Jamaican Music

Bob Marley Song Ranks among Top 50 on Rolling Stone List of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Bob Marley Song Ranks among Top 50 on Rolling Stone List of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Rolling Stone magazine has updated its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, and there are some notable changes. The update is the first since the publication of the original list in 2004, and Jamaica’s iconic reggae group Bob Marley and The Wailers is ranked among the top 50 on the prestigious list at Number 42 with its recording of “Redemption Song’’ released in 1980. The Jamaican legends were also included on the original list in 2004 with “No Woman No Cry,” which was released in 1974.

According to Rolling Stone, its new 2021 list of the 500 greatest songs in history was compiled from a poll of more than 250 artists, writers, and industry stakeholders who reviewed over 4,000 songs. Each participant sent in a ranked list of their top 50 songs, and the results were then tabulated.

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The new list displays a significant among of change from the original as almost half of the songs listed are new to the ranking, and there is much more hip-hop, country, Latin pop, reggae, and R&B on the 2021 list. Perennial favorites like The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Fleetwood Mac rose in the ranking compared to their 2004 positions, and current artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Lorde, Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Little Nas X, The Weeknd, and Lady Gaga surged into the top 100. In fact, 254 of the songs on the 2021 list were not on the old list, and that includes one-third of those in the top 100.

The Number 1 song on the 2004 list was Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” while the 2021 list places Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” in the top spot.

In an interview with NBC News, Christian Hoard, music editor at Rolling Stone, noted that music changes very quickly, so the magazine focused on gathering a very diverse set of voters, which made the final list “more inclusive, fresher” and “more reflective of what Rolling Stone is these days. It’s not (just) classic rock. It’s a broad spectrum of music.”

The Top 50 songs among Rolling Stone’s pick of the top 500 in history compiled in 2021 are:

50. Daddy Yankee feat. Glory, ‘Gasolina’ 2010

49. Lauryn Hill, ‘Doo Wop (That Thing)’ 1998

48. Radiohead, ‘Idioteque’ 2000

47. Elton John, ‘Tiny Dancer’ 1972

46. M.I.A., ‘Paper Planes’ 2008

45. Kendrick Lamar, ‘Alright’ 2015

44. Michael Jackson, ‘Billie Jean’ 1982

43. The Temptations, ‘My Girl’ 1965

42. Bob Marley and the Wailers, ‘Redemption Song’ 1980

41. Joy Division, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ 1980

40. The Jimi Hendrix Experience, ‘All Along the Watchtower’ 1968

39. Outkast, ‘B.O.B.’ 2000

38. Otis Redding, ‘(Sittin’ on) the Dock of the Bay’ 1967

37. Prince and the Revolution, ‘When Doves Cry’ 1984

36. The White Stripes, ‘Seven Nation Army’ 2003

35. Little Richard, ‘Tutti-Frutti’ 1955

34. James Brown, ‘Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag’ 1966

33. Chuck Berry, ‘Johnny B. Goode’ 1958

32. Notorious B.I.G., ‘Juicy’ 1994

31. The Rolling Stones, ‘(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction’ 1965

30. Lorde, ‘Royals’ 2011

29. Dr. Dre feat. Snoop Doggy Dogg, ‘Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang’ 1992

28. Talking Heads, ‘Once in a Lifetime’ 1980

27. Bruce Springsteen, ‘Born to Run’ 1975

26. Joni Mitchell, ‘A Case of You’ 1971

25. Kanye West feat. Pusha T, ‘Runaway’ 2010

24. The Beatles, ‘A Day in the Life’ 1967

23. David Bowie, ‘Heroes’ 1977

22. The Ronettes, ‘Be My Baby’ 1963

21. Billie Holiday, ‘Strange Fruit’ 1939

20. Robyn, ‘Dancing on My Own’ 2010

19. John Lennon, ‘Imagine’ 1971

18. Prince and the Revolution, ‘Purple Rain’ 1984

17. Queen, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ 1975

16. Beyoncé feat. Jay-Z, ‘Crazy in Love’ 2003

15. The Beatles, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ 1963

14. The Kinks, ‘Waterloo Sunset’ 1967

13. The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’ 1969

12. Stevie Wonder, ‘Superstition’ 1972

11. The Beach Boys, ‘God Only Knows’ 1966

10. Outkast, ‘Hey Ya!’ 2003

09. Fleetwood Mac, ‘Dreams’ 1977

08. Missy Elliott, ‘Get Ur Freak On’ 2001

07. The Beatles, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ 1967

06. Marvin Gaye, ‘What’s Going On’ 1971

05. Nirvana, ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ 1991

04. Bob Dylan, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ 1965

03. Sam Cooke, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ 1964

02. Public Enemy, ‘Fight the Power’ 1989

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