Music scholar Jon Stratton traced classic rock’s origins to the emergence of a classic-rock canon. This canon arose in part from music journalism and superlative lists ranking certain albums and songs that are consequently reinforced to the collective and public memory. Robert Christgau said the classic-rock concept transmogrified rock music into a “myth of rock as art-that-stands-the-test-of-time”, and believed the canonizing of certain rock artists by critics, major media, and music establishment entities such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was inevitable. Media academic Roy Shuker said classic-rock radio programmers largely play “tried and proven” hit songs from the past based on their “high listener recognition and identification”; he identified white male rock acts from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper era through the end of the 1970s as the focus of their playlists. As Catherine Strong observed, classic rock songs are generally performed by white male acts from either the United States or the United Kingdom, “have a four-four time, very rarely exceed the time limit of four minutes, were composed by the musicians themselves, are sung in English, played by a ‘classical’ rock formation (drums, bass, guitar, keyboard instruments) and were released on a major label after 1964.”
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.
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.
3 Queen Queen are an English rock band formed in 1970. Members were Freddie Mercury (Vocals and Piano), Brian May (Guitar, Vocals), Roger Taylor (Drums, Vocals), and John Deacon (Bass Guitar, Vocals). Before forming into Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had played together in a band named Smile. Freddie Mercury …read more.
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.
Journey is one of the most under rated bands. Neil Shone, Jonathan Cain & Steve Perry wrote some of Rock’s best known hit’s. Perry has been called “The Voice”. Neil Shone is as good a guitar player as any & Cain a master on keyboards. Journey is Rock & Roll!
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.
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.
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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.
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
Uniting Fans And Bands Across The Lands – An hour of X-rated music and mayhem from The Heart of Sherwood Forest featuring tracks you’ve never heard before, expressions you’ve never heard before and jokes you’ll never want to hear again – all hosted by…
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.
45 The Ramones The Ramones were an American punk rock band that formed in the New York City neighborhood of Forest Hills, Queens, in 1974. They are often cited as the first band to define the punk rock sound.
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.
These top classic rock bands were all hit-makers of their time and have rightfully earned a spot on this list of legends. Some of these famous bands have devoted followers decades after they called it quits (Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd), some are considered icons of music (singers like Eric Clapton and bands like The Beatles, Queen), and some are even still touring (Rolling Stones, Aerosmith) despite the AARP status of their core members. These old school rock bands are still rocking, what have you done with your life?
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!
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.
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.
No track more perfectly represents the sum of Zep’s parts than Kashmir – every member working in absolute harmony, with no solos, no vocal histrionics, no showboating from any member. It’s dramatic, beautiful and just as startling every time you hear it.
Buddy Holly – There are some people who claim that Buddy Holly created rock and roll. The singer started performing in 1949, but he really hit it big in 1957 with “That’ll Be the Day”, which hit number one in the U.S. charts. Holly died two years later in a tragic plane crash, which also killed Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper.
The lyrics relate to a real event experienced by members of Deep Purple, while staying at an entertainment complex near the Montreux Casino. Suddenly a fire broke out in the theatre where The Mothers of Invention were playing and the casino was soon destroyed. But while watching smoke drift across a nearby lake, Deep Purple created the words to a classic rock tune, “Smoke on the Water.” Released in 1973, it reached #4 on Billboard’s pop singles chart. Also SOTW is often considered one of the best metal songs of all time, highlighted as it is by its iconic, though simple, opening riff.
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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.
Introducing the world to hardcore southern rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd was at the top of the mountain until a plane crash in 1977 prominently influenced the band to break up. Ten years later the band reformed with the former lead singer, Ronnie Van Zant’s brothers taking over the vocal duties. –
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.
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.
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.
The classic rock format evolved from AOR radio stations that were attempting to appeal to an older audience by including familiar songs of the past with current hits. In 1980, AOR radio station M105 in Cleveland began billing itself as “Cleveland’s Classic Rock,” playing a mix of rock music from the mid-1960s to the present. Similarly, WMET called itself “Chicago’s Classic Rock” in 1981. In 1982, radio consultant Lee Abrams developed the “Timeless Rock” format which combined contemporary AOR with rock hits from the 1960s and 1970s.
Guns N’ Roses began their career with a big bang. Their first single, “Welcome to the Jungle,” arrived on their debut album, Appetite for Destruction, and both kicked some serious tail. “Welcome to the Jungle,” a tune about the mean streets of Los Angeles, soon catapulted to #7 on the Billboard Hot 100, while Appetite for Destruction eventually sold 30 million copies, the eleventh best-selling album in the US. And, in 2009, VH1 picked “Welcome to the Jungle” as the number one hard rock song of all time.
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
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.
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.
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.
43 Ozzy Osbourne John Michael “Ozzy” Osbourne was born on December 3, 1948. He is also known as ”The Prince of Darkness”. Ozzy is an English singer, songwriter, and television personality. He rose to prominence in the early 1970s as the lead vocalist of the band Black Sabbath. Osbourne was fired from Black Sabbath …read more.
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
In the mid-1980s, the format’s widespread proliferation came on the heels of Jacobs Media’s (Fred Jacobs) success at WCXR, in Washington, D.C., and Edinborough Rand’s (Gary Guthrie) success at WZLX in Boston. Between Guthrie and Jacobs, they converted more than 40 major market radio stations to their individual brand of classic rock over the next several years.
Lead vocalist Jon Bon Jovi admired the heroes of the Old West, even the anti-heroes or outlaws, which he likened to rockers who traveled about the country, living the wild life in all the towns and cities where they performed. So he and Richie Sambora wrote the song “Wanted Dead or Alive,” which became Bon Jovi’s anthem. Released on the album, Slippery When Wet, “Wanted Dead or Alive” along with “Livin’ on a Prayer” and “Never Say Goodbye” all soared to the Top Ten of Billboard’s Hot 100, the first hard rock album to have three top singles. Not bad for Bon Jovi, a so-called Hair Metal band!
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Just listen to Sharp dressed man, trust me it might even be the greatest Song ever put to paper, let alone the greatest rock song. Add to that Billy Gibbons was Jimi Hendrix’s favorite guitarist, his sound is utterly epic and his vocal range immense! Dusty Hill is a great bassist and Frank Beard’s drumwork is masterful. Add to that the sheer longevity and range of their music, they formed in 1969 and are still going! Every album is an evolution and a masterpiece! Enough said…
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.
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.
The impetus for this song is that Paul McCartney wrote it for Julian, John Lennon’s son, after John had filed for divorce from Cynthia and struck up a romance with Yoko Ono. Paul felt sorry for kids in broken homes, ya know? Funny thing is, John thought the song was about him! Anyway, the single lasts seven minutes, long for the time, and who can forget the four-minute, orchestral coda? By the way, “Hey Jude” was the first single produced by Apple Records; it also stayed at number one on the US charts for nine weeks, topping all other Beatles’ singles; and in 2013 Billboard named it the tenth best song ever.
Then we come to Freddie Mercury. A legend among legends. Freddie’s voice was so powerful and had a range that most singers only dream of acquiring. He is listed as one of the greatest frontman in history, which is no surprise to anyone who has seen it in person or on video. His death will be mourned for many more years.
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.
Roger Waters is one of the few true musical geniuses. Acompanied by a great guitarist in David Gilmour, along with Richard Wright and Nick Mason. Pink Floyd ruled the sound waves of the 70’s with top notch albums and unforgettable live performances. –
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.
We’ve had an amazing response to the new issue of Classic Rock and to our new interviews with @DefLeppard. Pick up yours at https://www.myfavouritemagazines.co.uk/Classic-Rock-Print-Back-Issues/classic-rock-print-issue-248/ …pic.twitter.com/Sl0dXv1lc8