By on March 18, 2024

The 15 best songs

By Aaron Jurkowitz | Outer Banks Voice

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my 15 favorite musical acts. Not surprisingly, a number of them show up this week in my ranking of the top 15 songs.


  1. New Person Same Old MistakeTame Impala (released in 2015)

By far the most recent song on this list, New Person Same Old Mistake is one of those songs that when you first hear it, your jaw drops on the floor. The melody and overall feeling you get when listening is absolutely amazing.


  1. I Can’t Help Falling in LoveElvis (released in 1961)

I Can’t Help Falling in Love is one of the most iconic songs of all time. While it is a very simplistic and a shorter song, it is an incredibly moving and beautiful piece of music, thanks to Elvis’ smooth vocals.


  1. Good VibrationsThe Beach Boys (released in 1966)

This song shows just how brilliant a songwriter Brian Wilson was. The creativity in the instrumentation is astounding. On top of that, like most Beach Boys songs, the harmony is unmatched. This song has its own unique vibe that no other song has.


  1. Lucy in the Sky With DiamondsThe Beatles (released in 1967)

This is John Lennon at his most creative. A beautifully written psychedelic masterpiece.


  1. The Sound of SilenceSimon and Garfunkel (released in 1964)

A poetic and lyrical masterpiece that is advanced by the harmony between Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel.


  1. How Soon is NowThe Smiths (released in 1985)

This is the most stunned I’ve ever been after first listening to a new song. It’s the best example of Johnny Marr’s guitar melodies and Morrissey’s unique voice and depressing lyrics coming together perfectly to create a masterpiece. Marr’s guitar riffs are absolutely haunting.


  1. What’s Going OnMarvin Gaye (released in 1971)

A very moving song that addresses problems in our society that still exist to this day. It’s not only beautifully co-written by Gaye, but his voice shines through (like usual) on the track.


  1. Purple RainPrince (released in 1984)

A song that truly shows how talented Prince was as an all-around musician, this song always gives me goosebumps.


  1. LaylaDerek and the Dominos (released in 1971)

The first half of this song is what makes it legendary non-stop energy for about three minutes. And while the second half isn’t quite as good, the almost immediate transition is amazing. It truly deserves its status as a rock anthem.


  1. Billie JeanMichael Jackson (released in 1983)

Not only does this iconic pop masterpiece have an excellent bass and synth on the track, but MJ’s live performances of this song are my favorite. Everyone can envision him doing the moonwalk. This is as good as a pop song can get.


  1. I’m on FireBruce Springsteen (released in 1985)

My only complaint with this song is I wish it was longer. But in some way, that’s a good thing since it leaves you wanting more. Bruce’s voice is also very expressive which elevates the song.


  1. Smells Like Teen SpiritNirvana (released in 1991)

One of the most recognizable songs ever, it is a perfect representation of your teenage years: the need and desire to rebel but with no particular reason why. Cobain’s voice is absolutely haunting.


  1. Stairway to HeavenLed Zeppelin (released in 1971)

The slow overarching shift in pace throughout the song, starting off very quietly and ending with classic Robert Plant screaming, is what makes it so great.


  1. A Day in the LifeThe Beatles (released in 1967)

Perhaps the best in-song transition in music history is made even better by the fact that Paul and John’s lyrics have nothing to do with each other and are massively different in tone. John’s lyrics and vocals particularly stand out.


  1. Strawberry Fields ForeverThe Beatles (released in 1967)

Yes, the same band produced the top two songs on this list, but it’s for good reason. Strawberry Fields Forever is John at his best. And while the song is pretty psychedelic, it is also very comforting in its own way.

These are my favorites, what are yours.

SEE ALSO: The 15 best musical acts

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