As stated, I am basing this list on memorability and my nostalgia factor. This list is not meant for you to agree with, this list is not meant to match anyone else’s list, and this list is not your list, it is my list. Your list is most likely incredibly different. There are probably going to be a few songs on here that you have never heard of.
I am going to list the top 50 in order, and all songs after that will not have an order (unless I get really ambitious, which is unlikely).
I have a wide mix of genres here, because I listen to a wide mix of genres.
I have only elected to choose one song from any one artist (except in a few special cases).
So without further ado, prepare to either be pleased or pissed off, and know that I don’t give a single mother of fuck which one it is.
(If there are artists that I wish I could have featured more songs from, I will note this with an asterisk.)
1. Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue*
This song has been a part of my life since I was in middle school. I remember driving through Minneapolis one night with my grandmother…just listening to this as I watched the city lights go by…it just transports me to another place. It will always be my all time favorite, I think.
(Honorable mentions are On With The Show, Kickstart My Heart, Save Our Souls, Without You…I also think Motley is the only band that I know every single song they ever released by heart.)
2. Killers – Iron Maiden*
This song…it is ALMOST tied with Home Sweet Home…my dad had the Killers cassette tape in his truck when I was six or seven…I came across this song and immediately fell in love with it…(I was seven)…and demanded that he replay it over and over.
I had no idea who the artist was, or was the song was about, or any of that, I just liked it. It has remained one of my all time favorite songs since then, AND my favorite song by Iron Maiden.
3. Faithfully – Journey*
Of all the beautiful songs by Journey…this is the one that grabbed me and never let me go. I listened to this almost exclusively all the way to and from Tennessee (we drove) and will never get tired of listening to it.
(Honorable mention is Lights, as that was my grandma’s favorite song.)
4. Van Nuys – Sixx A.M.*
This entire album, The Heroin Diaries, is truly a musical masterpiece. Every single track is an experience, something to behold. But this song is my favorite out of all of them, and trust me, that was a hard decision. Nikki’s song writing, combined with James’ voice, and the instrumentals, it makes this track unforgettable.
5. Song To The Siren – This Mortal Coil
I first heard this when I was watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre…and it took me several years to actually look the song up. When I did, I instantly loved it, and have loved it ever since. The haunting vocals, and the simplicity of the song is amazing.
6. Unchained Melody – The Righteous Brothers
Special mention: Little Latin Lupe Lu
When anyone talks about ‘soul’ being in a song, or emotion, or feeling…it is impossible to not mention this song. One of the best songs of all time, it gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it. Absolutely beautiful.
7. Mockingbird – Eminem*
The GOAT…the legend…the devil, Eminem. I thought long and hard about which song of his I wanted to include in the top 10 (there was never a question about whether I WOULD include him in the top 10)…and it came down to which song popped into my head first when thinking of Eminem…that song was Mockingbird. The emotion in this track, and the heartbreak…it is absolutely amazing. 10/10
(Honorable mentions include the rest of his songs.)
8. I’ll Be Missing You (feat. 112) – Diddy, Faith Evans
Number one, I believe this version to be better than Sting’s version…don’t fight me. I just love the extra emotion and strong sense of both loss and love in this recording, and it is an extremely nostalgic song for me.
9. The Show Must Go On – Queen*
Freddie Mercury’s picture is in the dictionary next to talent, legendary, amazing, and iconic. And this song ought to be right next to it. All of the Queen songs are masterpieces, but this one touches me unlike any of the others. It just has such a deeply inspirational note to it without getting cheesy or cringy. I love this song.
10. Soldier Of Fortune – Deep Purple*
There are few songs that make me actually depressed when I listen to them…this is one of them. It just…infuses emotion into you. David Coverdale sings it from the heart, and it moves you. One of the best rock ballads of all time.
11. Hypnotize – Notorious B.I.G.
Fun fact, back when I was little, I used to think that the chorus was saying ‘Piggy’…needless to say, it dramatically changed the song for me when I discovered that they were actually saying ‘Biggie’…
Anyway, just as all of his other songs prove, Biggie is one of the best lyricists of all time, and one of the best rappers of all time.
12. Underneath Your Clothes – Shakira
I have always loved Shakira’s voice…and this song is amazing to me. Just the softness and intimacy in the song makes it one of her best, and my favorite by her.
13. Life 101 (feat. Khrys Maxwell) – Call Me Alice
This is one of the more obscure songs on this list, but I just love the feeling in the song, and the message…the lyrics are honest, and the vocals work really well with all of it.
14. Running Bear – Johnny Preston
There is such a simple story here, and simple lyrics, but it makes this song no less beautiful to me. I also love the whimsical-ness of Preston’s voice. It makes the song a joy to listen to.
15. Start Wearing Purple – Gogol Bordello
If I ever get drunk (and I probably won’t) it had better be to this song.
16. Love Bites – Def Leppard
Joe Elliot’s voice is so unique, and this song is one of the best love songs of all time. It transports you into a place as though you are the heartbroken one. Amazing.
17. Hello – Evanescence
Another voice that is very unique…Amy Lee shines here. The song deals with such a heavy subject, but manages to make it delicate and beautiful.
18. Cherry Bomb – The Runaways
I personally love Cherie Currie’s voice, it has such a rough quality to it, and I love the lyrics of this song. One of the great female-led tracks.
19. Don’t Speak – No Doubt
This song has such a solemn atmosphere…and it has a very high dose of nostalgia for me. I used to listen to it all the time before I ever knew who it was.
20. Picture (feat. Sheryl Crow) – Kid Rock
A great dynamic here using two singers for two different parts of the song…yet the lyrics sort of mirror each other. I love this.
21. Beauty*2 – Ladytron
Another more obscure song on this list…it has a very dark serious, yet interesting vibe, and I love the singer’s voice. I always picture a dark rainy street somewhere in France when listening to this song. Not sure why.
22. Un-Break My Heart – Tony Braxton
An absolute classic, and another one that I used to listen to before I ever knew who it was. I love this song so much.
23. How Do I Live – LeAnn Rimes
My grandmother used to play this song in the car all the time, and I will always remember it just because of the gorgeous tone of Rimes’ voice.
24. Ms. Jackson – OutKast
More nostalgia. I listened to this before I ever even knew what the song meant, who it was by (I thought it was by Dre for awhile)…but now the song is an absolute classic for me.
25. Master of Puppets – Metallica
Upon trying to decide which Metallica song to put on this list (because at least one had to be on here)…I had several ideas, before finally deciding on this one. Though I could probably put a handful of songs here, this one is my favorite song from them.
26. Break Stuff – Limp Bizkit
The ultimate angry song. This makes a great song to listen to on Monday morning.
27. Purple Rain – Prince
Anyone who doesn’t like this song is wrong.
28. Goodbye Horses – Q Lazzarus
This song comes from my favorite comedy movie of all time, Clerks II. Would you fuck me? I would fuck me.
29. Bitch – Meredith Brooks
ALL THE NOSTALGIA. I fucking love this song.
30. Don’t Let Me Get Me – P!NK
Anyone who had self esteem issues loved this song.
31. Bad Boys – Inner Circle
This is like…the essence of the urban life.
32. Can’t Help Falling In Love – Elvis Presley
What a soulful voice. Unforgettable.
33. No Diggity – Blackstreet
This song is a favorite just because of the chorus.
34. Mourning Air – Portishead
Obscure, don’t care. Love it.
35. Dauoalogn – Sigur Ros
This is the ultimate TV-show-tragic finale song.
36. Dragula – Rob Zombie
I first discovered this song through my obsession with Twisted Metal on the original PlayStation.
37. I Put A Spell On You – Marilyn Manson
The ultimate dark romance song.
38. Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones
Did the Beatles ever write a song as great as this? I don’t think so.
39. The Devil Went Down To Georgia – The Charlie Daniels Band
If I knew how to play the violin, which I don’t, I could absolutely play this song.
40. Real – Macy Gray
First discovered this song in Domino.
41. The Woman In Me – Shania Twain
42. It’s Been Awhile – Staind
43. Hurt – Johnny Cash
44. We Belong – Pat Benatar
45. The Thunder Rolls – Garth Brooks
46. Holy Diver – Dio
47. Carry On My Wayward Son – Kansas
48. Might As Well Be On Mars – Alice Cooper
49. White Rabbit – Jefferson Airplane
50. Lady Grinning Soul – David Bowie
51. Take My Breath Away – Berlin
52. Mama, I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne
53. The Final Countdown – Europe
54. Eye Of The Tiger – Survivor
55. Zombie – The Cranberries
56. American Pie – Don McLean
57. The Sound Of Silence – Simon and Garfunkel
58. Stronger – Britney Spears
59. Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin
60. I Fink U Freeky – Die Antwoord
61. Blind – Korn
62. Problems – Lil Peep
63. Coming Home – Avenged Sevenfold
62. No Sleep Till Brooklyn – Beastie Boys
63. Fantasy – Aldo Nova
64. Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald – Gordon Lightfoot
65. We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae) – Fun.
67. Gangsta’s Paradise – Coolio
68. Make It Rain – Ed Sheeran
69. The Wanderer – Dion
70. Toxic Love – Tim Curry
71. Hallelujah – Jeff Buckley
72. Lonely Boy – The Black Keys
73. Bother – Stone Sour
74. 18 And Life – Skid Row
75. New Low – Middle Class Rut
76. B.Y.O.B – System of a Down
77. It’s Tricky – Run D.M.C.
78. We Built This City – Starship
79. This Is The Time – Nothing More
80. Welcome Home – King Diamond
81. Crazy He Calls Me – Billie Holiday
82. Smooth (feat. Rob Thomas) – Santana
83. Glycerine – Bush
84. Your Betrayal – Bullet For My Valentine
85. As Heaven Is Wide – Garbage
86. Intuition – Jewel
87. Larger Than Life – Backstreet Boys
88. Believe – Cher
89. Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani
90. Pony – Ginuwine
91. Tears From The Moon – Conjure One
92. Summer Nights – Grease
93. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door – Guns N’ Roses
94. If Heaven Ain’t A Lot Like Dixie – Hank Williams Jr.
95. Losing My Grip – Hoobastank
96. Bang Bang – Nancy Sinatra
97. Close My Eyes Forever – Lita Ford, Ozzy Osbourne
98. So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish – A Perfect Circle
99. Welcome To The Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
100. Ebudae – Enya