Top 50 Favourite Songs Since 2017: Jeff Pike

Kudos to Rolling Stone magazine for an updated list this year of the 500 best songs of all time. They’ve got some real bangers going there. “Banger” is a word I learned recently on the internet but etymologies say it’s been around since at least 2008, in the sense of “an energetic song that is very striking or extraordinary.” My list is full of bangers—50, to be precise, though not all may be at a tempo to be called energetic. It is also the result of listening to music in the online streaming mode, which I have been doing since approximately 2017. I know people still prefer digital, CDs, god knows vinyl, maybe even cassette tapes to streaming, and I understand the reasons. Streaming is very good for corporations—Spotify, incredibly, went public in 2018—and it is arguably very good for consumers (I for one will argue it). But it’s not good at all for artists, in their zero-sum tensions with corporations like Spotify (or Napster, my own Pepsi-like choice). We all need to remember the story about geese and golden eggs. Pay the artists.

But anyway, that’s how I got here. I’ve spent decades now trying to figure out things like whether “If 6 Was 9” is better than “A Day in the Life” (latest update: no, but it’s closer than you might think). It’s fun to trample the coils of memory and nostalgia and work it all out and the pleasures of remembering a song you had forgotten is one of the main pleasures of this kind of list-making. But I feel done with that, at least for now. That Rolling Stone list is exhausting to contemplate, especially as presented, countdown style, so I confined my exercise to songs since 2017—and they are very much right side up. I’m quick to point out my main streaming playlist is well stocked with oldies (at the moment, for example, Rolling Stones, “Monkey Man”; Rilo Kiley, “Dreamworld”; Paul McCartney, “Let ‘Em In”; the very same Avalanches song in the list below at #10, which I did not actually know was 2000 until yesterday; Blossom Dearie, “Once Upon a Summertime,” two songs by Love, two songs by Kaleidoscope, etc.). But for this exercise I focused all my energy on the long five years past and found enough that I can not only swear by each and every one, but also declare this list is ranked, at least insofar as the upper 60%. You may notice I stuffed a few long songs into the last 10 or 15 too. Bangers all!

As for all-time, I’m claiming geezer rights of calcification. About 10 or 12 years ago I made a list of 100 Hit Songs and another of 100 Other Songs, along with a second hundred for both, for a total of 400 favorite songs ranked. I stand by those lists. It pains me to think of trying to integrate this 50 because I think a lot of them could well make it, and that would really open the door.


1. Serebro, “Пройдет” (2017, 3:34)
2. Treponem Pal, “Planet Claire” (2017, 3:39)
3. Kali Uchis, “Killer” (2018, 2:52)
4. Lizzo, “Boys” (2018, 2:52)
5. Purple Mountains, “All My Happiness Is Gone” (2019, 4:20)
6. Carl Craig, “Rock’n Latex” (2017, 3:05)
7. Marissa Nadler, “If We Make It Through the Summer” (2019, 2:20)
8. Benee, “Supalonely (Clean Version)” (2020, 3:43)
9. Vampire Weekend, “This Life” (2019, 4:28)
10. Avalanches, “Since I Left You” (2000, 4:22)
11. John Carpenter, “Weeping Ghost” (2020, 3:33)

12. Eve 6, “Black Nova” (2021, 3:27)
13. Sault, “Strong” (2020, 6:18)
14. Sinead O’Connor, “Trouble of the World” (2020, 4:48)
15. Janelle Monae, “Turntables” (2020, 2:43)
16. Roisin Murphy, “We Got Together” (2020, 5:10)
17. Unperfect, “Gots to Give the Girl” (2019, 4:05)
18. Chloe x Halle, “Happy Without Me” (2018, 3:27)
19. Lil Mosey, “Blueberry Faygo” (2020, 2:42)
20. Deaf Wish, “FFS” (2018, 2:13)
21. Kills, “I Put a Spell on You” (2020, 2:16)

22. Craig Finn, “God in Chicago” (2017, 4:45)
23. Alex Cameron, “Runnin’ Out of Luck” (2017, 3:51)
24. Karen O & Danger Mouse, “Turn the Light” (2019, 3:19)
25. Yugen Blakrok, “Picture Box” (2019, 3:39)
26. PVRIS, “Dead Weight” (2020, 3:27)
27. Allie X, “Susie Save Your Love” (2020, 3:58)
28. Fucked Up, “Accelerate” (2018, 5:29)
29. Dave, “Black” (2019, 3:48)
30. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Cast, “Let’s Generalize About Men” (2017, 2:38)
31. Marilyn Manson, “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” (2019, 2:40)
32. AJR, “Bang!” (2020, 2:50)
33. King Krule, “Dum Surfer” (2017, 4:23)
34. Blacktones, “The Key of Black (They Want Us Dead)” (2018, 6:09)

35. Tame Impala, “Patience” (2019, 4:52)
36. Noga Erez, “Views” (2020, 2:45)
37. Romeo Santos, “Heroe Favorito” (2017, 4:00)
38. John Prine, “I Remember Everything” (2020, 2:43)
39. Psychedelic Furs, “The Boy That Invented Rock & Roll” (2020, 3:37)
40. Peggy Gou, “It Makes You Forget (Itgehane)” (2018, 6:35)
41. CupcakKe, “Duck Duck Goose” (2018, 3:13)
42. John Mayer, “New Light” (2018, 3:36)
43. Raiki, “No More (Original Mix)” (2019, 5:03)

44. Comet Is Coming, “Blood of the Past” (2019, 8:15)
45. Weezer, “High as a Kite” (2019, 3:47)
46. Janice & Bill Youngman, “Wings” (2017, 6:47)
47. Mac DeMarco, “On the Square” (2019, 3:29)
48. Vladislav Delay, “Rakka” (2020, 7:26)
49. Car Seat Headrest, “There Must Be More Than Blood” (2020, 7:33)
50. Tyler, the Creator, “I Think” (2019, 3:32)


Have a Top 50 Songs list of your own? We’re open for submissions. Details here.


One thought on “Top 50 Favourite Songs Since 2017: Jeff Pike

  1. Play “Duck Duck Goose” against K. Lamar’s “Backseat Freestyle” in a battle of the sexes: “I pray my dick get big as the Eiffel Tower/So I can fuck the world for seventy-two hours.” And how’d I miss that Unperfect tune? Sweet single.

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