The best songs ever: Part 4

The best songs ever: Part 4


To celebrate the Ivor Novello Awards, the new issue of Music Week is all about the art and craft of songwriting, and part of our coverage involved asking people in the biz the immortal question: What is the best song ever written? Our staff have already answered the question, but we decided to put it to top names in the industry, too. We’ve published some of them in part 1part 2, and part 3, but here’s what other people had to say...

The Beatles – Across The Universe
Picked by: Chester Bennington (Linkin Park)

“I absolutely love Across The Universe. The guitars are so interesting and the melody is so dope. And I’m also going to have to say that another one I appreciate a lot is Crippled Inside by John Lennon. I like what he’s saying in that, which is you can do this, you can do that, but you can’t do any of it when you’re crippled inside. That means something to me.”


Jimi Hendrix - Hush now
Picked by: Mix Master Mike (artist)

“My favourite record is Hush Now by Jimi Hendrix. It’s just deep, rare Hendrix. It represents who I am as a musician. I’m an offspring of Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Thelonious Monk – these are my heroes, without these guys I wouldn’t have a blueprint to navigate with.”



Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge Over Troubled Water
Picked by: Katie Gavin (Muna)

“I think it’s partially just in my heart because it’s an important song from my childhood. Just the sentiment behind it of, I will give everything for you. There’s really no good language for it, but I really love songs that feel like they have the elegance of one of the laws of nature. It feels so refined and diluted. Like it just fell off the tree and came out exactly the way it was meant to be stated.”



Marvin Gaye - What’s Going On
Picked by: Rak Sanghvi (MD UK/international, Spirit B-Unique)

“The whole album is awesome. The song is sonically perfect, with lyrics that are still relevant today. Timeless.”



Nina Simone – To Be Young, Gifted And Black

Picked by: Pamela McCormick (director, Urban Development)

“This is one of many favourite songs but I think I’m going to go with Nina Simone’s To Be Young, Gifted And Black because it takes me back to the gigs I did with her when I worked for a jazz promoter many moons ago, as part of the journey towards setting up Urban Development.”



Iron Maiden – Where Eagles Dare
Picked by: Rod Smallwood (Iron Maiden manager, Phantom Management)

“Where Eagles Dare. Because the drum fills there are so hard I love to see Nicko [McBrain, Iron Maiden drummer] sweat. That time break is extraordinary.”



Michael Jackson - Rock With You
Picked by: Avelino (artist)

“Michael Jackson’s Rock With You, that’s been playing in my house since as far back as I can remember. Off The Wall is the perfect album. That man’s catalogue is ridiculous, but that album is above the others for me, so I’m going to pick this song.”



The Stone Roses -I Am The Resurrection
Picked by: Dan Chalmers (president, Rhino, East West, ADA)

“They were a very important band in my youth and that song always kicked off the party.”



Florence + The Machine- Cosmic Love
Picked by: Lynn Gunn (Pvris)

“I am the ultimate Florence + The Machine superfan and my favourite song is Cosmic Love. First of all it’s so beautiful, but it’s always been a comfort song for me. I always play it when I need to feel a giant hug or just step back and not worry about anything, even though it’s kind of sad.”



Jay Z - Politics As Usual
Picked by: Tobe Onwuka (founder, #Merky)

“I would have been about 11 when I first heard it. It’s a song that’s grown with me, I can listen to it every five years almost and it feels like a fresh song because I’m discovering something new on it.”



Iron Maiden –Empire Of The Clouds
Picked by: Dave Shack (managing director, Phantom Management)

“If it’s not too cheesy to say a Maiden song, Empire Of The Clouds. When we first heard that, it was almost disbelief at it. It came at me straight from the War Of The Worlds telestory [tradition] – I can imagine actors playing the parts. What Nicko did with the Morse code [rhythms] on the drums, and Bruce [Dickinson, Iron Maiden vocalist] did on the piano just made it even more incredible.”



Daft Punk –Something About Us
Picked by: Joey Bada$$

“2Pac’s Changes definitely comes in hot at No.2, but No.1 is Something About Us. I can’t even remember where I discovered it, but when I heard it, it resonated so deeply in my mind, body and spirit – just the vibe. The lyrics don’t even start until over a minute into the song. It’s just the sonics of it; the instruments resonate with me on another level. I’ve probably played that song a thousand times.”


The Beatles - Twist And Shout
Picked by: Tom Robinson (6 Music presenter)

“That song still has the same impact on people today. It has the call and response, it has roots going back to the start of the 20th century, and you play it anywhere, at any party, and people go crazy for it.”


Ella Fitzgerald - Ev’ry Time We Say Goodbye
Picked by: Ken Bruce (BBC Radio 2)

“It’s beautifully written and the poignancy is in every line. Everybody can relate to it and the marriage between melody and lyric is perfect.”

Story ByGeorge Garner, Daniel Gumble, Ben Homewood, James Hanley, Mark Sutherland



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