The 50 best pop and rock singles ever…according to me.

Chris Farlowe: No contest at Number One

Okay. I’m kind of housebound. Not entirely. But I have to be careful with ‘flu and other stuff about. 

So I decided to list my five favourite singles ever. That became ten, then twenty.

Now I have fifty. (I only allowed myself one song per artist)

I doubt anyone will agree. But genuinely, the top ten are the top ten. The rest are in no particular order. Anyway, here they are with a little bit of information on each.

  1. Handbags and Gladrags. Written by Mike D’Abo. Best version by Chris Farlowe
  2. Waterloo Sunset. Written by Ray Davies. Sung by The Kinks
  3. I Am The Walrus. Written by Lennon and McCartney. A Beatles B side. 
  4. All Right Now. Written by Andy Fraser and performed by Free. 
  5. Turn Turn Turn. Written by Pete Seeger and performed by The Byrds. 
  6. Nothing Compares To You – Written by Prince and performed by Sinead O’Connor.
  7. Smells Like Teen Spirit. Written by Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Kris Novoselic and performed by Nirvana
  8. Whole Lotta Love. Written by John Bonham, Willie Dixon, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant.  Performed by Led Zeppelin
  9. All Along The Watchtower. Written by Bob Dylan. Performed by Jimi Hendrix
  10. Sunday Bloody Sunday. Written and performed by U2.
  11. Hallelujah. Written by Leonard Cohen. Performed by Jeff Buckley
  12. Hello Susie. Written by Roy Wood. Performed by Amen Corner.
  13. Astronaut. Written and performed by Liam Geddes.
  14. Saltwater. Written by Mark Spiro, Leslie Spire and Julian Lennon and performed by Julian Lennon.
  15. Vado Via. Written and performed by Drupi.
  16. #9 Dream. Written and performed by John Lennon.
  17. Darlin’ Be Home . Written by John Sebastian and performed by Lovin’ Spoonful. 
    Hang On SloopyWritten by Wes Farrell and Bert Berns and performed by The McCoys.
  18. Get It On. Written by Marc Bolan and performed by T Rex
  19. Since You’ve Been Gone. Written by Russ Ballard and performed by Rainbow.
  20. Brazil. Written and performed by Declan McKenna.
  21. Tenderness on the Block. Written and performed by Warren Zevon.
  22. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me. Written by Vicki Wickham, Simon Napier-Bell, Pino Donnaggio and Vito Pallavincini and performed by Dusty Springfield 
  23. She’s A Rainbow. Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and performed by the Rolling Stones
  24. Fix You. Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland, Guy Berryman and Will Champion and performed by Coldplay.
  25. Pocketful of Rainbows. Written by Fred Wise and Ben Wiseman and performed by Elvis Presley.
  26. Norman and Norma .Written by Neil Hannon and performed by Divine Comedy.
  27. Wherever I Lay My Hat. Written by Marvin Gaye, Barrett Strong and Norman Whitfield and performed by Paul Young
  28. Oh Well. Written by Peter Green and performed by the original Fleetwood Mac. 
  29. Saturday Gigs. Written by Ian Hunter and performed by Mott the Hoople
  30. Space Oddity. Written and performed by David Bowie.
  31. Wonderful World. Written by Bob Theile and George David Weiss and performed by Louis Armstrong.
  32. My Generation. Written by Pete Townshend and performed by The Who.
  33. Riders on the Storm. Written by John Densmore, Robby Kreiger, Ray Manzarek and Jim Morrison and performed  by The Doors.
  34. Good Vibrations. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love and performed by The Beach Boys.
  35. Shapes of Things. Written by Jim McCarty, Keith Relf and Paul Samwell-Smith and performed by The Yardbirds.
  36. Purple Rain. Written and performed by Prince.
  37. Once in a Lifetime .Written by David Byrne, Brian Eno, Chris Frantz, Jerry Jarrison and Tina Weymouth. Performed by Talking Heads
  38. Wonderwall. Written by Noel Gallagher and performed by Oasis. 
  39. Don’t Dream it’s Over. Written by Neil Finn and performed by Crowded House.
  40. Something in the Air. Written by Speedy Keen Thunderclap Newman.
  41. A Thrill’s a Thrill. Written and performed by Long John Baldry. The Righteous Brothers.
  42. That’ll Be The Day. Written by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison and Norman Petty and performed by Buddy Holly.
  43. A Woman’s Heart. Written and performed by Eleanor McEvoy.
  44. That’s Entertainment. Written by Paul Weller and performed by The Jam.
  45. Carry It With You. Written and performed by Niall Connolly.
  46. Cello Song. Written and performed by Nick Drake.
  47. Slaughter on 10th Avenue. Written by Richard Rogers and performed by Mick Ronson.
  48. She Makes Me Laugh.Written by Rivers Cuomo and performed by the Monkees.
  49. Tomorrow’s Paper. Written and performed by Mick Flannery.
  50. Catch Me If You Can. Written and performed by Walking on Cars.

4 thoughts on “The 50 best pop and rock singles ever…according to me.

  1. PRussell

    Many great ones there, but you missed the best single ever:
    What’s Goin On. Benson, Cleveland and Gaye.
    Performed by Marvin Gaye.
    Number 4 on Rolling Stones top 100.
    Check it out.


    1. paddytm

      Oh I read the Rolling Stone list…Marv missed out narrowly!


  2. Paul Mulligan

    Hi Paddy, sorry to hear about the being bound.
    Didn’t see Imagine, Bohemian Rhapsody, Did it my Way or I Will Survive.
    Happy New Year.


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