In the new top 500 songs of all time Aretha Franklin, Sam Cooke and Public Enemy ousted Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones and John Lennon. The bible of rock updated its historic hit parade for the first time in 17 years and did so in the name of inclusion. The new list was created with the help of 250 musicians, journalists and producers who considered over four thousand songs. Among the 500 chosen, 254, that is more than half, had not been listed in the 2004 edition which had seen the future Nobel Prize for Literature, the former Beatle and the band of Mick Jagger in the first three places: all white musicians.
The original list was dominated by rock and soul, now they have entered the top 500 as diverse as hip hop, Latin pop, country, rap, indie rock and reggae. “A lot has changed since 2004,” says Rolling Stone: “Back then the iPod was relatively new and Billy Eilish was three years old. So it felt right to brush up on the list. The result is a broader and more inclusive vision of pop, a music that continues to rewrite its history with every note ». The original troika consisted of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” by the Stones and “Imagine” by Lennon. Now it is “Respect” that leads the way, followed by Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power”, written at the time of the 1989 Spike Lee film “Do the Right Thing”, and “A Change Is Going to Come” by Sam Cooke. which sent, the latter, the pacifist song of Yoko Ono’s husband at 19th place in the standings. Dylan’s song remains in fourth place followed by Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. “Satisfaction” was relegated to 31st place. Seventeen years ago, the 1967 version of “Respect” played by the great Aretha came fifth.
Other inclusions have caused surprise: “Strawberry Fields Forever” by the Beatles makes its debut in seventh place and for the first time there is, two positions lower, “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac, perhaps pushed into the top 500 by the new popularity powered by a viral video of Nathan Apodaca skateboarding on Tik Tok. On the other hand, songs that had entered the latest top ten vanished without a trace: among them “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys, “Hey Jude” by the Beatles and “What’d I Say” by Ray Charles.