BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Entertainment
Front Page 
UK Politics 
TV and Radio 
New Media 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Friday, 17 November, 2000, 15:35 GMT
Yesterday is top pop song
The Fab Four in 1965
A Beatles song from 1965 is named best pop song
Yesterday by the Beatles has been named the greatest pop song since 1963 in a list compiled by Rolling Stone magazine and music channel MTV.

The ballad, written by Sir Paul McCartney and released in 1965 on the album Help!, edged the Rolling Stones' I Can't Get Number Satisfaction - also released in 1965 - into second place.

Nirvana's 1991 single Smells Like Teen Spirit - an anthem for the grunge era and a requiem for its leading light Kurt Cobain - was third.

The teen pop contingent is also represented, with Backstreet Boys at number 10, with I Want It That Way, Britney Spears at number 25 with Baby One More Time and NSync at number 55 with Bye Bye Bye.

Top 10 Pop Songs
1. Yesterday
2. (I Can't Get Number ) Satisfaction
3. Smells Like Teen Spirit
4. Like A Virgin
5. Billie Jean
6. I Want To Hold Your Hand
7. Respect
8. One
9. I Want You Back
10. I Want It That Way
Like many similar lists before it, the selection of Top 100 Pop Songs will spark endless debate between music fans.

The experts at Rolling Stone and MTV admit they arbitrarily started their list with the emergence of the Beatles in 1963.

They admitted their list was based on songs that had the most influence on popular culture, not necessarily the best songs.

This explains, they say, why Eric Clapton's Layla was not included but his ballad, Tears in Heaven was (at number 45).

Tom Calderone, MTV's senior vice president for music programming said the choice of Yesterday was "an automatic".

An ode to lost love and wistful longing, McCartney's song is familiar to almost every generation.

It has been recorded more than 3,000 times by numerous other artists, from Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra to Boyz II Men.

Madonna in 1984
Madonna's Like A Virgin is at No 4 in the Top 100
The Beatles are among three acts to have two entries in the list's top 25. As well as Yesterday at number 1, their 1964 hit I Want To Hold Your Hand is at number 6.

Also with two songs each in the top 25 are the Rolling Stones with (I Can't Get Number ) Satisfaction at number 2 and Brown Sugar at number 14.

Madonna makes it to number 4 with Like a Virgin and to number 19 with Vogue.

Michael Jackson has three entries in the top 25. As a solo artist he charts at number 5 with Billie Jean and at number 22 with Beat It, while the Jackson 5 hit I Want You Back earns him a place at number 9.

In all, there are 16 songs from the 1960s, 27 from the 1970s and 28 each from the 1980s and 1990s. `N Sync's song was from this year.

Rolling Stone is devoting a special issue to the list, and MTV is counting it down in a five-part series starting 20 November.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
See also:

14 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Beatles winning album battle
05 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Beatles book draws fans
01 Apr 00 | Entertainment
Beatles tell of yesterdays
13 Nov 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Beatles
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories