Rolling Stone's "The 100 Best Songs of 2007"

December 14, 2007 By:
Rolling Stone's

Rolling Stone magazine is undoubtedly one of the most influential magazines in the music biz. They've comprised a list of the 100 best songs of 2007. We have 1-20 listed below with their commentary, but the full list is available on

1. Jay-Z: "Roc Boys"

And the winner is. . . Hov! This is black superhero music, circa 2007: Jay-Z goes to the movies and comes back with an even better film in his head, with a song that plays like the Copacabana scene in GoodFellas translated into hip-hop. The most triumphant sound anyone came up with all year, this track makes you fly in more ways than one. After thanking his drug connection and tipping his hat to God, Jigga toasts the high life over a gritty Brooklyn funky-horns riff from the Menahan Street Band. It's a celebration, bitches. Drinks is on the house!

2. Randy Newman: "A Few Words in Defense of Our Country"

"Let's drop the big one and see what happens." That was Newman's advice twenty-five years ago in "Political Science." But on this farewell to the American empire, it turns out we dropped the big one on ourselves: "The leaders we have/While they're the worst that we've had/Are hardly the worst this poor world has seen." Bush: not as bad as Stalin. Don't you feel better?

3. Rihanna: "Umbrella"

This year's "Crazy," as in the sleeper hit that becomes the world's favorite song. And then just keeps getting more popular, until everybody can hear that robot voice chanting "ella ella ella, ay ay ay" in their sleep. The guitars are prime Eighties studio rock, while the green-eyed lady on the mike sings like the Cranberries.

4. Justice: "D.A.N.C.E."

The breakout tune from the hypercool Paris dance label Ed Banger (run by Daft Punk's manager) is a blast of glitter-disco joy, with a rubbery bass line and an insistent children's chorus demanding that you "do the dance!" Just try to say no!

5. Bright Eyes: "Four Winds"

The lyrics evoke W.B. Yeats; the music, J.C. Mellencamp. No song better captured our current sense of looming apocalypse than this one, which also makes a case for Conor Oberst as one of the best — and bravest — lyricists out there: "The Bible's blind, the Torah's deaf, the Koran's mute/If you burned them all together, you'd get close to the truth."

6. Lil Wayne: "Dough Is What I Got"

Insanely prolific (or maybe just insane), the self-proclaimed Best Rapper Alive works his down-South magic over a jazzy sax sample and proves his sub-zero flow can make the shy girls horny and the fly girls corny.

7. Amy Winehouse: "Rehab"

Not since Eminem has a pop song hit with this subversive force: The contrast between the retro production and the defiantly slurred chorus is hilarious at first — then heartbreaking.

8. Bruce Springsteen: "Long Walk Home"

In a song that sums up the American moment better than any presidential candidate has managed, the darkness on the edge of town creeps into Main Street — and we're left to figure out what went wrong. And if the chorus leaves some hope that we'll regain what we've lost, the E Street Band's martial blare somehow guarantees it.

9. M.I.A.: "Boyz"

A dutty-rock jam about riding with your girls, calling out the dude version of "How many ladies in the house?" Except M.I.A. turns those shout-outs into a global-capitalism survey: "How many no-money boys are crazy . . . how many start a war?"

10. UGK: "Int'l Player's Anthem"

Before his sudden death, Pimp C celebrated his release from jail with the posse cut of the year: Houston's reigning hip-hop duo with fellow Dirty South crews Three 6 Mafia and OutKast.

11. Kanye West: "Stronger"

Robot funk is the new soul loop! With his futuristic, Daft Punk-fueled synthfest, Kanye declares he's down with hipster America's obsession with French dance music.

12. John Fogerty: "Gunslinger"

Armed with Creedence-y twang, Fogerty turns Bush's love for Wild West demagoguery against him, yearning for some frontier justice to tame the "wild-eyed bunch" running the country.

13. Of Montreal: "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal"

The best Bowie homage to mention Georges Bataille since . . . ever? Ever! Almost twelve minutes of emotional turmoil, with an intense krautrock groove full of synths and guitar. Kevin Barnes chronicles the details of a young love gone very, very bad.

14. 50 Cent: "I Get Money"

This over-the-top celebration of stanky richness was one of the strongest radio hits of 2007, thanks to its grinding beat, nickel-plated hooks and 50's pile-driving rhymes.

15. Britney Spears: "Piece of Me"