My 30 Favorite Songs by The Rolling Stones


While reviewing all music, year by year, I was curious about certain groups and artists and how I feel about their music today. I decided to rank the songs of some of the greats and after kicking things off with the Beatles, Zeppelin,  and Nirvana, I have decided to do The Rolling Stones next. The band with the most longevity.

Fifteen songs on this list were from the 1960s, another 12 from the 1970s before things petered out with just two from the 1980s (both from 1981). So, from my opinion only (and I wasn’t even alive yet during their peak), the ‘real’ Stones churned out great music between 1964 and 1981.

From my own yearly classifications, nine of The Rolling Stones’ songs ranked as “awesome” (that’s more than I had for the Beatles, at eight) with an additional eight garnering the “great” moniker. That’s 17 songs at “great” or “awesome”. In all, The Stones ended up with 35 songs on my year-by-year lists.

In putting this together, I decided to do away with the classifications and give my own hard ranking. With the understanding that, depending on mood, any of these songs can slide up or down 10 spots pretty easily. I had a real hard time with the “this one” or “that one” questions in a lot of cases below. And I know that a year from now a few of these songs would slide up or down a few spots. Hell, a week from now that would probably happen. Mood really impacts enjoyment of songs.

And of course, I shouldn’t have to explain that the 30th song ranked here is not their worst song – remember they have hundreds of songs recorded, so the 30th song actually tops hundreds of others.

The four songs that made my year-by-year list but did not crack the Top 30 are: Shattered (1978), Almost Hear You Sigh (1989), Let’s Spend the Night Together (1967) and Emotional Rescue (1980).

Bonus – upped the list to 31, thanks to a newfound appreciation for Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

31. Fool To Cry (1976)

30. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) (1973)

29. Tumbling Dice (1972)

28. Miss You (1978)

27. She’s So Cold (1980)

26. Can’t You Hear Me Knocking

25. Midnight Rambler (1970)

24. Waiting On A Friend (1981)

23. Mother’s Little Helper (1966)

22. Jumpin’ Jack Flash (1968)

21. It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll (1974)

20. Beast Of Burden (1978)

19. It’s All Over Now (1964)

18. Ain’t Too Proud To Beg (1974)

17. Gimme Shelter (1970)

16. Wild Horses (1971)

15. Get off Of My Cloud (1965)

14. 19th Nervous Breakdown (1966)

13. Time Is On My Side (1964)

12. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (1965)

11. Street Fighting Man (1968)

10. Sympathy For The Devil (1968)

9. Under My Thumb (1966)

8. You Can’t Always Get What You Want (1969)

7. As Tears Go By (1965)

6. Ruby Tuesday (1967)

5. Brown Sugar (1971)

4. Start Me Up (1981)

3. Angie (1973)

2. Paint It, Black (1966)

1. Honky Tonk Woman (1969)

Listen to my playlist of my favorite Rolling Stones songs on YouTube here

Here is the full Top 35 list:

1Honky Tonk Women1969
2Paint It, Black1966
4Start Me Up1981
5Brown Sugar1971
6Ruby Tuesday1967
7As Tears Go By1965
8You Can’t Always Get What You Want1969
9Under My Thumb1966
10Sympathy for the Devil1968
11Street Fighting Man1968
12(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction1965
13Time Is On My Side1964
1419th Nervous Breakdown1966
15Get Off of My Cloud1965
16Wild Horses1971
17Gimmie Shelter1970
18Ain’t Too Proud To Beg1974
19It’s All Over Now1964
20Beast Of Burden1978
21It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll1974
22Jumpin’ Jack Flash1968
23Mother’s Little Helper1966
24Waiting On A Friend1981
25Midnight Rambler1970
26Can’t You Hear Me Knocking1971
27She’s So Cold1980
28Miss You1978
29Tumbling Dice1972
30Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker)1973
31Fool To Cry1976
33Almost Hear You Sigh1989
34Let’s Spend the Night Together1967
35Emotional Rescue1980

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