Dave's Music Database books

Links

This list last updated December 29, 2014.

Below are a variety of music-related links, many of which have gone into the creation of this site and its lists. A source may be cited more than once if it fits into various categories. A raised letter code such as MM means that source has been footnoted in the blog, generally on a song or album post. By using the letter code instead of numbers, frequent readers will more easily know what resource is being referenced.

[General Resources] [Airplay] [Album Reviews/Ratings] [Awards] [Blogs] [Buy Music] [Charts] [Hall of Fames/Lifetime Achievement Awards] [Magazines] [Online Radio] [Sales]

Lists – Acts/Music Makers

[Acts – Best of All-Time] [Acts by Categories] [Acts by Genres]

Lists – Albums

[Best of All-Time] [Best by Decade] [Genres/Categories]

Lists/Resources – Songs

[Best of All-Time] [Best of 2000-2009] [Best by Genre/Category] [Song Resources]

Lists – Other

[Sites with Multiple Archived Lists]


GENERAL RESOURCES/HISTORY

Also check out the various Magazine links.

  • All Music Guide

    Best music source on the web. Artist bios, album reviews & ratings, detailed discographies, and more.

  • Are U on Something

    Great artist bios for hundreds of artists. Includes a top 10 tracks list, bonus cuts, and comments.

  • Artist Direct

  • Backbeat Books

  • Mark Bego. The Rock & Roll Almanac. New York, NY; Macmillan. (1996)

    Compliation of all sorts of rock trivia lists, including important dates in rock history, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, rock stars’ real names, birth dates of rock stars, and Grammy winners. There are also a lot of unnecessary lists like rock stars who drowned in their own vomit and best cross-dressing displays by rock stars.

  • The Covers Project

    Database of cover versions done of songs.

  • Luke Crampton – see Dafydd Rees

  • Paul Friedlander. Rock and Roll: A Social History. Boulder, Colorado; Westview Press, Inc. (1996)

    Comprehensive look at the development and evolution of rock and roll. Unlike many other resources, there is more detailed discussion of artists and their work from a musical perspective, a point which is also crucial to understanding the emergence of various musical genres that either evolved from rock and roll or into it.

  • Life Magazine: Special Issue - 40 Years of Rock & Roll. (December 1, 1992; Volume 15, Number 13). Jason McManus (editor). New York, NY; Time Inc. Magazines.

    In this special issue, rock and roll’s last forty years are reviewed in a retrospective that details important events, more than 200 songs, and albums of each of the last five decades (1952-1991. Interviews with significant players from each era accent what each decade was all about.

  • Lone Star College in Kingwood, Texas. Created October 1999, updated November 2006.

    Great historical guide, decade by decade, of the 20th century that encompasses much more than just music. The music paragraphs in each section highlight significant songs of the era.

  • James Miller. Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock and Roll, 1947-1977. New York, NY; Simon & Schuster. (1999)

    Miller was the original editor of The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock & Roll, a principal consultant to the 1995 Time-Life home video History of Rock and Roll and a Newsweek magazine pop music critic for ten years. He traces the development of rock music from the jump blues of the late forties into the most profitable style of music in the history of show business.

  • msn

  • Music Map

    Plug in the name of a favorite artist and find similar artists.

  • Musicals 101

  • Musicmoz

  • Not in Hall of Fame. Site maintained by Kirk Buchner (2010).

    Have a favorite act that isn’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet? This is a great site for finding fellow frustrated fans with whom to commiserate. Check out the list of the top 500 acts that aren’t in but should be. This site also offers commentary on some of the acts that will be eligible in upcoming years.

  • Robert Palmer. Rock & Roll: An Unruly History. New York, NY; Harmony Books. (1995)

    Palmer was the first full time rock critic for the New York Times and was later a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. He served as chief advisor for the ten-part BBC television series on the history of rock and roll. This book was written as a companion to that series.

  • Michael Pisani Imagining Native America in Music. Yale University Press. (2006)

  • Dafydd Rees and Luke Crampton. VH1 Music First Rock Stars Encyclopedia. New York, NY; DK Publishing. (1999)

    Year-by-year biographies and chart histories of hundreds of rock and roll artists who have been commercially successful, critically acclaimed, and/or had a lasting impact on the continuing development of rock and roll history. The focus is on artists of the latter half of the 20th century and does not evaluate the entries’ talents or contributions.

  • Rock on the Net

  • David Sadowski. Haven’t Named It Yet: A Rock ‘N’ Roll Prehistory, 1926-55 (1999)

    This analyzes individual songs and their contributions to the prehistory rock and roll music scene. This article (?) came from the Internet, but the website is unknown. Also, it is unclear if there was a source prior to the Web.

  • Russell Sanjek. American Popular Music and Its Business – The First Four Hundred Years, Volume II from 1790 to 1909. New York/Oxford: Oxford University Press. (1988)

  • Arnold Shaw. The Rockin’ ‘50s. New York, NY; Hawthorn Books, Inc. (1974)

    Shaw follows the development of rock and roll as it emerges from rhythm & blues and country & western music and gradually overtakes the more traditional "Hit Parade" pop songs. He looks specifically at some of the artists and individual songs that helped shape the revolution.

  • Songfacts.com

    Sort of a wikipedia devoted to songs, this site allows the general public to contribute information about particular songs.

  • Joe Stuessy. Rock & Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development. Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. (1990)

    Looks at various stages in the development of rock & roll as a musical genre. Offers up a suggested discography of 200+ titles. See “Lists (Albums – Best of All Time).”

  • USA Today

    Weekly album reviews.

  • Timothy White. Rock Lives. New York, NY; Henry Holt and Company. (1990)

    White, a former editor for music magazines such as Rolling Stone and Crawdaddy, offers up 50+ interviews and profiles with some of rock’s most significant artists. He divides his book into three sections - pioneers (such as Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley), pilgrims (Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix), and progeny (Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen).

  • Wikipedia (2010)

    Online encyclopedia with user contributions. Use their search feature to find specific song titles or other music information.

  • World Newspapers

    Great list of lots of music magazines and short descriptions about them.


AIRPLAY

There are various organizations which track public performances of songs (primarily via radio) such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC. Links to those sites are included below, as well as lists of the most-played songs of all-time, according to various sources.This list has been moved here.


ALBUM REVIEWS/RATINGS

A lot of these links are for individuals and small groups who review albums and have created their own websites (much like the DMDB). For more “professional” reviews, check out the links for general info and buying music.


AWARDS

Many of these are NOT links to the official sites. For some reason, they often do a poor job of archiving past winners.

  • Academy of Country Music Awards

    Awards for Entertainer of the Year, Song of the Year, Single of the Year, etc. Embarrassingly, there is no obvious link to find past award winners. You’re better off checking out Wikipedia if you’re looking for past winners.

  • American Music Awards

    Awards are determined by polling music buyers. Nominations are based on sales and airplay, regardless of how old the album/song is. Categories include favorite band, female artist, or male artist in various genres (country, R&B, adult contemporary, Latin, pop/rock, alternative). Above link is the official one, but it appears to be down outside of awards season. Wikipedia offers a much better source.

  • ASCAP Golden Note Award

    Given to songwriters, composers, and artists who have achieved career milestones. Ridiculously, there is no available list of all winners. They can be found using the search engine at ASCAP’s site. See more about ASCAP under AIRPLAY links.

  • Billboard

    The leading chart magazine in the music industry publishes a yearly issue including the top artists, songs, and albums in all the different genre charts covered in the magazine. Charts are based on Nielsen data for sales and airplay. Awards were televised from 1990 to 2007. Year-end charts for 2002 to present are archived at Billboard.biz.

  • Billboard’s Hot 100 Songs of the Year (1958-2007)

    This is a list of each of Billboard’s annual Song of the Year winners. It is organized chronologically and includes a paragraph and video clip for each song.

  • Billboard Century Award From 1992 to 2006, Billboard magazine gave out an annual award for career achievement.

  • BMI Awards

    These awards for most performed song of the year are given out annually in various categories, including pop, country, and urban. There are also Icon awards given to performers. Astonishingly, there appears to be no database at the BMI site to search for these awards, nor is there one anywhere else. To find the annual winners takes some very tedious googling, year by year, award by award.

  • Blues Hall of Fame

    In addition to inducting artists, the Blues Hall of Fame inducts important blues albums each year.

  • Brit Awards

    These are the annual pop music awards for the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), given from 1983 to present. Awards include best Brish and international male solo artist, female solo artist, group, and album. An award is also given for best British single. The official site (above) does not appear to have past awards archived. A full list of each year’s winners is available at Wikipedia. There are also separate awards for classical music, given from 2000 to present, for best British artist, female artist, male artist, and album.

  • Country Music Association Awards

    This site includes an awards database and a link to the Country Hall of Fame. Since 1967, the Country Music Association (CMA) has presented awards for Single of the Year and Song of the Year. The former is awarded to the performer; the latter goes to the songwriter(s). Still, it’s easier to find award winners on Wikipedia.

  • Country Music Television (CMT)

    Fan-voted country music video awards as given out since 2002. Awards duo, group, male, female, collaborative, and video of the year. Link above is official website. Go to Wikipedia.

  • DMDB Album of the Year

    This page has, among other album of the year awards, the best album of each year from 1945 to present as determined by Dave’s Music Database.

  • Gershwin Prize for Popular Song

    One award given annually by the Library of Congress to celebrate “the work of an artist whose career reflects lifetime achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of expression and cultural understanding.” Award first given in 2007 – so far Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, and Paul McCartney have been honored.

  • Grammy Awards/National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS)

    Established in 1957, NARAS is an organization of more than 14,000 musicians, producers and other recording professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life and cultural codition for music and its makers. The industry leader in music awards. Awards given annually in multiple genres and various categories including songs and albums.

  • Grammy Hall of Fame

    More than 300 albums have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

  • The Grammys: The Ultimate Unofficial Guide to Music’s Highest Honor. New York, NY: Penguin Books. Written by Thomas O’Neil (1999)

    All Grammy winners and nominees from the first ceremony in 1958 up to 1997 are listed along with commentary on each year’s awards. Winners in various categories are noted in this book, including Record of the Year, which goes to the performer, and then awards that go to the songwriter for Song of the Year, Best Rhythm & Blues (R&B) Song, Best Country Song, and Best Rock Song. In addition, songs that made this book that won Grammys in the male, female, and group/duo categories for vocal performance in pop, R&B, country, and rock.

  • Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award

    Starting in 1962, the Grammys have given out this award to performers (and non-performers through 1972) who “have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.”

  • Grammy Trustees Award

    Starting in 1967, the Grammys presented this “to individuals who, during their careers in music, have made significant contributions, to the field of recording.” Through 1983, the award was given to performers and non-performers, but since then only to non-performers.

  • Gramophones - classical

  • Hollywood Walk of Fame

    More than 2400 stars from the motion picture, television, recording, and radio industries have been honored on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, an actual stretch of 2.4 miles down the Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. The first star was laid in 1960. Above Wikipedia page lists all the stars in all four categories. A more awkward searchable database is available at the actual Hollywood Walk of Fame site.

  • Juno Awards

    Canada’s equivalent of the Grammys. Includes awards such as single, album, and artist of the year. Above is official website. Go to Wikipedia for an easier to find list of awards and winners.

  • Kennedy Center Honors

    General entertainment lifetime achievement awards.

  • Melody Maker Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including Melody Maker magazine’s albums of the year from 1978-2000.

  • Mercury Prize

    Given to the best British or Irish album of the year since 1992. Above link is for the official site. Go to Wikipedia for a better list of previous winners.

  • Mojo Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including Mojo magazine’s albums of the year from 1950 to present. Lists from 1994 on are based on actual year-end lists. Albums from 1950-1993 are based on yearly album ranked highest on composite list.

  • MTV - videos

  • Music Videos

  • National Endowment for the Arts: National Medal of Arts

    This is “the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States Government.” It is “awarded by the President of the United States to individuals or groups who are deserving of special recognition by reason of their outstanding contributions to the excellence, growth, support and availability of the arts in the United States.” Given since 1985.

  • NRR National Recording Registry

    Sound recordings, including albums and songs, named by Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Recordings must be at least ten years old. Nominations came from members of the public and the National Recording Preservation Board.

  • NME Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including NME magazine’s albums of the year from 1950 to present. Lists from 1974 on are based on actual year-end lists. Albums from 1963-1973 are based on yearly album ranked highest on composite list.

  • Oscars/Academy Awards

    While these are the premiere movie awards, they do give out an award for Best Original Song in a Movie. The official Oscar site does not appear to have a searchable database to find these awards, but you can find a list of the song winners at Wikipedia.

  • Pulitzer Prize: Special Awards and Citations

    Newspaper publisher Joseph Pulitzer made provisions in his will for the establishment of the Pulitizer Prize, to be awarded for excellence in journalism, drama, and education. The award has since been expanded to other subjects, including music. The Special Awards and Citations have been given to individuals, including musicians such as Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, and John Coltrane.

  • Q Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including Q magazine’s albums of the year from 1950 to present. Lists from 1999 on are based on actual year-end lists. Albums from 1965 to 1998 are based on yearly album ranked highest on composite list.

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) – see “Sales”

  • Rolling Stone Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including Rolling Stone magazine’s albums of the year from 1965 to present. Lists from 1978 on are based on actual year-end lists. Albums from 1965 to 1977 are based on yearly album ranked highest on composite list.

  • Songwriters Hall of Fame – Towering Song Award

    The Towering Song Award honors outstanding songs by writers who may not have an extensive catalog of hits and who have not been inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Examples include “As Time Goes By,” “The Christmas Song,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Happy Birthday.”

  • Soul Train Awards

    Once again, the official site is inexplicably poor. To find awards for best single for each year from 1987-2007 for male, female or group, go to Wikipedia. Special awards given out to performers have included the Heritage Award (1987-1997) and Quincy Jones Award for Career Achievement (1998-2007).

  • Spin Album of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes multiple Album of the Year winners, including Spin magazine’s albums of the year from 1965 to present. Lists from 1990 on are based on actual year-end lists. Albums from 1965 to 1977 are based on yearly album ranked highest on composite list.

  • Tonys - theatre/musicals

  • Village Voice Album of the Year

    These are the top albums for each year from 1971-2009.

  • Dave Whitaker’s Albums of the Year

    The DMDB awards page includes my personal favorite album from each year from 1963 to present.

  • World Music Awards

    The World Music Awards is an international awards show founded in 1989 to honor recording artists based on worldwide sales provided by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI). The Legend Award is presented “to a top recording artist in recognition of their global success and outstanding contribution to the music industry.” The Diamond Award was created in 2001 to honor artists who have sold more than 100 million albums in their careers.


BLOGS/ FACEBOOK PAGES/ WEBSITES

  • DMDB blog

    The Dave’s Music Database blog. Daily posts tie to musical events of the day and feature best-of lists.

  • Aural Fixation

    This is a monthly column I write for online magazine PopMatters.com. It offers in-depth and often tongue-in-cheek analysis of today’s musical trends and how they fit into music history.

  • Back to Rockville

    The music blog of The Kansas City Star newspaper.

  • Classic Rock Music Blog

    Reviews, interviews, lists, and more about classic rock as well as blues, folk, jazz, and reggae.

  • Counterbalance

    A PopMatters.com column which features Eric Klinger and Jason Mendelsohn debating the classics as determined by Acclaimedmusic.net.

  • The Daily Guru

    Delivers a daily review of a “must own” album or song each day. Covers a wide variety of eras and genres.

  • Future Rock Legends

    Their tagline: “Uncovering the next generation’s Hall of Fame.”

  • International Society of Music Snobs & Elitists

    Tagline: “A website for those with discerning tastes.”

  • Tom Lane’s Music Blog

    Tom posts quick insights, usually just a paragraph or two, about music. Often connected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  • Large Hearted Boy

    Free and legal music downloads as well as news from the worlds of music, literature, and pop culture.

  • Tom Moon’s 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die

    In conjunction with book of same name.

  • Music Snoob Daily

    Tagline: “Your daily source for something to listen to.”

  • Not in Hall of Fame

    The focus here is on sports as well as music, but the website’s ranked list of the top 500 acts not yet in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is fantastic. They also do an excellent job highlighting who becomes eligible for the Hall over the next few years.

  • Oldies.com

    A family-owned and operated music and movie mail-order company outside of Philadelphia. Founded in 1980.

  • Once Upon a Time

    Launched in August of 2010, the aim of this blog is to work through the Acclaimedmusic.net website of the top 3000 songs of all time, in chronological order.

  • The People’s Hall of Rock ‘n’ Roll Legends

    Their tagline is “The only hall of fame BY and FOR the People!” Designed as a sort of alternative Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, this site lets site visitors vote on who should be inducted. To date, 200 artists and groups have been inducted. See the complete list here.

  • Pop Kulcher
  • Pretty Much Amazing

    The website features a blog and reviews focused on indie music. Started by Luis Tovar in 2007.

  • Rock Hall Monitors

    As it says on the blog, “We keep an eye on the goings-on in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation: hat is, what isn’t what could be ,what should be, what oughtn’t be, etc.”

  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel

    As the Facebook page says, this novel “chronicles the evolution of rock and roll between the years 1953-1969” from the R&B of rural Kentucky to the juke joints of Memphis, the street corner doo-wop groups of New York, the British Invasions, the founding of Motown, the emergence of the Greenwich Village folk scene, and the Haight-Asbury scene.

  • Slicing Up Eyeballs: The Legacy of ‘80s College Rock

    A celebration of college, modern and alt rock from the 1980s.

  • Sound Check
  • Todays Song Is…

    Here’s the description on the Facebook page: “Quite simply I choose a new song everyday. I have 500 characters in which to describe it and hopefully we'll have people comment on it. I blog together all the songs in the notes section weekly with a playlist. Tell all your friends ... and enemies.”

  • Ultimate Classic Rock

    News about classic rock.

  • Ultimate Twang

    Reviews of classic country albums from the 1950s through the ‘90s.

  • The Way Back Experience

    Focuses on the 1960s and ‘70s with videos and other media posts celebrating music, movies, television, and other pop culture of the era.

  • WPIP Top 1000 Songs blog

    A personal alternative-rock-oriented countdown list. One song each day. Started 5/17/2010.


BUY MUSIC


CHARTS

  • #1 songs and albums in UK and US

    Site created and maintained by Sharon Rebecca Persky. Lists reach back to 1890, but, at last check, the site hadn’t been updated since 2007.

  • George Albert – see Cash Box

  • ARC Weekly Top 40

    This pop chart has been in existence since 1980 and became associated with Rock On The Net in 1997. The ARC is based on weekly sales, radio airplay, and video play.

  • AVrev.com’s Top 10 Rock Bands of All Time. By Charles Andrews, Howard Schilling, Jack Sonni, and Ken Lopez.

    Five judges ranked 100 bands in various areas including U.S. sales, songs and songwriting, technical ability, innovation, live performance, and consistency vs. longevity. While the article indicates Top 10, the top 100 are listed. Some of the “bands” included are generally considered more solo artists (Bruce Springsteen, Prince), but are included because of their backing bands.

  • Billboard

    The definitive weekly US singles & albums charts

  • Billboard.biz

    This is Billboard’s online archive chart database for ALL Billboard charts. Vast amount of information, but can be tedious to search. Available to members only.

  • Billboard magazine. (December 25, 1999/January 1, 2000 double issue). New York, NY.

    Double issue that explores 1999’s year in music charts and looks back at the biggest hits of the decade in the various chart formats such as pop, rock, R&B, adult contemporary, country, alternative, gospel, and Latin music.

  • “All Time Top 100.” – see “Lists (Songs – All Time)”

    Billboard magazine’s 1000 No. 1s

    Check out all the songs to top the Billboard Hot 100 from its inception in August 1958 to the 1000th #1 in March 2011.

  • Fred Bronson’s The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. (2003)

    Insight into every song to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart from the beginning of the rock era (Bill Haley’s 1955 #1 song “We’re Gonna Rock Around the Clock”) to 2003’s “This Is the Night” by Clay Aiken. 5th edition appears to be the most current.

  • Fred Bronson’s Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books. (2007)

    This book goes a step farther than Bronson’s Number One Hits book. Songs are ranked so that we can see the biggest hits of each year, each decade, and of the entire rock era. Also included are various categories, such as the biggest hits by particular artists, writers, producers, and labels.

  • Cashbox magazine

    Similar to Billboard magazine, Cash Box has charted the most popular hits in the U.S. While their charts have gone back as far as 1942, this online database starts with 1950 and ends with 1996, when the charts ceased. However, these are just reprints of the original charts and there is no searchable function to find a specific act, song, or peak position. Check out Pat Downey’s book for that.

  • Cash Box: Pop Singles Charts 1950-1993. Written by Pat Downey, George Albert, and Frank Hoffman. Libraries Unlimited, Inc.: Englewood, Colorado. (1994)

    Like Billboard, Cash Box has charted the U.S. pop hits for decades. However, Cash Box is solely sales-based while Billboard combines airplay and sales. This book doesn’t cover all the Cash Box years, eliminating the charts from 1942-1950 as unreliable and stopping before the charts ceased in 1996. However, this is a worthy companion to Whitburn’s Top Pop Singles, which covers the Billboard pop charts. Like that book, this indicates each charted song’s date of initial release, record label, and peak position. Songs are organized by recording acts. A more updated edition would be nice, but seems unlikely given the cessation of the chart and that this book’s low demand has rendered it out of print.

  • Cash Box’s “The 100 Biggest Top 100 Hits” – see “Lists (Songs – Best of All Time)

  • ChartStats.com

    Excellent database of the British song and album charts. Offers more complete information than EveryHit.com, including week-by-week chart data and covers of albums and singles, but is more awkward for searching.

  • Pat Downey – see Cash Box

  • EveryHit.com

    This online easy-to-search database lets users search by artist, song, or album any songs, albums, or EPs to hit the top 40 of the UK charts from 1952 to 2010. Don’t know if site has been updated beyond that.

  • Edward Foote Gardner. Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century: Volume I – Chart Detail & Encyclopedia 1900-1949. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House. (2000)

    In an attempt to compile multiple surveys from the era, this book offers charts for the first half of the century. The focus is on the songs themselves and not the specific charted versions of a song.

  • Guinness World Records British Hit Singles. Edited by David Roberts. London, Great Britain; Guinness World Records Ltd. (2001)

    Compiles all songs to hit the British charts from November 14, 1952 to December 30, 2000. Organized alphabetically by the name of recording acts, under which their hit songs, peak positions, and debut weeks are listed.

  • Frank Hoffman – see Cash Box

  • Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh. 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press. (2005)

    The British equivalent of Fred Bronson’s analysis of every song to hit #1 from 1952-2005. Appears to be only edition.

  • Spencer Leigh – see Jon Kutner

  • Mediabase Music

  • Music VF (2009)

    Database of chart hits in US (based on major Billboard charts) and UK (based on the Official UK Charts Company). Howard Drake has the site’s copyright.

  • MusicianNetwork.com

    Multiple links to charts and lists.

  • The Official UK Charts Company

    The definitive weekly UK singles & albums charts

  • Onlineweb.com

    Lists all UK #1 songs from 7 January 1950 to 5 November 2011. Especially notable for 1950-52, which were based only on sheet music sales and aren’t included in the Official UK Charts list of #1 songs.

  • David Roberts – see Guinness

  • Record Research

    Joel Whitburn books on the Billboard charts.

  • Record Research’s A Century of Pop Music. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (1999)

    This massive undertaking chronicles the top 40 songs for each year of the 20th century. It also lists the biggest hits and artists of each decade. The lists are determined by ranking songs first by peak position (with #1 songs ranked by most weeks at the top). Tie breakers are decided, depending on the year, by weeks in the top 3, top 5, top 10, and weeks on the chart.

  • Record Research’s Hot Country Songs 1944-2008 (7th edition). By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2009)

    This is an alphabetical listing, by artist, of every record to chart on Billboard magazine’s country song charts.

  • Record Research’s Music Yearbook. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (annual)

    Record Research has put out an annual Music Yearbook for every year since 1983. The books include information from the major Billboard charts of the cited year. The 2005-2006 years were consolidated into one book as were the 2007-2008 years.

  • PM Record Research’s Pop Memories 1890-1954. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (1986)

    Listings of every major charted song in the first half of the 20th century. Each song is accompanied by the date of initial release, record label, and peak position. Songs are organized by recording acts, who have short biographies as well.

  • Record Research’s Rock Tracks. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2008)

    This book covers every song to chart on Billboard magazine’s “Album Rock Tracks” chart from its debut in 1981 through present and every song that hit the same magazine’s “Modern Rock Tracks” chart from its beginning in 1988 to present.

  • Record Research’s Top Adult Songs 1961-2006. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2006)

    This is an alphabetical listing, by artist, of every record to chart on Billboard magazine’s Easy Listening/Adult Contemporary charts and Adult Top 40 charts.

  • Record Research’s Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2009)

    This book is a companion to Pop Memories 1890-1954. It is organized in the same fashion as its predecessor and covers the rock era. As with most of the first book, the chart histories are taken from Billboard magazine, the industry leader in music charts.

  • Record Research’s Top Pop Albums 1955-2005. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2005)

    Alphabetical listing, by artist, of every album to chart on Billboard magazines pop album charts, starting from January 8, 1955. Also included are listings of all songs to appear on each album.

  • Record Research’s Top R&B Singles: 1942-2004. By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (2004)

    Every song to hit the R&B charts in period covered. Organized by artist with each song listed along with information such as its original chart date and peak position.

  • Neil Warwick, John Kutner, and Tony Brown. (2004). The Complete Book of the British Charts: Singles and Albums (3rd edition). London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press

    This renders Roberts’ Guinness book unnecessary, as it is an updated version of that book, listing all songs to hit the British charts from 1952 to 2003. This book goes a step farther, however, also listing all albums to hit the British charts. Organized alphabetically by the name of the act, then all charted songs are listed chronologically followed by all albums listed chronologically. Appears to be most recent edition.

  • Joel Whitburn – see Record Research

  • Your Hit Parade

    This web site listed every song that made the Hit Parade (a weekly television show) from 1935-1955, lists their peak positions (1-3), total numbers at peak position, and total weeks on the Hit Parade.


LISTS (Sites with Multiple Archived Lists)

These are sites that have archived multiple best-of lists.


LISTS (Acts – Best of All-Time)

These are resources for best-of-all-time acts lists.

  • Amazon.com: Essential Artists

    Consists of two lists: one of popular music’s essential artists and another of classical composers. Links take you to short bios and more links to works by the artist/composer.

  • ARC Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll (2000)

    Can no longer find online.

  • ARC Weekly Top 40’s Top Artists (2000)

    Can no longer find online.

  • Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists, 1958-2008 (2008)

    This list was created in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Billboard Hot 100.

  • Blender Top 50 Rock Geniuses (Jan/Feb 2003 issue)

    Paragraph-long commentaries on each of the 50 ranked selections.

  • BlogCritics.org’s The Ten Best Rock Bands Ever by Eric Olsen (3/29/04)

    Top ten list with commentary on each band. Seems to have been written for MSNBC.

  • Dave’s Music Databse The Top 100 Acts According to the DMDB (9/29/10)

    Multiple lists are consolidated to make this aggregate list exclusively from Dave’s Music Database.

  • Digital Dream Door 300 Greatest Popular Music Artists (list begun 1/16/06). Edited by Chris F.

    “Criteria: These…artists were ranked for their popularity, influence, and impact in popular music.” Ranked list with no commentary.

  • Digital Dream Door 100 Most Influential Rock ‘N’ Roll Artists (5/8/09). Edited by Sampson.

    Critera: “Factored by the following: cultural influence, musical influence and performing influence. Artists from other musical genres outside rock ‘n’ roll are not included on this list.

  • Digital Dream Door Most Influential Non-Performers

    This is a top-ten ranked list which appears as a sidenote to the “100 Most Influential Rock ‘N’ Roll Artists” page above.

  • Roger Hall. Top 100 Songs of the Century (2001)

    This is referenced under “Lists (Songs – Best of All-Time)” but is here also because Hall named a singer for each decade in the original post. Unfortunately, that link is now dead and this information does not appear to be at the new site. Here’s who he selected: Billy Murray (1900-09), Al Jolson (1910-19), Gene Austin (1920-29), Fred Astaire (1930-38), Bing Crosby (1939-49), Frank Sinatra (1950-59), The Beatles (1960-69), Barbra Streisand (1970-79), Michael Jackson (1980-89), and Celine Dion (1990-99).

  • Joanne Huffa 500 Rock Bands (2009). Quantum Books: London.

    Despite the title, this list focuses on individuals and bands. While many of the usual suspects are present and highly ranked (The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, etc.), there are others one might expect in the top 100 (Prince, Talking Heads, Frank Zappa, Eagles, Genesis) that aren’t while some unusual choices are ranked in the top 100 (Sleater-Kinney, Guitar Wolf, Pantera). The list also strays from the definition of group to include individuals at times (Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley). Not well edited, either – for example, Kraftwerk and Lynyrd Skynyrd are misspelled and #’s 133-135 and 184 are absent!

  • Legends of American Music stamp series (1993-1999)

    This series of stamps started in 1993, with 18 stamps in three categories: rock & roll/rhythm & blues, country & western, and Broadway musicals. In 1994, five popular singers and eight jazz/blues singers were recognized. 1995 honored eleven jazz musicians. 1996 was dedicated to four big band leaders and four songwriters. Four opera singers and eight classical composers/conductors were introduced in 1997. Four gospel singers and four folk musicians joined in 1998. The final series in 1999 added Broadway songwriters and Hollywood composers. There were 74 individuals honored throughout the series.

  • Life magazine: 50 Years of Rock and Roll (3/11/02)

    Includes a list of the top 100 acts of the rock era.

  • Mojo: Hall of Fame 100 (Nov. 2003 issue)

    In celebration of the magazine’s 10th anniversary, they published this list, which focused on 100 acts. Commentary on each act is in regards to a “world-changing moment,” or a significant event in the act’s history that had an effect on the development of rock and roll. Also included are album recommendations.

  • Mojo: Icons – The Greatest Music Stars of All Time (special edition: 11/04)

    Link is actually to a site in which users can vote on the various acts in the list, but the ranking still remains the same as the original Mojo publication and appears to include the magazine’s original comments and essential recordings.

  • NME (New Musical Express) magazine Greatest Artists of All Time (4/20/02 issue)

    Ranked list of the 50 acts that made the biggest impact over the NME’s first 50 years.

  • MSNBC – see BlogCritics.org

  • Pop Music Stars Top 100, 1890-2006 (2006)

    The all-time pop music stars, based on their performance in the pop music charts.

  • Q magazine: The 100 Greatest Stars of the 20th Century (8/99)

    Ranked list of the top 100. Focused on individuals; associated groups parenthetically referenced.

  • Radio Gold Top 20 Best Groups

    Top 20 ranked list. No commentary. Looks to be an individual list.

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Artists of the Century (1999?)

    Top 50 ranked list based on album sales through the 20th century as reported by the RIAA.

  • Rolling Stone magazine: The Immortals: The 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (4/15/04)

    Have to go through list one page at a time (one artist per page), but good commentary on each.

  • Piero Scaruffi’s Greatest Rock Bands of All Times (1999)

    An individual’s odd list with 97 bands listed. The top 13 are ranked. No commentary.

  • Songwriters Hall of Fame – Songwriters Friends

    This is not an award given by the Songwriter Hall, just a list of significant performers who have been instrumental in furthering the work of songwriters.

  • Spin magazine: 50 Greatest Bands of All Time (2/02)

    Ranked top 50 list with classic albums listed.

  • Strajnic: Top 100 Artists (year?)

    Top 100 list based on best-album list points. No longer online.

  • Time magazine: 100 Most Important People of the Century (6/8/98)

    5 categories: leaders/revolutionaries, artists/entertainers, builders/titans, scientists/thinkers, and heroes/icons. Included artist/entertainer icons are Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Frank Sinatra, and Igor Stravinksy.

  • TSORT: Top Album Artists of All Time (year?)

    Top 1000 list based on album points, which come from a consolidation of multiple lists.

  • TSORT: Top Song Artists of All Time (2010)

    Top 1000 list based on song points, which come from a consolidation of multiple lists.

  • Variety magazine: Icons of the Century (year?)

    Unranked list of icons in multiple areas.

  • VH1: 100 Greatest Artists of Rock and Roll (1998)

    VH-1 asked current top music artists to name their choices for the greatest artists in rock and roll. Results presented in a 100 to #1 countdown format on the network.

  • VH1: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time (Sept. 6-10, 2010)

    Top 100 countdown conducted in same manner as 1998 list above. Despite title, this is a very rock-era focused list.

  • Vinyl Surrender: All-Time Artists (year?)

    No clear indication of how list is generated, but it appears to be from user votes.

  • PM Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Published by Record Research: Menomonee Falls, WI.

    Page 623 has a list of the top 100 Artists of the pre-rock era, according to charts gathered for this book.


LISTS (Albums – Best of All-Time)

In addition to the overall best-of lists below, check out the “Best of Lists” link on the DMDB blog. See the headings “Albums/Works by Genre” and “Albums/Works by Category” for more specialized lists such as best blues albums, country albums, jazz albums, live albums, soundtracks, etc.

  • ABC.net.au (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) My Favourite Album: The Top 100 (2006).

    Australian-based site. Ranked list only. No commentary. No explanation of how list was generated, but it appears to be based on online users’ votes.

  • Acclaimed Music’s All Time Top 3000 Albums (11/8/09)

    Site consolidates multiple lists into one best-of list.

  • Aftenposten Top 50 Albums of All Time (1999).

    Norwegian newspaper. Top 50 ranked list. Dead link.

  • AlbumVote.co.uk’s Top 100 Albums of All Time (year?).

    Ranked list. No details offered on when or how list was compiled. Links to album reviews.

  • Algemeen Dagblad’s 100 Pop Albums of the Century (12/23/99).

    Netherlands. Top 100 ranked list. Links to other sites’ reviews.

  • AllClassical.org’s Annual All Classical Top 100 (2009).

    Since 2001, All Classical FM has done an annual list in which listeners vote on their five favorite works in all of classical music. The countdown starts the morning after Christmas and ends on New Year’s Eve with #1.

  • Aloha 50 Best Albums of All Time (12/99).

    Magazine from the Netherlands. Link is for a ranked list; no commentary.

  • Aloha Classic Albums Top 40 (11/02).

    Magazine from the Netherlands. Link is for a ranked list; no commentary.

  • Alternative Melboune The Top 100 Rock/Pop Albums You Must Have in Your Collection (date?).

    Ranked list only. No commentary. No indication of how list was created.

  • Alternative Press’s Top 99 of ’85 to ‘95 (7/95).

  • Amazon.

    Includes Essentials lists which make recommendations by genre.

  • Antimusic.com Essential Albums.

    A handful of guys select their favorite albums. Links to one-line commentaries.

  • AVGuide.com The 100 Greatest Pop Albums of the Century by Allan Kozinn (2004)

    Top 100 list with no ranking, rating, or reviews.

  • AVRev.com Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time. Written by Charles Andrews, Ted Cohen, David DelGrosso, and Howard Schilling. (7/28/08).

    Albums were evaluated based on performance, songs and songwriting, sound, production, staying power, and concept/continuity. Breakdown of scores and album’s overall rank are both listed.

  • Steve Barrow – see Rough Guide

  • Barnes & Noble Fundamentals (year?)

    Albums in various categories. List appears to no long be on the Barnes & Noble site.


  • BBC’s Top 100 Albums (3/26/12)

    This is a DMDB-exclusive consolidation of the four BBC lists below.

  • BBC News The Music of the Millenium (1/24/98)

    Top 100 ranked list. No commentary.

  • BBC News Top 50 Albums of Last 50 Years (6/02).

    Ranked list. No commentary. Link goes to an article about the list and includes a dead link which supposedly links to the entire list.

  • BBC Radio 2 Music Club Top 100 Albums (8/28/06)

    Top 100 ranked list of voters’ favorite #1 albums on the UK Album Chart, in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the UK album chart.

    Stuart Maconie’s Critical List (2006)

    BBC radio show in which Maconie presented albums which he suggested every popular music aficionado should have in their collections.


  • Best Ever Albums (10/26/11).

    Incorporates over 1500 album charts into one list.


  • Billboard The All-Time Top 100 Albums (3/29/12)

    This is a DMDB-exclusive consolidation of the five Billboard magazine lists below.

  • Billboard’s “Top 100 Albums of All Time” (11/1/94)

    This special list was compiled for the magazine’s 100th anniversary issue.

  • Billboard’s Biggest #1 Albums in U.S. Chart History (11/15/10)

    List especially created by Dave’s Music Database. Ranks albums in the rock and pre-rock era based on weeks at #1. Sources: Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums, 1955-2009 (7th edition) and Top Pop Hits 1940-1954.

  • Billboard’s 100th anniversary issue. “Top 100 Albums All-Time” (1994)

  • Billboard’s “Albums of Longevity” (page 969) from Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums, 1955-2009 (7th edition: 2010)

    Top 50 list of albums which have charted more than 175 weeks on the Billboard 200 album chart.

  • Billboard’s “Best Selling Albums” (page 970) from Joel Whitburn’s Top Pop Albums, 1955-2009 (7th edition: 2010)

    A list of all albums certified by the RIAA to have sold 10 million or more copies.


  • Blastitude.com A Loaded Proposition: Joe S. Harrington Picks the All-Time Top 100 Or…Who Pulled the Trigger? (Oct.-Nov. 2001: issue 10. Feb.-Apr. 2002: issue 12; Fall 2002: issue 13; Winter 2002/3: issue 14)

    Individual ranks 100 albums with commentary.

  • Blender’s 500 CDs You Must Own Before You Die! (3/15/03)

    Picks CDs in various genres: classic rock, alternative rock, blues, country, pop, rhythm & blues, hip-hop, world, and jazz.

  • Blender’s 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time (10/08)

    List with commentary on each album. Awkward slideshow presentation that makes it difficult to get through list. Original link is now dead, but the list also here on the DMDB.

  • BMG Music’s 100 Great Albums (date?)

    Link is broken and list is unranked. Unknown date as well. Also lists only 99 albums.

  • BMG Music Club’s Top Selling Albums in the United States (2/18/03)

    BMG press release listing their top selling albums. Includes amounts sold. Very geared toward the 1990s and beyond with only 16 albums from before 1990.

  • Ken Bloom and Frank Vlastnik. Broadway Musicals: The 101 Greatest Shows of All Time. Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers (2004)

    This informs the show tunes part of the DMDB Top 1000 list. Check out this book at Amazon.com.

  • Martijin Boeren. All-Time Top 100 Albums (12/29/02)

    Compilation of 45 lists, but no indication what those lists are. Spreadsheet shows # of lists album appears on, a total points score, and a weighted score, but it is not explained. List also goes to 125. No commentary.

  • Martijin Boeren. Visitors Best Albums of the 20th Century (10/13/01)

    The best albums according to visitors to this site. 50 voters. Spreadsheet notes how many lists each album appears on and how it scores.

  • Matthew Boyden – see Rough Guide

  • Simon Broughton – see Rough Guide

  • Buscadero The Best Rock Albums of All the Times (2/90)

    Italian magazine. Unranked chronological list for the ‘50s through ‘80s. No commentary.

  • CD Universe All-Time Top Sellers.

    Odd list. Apparently CD Universe is THE shopping place for Dream Theater since they have the top 3 albums.

  • CFMI Vancouver’s Classic 101 CDs (1/1/01)

    Radio station list. Only top 40 listed at link above.

  • Chris Charlesworth 25 Albums That Rocked the World. Omnibus Press (2008)

    Book. Link is only for means to order book. No details about how list was created.

  • Robert Christgau. A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties. From Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the ‘70s (1980)

    Noted critic picks 25 albums from the ‘50s and 75 from the ‘60s as well as 25 noted singles from the ‘50s.

  • Ciao 2001 The Magnificent Hundred (6/22/88)

    Italian magazine. Readers’ poll. Ranked list. No commentary.

  • Classic Albums documentary series. Eagle Rock Entertainment (1989-2008)

    Originally aired on VH1, BBC and other networks and now available on DVD. Has covered 33 albums. See Wikipedia for a full listing of the episodes and more background.

  • Classic FM Hall of Fame

    This list of the 300 best classical works is voted on by listeners annually since 2008.

  • ClassicRock.About.com

    Details of list unknown. Includes 229 titles, but link is broken.

  • ClassicRock.About.com’s Essential Classic Rock Albums by Dave White (year?).

    Ten essentials in classic rock. Includes commentaries. No indication of when this was written.

  • Classical CD Guide The First 10 CDs of Your Classical Music Collection (year?)

    Includes commentaries and an additional set of ten more suggestions.

  • CountryMusic.About.com’s Top 200 Most Influential Country Music Albums of All Time (year?)

    No writer(s) cited or date indicated.

  • Consequence of Sound Top 100 Albums Ever by COS staff (9/15/2010)

    Ranked list with commentary.

  • Elvis Costello Vanity Fair 500 Albums You Need (issue 483: 11/00)

    Unranked list of albums selected by Elvis Costello. No commentary.

  • Counterbalance Top 100 Albums by Jason Mendelsohn and Eric Klinger (9/28/2012)

    Weekly article debating the albums of all time. Based on AcclaimedMusic.net’s rankings.

  • Dagbladet.no Arhundrets Album (12/28/99)

    Norwegian site. Chronological list of 87 titles. Includes non-English commentary.

  • Peter Dalton – see Rough Guide

  • Adrian Denning Adrian’s Top 100 Albums So Far (3/30/07)

    Personal ranked list with links to reviews of each album.

  • Jim DeRogatis The Great Albums (2001-06)

    Online column with lengthy reviews of 37 albums.

  • DigitalDreamDoor.com’s 100 Greatest Blues Albums edited by Rick Varner (2/16/07)

    Ranked list. No commentary.

  • DigitalDreamDoor.com’s The 100 Greatest Classical Musical Works edited by Brian (10/31/10)

    Ranked list which actually includes 200 titles. No commentary.

  • DigitalDreamDoor.com’s 100 Greatest Jazz Albums edited by Rick Varner (4/16/10)

    Ranked list which actually includes 200 titles. No commentary.

  • Robert Dimery 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. (2006)

    Chronological list with commentaries in this more-than-900 page book.

  • Downbeat Magazine’s The Top 50 Blues Albums of the Past 50 Years. Written by Frank-John Hadley (9/03)

    Poll of approximately 80 musicians, record company people, and journalists. Each picked five albums. Includes commentary.

  • Entertainment Weekly. 100 Greatest CDs (1993)

    Ranked list. No indication of how list was compiled.

  • Entertainment Weekly. The New Classics: The 100 Best Albums from 1983 to 2008 (6/17/08)

    Ranked list. No indication of how list was compiled.

  • Epoca (no title) (1988)

    Italian magazine. Top 100 ranked list. No commentary. No indication of how list was created.

  • Esquire The 75 Albums Every Man Should Own (2009?)

    No indication of when and how list was compiled. Includes commentary on albums.

  • Esquire 30 Glaring Omissions from the 75 Albums Every Man Should Own (3/9/09)

    Unranked list. Appendage to Esquire’s “75 Albums Every Man Should Own” list. No commentary.

  • Exclaim! 100 Records That Rocked 100 Issues (11/00)

    An unranked alternative-rock-oriented list of 100 albums released between Exclaim!’s first issue in March 1992 and its 100th issue in Nov. 2000.

  • Expressen The 100 Best Pop and Rock Albums Ever (12/31/99)

    Ranked list as determined by writers from Swedish daily newspaper, Expressen. No commentary.

  • Digby Fairweather – see Rough Guide

  • Fastnbulbous.com 1949-1964 (year?)

    Ranked list of nearly 300 albums. No indication how list was determined and when it was created.

  • Fastnbulbous.com The Best Albums Since 1965 (year?)

    Ranked list of nearly 2000 albums. Some have links. No indication how list was determined and when it was created, but most recent album is from 2004.

  • Simon Frith – see Zig Zag

  • Paul Gambaccini All Time Top 100 Albums (1987)

    Ranked list compiled from the opinions of 50 rock critics in the U.S. and U.K.

  • Charles Gillett – see Zig Zag

  • Jeff Gold 101 Essential Records: The Golden Age of Vinyl from the Beatles to the Sex Pistols (2012)

    Book listing the 101 essential records from 1963 to 1977. No ranking.

  • GQ The 40 Best Albums of the 21st Century (2004)

    This link is just to someone’s personal site/blog so the original list’s date, origins, whether it is a ranked list or not, and whether or not it has commentaries, is unknown.


  • Guardian Top 100 Albums (4/19/13)

    This is a DMDB-exclusive consolidation of the four lists below.

  • Guardian’s Albums of the Millenium (autumn 1997).

    List created by Guardian, BBC Channel 4, and HMV. Ranked list with no commentary.

  • Guardian’s 100 Best Albums Ever (9/19/97)

    Ranked list as voted on by artists, critics, and DJs around the world. No commentary.

  • Guardian’s 100 Best Albums of All Time (4/17/05)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Broadcast on BBC 4 on 4/17/05.

  • Guardian’s 1000 Albums to Hear Before You Die (11/07)

    Unranked list. One album per artist.


  • Guinness British Hit Singles and Albums/New Musical Express (NME). 100 Albums of All Time (2006)

    Guinness and NME teamed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Official UK Album Chart. Ranked list of top 100.

    Guitar World 50 Greatest Guitar Albums (2/19/09)

    Ranked list with commentary. List based on readers’ choices.

  • Guitarist The Top 50 Most Influential Guitar Albums of All Time Ever! (12/94)

    UK magazine. Ranked list with featured guitarist indicated. No commentary.

  • Guitarist 101 Essential Guitar Albums (3/00)

    UK magazine. Only top 10 ranked. Others listed roughly in chronological order. No commentary.

  • Edna Gundersen – see USA Today

  • Jimmy Guterman. The Best Rock ‘n’ Roll Records of All Time. Citadel Press Book: New York, NY (1992)

    Guterman drafts an odd list of his hundred personal favorite albums. Included in his list are box sets, bootlegs, and greatest hits albums, none of which seem like they belong. He names Rod Stewart’s Every Picture Tells a Story as the greatest album of all time and omits the traditional critical favorite, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, from the list entirely.

  • Hit Parader All-Time Top 100 Metal CDs (5/04)

    The link above only indicates the top 50. Ranked list.

  • Jacob Hoye – see VH1

  • IGN Top 25 Classic Rock Albums by Spence D. (3/30/2007)

    An individual’s personal ranking of favorite classic rock albums from the 1960s through the early 1980s.

  • Illinois Entertainer 50 Great Albums – A Rock Time Capsule (7/99)

    Unranked list with no commentary. Compiled by more than a dozen writers.

  • Jim Irwin – see Mojo

  • Jam 100 Ideal Albums to Understand Rock Music (2000)

    Unranked list with no commentary.

  • Jazz 100’s “Top 200 Jazz CDs.” (?).

    Originally from the Australian website Jazz 100. Online at ListsOfBests.com.

  • Jazzamatazz 25 Essential Albums: 1960-1974 (10/13/10)

    Personal blog from Alan Bryson. Includes commentary.

  • Juice Best 50 Albums of All Time (issue 50: 4/97)

    Australian magazine. Ranked list, but no commentary.

  • Jumping Fences Pre ‘90s Faves (1989?)

    Unranked list with over 100 albums. Unsure of date of list and link is broken.

  • Jumping Fences 1990-1999 (year?)

    Ranked top 100 list with no commentary. Unsure of date of list and link is broken.

  • KCFX Top 101 Classic Rock and Roll Albums (2005)

    Kansas City, MO classic rock station 101 KCFX The Fox. Ranked list, probably based on a listener poll. Broken link.


  • Kerrang!’s Top 100 Albums (3/27/11)

    This is a consolidation of six different Kerrang! lists that can only be found at the DMDB. Also on the DMDB Facebook page

  • Kerrang!’s The Best AOR Albums of All Time (10/29/88)

  • Kerrang!’s 100 Greatest Heavy Metal Albums of All Time (1/89)

  • Kerrang!’s 100 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (1/98)

  • Kerrang!’s 50 Most Influential Albums of All Time (5/03)

  • Kerrang!’s 50 Greatest Punk Albums (2004?)

    As voted on by readers. Published in punk special “Noise Pollution.”

  • Kerrang!’s 100 Best British Rock Albums Ever! (2/19/05)

  • Kitsap Sun 40 years, 200 albums by Adam Kispert (10/21/05)

    Ranked list with paragraphs on top 10 albums and sentence-long comments on the top 50.

  • Al Kooper 100 Greatest Recordings of All Time (year?)

    Mostly an album list with one-sentence commentaries.

  • KROQ Top 83 Albums of 1980-2008 (2008?)

    Ranked list. Fan compiled past KROQ lists to see which albums garnered most appearances. No commentary or indication how initial lists were created, but it was likely voter-generated since it is a radio station.

    KYYS 99.7 99 Greatest Albums Ever (12/05)

    This is a list based on votes from fans of the Kansas City-based classic rock radio station. No commentary. Dead link; radio station is now defunct.

    Los Angeles 103.1

    No details available. A ranked list from a radio station which now appears to be defunct. List was classic rock in nature.

  • Colin Larkin – see Virgin

  • The Larry Page. The 100 Greatest Albums of the Rock and Roll Era (year?)

    This is a personal ranked list with no commentary.

  • Life Magazine: Special Issue - 40 Years of Rock & Roll. Jason McManus (editor). New York, NY; Time Inc. Magazines (12/1/92)

    Source also sited in “General Resources” section, but listed here also because of 42 albums highlighted from 1952-1991.

  • Living Social Leaderboard: Top Albums (2011)

    Top ranked albums as determined by user ratings.

    Stuart Maconie – see BBC

  • Mapsurfer.com Top 100 Rock Albums of All Time (12/31/2003)

    This is an indivdual’s personal rankings of hard-rock and prog-rock-oriented albums.

  • Melody Maker. All Time Top 100 Albums (2000)

    Top 100 ranked list. No commentary.

  • Mel’s Top 30 Albums of All Time (9/1/08)

    Personal ranked list. No commentary. List actually has 31 items because two albums are lsted at #24.

  • Metal-Rules.com’s Top 100 Heavy Metal Albums (9/03)

  • MixMag. Best Dance Albums of All Time (1996)

    UK dance magazine. Top 50 ranked list. No commentary.

  • Mojo Magazine’s Top 100 (3/6/11)

    Consolidation of 18 different Mojo lists (see link).

  • Tom Moon. 1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die Workman Publishing (2008)

    Top 1000 ranked list with commentary. Nice exploration of multiple genres.

  • Tim Morse. Classic Rock Stories: The Stories Behind the Greatest Rock Songs of All Time. New York, NY: St. Martin's Griffin (1998)

    The focus of the book is on classic rock songs, but a list of the 25 Classic Rock Albums of All Time is included. It is populated by the usual suspects - Sgt. Pepper's, Dark Side of the Moon, Rumours, etc.

  • Il Muucchio Selvaggio (best 400 albums divided by decades) (2002)

    Italian magazine. Unranked lists, by decade of 400 albums.

  • MuleVariations.com The 20 Greatest Albums of the Rock Era, 1954-1999 (12/1/10)

    Personal blog from Adam Caress with commentary.

  • MusicImprint.com Top Albums of All Time (2010?)

    Top 100 ranked list. No commentary or explanation on when or how list was created.

  • Music Snoob Daily 100 Best Albums (1/26/11)

    Facebook page maintained by Pookie Clemmons. Ranked list with no commentary.

  • Muzik. Top 50 Dance Albums of All Time (2/02)

    UK dance magazine. Top 50 ranked list. No commentary.

  • Muzik Express 100 Masterworks (12/93)

    German magazine. List picked by 25 critics. Ranked list with no commentary.

  • National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM)/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame The Definitive 200 (3/6/2007)

    List developed by NARM and introduced by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)/RIAA Top 365 Songs of the Century (3/7/01)

    Mostly song list, but some albums. See RIAA for complete information.

  • National Public Radio (NPR) The Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century (1999)

    NPR staff, critics, and scholars generated an initial list of 300 works (see below) from which NPR listeners and a panel of musicians then voted for the final 100 from October 7-17, 1999.

  • National Public Radio (NPR) Master List of Top 300 Songs (1999)

    This list is confusingly identified as a song list, but includes albums as well. It was compiled by NPR staff along with music critics and scholars.


  • NME (New Musical Express)’s Top 100 Albums (2/11/10)

    This is a consolidation of seven different NME lists that can only be found at the DMDB.

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s All Time Top 100 Albums (Writers’ picks) (1974)

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s Writers’ All Time 100 Albums (11/30/85)

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s Readers’ All-Time Top 100 Albums (1/2/88)

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s The Greatest Albums of the ‘60s, ‘70s & ‘80s (9/93)

    Published on consecutive weeks in September 1993.

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s Top 100 Albums (Writers’ picks) (10/2/93)

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s 100 Best Albums (2003)

  • NME (New Musical Express)’s 100 Greatest British Albums Ever (1/28/06)

  • Nieuwe Revu en VPRO De 100 Beste CD’s (1994)

    Netherlands. Opinions of 100 critics.

  • The Night Owl

    This appears to be the site of Steve Marshall and reviews of albums in his personal collection. The focus appears to be primarily on alt-rock and jazz albums reissued or released in the late '90s.

  • Observer Music Monthly’s Top 100 British Albums (6/20/04)

    UK magazine. Top 100 ranked list.

  • Observer Music Monthly’s The 50 Albums That Changed Music (7/16/06)

    UK magazine. Top 100 ranked list with commentary.

  • OOR’s All-Time Top 100 Albums (1987)

    Netherlands magazine. Ranked list determined by 100 critics.

  • OOR’s All-Time Top 100 Albums (11/04)

    Netherlands magazine. Ranked list determined by 100 critics.

  • OOR’s All-Time Top 100 Albums (2007)

    Netherlands magazine. Ranked list determined by 100 critics.

  • Pause & Play Vault of Fame: The Albums (2011)

    An ongoing time capsule (a Hall of Fame, if you will) in which Pause & Play adds albums. 391 entries as of 3/13/2011.

  • Platekompaniet Top 100 Albums of All Time (2001)

    Norway. Top 100 ranked list. Don’t know more details. Link goes to magazine’s website.

  • Pop The World’s 100 Best Albums (1994)

    Swedish music magazine. Top 100 list with three “complements” to each item.

  • Pop Kulcher The Greatest Rock & Roll Albums of All Time (year?)

    List by Mark Fagel, this site’s creator. A good list overall, although the absence of any harder-edged stuff (Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) and a refusal to list more than one album per act handicaps it.

  • Pure Pop 100 Greatest Albums (1993)

    Mexican magazine. Top 100 ranked list.

  • Pure Pop 60 Most Important Albums of All Time (2004)

    Mexican magazine. 10 most important albums with 50 “complements.”

  • Brian Priestley – see Rough Guide

  • Q Magazine’s Top 100 Albums of All Time (3/5/2011). Also on Facebook.

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the Q lists below.

  • Q’s In Our Lifetime: Q’s 100 Best Albums (1/95)

    Critics picked 99 and readers picked the 100th. Link has an incomplete list; only 88 titles are listed.

  • Q’s All Time Top 100 Albums (Readers’ poll) (2/98)

  • Q’s The 100 Greatest British Albums Ever (Writers’ picks) (6/00)

  • Q’s The Best 50 CDs of the Last 15 Years (1986 to 2001; the Lifetime of Q Mag) (Readers’ poll) (10/01)

  • Q’s Readers’ 100 Greatest Albums Ever (1/03)

  • Q’s The Music That Changed the World (1/04)

    3 special editions in January (covering 1954-69), February (covering 1970-1979), and March 2004 (covering 1980-2004). Each featured a top 20 album list and a top 20 song list.

  • Q’s 50 Best British Albums Ever! (7/04)

  • Q’s Ultimate Music Collection (4/05)

    Featured lists of must-have albums (from 4 to 11 picks) and tracks (roughly 50) in multiple genres including rock, pop, punk, rap, country, blues, soul, metal, reggae, jazz, folk, electronic, and indie.

  • Q’s Best Albums Ever (Readers’ poll, top 100) (2/06)

  • Q’s Top 20 Albums and Singles of the Lifetime of Q Magazine (20 Years) (11/06)

  • Q’s 21 Albums That Changed Music (11/07)

    21st anniversary issue. List is chronological.

  • Q’s 50 Years of Great British Music (3/08)

    Chronological listing with 10 tracks and 10 albums for each decade (no album list for the ‘50s).

  • Q’s Best British Albums (Readers’ poll) (5/08)

  • Q’s 250 Best Albums of Q’s Lifetime (2/11)

    Readers poll of best albums from 1986-2011. In celebration of Q Magazine’s 25th anniversary.

  • Q Special Edition’s The Greatest Classic Rock Albums Ever! (10/04)

  • Q Special Edition’s The 40 Greatest Psychedelic Albums of All Time (3/05)

  • Q Classic’s 75 Blues Greats – The Best Blues Albums (5/05)

  • Q Special Edition’s 40 Cosmic Rock Albums (Prog Rock) (7/05)

  • Q Classic’s 100 Reggae Scorchers (8/05)

  • Q Classic’s 15 Grunge Classics (12/05)

  • Q Classic’s 30 Essential Country Rock Albums (year?)

  • Radio 3FM De Hemelse 100 (The Heavenly 100) (5/02)

    Dutch radio station. Top 100 list determined by listeners.

  • Radio 90.5 The Night The Top 905 Albums of All Time (2002)

    Radio station list voted on by listeners and broadcast during Labor Day weekend in 2002.

  • Radio Eins’ Millenium Music Mix: All Time Top 100 LPs and Singles (1998)

    All time top 100 albums and singles as voted on by music journalists from Berlin. Ranked lists. No commentary.

  • Radio Hilversum 3 Elpee Top 100 Aller Tijden (5/12/85)

    Dutch radio listeners picked this top-100 ranked list. No commentary.

  • Radio Max Music All Time Album Top 100 (2001)

    No details, but I assume this is a listener-voted radio station list.

  • Ranker.com Greatest Albums of All Time (year?)

    List of 181 albums ranked by the site’s users. No indication of when list was created, but says it has had 1,185 voters. Links to more details about albums, but content appears to be from Wikipedia.

  • Rate Your Music Top Albums of All Time (2008)

    Ranked list based on user ratings as of 2/23/2008.

  • Rate Your Music Top 150 British Albums By Novalis (3/8/09)

    Ranked list. No commentary.

  • Rate Your Music Greatest Albums of All Time by vtzZt7 (year?)

    Personal top 500 ranked list with commentary.

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Top 365 Songs of the Century (3/7/01)

    In conjunction with the RIAA, NEA released a list of the top 365 songs of the century on March 7, 2001. The project is, as the NEA web site says, “a nationwide education initiative intended to promote a better understanding of America’s musical and cultural heritage in our schools.” Ballots were sent all across the country to local, state and federal elected officials, the music industry, teachers, members of the media and students. Songs were chosen from a list of over 1100 recordings. Mostly song list, but included a few albums.

  • The Review. The 100 Greatest Albums of All Time Written by Clarke Speicher. (10/01 – 11/01; volume 128, numbers 12-23)

    Link is broken. This list of the 100 greatest albums of all time was featured over several issues in Speicher’s Mosaic column. #12 (10/9/01): 91-100; #13 (10/12/01): 81-90; #14 (10/16/01): 71-80; #15 (10/19/01): 61-70; #16 (10/23/01): 51-60; #17 (11/2/01): 41-50; #18 (11/6/01): 31-40; #19 (11/9/01): 21-30; #20 (11/13/01): 11-20; #22 (11/20/01): 6-10; #23 (11/30/01): 1-5. Also included was a list of 25 albums that barely missed the cut - #21 (11/16/01).

  • Rock & Folk The Best Albums from 1963 to 1999 (12/99)

    France. No ranking or commentary. A handful of selected albums for each year from 1963 to 1999.

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/NARM “The Definitive 200” (3/6/2007) – see NARM

  • Rock de Lux 200 Best Albums (2002)

    Spain. Top 200 ranked list. No commentary. No details on origin of list.

  • Rocknworld.com’s Top 100 Albums of All Time (2002?)

    4th annual readers’ poll. Ranked list with no commentary.

  • Paul Roland CD Guide to Pop & Rock: Build Your Ultimate CD Collection (2003)

    Book with 5-star ratings for 408 albums. Also includes indispensible CDs by category.


  • Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Albums (2/18/10)

    This is a consolidation of five different Rolling Stone lists that can only be found at the DMDB. Also posted on Facebook

  • Rolling Stone. The 100 Best Albums of the Last 20 Years (8/27/87)

    Seventeen rock writers were asked to pick the best albums released from January 1, 1967 on. The resulting list explored a number of genres, with the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band topping the poll.

  • Rolling Stone. The Definitive Library of the Best Albums Ever Made (5/16/97)

    Unranked list of 200 albums divided into era (‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s).

  • Rolling Stone. Top 100 Albums (12/97)

    Ranked list compiled by the staff of the magazine’s German edition.

  • Rolling Stone. Readers Poll of the 100 Greatest Albums (10/17/02)

  • Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (11/18/03)

  • Rough Guide series of books to “100 Essential CDs”

    Each book highlights one album from a specific genre (country, jazz, Latin, opera, reggae, rock, soul). Each book has a different author, but they are all grouped together here in the bibliography.

  • The Rough Guide to Blues 100 Essential CDs by Greg Ward. Rough Guides: London (2000).

  • The Rough Guide to Country 100 Essential CDs by Kurt Wolff. Rough Guides: London (2001).

  • The Rough Guide to Jazz 100 Essential CDs by Digby Fairweather and Brian Priestley. Rough Guides: London (2001).

  • The Rough Guide to Latin 100 Essential CDs by Sue Steward. Rough Guides: London (2001).

  • The Rough Guide to Opera 100 Essential CDs by Matthew Boyden. Rough Guides: London (1999).

  • The Rough Guide to Reggae 100 Essential CDs by Steve Barrow and Peter Dalton. Rough Guides: London (1999).

  • The Rough Guide to Rock 100 Essential CDs by Al Spicer. Rough Guides: London (1999).

  • The Rough Guide to Soul 100 Essential CDs by Peter Shapiro. Rough Guides: London (2000).

  • The Rough Guide to World 100 Essential CDs by Peter Shapiro. Rough Guides: London (2000).

  • Schlager magazine The 30 Best Albums (1984)

    Swedish magazine. Ranked top 30 list determined by 30 Swedish musicians and journalists.

  • Bill Shapiro Rock & Roll Review: A Guide to Good Rock on CD (1991)

    Shapiro hosts the weekly radio show Cyprus Avenue on NPR stations. This book offers in-depth evaluations of more than 1000 albums and offers an unranked list of the The Top 100 Compact Discs every rock fan should own.

  • Peter Shapiro – see Rough Guide

  • David Shirley The History of Rock and Roll. Published by Franklin Watts (1997)

    Book which includes an unranked list of more than 100 top albums in the back.

  • Slant Magazine Vital Pop: 50 Essential Pop Albums by Slant staff (6/30/03)

    Unranked list with links to reviews and ratings for each album.

  • Slitz Magazine The 50 Best Albums (1990)

    Top 50 ranked list as determined by journalists in Sweden.

  • Soundi The 50 Best Albums (1995)

    Finland-based ranked list.

  • Sounds Magazine Top 100 Albums (1985)

    Ranked list.

  • The Source Magazine 100 Best Rap Albums (1985)

    Unranked list. No commentary.

  • Spex Magazine Die 100 Platten des Jahrhunderts (100 Records of the Century) (12/99-1/00 issue)

    German-based ranked list.

  • Clarke Speicher – see The Review

  • Al Spicer – see Rough Guide

  • Spin’s Top 100 Albums (3/7/10)

    This is a consolidation of nine different Spin lists (see below) that can only be found at the DMDB. Also on Facebook.

  • Spin. The 25 Greatest Albums of All Time (April 1989)

  • Spin. Top Ten College Cult Classic Albums (1990)

  • Spin . Record Guide: 100 Alternative Albums (12/95)

  • Spin. Best Albums That You’ve Never Heard Of (2000)

  • Spin. The 50 Most Essential Punk Records (2001)

  • Spin. “Most Influential Albums Not Recorded by The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Elvis, or The Rolling Stones.” (4/03)

  • Spin 100 Greatest Albums 1985-2005 (7/05)

  • Spin’s 125 Best Albums of the Past 25 Years (4/10)

    Magazine’s editors pick the best albums of Spin’s lifetime, 1985-2010. Includes commentary on each album and links to archival features, such as original album reviews, for each album.


  • Sue Steward – see Rough Guide

  • Srjdan Strajnic Top 100 Albums (6/8/06)

    Based on voter list contributuions. Dead link.

  • Studio Brussels Top 100 Albums (5/27/03)

    Best albums as picked by listeners. Updated each year from 2004-2010.

  • Joe Stuessy. Rock & Roll: Its History and Stylistic Development. Prentice-Hall, Inc.: Englewood Cliffs, NJ. (1990)

    Title also in “General Resources.” Included here because of a suggested discography of 200+ titles. Also narrows list down to an essential 100.

  • Stylus Magazine Top 101-200 Favourite Albums Ever (3/22/04)

    Ranked list with commentary. Under the idea that the top 100 albums of all time will recycle some of the same choices as every other list, Stylus asked its music writers to choose a top 100, but then discounted the top ranked 100 to focus on the second 100 instead.

  • Sunday Herald The Best Albums Ever…Honest by David Keenan (3/4/01)

    Repost of list from Scottish newspaper. Unranked list of 100+ albums.

  • TacoCity.com “100 Essential Albums” (1998?)

    List of 100 non-ranked albums as determined by Asian critics. No longer online.

  • Telerama 50 LPs in the History of Rock (2004)

    France. Ranked list. Don’t know how list was created.

  • Thunder Bay Press Albums: The Stories Behind 50 Years of Great Recordings. Thunder Bay Press: San Diego, CA (2005)

    Chronological exploration of nearly 400 albums from 1955-2005. Unranked.

  • Tidenes 400 Beste Album (7/8/06)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Unsure of country of origin.

  • Time Magazine The All-TIME 100 Albums by Josh Tyrangeil and Alan Light (11/13/06)

    Unranked, chronological listing with commentary on each album.

  • The Times Magazine The 100 Best Albums of All Time (11/93-12/93)

    Panellists were sent a list of 200 albums and to rank them from 0 to 10. They could also add 20 of their own suggestions.

  • TSORT Albums Chart by Steve Hawtin (3/11/01).

    Ranked listing of 1000 albums. No commentary, but detailed breakdown of the different lists, chart figures, and sales data which determined the album’s rankings.

  • Rod Underhill Internet Radio Top 100 Pop/Rock Albums (2003)

    Ranked list compiled by Underhill, CEO of 1Sound.com and a writer, musician, musicologist, and one of the founders of MP3.com.

  • Urb Magazine “The 50 Greatest Albums Ever” (7/03)

    Readers’ poll. Ranked list focused on rap and alternative rock, primarily in the 1990s.

  • USA Today Top 40 albums — the USA TODAY way by Edna Gundersen (12/5/03)

    A chronological listing of 40 great albums from 1954-2003 with one-sentence commentaries.

  • VH1’s 100 Greatest Albums of Rock & Roll (2002)

    A five-hour special that aired on VH1 from January 15-19. Does not appear to be posted at VH1 still.

  • VH1’s 100 Greatest Albums. Edited by Jacob Hoye. Pocket Books: New York, NY (2003)

    Commentary on the 100 albums presented in the VH1 special listed above.

  • VH1’s Ultimate Albums (2003)

    Television series launched 3/10/02 which ran through 8/3/03. 19 albums were featured.

  • Vibe 100 Essential Albums of the 20th Century, pp. 154-1964 (12/99)

    Unranked list. Chosen by Vibe staff. Commentary on each album. Also posted here at the DMDB.

  • Vice Versa 100 Rock Albums (1996)

    Italian magazine. Ranked list. Dead link.

  • VinylSurrender.com All Time Albums (year?)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Appears to be determined by user votes. No indication of when list was made.

  • Virgin All-Time Top 1000 Albums by Colin Larkin. London, England: Virgin Books (1998)

    An estimated 200,000 votes were figured into this list, compiled over five years. While UK based, there is a strong U.S. presence in the list.

  • Virgin Radio Great Albums You Really Should Own (2003)

    Top 50 list compiled from more than 3500 votes by Daryl Denham. Dead link.

  • Virgin Radio Top 25 Rock Albums All Time (12/27/03)

    Russ Williams’ Rebel Yell radio show. Top 25 list. Dead link.

  • Virgin Records’ Top 100 Albums to Give a Listen (9/3/00)

    Top 100 ranked list.

  • Voteworld.co.uk All Time Albums (year?)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Appears to be determined by user votes. No indication of when list was initiated, but is ongoing.

  • Greg Ward – see Rough Guide

  • WBER Radio New York 90.5 Top 100 Albums of All Time (1999)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Voted on by radio listeners.

  • WFPK Radio Louisville The Top 1000 of the Best Albums Ever (2000)

    Ranked list. No commentary. Voted on by radio listeners.

  • WFUV 90.7 FM New York City Best of the Century (2000)

    Public radio station from Fordham University. Ranked list. No commentary. Dead link.

  • Dave Whitaker Dave’s Top 100 Albums of All Time (6/16/11)

    My own personal ranked top 100. Collage of all 100 album covers. Click on a cover to go to a more detailed page for the album.

  • Wiener magazine The 100 Best Albums of the Century (12/99)

    Ranked list chosen by 16 critics from Germany and Austria.

  • The Wire. The Most Important Records Ever Made (6/92)

    The magazine describes their aim as follows: “To mark our milestone we've chosen the most significant records made in the 20th Century – in a chart which sets down all the finest most marvelous and most great moments on record as they happened.” Multiple writers. Mostly album list, but includes 14 songs.

  • Kurt Wolff – see Rough Guide

  • WXPN (University of Pennsylvania) 885 Albums All Time (2005)

    Ranked list. No commentary.

  • XTRA-FM San Diego, CA 91X Top 28 Albums of 1983-2005 (2005?)

    Ranked list. Fan compiled past 91X lists to see which albums garnered most appearances. No commentary or indication how initial lists were created, but it was likely voter-generated since it is a radio station. List actually includes 35 albums.

  • Yahoo! The Top 20 Albums of All Time (For Real) by Robert of the Radish (7/28/08)

    List based on equation which looked at staying power value + sales value + critical rating value + Grammy award value.

  • Yahoo! The 25 Best ‘Best of’ Albums by Rob O’Connor (5/7/08)

    List based on equation which looked at staying power value + sales value + critical rating value + Grammy award value.

  • Yediot Ahonot (newspaper) 99 Albums of All Time (1999)

    Ranked list as determined by 50 music critics and editors in Israel.

  • YourMusic.com 100 Great Albums: Music You Should Own (year?)

    Unranked list with no commentary. Appears to just be a marketing tool for site to sell CDs.

  • Zagat Survey Music Guide: 1,000 Top Albums of All Time. Coordinator: Pat Blashill. Music Editor: Holly George-Warren. Editors: Betsy Andrews and Randi Gollin. Zagat Survey, LLC: New York, NY. (2003)

    Unranked list. Albums determined by a survey of more than 10,000 people.

  • Zig Zag’s One Hundred Essential Rock Albums by Charles Gillett & Simon Frith. Published in Rock File 3 (?) by Panther. (1975)

    Unranked list.


LISTS (Albums – Best by Decade)

The 1960s

The 1970s

The 1980s

The 1990s

The 2000s


LISTS (Albums – Genres/Categories)

These are lists created by Dave’s Music Database and posted on the website, blog, or Facebook page. Generally the lists are created by aggregating multiple lists focused on the specific category and factoring in the albums’ status in the overall DMDB database as well.


SONG LISTS (Best of All-Time)

More than 120 best-of song lists.

  • About.com (2000?). 100 Pop Songs of All-Time

    Link broken. Unsure of list details, but covers songs from 1957-2000.

  • About.com (2007?). Top 40 Pop Songs. By Bill Lamb.

    Details unknown, but covers songs from 1939-2007.

  • Acclaimed Music (11/30/08). The All Time Top 3000 Songs.

    Henrik Franzon maintains this site which accumulates multiple best-of lists. This is his comprehensive best-of song list.

  • American Film Institute (AFI) (2004). 100 Years…100 Songs.

    This list focused on songs from English-language films. Started with a list of 400 nominated songs and then whittled down to 100.

  • Amusement & Music Operators Association in America (AMOA) (1989). American Top 40 Jukebox Singles

    Ranked list only. No commentary. Released to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the jukebox concept.

  • ASCAP – see lists under “Airplay” section for various lists.

  • ASCAP’s “All Time Hit Parade” (1964)

    As found in Don Tyler’s book Hit Parade 1920-1955. Only 16 songs.

  • BBC Radio 2 (2004). Sold on Song Top 100

    No details online about how this list was created. Brief commentary on songs.

  • BBC Radio 2 (1999). 100 Favourite Songs of the Century

    Paul Gambaccini invited listener and the music industry to submit choices and the results were broadcast on BBC2 over Easter weekend 1999.

  • BBC Radio 1 (12/98). Best Tracks Ever

    Voted on by the public. Broadcast on BBC Radio 1 over the Christmas period in 1998.

  • Billboard (9/2008). All-Time Hot 100

    In their own words: “the definitive list of the Hot 100’s top 100 songs from the chart’s first 50 years, August 1958 through July 2008.”

  • Billboard – also see Fred Bronson

  • Billboard (10/12/2010). Biggest #1 Pop Songs in U.S. Chart History.

    List especially created by Dave’s Music Database. Ranks songs from 1890 to 2010 based on most weeks at #1. From 1955, figures come from Billboard magazine. Figures from 1890-1954 come from Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories book, which was designed as a companion to his Top Pop Singles book which is based on official Billboard charts.

  • Blender (10/2005). The 500 Greatest Songs Since You Were Born

    Ranked list with focus on songs from 1980-2005.

  • BlogCritics.org (3/29/2004). Greatest Rock Songs by Eric Olsen

    Top ten list with brief commentary on each song. Seems to have been written for MSNBC, but that link only offers a list of the The Ten Best Rock Bands Ever.

  • Bogart, Jonathan – see Don’t Stay Up Too Late

  • Broadcast Data Systems (BDS)

    Used by Billboard magazine in tracking the weekly radio airplay of popular songs.

  • Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) “Top 100 Songs of the Century.” – see “Airplay”

  • Bronson, Fred (2007). Hottest Hot 100 Hits (4th edition). New York, NY; Billboard Books.

    Also included under “Charts” section, but listed here because of its top 3000 songs of all-time list.

  • Caccia, Bill (2001). The Best of the Millenium.

    Caccia posted a list of 500 songs to vote for, to name the song of the Millennium. Broken link.

  • Cash Box (10/6/08).The 100 Biggest Top 100 Hits.

    Covers the history of the Cash Box Top 100 pop singles chart from 9/13/58 to the magazine’s last issue on 11/16/96. Cash Box archivist Randy Price developed the point system for determining the chart’s biggest hits over its full history.

  • CBC Radio One (2004). Top 2000

    Canadian radio program hosted by Jian Ghomeshi. Listener votes and celebrity guest nominations determined the 50 most essential songs in pop music history. Ranked list; no commentary.

  • Cannuck, Cheap – see Associated Content

  • CFMI Vancouver (1984). 500

    Radio station countdown. Only top 40 listed.

  • CFOX (2008). Top 40 Ways to Rock

    Radio station countdown. Location of station unknown. Only top 40 listed.

  • Christgau, Robert (1980). A Basic Record Library: The Fifties and Sixties.

    Noted critic picks 25 albums from the ‘50s and 75 from the ‘60s as well as 25 noted singles from the ‘50s. Taken from his book Record Guide: Rock Albums of the ‘70s.

  • CISL AM 650 (2006). Big 500 Countdown

    Radio station countdown. Location of station and details of how list was created are unknown.

  • CJVI (1988). Top 900 as played on the Thanksgiving Weekend 1988

    Radio station countdown. Location of station unknown. Only top 40 listed.

  • Clark, Doug – see McFeedia.com

  • Creswell, Toby (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY.

    Definitely more personal list with lots of obscure titles instead of a lot of the traditional list makers. Most annoyingly, the songs are neither organized in any kind of rank order or chronological order. They don’t appear to be in any order at all.

  • Davenport, Lucas 12/1/2010). Best Songs of the Rock Era. FromJohnSanford.org

    Website is for a John Sanford novel Broken Prey. Origin of list is unclear, but it appears to be a list of favorite road trip songs of a character in the book. List is unranked and includes no commentary.

  • Digital Dream Door (8/4/09). 1000 Songs Every Rock Fan Should Know. Edited by Sampson, Maria S., and Matt F.

    Unranked list with links to hear songs. Website says criteria for selection was “initial and lasting popularity, influence on later artists and musicians, and musical impact/acclaim and chosen to offer the most comprehensive look at the sixty year evolution of rock ‘n’ roll music.”

  • Digital Dream Door (year?) 500 Greatest Popular Recordings of All Time

    Ranked list with links to hear songs. Don’t know how or when list came about.

  • DiscJockeys.com (6/09). Top 200 Songs

    Ranked list. No details about how it was compiled.

  • Don’t Stay Up Too Late 10 Astonishing Records from Before the Dawn of Time

    Ranked list with brief commentaries on each song.

  • Don’t Stay Up Too Late (fall 2009). 50 Records That Matter 1900-1919 by Jonathan Bogart.

    Ranked list with great commentary.

  • Don’t Stay Up Too Late (winter/spring 2008). 100 Great Records of the 1920s by Jonathan Bogart

    Ranked list with great commentary on songs.

  • Don’t Stay Up Too Late (autumn 2008). 100 Great 1930s Records for the New Depression by Jonathan Bogart

    Ranked list of 100 songs from the ‘30s with brief commentaries.

  • Don’t Stay Up Too Late (summer 2009). 100 Great American Recordings of the 1940s by Jonathan Bogart

    Well-written historical insight into the songs of the era. Unranked list.

  • Doo-Wop Jukebox Hall of Fame (year?). The Songs

    May be someone’s personal site. No details about when or how this Hall or list came about.

  • Enders, Eric (2005). 100 Greatest Songs of the Rock Era, 1954-present

    An individual list. Actually has 105 songs ranked. No commentary.

  • Evans, Peter, & Peter Lavender (1999). Great Songs of the 20th Century: 1900-1950.

    The music and lyrics for more than 80 songs. Arranged for piano, voice, and guitar.

  • EveryHit.com (2006). All-Time ‘Best Ever’ Singles

    An average of six lists from Virgin Radio, Q Magazine (2006), Radio 2 (2004), Guinness (2002), Radio 1 (1998), and Mojo magazine (1997).

  • Godek, Gregory J.P. (2001). The 100 Best Love Songs of the Century.

    Godek, author of 1001 Ways to Be Romantic, generated this list by evaluating 20 different factors into his rankings of 2500 songs initially.

  • Guinness World Records British Hit Singles - see Top of the Pops for All Time list compiled in 2000

  • Guinness World Records (2002, 15th edition). British Hit Singles

    This edition of the long-running series of books on the British charts includes a readers’ poll, generated by more than 31,000 votes, of the top 100 singles of all-time, in celebration of the UK charts’ 50th anniversary.

  • Gundersen, Edna – see VH1

  • Hall, Roger (2001). Top 100 Songs of the Century.

    Hall, a musicologist and radio producer, selected songs from 1861 to 1961 based on originality, importance, and popularity that were English, non-instrumental, and from a variety of genres including classical, folk, jazz, pop, theater, movie, country, and rock. Songs were listed chronologically based on when they were published. Also listed were the songs’ writers. Hall also has a list for the top 50 songs of 1759-1859.

  • Heatley, Michael, and Spencer Leigh (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. London, England: Blandford Books.

    This book tells the tales behind a hundred songs. The book unnecessarily divides songs into categories: Love Songs (since when is “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” a love song?), People and Places, Rock Classics, and Signs of the Times.

  • Herder, Ronald (collected and edited by) (1998). 500 Best-Loved Song Lyrics. Dover Publications, Inc: Mineola, NY.

    Book offers no insight or history of chosen songs, just the lyrics. However, it covers 1891-1970 which is a much wider date range than most lists.

  • Holmes, Peter – see The Sun-Herald

  • Honor Roll of Hits (2009). Page 1321 of Record Research’s Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). By Joel Whitburn. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc. (9/08).

    In the 12th edition of Top Pop Singles, songs making some significant best-of lists (such as Rolling Stone and the RIAA) were noted within the song listings. The Honor Roll of Hits gave these awards and lists points and offered a top 100 list of the songs with the most points.

  • Javna, John – see Bob Shannon

  • Jazz24.org (2/7/2011). The Jazz 100: One Hundred Quintessential Jazz Songs

    Voted on by listeners. Top 100 ranked list. No commentary.

  • Kelowna Sun FM (Labor Day 2008). Top 500

    Link only shows top 40. Radio station’s location and means of determining chart unknown.

  • King 689 (2/3/2009). The Best Songs of the Century

    No indication how songs are determined, but what was at least a four-part series was posted on YouTube with each video running 10-15 minutes and offering samples of songs. A fourth part which covered 1960-1979 has been removed. One would assume there was also a fifth part to cover 1979-1999. The link above appears to be an early version and includes the full playlist which seems to have been expanded later into the links below.

  • Kinkle, Roger D. (1974). The Complete Encyclopedia of Popular Music and Jazz, 1900-1950. New York: Arlington House.

    Includes list of the most recorded songs from 1900-1950 taken from Charles Hamm’s Yesterdays: Popular Song in America, page 487.

  • KXXO – see Mixx 96

  • The Larry Page (5/04). The 100 Greatest Singles of the Rock and Roll Era

    This is a personal ranked list with no commentary.

  • Lewens, Alan (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY. (2001)

    List of 100 of the most influential songs of the 20th century. Unlike most lists, this one is organized with a balance of songs covering each decade and the list is organized chronologically.

  • Life Magazine: Special Issue - 40 Years of Rock & Roll. (December 1, 1992; Volume 15, Number 13). Jason McManus (editor). New York, NY; Time Inc. Magazines.

    Source also sited in “General Resources” section, but listed here also because of more than 200 songs highlighted from 1952-1991.

  • Magic 108 FM (1987). Top Hits of All Time

    Seattle radio station countdown. Details of how list was created unknown. Only 40 listed.

  • Marsh, Dave (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library.

    Marsh looks at the history of rock and roll music and its close ties to soul music by compiling this list of 1001 of the greatest singles of the rock era. He contends that he focused on singles instead of albums because "no one goes around humming albums." Interesting historical note: this was the source that sparked DMDB creator Dave Whitaker’s love of best-of music lists.

  • MBG (2007?). Top 100 Hits, 1969-2007

    This site is devoted to a weekly chart of popular hits, but there is no indication of how the information is gathered. The particular link sited here also appears to be dead.

  • McAdam, D.J. (2009). 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time

    An individual ranked list. No commentary on individual songs, but reader comments are included at the end of the list.

  • McCormick, Neil – see Telegraph

  • McFeedia.com (2/25/08). Popular Music in the First Half of the 20th Century, by Doug Clark.

    Article which references multiple songs, but does not include any best-of list.

  • Media Traffic – Global Track Chart (12/18/2010). All Time Track Chart

    Chart based on United World Chart.

  • Mixx 96, Olympia, WA (KXXO) (2000?) Top 96 Soft Rock Songs of All Time

    No definite indication of how and when this list was created, but it appears to be a millennium countdown. It is one of the rarer lists, though, because of its focus on adult contemporary.


  • Mojo (12/10/2010). Top 100 Songs of All Time. Also on Facebook.

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the Mojo lists below.


  • MSNBC – see BlogCritics.org

  • MTV/Rolling Stone (12/7/00). Pop 100. New York, NY; Straight Arrow Publishing Company.

    Five Rolling Stone editors and a crew of MTV programmers, producers, and researchers developed this list of the best pop songs since the arrival of the Beatles in America. This list covers the years 1963-2000.

  • Music Imprint (date?). Top Songs of All Time

    Top 100 list. Unsure of date or method of creation.

  • National Endowment for the Arts (NEA)/RIAA (3/7/01). Top 365 Songs of the Century

    In conjunction with the RIAA, NEA released a list of the top 365 songs of the century. See “RIAA” for complete information.

  • National Public Radio (NPR) (1999). The Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century

    NPR staff, critics, and scholars generated an initial list of 300 works (see below) from which NPR listeners and a panel of musicians then voted for the final 100 from October 7-17, 1999.

  • National Public Radio (NPR) (1999). Master List of Top 300 Songs

    This list is confusingly identified as a song list, but includes albums as well. It was compiled by NPR staff along with music critics and scholars.


  • NME Magazine (12/14/2010). Top 100 Songs of All Time

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the NME lists below.


  • Observer (1/7/2001). The 100 Greatest Singles

    The Observer and Channel 4 conducted a survey of the 100 greatest singles. About 100,000 people in the UK took part in the survey.

  • OldiesMusic.com (2009). Labor Day 500

    List only. Determined by voters, but no details offered as to how that is done. List has been done on a nearly annual basis since 1997.

  • Olsen, Eric – see ASCAP

  • Oz Net (1/04). Top 1000 Australian Airplay Songs

    Ranked list. Only top 40 listed in above link.

  • PS ParlorSongs.com

    This site is “dedicated to the acquisition and rescue of the historical musical manuscripts that are part of the popular music scene in America.” Co-presidents Robert Maine and Richard A. Reublin have collected over 5000 pieces of sheet music, proclaiming their site to house the “largest private collection showcased on the web.” The music spans from 1865 to the 1950s, but the largest quantity are from the 1910s and ‘20s. The online magazine offers a wealth of information about particular songs, but there does not appear to be any way to search the site to find a particular song.

  • Pause & Play (year?). Vault of Fame – The Songs

    Unranked list of more than 500 songs which are said to “have been inducted into an ongoing Pause & Play time capsule.” No date or method for determining songs is explained. May just be someone’s personal list (Gerry Galipault is the founder of the site). Covers songs from 1952-2006.

  • Pop Music Hits – Top 100 – 1890-2006 (2006?).

    Based on a point system assigned to factors such as weeks at #1, peak positions, and weeks on the chart, this is a ranked list based on Joel Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954 and Top Pop Singles 1955-2006 books.


  • Q Magazine (12/13/10). Top 100 Songs of All Time. Also on Facebook.

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the Q lists below.


  • Radio 2 (2010). Top 2000

    Dutch radio program broadcast annually (since 1999) between Christmas and New Year’s. Countodown of the most popular songs of all time as determined by the show’s audience via internet voting. No commentary.

  • Radio Eins (1998). Millenium Music Mix: All Time Top 100 LPs and Singles

    All time top 100 albums and singles as voted on by music journalists from Berlin. Ranked lists. No commentary.

  • Radio Gold (year?). Top 20 Rock and Roll

    Greek-based site. Don’t know year this chart was created or methodology.

  • Rate Your Music (2010). Top Singles of All Time

    List goes to 5000 songs. Appears to be mostly based on users’ ratings of songs.

  • RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) (3/7/2001). Top 365 Songs of the Century

    In conjunction with the RIAA, NEA released a list of the top 365 songs of the century on March 7, 2001. The project is, as the NEA web site says, “a nationwide education initiative intended to promote a better understanding of America’s musical and cultural heritage in our schools.” Ballots were sent all across the country to local, state and federal elected officials, the music industry, teachers, members of the media and students. Songs were chosen from a list of over 1100 recordings.

  • Robinson, Red (1991). Top 16 Juke Box Favourites.

    Don’t know details of list’s origins. Counted down by Red Robinson.

  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (year?). 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

    This list has no comments about songs and no rankings (although there is now a downloadable app that offers more details). There’s also no indication when this list was released, although it covers 1923-1993. The site simply says: “Selected by the curatorial staff and a number of rock critics and historians, these 500 songs are some of rock and roll’s most popular and influential songs.”


  • Rolling Stone Magazine (12/14/10). Top 100 Songs of All Time

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the Rolling Stone lists below.

    • The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years. New York, NY; Straight Arrow Publishing Company. (9/8/88; issue 534) This special issue focuses on the best songs of the last quarter century (from 1963 to 1988), specifically those released as singles. The magazine asserts that the single is really the heart of rock and roll because of its brevity and commercial appeal to a mass market. Online link says list is from 7/89.

    • The Best Records of 5 Decades (8/97). Unranked list that breaks down best singles of each decade from the ‘50s to the ‘90s. Published in German version of Rolling Stone.

    • “Pop 100” (12/7/00) – see MTV

    • The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (12/04). Originally a magazine issue; posted online 12/9/04. Great focus on classic rock songs of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Silly to call it “greatest songs of all time” considering the oldest song on the list is from 1949.

    • Songs of the Decade (2000-2009) (?). No details of when and how list was created.

    • 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (4/10). This is a slightly updated version of the 2004 list, including some songs released since the last issue. Many of the rankings are the same or close to the ones from the previous list.


  • Shannon, Bob, and John Javna (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York, NY; Warner Books, Inc.

    This book doesn’t suggest that these are necessarily the biggest and most important songs in pop and rock, but simply offers up the interesting back stories to songs that in some cases were major hits and in other cases just made for good stories.

  • Sony Ericsson (9/29/05). World’s Favourite Songs Announced

    Link is for an XFM page reporting the above list. They only indicate the top 10 of 100 songs. Poll conducted by the makers of Sony Ericsson mobile phones to promote their new Walkman phone. Compiled votes from 700,000 fans.

  • Spin magazine (1989). 100 Greatest Singles of All Time

    Don’t know details about how list was compiled.

  • Spinner (6/25/10). The 77 Most Unforgettable Movie Songs

    No indication of when or how this list was compiled. Commentary on songs.

  • Studio Brussels (2008). Listeners’ Poll

    A rare international look at the top 100 songs of all time. Largely a mix of classic rock and alternative rock. Poll has been done annually since 1987.

  • The Sun-Herald (2/4/2003). The 100 Best Songs of All Time. By Peter Holmes.

    Holmes’ personal list of songs. Includes one-sentence commentaries on songs, if that.

  • Telegraph (3/12/09). 100 Greatest Songs of All Time. By Neil McCormick.

    UK-based online news. Web site explanation: “The Telegraph’s rock critic picks his 100 greatest songs of all time and links to all 100 on a Spotify playlist.” One-sentence blurb about each entry.

  • Telia.com (year?). The 500 Best Songs of the Millenium

    Poll by Stefan Kodrnja of 3766. No longer online.

  • Top Hits Online (2009). Top 100 Songs of All Time (THO 1993-2009)

    Online music chart. Best of the chart’s lifetime.

  • Top of the Pops (10/6/2000). All Time Top 40

    List was compiled for the Guinness Book of Hit Singles for BBC2’s Top of the Pops Plus. Ranking is not explained, but appears to be based on a point system which would reward songs for longevity on the charts. For example, Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”, which only peaked at #5, is ranked third on this list – thanks to a record 124 weeks on the singles chart.

  • Top Songs.Net (2000).

    This is a compilation of the 5000 top songs of the rock era, available for purchase on the internet in list format or as a database.

  • TSORT (3/31/2010). All Time Songs

    Ranking of songs based on compilation of 84 song charts. Top 1000 songs listed.

  • TuneMagic.net (2009). Vote Top 77

    Looks to be an annual countdown list associated with a radio station (WABC) and determined by listener votes.

  • The Ultimate Rock Encyclopedia (1993?). U.K. Top 100 Rock Singles 1955-1993. Edited by Michael Heatley.

    List created by song’s peak position on the U.K. charts, weeks in the top 10 and top 20. Reissues are added together.

  • USA Today – see “VH1 picks 100 greatest songs”

  • VH1 (12/13/10). Top 100 Songs of All Time

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the VH1 lists below.


  • Village Voice (4/7/11). The Top 100 Songs, 1974-2010

    In much the same fashion as the DMDB has done, music historian Steve Sullivan has compiled the Village Voice’s pop critics’ annual picks for best song into a consolidated list.

  • Vinyl Surrender (2010). All-Time Top 100

    Voter-based list. One can vote a song up or down in points. Consequently a very fluid list.


  • Virgin Radio (12/14/10). Top 100 Songs of All Time

    This exclusive Dave’s Music Database list is a consolidation of the Virgin Radio lists below.


  • WCBS New York (year?). All-Time Top 1001 Songs

    Ranked list from New York radio station. Unknown year or methodology for creation of chart.

  • WFIL Philadelphia (1984). Top 560 of All Time

    Ranked list from Philadelphia radio station. Voted on by radio listeners.

  • PM Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc.

    This book is referenced in the “Charts” section, but is included here because of three lists. The “Billboard DJ Poll 1953” (p. 639) and the “Bilboard 1956 Disc Jockey Poll: All-Time Favorite Records” (p. 638) were top 30 lists based on nationwide surveys of disc jockeys done by Billboard. The 1953 poll lists songs and writers, but not artists. The 1956 poll lists songs with recording artists. Another list, “The 100 Most-Recorded Songs 1890-1954” (pp. 632-3) looks at which songs have been recorded by the most artists.

  • Williams, Paul (1993). Rock and Roll: The 100 Best Singles. New York, NY; Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc.

    Paul assembles this list with the criteria that the songs must have been released as singles and have to truly qualify as rock and roll. He organizes the list chronologically instead of ranking the 100 songs.

  • The Wire (June 1992, issue 100). The Most Important Records Ever Made.

    The magazine describes their aim as follows: “To mark our milestone we've chosen the most significant records made in the 20th Century – in a chart which sets down all the finest most marvelous and most great moments on record as they happened.” Multiple writers. Mostly album list, but includes 14 songs.

  • WNBC New York (11/25/76). All Time Top 500

    Compiled from listener votes and local record sales. Link only shows top 100.

  • WTMD (2/7/07). 897 Greatest Songs of All Time Countdown

    Baltimore, Maryland radio station countdown.

  • Wurlitzer (year?) “Top 10 All-Time Jukebox Hit Singles” and “The 40 Greatest Jukebox Hits of All Time)”

    These are two lists totaling 50 songs. The first list is ranked and the second is not. There is no indication of how or when these lists were generated, but they cover songs from 1954-1987. No commentary on songs.

  • WXPN 88.5 FM Philadelphia (2009). Best 885 Songs of All Time

    Rradio station countdown compiled from listener votes.

  • XFM (9/1/2009). Top 100 Songs All Time

    List created by British radio XFM with Los Angeles’ KROQ and Australia’s Triple J.

  • XFM (10/14/2010). Top 1000 Songs All Time

    London-based radio station creates this top 1000 list of unranked songs. No commentary and unsure of how list came about. Might be voter generated.

  • XFM (11/10/2010). Top 100 Songs

    List created by Dave’s Music Database based on top 1000 list above. Since that list was unranked, the DMDB averaged just British-based lists together, weeded out songs not on the XFM list, and then ranked songs from the most points down.


SONG LISTS (Best of 2000-2009)


SONG RESOURCES

These are resources frequently cited in blog posts on songs. They cover multiple songs and may or may not be presented in ranked list format.

  • BB100 Billboard (9/08). “All-Time Hot 100”.

  • BR1 Bronson, Fred (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). New York, NY: Billboard Books.

  • CL Collins, Ace (1996). The Stories Behind Country Music’s All-Time Greatest 100 Songs. New York, NY; The Berkley Publishing Group.

  • CR Creswell, Toby (2005). 1001 Songs: The Great Songs of All Time. Thunder’s Mouth Press: New York, NY.

  • DS Don’t Stay Up Too Late (2011)

    A variety of top 100 lists organized mostly by decade. Use the search engine to find specific songs.

  • HL Heatley, Michael, and Spencer Leigh. (1998). Behind the Song: The Stories of 100 Great Pop & Rock Classics. London, England: Blandford Books.

  • JA Jasen, David A. Jasen (2002). A Century of American Popular Music: 2000 Best-Loved and Rememberd Songs (1899-1999). Routledge: Taylor & Francis, Inc.

    Songs are listed by title with writers listed next. A brief blurb about the song may contain information about hit versions of the song, its chart run, or how many copies it sold.

  • KL Kutner, Jon, and Spencer Leigh (2005). 1000 UK Number One Hits: The Stories Behind Every Number One Single Since 1952. London, Great Britain: Omnibus Press.

  • LW Lewens, Alan (2001). Popular Song – Soundtrack of the Century. Billboard Books: New York, NY.

  • MA Marsh, Dave (1989). The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. New York, NY; New American Library.

  • Mattfeld, Julius (1971). Variety Music Cavalcade. Prentice-Hall, Inc: Englewood Cliffs, N.J.

  • MM Morath, Max (2002). The NPR Curious Listener’s Guide to Popular Standards. New York, NY; Penguin Putnam Inc.

    Chapter 6 offers up a list of song standards with a few paragraphs about each.

  • NPR National Public Radio (1999). “The Most Important American Musical Works of the 20th Century”.

  • NPR’09 NPR.org (11/9-20/09) The Decade in Music: ‘00s

  • NRR National Recording Registry.

    Also listed in awards section. Sound recordings, including albums and songs, named by Library of Congress as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” Recordings must be at least ten years old. Nominations came from members of the public and the National Recording Preservation Board.

  • RA Raph, Theodore (1964). The Songs We Sang: A Treasury of American Popular Music. A.S. Barnes and Co., Inc.: New York.

  • RCG RimChiGuy.com The Old Songs (1900-1929)

  • RSP Rolling Stone. (September 8, 1988; Issue 534)."The 100 Best Singles of the Last 25 Years." New York, NY; Straight Arrow Publishing Company.

  • SJ Shannon, Bob, and John Javna (1986). Behind the Hits: Inside Stories of Classic Pop and Rock and Roll. New York, NY; Warner Brothers, Inc.

  • SB Songbook1.wordpress.com

    Excellent website for getting into back stories on songs.

  • SF Songfacts.com

    Link is for the home page. Use search bar to find specific song title.

  • SS Sullivan, Steve (2013). Encyclopedia of Great Popular Song Recordings (Volumes I & II). Scarecrow Press: Lanham, Maryland.

    Detailed commentaries and histories on more than 1000 songs from Steve Sullivan, who the DMDB considers the premiere authority on music from the pre-rock era. Grouped in ten “playlists.”

  • TB Thunder Bay Press (2006). Singles: Six Decades of Hot Hits & Classic Cuts. Outline Press Ltd.: San Diego, CA.

    Commentary on over 800 songs from 1954-2006.

  • TY Tyler, Don (1985). Hit Parade 1920-1955. William Morrow & Company, Inc.: New York, NY.

    A couple paragraphs each on roughly 1000 songs. Divided into eras: the jazz age, the depression years, the swing era, and the sing era. Includes some biographical sketches for some significant musicians of the era.

  • WHC Whitburn, Joel (1999). A Century of Pop Music. Record Research, Inc.: Menomonee Falls, WI.

    Annual ranking of songs (1900-1999) based on peak performance on the Billboard charts.

  • PM Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc.

    This book is referenced in the “Charts” section, but is included here as well because it is frequently referenced in blog posts for songs from the pre-rock era.

  • HT Whitburn, Joel (2009). Top Pop Singles 1955-2008 (12th edition). Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc.

  • WK Wikipedia.org

    Link is for the home page. Use search bar to find specific song title.


MAGAZINES

These are mostly websites for popular music magazines that focus on rock & pop music.


ONLINE RADIO


SALES

  • 300 Best Selling Albums (Worldwide). Posted by bboy87. (4/13/2009)

    This list is identified as a Billboard list, but offers no references. Such a list would be completely out of character for the magazine since there is no official tracking system for worldwide albums sales, thus it is highly unlikely Billboardwould publish such a list. However, despite the absence of any sources, this list syncs up enough with other worldwide estimates to give it some validity.

  • Best-Selling Albums, All-Time (11/15/10)

    List created by Dave’s Music Database. Consolidates various sources for estimated sales to create this list.

  • Best-Selling Songs, All-Time (10/6/10)

    List created by Dave’s Music Database. Consolidates various sources for estimated sales to create this list.

  • Bigfooty.com Highest Selling Artists Worldwide (Album Sales Only) (1/31/09)

    List reportedly from www.chartsinfrance.net, but doesn’t link to a specific page. Statistics tend to jive with other sources, though.

  • BPI

    British music industry certifications

  • ClassicBands.com

    This page offers a top 10 list of the best-selling songs of all time (as of Nov. 2003), a list of albums officially certified by RIAA as selling 9 million or more (as of July 2009), the top 10 artists in U.S. album sales (no date cited), and number of albums by 87 artists which were certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum (Nov. 2003).

  • Edward Foote Gardner. Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century: Volume I – Chart Detail & Encyclopedia 1900-1949 St. Paul, MN: Paragon House (2000)

    This resource, also listed in the “Charts” section, is also included here because this and Whitburn’s Pop Memories 1890-1954, noted below, are the most dominant sources for sheet music sales figures. Throughout the book, songs which sold at least 1 million in sheet music are noted.

  • Guardian.co.uk UK’s million-selling singles: the full list (4 November 2012)

    List of the 123 songs to achieve one million sales in the UK.

  • International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI)

    European music industry certifications.

  • LivingEars.blogspot.com Top 50 Digital Singles of All Time (7/27/09)

    This list, which obviously focuses on the 2000-2009 decade, offers an insight into more recent sales. It has been posted many times, but without indication of the original source.

  • Joseph Murrells. (1978). The Book of Golden Discs. London, Great Britain: Barrie & Jenkins (1978)

    Organized by year first and then alphabetically by artist. Songs and albums to reach 1 million in sales get commentary. Lots of good information in the appendices. The fact that the book is more than thirty years old is a downfall, but it does offer a good look at successful singles prior to official certifications by agencies such as the RIAA.

  • NME The 50 Best-Selling Albums Ever (10/21/10)

  • PhilBrodieBand.com Top Selling Singles of All Time (date?)

    List of all-time best-selling songs (8 million+) globally. No indication of source or year of list. Elton John’s “Candle in the Wind” is the top seller with 37 million sold. Also includes 2005 list of UK’s “All-Time Best Selling Singles,” which is more detailed at UKcharts.20m.com.

  • Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

    USA music industry certifications for albums and songs. First established in 1958, recognizing songs selling more than a million copies. Have since recognized songs and albums selling a half million or more. Link is for the database. Also, see RIAA under “Lists” for information about the 365 Songs of the Century as determined by the RIAA with the NEA.

  • RIAA Artists of the Century (2000)

    Top 50 list of artists with most album sales.

  • Top10Ranks.com Top 10 Best Selling Artists in the World (12/5/10)

    Article is actually mislabeled as “Top 10 Best Selling Albums in the World.”

  • tsort.info Which albums had the highest number of worldwide sales? (3/31/10)

    This list of the the top 300+ worldwide sellers combines actual certifications from the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany to offer minimal worldwide sales figures. Most important, however, is the calculation of probable worldwide sales.

  • UKcharts.20m.com The UK’s Best Selling Singles (date?)

    List of the top 100 selling singles in the U.K. with commentary on the top 10 by Theo Morgan-Gan. Includes sales figures from The Official Chart Company.

  • UKmix.org All-Time Best Selling Singles Worldwide (date?)

    Appears to be an older version of the same list posted at PhilBrodieBand.com. However, this one lists 24 songs topping 4 million in sales. “Candle in the Wind” tops the list with 26 million +. Appears to be a blog post with no original reference or date cited. Also includes a 2003 list of 100+ songs selling more than 5 million.

  • PM Whitburn, Joel (1986). Pop Memories 1890-1954. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research, Inc.

    This resource, also listed in the “Charts” section, is listed here as well because this and Gardner’s Popular Songs of the Twentieth Century, Volume 1, noted above, are the most dominant sources for sheet music sales figures. A list on page 634 offers up the sheet music from 1890-1954 that sold in execess of 3 million. Throughout the book, songs are noted which sold at least 1 million.

  • Wikipedia List of Best-Selling Music Artists (12/15/11)

    This is a list of the world’s best-selling music artists who have claims of at least 50 million in the sales of albums and singles. It shows both certified sales and claimed sales.

  • Wikipedia List of Best-Selling Singles in the United States (7/8/10)

    List of all songs in the U.S. to have been certified for sales of more than 2 million.

  • Wikipedia List of Best-Selling Singles Worldwide (5/30/12)

    While there is no official tracking company to record global sales, data from multiple sources can be compiled to get a good idea of the all-time best-selling songs in the world. This lists all songs to have reportedly gained 5 million + in sales. Each song is referenced with an additional footnote for the source.

  • Wikipedia List of Best-Selling Singles by Year (UK) (12/24/10)

    List of all songs in the U.K. which have sold over a million.

  • Wikipedia List of Million-Selling Singles in the United Kingdom (12/24/10)

    Lists top selling song of each year from 1952-2010. Often includes sales figures.

  • Yahoo.com Singles That Have Sold Over 10 Million Copies by Robert the Radish (5/12/08)

    Unfortunately, there are no references to confirm any of these, but some of the 21 songs on this list have been verified by other sources, including “White Christmas” selling at the 50 million mark and “Candle in the Wind 1997” at 37 million.


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