In one of the most ambitious articles created by this blog, we have set out to elucidate what are the best famous old songs in history in all languages. We have narrowed it down so much that we cover songs from 1950 to 1999 (with the idea of focusing on the 21st century in another post). This way, we can give more free rein to our favorite songs from the last 50 years of the previous century without fear of limiting the selection, knowing that delimiting something so vast and complex is not easy.
In the following lines, we will explain what our two lists of famous old songs consist of, why they are separated into two different ones, how we have arranged them, and what criteria we have chosen for all of this. Furthermore, and probably most importantly for you, who have come here with the intention of discovering and listening to these songs, we offer you the two corresponding Spotify links for each of the mentioned lists, which we will delve into further below.
Regarding the first question: Why two playlists? For the same reason we have decided that the chosen songs end in 1999 and not later (does anyone know when something stops being new and becomes old?). To be able to choose more. So, in the first playlist, you will find 3000 famous oldies songs in English (or more precisely, in languages of Anglo-Saxon origin). While in the second one, you can listen to the 1000 best famous old Spanish songs (or in Spanish and other Romance languages like French, Italian, or Portuguese), including Latin artists and artists from any continent singing in English. This last detail, for example, has raised several doubts when configuring these playlists, but for the sake of lovers of old music in Spanish, whose memories and searches often include these bands in this second list, we have kept them in it and not in the Anglo-Saxon one.
The most famous old songs in English. 3000 old iconic songs (from the 50s to the 90s)
We begin our review of our favorite famous old songs with the selection of songs in English. What is it composed of? Well, if you have read any of our previous lists available on the web, such as the one for the music of the 60s, you will see that we always indicate the number of songs that make up that decade. Both this one and the rest of the lists are related to each other, but in the annual and by-decade ones, we wanted to introduce each song and artist separately, while here we have opted for the option of simple and faster listening, in case you need something quick instead of reading.
In any case, we recommend visiting all the years to enjoy a little more by getting to know the history behind each song. That said, let’s go to the composition of this section. You have fifty songs from the 50s, two hundred from the 60s, two hundred and fifty from the 70s, also two hundred and fifty famous old songs from the 80s, and the same number of songs for the 90s.
Groups and singers like Ray Charles, Nina Simone, The Rolling Stones, or Leonard Cohen are just some of the names that appear. Songs like “Walk On The Wild Side,” “Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me),” or “Slave To Love,” just to name a few, without even mentioning the 90s. If we take a look at this decade, you will also find Depeche Mode, Oasis, or Rage Against the Machine. Or songs like “I’ll Be There For You,” “Still D.R.E.,” or “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”
The most famous old songs in Spanish. 1000 old iconic songs (from the 50s to the 90s)
As for famous old Spanish, Latin, French, Italian, Portuguese, and other options such as Romanian songs (we don’t remember if we also included any on the list), here is the second list. As you can imagine, in this list, we have also organized the selection in the same way but with some minor changes in the number of songs for each decade.
In this case, it is composed of fifty songs from the 50s, two hundred and thirty from the 60s, another two hundred and thirty from the 70s, two hundred and thirty more songs from the 80s, and two hundred and sixty songs from the 90s to finish. Do the numbers add up correctly? We think so. We created this playlist easily fifteen years ago, and since then, our mathematical brains may have lost consistency, but they still trust our past selves.
In this selection, we have added classic names from the music of the 40s and beyond, such as Antonio Molina, Édith Piaf, or João Gilberto. As for songs, we have “A Tu Vera,” “La Bohème,” or “Conversaciones Conmigo Mismo.” And that’s without even reaching the 80s and 90s. Then you will also find the voices of Loquillo, Laura Pausini, or Héroes Del Silencio. Or hits like “Quién Me Ha Robado El Mes De Abril,” “Ama, Ama Y Ensancha El Alma,” or “A Quién Le Importa.”
Want to discover more music from other periods? The best artists are here
Now that you have reached the end of the text, we hope you have liked all the songs we have chosen for you, or at least a majority of them. If so, or if you think you can contribute some more ideas to add, write to us in the comments section, where, in addition to providing your recommendations, you can also leave your opinion on this and the rest of the music lists available.
Discover or rediscover the great classics of music, the latest releases, and our favorite songs of each moment, including the current ones. This blog has been created by music lovers, and our intention is to share on both sides. From writer to reader, and from reader to writer. That’s why we appreciate any interaction you are willing to make to communicate with us.
On the other hand, you may also enjoy finding and listening to the occasional remix of classic songs because we love to sprinkle them in related articles. Like here.
(Madrid, 1987) Novelist by vocation, SEO specialist by profession. Music lover, cinephile and reading lover, but in “amateur” mode.