As one of the most iconic bands ever that came to prominence in perhaps the most widely acclaimed musical era of all time, it goes without saying that the Rolling Stones have an incredible catalogue of songs that are not only widely acclaimed all over the world but are also continually debated over as to which of them ranks as their very best. While, undoubtedly, everybody has their own opinion as to which are the best Rolling Stones songs, here at our top 10, in descending order, to add to the debate and encourage everyone to listen to even more of the Rolling Stones majestic tracks at least one more time!
10 – Brown Sugar
Coming in at number ten on the countdown is what was widely regarded as one of the most outlandish and outrageous songs of the era. The songs lyrics were based around getting intimate with a member of the opposite sex in a particular way that no other mainstream band had ever been so open about discussing before. Thankfully most of the listeners were not quite sure what The Stones were really singing about on this particular track. With its extremely catchy backing track this one just makes it into our top ten.
9 – Doom and Gloom
The reason that this hit makes it onto the list is that it demonstrates the amazing longevity of the Rolling Stones through the sheer fact that they are able to produce this quality of song after nearly 50 years in the business as most of the band members move through their seventh decade of life. Quite incredible and pretty much unparalleled throughout rock ’n’ roll. With Jagger singing as well as ever alongside some insanely catchy guitar riffs to boot, it almost feels like being back in the 60s and 70s again, even if just for a few short minutes!
8 – Start Me Up
No true list of top 10 Rolling Stones hits would be complete without ‘Start Me Up’ being included on it. With one of the most instantly memorable and sing-along-able choruses you’re ever likely to hear and a great feel good vibe it is definitely worth its place on the countdown to first place.
7 – Jumping Jack Flash
Written by both of the bands leading stars together(Jagger and Richards) and released as a hit single all the way back in 1968, this is one of the most appreciated Stones singles that never seems to grow old no matter how many times you might listen to it.
6 – Paint It Black
This extremely unique sounding track stormed to the top of the charts in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada when it was released in 1966. Jagger, who wrote the lyrics, seemed to capture an almost intangible feeling that permeated that era and, in combination with the incredible musical backing written by Keith Richards, created a truly spellbinding song that still sounds so current and timely even all these decades later.
5 – Ruby Tuesday
Ruby Tuesday as one of the Stones’ songs which has been most covered by other performing artists. In the few brief moments that only last between the song’s start and the song’s finish, the Stones seem to capture an amazing array of emotions and feeling told through the songs narrative with the help of some beautiful lyrics. As is the case with many songs, even though there have been many covers, the Rolling Stones’ original version is still, to this day, the best one to listen to!
4 – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
Nowadays it is literally hard to imagine a world of music without this particular track such has been its incredible impact on the music scene. At the time of its release such a catchy, edgy and beautifully rhythmic combination of music and lyrics had scarcely ever been heard before. Still as relevant as ever, and sounding almost as good as if it had only been released yesterday, this is impossible not to include in the top five Rolling Stones hits of all time.
3 – Angie
A quite different sounding song from most of the main Rolling Stones hits, this is, nevertheless, a most worthy inclusion right up here in the top three. Both the music and lyrics were almost entirely written and composed by Keith Richards and the meaning behind them has been the source of much speculation. A beautifully crafted acoustic song that demonstrates the Rolling Stones’ talent and versatility this is a song that’s no matter when it was released would always stand out head and shoulders above everything else.
2 – Sympathy For The Devil
Widely regarded in many circles as the best Rolling Stones song of all time, this one comes in at number two on our list and only misses the top spot by a very, very small distance. It was, yet again, another of the Rolling Stones songs which generated a lot of controversy for the main reason that it was written from Lucifer’s viewpoint at a time when religion held an immense amount of more influence and sway than it currently does. An incredible song that demonstrated a creativity and depth way beyond what was produced by the fast majority of rock ‘n’ roll groups at this time.
1 – Gimme Shelter
There can only be one number one track on this countdown and, in the case of the Rolling Stones, that track simply has to be Gimme Shelter. Regarded by many musical critics as one of the greatest songs of all time this particular track is a near perfect crystallisation of that era and all its convicts and changes which no other band managed to capture quite as well. It has one of the most amazing openings up any song ever and is rightly placed as the Rolling Stones Best Song of all time.