Our Top 10 Jerry Lee Lewis songs article is just a small attempt at looking at some of the highlights of the man’s 60 plus year career. While most of the songs on this list stem from his 1950’s and early 1960s rock and roll roots, we could not ignore some of the country songs and his late 1970s rock and roll comeback. The man has had one of the most extraordinary careers in rock and roll. His piano playing set the bar for rock and roll piano players. His high-energy performances were clearly an inspiration for performers like Bruce Springsteen, Mick Jagger and so many others. In 2022, Jerry Lee Lewis is still alive and rocking! Goodness Gracious!
# 10 – High Heel Sneakers
We open our top 10 Jerry Lee Lewis songs list with the great track “High Heel Sneakers.” The song was written by Tommy Tucker in 1963. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded and released the song “High Heel Sneakers,” as a single in 1964.
# 9 – I’m On Fire
If this song does not get you up and dancing within the first few seconds then you need to check your pulse. The great track “I’m On Fire.” defines the great balance between Jerry Lee Lewis’s vocals, piano playing, and the great horn section. Pure rock and roll. Oh yeah! The song “I’m On Fire,” was released in 1964 as a single on Smash Records, The song broke into the Billboard Top 100 just creeping in at number ninety-eight. Bruce Springsteen released a song with the same title on his Born In The U.S.A. album.
# 8 – Would You Take Another Chance On Me
We could not compose a Top 10 Jerry Lee Lewis songs list and ignore all the number one singles Jerry Lee Lewis had as a country artist. While we will always prefer the rock and roll, we must pay tribute from a historic standpoint in presenting at least one of those number one country records. The song “Would You Take Another Chance On Me,’ was released in 1971. The music and lyrics were composed by Bill Rice and Jerry Foster.
# 7 – Rocking My Life Away
After spending many years releasing country music, Jerry Lee Lewis staged a rock and roll come back in 1979. During a time period when rock and roll was evolving even further with the sounds of bands like The Ramones, Talking Heads, Blondie and so many others, Jerry Lee Lewis gassed up his pumping piano chops and delivered some old school rock and roll like only the Killer could!
# 6 – Wild One
When Jerry Lee Lewis recorded the song “Wild One,” it was never released on record. It was not until 1974 that Jerry Lee Lewis issued the song on his album Rockin’ and Free. The song has been recorded by many artists including the fabulous David Bowie produced Iggy Pop version in 1988. Jerry Lee Lewis’ version was titled “Wild One.” However the song has also been issued numerous times titled as “Real Wild Child.”
# 5 – What’d I Say
Even though everyone associates this great song with Ray Charles, the live version recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis at the Star Club in 1964 surely gave Ray Charles a run for his money. The Star Club recording is one of the greatest live rock and roll recordings in rock and roll history. Jerry’s live version of “What’d I Say,” was one of the highlights of that amazing show. Listen to that piano intro!
# 4 – High School Confidential
The next four Jerry Lee Lewis songs on this list were all released between 1957 and 1958. It’s difficult to say anything about these legendary tracks that has not already been said. This is rock and roll, it’s as simple as that. The great track “High School Confidential,” was released in May of 1958. It was released as a Sun Records single. It was also the title song to the movie High School Confidential. The song was written by Jerry Lee Lewis and Ron Hargrave.
# 3 – Breathless
The great Otis Blackwell song “Breathless,” was released by Jerry Lee Lewis in February of 1958. The song was a top 10 hit for Jerry Lee Lewis peaking at the number seven spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1958. The songs served as the inspiration for the Richard Gere 1983 film titled Breathless in which Richard Gere would often be seen intimidating Jerry Lee Lewis singing this song.
# 2 – Whole Lotta Shakin Goin On
The Jerry Lee Lewis version of “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin On,” was recorded for Sun Records and released in February of 1957. The song reached the number three spot on the Billboard pop music charts in 1957. However, it reached the number one spot on both the Billboard Country music charts and the Billboard Rhythm and Blues charts. It defined the mass appeal that great music performed by electric performers like Jerry Lee Lewis could have across multiple musical genres.
# 1 – Great Balls Of Fire
Coming in at number one on our Top 10 Jerry Lee Lewis songs list is the great Jerry Lee Lewis song “Great Balls of Fire. “The song was a number one record for Jerry Lee Lewis in the United Kingdom and reached number two on the United States Pop charts. It reached number one on the U.S. Country music charts. It was released in November of 1957. The song was written by Otis Blackwell. Great Balls of Fire! also served as the title to the 1989 biographical film Great Balls of Fire! about Jerry Lee Lewis. If we had to choose one song to represent the career of Jerry Lee Lewis, “Great Balls Of Fire,” would serve as the easy choice.
Top 10 Jerry Lee Lewis Songsarticle published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2022
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