Spotify Re-Ranks Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time

Based on play counts, Beyonce tops this chart too

In 2004, Rolling Stone created a list of the 500 greatest songs of all time – as judged by 171 artists, producers, music execs and journalists. The coveted spot on the Rolling Stone list was reserved for Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”. They revised it in 2011, adding 25 new songs, but Dylan was still numero uno. Power couple Beyonce and Jay-Z became the second highest new addition that year, with “Crazy In Love” charting at 118.

When the Rolling Stone list was edited in 2011, Jay-Z wrote an intro, talking about what he thinks makes a track a classic:

“A great song has all the key elements — melody; emotion; a strong statement that becomes part of the lexicon; and great production. Think of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ by Queen. That song had everything — different melodies, opera, R&B, rock — and it explored all of those different genres in an authentic way, where it felt natural.”

To re-explore this idea, Spotify has now re-ordered the Rolling Stone list, giving Beyonce and Jay-Z’s “Crazy in Love” the #1 spot. Once again, she’s Queen Bey. Spotify used Insights that helped the streaming site total up the play count for every track to, ultimately, give the royal couple of music their crowns back. Shocking.

Spotify created two playlists with their final results: one counts all the plays from all the Spotify users, while the second counts solely the users from ages 18 – 34. Check out the (similar) playlists, which feature Coldplay, Nirvana, The Clash, The White Stripes, MGMT and, obviously, “Bohemian Rhapsody” below as well as the original Rolling Stone top 10:

Rolling Stone’s Top Ten
10. Ray Charles – “What I’d Say”
9. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
8. The Beatles – “Hey Jude”
7. Chuck Berry – “Johnny B. Goode”
6. The Beach Boys – “Good Vibrations”
5. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”
4. Marvin Gaye – “What’s Going On”
3. John Lennon – “Imagine”
2. The Rolling Stones – “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”
1. Bob Dylan – “Like A Rolling Stone”

Spotify’s Top 200: All users

Spotify’s Top 200: Users 18 – 34