100 Greatest Songs From 1988

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. Fast Car - Tracy Chapman
  2. One - Metallica
  3. She Drives Me Crazy - Fine Young Cannibals
  4. Straight Up - Paula Abdul
  5. My Prerogative - Bobby Brown
  6. It Takes Two - Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock
  7. Every Rose Has Its Thorn - Poison
  8. Wild Thing - Tone-Loc
  9. Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
10. Fuck Tha Police - N.W.A
11. Teen Age Riot - Sonic Youth
12. Follow the Leader - Eric B. & Rakim
13. Touch Me I'm Sick - Mudhoney
14. Wind Beneath My Wings - Bette Midler
15. The Living Years - Mike + The Mechanics
16. Cult of Personality - Living Colour
17. Desire - U2
18. Bad Medicine - Bon Jovi
19. Patience - Guns N' Roses
20. I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles) - Proclaimers
21. Where Is My Mind? - Pixies
22. Don't Believe the Hype - Public Enemy
23. Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A
24. What I Am - Edie Brickell & New Bohemians
25. Buffalo Stance - Neneh Cherry
26. Opposites Attract - Paula Abdul with The Wild Pair
27. Nite and Day - Al B. Sure!
28. Kokomo - Beach Boys
29. Don't Worry, Be Happy - Bobby McFerrin
30. Giving You the Best That I Got - Anita Baker
31. Eternal Flame - Bangles
32. Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown
33. Stand - R.E.M.
34. Simply Irresistible - Robert Palmer
35. There She Goes - La's
36. Under the Milky Way - Church
37. A Little Respect - Erasure
38. Mother - Danzig
39. What's On Your Mind? (Pure Energy) - Information Society
40. Listen To Your Heart - Roxette
41. The Mercy Seat - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
42. Angel Eyes - Jeff Healey Band
43. I'll House You - Jungle Brothers
44. Every Little Step - Bobby Brown
45. Wild, Wild West - Escape Club
46. Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley - Will To Power
47. Angel of Harlem - U2
48. One Moment In Time - Whitney Houston
49. Good Thing - Fine Young Cannibals
50. Everybody Knows - Leonard Cohen
51. Strictly Business - EPMD
52. Freak Scene - Dinosaur Jr.
53. Ain't No Half Steppin' - Big Daddy Kane
54. Nothin' But a Good Time - Poison
55. Cold Hearted - Paula Abdul
56. Roll With It - Steve Winwood
57. Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone) - Cinderella
58. I Hate Myself For Loving You - Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
59. Superwoman - Karyn White
60. When Love Comes To Town - U2 with B.B. King
61. All I Want Is You - U2
62. Handle With Care - Traveling Wilburys
63. Everyday Is Like Sunday - Morrissey
64. The Flame - Cheap Trick
65. The Valley Road - Bruce Hornsby & The Range
66. Orange Crush - R.E.M.
67. Children's Story - Slick Rick
68. This Woman's Work - Kate Bush
69. My Philosophy - Boogie Down Productions
70. Piano In the Dark - Brenda Russell
71. Like the Way I Do - Melissa Etheridge
72. Heaven - Warrant
73. When It's Love - Van Halen
74. Copperhead Road - Steve Earle
75. Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos - Public Enemy
76. A Groovy Kind of Love - Phil Collins
77. I'll Be There For You - Bon Jovi
78. Two Hearts - Phil Collins
79. Twist In My Sobriety - Tanita Tikarim
80. Any Love - Luther Vandross
81. If It Isn't Love - New Edition
82. Ana Ng - They Might Be Giants
83. Tomorrow People - Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers
84. Can I Play With Madness? - Iron Maiden
85. Bring Me Some Water - Melissa Etheridge
86. Finish What Ya Started - Van Halen
87. Dreamin' - Vanessa Williams
88. Crash - Primitives
89. You Got It (The Right Stuff) - New Kids On the Block
90. Orinoco Flow - Enya
91. Express Yourself - N.W.A
92. Colors - Ice-T
93. Gigantic - Pixies
94. What Time Is Love? - KLF
95. Theme from S-Express - S-Express
96. Waiting Room - Fugazi
97. You Made Me Realise - My Bloody Valentine
98. Tall Cool One - Robert Plant
99. Alphabet St. - Prince
100. End of the Line - Traveling Wilburys
20 more worth mentioning.
101. Teardrops - Womack & Womack
102. Stigmata - Ministry
103. Suedehead - Morrissey
104. Domino Dancing - Pet Shop Boys
105. Toy Soldiers - Martika
106. I Don't Wanna Go On With You Like That - Elton John
107. Roni - Bobby Brown
108. Edge of a Broken Heart - Vixen
109. Can You Stand the Rain? - New Edition
110. Headed For a Heartbreak - Winger
111. Baby Can I Hold You? - Tracy Chapman
112. Let the River Run - Carly Simon
113. Little Walter - Tony! Toni! Tone!
114. Dirty Blvd - Lou Reed
115. Passionate Kisses - Lucinda Williams
116. Punk Rock Girl - Dead Milkmen
117. Fisherman's Blues - Waterboys
118. Microphone Fiend - Eric B. & Rakim
119. Close My Eyes Forever - Lita Ford with Ozzy Osbourne
120. Girl You Know It's True - Milli Vanilli
DigitalDreamDoor Editor Picks for 1988
An unheralded great record from 1988
Jeff's choice -
Greatest Single Re-entry:

* He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother (#1 UK 2 weeks) - Hollies
Jeff's choice -
* Headhunter - Front 242
Lew's choice -
* Only a Memory - Smithereens
Bruce's choice -
* Da' Butt - E.U.
Brett's choice -
* Plug Tunin' - De La Soul
Ryan's choice -
* Chinese Bones - Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians

Edited By:
Last Updated: 2014-07-10