Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Top 100 R&B Songs of All Time

First posted 12/18/2011; updated 3/7/2017.

image from centricbeats.com

Like most DMDB lists, this was created by aggregrating multiple genre-specific lists. In this case, 33 R&B-focused best-of lists were aggregrated. Here are the results:

1. Marvin Gaye “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1968) *
2. The Temptations “My Girl” (1965) *
3. Aretha Franklin “Respect” (1967) *
4. Al Green “Let’s Stay Together” (1971) *
5. Otis Redding “(Sittin’ on) The Dock of the Bay” (1968) *
6. Marvin Gaye “What’s Going On” (1971) *
7. Percy Sledge “When a Man Loves a Woman” (1966) *
8. The Miracles “The Tracks of My Tears” (1965)
9. Marvin Gaye “Let’s Get It On” (1973)
10. Sam Cooke “A Change is Gonna Come” (1965)

11. James Brown “I Got You (I Feel Good)” (1965)
12. Ben E. King “Stand by Me” (1961) *
13. Marvin Gaye “Sexual Healing” (1982)
14. Four Tops “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” (1966) *
15. Prince “When Doves Cry” (1984) *
16. Whitney Houston “I Will Always Love You” (1992) *
17. Martha Reeves & the Vandellas “Dancing in the Street” (1964) *
18. Stevie Wonder “Superstition” (1972) *
19. Gladys Knight & the Pips “Midnight Train to Georgia” (1973)
20. James Brown “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” (1965)

21. Lionel Richie with Diana Ross “Endless Love” (1981) *
22. Aaron Neville “Tell It Like It Is” (1966)
23. The Temptations “Just My Imagination Running Away with Me” (1971)
24. Ray Charles “What’d I Say” (1959)
25. Bill Withers “Lean on Me” (1972)
26. The Supremes “Baby Love” (1964)
27. Jackie Wilson “Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher and Higher” (1967)
28. Sam & Dave “Soul Man” (1967)
29. The Supremes “You Can’t Hurry Love” (1966)
30. The Temptations “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” (1966)

31. Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” (1983) *
32. Wilson Pickett “In the Midnight Hour” (1965)
33. Usher with Lil’ Jon & Ludacris “Yeah!” (2004)
34. Four Tops “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)” (1965)
35. Mary Wells “My Guy” (1964)
36. Marvin Gaye “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” (1971)
37. Boyz II Men “I’ll Make Love to You” (1994)
38. The Jackson 5 “I Want You Back” (1969)
39. Boyz II Men “End of the Road” (1992)
40. The Jackson 5 “I’ll Be There” (1970)

41. Puff Daddy with Faith Evans & 112 “I’ll Be Missing You” (1997)
42. The Drifters “Under the Boardwalk” (1964)
43. Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes “If You Don’t Know Me by Now” (1972)
44. The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes for You” The Flamingos (1959)
45. Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” (1967)
46. Booker T. & the MG’s “Green Onions” (1962)
47. Sam Cooke “You Send Me” (1957)
48. Etta James “At Last” (1961)
49. Brandy with Monica “The Boy Is Mine” (1998)
50. Ray Charles “Georgia on My Mind” (1960)

51. Barry White “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe” (1974)
52. Fats Domino “Blueberry Hill” (1956) *
53. Ray Charles “I Can’t Stop Loving You” (1962) *
54. Junior Walker & the All Stars “Shotgun” (1965)
55. Roberta Flack “Killing Me Softly with His Song” (1973)
56. Toni Braxton “Un-Break My Heart” (1996)
57. The Platters “The Great Pretender” (1955)
58. Mariah Carey “We Belong Together” (2005)
59. The Miracles “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me” (1962)
60. Tina Turner “What’s Love Got to Do with It” (1984)

61. Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers “Why Do Fools Fall in Love” (1956) *
62. The Supremes “Stop! In the Name of Love” (1965)
63. The Penguins “Earth Angel (Will You Be Mine)” (1954) *
64. R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly” (1996)
65. The Isley Brothers “It’s Your Thing” (1969)
66. Martha Reeves & The Vandellas “Heat Wave” (1963)
67. The Marvelettes “Please Mr. Postman” (1961)
68. The Miracles “Shop Around” (1960)
69. Jimmy Ruffin “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted” (1966)
70. The Drifters “Save the Last Dance for Me” (1960)

71. Commodores “Three Times a Lady” (1978)
72. Otis Redding “Try a Little Tenderness” (1966)
73. Sister Sledge “We Are Family” (1979)
74. The Jackson 5 “ABC” (1970)
75. Janet Jackson “That’s the Way Love Goes” (1993)
76. Aretha Franklin “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman” (1967)
77. Lionel Richie “All Night Long (All Night)” (1983)
78. Al Green “Love and Happiness” (1977)
79. Otis Redding “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” (1965)
80. Chubby Checker “The Twist” (1960) *

81. Isaac Hayes “Theme from ‘Shaft’” (1971)
82. Chuck Berry “Maybellene” (1955)
83. The Shirelles “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” (1960)
84. Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive” (1978) *
85. Gladys Knight & the Pips “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (1967)
86. Fats Domino “Ain’t That a Shame” (1955)
87. Mariah Carey with Boyz II Men “One Sweet Day” (1995)
88. Sly & the Family Stone “Everyday People” (1968)
89. Little Richard “Long Tall Sally” (1956)
90. The Temptations “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” (1972)

91. The Isley Brothers “This Old Heart of Mine” (1966)
92. The Staple Singers “I’ll Take You There” (1972)
93. The Impressions “People Get Ready” (1965)
94. James Brown “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” (1966)
95. The O’Jays “Love Train” (1973)
96. Arthur Conley “Sweet Soul Music” (1967)
97. The Platters “Only You and You Alone” (1955)
98. The Emotions “Best of My Love” (1977)
99. The Four Tops “Baby, I Need Your Loving” (1964)
100. Mariah Carey “Vision of Love” (1990)

* Those songs marked with an asterisk are featured in the DMDB book The Top 100 Songs of the Rock Era 1954-1999 available from DavesMusicDatabase.com or Amazon.

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