Every Music Lover Over 40 Must Own These Songs

The last several decades of music history are full of classic songs that everyone must own. If you’re 40 and over, here are some must-have songs you have to own.

Stevie Nicks – Landslide

Like so many great songs from Nicks and her former band, Fleetwood Mac, this one was born from her tumultuous relationship with Lindsey Buckingham.

Stevie Nicks

AC/DC – You Shook Me All Night Long

The fact that this song is enjoyed even by non-rockers and is a standard at wedding receptions elevates it past some of their other, harder rocking songs.


Beach Boys – God Only Knows

The Beach Boys are a much-beloved band by Baby Boomers, but even those who are a little younger will love the harmonies in this one.

Beach Boys

Fountains of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom

Sure, we’re not teenagers lusting after a friend’s mom anymore, but we can all still enjoy the perfect pop-rock stylings of this song.

Fountains of Wayne

Tom Petty – Runnin’ Down a Dream

This song will pump you full of energy, make you feel like hitting the open road, or both.

Tom Petty

Muse – Knights of Cydonia

Muse is a popular band by now, but if you haven’t heard them, this is the perfect entry point.


Michael Jackson – The Way You Make Me Feel

Sure, we all know Michael’s greatest hits. This one often gets overlooked and can always make you feel good.

Michael Jackson

John Mayer – Waiting On The World To Change

Mayer’s a fine blues guitarist, and there’s a hint of that here. Besides that, anyone who lived through the 60s and 70s can identify with the sentiment.

John Mayer

The Beatles – In My Life

Those who are over 40 will understand this song in a brand new way, which only adds to its beauty.

The Beatles

The Outfield – Your Love

Sure, the 1980s were a bit hit and miss when it comes to music (and everything else), but this one holds up.

The Outfield

Eagles – Hotel California

Sure, we’ve all heard it a thousand times, but there’s a reason for that. It’s still a great tune to this day.

The Eagles


Frank Sinatra – Once Upon a Time

This Sinatra classic is perfect for anyone feeling a bit nostalgic about the old days.

Frank Sinatra

Candlebox – Far Behind

Not everyone has great memories of the 90s, but this song is an excellent ode to that special someone who moved on without you.


Queen – Somebody to Love

An equally great song for lamenting your love life or remembering how lucky you are to have found that somebody.


Tears for Fears – Head Over Heels

Everyone loves “Shout,” but this song about unrequited love is the band’s true masterpiece.

Tears for Fears

David Bowie – Changes

We can all appreciate what David was singing about in this one, can’t we?

David Bowie

Simple Minds – Don’t You (Forget About Me)

Three words: The Breakfast Club. One of the best uses of a song in a movie ever.

Cast of The Breakfast Club

Next – Too Close

This is as infectious as R&B club music got in the 90s. Plus, it’s pretty original subject material, to boot.


Talking Heads – Burning Down the House

This is as accessible as the band got. For a little extra energy, go for the live version from their excellent concert film.

The Talking Heads

Metallica – For Whom The Bell Tolls

One of their more accessible early songs, and a welcome departure from their slower sound that began with the black album.


Bob Seger – Like a Rock

Forget about the commercials. This song is all about remembering your younger days, and nothing tops the emotion of the guitar solo. One of the must-have songs for sure.

Bob Seger

Wyclef Jean – Guantanamera

Many people mourned the breakup of The Fugees, but Jean gave us an underrated classic of an album with an eclectic sound that hasn’t been matched since.

Wyclef Jean

Neil Young – Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon, like all of Young’s songs, has a real sense of emotional depth to it that will resonate with you.

Neil Young

J.Lo – I’m Real (w/Ja Rule)

Ja Rule was only really tolerable in collaborations with female R&B singers, and this song is Exhibit A of that fact.

Jennifer Lopez

Elvis Presley – Jailhouse Rock

No playlist is complete without a little Elvis. For our money, this is one of the must-have songs as one of Elvis’ best cuts.

Elvis Presley

Prince – Raspberry Beret

Prince’s catalog is full of must-have songs, but Raspberry Beret is an often-overlooked classic.


Emmylou Harris – C’est La Vie

There are multiple versions of this song, but Harris’ is probably the best rendition of them all.

Emmylou Harris

Eagles – Tequila Sunrise

This song has a more wistful feel to it than a lot of their work and is perfect for reminiscing.

The Eagles

The Bangles – Hazy Shade of Winter

“Walk Like An Egyptian” may have been gimmicky, but The Bangles’ take on this song holds up after all these years.

The Bangles

Cheap Trick – Surrender

No list of must-have songs is complete without a little classic rock. Cheap Trick really hit all the right notes with this chart-topper.

Cheap Trick

Warren G – Regulate

Chances are, you still know the words to this one. If not, your friends do, so throw it on and watch them excitedly recite them.

Warren G

George Jones – He Stopped Loving Her Today

If you dig old school country, you’ll love this cut. Even if you don’t, you’ll want to make an exception.

George Jones

Stevie Wonder – Lately

You may remember the live version of this song by Jodeci, but the Stevie original is one of the must-have songs you should own.

Stevie Wonder

Buffalo Springfield – For What Its Worth

Those who were born around the time of Vietnam or lived through it themselves will identify with this legendary song.

Buffalo Springfield

Pink Floyd – Wish You Were Here

It’s not exactly a deep cut, but this song is one that belongs in everyone’s collection, fan or not.

Pink Floyd

Dionne Warwick – A House Is Not a Home

Warwick belted out this song back in 1964, but it still hits home to this day.

Dionne Warwick

Black Keys – Tighten Up

The Black Keys have done everything from the blues to guitar-driven rock. This is one of the must-have songs because it brings together both worlds.

The Black Keys

Patsy Cline – Crazy

Cline provides a surprisingly bluesy take during this Willie Nelson-penned hit.

Patsy Cline

Dexys Midnight Runners – Come On Eileen

Try to listen to this infectious hit from the 80s without snapping your fingers or smiling. We dare you.

Dexys Midnight Runners

Joni Mitchell – Little Green

Mitchell was always extremely honest in her songs, and this classic is certainly no exception.

Joni Mitchell