Special Report

The 100 Absolute Best Songs in History

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

70. Whole Lotta Love
> Artist: Led Zeppelin
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: Nov. 22, 1969
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 15
> Listen here

Few albums have a more powerful opening than “Led Zeppelin II” with “Whole Lotta Love.” The combination of Jimmy Page’s guitar work — the main riff was voted “greatest guitar riff of all time” by BBC Radio 2 listeners — and Robert Plants’ vocals (delivering lyrics famously borrowed from bluesman Willie Dixon) make this a hard rock mainstay.

Source: Samir Hussein / Getty Images

69. Spill the Wine
> Artist: Eric Burdon And War
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: May 23, 1970
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 21
> Listen here

“Spill the Wine” is the product of former Animals lead singer Eric Burdon and the funk group War. The funky Latin-sounding song is widely believed to be influenced by the hallucinogenic drugs that band members used. According to the group, the song is a celebration of women. The song peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August of 1970.

Source: Getty Images / Getty Images

68. Nothing Compares 2 U
> Artist: Sinéad O’Connor
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: March 17, 1990
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 21
> Listen here

Sinéad O’Connor scored her lone No. 1 hit with “Nothing Compares 2 U” in 1990. The song was written and originally performed by Prince, although he failed to release a recording prior to O’Connor’s version. The Irish singer was nominated for three Grammy Awards for the song, including Record of the Year.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

67. 96 Tears
> Artist: ? & The Mysterians
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: Sept. 3, 1966
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 15
> Listen here

? & The Mysterians was a garage band made up of musicians of Mexican descent. Their song “96 Tears” first became a regional hit but soared to No. 1 In October of 1966 after it got a national distributor. The quirky group, who took their name from a Japanese sci-fi film, included offbeat frontman Question Mark, who wore wraparound sunglasses and claimed he was born on Mars and had lived among the dinosaurs in a previous life.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

66. Crying
> Artist: Roy Orbison
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: Aug. 14, 1961
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 16
> Listen here

Described as the “greatest singer in the world” by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison displayed his ample talents with “Crying.” The song peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 in 1961. In 1988, Orbison won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for a version of the song he performed alongside k.d. lang.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

65. Mr. Tambourine Man
> Artist: The Byrds
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: May 15, 1965
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 13
> Listen here

The California folk-rockers had their first No. 1 with “Mr. Tambourine Man” that was penned and originally recorded by Bob Dylan. This song changed rock history by ushering in the folk-rock genre. Once Dylan heard the Byrds’ twangy version of his song, it persuaded him to go electric. One cover of “Mr. Tambourine Man” worth a listen is William Shatner’s curious interpretation of the song.

Source: David Redfern / Getty Images

64. War
> Artist: Edwin Starr
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: July 11, 1970
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 15
> Listen here

Edwin Starr scored his sole No. 1 hit on the Hot 100 with “War,” which spent three weeks at the top. The anti-war anthem was originally recorded by The Temptations, but it was Starr’s delivery that earned it a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Bruce Springsteen would also later cover the song.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

63. The Wanderer
> Artist: Dion
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: Dec. 4, 1961
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 18
> Listen here

Bronx, New York-born Dion DiMucci, known mononymously as Dion, had a string of hits in the early 1960s as a solo artist and with his group Dion and the Belmonts, fusing doo-wop, rock and R&B. “The Wanderer” was Dion’s second biggest hit, peaking at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, after his No. 1 “Runaround Sue.”

Source: Scott Gries / Getty Images

62. Seven Nation Army
> Artist: The White Stripes
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: May 24, 2003
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 20
> Listen here

The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” is proof that there is still room for unbearably catchy rock riffs in the new millennium. The song has become a standard at sporting events and has been covered by artists ranging from Kelly Clarkson to Metallica.

Source: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

61. Piece of My Heart
> Artist: Big Brother and the Holding Company
> Billboard Hot 100 entry date: Aug. 31, 1968
> Total weeks on Billboard Hot 100: 12
> Listen here

Featuring the mercurial blues/rocker Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company’s “Piece of My Heart” was the San Francisco-based group’s biggest hit — it climbed to No. 12 in November of 1968. Erma Franklin, Aretha’s sister, sang the original, which reached No. 62 in 1967.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.