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A tallied and organized countdown of the best and most influential songs of Classic Rock history. From The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd to Bad Company, Jethro Tull and Elton John. Now you be saying, those are all well known bands and everyone loves them, but we’re not forgetting the lesser known guys. Check it out.
Origins of rock and roll Electronics in rock music Social effects Rock Against Communism Rock Against Racism Rock Against Sexism Rock music and the fall of communism Rockism and poptimism Women in rock
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!
Should be #1. Not only Ozzy but also the Heaven and Hell days with Dio and even the Martin era wasn’t bad. Nobody has this longevity and still making great music. What other band here put out an album as recently as Devil You Know that is near that quality?
A nationally-syndicated radio show devoted to exploring the wide musical world of America’s best-loved band. The program presents high-quality recordings of the band’s live performances from analog and digital master tapes provided by the Grateful…
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.
28 Yes Yes are an English rock band formed in 1968 by bassist Chris Squire and singer Jon Anderson. They first achieved success in the 1970s with a progressive, art and symphonic style of rock music.
17 The Jimi Hendrix Experience The Jimi Hendrix Experience was an English-American rock band that formed in Westminster, London, in September 1966. Composed of singer, songwriter, and guitarist Jimi Hendrix, bassist and backing vocalist Noel Redding, and drummer Mitch Mitchell, the band was active until June 1969. During this time …read more.
Musicians better than most of their peers, one of the best front man ever and lyrics socially relevant on a higher intellectual level than the dungeons and dragons fantasy lyrics of groups like Led Zeppelin. The doors are the greatest band of all times!
Many forget about this band, Eddie Van Halen Is One Of The Greatest Guitarists Ever, When They had David Lee Roth, They Were Unbeatable…. Many #1 Hits, Inducted Into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of fame… Greatest Band Ever – VanHalen88

14 Rush Rush is a Canadian progressive rock band that was formed in 1968. Even though the only founding member still in the band is Alex Lifeson (Guitar), the band is most well-known for their current members Neil Peart (Drums) and Geddy Lee (Bass, Vocals). …read more.
44 ZZ Top ZZ Top is an American rock band that formed in 1969 in Houston, Texas. The band is composed of bassist and lead vocalist Dusty Hill, guitarist and lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, and drummer Frank Beard.
19 Bon Jovi Bon Jovi is a hard rock band formed in 1983, which had a streak of successful albums in the late 1980s. The band originally consisted of lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi, guitarist Ritchie Sambora (left in 2013), bassist Alec John Such (left in 1994), keyboard David Bryan, and drummer Tico Torres. The band’s …read more.
Should easily be in the top twenty probably the top 10 of all time. Tom Petty’s career and the people he played with and who lived him and mourned his death is a whose who of the greatest in Rock of all time. Plus the Heartbreakers are all fantastic musicians and band. RIP legend.
Boston I think in my opinion is a great classic rock band because Boston isn’t too hard rock but just enough classic rock and rock and roll to create the perfect combo. Plus their first and second album were definitely the best. After that it was ok, with the exception of Amanda, that was a great song!
Pink Floyd is like that one band that if you show someone the logo for Dark Side, they’ll say “Oh yeah that band, Pink Floyd right? ” Everybody knows it. For example take The Wall, listen to “Another Brick In The Wall Part One, Two and Three.” All three in a row. They blend seamlessly. Listen to the whole album, nonstop. Each song blends perfectly into the next. Pink Floyd brought the famous “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding”. I’m sorry but who the heck hasn’t heard that at least once in their life? For most, it’s avoided with an exception for Dark Side. I hate to say this but… Pink Floyd should take the number one spot, as should The Wall compared to Dark Side. “Mother do you think they’ll the drop the bomb? Mother do you think they’ll like this song? ” -Pink Floyd, Mother, The Wall.
Led Zeppelin earn the penultimate spot on our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list with ‘Kashmir,’ a stately, epic masterpiece that refuses to acknowledge that rock music should have any uncrossable boundaries.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” is a prime example of 1970s’ progressive rock. Written by vocalist/pianist Freddy Mercury and performed by Queen, the song is a six-minute suite, including an operatic passage, of all things, and multiple key and tempo changes, and may be the most original of all songs on this stellar list. Not surprisingly, after released, “Bohemian Rhapsody” hit the top of the UK Singles Chart, selling more than nine million copies and kicked butt in the US as well. Astonishingly, the song was re-released in 1992, after the death of Mercury, and did almost as well then. Then in 2004, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. This awesome song is a prime example of the astonishing range of expression in rock and roll!
Every instrumentalist is top-notch; writing and lyrics are fantastic, and no other vocalist could ever beat Steve Perry in his prime. Their songs usually carried a good message which I appreciated. Arnel is good, too, but Perry hit it out of the park every time.
Bon Jovi is my favourite band of all time. I have not found a single Bon Jovi song that I don’t like, loads of their songs have got me hooked and its mainly the reason I got into rock. They are the reason rock is my favourite genre of all time and I’m into a lot of 80’s and 90’s hard rock. They have had me hooked for over a year and I can’t get enough. Jon Bon Jovi is one of the nicest guys you could meet. They are a talented group of gentlemen that have given us the greatest music for 30 years and I hope to see them around for many years to come.
The critics say AC/DC songs sound the same. Tell me, does BACK IN BLACK (1980), For Those About to Rock (1981) sound like Rock and Roll Train (2009) and Rock Or Bust(2014)? Their sound is theirs. It’s that AC/DC sound that only the Young brothers can produce. It’s actually a subset of rock n roll. You have metal, blues, Rock, Pop, and AC/DC. Plus, they have never made music for the critics. They make it for their Fans. Put it this way: if AC/DC ever listened to their critics at least ONE TIME, I believe they wouldn’t be where they are today. Still making music for soundtracks. Still selling out stadiums at world record pace. I get a kick out of those who say “oh they’re losing a step. They’re getting old”. Haha! Of course! They’re human! But losing a step? I disagree. If they lose a step then they’re hiding it very well. Not bad for guys in their 60’s pushing 70! I can barely get out of bed at 40 sometimes but here they are rocking still. Numbers don’t lie and neither do the …more
The variety, however, is staggering. There are some defined by songs, and others by the way other artists rushed to sound just like them. A few figures trace through multiple entries, showing up alone and in larger groups. Some remained steadfast in their musical convictions, playing with a remarkable consistency; others seemed to change directions as often as they switched venues on a cross-crossing world tour. Then there are those who appear like shooting stars, burning brightly but gone far too soon.
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.
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42 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are an American rock band from Gainesville, Florida. In 1976, the band’s original lineup was Tom Petty as the lead singer and guitar player, Mike Campbell as the lead guitarist, Ron Blair on bass, Stan Lynch on drums, and Benmont Tench on keyboards.
Written in minutes and with a riff born out of a guitar warm up exercise, this song most definitely had inauspicious beginnings. It remains the greatest example of why rock ballads don’t have to suck.
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.
One of seven hit singles from their fabulous album, Hysteria, which sold 25 million copies worldwide, “Pour Some Sugar on Me” became one of the best stripper songs of all time, if nothing else. Also, in case you’re interested, the song reached #2 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of the 1980s in 2006; and the video for the song was rated #1 on MTV’s list of the Top 300 Videos of All Time. It seems safe to point out that the tune is synonymous with Def Leppard’s greatest success as a rock group.
Debbi Calton (weekdays 9a-2p) plays the perfect mix of classic rock to make sure your workday is an enjoyable one. She also gives you the chance to win concert tickets in her Connect 3 feature – she’ll play you 3 songs centered around a common theme….
Originally recorded by the Arrows in 1975, “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” was catapulted to the level of rock anthem by Joan Jett and the Blackhearts the following decade. Eventually climbing to number one for seven weeks on the US Billboard Hot 100, The Blackheart’s version of the tune has received many accolades, one of which a ranking of #56 on Billboard’s list of the 100 Greatest Songs of All Time; also, in 2016, it was inducted into the Grammy’s Hall of Fame.
Graveyard return with video for Please Don’t – taken from their forthcoming album Peace: https://www.loudersound.com/news/graveyard-return-with-video-for-new-song-please-dont …pic.twitter.com/mcEFn3JZbV
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?
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7 The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964 . The members are Roger Daltrey (lead singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), John Entwistle (bassist), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O’Riley, My Generation, and Won’t Get Fooled …read more.
The song which put Rush into the UK singles might have been a loveletter to great radio but it was also a prophetic warning about the commercialism creeping into the medium. While the song is the band’s biggest single, it’s no less complex or arresting than the rest of their work – musically prodigious and melodically profound, it’s everything that rock should be.
30 Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac are a British-American rock band formed in July 1967, in London. The band have sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time.
One of the greatest artists of the 20th century. the only artist to be honoured in both the Jazz and Rock and Roll hall of fame. Deep in a mess of dissonant Avant Garde notes, biting satire and a cynical sneer existed of the greatest rock guitarists of all time with a timeless classical sensibility.
Historical retrospective collection! Rare tapes of the 70’s radio show that recorded the world’s punk bands as they crashed into San Francisco … hosted by Ruth Schwartz of Mordam Records and Tim Yohannan of Maximum Rock’n’Roll. With new intros by…
One of the most brilliant bands, and also the most under appreciated. Ann’s crazy voice combined with Nancy’s amazing guitar skills! What more could you want? Heart should definitely make the top ten. They gave us barracuda. Need I say more?
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