Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs of All Time According to Spotify Plays


Rolling Stone put together a list of the Greatest 500 Songs of All Time in 2004, according to a panel of artists, producers, industry execs, and journalists, then updated it in 2010, after having done the same with albums. These songs have stood the test of time so far, and will presumably continue to do so, for they have been called the greatest “of all time” by hundreds of people who live and breathe music.

Let’s give Rolling Stone’s greatest songs list another update, by seeing how these legendary songs are faring with today’s audiences. First, Spotify Insights counted up how many plays these songs are getting from all users, essentially re-ranking Rolling Stone’s list by Spotify listening. Then, we ranked the songs’ plays by millennials (18-34) specifically, to find out how they feel about these classics.

Here’s what we found (see also: Rolling Stone’s article):

Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs According to Spotify Plays

These playlists are ranked, so the top song is the most popular. The top “greatest” song on Spotify is the party-starting, dancefloor-filling hit ”Crazy In Love,” from Beyoncé  and Jay Z:


Rolling Stone’s Greatest Songs According to Millennials

Here’s how Rolling Stone’s greatest songs of all time stacked up with today’s millennials, whose top song is also “Crazy In Love,” but who have R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” at number 2 instead of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”:


Bonus Playlist: How Millennials Differ

We couldn’t wondering how else the above playlists differed, so we made another ranked playlist showing how millennials’ taste in this music differs from everyone else’s (the songs at the top saw the biggest leaps in listening by millennials):