I belonged in the green and blue column This is a ranked list of the 100 best artists in “Classic Rock.” The term “classic rock” is mostly used as a radio format to describe popular rock music of the mid 1960’s through the early 1980’s. I also refer to that era in music as the “Classic Rock” era. To me it begins with the Beatles’ arrival in America in early 1964 and goes up til about the debut of MTV in 1981. Although some artists emerged after 1981 that defined the classic rock sound like John Mellencamp, Billy Squier, Loverboy, the Georgia Satellites, and the Black Crowes. With that said, this list will mostly highlight artists you hear on Classic Rock stations. I’m pretty strict on what I consider to be classic rock, so artists such as the Police, the Pretenders, and Talking Heads whom are occasionally played on classic rock radio will not be on the list as I consider them to be apart of the next era in music (new wave). So here are the 100 greatest artists of classic rock.
Charlie Starr’s track-by-track guide to @blackberrysmoke’s Find A Light, out today! https://www.loudersound.com/features/charlie-starrs-track-by-track-guide-to-blackberry-smokes-find-a-light …pic.twitter.com/S4lBvArr5G
Most songs on this list were singles but, at least at first, this one wasn’t. Hey, the Zep didn’t do singles! Yet Atlantic Records released it as a promotional single in 1972. Appearing on Led Zeppelin’s fourth album, “Stairway to Heaven” is a song in three parts, each one increasing in tempo and volume, until the thunderous crescendo, punctuated by guitarist Jimmy Page’s orgasmic trills, and then the tune slowly fades away with an acoustic coda. This breathtaking tune was picked as #3 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Rock Songs compiled in 2000. Incidentally, the rock band Spirit claimed it had created the song’s signature riff, but Spirit lost the copyright infringement lawsuit in 2017.
21 Motley Crue Mötley Crüe was an American metal band formed in Los Angeles, California on January 17, 1981. The group was founded by bassist Nikki Sixx and drummer Tommy Lee, lead vocalist Vince Neil and lead guitarist Mick Mars.
Perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay Free Bird is that when that fade starts to happen about 30 seconds before the end you simply don’t want it to end. It’s like five minutes of foreplay followed by an almighty explosion of duelling guitar solos and Southern rock brilliance.
Watch Black Stone Cherry go back to 1988 for battle of the bands contest in Bad Habit video: https://www.loudersound.com/news/watch-black-stone-cherry-go-back-to-1988-for-battle-of-the-bands-contest …pic.twitter.com/S8NVaqinus
These guys were basically the first to introduce synthsisers, something that most everyone else has relied on in their music. This band has tested rock time and time again and they have revolutionized it, creating some of the best and most favorite Classic Rock songs of all time. It is even said that Led Zepplin and many other British originated groups and singers, including U2, were influenced by these guys. The band includes one of the greatest guitarist, greatest drummer, and greatest bassist of all time. There is a reason they have been around for nearly fifty years and continue to perform.
Give me a break. Why is The Who anywhere close to Rush? Same with Heart, Journey, and the Beatles, I just don’t understand how any band especially the ones I’ve listed, could top off Rush. The only band that comes anywhere close to Rush is Van Halen, but they’re half as good at best. Rush has by far the most variety, The most music, and I honestly haven’t heard a rush song that I don’t like. RUSH FOR LIFE!
Unmute @ClassicRockMag Mute @ClassicRockMag Follow Follow @ClassicRockMag Following Following @ClassicRockMag Unfollow Unfollow @ClassicRockMag Blocked Blocked @ClassicRockMag Unblock Unblock @ClassicRockMag Pending Pending follow request from @ClassicRockMag Cancel Cancel your follow request to @ClassicRockMag
Elvis Presley – He is called the King of Rock and Roll, so it is clear that there might not be a bigger icon of classic rock and roll than Elvis Presley. Only The Beatles have sold more albums worldwide than Presley, who has moved over 600 million units in his career.
Freddie Mercury- Iconic vocals, flamboyant stage persona, lively personality. Brian May- Underrated guitarist, beautiful voice, very wise. Roger Taylor- Amazing drummer, extraordinary falsettos, very humorous. John Deacon- Incredible bass lines, underrated songwriter, is the glue that holds everyone together. Do the math and combine it all together… what do you get- BAM! One of the greatest classic rock bands of all time. There music has and always will pass the test of time. To those who say Queen is overrated, please go kiss a goose. I would say Queen is a bit underrated, seeing people humming “We Are The Champions,” clapping along to “We Will Rock You,” heck, even trying to recreate iconic bass lines from “Another One Bites The Dust,” gives me joy. But that joy compresses into dust when they say they have no idea who Queen is. Queen covers nearly all genres. Funk, rockabilly, gospel, HECK, FREDDIE MERCURY SANG OPERA. Queen is the best and will stay that way.
As the story goes, The Beatles movie needed a title, something other than Beatlemania, so the Beatles suggested a comment made by Ringo might work. Ringo had said they’ve worked so hard night and day that it’s been a hard . . . day’s night, kind of a malapropism. Eureka! Then, once the producers had a title for the movie, they also needed a theme song. So John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote it and the Beatles recorded it the next day. In July 1964, “A Hard Day’s Night,” the single and album, soared to #1 on the charts in both the US and UK, the first time a musical group had achieved such a feat.
4 Pink Floyd Pink Floyd were an English progressive rock band formed in London. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelic music. The band consisted of 5 members – David Gilmour (Vocals and Guitar), Syd Barrett (Vocals and Guitarist), Nick Mason (Drums), Roger Waters (Vocals and Bass), …read more.
Jimi Hendrix – From Jim Morrison and Janis Joplin to Brian Jones and Jimi Hendrix, it seemed that the most interesting musicians were all dying young in the 70s. Hendrix was best known for his guitar work and many of today’s best guitarists owe their careers to Hendrix, who died at the age of 27, the exact same age that Morrison, Joplin and Jones all died at.
Producing great music from the first minute, these guys took it to the limit! Made many legendary songs like Hotel California, Take It Easy, One Of These Nights etc. Etc. One of the best bands ever in rock, true legends!
Of all the acts on our countdown of the Top 100 Classic Rock Songs, none gave us a bigger challenge than the Beatles. Although the decision to only include one song per act allowed for a greater range of bands, it also meant that the entire catalog of the Beatles, the greatest and most diverse in al…
Van Halen has some of the most infamous songs in rock history out there, but we do have to remember, this is one of those rare bands that have more than one hit. In fact, they have a good handful of songs that you can call your favorite, definitely not a one hit wonder!
Alice should be in the top 5 at least. I mean, he’s a badass. He’s got a great voice, killer music, and he’s a showman, which makes his concerts all the more enjoyable/interesting. Guy deserves so much more credit. I LOVE you, ALICE COOPER!
31 Alice Cooper Alice Cooper was an American rock band formed in Phoenix, Arizona in 1964. The band consisted of lead singer Vince Furnier, Glen Buxton, Michael Bruce, Dennis Dunaway, and Neal Smith.
If you missed it, no problem! Catch where all your favorite Classic Rock tunes fell on our countdown with the full Top 500 playlist below. We’d love to hear from you in the Facebook comments at the bottom of each list segment.
5 AC/DC AC/DC are a Australian hard rock band, formed in November 1973 by brothers Malcolm and Angus Young, who continued as members until Malcolm’s illness and departure in 2014. They were fronted by Bon Scott until his untimely death due to alcohol poisoning in 1980, after which they hired Brian Johnson to …read more.
Performed by the Rolling Stones and written and sang by Mick Jagger, who narrates the song as if he were the devil himself, declaring that he’d wreaked havoc on humanity over the centuries. Interestingly, Jagger’s inspiration for the song came from the books of Baudelaire and Mikhail Bulgakov’s novel The Master and Margarita. Jagger’s intention was that it would be a kind of Bob Dylan song. But it was guitarist Keith Richards’ idea to increase the tempo of the song, add percussion, and give it a samba-like feel. The result – a ballistic rock classic!
Perhaps the first great acid rock tune, “Purple Haze” was written by guitar god Jimi Hendrix and performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix, a blues and R&B guitarist by trade, quickly learned to play psychedelic blues, essentially inventing the style as he produced the album, Are You Experienced, on which “Purple Haze” appears. The words for the song, seemingly about a man tripping on acid, are simply about a young man going crazy for this foxy lady. No drugs required for that, right?
12 Lynyrd Skynyrd Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American rock band best known for popularizing the Southern rock genre during the 1970s They are known for songs like “Free Bird”, “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Tuesdays Gone” .
One of the most influential acts of the 20th century. This band left its brutal mark on the music industry and metal as a whole and it is still there today. Without a doubt one of the greatest bands to have ever existed.
Writer Jim Sullivan talks to rock drummers who followed in Ringo Starr’s wake and discovers a unanimous praise for his skills, groove, swing and time on the kit – a too often overlooked secret to the success of The Beatles.
What’s the recipe for becoming one of the Top 100 classic rock artists? It takes sweeping influence, longevity, groundbreaking importance and a certain indelible quality. But being a huge presence doesn’t necessarily mean that all of these qualities must be present at once.