33 Songs That You Simply Must Hear (From The 20th Century) – PART 2

The music industry has suffered some fatal wounds in the last decade, with the likes of Nicki Minaj, Justin Bieber, Miley cyrus and One direction proving that most popular music nowadays sucks. They over-produce so many intolerable abominations that it makes one completely lose faith in humanity with the impending question of how? How people could possibly adore someone like that? But let me change that thought with 11 more outstanding songs.

Jim Croce – Time In A Bottle (Year – 1972 Genre – Folk)

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This ‘Latin style’ song is different from Croce’s others. The American folk singer who died tragically from a plane crash in 1973 (aged 30) wrote the lyrics after his wife Ingrid told him she was pregnant with their son, Adrian in December 1970. The song was not originally meant to be released as a single but after his shocking death the time was perfect as the song swells on the idea of needing more time to actually live one’s life, so it’s time of release added more resonance and significance. The song really highlights how good a voice Croce had, it became his second and final No. 1 hit and after the single had finished its two-week run at the top in early January 1974, the album You Don’t Mess Around with Jim became No. 1 for five weeks.

Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (Year – 1971 Genre – Rock)

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In my opinion Stairway to Heaven is the BEST SONG EVER MADE. I could do a whole article on why, but I will leave it to you, have a listen. This song is bound to give you a transformative experience of staggering magnitude like no other. Apparently if you play the vinyl in reverse you can hear satanic messages.

Pink Floyd – Comfortably Numb (Year – 1979 Genre – Rock)

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There are so many reasons why Pink Floyd are a remarkable band, they are so original and really focused on having profound lyrics and real meaning behind their songs and albums. On their album ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ they focused on the problems in the world and echoed them with songs such as ‘Money’ and ‘Time’. Their Musical composition was excellent, ‘Comfortably Numb’ really is a fantastic song, a perfect example of a well-made Pink Floyd track. I would strongly recommend taking a look at this revolutionary band.

Frank Sinatra – My Way (Year – 1969 Genre – Jazz)
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In my opinion this has to be the best Frank Sinatra song, it’s a sad but great farewell, and a beautiful, detailed summary of his own life. He reflects on his own career, the highs and the lows and describes how he fought through all the toils and strifes and did so in his own manner. This definitely has to be one of my favourite songs of all time, truly, it really is a piece of art. This would, hands down, be one of the songs I would listen to in my last days on this earth, it is inspiring, sad and beautiful. I thought these lines were rather good, “For what is a man, what has he got? If not himself, then he has naughtTo say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels”.

The Doors – Break On Through (Year – 1967 Genre – Rock)
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Controversial would be the word to describe The Doors, you either dislike them or like them, wether that be the case without a shadow of a doubt they were very influential in the music industry. Before The Doors, rock and roll was very much censored, they helped change this with provocative lyrics hinting at anti-establishment. The Doors however would suffer, with the tragic loss of Jim Morrison (the lead singer, shown above) who OD’d in Paris in 1971. Morrison was a poetic genius but also conflicted and lonely, with his drug habits eventually getting the better of him. He joined the ’27 Club’ and died a legend with The Doors going down in history as one of the most significant bands of the 20th century.

The Notorious B.I.G – Juicy (Year – 1994 Genre – Hip-Hop)
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Definitely, one of the best rappers of all time, Biggie Smalls is a rap phenomenon in a league of his own, he possesses a flow graced by god, and ‘Juicy’ is a fine example of his work. However at the height of his fame the rags to riches star was shot in a drive by shooting in L.A in 1997, he died a much similar death to Tupac Shakur 6 months prior. Thus the hip-hop genre suffered greatly with two legends gone, yet his music still lives and breathes today, it’s far too good to be forgotten.

David Bowie – Life On Mars? (Year – 1971 Genre – Art Rock)
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A truly amazing song in every sense of the word, from the late and great David Bowie, it’s sad to see a genius with such a profound mind pass away. ‘Life on Mars’ is truly some of his best work, he describes a girl who is fed up with the mediocrity of the world and dreams of escapism, to the extent where she wishes there is somewhere else to go, somewhere better, maybe in another world – ‘Is there life on mars?’. Bowie led a fascinating life and truly is one of the greats of the 20th century.

The Smiths – What Difference Does It Make (Year – 1984 Genre – Indie Rock )
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One of the great bands of the 80’s and a definitive British indie-rock band. Morrissey (the lead singer) has a truly individual voice; You won’t hear anything like it. Although Morrissey’s undeniable ego led to their breaking-up as a band, with Johnny Marr’s guitar genius, their signature sound split them apart from any other artists of their time. ‘What Difference Does It Make’ in my opinion, would be the best song to showcase how good they were as a band.

The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever (Year – 1967 Genre – Rock)
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The Beatles made some revolutionary songs in their time together as a band, hence why they are renowned as the greatest, and most successful band in history, furthermore they were the biggest influence to most bands that came after them. These 4 men undoubtedly will not be forgotten, they left one of the biggest stamps on this earth. The reason I chose this song over the others is because it defines how variable the Beatles can be, the song is (to quote Rolling Stone) “A surreal kaleidoscope of sound”.

OutKast – Ms Jackson (Year – 2000 Genre – Hip-Hop)
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OutKast brought such a new and different sound to hip-hop, they are considered the most creative artists in the genre and that was what made them so successful. The duo definitely pushed the boundaries of what was thought possible for the genre, so they had to make an appearance on this list. (Yes I know it was released in the year 2000, but it’s just close enough to make an exception)

The Cure – Just Like Heaven (Year – 1987 Genre – Punk/Rock)
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Emerging from the post-punk movement of the 70’s, the Cure laid down foundations for great bands like Radiohead, the reason they were so good was down to the fact that the band, in their albums, would dabble into one style to another and their gothic and psychedelic sound split them from the crowd.

Nathaniel

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