Classic Rock was owned by British bands and a band doesn’t get more British than The Who. With amazing songs such as ‘Pinball Wizard’, ‘My Generation’ and ‘Baba O’Riley’ The Who are one of the best in the genre. Due to death in the band they didn’t make they greatest impact but showing that they can still rock they are still amazing now as they were in the 70s and 80s.
“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!
Although classic rock has mostly appealed to adult listeners, music associated with this format received more exposure with younger generations of listeners with the presence of the Internet and digital downloading. Some classic rock stations also play a limited number of current releases which are stylistically consistent with the station’s sound, or by heritage acts that are still active and producing new music.
The Beatles are THE best band in history. Rock and roll was slowly disappearing, but then The Beatles started. These guys just about saved rock and roll. If you like The Rolling Stones, then you’ve got to like The Beatles. I mean, The Beatles and The Stones were friends, and The Beatles gave The Stones their first single. Every song by The Beatles is excellent (even Revolution 9 and Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey). The Beatles had enough songs to keep them rolling ’till TODAY. I mean, just imagine if Imagine, Live And Let Die, and My Sweet Lord were Beatles songs. These are some of the biggest songs in history, and they would have been Beatles songs had The Beatles not split up. It’s obvious: THE Beatles SHOULD HAVE BEEN #1 ON THIS LIST. THEY ARE THE BEST BAND IN HISTORY. PERIOD.
Queen and Skynyrd were the runners up with their own trademark epics, while bands such as AC/DC and Rush largely missed out in the upper echelons of the charts because votes were split over an enormous number of songs rather than focused on a handful of individual tracks.
First played by Richard Berry and the Pharaohs, “Louie Louie” is one of the most played rock tunes of all time. In the old days, this was usually the first tune learned by rock guitarists (the chords A, D, Em,D). Often considered a dirty song, though it isn’t – but you know how inventive kids can be – a seemingly endless number of bands have covered this song, often adding a guitar or saxophone solo, but The Kingsmen in 1963 may have produced the most popular version, though the lyrics are barely intelligible, as they often are in rock songs.
For instance, the song “Going For The One” was a good song and had moderate success on the radio during that time. YES had a whole host of songs with similar recognition, which is more than most of the bands on this list.
The sound of a band who have nothing left to prove. Apparently written in minutes on a tour bus, this remains one of the all time great driving songs. It is also pretty notable for containing not only an enormous keyboard solo but also an outrageous guitar solo from Ritchie Blackmore.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah Cardillo, Mike (22 Jul 2015). “30+ Classic Rock Songs I Never Want to Hear Again”. The Big Lead (USA Today). Retrieved 26 January 2016. “The ‘Classic Rock’ genre is the most tired in all of music. Often the only purpose it serves is to prove you’re getting older and that you no longer drive the cool car you used to drive when you were in high school, or something. Part of me dies inside when I hear a Nirvana tune — and I don’t even really like Nirvana’s music all that much — sandwiched between Foreigner and Steve Miller Band on the local classic rock station. … The following is but a sample of some of the songs that could be stricken from the airwaves and we’d all be better off for it.”
Beatles-A-Rama!!! The Show! with host Pat Matthews takes you on an incredible journey through the better known Fab 4 classics to their most obscure musical works, along with some great interviews and studio sessions making this show a must for any…
They where stuck in CBS so they had to feel in the dark side a touch. I think the difference between Sad Wings of Destiny and Sin After Sin shows the compromise of more radio friendly songs CBS demanded. Good thing Rob Halfords has one of the great voices in Rock music not just metal. Everyone from King Diamond to Dream Theater owe great debts to the mighty Priest. Power metal is the Halfords imataters club.
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.
Sometimes the best songs have the simplest licks. Guitarist Keith Richards created the main guitar lick in “Satisfaction,” a three-note riff played with a Gibson fuzzbox, which made the guitar sound like a saxophone, with which Richards hoped to replace it at some point – but the producers said no way Jose. Anyway, the song was performed live for the first time on Shindig!, an American TV show on which everything was performed live. You gotta love it! Many Boomers probably remember watching this memorable show. Not surprisingly, Rolling Stone magazine picked “Satisfaction” #2 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs 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.
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.
Beach Boys – While The Beatles broke boundaries with their version of British rock, The Beach Boys were hitting it big at the same time with music labeled as Americana. The songs were about surfing, cars and girls and the band remains one of the most popular in the history of music over 50 years later, as they still tour the country.
Classic rock was originally conceived as a radio station programming format which evolved from the album oriented rock (AOR) format in the early-1980s. In the United States, this rock music format now features a large playlist of songs ranging from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and early 1990s, with some stations including a limited number of current releases.
Acid rock Anatolian rock Art rock Baroque rock Beat music Blues rock Boogie rock Christian rock Comedy rock Country rock Electronic rock Experimental rock Folk rock Flamenco rock Garage rock Hard rock Heavy metal Jam Jazz rock Krautrock Power pop Progressive rock Psychedelic rock Raga rock Roots rock Samba rock Southern rock Space rock Surf music
There could only be one, right? Being “banned in guitar shops” and subsequently covered by Rolf Harris doesn’t alter the fact that this epic from Zep’s fourth album is undeniably better than ANY other song because it somehow manages to cram pretty much every single rock genre into one sprawling eight minute slice of brilliance. Oh, and don’t forget THAT guitar solo…
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.
During the mid-1980s, the classic rock format was mainly tailored to the adult male demographic ages 25–34, which remained its largest demographic through the mid-1990s. As the format’s audience aged, its demographics skewed toward older age groups. By 2006, the 35–44 age group was the format’s largest audience and by 2014 the 45–54 year-old demographic was the largest.
“Johnny B. Goode” is a song about a country boy who makes it big by playing rock and roll; of course, that boy was Chuck Berry himself, whose guitar work on this twangy tune comprises rock guitar 101. Just about every guitarist in the business has studied Berry’s riffs in this quintessential rock classic. Incidentally, “Johnny B. Goode” hit #8 on the Billboard Hot 100, and Rolling Stone magazine named it #7 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Not bad for a song that has been called “the first rock star origin story.”
Emerging from an event so catastrophic that it would have destroyed lesser bands, AC/DC’s highest placing song in this poll is the greatest tribute they could have paid to their former singer, Bon Scott – celebratory, wild and a killer riff that never gets old
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!
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.
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!
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.
This is a list of classic rock songs from the 1960s through the 1990s that are heard on classic rock radio stations. Classic rock emerged as a programming format on American FM radio in the mid-1980s—over time, the format evolved to accommodate the shifting demographics of its audience, with programmers including more recent releases to supplement the original songs from the 1960s and 1970s.
Performed by The Doors, a quartet from Los Angeles, “Light My Fire” has a jazzy verse and impressive keyboard riffs at the beginning and end of this tune, which was played throughout that wonderful, peace-and-love summer of 1967. In July of that year, “Light My Fire” ascended to #1 for three weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. Interestingly, when playing the song live, The Doors performed a much longer version of the song with solos for guitar and keyboard. Of course, frontman/singer/poet Jim Morrison, aka the Lizard King, always put on a show with his powerful voice and offbeat stage antics.
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.
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?
When you consider that this song is made up of a simple riff repeated many times over, a pretty non-existent chorus and a drum solo which lasts for half the song, it really is spectacularly brilliant.
Queen is no question the best band ever. They have the greatest singer ever, Freddie Mercury, also a amazing piano player. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, Seven Seas of Rhye, and The March of the Black Queen. One of the best guitarists ever. For example, Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen, The Prophet Song, Hammer To Fall. One of the best bassists. For example, Another One Bites The Dust, Killer Queen. Queen is my favorite band ever! I am in a queen cover band! – CalebMusic
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!
8 sweet parcels of tasty new music, as selected by magic and science. Includes @Manics, @RivalBones, @BRMCofficial, Brian James, @zealandardor, @MusicNegrito, Arthur Alexander and @RyanRoxie https://www.loudersound.com/features/tracks-of-the-week-new-music-and-videos-from-the-manics-zeal-and-ardor-and-more …pic.twitter.com/lrFYNbVlZs
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?
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!
No matter which line-up of the band you hear, the music is cohesive and stellar. David always surrounds himself with top-notch musicians. Haven’t heard a song I don’t like. Even the most recent albums sound better than anything else out at the moment. The purple album rules! I loved the Mach 3 & 4 line-up’s of deep purple. My son who is 6 years old has watched Whitesnake – made in Japan every night at bath time for over a year. Another generation of Snake fans is born!
A Grateful Dead concert is unlike any other. I saw then in the form of Dead & Company, and it was awesome! Every song is complimented by a long, improvised jam while the deadheads with dreadlocks dance. I’ve seen more dudes on acid that night than I will ever see again – ryanrimmel
There are bands that don’t have a single other band to even come close to them. Led Zeppelin had some of the greatest guitar solos the world has ever seen. Jimmy Page re-defined the way people play the guitar. Robert Plant is the greatest screamer ever. He actually sounds good. John Paul Jones was the fastest bassist trying to keep up with Jimmy when he did a guitar solo. Not many people could do that. And then you’ve got the greatest drummer ever who sat behind a drum kit. His solo in Rock and Roll is one of the greatest I’ve ever heard. And that brings me o my final quote: LED ZEPPELIN RULE!
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!
Aerosmith is still my favorite classic rock band by far, their variety in musical tone in their songs is what stands out he most from “Dude Looks Like A Lady” to “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing” just amazing music top to bottom!
This is the Real School of Rock! The Original Rock and Roll Podcast. Interviews, music and more from a Rock and Roll Geek. All done with a Metal Sludge, Blabbermouth sense of humor for fans of Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Wildhearts, Metallica, AC/DC,…
40 The Stooges The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, are an American proto-punk band from Ann Arbor, Michigan, first active from 1967 to 1974, and later reformed in 2003. Although they sold few records in their original incarnation, and often performed for indifferent or hostile audiences, the Stooges are …read more.
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.
The Dead Daisies release video footage of some of their tracks from new album Burn It Down – out tomorrow: https://www.loudersound.com/news/the-dead-daisies-preview-5-new-tracks …pic.twitter.com/VZMPL6b10Z
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….