What makes a pop song a classic? A catchy melody, for sure. A beat that makes you want to move. Lyrics that speak to your heart and head and a voice that catches your ear and holds your attention. The best pop songs contain all of these elements and more.
Ultimately, musical taste is subjective, as are “best of” lists. Which didn’t stop us from making one. Find out if your favorite tunes are on this list of what we consider the 10 best pop songs of all time.
Take On Me :- A-Ha
At heart, “Take on Me” is just a simple synth-pop song. However, through its course, the singer ranges nearly two-and-a-half octaves, soaring to high notes that are exhilarating to hear. It became a No. 1 pop smash around the world and featured a highly memorable video using pencil sketch animation, which took home six awards at the MTV Video Music Awards.
Thriller:- Michael Jackson
From that instantly recognizable intro note to the eerie Vincent Price interlude—and that’s not even considering the epic and groundbreaking accompanying mini-movie music video—“Thriller” was an instant classic and remains as popular today as it was in 1982. The moonwalk never goes out of style.
Billie Jean:- Michael Jackson
There’s only one name we’d allow on this list twice, and it’s obviously the King of Pop’s. The foot-tapping, finger-snapping, head-tilting beat of “Billie Jean” incites a rush to the dance floor every time it hits the speakers.
Good Vibrations:- Beach Boys
“Good Vibrations” is the Beach Boys’ magnum opus. Written by Brian Wilson, it became the band’s third No. 1 pop single. Some consider the song to be a mini-symphony of sorts in multiple sections. Production of the song is reported to have taken 17 sessions and ultimately cost over $50,000, a phenomenal cost at the time. “Good Vibrations” broke new ground both its use of new kinds of instruments—something akin to a theremin is used in its final segments—and by splicing together a wide range of discrete recorded components to create the final work.
Your Song:- Elton John
“Your Song” made its first appearance on Elton John’s self-titled second solo album. The simple, earnest love ballad ranks as one of the top love songs of all time. It became Elton John’s first top 10 pop hit in the U.S. Ellie Goulding took the song to No. 2 in the U.K. in 2010 with a cover version.
Dancing Queen:- ABBA
The Swedish pop superstars first performed “Dancing Queen” live as part of a televised gala honoring the wedding of Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and his bride, Silvia Sommerlath. The song went on to be a No. 1 pop hit around the world and was certified gold in both the U.S. and the U.K. It is the legendary group’s only No. 1 hit in the U.S.
My Heart Will Go On:- Celine Dion
“My Heart Will Go On” had a somewhat rugged path on its way to becoming one of the biggest romantic pop hits of all time. It first was written as an instrumental motif for the film “Titanic,” and film director James Cameron initially had no interest in it as a vocal song to be included at the end of the movie. Ultimately, however, the stars aligned, and the song became a worldwide pop smash, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Song as well as Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year.
Single Ladies:- Beyonce
The anthem of single gals everywhere, the opus made Beyhive converts out of every last hold-out. No one could resist that Queen Bey’s leotard and signature dance moves, and Kanye West was right: “Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”
I Want It That Way:- Backstreet Boys
The ballad “I Want It That Way” is seen by many as one of the ultimate boy band singles. The Backstreet Boys earned Grammy Award nominations for both Song and Record of the Year with the recording. It topped both mainstream pop and adult contemporary radio charts.
Since You’ve Been Gone:- Kelly Clarkson
“Since U Been Gone” incorporates elements of rock, electronic, and power pop. When the singer first heard the demo—which was far more stripped down—she and her manager expressed doubts in its potential. However, Clarkson brought her own distinct energy to the track, and helped turn it into a bona fide classic.
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