voodoo Chili OTM.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Thursday, 7 October 2021 18:34 (one week ago) link

Wow dick biondi is still alive

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 7 October 2021 19:29 (one week ago) link

1st US dj to play the Beatles!

A True White Kid that can Jump (Granny Dainger), Thursday, 7 October 2021 19:30 (one week ago) link

Voted Dylan, heartened by two other votes. Don’t tell me they don’t bought (sic) they were voting for the best

In my case, yes. (That's what I get for reading hastily while cooking.) So it's actually just you and one other vote.

birdistheword, Thursday, 7 October 2021 19:56 (one week ago) link

xp

"His ambition is to become the oldest active Rock and Roll disc jockey in the US. Biondi has said "I'd like to die with my earphones on.""

Indexed, Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:03 (one week ago) link

Dog Latin absolutely OTFM about 2010s Kanye

Legalize Suburban Benches (Raymond Cummings), Thursday, 7 October 2021 20:07 (one week ago) link

Dog Latin absolutely OTFM about 2010s Kanye

Yeah I agree with that post too. It's a big reason why The College Dropout remains my favorite even if the productions got better and more sophisticated. Watch the Throne was the first album that I didn't like, and it felt like a huge drop-off to me even though it did pretty well with most fans and the press.

birdistheword, Thursday, 7 October 2021 21:24 (one week ago) link

Voted Dylan, heartened by two other votes. Don’t tell me they don’t bought they were voting for the best

sorry, Eric

bulb after bulb, Thursday, 7 October 2021 21:26 (one week ago) link

sorry, Eric

wow, you too? I'm curious as to how many votes in general were mistakes?

birdistheword, Thursday, 7 October 2021 21:36 (one week ago) link

Wow dick biondi is still alive

Wow indeed. I listened to him regularly in 1983-84…and my mom listened to him in 1960-61.

1st US dj to play the Beatles!

He definitely predated the Washington, DC dj who claimed to be first, but I think Biondi may have been scooped by whoever played a Beatles record on a southern Illinois station when George Harrison visited his sister in 1963.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Thursday, 7 October 2021 21:43 (one week ago) link

I’ve never understood why Runaway is considered one of his best songs

think it's just "wow he released a 9 minute single" was enough to blind everyone? i think it's alright but not some sort of masterpiece, beat is nice & sounds very grand but he's at his most lyrically obnoxious and the outro is really wasted

ufo, Thursday, 7 October 2021 22:01 (one week ago) link

funny how the one element of College Dropout that really informed his later work was that endless monologue at the end

frogbs, Thursday, 7 October 2021 22:10 (one week ago) link

think it's just "wow he released a 9 minute single" was enough to blind everyone?

If that's true, it's funny that it worked for Kanye but not for "Like a Rolling Stone" anymore

licorice in the front, pizza in the rear (Whiney G. Weingarten), Thursday, 7 October 2021 22:16 (one week ago) link

"Like a Rolling Stone" is a tremendously good song, even if you may be sick of hearing it or w/e

juristic person (morrisp), Thursday, 7 October 2021 22:35 (one week ago) link

how were there so many voting mistakes ITT? literally "worst" is the first word in the title!

y'all are like some of the people in my classes ;)

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Thursday, 7 October 2021 22:43 (one week ago) link

how were there so many voting mistakes ITT?

This is how Bush Jr. and Trump won their elections.

birdistheword, Friday, 8 October 2021 00:26 (one week ago) link

90% of this thread title is the same as the other opposite thread title, not too surprised people mixed them up

, Friday, 8 October 2021 01:12 (one week ago) link

so like if a newspaper ran two articles on back to back days

"76ers Win 110-108"

and

"76ers Lose 110-108"

the average person would react AWESOME TWO GAME WINNING STREAK?

Gardyloominati (Neanderthal), Friday, 8 October 2021 01:16 (one week ago) link

But doesn't that mean less disappointed readers and more happy ones? How can you be so critical about that?

birdistheword, Friday, 8 October 2021 01:18 (one week ago) link

they wouldn't say that, the average person does not root for the 76ers

, Friday, 8 October 2021 01:22 (one week ago) link

It's a bit heads I win tails you lose

Urbandn hope all ye who enter here (dog latin), Friday, 8 October 2021 01:29 (one week ago) link

But doesn't that mean less disappointed readers and more happy ones? How can you be so critical about that?


Blissful ignorance? That’s where I’m a Viking!

Lavator Shemmelpennick, Friday, 8 October 2021 01:34 (one week ago) link

Didn't realize everyone felt "Runaway" was as bad as I did. I only heard the album for the first time a few years ago, without having heard any of its songs prior. Mostly liked it except for that really long boring track in the middle - I was puzzled to learn THAT was the big track from the album

Vinnie, Friday, 8 October 2021 01:44 (one week ago) link


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