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.
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” .
^ Jump up to: a b Strong, Catherine (2015). “Shaping the Past of Popular Music: Memory, Forgetting and Documenting”. In Bennett, Andy; Waksman, Steve. The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music. SAGE. p. 423. ISBN 1473910994.
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“Freebird,” a power ballad by Lynyrd Skynyrd, quickly became a rock and roll classic, particularly its long three-part guitar solo at the end of the tune. Released as a single and also as a longer version on the album, “Freebird” has become the band’s signature song and is generally played at the end of each concert appearance, lasting as long as 14 minutes, give or take. The group solo itself rose to #3 on Guitar World’s 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. Interestingly, the song is dedicated to Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, members of the Allman Brothers who died in motor cycle accidents in the early 1970s, and then became “freebirds.”
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?
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.
They were highly regarded by very positioned and prestigious musicians 40 years ago and now they are revered as the greatest musicians of all time by not their fans but by the most credible critic’s… Real iconic musicians that do not have one small complaint. Who dare would cast doubt on the greatest musicians of all time hand’s down. Rush humbly continues to be even better after 47 years… No other act on the entire list can lay claim to that longevity of commercial success… No one… Not even close no matter how l9ng you try to explain… Rush is still there turning out new and full studio albums then backing them up with sold out shows at the highest dollar around the world… Beatles never done that… Stones never done that… U2 never done that… Acdc never done that… Aerosmith never done that… Metallic never done that… Maiden never done that… Hendrix never done that cream never done that the who never done that… Only one I would consider close would be Neil …more
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…
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.
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!
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.
Rob Berg is a self-proclaimed classic Rock “lifer”. What does that mean exactly? It means we built the station around him. And the Led Zeppelin tees he sports are all originals.Every weekday at 3pm K-97’s Rob Berg hosts AC/D3… 3 back-to-back-to-back…
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.
18 Deep Purple Deep Purple are an English rock band formed in Hertford in 1968. They are considered to be among the pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock, although their musical approach changed over the years. Originally formed as a progressive rock band, the band shifted to a heavier sound in 1970. Deep Purple, …read more.
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.
2 The Beatles The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. The members consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They were soon known as the foremost and most influential act of rock era. Rooted in skiffle, beat, and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later experimented …read more.
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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!
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…
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.
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.
This band showed astounding talent in every aspect of music. Listen to any of their songs to listen to Robert Plant’s triple octive voice. Listen to Kashmir or Moby Dick to hear John Bonham’s drum skills or The Lemon Song to hear one of the greatest bass lines ever.
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.
27 Metallica Metallica is an American Thrash Metal band formed in 1981 . The original lineup was James Hetfield (Vocalist and Rhythm guitarist), Dave Mustaine (Lead Guitar), Lars Ulrich (Drums), Ron McGovney (Bassist). The group came into mainstream from their Self-Titled album and the hit single “Enter Sandman”. …read more.
Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour and Roger Waters are almost as famous for their feuding as they are for their music — and although they were bandmates for nearly two decades, their personality conflicts precluded true collaboration for many of those years. One notable exception: the No. 9 song on o…
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.
Yes is my all time favorite band-and I started listening to the Beatles in 1964, so I’ve heard most of the great groups. Yes is to me where progressive rock ended. There has not been anything better since Yes. Every time I play their music, it makes me so happy and joyous. If every one listened to them the world would be a much more happier and peaceful planet.
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
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.
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.
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…
Absolutely bursting with attitude and power, Stargazer was born to be played VERY loud. It turned Dio into a legend, and reminded everyone that with a guitar in his hand, Ritchie Blackmore was unbeatable.
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.
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.”
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.
No way I see the eagles at 13! How is that possible! The Eagles are one of the most well recognized and superbly talented groups of all time! Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Joe Walsh, and for a bit Don Felder! All rock and roll legends! So many hits and they shaped modern rock during their time and everyone was down to listen to some Eagles! Man this is a disgrace they are no. 4 maybe even no. 3 behind queen and the Beatles!
11 Black Sabbath Black Sabbath were a Heavy Metal band formed in Birmingham, England in 1968 by guitarist and songwriter Tony Iommi, Singer Ozzy Osbourne, Bassist and Main Lyricist Geezer Butler and Drummer Bill Ward. The band got into mainstream after improving after their debut album got negative feedback. In 1978, …read more.
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.
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.
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.
6 The Rolling Stones The Rolling Stones are an English rock band formed in London in 1962. The first settled line-up consisted of Brian Jones (guitar, harmonica), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (lead vocals, harmonica), Keith Richards (guitar), Bill Wyman (bass) and Charlie Watts (drums). …read more.
I have seen them forgotten for the most part in the new generation. They are a great band to listen to because they can rock hard like led zepplin or play soft relaxing songs like pink floyd based on which of they’r 3 singers is singing. They are a top 25 band and hope they won’t be forgotten in this generation
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…
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.