The Most Beautiful Songs You’ll Ever Hear

It’s a common misconception that beauty is solely in the eye of the beholder; it’s also in their ear. It will always come from a subjective vantage, but when music is at its most beautiful, it really can affect an individual greatly. Maybe some are drawn to powerful poignancy, while others find stark simplicity, or even joyous complexity more appealing. It might come in lyrics, it might come in instrumentation, it might come in arrangement, or it might just be the whole package, but there is no way to deny the power of a beautiful piece of music. For this “list,” of sorts, we’re only focusing on “rock and roll era” tracks. Here are 100 songs that you need to experience for their beauty, and all for different reasons. Some of them you may know, some are covers, and others may be hidden gems you’ll rarely stumble across, but every one of these songs is worth indulging in.

GOLDFRAPP “A&E”

ELVIS COSTELLO “ALISON”

U2 “ALL I WANT IS YOU”

THE XX “ANGELS”

SIGUR RÓS “ÁRA BÁTUR”

JOY DIVISION “ATMOSPHERE”

APHEX TWIN “AVRIL 14TH”

PET SHOP BOYS “BEING BORING”

KANYE WEST “BLOOD ON THE LEAVES”

DAMIEN RICE “THE BLOWER’S DAUGHTER”

BOB DYLAN “BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND”

SIA “BREATHE ME”

ARETHA FRANKLIN “BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER”

JANET JACKSON “COME BACK TO ME”

PINK FLOYD “COMFORTABLY NUMB”

PATSY CLINE “CRAZY”

STEELY DAN “DEACON BLUES”

DIDO “DON’T LEAVE HOME”

HAIM “DON’T SAVE ME”

SKY FERREIRA “EVERYTHING IS EMBARRASSING”

MAZZY STAR “FADE INTO YOU”

R.E.M. “FALL ON ME”

STING “FRAGILE”

MADONNA “FROZEN”

THE BEACH BOYS “GOD ONLY KNOWS”

PAUL SIMON “GRACELAND”

JEFF BUCKLEY “HALLELUJAH”

THE OH HELLO’S “HELLO MY OLD HEART”

IMOGEN HEAP “HIDE AND SEEK”

BON IVER “HOLOCENE”

PJ HARVEY “HORSES IN MY DREAMS”

MICHAEL JACKSON “HUMAN NATURE”

BONNIE RAITT “I CAN’T MAKE YOU LOVE ME”

DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE “I WILL FOLLOW YOU INTO THE DARK”

THE BEATLES “IN MY LIFE”

PETER GABRIEL “IN YOUR EYES”

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS “INTO MY ARMS”

VAN MORRISON “INTO THE MYSTIC”

DEPECHE MODE “JUDAS”

MGMT “KIDS”

DIXIE CHICKS “LANDSLIDE”

GLEN HANSARD & MARKETA IRGLOVA “LIES”

SADE “LIKE A TATTOO”

AMY WINEHOUSE “LOVE IS A LOSING GAME”

OF MONSTERS AND MEN “LOVE LOVE LOVE”

FUNKADELIC “MAGGOT BRAIN”

JIMMY CLIFF “MANY RIVERS TO CROSS”

YEAH YEAH YEAHS “MAPS”

JACKSON 5 “MAYBE TOMORROW”

MARVIN GAYE “MERCY MERCY ME (THE ECOLOGY)”

STEVIE WONDER “NEVER DREAMED YOU’D LEAVE IN SUMMER”

INXS “NEVER TEAR US APART”

THE SHINS “NEW SLANG”

NAS “ONE MIC”

RHYE “OPEN”

ISRAEL “IZ” KAMAKAWIWO’OLE “OVER THE RAINBOW/WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD”

WILD NOTHING “PARADISE”

THE CURE “PICTURES OF YOU”

PETER PAUL & MARY “PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON”

RADIOHEAD “PYRAMID SONG”

EARTH WIND & FIRE “REASONS”

ARCADE FIRE “REBELLION (LIES)”

BOB MARLEY & THE WAILERS “REDEMPTION SONG”

JONI MITCHELL “RIVER”

JAMES “SAY SOMETHING”

SIMON & GARFUNKEL “SCARBOROUGH FAIR/CANTICLE”

COLDPLAY “SEE YOU SOON”

JAKE BUGG “SIMPLE AS THIS”

ADELE “SOMEONE LIKE YOU”

PRINCE & THE REVOLUTION “SOMETIMES IT SNOWS IN APRIL”

FLEETWOOD MAC “SONGBIRD”

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN “STREETS OF PHILADELPHIA”

IRON & WINE “SUCH GREAT HEIGHTS”

VELVET UNDERGROUND “SUNDAY MORNING”

NORAH JONES “SUNRISE”

DAMON ALBARN “SUNSET COMING ON”

LEONARD COHEN “SUZANNE”

BLUR “SWEET SONG”

GRIMES “SYMPHONIA IX (MY WAIT IS U)”

ALT-J “TARO”

MASSIVE ATTACK “TEARDROP”

OTIS REDDING “THESE ARMS OF MINE”

FRANK OCEAN “THINKIN’ BOUT YOU”

TALKING HEADS “THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (NAÏVE MELODY)”

REN HARVIEU “THROUGH THE NIGHT”

CYNDI LAUPER “TRUE COLORS”

RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS “UNCHAINED MELODY”

THE STONE ROSES “WATERFALL”

M83 “WE OWN THE SKY”

THE SMITHS “WELL I WONDER”

THE ROLLING STONES “WILD HORSES”

CAROLE KING “WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW?”

THE JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE “THE WIND CRIES MARY”

TORI AMOS “WINTER”

HURTS “WONDERFUL LIFE”

KATE BUSH “WUTHERING HEIGHTS”

GRIZZLY BEAR “YET AGAIN”

SAM COOKE “YOU SEND ME”

NEW ORDER “YOUR SILENT FACE”

ELTON JOHN “YOUR SONG”

FULL PLAYLIST:

The Most Beautiful Songs You’ll Ever Hear

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