Music magazine NME polled their staff and came up with the 100 greatest singles of all time. They're only posting the top 10 online (you'll need to buy the magazine to see the next 90). Not surprisingly a British magazine's choices are predominantly British bands (looks like 9 of 10 in the top 10).
Number 1 is "Love Will Tear Us Apart" from Joy Division. Their second choice was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" from Nirvana. Interestingly, both Joy Division and Nirvana were undone by their lead singers committing suicide, ending young, brilliant lives.
Top Single #3 is "Anarchy In The UK" by The Sex Pistols. Sid Vicious of the Pistols didn't play on that song, but he too came to a tragic end. As Neil Young noted in "My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)", his tribute to The Sex Pistols, "It's better to burn out, Than to fade away..."