The 10 Best Songs of All Time According to a Self-Proclaimed Expert

There are countless lists of the best songs in history. The Beatles, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, etc. But what about the opinion of someone who has listened to an absurd amount of music?

I’ve been listening to music since I was a baby and have developed a discerning ear for what is good. I’ve compiled a list of my favorite songs that I think belong on any best-of list.

This isn’t just my opinion though. I polled ten other people who are also self-proclaimed music experts and they came up with similar results. From country to rap, this list has it all!

  1. “The Sound of Silence” – Simon and Garfunkel
  2. “Karma Police” – Radiohead
  3. “Hey Ya!” – Outkast
  4. “Back in Black” – AC/DC
  5. “Stairway to Heaven” – Led Zeppelin
  6. “Hotel California” – The Eagles
  7. “Pour Some Sugar on Me” – Def Leppard
  8. “You Shook Me All Night Long” – AC/DC
  9. “Take on Me” – A-ha
  10. “Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang” – Dr. Dre

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”

by The Beatles

A classic from the late ’60s, this song combines a catchy tune with beautiful lyrics. It’s one of those songs that just makes you feel good.

While the title might not be as interesting as other songs on this list, it is indeed a classic. It was ranked as the third best song ever by Rolling Stone Magazine and was voted number one in a Rolling Stone readers’ poll.

This song also draws attention to the fact that even though The Beatles were a rock band, they mastered different genres of music. This can be seen in their ability to make a simple love song sound so catchy and memorable.

“All You Need Is Love”

by The Beatles

There are plenty of Beatles songs to choose from, but I think “All You Need Is Love” is the perfect way to start this list. It was written in 1967 and is probably one of the most famous love songs in history.

It’s a simple message that says everything you need in life can be found within love. Not just romantic love, either—love for your family, friends, and country.

And if you don’t agree with me on “All You Need Is Love,” what about another Beatles classic? “Let It Be.”

“Smells Like Teen Spirit”

by Nirvana

This is the go-to song for any teenager who’s trying to rebel against their parents. It’s a classic rock song that is guaranteed to stir up some emotion.

I first heard this song when I was in high school and not liking going to my dad’s church on Sundays. The lyrics, “Hello, hello”, seem to taunt me as I walked into the Sunday service. I associate the song with those memories and it will always be one of my favorite songs from then on out.

There are so many live versions of this song that I love but the original recording from 1991 is one of my favorites.

“In Bloom”

by Nirvana

Nirvana was a grunge band that changed the face of rock and roll. They made music that spoke to everyone and captured the attention of many. Lead singer Kurt Cobain was one of the most celebrated musicians of the 1990s, as well as one of the most influential people in music history. He wrote lyrics that resonated with pain, anger, confusion, vulnerability, and loneliness. His vocals were never perfect but they were always authentic and raw.

“In Bloom” is one example of how Nirvana’s music transcends genres. It’s a beautiful song about wanting to leave your life behind for a better future. It captures a feeling that anyone can relate to, delivered by a man who has been through hell and back again.

“Blowin’ in the Wind”

by Bob Dyla

This song has been covered by many different musicians, but there’s something special about the original.

Blowin’ in the Wind is a protest song about social injustice and the death of innocent people. It makes you want to take action because it speaks for those who can’t speak for themselves.

The song is about change and accepting responsibility, which is what Martin Luther King Jr. made his life’s work.

While this song might not be your typical “happy” music, it should be on any list of best songs ever written.

“The Times They Are a-Changin’

by Bob Dylan

This song is a lyrical masterpiece. It’s the perfect example of Dylan’s poetic lyrics and knack for storytelling. The song has been covered by many but to me, nothing beats the original.

Other Music Favorites from a Self-Proclaimed Expert

  1. “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton
  2. “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash
  3. “String Quartet in C Major, D. 956 No. 1: III. Scherzo: Allegro Vivace” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  4. “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday
  5. “A Day In The Life” by The Beatles
  6. “Singin’ In The Rain” from the film of the same name

Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”

I don’t think anyone can argue that Johnny Cash’s cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” is one of the most heartbreaking songs of all time.

The song begins with a stuttering guitar riff that sounds like a heartbeat in a hospital and then slowly builds up to the chorus, which is powerful and powerful. When he sings, “What have I become? My sweetest friend. Everyone I know goes away in the end,” his voice reaches such a high pitch that you get chills down your spine.

It’s not hard to see why this is one of the best songs of all time.