all time best songs 2

Playlist Hits 2 | 13 of the greatest songs of all time and their stories behind

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With these 13 hits you will be transported to different eras, with styles as different as Lil Nas X, Elvis Presley or Rosalía 🎧 You will also learn the stories behind these songs that have marked the past and present of music.

Tunes and Playlists that make you thrill | Trembol
Category | Themed Playlists
Author | JC Trembol

Reading Time | 5 min

Listening Time | 53 min

You can also enjoy the first part of the Playlist Hits 🎧 or any other of our handmade playlists

Discover the story behind 13 of the greatest songs of all time

Music is an indisputable part of our lives and we are sure that some of these songs ring a bell 😉 If not, get ready to discover some of the best songs of all time but, stay tuned, because no matter how old you are, surely more than one has been part of the soundtrack of your life without you even realizing it.

1. LIL NAS X | MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)

Montero‘ Album | USA | 2021

  • ‘MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)’, a mega-hit on digital platforms, is part of rapper Lil Nas X’s first studio album.
  • The track references the movie of the same name released in 2017.
  • Lil presents himself as an LGTBQ+ icon, thus breaking molds and stereotypes of artists of his gender, color and religion 🏳️‍🌈

I want kids growing up feeling these feelings, knowing they’re a part of the LGBTQ community, to feel like they’re O.K. and they don’t have to hate themselves.

  • In addition to the uproar generated by the song, it turns out Lil Nas X messed up a bit on another front! It all happened when he sold in just a few minutes, at $ 1,200 per pair, the 666 units of the dubbed as ‘Satan Shoes‘, an adaptation of Nike’s Air Max 97 artistic, transgressive and a bit tinged with blood 🩸

2. LOS RODRÍGUEZ | Sin Documentos (Without documents)

Sin Documentos‘ Album | SPAIN – ARGENTINA | 2021

  • Sin Documentos is about to celebrate 30 years since its release and its rumba still sounds fresh and rogue as the first day. It continues to thrill me with every listen.
  • The song and the whole álbum 🛒 were a turning point in the careers of Andrés Calamaro, Rot and Vilella. Their early 90’s in Spain were so complicated that Calamaro considered returning to Argentina to start a solo career.

In Argentina our friends were having a lot of success: they were recording albums in the United States and selling-out stadiums.

  • The lyrics of Sin Documentos tell two stories. On the one hand, it talks about love, referring to the recent marriage between Calamaro and his girlfriend Mónica García de Piedra. On the other hand, its title alludes to the story of most of the members of Los Rodriguez, born outside Spain and living in Madrid without legal documentation 📃

3. BABEL FISH | Mania

Babel Fish‘ Album | NORWEY | 1998

  • This Norwegian pop rock band was born in Oslo in the 80s, although it was not until 2000 when they became known worldwide.
  • The hit song ‘Mania’ was included in the album Babel Fish 🛒, the band’s first album, and was a huge hit in Europe.
  • The song was not only played on the radio, but was also part of a tobacco commercial and the soundtrack of the legendary series Dawson Creek 📺

Why is the band called Babel Fish?

The Norwegian band’s name originates from a fictional animal 🐟 inspired by the radio play ‘‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘ by British author Douglas Adams, which was later made into a film.

4. ALIZÉE | Moi… Lolita (Me… Lolita)

‘Gourmandises‘ Album | FRANCE | 2001

  • The French Alizée debuted in 2000 with ‘Moi… Lolita, a song that caused a sensation inside and outside its borders 🌎 I still remember when I heard it for the first time, I was a teenager at the time, and both the song and Alizée stirred my blood 🧬
  • ‘Lolita’ is a character of Nabokov’s mythical novel of the same name.
  • The lyrics were written by fellow singer Mylène Farmer. She gave it that literary touch through metaphors and complex texts.
  • In 2007, Alizée released a new version of the song, as she did not have the rights to the original 😲 Three years later she returned with an electronic remix.

5. DOJA CAT | Say So

Hot Pink‘ Album | USA | 2020

  • Say So swept TikTok in 2020, being the most listened female song in 2020, along with Dua Lipa.
  • The meaning is pretty straghtforward, Doja gives wings to her crush to be honest with her and confess his feelings. As Doja Cat explains:

It’s about when you go somewhere and you see someone and they don’t approach you, but you’re looking at each other and you both feel like there’s something there.

  • The song has a pop sound influenced by disco and 70’s funk.
  • Due to its success Doja released a remix of Say So with fellow rapper Nicki Minaj

6. FRANCIS CABREL | La Quiero a Morir (I love her to death)

Les Chemins de Traverse‘ Album | FRANCE | 1979

  • La Quiero a Morir (I love her to death) is part of Cabrel’s 2nd album, ‘Les Chemins de Traverse (Diagon Alley)‘ and has its own Spanish version, which is our favourite.
  • With this single, Cabrel became a musical phenomenon all over the planet 🌎
  • Such is the relevance achieved by the cut, that it has been covered and performed by dozens of artists, including Shakira, Camilo Sesto, Sergio Dalma, Jarabe de Palo o Raphael 🎤 Do they all love her to death? Without a doubt, they do!
  • About the origin of the song, it is believed to be in a poem that the writer Jean Cau wrote to the actress María Félix, with whom he is said to have had a passionate relationship ❤ What there is no doubt about is that it is Francis Cabrel’s best-selling song.

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7. ELVIS PRESLEY | It’s Now Or Never

It’s Now Or Never‘ Album | USA | 1960

  • With over 20 million copies sold 🤑, ‘It’s Now Or Never‘ is the most successful Elvis single of his entire career.
  • If at the sound of this song you feel it resonates with you, you’re not wrong. Why? Because Elvis’ song is clearly inspired by the also famous ‘O Sole Mio‘ and Tony Martin’s ‘There’s No Tomorrow‘.
  • Why ‘O Sole Mio‘? While in the army, Elvis was in Germany. It was there that he heard this song and was so hooked by it that he asked his record company for an English version – a great idea!
  • Recording this song was also quite an answer to Frank Sinatra, who declared that Elvis didn’t have much vocal technique and that time would proof if he was really a good singer. Well!, you know the end of the story for the King of Rock 😅

8. AMY WINEHOUSE & MARK RONSON | Valerie 

Version‘ Album | UK & USA | 2007

  • Valerie‘s story dates from 2006, when the indie British band The Zutons, released it.
  • Already in its original version was a success, so it is not surprising that also triumphed in the hands of Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson when they published their version in 2007 ⭐
  • Ronson had it clear, after listening to ‘Back to Black’ or ‘Rehab’, the producer wanted Amy on his album no matter what.
  • Although in the music video we can’t see Amy, the song is produced to make the most of her special voice in a mix of soul, motown and pop that delights any music lover, like us.

¿Who is ‘Valerie’?

The song is about Valeria Star, a makeup artist and hairstylist who was romantically involved with Dave McCabe, a member of The Zutons, whom she met at one of the band’s concerts in Florida ❤️

9. VANESA MARTÍN | Trampas (Cheat)

Trampas‘ Album | SPAIN | 2010

  • Trampas belongs to the 2nd studio album 🛒 of this Spanish artist. It definitely elevated Vanesa to the top of the latin music scene.
  • Vanesa explained it like this:

Trampas is one of the first songs I composed when I was still working with Agua (the album), and when I sang it I was very excited… what I pretend is to “catch” people, that they stay with me

  • You only have to see some of the comments on YouTube to understand the emotion that this song generates:
    • The best discovery of Spanish music
    • It brings out great emotions from the soul
    • THOSE WONDERFUL VIOLINS THE BEST!!!

10. HOZIER | Take Me To Church

‘Take Me To Church’ Album | UK | 2014

  • ⛪ In ‘Take Me To Church’, Irish singer/songwriter Hozier questions some of the convictions of the Catholic church, metaphorically comparing his lover to religion.
  • With a critique wrapped in a sound that mixes indie rock, soul and blues, the song is also accompanied by a video that made the song even more popular. It reflects the relationship of a homosexual couple and how both men are persecuted for their sexual orientation.
  • Hozier explained: 

The song is about asserting yourself and reclaiming your humanity through an act of love

11. ROSALÍA | Aunque Es de Noche (Even though it is nighttime)

SPAIN | 2017

  • Rosalía revolutionized the world music scene when she rose to fame in 2018 with El Mal Querer.
  • But before that she had already released songs like, Aunque es de Noche, an adaptation of “Qué bien sé yo la fonte“, a poem by San Juan de la Cruz that also served as inspiration for the song of the same name by Enrique Morente, released in 1983.
  • The poem refers to the darkest days of a friar, who was imprisoned in Toledo (Spain) for a few months ⛓️
  • How do you interpret the video? Like all Rosalia’s videos, it doesn’t leave you indifferent. For us, it is a celebration of death as part of life.

12. STARSHIP | Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now

Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now‘ Album | USA | 1987

  • This song was composed by Diane Warren and Albert Hammond, being part of the second CD 🛒 of the American rock band Starship.
  • The song was used as the theme song for the romantic comedy Mannequin 🎬 In fact, the music video contains scenes from the movie.
  • What is the origin of the tune? The inspiration behind the lyrics was none other than Albert Hammond’s impending marriage to his partner. Due to a previous union, he had to wait seven years to take his wife to the altar. As he himself said, nothing was going to stop him then!
  • Undoubtedly, it was fortunate for the band that this song ended up in their repertoire, as it is the most successful song of their career.

13. MANCHESTER ORCHESTRA | The Silence

‘A Black Mile To The Surface‘ Album | UK | 2018

  • ‘The Silence’ is included in the album A Black Mile to The Surface 🛒, a work that is entirely about family.
  • In the song’s understated music video, the band plays in an empty amphitheater in the beginning, transitioning to a concert filled with people and lights in its final part.
  • Andy Hull, a member of the band and the song’s composer, had this to say about the song:

‘The Silence’ is one of the songs I wrote – popped out of bed at one in the morning – it felt like I kinda had to get this thing down, and really, it’s a prayer to God. It’s God talking to me, God talking to my daughter, and then ultimately at the end, the finale is me praying over my daughter

  • We can’t think of a more moving way to end this 2nd part of the best songs of all time, than with a tune that is already a classic.

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