Rolling Stone wakes up and places Bob Dylan and John Lennon in Aretha’s top 500 songs


Rolling stone updated its list of the top 500 songs for the first time in 17 years, with a significantly more diverse picture that sees Aretha Franklin oust Bob Dylan from the top spot.

The most significant changes are seen in the coveted top three positions, which went to three famous black singers: Aretha Franklin, Public Enemy and Sam Cooke, respectively.

The latest Rolling Stone chart, released in 2004, was dominated by three white artists – Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and John Lennon.

The famous music publication wrote that its original roster was “dominated by early rock and soul,” while the new one encompasses a wider genre palette that includes hip-hop, Latin pop, rap, country. , indie rock and reggae.

An introduction to the list notes that “a lot has changed since 2004; at the time, the iPod was relatively new and Billie Eilish was three years old. We have therefore decided to completely relaunch the list. . . The result is a broader and more inclusive vision of pop, music that keeps rewriting its history with every beat. ‘

2021: the

NUMBER ONE – 2004 AND 2021: Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” came in at number one – moving up four places – knocking down Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” which went from first to fourth

2004: (Can't Get Satisfied) Rolling Stones

2021: “Fighting the power” of Public Enemy

NUMBER TWO – 2004 and 2021: Public Enemy’s militant anthem “Fight the Power” debuted on the list at number two and ousted the Rolling Stones hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” which dropped sharply to 31


2021: “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke

NUMBER THREE – 2004 and 2021: Soul musician Sam Cooke went from number 12 to number three with “A Change is Gonna Come”, moving John Lennon’s “Imagine” to 19

The updated list was created with input from players in the music industry as Rolling Stone asked 250 musicians, journalists and producers to vote for their 50 best songs of all time. Over 4,000 songs received in a list vote and the full list includes 254 songs that were not featured in 2004.

Artists interviewed included classic pop icons like Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox, modern hitmakers like Sam Smith and Megan Thee Stallion, rock legends like Don Henley of The Eagle and Tainy Corey Taylor of Slipknot as well as the darlings. by rising indie Lucy Dacus and Tash Sultana.

Aretha Franklin’s ‘Respect’ came in at number one – moving up four places – as opposed to Bob Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’, which moved from first to fourth. Public Enemy’s civil rights activist anthem “Fight the Power” debuted on the roster at number two and ousted the Rolling Stones hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” which dropped to 31.

2004: “What's Happening” by Marvin Gaye

2021: “Like a Rolling Stone” by Bob Dylan

NUMBER FOUR – 2004 and 2021: Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” rose from coveted first place position to fourth on the list

2004: The


NUMBER FIVE – 2004 and 2021: Nirvana’s grunge hit “Smells Like Teen Spirit” won four spots and filled the “Respect” box held in 2004

2004: The


NUMBER SIX – 2004 and 2021: Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” was struck off the list entirely and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” dropped two spots to six

Soul musician Sam Cooke went from number 12 to number three with “A Change is Gonna Come”, dropping John Lennon’s “Imagine” to 19. And after “Like a Rolling Stone” is Nirvana’s grunge hit “Smells Like” Teen Spirit “, which moved up to four spots and filled the” Respect “slot held in 2004.

The top ten also includes five songs that weren’t even on the list in 2004, including “Fight the Power” at number two, “Strawberry Fields Forever” by The Beatles at number seven, “Get Ur Freak On” by Missy Elliot, Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and “Hey Ya!” From Outkast, who was only one year old when the list was created in 2004.

Some of the top ten songs were taken off the 2021 roster altogether, including The Beach Boys ‘”Good Vibrations,” which was at six in 2004, the Beatles’ “Hey Jude”, which had already placed eighth, and Ray Charles. “What did I say,” which was tenth in the original list.

And a number of songs on the list weren’t even released in 2004 and the top 50 includes a number of notable songs from the past decade like “Alright” by Kendrick Lamar, “Royals” by Lorde and Kanye West and Pusha T. Flee. ‘

2004 :


NUMBER SEVEN – 2004 and 2021: The Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” debuted on the list at age seven, while Chuck Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” fell to 33 in 2021



NUMBER EIGHT – 2004 and 2021: The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” was taken off the list in 2021 and her number eight position went to Missy Elliot’s “Get Ur Freak On”


2021: Fleetwood Mac's

NUMBER NEW – 2004 and 2021: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ debuted on the list at age nine


2021: “Hey Ya!  »From Outkast

NUMBER TEN – 2004 and 2021: Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say” was completely ousted from the list and Outkast took tenth place with “Hey Ya”, which was released the year before the 2004 release.

Rolling Stone’s reboot of his best songs list, which he cites as one of his most read stories of all time, comes as the arts and entertainment industry faces calls to diversify. and to better represent artists from minorities.

Such changes were catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd in 2020 and the Black Lives Matter protests that followed.

That, coupled with COVID putting many forms of entertainment on hiatus, has seen activist groups working with arts bosses to come up with new plans they have deemed fairer.

Last month, a number of Broadway’s most renowned names signed a pact pledging to roll out diversity initiatives in the theater industry, reported the New York Times. The pledge includes a pledge to ban all-white creative teams, hire “racially-sensitive coaches” for certain shows, rename theaters for black performers and establish diversity rules for the Tony Awards.

The document, dubbed “A New Deal for Broadway,” was started by Black Theater United, an activist organization formed last year following the police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

Rolling Stone’s 500 Best Songs of All Time in 2004 vs 2021


1. Bob Dylan – “Like a rolling stone”

2. The Rolling Stones – “(I can’t get satisfaction)”

3. John Lennon – ‘Imagine

4. Marvin Gaye – “What’s going on? “

5. Aretha Franklin – “Respect”

6. The Beach Boys – “Good vibes”

7. Chuck Berry – ‘Johnny B. Goode’

8. The Beatles – ‘Hey Jude’

9. Nirvana – ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’

10. Ray Charles – “What am I saying? “


1. Aretha Franklin – ‘Respect’ (+4)

2. Public Enemy – ‘Fight the Power’ (first time on the list)

3. Sam Cooke – “A change will happen” (+9)

4. Bob Dylan – “Like a rolling stone” (-3)

5. Nirvana – “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (+4)

6. Marvin Gaye – “What’s going on” (-2)

7. The Beatles – ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ (first time on the list)

8. Missy Elliott – ‘Get Ur Freak On’ (first time on the list)

9. Fleetwood Mac – “Dreams” (first time on the list)

10. Outkast – ‘Hey Ya’ (first time on the list)


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