Top 10 Songs You Can Listen To On Repeat

TT10 June 27, 2011 30

We’ll preface this by saying that if not biased, this is a very personalized list.  Even if you don’t agree with the choices, odds are you have certain songs you can listen to over and over.  If you don’t like the ones here, please feel free to leave your favorite tune you never tire of in the comments below.  Here are our top ten songs we never get tired of:

10. Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight”

Before it was ever a joke in The Hangover, this unforgettable song was Phil Collins’ first solo single, and the topic of a musical urban legend that made its way into an Eminem song. As it turns out, “In the Air Tonight” is NOT about a man who does not save another man from drowning. In fact, Collins himself has said on record that he is not sure what the song is about – just that he was angry and going through a divorce when he wrote it. Haunting and moving, the song has enjoyed a lot of pop culture exposure, being sampled in many hip hop songs, featured in many advertisements, and on the soundtracks of movies like Risky Business, The New Guy, The Hangover, and it was on the pilot episode of Miami Vice. That’s history.  For us, it’s just good music.

9. Led Zeppelin – “Kashmir”

There are a number of Led Zeppelin songs that could go on this list.  “Ramble On” could be here just as easily.  What makes “Kashmir” so great is not only its general awesomeness as a song, but the fact that the band loved it as well.  Led Zeppelin members Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, and John Bonham all had good things to say about the song.  In fact, the liner notes to The Complete Studio Recordings state that bassist and keyboard player John Paul Jones said that “Kashmir” showcased all of the elements of the distinctive Led Zeppelin sound.  Ranked #140 in Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time,” the song was also sampled by Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy, aka P Diddy, aka Diddy) in the song “Come With Me” that appeared in the 1998 film Godzilla.  Jimmy Page was OK with this, and even performed with Combs in an SNL performance of the song.  No sample or cover could ever take the place of the original.

8. Bill Withers – “Ain’t No Sunshine”

A true classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine” was written by Bill Withers in response to the film Days of Wine and Roses, starring Jack Lemmon.  The movie, also starring Lee Remick, centers on a couple that struggles with alcoholism.  It garnered a lot of positive critical comments, and both Lemmon and Remick were nominated for Academy Awards.  The movie impacted Withers, who said that the couple in the movie reminded him that you could miss things that are not good for you, and that is what the song is about.  It was the B side for a song called “Harlem,” but DJs played “Ain’t No Sunshine” and it became Withers’ first hit.  The song has been covered by over 144 different artists, but they are nothing compared to the original.

7. Jeff Buckley – Hallelujah

Originally written and performed by Leonard Cohen, this song didn’t truly reach the public’s ear until 1991 when Velvet Underground founding member John Cale performed it on a Leonard Cohen tribute album called I’m Your Fan.  It was this cover that more closely resembles Buckley’s version of the song, which by far the most popular version.  The cover appeared on Grace, Jeff Buckley’s debut album, and he did not live to see it get popular, nor for his album to go gold.  Rufus Wainwright and k.d. lang also covered the song, and many hopeful artists including Season 9 American Idol winner Lee DeWyze have performed the song on various talent programs.  It’s Buckley’s version, however, that does that melty thing to our hearts.

6. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova – “Falling Slowly”

Speaking of Lee DeWyze (we swear he’s not why we like these songs, though he does seem to have good music taste), he performed this soaring duet with Crystal Bowersox in that same season of American Idol, but though the performance was good, it did not hold a candle to the original.  Written during the production of the movie Once, the song won a 2007 Academy Award for Best Original Song and was nominated for a Grammy.  The original, written and performed by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, is a beautiful and heartbreaking tune.

5. Adele – “Rolling in the Deep”

One of the newer songs on our list, it seems like the world just can’t get enough of this song, or Adele’s amazing voice.  Off of her second studio album, this was the first of Adele’s songs to make it big in the U.S., and we can’t wait to hear what she does next.  In the meantime, we’ve heard this song performed on Glee, American Idol, The Voice, and an 11-year-old’s album as a cover.  Nobody, but nobody, sings it like Adele.  We have a friend who says she wants to marry Adele’s voice.  Get in line.

4. Metallica – “The Unforgiven”

Surprised to see a Metallica song on this list?  This song, an experimental tune by Metallic on their fifth studio album, explores the ballad in a whole new way.  Traditionally, slower Metallica songs were heavy on the chorus with standard melodic verses – think “One” from And Justice for All-but the band decided to switch it up and make the verses heavy, and the chorus melodic.  Turned out rather nice, and it made a lot of people who would have never given Metallic a chance sit up and pay attention.  Go Metallica.  Hope your reported new album has something fresh to offer.

3. Bob Marley and the Wailers – “Redemption Song”

The album version of this is a lot peppier, but the version that hits our heart the hardest is the acoustic version. Have you ever wondered how many people on YouTube manage to spell “acoustic” wrong? It’s a lot. This song, written after Bob Marley’s diagnosis of malignant melanoma that would take his life at the age of 36. His wife has told biographers that Marley was already in a lot of pain and was struggling with the thought of his impending death at the time the album was written and recorded. That pain, and that message that we must “emancipate ourselves from mental slavery” created one of the most respected and revered songs to date. Bono of U2 carries it with him as a sort of credo, and many musicians, including the late Joe Strummer, covered the song in live performances, and in recordings.

2. The Beatles – “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”

How do you pick just one Beatles song for this list? Well, you don’t, as you’ll see with the number 1 pick, but this song, written by George Harrison for the “White Album,” is inspired by the I Ching in that Eastern thought supposes that everything is connected, while Western thought promotes the coincidental nature of being.  Harrison was studying the ancient Chinese text and decided to take its advice – he picked up a random book, saw the words “gently weeps” and started writing.   It’s been covered by just about everyone, and Harrison performed it solo after The Beatles broke up, but the original recording is the best one.

1. The Beatles – “Come Together”

This song, written and sung by John Lennon, is the first song on 1969’s Abbey Road, arguably the best Beatles album ever, and if we ever write a list of albums you can listen to all the way through, over and over again, it would probably be number one.  Lennon wrote the song after seeing the campaign materials for Timothy Leary’s gubernatorial pitch in against Ronald Reagan for the governor’s seat in California.  Leary’s campaign came to an end when he went to prison for possession, but the “Come together, join the party” tagline stuck in John’s head and he wrote the song.  Some people like to think that each verse references a different Beatle, and others think the cryptic lyrics are simply about John himself.  The most famous cover of the song is by Aerosmith, as they performed it in the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, but the song was also covered by notable artists and bands like The Supremes, Tina Turner, Eurythmics, Michael Jackson, Soundgarden, Robin Williams and Bobby McFerrin (huh?), and Tom Jones.  Nothing beats the Abbey Road album version.  Nothing.


  1. Nikki July 9, 2011 at 4:45 pm -

    Foo Fighters “Best of You”

    The Kinks “Destroyer”

    The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter” “Sympathy for the Devil” and “Sway”

    Led Zeppelin “Battle of Evermore” “Misty Mountain Hop” “Ramble On” “Ten Years Gone”

  2. Pete H July 10, 2011 at 8:36 am -

    If you like J.S. Bach organ music, Canon 5 from Bach’s Musical Offering (sometimes known as the endlessly rising canon) is a musical piece that continues to rise in key, modulating through the entire chromatic scale until it ends in the same key in which it began. This is the first example cited by Hofstadter (1989) as a strange loop. On repeat it’s seamless.

  3. Forrest July 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm -

    Led Zeppelin sucks, Metallica sucks, Bob Marley REALLY sucks, and The Beatles are overrated. No I can’t stand these songs, therefore I can’t put them on repeat, therefore you fail!

    • Lizaio - Admin July 19, 2011 at 5:15 am -

      Forrest – your opinions, as always, are valued and cherished by us. What songs COULD you listen to on repeat? Mayhap you’d like to compile a list?

    • greg August 22, 2011 at 9:59 am -

      Gump you suck!!!!

      • Bubba October 18, 2011 at 6:34 am -

        Leave Forrest alone!! Whoever made this list only likes one genre of music. In the air tonight and redemption song are the only ones that are probably appreciated by everyone no matter what genre of music people like. This list would be more credible if it was a compilation of all genres and included more recent songs, too.

        I save you Forrest.

        • Junichi February 11, 2012 at 1:45 pm -

          I gotta agree with bubba here. The only songs that are truly enjoyed by everyone (that ive run into anyways) is in the air tonight. I have never seen someone listen to that song and not play the air drums when the song gets heavy 😛 The rest of the songs on this list are just favorites by people who love the bands themselves. Not everyone in general.

  4. Mark July 25, 2011 at 5:58 am -

    If I ever have to listen to “in the bl**dy air tonight” one more time I will probably go mad! – it is boring, boring, boring!
    The rest of the list is OK though :-)

  5. Elliot July 30, 2011 at 9:38 pm -

    Dawes – When My Time Comes

  6. manicmathers July 31, 2011 at 3:43 pm -

    Great choices but personally i have been listening to a particular collection of 10 songs for the last six months. Sadly of late, my ears have grown to resent them rather then represent them. Music mimics relationships sometimes. Great songs evoke strong memories for better or worse. -MM

  7. Markus August 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm -

    I can listen to any song by Avantasia several times. Their songs are just that good.
    Techno music can be repeated many times without getting boring. Check out the song “Hardstyle My Style” by Starsplash or “With A Spirit” by 009 Sound System
    Other than that:
    Duran Duran – Hungry Like The Wolf
    B.o.B – Airplanes, part II
    Hanson – MMM Bop
    Blood Stain Child – Innocence and Freedom
    Blues Traveler – Maybe I’m Wrong
    Quiet Riot – Mama We’re All Crazy Now
    Straightener – Mad Pianist (Japanese)
    Andy McKee – Rylynn (Acoustic guitar instrumental)

  8. Maegan August 11, 2011 at 11:06 am -

    Florence + The Machine– Dog Days Are Over is a great one that can be played over and over. As for an album that can be played on repeat, I’d say Radiohead’s O.K. Computer.

    I can’t wait to hear the comments about how overrated Radiohead is :)

  9. Ginger August 12, 2011 at 2:52 pm -

    What about Uptown Girl???

  10. Gabriel August 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm -

    MMMMMMMM! ONCE! Such a good movie, beautiful music. Very strong and emotional feeling too

  11. jenay Ingalls August 18, 2011 at 1:56 pm -

    I could not agree with your choices less than I do.
    Hearing jeff buckley even once makes me suicidal. What a wanker.

  12. Phoenix September 1, 2011 at 12:50 pm -

    I have a few songs to add to this list: Otis Redding “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” and The Cranberries, “Dreams”

  13. meaner September 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm -

    In my opinion the best song of all time is As Tears Go By The Rolling Stones

    • STEPHEN CLIVE October 15, 2011 at 5:37 pm -

      I didn’t think I would read that somebody else would like this song,it is one of my favourites.I ewould like to give you 3 songs too listen to,for the lyrics.WHAT’S GOING ON-SMILING FACES,AND IN THE YEAR 2525

  14. keln September 1, 2011 at 7:01 pm -

    Thank you for this I just added 5 new songs to my iTouch and was reminded about three old songs I love, but wait where is “Old Man” by Neil Young and “How Do You Sleep At Night” and “Imagine” by John Lennon

  15. SHankar September 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm -

    Great list of great songs. I would love to hear all of them. I hear the songs according to my mood.

  16. Avid September 2, 2011 at 2:42 am -

    Yo…all the best songs included…..Beatles totally rock..:)everyone should listen it once.

  17. vihrea September 24, 2011 at 11:56 pm -

    I’ve already heard Adele’s Rolling in The Deep too much for my liking, ironic because it’s the newest song…Dog Days Are Over has also been overplayed to the brink…and the Jeff Buckley cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah does not beat the original.

  18. Robert September 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm -

    Nice list. Buckley’s cover still blows me away. Lenny’s early live version is equally haunting.

    With extra room I would add:

    Mannish Boy – Muddy Waters
    Suzanne – L. Cohen
    Bullit with Butterfly wings – Smashing Pumpkins
    How Soon Is Now? – The Smiths

  19. Mark October 19, 2011 at 9:35 pm -

    A pretty solid list; many of these I have listened to on repeat.

  20. Soeren October 26, 2011 at 11:31 am -

    my god that song kashmir is pure noise

  21. imcbain December 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm -

    Dear Dude/Dudette
    I’m heading to iTunes right away to grab the ones I don’t have already.

  22. enes January 8, 2012 at 9:08 am -

    I think the other top ten’s best song ever should be Tracy Chapman – Fast Car
    because this song is tell mre then anything to anyone on the world

  23. charley March 1, 2012 at 6:20 am -

    phoenix stole my thunder! blew me away. “Dock of the Bay” for sure… “Desperado,” Eagles; “Free Bird…” nah, just kidding!

  24. Paul March 25, 2012 at 11:29 am -

    “Shine On You Crazy Diamond I-V” Pink Floyd
    “My Iron Lung” Radiohead
    “Harvest Moon” Neil Young
    “New Slang” The Shins
    “These Days” The Black Keys
    “Hey Hey What Can I Do” Led Zeppelin

  25. Spinet July 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm -

    It is fortunate that you like Phil Collins on repeat, because that’s what 80s soft rock stations pretty much do for you.