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The Best Songs Of All-Time

Updated on January 26, 2013

Determing The Best Songs of All-Time

How would you like to know which record in the Rock N Roll era was the best? Well, ok, I would like to know. Before we start, we need to remove any bias in making these rankings. There must be a fair way in which to rank this list of the all-time top 100 songs.

The best and fairest way to rank the top songs of the era 1955-1970, is to make some distinctions on how to rank the songs. A record peaking at position #2 should be ranked higher than a record peaking at #3. The same would be true for a record peaking at #1 over a record peaking at #2. Next, we need a source to determine how each of the songs ranked. The source used will be Billboard Pop Charts which has been ranking all music in the United States in all formats. So, we will use the Pop Charts to compile the top 75 records of all-time.

To view the other lists click on the appropriate link below:

Top 100 Country Hits 1944-1988
Top 100 Hits 1970-1979
Top 100 Hits 1940-1954

If you are an avid fan of the music charts for popular music check out my latest top 100 song charts from 1890-2010 by going there now!

Criteria Used To Determine Rankings

The following criteria will be used to determine the rankings:

  • Peak position.
  • Ties are broken in the following order:
    • Total weeks record held its peak position.
    • Total weeks charted in the Top 10.
    • Total weeks charted in the Top 40.
    • Total weeks charted
  • This seems fair. With this background, we're now ready to focus on the records peaking at # 1. There were 313 records peaking at #1 during this period. So, we just need to apply our criteria and rank each record from 1 to 75. This is exactly what we will do. The listing will consist of the title, artist, year and number of weeks () held #1 position. Ok, let's get our dry rags on and dance the night away.

The Top 100 Best Hits Of All-Time

Here are the top 100 greatest hits of all-time.

Each song is listed with the title/artist/year/No. of weeks at (#1)

1. Don't Be Cruel / Elvis Presley 1956 (11)

2. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White / Perez Prado 1955 (10)

3. Hound Dog / Elvis Presley 1956 (10)

4. Sincerely / McGuire Sisters 1955 (10)

5. Singing The Blues / Guy Mitchell 1955 (10)

6. Mack The Knife / Bobby Darin 1959 (9)

7. All Shook Up / Elvis Presley 1957 (9)

8. Hey Jude / Beatles 1968 (9)

9. The Theme From A Summer Place / Percy Faith 1960 (9)

10. Rock Around The Clock / Bill Haley & His Comets 1955 (8)

11. The Wayward Wind / Gogi Grant 1956 (8)

12. Sixteen Tons / Tennessee Ernie Ford / 1955 (8)

13. Heartbreak Hotel / Elvis Presley 1956 (8)

14. Love Letters In The Sand / Pat Boone 1957 (7)

15. Jailhouse Rock / Elvis Presley 1957 (7)

16. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Elvis Presley 1957 (7)

17. At The Hop / Danny & The Juniors 1958 (7)

18. Tossin' And Turnin' / Bobby Lewis 1961 (7)

19. I Want To Hold Your Hand / Beatles 1964 (7)

20. I'm A Believer / The Monkees 1966 (7)

21. I Heard It Through The Grapevine / Marvin Gaye 1968 (7)

22. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing / Four Aces 1955 (6)

23. Rock And Roll Waltz / Kay Starr 1956 (6)

24. The Yellow Rose Of Texas / Mitch Miller 1955 (6)

25. The Poor People Of Paris / Les Baxter 1956 (6)

26. Memories Are Made Of This / Dean Martin 1956 (6)

27. April Love / Pat Boone 1957 (6)

28. The Battle Of New Orleans / Johnny Horton 1959 (6)

29. Young Love / Tab Hunter 1957 (6)

30. It's All In The Game / Tommy Edwards 1958 (6)

31. Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In / The 5th Dimension 1969 (6)

32. Are You Lonesome Tonight? / Elvis Presley 1960 (6)

33. The Purple People Eater / Sheb Wooley 1958 (6)

34. Bridge Over Troubled Water / Simon & Garfunkel 1970 (6)

35. In The Year 2525 / Zager & Evans 1969 (6)

36. Tammy / Debbie Reynolds 1957 (5)

37. The Ballad Of Davy Crockett / Bill Hayes 1955 (5)

38. Love Me Tender / Elvis Presley (5)

39. My Prayer / The Platters 1956 (5)

40. All I Have To Do Is Dream / The Everly Brothers 1958 (5)

41. It's Now Or Never / Elvis Presley 1960 (5)

42. Tequila / The Champs 1060 (5)

43. I'll Be There / The Jackson 5 1970 (5)

44. I Can't Stop Loving You / Ray Charles 1962 (5)

45. Don't / Elvis Presley 1958 (5)

46. Love Is Blue (Paul Mauriat 1968 (5)

47. Venus / Frankie Avalon 1959 (5)

48. Big Girls Don't Cry / The 4 Seasons 1962 (5)

49. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) / Domenico Madugno 1958 (5)

50. Big Bad John / Jimmy Dean / 1961 (5)

51. Sugar Shack / Jimmy Gilmer & The Fireballs 1963 (5)

52. Honey / Bobby Goldsboro 1968 (5)

53. To Sir With Love / Lulu 1967 (5)

54. Cathy's Clown - The Everly Brothers 1960 (5)

55. People Got To Be Free / The Rascals 1968 (5)

56. Get Back / Beatles 1969 (6)

57. The Ballad Of The Green Berets / SSgt. Barry Sadler 1966 (5)

58. Sherry / The 4 Seasons 1962 (5)

59. Can't Buy Be Love / Beatles 1964 (5)

60. Autumn Leaves / Roger Williams 1955 (4)

61. Lisbon Antigua / Nelson Riddle 1956 (4)

62. I Almost Lost My Mind / Pat Boone 1956 (4)

63. Honeycomb / Jimmy Rodgers 1957 (4)

64. Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head / B.J. Thomas 1970 (4)

65. Sugartime / The McGuire Sisters 1958 (4)

66. Sugar, Sugar / The Archies 1969 (4)

67. Let Me Go Lover / Joan Weber 1955 (4)

68. Wake Up Little Susie / The Everly Brothers 1957 (4)

69. Close To You / Carpenters 1970 (4)

70. The Dock Of The Bay / Otis Redding 1968 (4)

71. Honky Tonk Women / The Rolling Stones 1969 (4)

72. Stagger Lee / Lloyde Price 1959 (4)

73. The Three Bells / The Browns 1959 (4)

74. Lonely Boy / Paul Anka 1959 (4)

75. Stuck On You / Elvis Presley 1960 (4)

76. Roses Are Red / Bobby Vinton 1962 (4)

77. My Sweet Lord / George Harrison 1970 (4)

78. Daydream Believer / The Mnkees 1967 (4)

79. He's Got The Whole World / Laurie London 1958 (4)

80. Everyday People / Sly & The Family Stone 1969 (4)

81. Dizzy / Tommy Roe 1969 (4)

82. Windy / The Association 1967 (4)

83. Ode To Billie Joe / Bobbie Gentry 1967 (4)

84. Runway / Del Shannon 1961 (4)

85. He's So Fine / The Chiffons 1963 (4)

86. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction / The Rolling Stones 1965 (4)

87. Dominiuqe / The Singing Nun 1963 (4)

88. There! I've Said It Again / Bobby Vinton 1964 (4)

89. Somethin' Stupid / Nancy Sintra & Frank Sinatra 1967 (4)

90. Groovin' / The Young Rascals 1967 (4)

91. The Letter / The Box Tops 1967 (4)

92. Come Softly To Me / Fleetwoods 1959 (4)

93. This Guy's In Love With You / Herb Alpert 1968 (4)

94. Baby Love / The Supremes 1964 (4)

95. The Chipmunk Song / The Chipmunks 1958 (4)

96. Yesterday / The Beatles 1965 (4)

96. The Twist / Chubby Checker 1960 & 1962 (3)

97. The Green Door / Jim Lowe 1956 (3)

98. Dance With Me Henry / Georgia Gibbs 1955 (3)

99. Moonglow And Theme From "Picnic" / Morris Stoloff 1956 (3)

100. Hearts Of Stone / Fontane Sisters 1955 (3)

Below you can hear the actual recordings of the top 10 best songs of all-time. Go to the link and order your favorite artists hits or individual songs.

Last chance to order your songs now!

Check out the top 100 songs from 1910-1979 by going here now!?

1. Don't Be Cruel / Elvis Presley 1956 - Spent 11 weeks at #1.

This is my all-time favorite song. Interesting note. When this song came out, many teenagers bought the record not realizing that when they bought "Hound Dog", they already had the song because "Don't Be Cruel" was on the flip side of "Hound Dog".

"Don't Be Cruel" is a song by Otis Blackwell, which was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1956. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. In 2004, it was listed #197 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The song is currently ranked as the 92nd greatest song of all time, as well as the fifth best song of 1956, by Acclaimed Music.

"Don't Be Cruel" was originally the A side of RCA single 47-6604, with "Hound Dog" on the B-side, although both sides became chart-toppers, RCA reissuing the single in later decades as double A-side. The single was the first to top all three extant Billboard charts: pop, rhythm & blues, and country & western.

2. Cherry Pink And Apple Blossom White / Perez Prado 1955 - Spent 10 weeks at #1.

"'Cerezo rosa'", or "Cherry Pink (and Apple Blossom White)" is the English version of "Cerisier rose et pommier blanc", a popular song with music by Louiguy. French lyrics to the song by Jacques Larue and English lyrics by Mack David both exist and recordings of both have been quite popular. However, Perez Prado's recording of the song as an instrumental with his orchestra was the most popular version in 1955, reaching #1 on the Billboard charts. The most popular vocal version was by Alan Dale, reaching #14 on the charts in 1955.

In 1961, Jerry Murad and the Harmonicats released an album featuring the song, also entitled Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.

3. Hound Dog / Elvis Presley 1956 - Spent 10 Weeks at #1.

This is the only record in the rock era where both sides went number 1. Making Elvis the only artist with this distinction. There are a lot of artists who charted both sides of the record. In the early 50's there were 3 music charts which compiled surverys. Billboard's first chart came out in 1958. Checking all of these charts, Hound Dog spent 10 weeks at no. 1.

In 1958, the "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel" single became just the third record to sell more than 3 million copies, following Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and Gene Autry's "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer."

4. Sincerely / McGuire Sisters 1955 - Spent 10 weeks at #1.

"Sincerely" is a popular song written by Harvey Fuqua and Alan Freed and published in 1954.

Originally recorded by The Moonglows, who scored a number one single on the Juke Box and number twenty pop hit with their original recording. The biggest-selling version was a cover version recorded by The McGuire Sisters, entering the charts in 1954 and reaching number one the next year. Although many Rhythm & Blues collectors decry the cover version by the McGuire Sisters, which kept the Moonglows off the Pop charts, most overlook that the Moonglows' version stole lyrics from a 1951 Dominoes tune, "That's What You're Doing To Me." The bridge in both songs is almost identical: "Lord, won't you tell me/ Why I love that woman so?/ She doesn't want me/ But I'll never let her go."

5. Singing The Blues / Guy Mitchell 1956 - Spent 10 weeks at #1.

This song was recorded by Marty Robbins and spent 13 weeks at no. 1 on the Country charts in 1956 & 1957. However, Guy Mitchell's version was more popular on the pop charts. "Singing the Blues" is a popular song. It was written by Melvin Endsley and was published in 1956. The best-known recording of the song, released in October 1956 by Guy Mitchell, spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart from December 8, 1956 - February 2, 1957, despite competition from rival versions by Tommy Steele and Marty Robbins. Tommy Steele's version also made no. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for one week on 11 January 1957, sandwiched by the two weeks that Guy Mitchell spent at #1 in the UK. The Marty Robbins version made it to number one on the C&W Best Seller charts for thirteen weeks, and peaked at number seventeen on the pop charts

6. Mack The Knife / Bobby Darin 1959 - Spent 9 weeks at #1.

Bobby Darin did not want to record this song. Dick Clark told Darin not to record this song becuase it would not appeal to the rock & roll audience. However, it was a huge hit.

"Mack the Knife" or "The Ballad of Mack the Knife", originally "Die Moritat von Mackie Messer", is a song composed by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Bertolt Brecht for their music drama Die Dreigroschenoper, or, as it is known in English, The Threepenny Opera. It premiered in Berlin in 1928. The song has become a popular standard.

7. All Shook Up / Elvis Presley 1957 - Spent 9 weeks at #1.

This song is about 2 minutes. In the early 90's this song was used to get in your two-minute morning workout. During the recording, you will hear Elvis pounding on his guitar while recording it. Songwriter Otis Blackwell wrote this on a dare. One of the owners of Shalimar Music (Blackwell's publishing company) wandered into Blackwell's office as he was struggling to create a follow-up to "Don't Be Cruel." As Al Stanton approached Blackwell, Stanton was shaking a bottle of Pepsi. Stanton said to Blackwell, "I've got an idea. Why don't you write a song called 'All Shook Up'?" According to Blackwell, the song was finished in a couple of days.

8. Hey Jude / The Beatles 1968 - Spent 9 weeks at #1.

"Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band The Beatles. Credited to Lennon/McCartney, the ballad evolved from "Hey Jules", a song Paul McCartney wrote to comfort John Lennon's son Julian during his parents' divorce. "Hey Jude" was released in August 1968 as the first single from The Beatles' record label Apple Records. Totalling more than seven minutes in length, "Hey Jude" was at the time the longest single ever to top the British charts. It also spent nine weeks as number one in the United States-the longest run at the top of the American charts for a Beatles single. The single has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on professional lists of the all-time best songs.

9. The Theme From A Summer Place / Percy Faith 1960 - Spent 9 weeks at #1.

Percy Faith recorded the most popular version of the tune, which spent an at-the-time record of nine consecutive weeks at number one on the still-young Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in early 1960. It remains the longest-running number-one instrumental in the history of the chart. It reached number two in the UK. It hit number one in Italy under the title "Scandalo Al Sole". This was the first movie theme and the first instrumental to win a Record of the Year Grammy.

10. Rock Around The Clock / Bill Haley & His Comets 1955 - Spent 8 weeks at #1.

"Rock Around the Clock" is a 12-bar-blues-based song written by Max C. Freedman and James E. Myers (the latter under the pseudonym "Jimmy De Knight") in 1952. The best-known and most successful rendition was recorded by Bill Haley and His Comets in 1954.

Although it was not the first rock and roll record, nor was it the first successful record of the genre (Bill Haley had American chart success with "Crazy Man, Crazy" in 1953, and in 1954, "Shake, Rattle and Roll" reached #1 on the Billboard R&B chart), Haley's recording became an anthem for rebellious Fifties youth and is widely considered to be the song that, more than any other, brought rock and roll into mainstream culture in the United States and around the world. The song is ranked #158 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Great Stuff on Amazon

30 #1 Hits
30 #1 Hits

This album has all of Elvis's number one singles from all formats including Pop, Country & Western, and Rhythm & Blues.


Buy Your Missing Songs Now!

If you like to purchase individual songs go to Resort Records. If you need to purchase individual artists and their hits go to Collectors' Choice Music by going to the link. Last chance to order your songs now!


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