Appearing on The Who’s spectacular album, Who’s Next, “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” was written by guitarist Pete Townshend, who said the song seeks to make a connection between music – highlighted by the use of a synthesizer throughout the song – and the teachings of Meher Baba and Inayat Khan. Thereafter, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” became a song The Who usually played at the end of their live performances, when Townshend destroyed his guitar and Keith Moon kicked over his drums, as the crowd squealed and hooted with delight.
I get it they are not everyone’s cup of tea and people get tired of hearing their names mentioned. But when people mention old music and everyone thinks of The Beatles, doesn’t that say something? Let’s give John, Paul, George and Ringo some credit.
Led Zeppelin – Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones were the biggest rock band in the U.S. at one time, and were really the biggest classic rock band on 80s radio. They started their career in 1968, and in a moment of shock to their fans, chose to break up after Bonham died.
For some of those featured in the list below, fame was fleeting – though their impact certainly was not. Bands may have broken up, careers may have derailed, lives may have been tragically lost, but one thing defines these great 100 acts, some of which came and went, and others that stayed remarkably durable: They are unforgettable, a lasting part of our lives.
Sound Opinions, the World’s only rock and roll talk show; now to go. Hosted by Jim DeRogatis of the Vocalo.org and Greg Kot of the Chicago Tribune. Each week Jim and Greg bring you the latest music news and reviews. Plus tune in to hear exclusive…
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…
The words “somebody to love” make a popular song title, and this list includes the song recorded by the Jefferson Airplane. If there’s a song that’s redolent of the Haight/Ashbury subculture of the San Francisco Bay Area in 1967, it must be the Airplane’s “Somebody to Love.” The lead sang by Grace Slick, former sister-in-law of Darby Slick who wrote the lyrics, the tune has a driving, acid-rock tinged favor with a screaming guitar solo at the end. If there’s an anthem for the free-love movement, this may be it.
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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.
Don Henley of the Eagles wanted to write a song about life in Los Angeles, California, particularly its emphasis on fame, hedonism and money. Henley wrote, “It’s basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about.” Henley wanted the song, decidedly somber, and played in harmonic minor, seem like an episode of the Twilight Zone, which it certainly does. Apparently the song worked on many levels, because it won the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1978. And the dueling guitars coda was rated the greatest guitar solo by Guitarist magazine in 1998.
Anyone can cover another artist’s song, but few are able to take that song and truly make it their own. In the case of ‘All Along The Watchtower,’ there is no doubt that Jimi Hendrix most certainly turned the Bob Dylan composition into not only a Hendrix song, but into a true classic.
The closest thing to a pop song that Zeppelin ever did – three and a half minutes of raw rock fire-power which does exactly what it says on the tin. It also has the greatest drum intro to any song EVER.
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.
The mindset underlying classic rock was regarded by Christgau as politically regressive; he said the music eschewed ironic sensibilities in favor of unintellectual, conventional aesthetics rooted in Victorian era Romanticism, while downplaying the more radical aspects of 1960s counterculture, such as race, African-American music, politics, and pop in the art sense. “Though classic rock draws its inspiration and most of its heroes from the ’60s, it is, of course, a construction of the ’70s”, he wrote in 1991 for Details magazine. “It was invented by prepunk/predisco radio programmers who knew that before they could totally commodify ’60s culture they’d have to rework it—that is, selectively distort it till it threatened no one … In the official rock pantheon the Doors and Led Zeppelin are Great Artists while Chuck Berry and Little Richard are Primitive Forefathers and James Brown and Sly Stone are Something Else.” Regarding the development of classic rock, Christgau points to the compromised socioeconomic security and diminishing collective consciousness of a new generation of listeners in the 1970s and on, who succeeded rock’s early years during baby-boomer economic prosperity in the United States. “Not for nothing did classic rock crown the Doors’ mystagogic middlebrow escapism and Led Zep’s chest-thumping megalomaniac grandeur. Rhetorical self-aggrandizement that made no demands on everyday life was exactly what the times called for.” Shuker attributed the rise of classic-rock radio in part to “the consumer power of the aging post-war ‘baby boomers’ and the appeal of this group to radio advertisers”. In his opinion, classic rock also produced a rock music ideology and discussion of the music that was “heavily gendered”, celebrating “a male homosocial paradigm of musicianship” that “continued to dominate subsequent discourse, not just around rock music, but of popular music more generally.”
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.
The Beatles – The British Invasion began with The Beatles coming to America in 1964. They completely changed the way that kids listened to music when they arrived and are the best-selling musical artists in the history of music and hold the record for the most number one hits with 20.
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.
Buffalo Tom will play dates across Europe later this year – watch video for their cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s The Only Living Boy In New York: https://www.loudersound.com/news/buffalo-tom-announce-european-tour …pic.twitter.com/TRoBXkquV4
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
U2 is one of the best bands ever! With or Without You, One, Where the Streets Have No Name… Really guys. Lots of the higher-ranked bands are mildly painful to listen to. U2 has way more good songs than some of those bands. Bono is the best, the Edge is fabulous on guitar. If you really listen to some of their songs, not just their most recent album, you would agree with me.
Played by masters of metal AC/DC, “Back in Black” has an incredibly infectious beat nobody can resist. (Listen to it right now and see if you can keep from gleefully jumping up and down.) Appearing on an album of the same name, the album sold 50 million copies – the second highest selling album ever – while “Back in Black” the song peaked at #37 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. A tribute to former lead singer Bon Scott, who died young at 33, Brian Johnson, Scott’s replacement, was asked to write the song and then the band created one of the most memorable hard-rock tunes of all time.
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.
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.
One of many Aerosmith hit singles in the 1970s, “Walk This Way” is a hard rock tune appearing on the band’s third studio album, Toys in the Attic, which is their highest selling album to date. “Walk This Way” jumped to #10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Then, during the 1980s, when Aerosmith hit a lull in popularity, the rap group Run-D.M.C re-made the song, with Aerosmith vocalist Steven Tyler and guitarist Joe Perry making guest appearances in the tune and on the video. Surprisingly, this version of the song did even better on the Billboard Hot 100, climbing to #5, and also helped spawn a new genre – rap rock.
36 Foreigner Foreigner is a British-American hard rock band, originally formed in New York City in 1976 by veteran English musician Mick Jones and fellow Briton and ex-King Crimson member Ian McDonald along with American vocalist Lou Gramm.
The Doors – While The Beatles and Beach Boys were all about fun, upbeat rock and roll, The Doors ushered in something very different. Jim Morrison brought the world a very dark and sensual rock and roll music that bordered on lewd and disturbingly controversial. They burned very bright but only lasted eight years before Morrison died at the age of 27.
Jump up ^ Leigh, Frederic A. (2011). “Classic Rock Format”. In Sterling, Christopher H.; O’Dell, Cary. The Concise Encyclopedia of American Radio. Routledge. p. 153. ISBN 1135176841. Retrieved August 2, 2015.
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 Who’s defining moment closed their greatest album. Eight and a bit minutes of incendiary guitars, synthesisers, drums and vocals combining to provide one of the most euphoric rock songs of all time.
If you’re particularly observant, you might also notice that a whopping 55% of the top 100 songs were recorded in the 70s and not a single song features from past the year 2000, proving that these songs really do get better with time.
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Who would have thought that the story of a burning casino would have become the most recognisable rock song in history? Undeniably iconic, and a brilliant song to boot. That opening riff will be inspiring wannabe guitarists for the rest of time.
A staple of rock radio since the moment it was released in 1970, All Right Now is an unceremoniously joyous record that simply screams sunshine and happier times. Not to mention that pretty much every human on the planet can probably sing the chorus, even if they have never heard of Free.
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.
In addition to being a founding member of Toto, Jeff Porcaro was one of if not the most-recorded drummers ever. That’s because he added magic to whatever he played on by many major pop and rock acts, says fellow drummer Dony Wynn, who Porcaro mentored in the early years of his career.
Manic Street Preachers release lyric video for their single Liverpool Revisited – taken from new album Resistance Is Futile: https://www.loudersound.com/news/manic-street-preachers-share-lyric-video-for-liverpool-revisited …pic.twitter.com/P5dJzcIQvy
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?
Billboard magazine’s Kim Freeman posits that “while classic rock’s origin’s can be traced back earlier, 1986 is generally cited as the year of its birth”. By 1986, the success of the format resulted in oldies accounting for 60–80% of the music played on album rock stations. Although it began as a niche format spun off from AOR, by 2001 classic rock had surpassed album rock in market share nationally.
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