100 Greatest Songs From 1971

Criteria: Songs listed are from Rock 'n' Roll and related sub-genres. Rankings are based on initial and lasting popularity and on acclaim received from critics and musicians.

Note: Yearly song lists go by earliest 'release date' (Single, Album, or Country of first release). Not necessarily the year a song peaked in the U.S. charts.

1. Stairway to Heaven
Led Zeppelin
2. Imagine
John Lennon
3. What's Going On
Marvin Gaye
4. Let's Stay Together
Al Green
5. Maggie May
Rod Stewart
6. American Pie
Don McLean
7. Won't Get Fooled Again
The Who
8. Brown Sugar
Rolling Stones
9. Just My Imagination
10. Family Affair
Sly and the Family Stone
11. Theme from "Shaft"
Isaac Hayes
12. Me and Bobby McGee
Janis Joplin
13. Baba O'Riley
The Who
14. It's Too Late
Carole King
15. Riders On the Storm
16. Ain't No Sunshine
Bill Withers
17. Rock and Roll
Led Zeppelin
18. Changes
David Bowie
19. Black Dog
Led Zeppelin
20. Tired of Being Alone
Al Green
21. Mercy Mercy Me
Marvin Gaye
22. Bang a Gong (Get It On)
T. Rex
23. Roundabout
24. Aqualung
Jethro Tull
25. Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)
26. Have You Seen Her
27. Tiny Dancer
Elton John
28. Respect Yourself
Staple Singers
29. Without You
30. Smiling Faces Sometimes
Undisputed Truth
31. Behind Blue Eyes
The Who
32. LA Woman
33. Mr. Big Stuff
Jean Knight
34. Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)
Marvin Gaye
35. A Horse With No Name
36. Locomotive Breath
Jethro Tull
37. Rock Steady
Aretha Franklin
38. Wild Horses
Rolling Stones
39. Life on Mars?
David Bowie
40. Take Me Home, Country Roads
John Denver
41. Vincent
Don McLean
42. You've Got A Friend
ames Taylor
43. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
John & Yoko & Plastic Ono Band
44. Slipping into Darkness
45. Superstar
46. Clean Up Woman
Betty Wright
47. Betcha By Golly Wow
48. Hocus Pocus
49. Morning Has Broken
Cat Stevens
50. I Feel the Earth Move
Carole King

51. You Are Everything
52. Love Her Madly
53. It Don't Come Easy
Ringo Starr
54. Stay with Me
55. Jealous Guy
John Lennon
56. Never Can Say Goodbye
Jackson 5
57. Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get
58. When the Levee Breaks
Led Zeppelin
59. If
60. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey
Paul & Linda McCartney
61. Maggot Brain
62. How Can You Mend a Broken Heart
Bee Gees
63. Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Rolling Stones
64. Sylvia's Mother
Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show
65. Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves
66. Thin Line Between Love and Hate
67. I've Seen All Good People
68. I Am, I Said
Neil Diamond
69. Got To Be There
Michael Jackson
70. Rainy Days and Mondays
71. Peace Train
Cat Stevens
72. Case of You
Joni Mitchell
73. I Gotcha
Joe Tex
74. Spanish Harlem
Aretha Franklin
75. Mercedes Benz
Janis Joplin
76. Day After Day
77. Wild Night
Van Morrison
78. Hot Pants
James Brown
79. Jeepster
T. Rex
80. If You Really Love Me
Stevie Wonder
81. Another Day
Paul McCartney
82. In the Rain
83. Brand New Key
84. Indian Reservation
85. Want Ads
Honey Cone
86. Coat of Many Colors
Dolly Parton
87. I'd Love to Change the World
Ten Years After
88. She's a Lady
Tom Jones
89. Treat Her Like a Lady
Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose
90. So Far Away
Carole King
91. Grandma's Hands
Bill Withers
92. Baby Blue
93. Baby I'm-a Want You
94. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
Gil Scott-Heron
95. Echoes
Pink Floyd
96. Drowning in the Sea of Love
Joe Simon
97. Famous Blue Raincoat
Leonard Cohen
98. Sweet City Woman
99. Never Been To Spain
Three Dog Night
100. Bridge Over Troubled Water
Aretha Franklin
20 more worth mentioning.
101. Going to California
Led Zeppelin
102. Hold Your Head Up
103. Levon
Elton John
104. That's the Way I Feel About Cha
Bobby Womack
105. The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys
106. All Day Music
107. Don't Pull Your Love
Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds
108. Bitch
Rolling Stones
109. Statesboro Blues
Allman Brothers Band
110. Bargain
The Who
111. Make It Funky
James Brown
112. Hot Rod Lincoln
Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
113. An Old Fashioned Love Song
Three Dog Night
114. Do You Know What I Mean
Lee Michaels
115. Funky Nassau
Beginning Of The End
116. Reason To Believe
Rod Stewart
117. I Just Want To Celebrate
Rare Earth
118. No One To Depend On
119. Scorpio
Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band
120. She's Not Just Another Woman
Eighth Day
DigitalDreamDoor Editor Picks for 1971
An unheralded great record from 1971
Brian's choice:
* Oh Me Oh My
Aretha Franklin
Lew's choice:
* Change Partners
Stephen Stills
Bruce's choice:
* Girls In The City
Adam's choice:
* Oak Fire
Lee Michaels
Brett's choice:
* Bubble Gum The Blues/I'm A Cruiser
Emitt Rhodes
    1970   |   1972

Last Updated: 2022-03-15