A list of songs that are cleared by Ofcom to be broadcast on television or radio, subject to fair-use.
"Like a Rolling Stone" is a 1965 song by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Its confrontational lyrics originated in an extended piece of verse Dylan wrote in June 1965, when he returned exhausted from a grueling tour of England. Dylan distilled this draft into four verses and a chorus. "Like a Rolling Stone" was recorded a few weeks later as part of the sessions for the forthcoming album Highway 61 Revisited.
"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" is a song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones, released in 1965. It was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and produced by Andrew Loog Oldham. Richards' five-note guitar riff—intended to be replaced by horns—opens and drives the song. The lyrics refer to sexual frustration and commercialism.
"Imagine" is a song co-written and performed by English musician John Lennon. The best-selling single of his solo career, its lyrics encourage the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisions of religion and nationality and to consider the possibility that the whole of humanity would live unattached to material possessions. Shortly before his death, Lennon said that much of the song's "lyric and content" came from his wife Yoko Ono, and in 2017, she received a co-writing credit.
"What's Going On" is a song by American recording artist Marvin Gaye, released in 1971 on the Motown subsidiary Tamla. Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by Renaldo "Obie" Benson, the song was composed by Benson, Al Cleveland and Gaye and produced by Gaye himself. The song marked Gaye's departure from the Motown Sound towards more personal material. Later topping the Hot Soul Singles chart for five weeks and crossing over to number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it would sell over two million copies, becoming Gaye's second-most successful Motown song to date.
"Respect" is a song written and originally released by American recording artist Otis Redding in 1965. The song became a 1967 hit and signature song for soul singer Aretha Franklin. The music in the two versions is significantly different, and through a few changes in the lyrics, the stories told by the songs have a different flavor. Redding's version is a plea from a desperate man, who will give his woman anything she wants. He won't care if she does him wrong, as long as he gets his due respect when he brings money home.
"Good Vibrations" is a song composed by Brian Wilson with lyrics by Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys, of which both were members. Released on October 10, 1966, the single was an immediate critical and commercial hit, topping record charts in several countries including the US and UK. Characterized by its complex soundscapes, episodic structure and subversions of pop music formula, it was the costliest single ever recorded at the time of its release. "Good Vibrations" later became widely acclaimed as one of the finest and most important works of the rock era.
"Johnny B. Goode" is a 1958 rock-and-roll song written and first recorded by Chuck Berry. The song was a major hit, peaking at number two on Billboard magazine's Hot R&B Sides chart and number eight on its Hot 100 chart.
"Hey Jude" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as a non-album single in August 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The single was the Beatles' first release on their Apple record label and one of the "First Four" singles by Apple's roster of artists, marking the label's public launch. "Hey Jude" was a number-one hit in many countries around the world and became the top-selling single of 1968 in the UK, the US, Australia and Canada. Its nine-week run at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 tied the all-time record in 1968 for the longest run at the top of the US charts. It has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on music critics' lists of the greatest songs of all time.
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" is a song by American rock band Nirvana. It is the opening track and lead single from the band's second album, Nevermind (1991), released on DGC Records. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was Nirvana's biggest hit in most countries, placing high on music industry charts around the world in 1991 and 1992. The unexpected success propelled Nevermind to the top of the charts at the start of 1992, an event often marked as the point where grunge entered the mainstream.
"What'd I Say" (or "What I Say") is an American rhythm and blues song by Ray Charles, released in 1959. As a single divided into two parts, it was one of the first soul songs. The composition was improvised one evening late in 1958 when Charles, his orchestra, and backup singers had played their entire set list at a show and still had time left; the response from many audiences was so enthusiastic that Charles announced to his producer that he was going to record it.
"My Generation" is a song by the English rock band the Who, which became a hit and one of their most recognizable songs. The song was named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time and 13th on VH1's list of the 100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll. It is also part of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and is inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for "historical, artistic and significant" value. In 2009 it was named the 37th Greatest Hard Rock Song by VH1.
A Change Is Gonna Come" is a song by American recording artist Sam Cooke. It initially appeared on Cooke's album Ain't That Good News, released mid-February 1964 by RCA Victor; a slightly edited version of the recording was released as a single on December 22, 1964. Produced by Hugo & Luigi and arranged and conducted by René Hall, the song was the B-side to "Shake".
"Yesterday" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and first released on the album Help! in the United Kingdom in August 1965. "Yesterday", with the B-side "Act Naturally", was released as a single in the United States in September 1965. While it topped the American chart in October the song also hit the British top 10 in a cover version by Matt Monro. The song also appeared on the UK EP "Yesterday" in March 1966 and the Beatles' US album Yesterday and Today, released in June 1966.
"Blowin' in the Wind" is a song written by Bob Dylan in 1962 and released as a single and on his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan in 1963. Although it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war, and freedom. The refrain "The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind" has been described as "impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind"
London Calling is the third studio album by English rock band The Clash. It was originally released as a double album in the United Kingdom on 14 December 1979 by CBS Records, and in the United States in January 1980 by Epic Records. The Clash recorded the album at Wessex Sound Studios in London during August, September and November 1979, following a change in management and a period of writer's block for Joe Strummer and Mick Jones, the band's lead vocalists, guitarists, and lyricists. Marking a bridge between a traditional punk rock sound and a new post-punk aesthetic, London Calling reflects the band's growing interest in a range of styles beyond their punk roots, including reggae, rockabilly, ska, New Orleans R&B, pop, lounge jazz, and hard rock. Themes explored in the songs include social displacement, unemployment, racial conflict, drug use, and the responsibilities of adulthood.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded in October 1963, it was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment. With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its day of release (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group's first million-seller "She Loves You", their previous UK single, which was having a resurgence of popularity following intense media coverage of the group. Taking two weeks to dislodge its predecessor, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" stayed at number 1 for five weeks and remained in the UK top 50 for 21 weeks in total
"Purple Haze" is a song written by Jimi Hendrix and released as the second record single by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on March 17, 1967. As a record chart hit in several countries and the opening number on the Experience's debut American album, it was many people's first exposure to Hendrix's psychedelic rock sound. The song features his inventive guitar playing, which uses the signature Hendrix chord and a mix of blues and Eastern modalities, shaped by novel sound processing techniques. Because of ambiguities in the lyrics, listeners often interpret the song as referring to a psychedelic experience, although Hendrix described it as a love song.
"Maybellene" was one of the first rock and roll songs. It was written and recorded in 1955 by Chuck Berry, adapted in part from the Western swing fiddle tune "Ida Red". Berry's song told the story of a hot rod race and a broken romance, the lyrics describing a man driving a V8 Ford and chasing his unfaithful girlfriend in her Cadillac Coupe DeVille. It was released in July 1955 as a single by Chess Records, of Chicago, Illinois.
"Hound Dog" is a twelve-bar blues song written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Recorded originally by Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton on August 13, 1952, in Los Angeles and released by Peacock Records in late February 1953, "Hound Dog" was Thornton's only hit record, selling over 500,000 copies, spending 14 weeks in the R&B charts, including seven weeks at number one. Thornton's recording of "Hound Dog" is listed as one of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll", and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in February 2013.
"Let It Be" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, released in March 1970 as a single, and (in an alternate mix) as the title track of their album Let It Be. At the time, it had the highest debut on the Billboard Hot 100, beginning its chart run at number 6. It was written and sung by Paul McCartney. It was their final single before McCartney announced his departure from the band. Both the Let It Be album and the US single "The Long and Winding Road" were released after McCartney's announced departure from and the subsequent break-up of the group. The alternate mix on their album Let It Be features an additional guitar solo and some minor differences in the orchestral sections.
"Born to Run" is a song by American singer songwriter Bruce Springsteen, and the title song of his album Born to Run. Upon its release, music critic Robert Christgau took note of its wall of sound influence and called it "the fulfillment of everything 'Be My Baby' was about and lots more."
"Be My Baby" is a song written by Jeff Barry, Ellie Greenwich, and Phil Spector. It was recorded on July 5, 1963 at Gold Star Studios Hollywood by American girl group the Ronettes and released as a single in August 1963 and later placed on their 1964 debut LP Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes featuring Veronica.
"In My Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1965 album Rubber Soul. It was written mainly by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Paul McCartney and Lennon later disagreed over the extent of their respective contribution to that song, specifically the melody.
"People Get Ready" is a 1965 single by the Impressions, and the title track from the People Get Ready album. The single is the group's best-known hit, reaching number-three on the Billboard R&B Chart and number 14 on the Billboard Pop Chart.
"God Only Knows" is a song written by Brian Wilson and Tony Asher for American rock band the Beach Boys, released in May 1966 on the group's album Pet Sounds. Two months later, it was released as the B-side of "Wouldn't It Be Nice" in the United States.
"(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay" is a song co-written by soul singer Otis Redding and guitarist Steve Cropper. It was recorded by Redding twice in 1967, including once just days before his death in a plane crash.
"Layla" is a song written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon, originally released by their blues rock band Derek and the Dominos, as the thirteenth track from their only studio album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (November 1970).
"A Day in the Life" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that was released as the final track of their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, the verses were mainly written by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney primarily contributing the song's middle section.
"Help!" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles that served as the title song for the 1965 film and its soundtrack album. It was released as a single in July 1965, and was number one for three weeks in the United States and the United Kingdom. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, "Help!" was written by John Lennon with some assistance from Paul McCartney. During an interview with Playboy in 1980, Lennon recounted: "The whole Beatles thing was just beyond comprehension. I was subconsciously crying out for help".
"I Walk the Line" is a song written and recorded in 1956 by Johnny Cash. After three attempts with moderate chart ratings, it became Cash's first number one hit on the Billboard charts. It reached number 17 on the US pop charts.
"Stairway to Heaven" is a song by the English rock band Led Zeppelin, released in late 1971. It was composed by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant for the band's untitled fourth studio album (often called Led Zeppelin IV).
"Sympathy for the Devil" is a song by English rock band the Rolling Stones, written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. It is the opening track on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet. Rolling Stone magazine placed it at number 32 on its list of the "500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
"River Deep – Mountain High" is a 1966 single performed by Tina Turner and credited to Ike & Tina Turner. Considered by producer Phil Spector to be his best work, the single was successful in Europe, peaking at number 3 in the United Kingdom, and peaking at number 16 in Australia although it flopped on its original release in the United States.
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" is a song written by Phil Spector, Barry Mann, and Cynthia Weil. It was first recorded by the Righteous Brothers in 1964, produced by Phil Spector. Their recording is considered by some music critics to be the ultimate expression and illustration of Spector's "Wall of Sound" recording technique.
"Light My Fire" is a song by the American rock band the Doors. It was recorded in August 1966 and released in January 1967 on their eponymous debut album. Released as an edited single on April 24, 1967, it spent three weeks at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late July, and one week on the Cash Box Top 100, nearly a year after its recording. A year later, it re-entered the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 following the success of José Feliciano's cover version of the song (which peaked at number 3 on the Billboard chart), peaking at number 87.
"One" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the third track from their 1991 album Achtung Baby, and it was released as the record's third single in February 1992. During the album's recording sessions at Hansa Studios in Berlin, conflict arose between the band members over the direction of U2's sound and the quality of their material.
"No Woman, No Cry" is a reggae song by Bob Marley and the Wailers. The song first became known in 1974 from the studio album Natty Dread. This studio version used a drum machine. The live version from the 1975 album Live! was released as a single and is the best known version; it was included on the greatest hits compilation Legend, and was recorded at the Lyceum Theatre in London on July 17, 1975 as part of his Natty Dread Tour. The live version of the song ranked No.
"Gimme Shelter" is the opening track to the 1969 album Let It Bleed by the Rolling Stones. Greil Marcus, writing in Rolling Stone magazine at the time of its release, praised the song, stating that the band has "never done anything better". Although the first word was spelled "Gimmie" on that album, subsequent recordings by the band and other musicians have made "Gimme" the customary spelling. The recording features Richards playing in an open tuning on electric guitar.
"That'll Be the Day" is a song written by Buddy Holly and Jerry Allison. It was first recorded by Buddy Holly and the Three Tunes in 1956 and was re-recorded in 1957 by Holly and his new band, the Crickets. The 1957 recording achieved widespread success. Holly's producer, Norman Petty, was credited as a co-writer, although he did not contribute to the composition.
"Dancing in the Street" is a song written by Marvin Gaye, William "Mickey" Stevenson and Ivy Jo Hunter. It first became popular in 1964 when recorded by Martha and the Vandellas whose version reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
"The Weight" is a song originally by the Canadian-American group the Band that was released as Capitol Records single 2269 in 1968 and on the group's debut album Music from Big Pink. Written by Band member Robbie Robertson, the song is about a visitor's experiences in a town mentioned in the lyric's first line as Nazareth.
"Waterloo Sunset" is a song by British rock band The Kinks. It was released as a single in 1967, and featured on their album Something Else by The Kinks. Composed and produced by Kinks frontman Ray Davies, "Waterloo Sunset" is one of the band's best known and most acclaimed songs, and ranked number 42 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".
"Tutti Frutti" (meaning "all fruits" in Italian) is a song written by Little Richard along with Dorothy LaBostrie that was recorded in 1955 and became his first major hit record. With its opening cry of "A-wop-bop-a-loo-mop-a-lop-bom-bom!" (a verbal rendition of a drum pattern that Little Richard had imagined) and its hard-driving sound and wild lyrics, it became not only a model for many future Little Richard songs, but also a model for rock and roll itself.
"Georgia on My Mind" is a 1930 song written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell and first recorded that year. It has often been associated with Ray Charles, a native of the U.S. state of Georgia, who recorded it for his 1960 album The Genius Hits the Road.
"Heartbreak Hotel" is a song recorded by American singer Elvis Presley. It was released as a single on January 27, 1956, Presley's first on his new record label RCA Victor. It was written by Tommy Durden, Mae Boren Axton and Elvis Presley. A newspaper article about the suicide of a lonely man who jumped from a hotel window inspired the lyrics.
"'Heroes'" is a song by English musician David Bowie. It was co-written by Bowie and Brian Eno, produced by Bowie and Tony Visconti, and recorded in July and August 1977 at Hansa Studio by the Wall. It was released on 23 September 1977 as the lead single from his 12th studio album of the same name, backed with the song "V-2 Schneider". A product of Bowie's "Berlin" period, the track was not a huge hit in the United Kingdom or United States after its release, but it has since become one of his signature songs.
"All Along the Watchtower" is a song written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. The song initially appeared on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding, and it has been included on most of Dylan's subsequent greatest hits compilations.
Bridge over Troubled Water is the fifth and final studio album by American folk rock duo Simon & Garfunkel, released in January 1970 on Columbia Records. Following the duo's soundtrack for The Graduate, Art Garfunkel took an acting role in the film Catch-22, while Paul Simon worked on the songs, writing all tracks except Felice and Boudleaux Bryant's "Bye Bye Love" (previously a hit for the Everly Brothers). With the help of producer Roy Halee, the album followed a similar musical pattern as their Bookends, partly abandoning their traditional style to incorporate elements of rock, R&B, gospel, jazz, world music, pop and other genres.
"Hotel California" is the title track from the Eagles' album of the same name and was released as a single in February 1977. Writing credits for the song are shared by Don Felder (music), Don Henley, and Glenn Frey (lyrics).
"The Tracks of My Tears" is a song written by Smokey Robinson, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin. It is a multiple award-winning 1965 hit R&B song originally recorded by their group, The Miracles, on Motown's Tamla label.
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