List

Time Out New York‘s 100 Best NYC Songs

By Corban Goble / March 7, 2012 - 2:37 pm

Time Out New York recently compiled a list of the 100 best songs about New York City, flush with videos and blurbs sizing up each song’s merit. It’s a wide-reaching list, pulling in from all sorts of styles across different eras, from Sinatra croonerism (guess which song?!) to Broadway to Grandmaster Flash. With that in mind, I’d say that the #1 (over #2, especially) is somewhat of a curveball, but I can understand the rationale, as the track it is a ubiquitous, inescapable song in this realm (and it will only get worse as the Atlantic Yards project gets finished, hint hint). Check out the list below.

100. XTC, “Statue of Liberty” (1978)
99 Charles Hamilton, “Brooklyn Girls” (2008)
98 Le Tigre, “My My Metrocard” (1999)
97 The Insect Trust, “The Eyes of a New York Woman” (1970)
96 Phil Ochs, “Outside of a Small Circle of Friends” (1967)
95 The Moldy Peaches, “NYC’s Like a Graveyard” (2001)
94 Jerry Orbach and the Original Broadway Cast (42nd Street), “The Lullaby of Broadway” (1980)
93 Phosphorescent, “The Mermaid Parade” (2010)
92 Judge, “New York Crew” (1988)
91 Tom Waits, “Union Square” (1985)
90 Unsane, “D Train” (2005)
89 Genesis, “The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway” (1974)
88 The Crystals, “Uptown” (1962)
87 Original Broadway Cast (Rent), “La Vie Boheme” (1994)
86 Fred Neil, “Bleecker & MacDougal” (1965)
85 Al Kooper, “New York City (You’re a Woman)” (1971)
84 Grandmaster D.S.T., “The Home of Hip-Hop” (1985)
83 Kid Creole and the Coconuts, “Dario (Can You Get Me Into Studio 54)” (1979)
82 Death Cab for Cutie, “Coney Island” (2001)
81 Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood, “Greenwich Village Folk Song Salesman” (1968)
80 Paul Simon, “American Tune” (1973)
79 3rd Bass, “Brooklyn–Queens” (1989)
78 Bobby Short, “I Happen to Like New York” (1973)
77 The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl, “Fairytale of New York” (1987)
76 The Dictators, “Avenue A” (2001)
75 The Trammps, “The Night the Lights Went Out” (1977)
74 Dion, “King of the New York Streets” (1989)
73 Shelley Plimpton and the Original Broadway Cast (Hair), “Frank Mills” (1968)
72 U2, “Angel of Harlem” (1988)
71 Fear, “New York’s All Right If You Like Saxophones” (1982)
70 The National, “Daughters of the Soho Riots” (2005)
69 Billy Joel, “Miami 2017 (Seen the Lights Go Out on Broadway)” (1976)
68 Sting, “Englishman in New York” (1987)
67 The Ramones, “53rd & 3rd” (1976)
66 Barry Manilow, “New York City Rhythm” (1975)
65 Glenn Miller, “Pennsylvania 6-5000” (1940)
64 Village People, “Fire Island” (1977)
63 Suzanne Vega, “Anniversary” (2007)
62 Lord Tariq and Peter Gunz, “Deja Vu (Uptown Baby)” (1998)
61 Gil Scott-Heron, “New York Is Killing Me” (2010)
60 Run-D.M.C., “Christmas in Hollis” (1987)
59 Steely Dan, “Daddy Don’t Live in That New York City No More” (1975)
58 Kool G Rap and DJ Polo, “Streets of New York” (1990)
57 Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, “New York City Serenade” (1973)
56 Laura Nyro, “New York Tendaberry” (1969)
55 Nina Hagen, “New York/N.Y.” (1983)
54 Boogie Down Productions, “South Bronx” (1986)
53 MC Shan and Marley Marl, “The Bridge” (1986)
52 The Magnetic Fields, “The Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side” (1999)
51 Andrew W.K., “I Love NYC” (2001)
50 Bill Withers, “Harlem” (1971)
49 Odyssey, “Native New Yorker” (1977)
48 Jay-Z with the Notorious B.I.G., “Brooklyn’s Finest” (1996)
47 Jeffrey and Jack Lewis, “Williamsburg Will Oldham Horror” (2005)
46 Tom Browne, “Funkin’ for Jamaica (N.Y.)” (1980)
45 Ace Frehley, “New York Groove” (1978)
44 Bob & Earl, “Harlem Shuffle” (1963)
43 Original studio cast (On the Town), “New York, New York” (1960)
42 Interpol, “NYC” (2002)
41 Nat King Cole, “Harlem Blues” (1958)
40 Alice Cooper, “Big Apple Dreamin’ (Hippo)” (1973)
39 The Rolling Stones, “Shattered” (1978)
38 The Avett Brothers, “I and Love and You” (2009)
37 Bruce Springsteen, “The Rising” (2002)
36 The Strokes, “New York City Cops” (2001)
35 The Bee Gees, “Stayin’ Alive” (1977)
34 Tom Waits, “Downtown Train” (1985)
33 Bob Dylan, “Talkin’ New York” (1962)
32 Ella Fitzgerald, “Manhattan” (1957)
31 James Cagney, “Give My Regards to Broadway” (1942)
30 Bobby Womack, “Across 110th Street” (1972)
29 Jennifer Lopez, “Jenny from the Block” (2002)
28 Suzanne Vega, “Tom’s Diner” (1987)
27 Simon & Garfunkel, “The Only Living Boy in New York” (1970)
26 Elton John, “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” (1972)
25 Stevie Wonder, “Living for the City” (1973)
24 Ryan Adams, “My Blue Manhattan” (2004)
23 Lou Reed, “Halloween Parade” (1989)
22 New York Dolls, “Subway Train” (1973)
21 Nas, “N.Y. State of Mind” (1994)
20 The Ramones, “Rockaway Beach” (1977)
19 Billy Joel, “New York State of Mind” (1976)
18 Vampire Weekend, “M79” (2008)
17 Simon & Garfunkel, “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” (1966)
16 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning” (1969)
15 LL Cool J, “Doin’ It” (1996)
14 George Benson, “On Broadway” (1978)
13 The Velvet Underground, “I’m Waiting for the Man” (1967)
12 Duke Ellington Orchestra, “Take the ‘A’ Train” (1941)
11 Wu-Tang Clan, “C.R.E.A.M.” (1993)
10 Leonard Cohen, “Chelsea Hotel No. 2” (1974)
09 Ryan Adams, “New York, New York” (2001)
08 Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “The Message” (1982)
07 Leonard Bernstein with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, “Rhapsody in Blue” (1959)
06 Lou Reed, “Walk on the Wild Side” (1972)
05 Billie Holiday, “Autumn in New York” (1952)
04 LCD Soundsystem, “New York, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down” (2007)
03 Beastie Boys, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” (1986)
02 Frank Sinatra, “Theme from New York, New York” (1980)
01 Jay-Z with Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” (2009)

There’s also a reader’s poll, if that’s your thing.