My 100 Very Best Blues Songs of All Time

Song Name Artist
1 Hoochie Coochie Man Muddy Waters
2 The Thrill is Gone B.B. King
3 Me And The Devil Blues Robert Johnson
4 Stone Crazy Buddy Guy
5 I’d Rather Go Blind Etta James
6 I’m Tore Down Freddie King
7 Call It Stormy Monday T-Bone Walker
8 Boogie Chillen’ John Lee Hooker
9 Red House Jimi Hendrix
10 Smokestack Lightning Howlin’ Wolf
11 Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out Bessie Smith
12 Bell Bottom Blues Derek and the Dominoes
13 Still Got The Blues Gary Moore
14 Mustang Sally Wilson Pickett
15 Ball N’ Chain Big Mama Thornton
16 Born Under A Bad Sign Albert King
17 Hideaway John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
18 Dust My Broom Elmore James
19 Hold On, I’m Coming Eric Clapton
20 The Little Red Rooster Willie Dixon
21 Tell Mama (Single) Etta James
22 Down In The Hole The Rolling Stones
23 Got My Mojo Working Muddy Waters
24 A Little Less Conversation Guitar Shorty
25 The Things That I Used to Do Guitar Slim
26 Life By The Drop Stevie Ray Vaughan
27 Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues Buddy Guy
28 Boom Boom John Lee Hooker
29 Bright Lights Gary Clark, Jr
30 Still Rainin’ Jonny Lang
31 Sweet Home Chicago Peter Green
32 Thing Called Love Bonnie Raitt
33 Green Onions Booker T. & The MG’s
34 The Midnight Special Leadbelly
35 Mess Around Ray Charles
36 Little Wing Eric Clapton/Steve Winwood
37 Bad Penny Rory Gallagher
38 Slow Train Joe Bonamassa
39 Paying the Cost to Be the Boss B.B. King
40 Farther on Up the Road Bobby “Blue” Bland
41 Mannish Boy Muddy Waters
42 Trouble No More Allman Brothers Band
43 Highway 49 George Thorogood
44 Hellhound On My Trail Robert Johnson
45 Help Me Sonny Boy Williamson II
46 A Man Of Many Words Buddy Guy
47 Don’t Think Twice Susan Tedeschi
48 Everyday I Have the Blues B.B. King
49 Going Down Freddie King
50 Evil Howlin’ Wolf
51 Drifting Fleetwood Mac
52 Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie Pinetop Perkins
53 Trouble In Mind Big Walter Hornton
54 Brick Albert Collins
55 Whisky And Wimmen John Lee Hooker
56 Five Long Years Ike and Tina Turner
57 Love Me Like a Man Bonnie Raitt
58 Black Rose Eric Clapton
59 Blues Boys Tune B.B. King
60 True Lies Kenny Wayne Shepherd
61 Sacred Ground John Mooney
62 Minnie the Moocher Cab Caloway
63 Everybody Needs Somebody To Love Solomon Burke
64 Spoonful Howlin’ Wolf
65 Sinner’s Prayer Ray Charles
66 Statesboro Blues Allman Brothers Band
67 Black Cashman
68 Juke Little Walter
69 Walking by Myself Jimmy Rogers
70 Messing with the Blues James Brown and the Famous Flames
71 Born Blind Sonny Boy Williamson II
72 Lovin’ In My Baby’s Eyes Taj Mahal
73 Double Trouble Otis Rush
74 Give Me Back My Wig Hound Dog Taylor
75 You Shook Me Willie Dixon
76 Killing Floor Howlin’ Wolf
77 Rock Me Mamma Sonny Terry
78 I Ain’t Drunk Ike Turner
79 My Head’s in Mississippi ZZ Top
80 Think It Over Dave Hole
81 We’re Gonna Make It (Single Version) Little Milton
82 Blues Before Sunrise Eric Clapton
83 You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover Bo Diddley
84 It Hurts Me Too Paul Butterfield Band
85 I Just Want to Make Love to You Willie Dixon
86 Going Down to the Ocean Chris James and Patrick Ryan
87 Center of Attention Tommy Castro and the Painkillers
88 Reconsider Baby Lowell Fulson
89 You Don’t Exist Any More Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials
90 Shame Shame Shame Jimmy Reed
91 Maybellene Chuck Berry
92 I Don’t Believe a Word You Say Ben Harper, Charlie Musselwhite
93 Cherry Red Wine Luther Allison
94 That’s Why I’m Crying Koko Taylor
95 Crow Jane Blues Sonny Terry
96 Blue and Lonesome Rolling Stones
97 Black Cat Bone Albert Collins/Johnny Copeland
98 One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer John Lee Hooker
99 The Sky is Crying Stevie Ray Vaughan
100 Six Strings Down Jimmie Vaughn

See and Learn more about the Top 25 songs on the video and wiki page.

Last updated 1/2017.



    • Thanks for the note. Bo did make the newly updated list with “You Can’t Judge a Book by Looking at the Cover”. The list was just posted. What would you have suggested for a Bo Diddley tune?


  1. Great list. Looking forward to the 2017 update!

    Some thoughts: in the Wilson Pickett/Ray Charles style, Eddie Floyd’s Knock on Wood is my runaway favorite.

    For SR Vaughn I think I would rate Tightrope higher than some of these.

    Before you finalize the list, listen to Paul Butterfield.


  2. It’s been a year since the last post..are you still working on the list?

    Muddy is my favorite, but I love J.B. Hutto too.

    I’ll be checking back.



  3. hi i REALLY need ur help, Terry. can u please tell me what the title of the bluesy (i think) song played during the intro to the LC’s Bar-B-Q scene in the Kansas City episode of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations series? i so can’t get over it. it starts with a tambourine i think then followed by a guitar intro.


    • Chicky,

      I found the episode and riff you are referring to. Did not recognize it or saw that it mentioned in the credits. I am on it though. Please let me know if you figure it first. Thanks!


  4. I like your list bro. And fuck the naysayers. Music is a subjective experience and the only opinion that matters when making a list of your favorites is your own. Thanks for sharing it. I reckon you’d enjoy “Gin Soaked Boy” by Tom Waits from his Swordfishtrombones album. You should also check out “Green Limousine” by Aussie band The Badloves from their ’93 debut Get On Board and “Old Stray Dogs & Jesus” by Paul Thorn from his Too Blessed To Be Stressed album.


  5. Missin some songs here:

    Deep Purple – Lazy
    Jimi Hendrix – hear my train a comin
    Zz top – Tush
    Steve Miller Band – Mercury Blues
    Joe Bonamassa – High Water Everywhere
    Rory Gallagher – Million Miles Away
    Rory Gallagher – Cradle Rock
    Johnny Winter – Highway 69 Revisited
    Tony Joe White – Steamy Windows
    SRV – Pride ‘n Joy
    Taste – Sugar Mama
    Muddy Waters – Rolling Stone
    Gary Moore – Oh Pretty Woman
    Robert Johnson – Walking Blues
    Eric Clapton – Layla (acoustic)

    Just to name a few… But its also about personal taste.

    And.. Blue Jean Blues is a zz top original as far as i know. Just as little wing & voodoo chile are hendrix’ songs. Would be more fair to credit the original artists!!


    • Mark,
      Thank you for providing a playlist that made for a good day. Although the Blues list was set up to refer to a favorite version/performance of the tune – you are right that credit is due. Thanks!


    • Thanks Rhonda. That was a great list – especially Shannon Curfman – that was a new one for me. As for Ray, I am a fan and he appears twice on the Blues list. Thanks!


  6. I’m thinking there are a lot of artists that aren’t represented on this
    list, but rather than spoon feeding you songs I’ll just give you
    some names…..I’m sure if you give them a fair chance you’ll find
    some new favorite songs to add to your list.
    Jonny Lang
    Kenny Wayne Shephard
    Shannon Curfman (especially her 1st album, when she was only 14)
    ((Might I say simply “WOW”)
    Robert Cray
    Blues Traveller
    Derek Trucks
    John Mayer
    Corey Stevens
    After I post this I’ll probably think of a half dozen more but this is a good start


  7. Here’s a couple of tunes you may want to consider…

    Big Pete Pearson – Worried About My Baby
    Chris James & Patrick Rynn – Going Down To The Ocean
    Gary Moore – Oh Pretty Woman (ft. Albert King)
    George Thorogood & The Destroyers – Bad To The Bone
    Joe Bonamassa – Wild About You Baby
    Koko Taylor – Mother Nature (ft. Carey Bell)
    Mojo Buford – Pickin’ Rags



    • Ken,

      Thanks for the note. I picked up two new discoveries from the top of your list. Heard a cut or two on various podcasts, but really enjoyed the

        Trouble Don’t Last

      album from Chris James and Patrick. Joe Bonamassa is under represented on the original list. I agree.

      New list out the first of the year. Been a labor of love.

      Thanks again for the suggestions.

      Terry (aka Main Offender)


    • Evelyn,

      Thanks for the note. The next list will have some technology behind it that will hopefully allow this.

      I welcome any of your favorites to consider on version 2.0.

      Terry (aka Main Offender)


    • Bruce,

      Thanks for the note. Definitely a consideration – and thanks for bringing Savoy Brown back on my radar.

      Terry (aka Main Offender)


    • Joe,

      Appreciate the note. It is unlikely we will ever become friends. The Rolling Stones absolutely belong on this list and I believe some of the legendary bluesman would agree. They are solely responsible for leading me to the genre and my love of the music. They will remain here.

      I still welcome (and am very curious) to hear your suggestions for the new list. Thanks.

      Main Offender


  8. Rory Gallagher – Messin’ with the Kid
    Taste – What’s Going On
    Taste – Same old Story
    Taste – Catfish
    Rory – Bullfrog Blues
    Rory – In Your Town
    Rory – Moonchild
    etc etc.
    Guess what – I’m a Rory Gallagher fan.


    • John,

      Appreciate the new tunes to listen to. I have gone deep with Rory over the past several months – in part to your comment.


      Main Offender


  9. I’ve long been a casual fan of the Blues, and now find myself listening more and more to it. Your list is awesome, and has introduced me to some very cool blues tunes. You can’t possibly satisfy everyone with a list like this as several gems will get left off. Thanks many times over, especially for introducing me to folks I never heard of before like Susan Tedeschi and A C Reed. Perhaps for your update you can add something from the much maligned Ike Turner.


  10. Like the list, but I’m always surprised that Kenny Wayne Shepherd gets forgotten about. Blue on Black is one of the cooler blues rock songs out there.


  11. Actually I’m DJ that plays blues every Monday on my show and this list isn’t that bad, sure some best of are missing but who can actually do a list like this and miss a few?


    • Thanks man! I am in the process of tweaking the list this year. Would welcome your thoughts on what is missing – and any tips on new blues artists to give a listen to.


    • Jeff,

      Thanks for the note. Really. Re-working the list now. I will dial them up again for another listen. Tinsley and Guitar Shorty were already on the short list. Thanks.


  12. Leaving out the genius of Peter Green with Fleetwood Mac from this list is a major oversight. Could be any of the following: “Drifitng, I Loved Another Woman, Jumping at Shadows, Man of the World, Ooh Baby, Tell Me All Things You Do, The World Keep on Turning, World’s In A Tangle, etc…” Continually overlooked! Susan Tedeschi is cool, but …. three entries???


    • Roger,

      Thanks for the comment. I am in the midst of an overhaul of the list and thank you for pointing out Peter Green. The old Fleetwood Mac deserves a spot – or two. As for Susan Tedeschi, a definite soft spot for her from her early years in Boston. Thanks again.



    • Burgher, thanks for the note. I was blind, and have played this one at least a dozen times since your comment. It will be on version 2.0.



  13. everyone’s list is going to be different…..there are probably a dozen that should be in everyone’s top 25, but from there it’s a crapshoot. I cannot imagine a top 100 without Alvin Lee, Joe Bonamassa, or Bob Dylan. No one though can really criticize the list


    • Dude,

      Thanks for the note and reading all 101. (101 so I could work in a second Stormy Monday – a favorite Allman Brothers Version)

      For a blues purist such as yourself, this is not your list. It captures an assortment of the bluesier offerings from soul, R&B and even rock. All influenced by the blues, but the songs are not all able to be pigeonholed in the blues genre. I am ok with that.

      After five years, I am on a project reworking the list. There are some duds in there.

      I welcome your thoughts. Thanks,



    • Why not? This is clearly a song using the Blues scheme in Chords (during verse1+2) and lyrics line A + Line A + Line B during the first verse1 – but maybe purists are right is more a Rhythm & Blues Song Than a Blues one.


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