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:

1 Honky Tonk Women 1969
2 Paint It, Black 1966
3 Angie 1973
4 Start Me Up 1981
5 Brown Sugar 1971
6 Ruby Tuesday 1967
7 As Tears Go By 1965
8 You Can’t Always Get What You Want 1969
9 Under My Thumb 1966
10 Sympathy for the Devil 1968
11 Street Fighting Man 1968
12 (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction 1965
13 Time Is On My Side 1964
14 19th Nervous Breakdown 1966
15 Get Off of My Cloud 1965
16 Wild Horses 1971
17 Gimmie Shelter 1970
18 Ain’t Too Proud To Beg 1974
19 It’s All Over Now 1964
20 Beast Of Burden 1978
21 It’s Only Rock ‘N’ Roll 1974
22 Jumpin’ Jack Flash 1968
23 Mother’s Little Helper 1966
24 Waiting On A Friend 1981
25 Midnight Rambler 1970
26 Can’t You Hear Me Knocking 1971
27 She’s So Cold 1980
28 Miss You 1978
29 Tumbling Dice 1972
30 Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo (Heartbreaker) 1973
31 Fool To Cry 1976
32 Shattered 1978
33 Almost Hear You Sigh 1989
34 Let’s Spend the Night Together 1967
35 Emotional Rescue 1980

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