iPod Essential Music

What songs should you absolutely, positively have on your iPod?

I'm not suggesting for one moment that everyone's iPod should have an identical playlist.  No one would even want to live in a world like that.  (Well . . . no one except certain members of a certain wing of a certain political party, but I never discuss politics, so let's leave things at that . . . )

But there are some songs that really ought to be on your iPod. The list below is, in some ways, an outgrowth of the 100 Greatest Rock Songs of All Time list I put together a couple of years ago.  The differences here are that:

  • Songs are not confined to a single genre;

  • Songs are not ranked, but rather are listed in alphabetical order by title;

  • The list is not confined to 100 songs.

A question that often comes up is, should I buy the single tune from the iTunes store, or buy a CD from Amazon with the song on it?  It's a question of personal preference, really, but I lean toward buying the CD; if I hadn't bought CD's for only one or two songs, I never would have heard a lot of great, though perhaps less popular, tunes, which are now also on my iPod. 


Song Title Artist
25 or 6 to 4 Chicago
Ain't No Sunshine Jose Feliciano
All Day and All of the Night Kinks
American Woman Guess Who
Bad Moon Rising Creedence Clearwater Revival
Bad to the Bone George Thorogood and the Destroyers
Badlands Bruce Springsteen
Ball and Chain Big Brother and the Holding Company
Before the Next Teardrop Falls Freddy Fender
Black Magic Woman Santana
Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
Born To Be Wild Steppenwolf 
Born To Run Bruce Springsteen
Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel
Brown Eyed Girl Van Morrison
Brown Sugar Rolling Stones
California Dreaming Mamas & Papas
Can't Get It Out of My Head Electric Light Orchestra
Crazy Arms Linda Ronstadt
Daniel Elton John
Do Wah Diddy Diddy Manfred Mann
Do You Believe In Magic Lovin' Spoonful
Dream On Aerosmith
Dust In the Wind Kansas
Eight Miles High Byrds
Feelin' Alright Traffic
Flame, The Cheap Trick
For What It's Worth Buffalo Springfield
For Your Love Yardbirds
Gimme Shelter Rolling Stones
Gimme Some Lovin' Spencer Davis Group
Good Vibrations Beach Boys
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Elton John
Great Balls of Fire Jerry Lee Lewis
Heart of Gold Neil Young
Hey Jude Beatles
Hotel California Eagles
House of the Rising Sun Animals
Hush Deep Purple
I Walk the Line Johnny Cash
I'm A Man Spencer Davis Group
Imagine John Lennon
In the Presence of the Lord Blind Faith
It's Only Make Believe Conway Twitty
Jailhouse Rock Elvis Presley
Jesus Is Just Alright Doobie Brothers
Johnny B Goode Chuck Berry
La Bamba Los Lobos
Lay Down, Lay Down Melanie
Lay Lady Lay Bob Dylan
Layla Derek and the Dominoes
Let It Be Beatles
Light My Fire Doors
Like A Rolling Stone Bob Dylan
Magic Carpet Ride Steppenwolf 
Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys Willie Nelson
Morning Has Broken Cat Stevens
Nights in White Satin Moody Blues
One Three Dog Night
Oye Como Va Santana
Piece of My Heart Big Brother and the Holding Company
Pretty Woman Roy Orbison
Purple Haze Jimi Hendrix
Refugee Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Right Here Waiting Richard Marx
Ring of Fire Johnny Cash
Roadhouse Blues Doors
Runaway Del Shannon
San Francisco Scott McKenzie
Satisfaction Rolling Stones
Shambhala Three Dog Night
Smoke on the Water Deep Purple 
Somebody To Love Jefferson Airplane
Sounds of Silence Simon & Garfunkel
Southern Cross Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin
Stand By Your Man Tammy Wynette
Suite Judy Blue Eyes Crosby, Stills, & Nash
Sultans of Swing Dire Straits
Summer In the City Lovin' Spoonful
Sunshine of Your Love Cream
Take It to the Limit Eagles
Taking Care of Business Bachman Turner Overdrive
Thrill Is Gone BB King
Time of the Season Zombies
Total Eclipse of the Heart Bonnie Tyler
Train Kept A-Rollin' Yardbirds
Truckin' Grateful Dead
Turn, Turn, Turn Byrds
Unchained Melody Righteous Brothers
Wear Your Love Like Heaven Donovan
When A Man Loves A Woman Percy Sledge
Whipping Post Allman Brothers
White Room Cream
Whiter Shade of Pale Procol Harum
Whole Lotta Love Led Zeppelin
Wild Horses Rolling Stones
Wonderful Tonight Eric Clapton
Woodstock Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
Yesterday Beatles
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet Bachman Turner Overdrive
You Make Loving Fun Fleetwood Mac
You Really Got Me Kinks
Your Cheatin' Heart Hank Williams
You've Lost That Loving Feeling Righteous Brothers


Recently Added:

  • Cry To Me, by Solomon Burke - Why did it take me so long to hear such a great song?
  • Tell Mama, by Etta James - But, really, just about any song on her Tell Mama: The Complete Muscle Shoals Sessions is great.

Please note: As discussed above, these are songs I definitely want on my iPod, and whether or not they're "important" isn't important to me. Hope you find it helpful, or at least thought-provoking.






Copyright © D. J. McAdam· All Rights Reserved