It is, quite possibly, the only question in existence to which every answer given sounds ludicrous.
Even queries as massive in scope as “Who was the best person to ever live?” beget potential responses agreeable to most who hear them; an answer of “Mother Teresa” will elicit a thoughtful nod as a fair answer, for instance. Asking “Who was the worst person to ever exist?” not only has plausible answers, it even has a de-facto correct one: Adolph Hitler. Or, possibly, Nicki Minaj.
But offer your two cents on what the Best Song Ever is, and you will surely be met with an instantaneous and vitriolic “Oh, that is fucking dumb. No way. How could you even think that?” You can go with The Beatles, Stones, Dylan, or Oingo Boingo, and sure as the sun will rise you will have picked the wrong one to crown as the best.
Many publications have taken a shot at selecting the elusive Best Song Ever, with no consistent answer among them – U2, Queen, Beatles, Dylan: no one gets the nod twice. Since no answer is the correct answer, I see no reason to not add my answer to the mix.
I’m operating under a certain set of parameters here; of course anyone could pick any song, like that killer jam that their cousin’s band laid down last weekend. For the sake of defining contenders, we’ll assume only songs that were platinum sellers, Billboard Top 10 visitors, or Grammy winners are fair game.
Within that, I give you my heartfelt selection as the Best Song Ever.
A very close second place is John Lennon’s “Imagine”. Yes, you can address in the comment section below how I must have been violently thrown to the ground multiple times in my infancy to even imply that The Police are superior to The Beatles.
Yet, I do no such thing here. This is choosing a song for the sake of just that song, not as an avatar for a band’s entire catalog.
Right about now, you’re probably all like :
- The theme in the lyrics of the song is one that everyone can relate to. Creepy, yes, but relatable. One person desires another person to the point that they obsess about it, and the obsession crawls into an unhealthy place. We’ve all been there, right? Right? No? Just me? Ok, moving on…
- There hasn’t been a song that sounds like this before, or since.
- Most importantly, and the reason why it edges out “Imagine” in my estimation, is how unbelievably timeless this song sounds. “Every Breath You Take” was released in 1983. That was thirty-one years ago. Thirty-one years. Yet, if you heard it for the first time today, you would assume it was a new release. Let me put this in the some historical perspective. Less time has elapsed between the release of Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” and “Every Breath You Take” – twenty-seven years – than the time between Sting’s seminal single being released and the present day. Show me a song from the 1990’s, much less the 1980’s, that still sounds as fresh today.
So, there you have it. No less a music authority as tanktronic.com has weighed in on the best song of all time, so now you have the answer. If by some unimaginable reason you don’t agree, sound off in the comments below.