Top 50 Piano Songs Of All Time

September 11, 2018


Top 50 Piano Songs Of All Time

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The piano is such a versatile instrument. It can be used to express different emotions due to the many sounds you can get from it. If you are a player or just someone who enjoys listening to the piano and you wish you would get a list of the best piano songs in history, then you are in luck. This article lists the top 50 piano songs in history. Why don’t you sample the list and listen to some of these songs to enjoy the spectacular sound of the piano?

What's Here

1.   Für Elise by Ludwig van Beethoven

This piano classic was first published in 1867. Many love this short solo piano composition as it has a beautiful melody. Additionally, many students use this piece to learn to play the piano. This piece is by Beethoven who is considered one of the best music composers of our time.

2.   Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven

Another one from Beethoven who despite being deaf did manage to compose some of the most popular piano songs. This song has three movements although most recognize the first, which is played pianissimo, or very quietly with a triplet rhythm that is very smooth.

3.   Don’t Stop Believing by Journey

A famous song by the renowned rock band Journey. The song is played with an 8-chord progression, and it is in E major. It is famous for its instrumental parts featuring a marvelous opening keyboard riff. Upon its release in 1981, it became a hit reaching number nine on the Billboard top 100.

4.   Turkish March by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Turkish March is one of the biggest Mozart hits. It is simple and sweet and was inspired by the Turkish Janissary band sound. It is the final movement in Mozart’s Sonata No. 11 K331 for piano.

5.   Piano Man by Billy Joel

Piano Man is a renowned song that talks of Joel’s own experiences as a bar pianist. One of the iconic and classic song that is easily recognized by many. Piano Man was one of the 500 greatest songs of all times on the 2004 Rolling Stone list.

6.   Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen

This song was part of the British rock bands A night at the Opera record. When it was released in 1975, it became a commercial success-becoming number one on the UK singles chart for a massive nine weeks. Following Mercury death who was the one who wrote the song in 1999, it again topped the charts for five weeks. It has sold more than nine million copies. It highlights Freddie’s Mercury piano skills and his voice. It moderates to different keys, which is not common in pop music.

7.   Fallin by Alicia Keys

You know we would not fail to recognize this soulful song by Alicia Keys. This upbeat pop piano song is on the list of the top 30 successful songs in the 2000s. Keys wrote this song when she was 16, but it was never released until she was 20. This is an emotional song where Keys talks about the emotions that are present when you love someone. Alicia Keys album on the strength of this Grammy award single sold more than 11 million copies at was at number 1 for three weeks.

8.   Skyscraper by Demi Lovato

This song was released on 12th July 201. It is part of the singer’s third studio record unbroken. This piano ballad speaks of believing in oneself. The singer wrote the song when she was dealing with some personal struggles that saw her check into a treatment facility. The opening of the song features a lonely piano, which is later accompanied by heavy percussions and Lovato’s quivering vocals.

9.   Your Song by Elton John

When you hear of Elton John, you can almost picture him perched on his piano as he melts out great tunes like this massive hit. The singer performed this song in collaboration with Alessandro Safina during the 2002 inaugural Sports Relief. It made it to the 1998 Grammy Hall of fame as one of the greatest hits of its time.

10. A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton

Vanessa wrote this song when she was only seventeen. It went on to become one of the 2002 most popular songs. It was nominated for a Grammy award due to its commercial success and popularity with piano song lovers. Listen to it and tell me if you won’t fall in love with this song.

11. Still D.R.E by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg

This song was released in October 1999 and was the lead single in Dres studio album 2001. This single helped the record reach multi-platinum status. Numerous videos have been uploaded on YouTube on how to play this song on the piano. One of the most popular tutorial videos is by YouTuber SmoothCatBeats that has garnered more than one million views. This gangster rap song has been featured in various drama TV series including Prison Break and Training Day.

12. Love Song by Sara Bareillies

This is a classic song of the 2000‘s.  The song was written as a rebellion of the singer’s record label request for her to come up with a song that was radio friendly. It features ascending major chords that are just classic to listen to.

13. A Great Big World- Say Something featuring Christina Aguilera

This remarkable song was sung by the American duo A great big world and Christina Aguilera. It was released on 1st January 2013.  It talks of sadness, regrets, and expresses humility. It reached number 4 on US Billboard 100 songs. This piano ballad hooks and harmony are a delight to listen to. Once you listen to this song, you will not forget it.

14. A Bad Dream by Kean

This song is a true example of a dreamy and evocative song. It talks of a pilot experience of being so up in the sky while hearing the sounds of the guns below. The piano sounds on this song makes you experience the anguish of the aviator.

15. Waiting for Love by Avicci

This song was released on May 22, 2015. It is still a favorite among many. This song is energetic and exciting and it makes you pause and ask yourself deep questions.  It is about searching for deeper love. Its progressive keys and its video has made this song a favorite among piano songs lovers.

16. All of Me by John Legend

A massive hit from John Legend. This song released in 2004 went on to become number one on the Billboard hot 100 songs.  It was dedicated to the singer’s wife Chrissy Teigen. It continues to be popular as a first dance song for newlyweds.

17. Clocks by Coldplay

This song was written and composed by all members of the British rock band Coldplay. It was part of their second album A Rush Of Blood To The Head. The song is built around a piano riff that has been widely sampled. The song’s piano melody made it one of the band’s signature songs. It is often ranked as one of the greatest songs of the 2000s, and it went on to win a Grammy award for record of the year.

18. Claire de Lune by Claude Debussy

If you love playing the piano, you will probably recognize this tune by French composer Debussy. Just like his other pieces this piano piece is light and dreamy. This piece is renowned in movies and television shows as it suggests a dreamlike state.

19. The Scientist by Coldplay

This piano ballad tells of a story of a busy scientist who becomes so busy that he neglects his girlfriend. This is one of the band’s massive hits to date. It went on to become number 10 in the UK charts after its release.

20. Isn’t She Lovely by Steve Wonder

Steve Wonder wrote this song to celebrate the birth of his daughter. It was a collabo with Bunny Jones and Harlem the songwriter. However, Wonder plays the piano and other instruments in the song. This song has become one of the most popular pop and jazz songs covered by numerous artists.

21. Sick Boy by the Chainsmokers

This song was released on January 17th, 2018 as the lead single in the Chainsmokers upcoming record. It is a song about self-identity in the modern world. This stripped piano ballad has dramatic piano chords and light symphonic that makes the song sound meaningful and darker than their earlier released songs.

22. Someone Like You by Adele

Adele sings about her broken relationship with her ex-lover. It is the second single from the singer’s January 2011 record 21, and it is only accompanied by a piano. The song went on to become the singers first number one single in the UK and was on top for five weeks. It features a simple sound and great vocals from Adele.

23. Tiny Dancer by Elton John

This epic song by Elton John talks about a tiny dancer who is the bandwagon groupie girl. The song features chord build-ups right before the chorus. This song was certified gold in the US in May 2005. In the UK is sold over 200,000 copies and was certified silver by the British Phonographic industry. The song has been featured in the 2000 film Almost Famous.

24. Tutti Frutti by Little Richard

This song has been said to be the birth of today’s rock and roll. The song which Richard wrote in 1955 went on to become a massive hit making it to number 43  on Rolling Stone Magazine 500 greatest songs changing Little Richards career as a dishwasher to an artist. In this song, he pounds the piano with his ten fingers. The song also features his famous high-pitched vocals that have been an inspiration for many musicians.

25. Speechless by Lady Gaga

When you listen to this song, you might think it is a love song, but actually, Lady Gaga wrote this song dedicating to her father in a bid to convince him to undergo open-heart surgery. This song shows the singers prowess as a pianist. It went on to become number ninety-four on Billboard hot 100 in December 2009.

26. Come Sail Away by Styx

Many piano trainers have used this beautiful song for training piano students. It has numerous chord spices that are easy to imitate. Upon its release in 1977, the song which was the lead single in the record The Grand Illusion chartered #8 on Billboard Hot 100. The record hit multi-platinum sales in 1978. It remains one of the biggest hits in the 1970s.

27. Havana by Camila Cabello

This song that features Young Thug is a song that pays tribute to Cuba which is the singer’s home country. She also sings about her lover, who she left in her home country. The upbeat tone of the song, the pounding piano keys plus the sultry vocals from the artist makes this song one of the best to listen to. The song went on to top UK singles chart in 2017 after its release.

28. How to Save a Life by Fray

This is a song by Fray, the American rock band. It gives a story of the leads singer experience at a troubled teen’s camp where he was a mentor.  This song went on to become number three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US. This song is further certified as 3x platinum by the RIAA. It starts with a succession of minor keys and tells of the vulnerability of troubled teens.

29. A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

This beautiful song was written for the Twilight movie. However, it went on to become a massive hit. It talks about the fear of falling in love. You will enjoy the sweeping vocals of the artists accompanied by the gentle sounds of the piano when you listen to the song. In September 2013, it was at number 11 in the UK. In the spring of 2018, it returned to the UK top 75 songs after it featured 50 mums and their children singing to the song during the world syndrome day.

30. Make You Feel My Love (Bob Dylan cover) by Adele

This song that was first written by Bob Dylan in 1997. It was not very familiar or popular. However, Adele made it into one of the most famous sad lover’s songs that millions of lovers sang to. The use of the piano in this song made such a huge impact into the song. We feel that no other instrument would have delivered in this song.

31. Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith

The song opens with soft minor piano chords and the mournful vocals of Sam Smith. It talks about a relationship gone bad. Although other instruments accompany it, the piano chords in the song give it its solid foundation.

32. Let it Be by the Beatles

This song was released in March 1970. Paul McCartney wrote this song before his departure from the band.  The Charity Super group Ferry Aid in which McCartney was part of later recorded the song. It ranked number 1 on the UK singles charts for some weeks. Other artists have redone it numerous times. The four piano chords used in the original song sounds great.

33. When I was Your Man by Bruno Mars

This is a piano ballad where Mars sings about a breakup that he regrets. It is inspired by a real-life experience according to Mars. This was the second piano and vocal only song that topped the Hit 100 after Adele’s hit Someone Like You released in 2011. This was Mars fifth US number one single.

34. Children by Robert Miles

This instrumental composition by Robert miles was released in 1995. The song has been certified as Gold and platinum in different nations becoming one of the Italian dance composer’s successful songs. It has become number one in more than 12 countries. It features catchy piano riffs among other instrument sounds that will make you dance.

35. River by Joni Mitchell

This Christmas mix jingle bells song is a folky ballad with excellently played piano keys by Mitchell. The piano sounds give the listener a picture of self-recrimination.  It talks about longing for home and a gone lover. Different artists have covered this song numerous times making it one of Mitchell’s most enduring songs.

36. Lady Madonna by The Beatles

The piano in this song played by McCartney makes the song fun and dynamic. It was released in March 1968. It was at number one in the UK for two weeks from March 27. It was at number 23 on Billboard Hot 100 for the week ending on 23rd March 1968.

37. Love Me Like There is no Tomorrow by Freddie Mercury

This beautiful piano ballad will make you want to sing along. It is melancholy and features Freddie singing a farewell song to a friend although with regret. It is part of the iconic Freddie solo album Mr. Bad Guy. The song was released in 1985.

38. Apologize by One Republic

This was the biggest radio airplay song in the Mainstream top 40 history in North America. In one week, it had a massive 10,394 plays. This song was also an international hit becoming number one in 16 nations. It was the lead single in the Dreaming Out Loud debut album for One Republic. It starts with a piano melody and has a memorable chord succession that makes this single hard to forget.

39. Nothing from Nothing by Billy Preston

Preston wrote this song while in a dressing room at a club in Atlanta where he had gone to perform. The salon piano gives character to this song. Additionally, the piano on the intro of the song will be worth your time.  This song was used in the US TV commercial for Fidelity Investment. It has also been used in many movies.

40. Imagine by John Lennon

This is the bestselling single of John Lennon’s solo career. It talks about a world full of peace where people will live without so much attachment to material things. The song went on to become number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one in the UK chart in the year 1971.  The song’s piano melodies and the soft keys strains in this song capture the hope that Lennon had of a better world.

41. New York State of Mind by Billy Joel

A classic from Billy Joel who is also often said to introduce the pop-piano tunes. The almost one minute piano intro to this song captures the singer’s excellent way of playing the piano. The song features an extensive set of chords and a skill of playing the piano that many do not have. The saxophone played in this song seems to be going well with the piano.

42. Music by John Miles

This 1976 single by John Miles went on to become number 3 on the UK singles chart. It features a piano accompaniment and the tinkling keys of the piano truly capturers Miles love for music.

43. After the Goldrush by Neil Young

This song was released in September 1970. It is a mournful song and the title track to the artist’s third record by the same name. This song remains one of Young’s greatest songs. It is a piano-driven ballad, and it a deep and sorrowful song that has been covered many times. The song also features a French horn that can be heard in the middle of the song.

44. Don’t Look Back In Anger by Oasis

If you have ever heard this song, you will be able to recognize it instantly due to the opening piano keys. The song advices the listeners not to be overwhelmed or look back in anger. This was Oasis band’s second number one single in the UK. It was released on 19, February 1996. It was the fifth single in the English band’s studio record (What’s The Story) Morning Glory?

45. Prelude in C BY Jonathan Sebastian Bach

This piano piece is the first in the book Preludes and fugues. It has all the 12 keys referred to As Well-Tempered Clavier (WTC). It is one of the most famous JS Bach pieces. The notes and chords in this piece are quick. Students who want to learn chord progression and patterns commonly use it.

46. The Heart Asks Pleasure First by Michael Nyman

This piece of music from the movie The Piano is a beautiful and impressive piano piece. If you are a piano student, you will enjoy learning this piece. The piece is made of repeated 6-note ostinatos. Piano teachers often use it to teach their students how to play solo piano.

47. My Immortal by Evanescence

This song by the American rock band Evanescence is from their 2003 record Fallen. Different versions of this song have been recorded but the original features a piano and back string. The piano power ballad features a slow tempo. The piano melody of this song is impressive. This song was nominated for best pop performance by a Duo or group with vocals in 2005 47th Grammy awards. It has also been top ten in more than ten countries.

48. November Rain by Guns N Roses

This power ballad by the American rock band Guns N Roses was released in 1992. It went on to become a hit and was at number 3 in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. It has sold more than one million copies since it was released.  It has a piano demo that is built on just piano and vocals. It is one of the known longest songs featuring a sweeping orchestral backing.

49. Great Balls of Fire by Jerry Lee Lewis

This song features Lewis pounding on the piano and leering the lyrics of the song.  The song was released in 1957 and even featured in the Jamboree movie.  It is one of the best-selling singles in the US and internationally. In 1957, Rolling Stone ranked it as one of the 96th greatest songs ever. Listen to it and tell us if you do not love it.

50. Hurt by Christina Aguilera

This song was released in 2006 as part of the singer’s fifth studio album Back to Basics. It was inspired by the death of Linda Perry’s father who was the producer of the song. It has a wonderful piano arrangement and lyrics that make the listener identify with the singer’s pain after the loss of a loved one. The songs starts with simple piano lines and the singers stunning vocals follow. This song was a success having sold more than a million copies in the US.

Final Thoughts

The list features some of the greatest piano songs. However, we also agree that many other great piano songs may not have been included in this list. We hope this list will remind you of some of the greatest piano songs of all time and compel you to listen to the ones you are not familiar with.

Agnes holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is an avid feline lover and adoring owner of two cats, Agnes’s love for music has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in the music space.
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