Pitchfork 500
Guide To the Greatest Songs from Punk To the Present

“Pitchfork offers up their take On the 500 best songs of the past three decades. Focusing On indie rock (Arcade Fire, the Shins), hip-hop (Public Enemy, Jay-Z), electronic (Daft Punk, Boards of Canada), pop (Madonna, Justin Timberlake), metal (Metallica, Boris) & experimental underground music (Suicide, Boredoms), the Pitchfork 500 features all-new essays & reviews written with the sharp wit & insight for which the site is known.

Kicking it off In 1977 with the birth of punk & independent music, the Pitchfork 500 runs chronologically, with each chapter representing a distinct period and offering a narrative of how the musical landscape of the day influenced its artists. The book opens with David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Kraftwerk and Brian Eno, the “art-rock godfathers” who set the tone & tenor for the next thirty years and wraps up In the present, when bands connect with new audiences through social networking sites & prime-time TV placements and when a single MP3 can turn a niche indie artist into a global sensation. Sidebars like “Yacht Rock,” “Runaway Trainwrecks,” “Nanofads” and “Career Killers” call out some far-from-classic musical trends and identify the guiltiest offenders.

Modernizing the music-guide format, the Pitchfork 500 reflects the way listeners are increasingly processing music: By song rather than By album. These 500 tracks condense thirty years of essential music into the ultimate chronological playlist, each song advancing the narrative and, By extension, the music itself.

Named the “Best site for music criticism On the web” By the New York Times Magazine, & created In 1996 By Ryan Schreiber and based In Chicago, Pitchfork Media has become the leading independent resource for music journalism, with a focus On indie rock, hip-hop, electronic, pop, metal, & experimental underground music. Publishing daily reviews, news, features & interviews, Pitchfork has developed one of the web’s most devoted & loyal followings, with 1.6 million unique visitors per month. Schreiber, the founder & president lives In Brooklyn, and Scott Plagenhoef, the editor-In-chief, lives In Chicago.”


o David Bowie - ‘Heroes’
o Iggy Pop - The Passenger
o Lou Reed - Street Hassle
o Kraftwerk - Trans-Europe Express
o Brian Eno - 1/1
o Ramones - Rockaway Beach
o Talking Heads - Psycho Killer
o Television - Marquee Moon
o Patti Smith - Rock ‘n’ Roll Nigger
o Sex Pistols - God Save the Queen
o Clash - (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
o Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love? (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve)
o Vic Godard & the Subway Sect - Parallel Lines
o X-Ray Spex - Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
o Adverts - One Chord Wonders
o Wire - Ex-Lion Tamer
o Donna Summer - I Feel Love
o Giorgia Moroder - The Chase
o Chic - Good Times
o Thelma Houston - Don’t Leave Me This Way
o Gloria Gaynor - I Will Survive
o Michael Jackson - Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough
o Parliament - Flashlight
o Marvin Gaye - Got To Give It Up
o Public Image Ltd - Public Image
o Gang of Four - Damaged Goods
o Magazine - Shot By Both Sides
o Cramps - Human Fly
o Misfits - Night of the Living Dead
o Wire - Outdoor Miner
o Joy Division - Disorder
o Althea & Donna - Uptown Top Ranking
o Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry - Roast Fish & Cornbread
o Congos - Fisherman
o Willi Williams - Armagideon Time
o This Heat - 24 Track Loop
o Slits - Typical Girls
o Pop Group - She Is Beyond Good & Evil
o Clash - Guns of Brixton
o James Chance & the Contortions - Contort Yourself
o Suicide - Dream, Baby Dream
o Cabaret Voltaire - Nag Nag Nag
o Throbbing Gristle - Hot On the Heels of Love
o Devo - Mongoloid
o Candido - Jingo
o Dinosaur - Kiss Me Again
o Machine (NYC) - There But for the Grace of God Go I
o Kate Bush - Wuthering Heights
o Goblin - Suspiria
o Blue Öyster Cult - (Don’t Fear) the Reaper
o AC/DC - Highway To Hell
o Van Halen - Runnin’ with the Devil
o Fleetwood Mac - The Chain
o Steely Dan - Deacon Blues
o Electric Light Orchestra - Mr Blue Sky
o Only Ones - Another Girl, Another Planet
o Undertones - Teenage Kicks
o Plastic Bertrand - Ça Plane pour Moi
o Records - Starry Eyes
o Cheap Trick - Surrender
o Cars - Just What I Needed
o Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Radio Radio
o Cure - Boys Don’t Cry
o XTC - Making Plans for Nigel
o Blondie - Atomic
o Talking Heads - Memories Can’t Wait


o Kurtis Blow - The Breaks
o Spoonie Gee meets the Sequence - Monster Jam
o Sugar Hill Gang - 8th Wonder
o Treacherous Three - New Rap Language
o Clash - Magnificent Seven
o Talking Heads - Born Under Punches (Heat Goes On)
o Yoko Ono - Walking On This Ice
o Klein & MBO - Dirty Talk
o ESG - Moody
o Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - Adventures On the Wheels of Steel
o Funky 4 + 1 - That’s the Joint
o Kraftwerk - Numbers / Computer World (Part 2)
o Afrika Bambaataa & Soul Sonic Force - Planet Rock
o Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - The Message
o Glenn Branca - Lesson No 1 for Electric Guitar
o Laurie Anderson - O Superman (For Massenet)
o Joy Division - Atmosphere
o Fall - Totally Wired
o Elvis Costello & the Attractions - Beyond Belief
o Pretenders - Back On the Chain Gang
o B-52’s - Private Idaho
o Dexys Midnight Runners - There There, My Dear
o Young Marble Giants - Final Day
o Altered Images - Happy Birthday
o Specials - Ghost Town
o Robert Wyatt - Shipbuilding
o Bauhaus - Third Uncle
o Adam & the Ants - Kings of the Wild Frontier
o Scritti Politti - Sweetest Girl
o Human League - Don’t You Want Me?
o Soft Cell - Tainted Love
o Associates - Party Fears Two
o ABC - All of My Heart
o New Order - Temptation
o Jam - Town Called Malice
o Duran Duran - The Chauffeur
o Beat (UK) - Save It for Later
o Go-Go’s - Our Lips Are Sealed
o Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love
o Prince - Dirty Mind
o Hall & Oates - I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)
o Michael Jackson - Billie Jean
o ABBA - Day Before You Came
o Roxy Music - More Than This
o Queen & David Bowie - Under Pressure
o Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City
o Journey - Don’t Stop Believin’
o Bad Brains - Pay To Cum
o Minor Threat - Minor Threat
o Dead Kennedys - Holiday In Cambodia
o Black Flag - Rise Above
o Wipers - Youth of America
o Flipper - Sex Bomb
o Motörhead - Ace of Spades
o Iron Maiden - Run To the Hills
o Orange Juice - Blue Boy
o Television Personalities - This Angry Silence
o Fall - The Classical
o The Clean - Tally Ho!
o Feelies - Boy with the Perpetual Nervousness
o REM - Radio Free Europe
o Violent Femmes - Blister In the Sun
o Mission of Burma - That’s When I Reach for My Revolver


o Smiths - This Charming Man
o Sonic Youth with Lydia Lunch - Death Valley ‘69
o Hüsker Dü - Pink Turns To Blue
o Meat Puppets - Plateau
o Replacements - I Will Dare
o Minutemen - History Lesson: Part II
o REM - So Central Rain (I’m Sorry)
o Echo & the Bunnymen - Killing Moon
o Cure - Close To Me
o Siouxsie & the Banshees - Cities In Dust
o Run DMC - It’s Like That
o Crash Crew - On the Radio
o Rammelzee vs K-Rob - Beat Bop
o Boogie Down Productions - South Bronx
o New Order - Blue Monday
o Prince & the Revolution - When Doves Cry
o Talking Heads - This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)
o Kate Bush - Running Up That Hill (A Deal with God)
o U2 - New Year’s Day
o Simple Minds - Don’t You (Forget About Me)
o Replacements - Bastards of Young
o Mekons - Last Dance
o Big Black - Kerosene
o Scratch Acid - Greatest Gift
o Jesus & Mary Chain - Just Like Honey
o Smiths - How Soon Is Now?
o Cocteau Twins - Lorelei
o New Order - Bizarre Love Triangle
o Billy Bragg - A New England
o Metallica - Battery
o Slayer - Angel of Death
o Saint Vitus - Clear Windowpane
o Einstürzende Neubauten - Halber Mensch
o Art of Noise - Beat Box (Diversion One)
o Frankie Goes To Hollywood - Relax
o Liquid Liquid - Optimo
o Alexander Robotnick - Problemes d’Amour
o Shannon - Let the Music Play
o Section 25 - Looking from a Hilltop (Restructure)
o Madonna - Holiday
o Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Want To Have Fun
o Prince & the Revolution - Kiss
o Run DMC - Rock Box
o LL Cool J - I Can’t Live Without My Radio
o Beastie Boys - No Sleep Till Brooklyn
o Mantronix - Needle To the Groove
o Go-Betweens - Cattle & Cane
o Chills - Pink Frost
o Felt - Primitive Painters
o Smiths - There Is a Light That Never Goes Out
o Tom Waits - Jockey Full of Bourbon
o Bruce Springsteen - I’m On Fire
o Scott Walker - Rawhide
o U2 - Bad
o Don Henley - Boys of Summer
o Paul Simon - Graceland
o Wayne Smith - Under Me Sleng Teng
o Anthony ‘Red’ Rose - Tempo
o Model 500 - No UFOs


o Mr Fingers - Can You Feel It?
o Rhythim Is Rhythim - Strings of Life
o A Guy Called Gerald - Voodoo Ray
o M/A/R/R/S - Pump Up the Volume
o My Bloody Valentine - You Made Me Realise
o Spacemen 3 - Walking with Jesus
o Ride - Dreams Burn Down
o Galaxie 500 - Blue Thunder
o Happy Mondays - Kinky Afro
o Stone Roses - She Bangs the Drums
o Sonic Youth - Teenage Riot
o Dinosaur Jr - Freak Scene
o Butthole Surfers - Human Cannonball
o Pixies - Where Is My Mind?
o Fugazi - Waiting Room
o Audio Two - Top Billin’
o Eric B & Rakim - I Know You Got Soul
o Public Enemy - Rebel Without a Pause
o NWA - Straight Outta Compton
o Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds - Mercy Seat
o Ministry - Stigmata
o Jesus & Mary Chain - Head On
o Sugarcubes - Birthday
o Cure - Just Like Heaven
o Morrissey - Everyday Is Like Sunday
o Pogues with Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale of New York
o Wedding Present - My Favourite Dress
o Field Mice - Emma’s House
o Another Sunny Day - You Should All Be Murdered
o Dead Milkmen - Punk Rock Girl
o Primitives - Crash
o La’s - There She Goes
o They Might Be Giants - Birdhouse In Your Soul
o Superchunk - Slack Motherfucker
o Fugazi - Merchandise
o Jesus Lizard - Mouth Breather
o Slick Rick - Children’s Story
o Gang Starr - Just To Get a Rep
o Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock - It Takes Two
o Salt-N-Pepa - Push It
o Beastie Boys - Hey Ladies
o De La Soul - Me Myself & I
o Biz Markie - Just a Friend
o Public Enemy - Fight the Power
o Guns N’ Roses - Welcome To the Jungle
o Swans - Beautiful Child
o John Zorn - Sicilian Clan
o Prince - If I Was Your Girlfriend
o Madonna - Like a Prayer
o Deee-Lite - Groove Is In the Heart
o Pet Shop Boys - Being Boring
o Sinéad O’Conner - Nothing Compares 2 U
o Orb - Little Fluffy Clouds
o KLF - Wichita Lineman Was a Song I Once Heard
o 808 State - Pacific State
o Orbital - Chime
o Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
o My Blood Valentine - Soon
o Vaselines - Son of a Gun
o Beat Happening - Indian Summer
o Daniel Johnston - Some Things Last a Long Time
o Mudhoney - Touch Me, I’m Sick
o Pixies - Wave of Mutilation


o Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit
o Pavement - Summer Babe
o Archers of Loaf - Web In Front
o Yo La Tengo - From a Motel 6
o Sebadoh - Freed Pig
o A Tribe Called Quest - Check the Rhime
o De La Soul - A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays’
o Black Sheep - Choice Is Yours
o Massive Attack - Unfinished Sympathy
o Tricky - Aftermath [Version 1]
o Primal Scream - Higher Than the Sun
o Spiritualized - Step into the Breeze
o Slowdive - Alison
o Aphex Twin - Xtal
o Talk Talk - Ascension Day
o Slint - Good Morning, Captain
o Disco Inferno - Last Dance
o Stereolab - French Disko
o Acen - Trip II the Moon (Parts 1 & 2)
o Future Sound of London - Papua New Guinea
o Human Resource - Dominator [Joey Beltram Mix]
o Rufige Kru - Terminator
o Omni Trio - Renegade Snares
o Red House Painters - New Jersey
o Teenage Fanclub - The Concept
o Heavenly - C Is the Heavenly Option
o Tindersticks - City Sickness
o Unrest - Make Out Club
o Tenor Saw with Buju Banton - Ring the Alarm Quick
o Dr Dre featuring Snoop Doggy Dogg - Nuthin’ but a ‘G’ Thang
o Ice Cube - It Was a Good Day
o 2Pac featuring Digital Underground - I Get Around
o Souls of Mischief - ‘93 ‘Til Infinity
o Suede - Drowners
o Blur - For Tomorrow
o Elastica - Stutter
o Ween - Doctor Rock
o Wu-Tang Clan - Protect Ya Neck
o Geto Boys - Mind Playing Tricks On Me
o Pete Rock & CL Smooth - They Reminisce Over You (TROY)
o Bikini Kill - Rebel Girl
o Melvins - Hooch
o Dinosaur Jr - Start Choppin’
o Pixies - U-Mass
o Liz Phair - Divorce Song
o PJ Harvey - Rid of Me
o Afghan Whigs - Debonair
o Rage Against the Machine - Killing In the Name
o Lemonheads - It’s a Shame About Ray
o Beck - Loser
o Breeders - Cannonball
o Nirvana - Scentless Apprentice


o Hole - Violet
o Smashing Pumpkins - 1979
o Green Day - Longview
o Weezer - Say It Ain’t So
o Blur - Girls & Boys
o Oasis - Live Forever
o Pulp - Common People
o Notorious BIG - Juicy
o Nas - It Ain’t Hard To Tell
o Mobb Deep - Shook Ones, Pt II
o Genius/GZA - 4th Chamber
o Pavement - Gold Soundz
o Built To Spill - Car
o Modest Mouse - Broke
o Frank Black - Headache
o Jon Spencer Blues Explosion - Bellbottoms
o Guided By Voices - I Am a Scientist
o Nine Inch Nails - Closer
o Björk - Hyperballad
o Beck - Devil’s Haircut
o Portishead - Sour Times
o Saint Etienne - Like a Motorway
o Basic Channel - Octagon
o Paperclip People - Throw
o DJ Shadow - Midnight In a Perfect World
o Dr Octagon - Blue Flowers
o Common - I Used To Lover HER
o Jeff Buckley - Grace
o Mazzy Star - Fade Into You
o Arthur Russell - This Is How We Walk On the Moon
o Low - Words
o Auteurs - Unsolved Child Murder
o Jawbox - Savory
o Drive Like Jehu - Luau
o Brainiac - Pussyfootin’
o Napalm Death - Twist the Knife (Slowly)
o Darkthrone - En As i Dype Skogen
o Ol’ Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo
o Snoop Doggy Dogg - Gin & Juice
o Luniz - I Got 5 On It
o Cutty Ranks - Limb By Limb
o Prodigy - No Good (Start the Dance)
o Underworld - Born Slippy (NUXX)
o Chemical Brothers featuring Noel Gallagher - Setting Sun
o Daft Punk - Da Funk
o Belle & Sebastian - State I Am In
o Elliott Smith - Needle In the Hay
o Magnetic Fields - Take Ecstasy with Me
o Palace Music - New Partner
o Arab Strap - First Big Weekend
o Tortoise - Gamera
o Sea & Cake - Parasol
o Pavement - Rattled By the Rush
o Guided By Voices - Game of Pricks
o Weezer - El Scorcho


o Radiohead - Paranoid Android
o Björk - Jóga
o Verve - Bitter Sweet Symphony
o Elliott Smith - Between the Bars
o Cat Power - Cross Bones Style
o Clientele - Reflections After Jane
o Bonne ‘Prince’ Billy - I See a Darkness
o Smog - Teenage Spaceship
o Silver Jews - Random Rules
o Autechre - Arch Carrier
o Boards of Canada - Happy Cycling
o Herbert - So Now…
o Aphex Twin - Windowlicker
o Uilab - St Elmo’s Fire
o Air - Soleil Est Près de Moi
o Massive Attack - Teardrop
o Black Star - Respiration
o Notorious BIG - Hypnotize
o OutKast - Spottieottiedopaliscious
o Roots - Next Movement
o Flaming Lips - Waitin’ for a Superman
o Beta Band - Dry the Rain
o Olivia Tremor Control - Hideaway
o Neutral Milk Hotel - Holland, 1945
o Super Furry Animals - Ice Hockey Hair
o Stardust - Music Sounds Better with You
o Basement Jaxx - Jump n’ Shout
o Wilco - Via Chicago
o Pulp - This Is Hardcore
o Belle & Sebastian - Lazy Line Painter Jane
o Yo La Tengo - Autumn Sweater
o Sleater-Kinney - One More Hour
o Refused - New Noise
o Dismemberment Plan - The City
o Boredoms - Super Shine
o Mogwai - Like Herod
o Jim O’Rourke - Halfway To a Threeway
o Sigur Rós - Svefn-G-Englar


o Daft Punk - One More Time
o Radiohead - Idioteque
o Godspeed You Black Emperor! - Storm
o Avalanches - Since I Left You
o Broadcast - Come On, Let’s Go
o Aaliyah - Try Again
o Justin Timberlake - Cry Me a River
o Luomo - Tessio
o Vitalic - La Rock 01
o Kylie Minogue - Love At First Sight
o Jay-Z featuring UGK - Big Pimpin’
o OutKast - BOB
o Eminem - Real Slim Shady
o Ghostface Killah - Nutmeg
o Missy Elliott - Get Ur Freak On
o White Stripes - Dead Leaves & the Dirty Ground
o Strokes - Modern Age
o And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - Another Morning Stoner
o Interpol - Obstacle 1
o Electric Six - Danger! High Voltage
o Golden Boy with Miss Kittin - Rippin’ Kittin’
o Jürgen Paape - So Weit Wie Noch Nie
o Osymyso - Intro-Inspection
o Knife - Heartbeats
o LCD Soundsystem - Losing My Edge
o Rapture - House of Jealous Lovers
o Streets - Weak Become Heroes
o Aesop Rock - Daylight
o RJD2 - Good Times Roll (Part 2)
o Bright Eyes - Calendar Hung Itself
o Wilco - Poor Places
o Queens of the Stone Age - No One Knows
o My Morning Jacket - Way That He Sings
o Modest Mouse - 3rd Planet
o Clinic - Distortions
o Shellac - Prayer To God
o McLusky - To Hell with Good Intentions
o Lightning Bolt - Ride the Sky
o Microphones - The Moon
o New Pornographers - Letter from An Occupant
o Shins - New Slang
o Decemberists - Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect
o Radiohead - Life In a Glass House
o Broken Social Scene - Cause = Time
o Deerhoof - This Magnificent Bird Will Rise
o Spoon - Way We Get By
o Dizzee Rascal - I Luv U
o MOP - Ante Up
o Clipse - Grindin’
o Talib Kweli - Get By
o Jay-Z - Takeover


o OutKast - Hey Ya!
o kanYe West - Through the Wire
o R Kelly - Ignition (Remix)
o Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z - Crazy In Love
o Gnarls Barkley - Crazy
o !!! - Me & Giuliani Down By the School Yard (A True Story)
o TV On the Radio - Staring At the Sun
o Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Maps
o Walkmen - The Rat
o Devendra Banhart - A Sight To Behold
o Joanna Newsom - Peach, Plum, Pear
o Sufjan Stevens - Casimir Pulaski Day
o Antony & the Johnsons - Hope There’s Someone
o Animal Collective - Leaf House
o Books - Take Time
o M83 - Don’t Save Us from the Flames
o Postal Service - Such Great Heights
o Annie - Heartbeat
o MIA - Galang
o White Stripes - Seven Nation Army
o Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out
o Fiery Furnaces - Here Comes the Summer
o Mountain Goats - No Children
o Wrens - She Sends Kisses
o Savy Fav - Sweat Descends
o Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - Where Have All the Rude Boys Gone?
o Exploding Hearts - Modern Kicks
o Art Brut - Formed a Band
o Boris - Farewell
o Mastodon - Sleeping Giant
o Madvillain - America’s Most Blunted
o TI - What You Know?
o Kelly Clarkson - Since U Been Gone
o Amerie - 1 Thing
o Ciara featuring Ludacris - Oh
o Go! Team - Power Is On
o Feist - Mushaboom
o Arcade Fire - Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels)
o Wolf Parade - I’ll Believe In Anything
o Band of Horses - The Funeral
o Hold Steady - Stuck Between Stations
o Beirut - Postcards from Italy
o Johnny Boy - You Are the Generation That Bought More Shoes & You Get What You Deserve
o Love Is All - Busy Doing Nothing
o Jens Lekman - Black Cab
o Christian Falk featuring Robyn - Dream On
o Peter, Bjorn & John - Young Folks
o Justice vs Simian - We Are Your Friends
o Hot Chip - Boy from School
o Animal Collective - Grass
o Black Dice - Cone Toaster
o Liars - Other Side of Mt Heart Attack
o Panda Bear - Bros