10 most iconic songs from the Americas

There are just too many if one counts the whole North American area. So much so that this skips over the Bill Haley, Drifters, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly time and lobs into the 60s as its start point. The songs had to be iconic or scene-shifting, i.e. they created something not done before.

Even then it was near impossible to get 10. Anyway, here are mine:

1 Blowin in the wind May 63


2 Good vibrations October 66


3 San Francisco May 67

4 White Light White Heat January 68

5 All along the watchtower Sep 68

6 Proud Mary January 1969

7 Me and Bobby McGee 1971

8 Born to run August 74

9 No woman no cry May 75

10 Can’t touch this January 90


Other songs I was choosing from:

Crying July 61
Then he kissed me September 63
Eve of destruction July 65
Respect July 65
When a man loves a woman March 66
River deep mountain high May 66
Light my fire June 67
White Rabbit June 67
So long Marianne February 1968
The weight August 68
Magic Carpet Ride September 1968
Goin on up the country August 69
Bridge over Troubled Water February 70
Jessica August 73
Hotel California December 76


What have I missed, what should not be in there?


For Steve:

For Julia and those who remember Hal David:

13 Responses to “10 most iconic songs from the Americas”

  1. Nicholas Temple September 1, 2012 at 19:48 Permalink

    Excellent! Brought back many, many memories.

  2. dearieme September 1, 2012 at 20:20 Permalink

    “Most iconic”: oh dear, Hob, oh dear.

  3. Steve Abbott September 1, 2012 at 20:46 Permalink

    I think you should have included something by the Band, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down perhaps

  4. Sackerson September 1, 2012 at 21:03 Permalink

    Beatles “Revolution” – when they made clear they’d sold out.

    Norman Greenbaum “Spirit in the Sky” – even though it tutns out it was a commercial project.

    King Crimson?
    Captain Beefheart?

    Ours is, perhaps, the first generation that can torment itself in later age with its formative experiences.

  5. James Higham September 1, 2012 at 21:35 Permalink

    Nicholas – it does bring back memories.

    Dearieme – it is pop culture after all.

    Steve, I did. You’ll notice The Weight 1968 and it was in the ten but was forced out by Marley because he had to go in somewhere. Not an easy task. In fact, the Band were the first I had on the list.


    Sackers – yes, thought Crimson but it had to be something that altered the scene overall. For example, I can’t stand that SF song for its political background and yet it made a huge impact.

  6. CherryPie September 2, 2012 at 00:42 Permalink


    You have commented on it twice now and I know you didn’t see my original reply so here it is for you to see 😉

    The popular view for those on churches is that they are that way to ward of the evil spirits. Another view is that they scare the people into attending church.

    Now a friend of mine could offer a different view on why they look like that in some instances (not necessarily on a church).

  7. lordsomber September 2, 2012 at 04:03 Permalink

    Too sixties heavy. Perhaps it will take a couple more decades to get a bigger scope.

  8. Amfortas September 2, 2012 at 05:47 Permalink

    I remember the day the music died.

    Since then, just mindless noise.

  9. JuliaM September 2, 2012 at 06:19 Permalink

    And today, we wake to the news that one of the greats is no more.

    RIP, Hal David.

  10. BobG September 2, 2012 at 16:40 Permalink

    Seems to me there should be a CW or two in there.
    Johny Cash’s “I Walk the Line” would not be out of place, or “Ruby” by Kenny Rogers.

  11. Twilight September 2, 2012 at 19:09 Permalink

    Can’t argue with the ten from the 1960s +. It’s an impossible task to be all-inclusive – I get that.
    But excluding the Great American Songbook with melodies and some of the best lyrics ever – lyrics never to be forgotten is a shame.
    Maybe another post, another era?

    Oh – forgot to say – no Neil Diamond in your selection.
    Cracklin’ Rosie best known (not best song).

  12. James Higham September 2, 2012 at 19:41 Permalink

    Bob – should be plus JJ Cale.

    Twilight – yep, impossible to do justice:


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