Here are the best songs that I know of for each year since the Beatles landed in America. Strictly my opinion, of course.
- “Best” means which song I would take with me to a desert island.
- Links in italics go straight to YouTube; the others have posts of their own on this blog, complete with lyrics in most cases.
- 1970: The Supremes: Stoned Love
- 1971: The Doors: L.A. Woman
- 1972: Roberta Flack: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
- 1973: Marvin Gaye: If I Should Die Tonight
- 1974: Barry White: Can’t Get Enough of Your Love
- 1975: Bruce Springsteen: Thunder Road
- 1976: L.T.D.: Love Ballad
- 1977: Bob Marley: Three Little Birds
- 1978: B-52s: Rock Lobster
- 1979: Commodores: Still (the long, six-minute album version)
- 1980: Bruce Springsteen: Drive All Night
- 1981: Stacy Lattisaw: Love On a Two Way Street
- 1982: Roxy Music: More Than This
- 1983: Bow Wow Wow: Do You Wanna Hold Me?
- 1984: Prince: Purple Rain
- 1985: Teena Marie: Out on a Limb
- 1986: Force MDs: Here I Go Again
- 1987: U2: Where the Streets Have No Name
- 1988: Sade: Paradise
- 1989: Jody Watley: Everything
- 1990: Cynda Williams: Harlem Blues
- 1991: Mariah Carey: I Don’t Wanna Cry
- 1992: Sade: Feel No Pain
- 1993: 4 Non Blondes: What’s Up
- 1994: Youssou N’Dour & Neneh Cherry: 7 Seconds
- 1995: Oasis: Wonderwall
- 1996: Whitney Houston: I Love the Lord
- 1997: The Verve: Bitter Sweet Symphony
- 1998: Lauryn Hill: Ex-Factor
- 1999: Angie Stone: No More Rain
- 2000: Jill Scott & Mos Def: Love Rain
- 2001: Keke Wyatt: If Only You Knew
- 2002: Res: They Say Vision
- 2003: Mary Fahl: Going Home (the opening song of “Gods and Generals”)
- 2004: Kanye West: Jesus Walks
- 2005: Twista, Trey Songz: Girl Tonite
- 2006: Mariana Baltar: Zumbi
- 2007: Keyshia Cole: I Remember
- 2008: Chris Brown: With You
- 2009: Ciara: Never Ever
This is still a work in progress: the list will change as I remember songs that I forgot to consider. But I wanted to get something down for each year as a starting point.
For some years, like 1998 and 1985, it was hard to settle on just one song, but for others it was hard to find something passable! So the quality from year to year is uneven. But most are songs I have played to death and even now, after all these years, I am still not tired of them! A great song never grows old.
I made this list so that I have something to listen to at work. This is my nearest thing to an iPod playlist.
How I find out about music: aside from television and radio and taking a chance on a record, I read about the singers and musicians I like and find out who it is that they liked and so on.
– Abagond, 2007, 2017.
- Top R&B songs: 1946 to 2011 – the top R&B song in America for each year according to Billboard magazine.
- songs posted on this blog
- Brazilian songs I like