Local Current Blog

Bob Dylan, but not Prince, makes Rolling Stone list of best songs of the century

Bob Dylan (courtesy the artist)

Rolling Stone magazine figured that now was as good a time as any to assess the selection of songs that this century has offered to music lovers. They’ve just published an article called “The 100 Greatest Songs of the Century — So Far.”

The magazine’s editors say they “reached out to a large group of artists, producers, critics and industry experts who sent us ranked lists of their favorite songs. We tabulated the votes. Our own editorial list might look a little different, but the result is an excellent reflection of an incredible period in music history.”

Minnesota-bred Bob Dylan found his way to the number 30 spot with “Mississippi.” The song was released in 2001, but it was actually written in 1997. Dylan struggled with the song when he first wrote it in the late nineties, unable to record it in a way that he liked. He passed it over to Sheryl Crow, who released it on her 1998 LP The Globe Sessions. Not one to give up easily, Dylan picked it back up a few years later and released it himself on Love and Theft.

Missing from the list is another major Minnesota artist: Prince. Despite the fact that Prince released no fewer than 15 studio albums between 2001 and his death in 2016 — and also despite the fact that Rolling Stone is well-stocked with Prince fans — none of those songs landed in the top 100.

Nonetheless, the list includes plenty of music that The Current’s listeners will recognize. Songs from musicians often found in our rotation include tracks by David Bowie (“Blackstar”), Queens of the Stone Age (“No One Knows”), Lana Del Rey (“Blue Jeans”), the Killers (“Mr. Brightside”), Arcade Fire (“Wake Up”), LCD Soundsystem (“All My Friends”), Beck (“Lost Cause”), the Flaming Lips (“Do You Realize??”), the New Pornographers (“Letter from an Occupant”), Lorde (“Royals”), the late Leonard Cohen (“You Want It Darker”), and more.

Some of the century’s biggest pop stars included on the list are Harry Styles (“Sign of the Times”), Kendrick Lamar (“Alright”), Lady Gaga (“Bad Romance”), Taylor Swift (“All Too Well”), Adele (“Rolling in the Deep”), Kanye West (“Gold Digger”), Mariah Carey (“We Belong Together”), Britney Spears (“Toxic”), and Justin Bieber (“Sorry”). OutKast, the hip-hop duo that’s achieved both critical acclaim and popular success, scored no fewer than four entries (“B.O.B.,” “Ms. Jackson,” “Hey Ya!”, and a guest spot on UGK’s “Int’l Players Anthem [I Choose You]”).

The number 100 song and number 1 song were released within just one year of each other. “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee featuring Glory (2004) landed in the number 100 spot, while Beyoncé and Jay-Z took number one with “Crazy in Love” from 2003.