These songs, both classics and contemporary pop, will undoubtedly put a spring in your step! There’s sure to be something here for every taste; from an upbeat singalong tune to heartbreaking ballads – this list truly has something for everyone!
This song conveys how difficult relationships can be, while at the same time reminding us how liberating it can be to end one that’s toxic.
1. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself”
A classic of both MTV era and modern pop culture, this chart-topping smash hit is an epic example of sound design. From its funk- and disco-influenced beat and piano accompaniment to its slide whistle sonics – every element works together seamlessly to create an atmosphere that is both sensual and seductive all at the same time.
Eminem may be best known for his biting street rhymes, but he has also created some of the most approachable, heartfelt and universal pop songs of all time. Releasing just months before Columbine massacre, this track’s darkly comedic recount of schoolday traumas as both victim and perpetrator prove both touching and prophetic.
Eminem stands as one of the world’s premier wordsmiths and few artists can more effectively convey personal anguish than him. On this track, his achingly honest account of his marriage’s breakdown is coupled with an excellent vocal performance and memorable hook.
Soft Cell, UK New Romantic duo of UK New Romantic duo Soft Cell managed to earn themselves one Billboard Hot 100 hit through this anthem of addiction and self-doubt, recreating the energy of spring break parties while Q-Tip (early in his career) and Lady Miss Kier (fashion-school dropout Lady Miss Kier) captured young urban professionals struggling with drug abuse through an emotive duet chant. Resonating and relevant to anyone who has ever fallen in love or been affected by substance abuse or addiction issues alike; therefore this song remains one of the most streamed pop hits ever.
2. Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World”
Louis Armstrong’s rendition of this timeless standard is an upbeat reminder that peace on Earth and goodwill toward men (and women!) are possibilities. The song features an easy singing arrangement, with its light tempo. Louis’ trumpet solo quotes lines from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue which was groundbreaking at the time. “Rhapsody in Blue” became one of 1958’s top hits – eventually even being made into a film!
Love songs tend to focus on seducing, persuading or persuading their listeners, with few setting out to promote domestic stability as seductively as they possibly could. That is precisely what makes Van Morrison’s vision of his youth with its flashbacks of innocent days (with a brief nod towards public fornication in verse three) so brilliant. Not to mention its status as career-defining pop magic!
Armstrong made use of the newly available RCA ribbon microphone during his 1930s recordings, taking full advantage of its warm vocal tones to achieve a crooning style popularized by Bing Crosby and others like him. Here is an outstanding example showcasing Armstrong’s innovative approach to singing popular classics that were already considered standards like Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust”.
Soft Cell, the U.K. New Romantic duo that recorded this classic northern soul hit from Gloria Jones in the ’60s, were fortunate enough to achieve success by taking an alternative approach with its cover version of this hit song on the Hot 100 chart. Their rendition is remarkable in its forward momentum; as verses run seamlessly into choruses while Diana Ross’ robust vocal keeps things from going into maudlin territory; thus serving as testament to great pop music‘s long-term power.
3. John Lennon’s “Yesterday”
The Beatles’ 1964 hit has long been one of the most recognized songs. Lennon’s vocals on this song, backed by Paul McCartney on guitar and bass, are exquisite and touching; multiple compilation albums have included this track over time and it remains one of the most recorded pieces ever created by pop music artists.
As a result, it has become part of our cultural consciousness and can often be heard whenever someone mentions love or heartache. No one could possibly fail to be moved by its emotional intensity! In Twilight’s film version, Lennon’s voice serves as an emotional guide for Jack (Ashton Kutcher). This song by The Beatles can often serve as art pieces that convey powerful messages through music – something no other group does as effectively.
While rock has long been canonized and hip-hop has gradually found a place within our culture’s collective memory, modern pop music still lacks an official hall of fame despite boasting some iconic hits that remain relevant today. This oversight should not stand: its greatest hits make up some of our cultural history’s most treasured memories.
Pop songs that truly excel are usually between two and five minutes long, and often talk about love, sex and dancing. The best of these tunes have an underlying belief that these three aspects of life are equal and inextricable from one another – artists combine these aspects of life into an intense two to five minute visceral blast of emotion and sensation.
4. Prince’s “Purple Rain”
Prince, known best for his iconic album and film that made him an international icon, never failed to move us throughout his storied career. While known for his sometimes explosive performances (just ask his former record label!), much of his music spoke deeply to him personally and expressed an intimate view of life that was often tender, sincere and sensual.
On this sultry ballad, Prince laments to his ex that they’ve done what they did, yet still loves her despite it all. Though Mitch Ryder had a hit with their version years later, Prince’s rendition remains superior – even performing it during his 2007 Super Bowl halftime show in spite of driving rainstorms!
Prince expanded his sonic palette on this track, featuring tablas and sitars, multi-tracked vocals, widescreen multi-layered visuals, as well as samples from Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp.” Prince appears to be playing around with numerology here — seven represents searching for truth — in creating this masterpiece that displays both his lyrical talents as well as transcend pop conventions.
Prince is well known for transforming everyday songs into memorable pop rock gems; here he proves it once more by remixing this Sly and the Family Stone classic into something extraordinary. While Prince excels at crafting full LP versions of his work, even single edit versions still feel party-esque!
5. New Order’s “Blue Monday”
Once Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis passed away, band members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Gillian Gilbert set about forging their own music direction. Power Corruption & Lies (1983) established them as masters of dance-ready synth pop, while their iconic song “Blue Monday” cemented their status as one of the era’s most influential bands.
Sumner sings an emotional song lamenting the monotony and disillusionment of life while also venting his feelings of despair and disillusionment. The song’s title refers to “blue-collar days”, reflecting not only Sumner’s lament but also the dismal economic outlook at that time and desolation felt by young people today.
New Order’s groundbreaking sound can be heard in this song, which perfectly showcases their ability to combine elements from various genres into something truly original. A high-NRG club beat is balanced out with sequenced keyboard melodies played on a Moog Source and interspersed by Hook’s iconic bass guitar lines; all this culminating in Hook’s bass guitar lines crossing over. Though dancefloor-ready, its structure differs significantly from that typical for pop music at its release time: verse-chorus structures weren’t used a lot in its compositional compositional structures at all – something most other songs did employ at their releases.
Quincy Jones, owner of Qwest Records–New Order’s label in the United States– helped propel “Blue Monday” to success on UK charts as well as Billboard Dance Club Songs chart in 1988. Though not included on Power, Corruption & Lies at first release, the track became an essential element in their live shows up until 2007 rerelease. Since then it has also been featured as a soundtrack in films like Chapter and Verse, Atomic Blonde 1984 Wonder Woman 1984 Call of Duty games as well as multiple commercial campaigns including one from Yves Saint Laurent.