“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!
Yes deserves to be on this list because, like Queen, they were totally unique and very talented musically. Hard to believe bands like Motley Crue are above them. Any decent cover band can play a Motley Crue song as well as the original, but no one even attempts Yes songs because you have to be great musically.
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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.
The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time Must-Hear New Male Artists Must-Hear New Female Artists Modern Voices You Wish You Had Songwriters We Would Bring Back from the Dead The Absolute Worst Bands Ever Greatest Artists Without Grammys History’s Worst Grammy Winners
39 U2 U2 are an Irish rock band from Dublin. Formed in 1976, the group consists of Bono, the Edge, Adam Clayton, and Larry Mullen Jr. U2’s early sound was rooted in post-punk but eventually grew to incorporate influences from many genres of popular music. Throughout the group’s musical pursuits, they have …read more.
^ Jump up to: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Hickey, Walt (7 Jul 2014). “Why Classic Rock Isn’t What It Used To Be”. FiveThirtyEight (ESPN Internet Ventures). Retrieved 18 January 2016. “To see what the current state of classic rock in the United States looks like, I monitored 25 classic rock radio stations1 operating in 30 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas for a week in June.2 The result, after some substantial data cleaning, was a list of 2,230 unique songs by 475 unique artists, with a total record of 37,665 coded song plays across the stations.” 2,230 song list (WebCite archive)
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…
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.
Elvis Presley – He is called the King of Rock and Roll, so it is clear that there might not be a bigger icon of classic rock and roll than Elvis Presley. Only The Beatles have sold more albums worldwide than Presley, who has moved over 600 million units in his career.
35 The Cars The Cars are an American rock band that emerged from the new wave scene in the late 1970s. The band originated in Boston, Massachusetts in 1976, with singer, rhythm guitarist and songwriter Ric Ocasek, singer and bassist Benjamin Orr, lead guitarist Elliot Easton, keyboardist Greg Hawkes and drummer …read more.
1 Led Zeppelin Led Zeppelin were an English rock band formed in London in 1968. The group consisted of Robert Plant (Vocal), Jimmy Page (Guitar), John Paul Jones (Bass, Keyboard) and John Bonham (Drums). The band’s heavy, guitar-driven sound, rooted in blues and psychedelia on their early albums, has earned them recognition …read more.
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!
Dark Side of the Moon. The Wall. Wish You Were Here. Animals. Meddle. Pink Floyd was at the top of the pack thematically, musically, and lyrically. Their music is enjoyable to listen to and often requires many listens to discover it’s meaning. The Dark Side of the Moon is hailed as one of the greatest albums of all time and has themes of insanity, death, wasted time, and materialism. The Wall is very different than TDSoTM, but just as good, in it’s own way. It is a long album that follows a singer named Pink as he isolates himself and builds a metaphorical wall between himself andd the outside world. The rock opera also features the crowd favorites Comfortably Numb and Another Brick in the Wall pt. 2. Animals is only 5 tracks long but full of good music. It has roots in the book Animal Farm by George Orwell and it basically compares Brits to Dogs, Pigs, and Sheep. Wish You Were Here is essentially dedicated to Pink Floyd’s first lead singer Syd Barrett, who tragically went insane. The …more
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.
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!
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.
I just saw Alice Cooper in concert (August 2016) in Huntsville AL and he was absolutely awesome! If you ever have a chance to see him, DO NOT MISS OUT! It will be the experience of a lifetime. What a show!
One of the top rock bands in 1980, Journey produced a classic tune for their seventh album, Escape. Sometimes referred to as the perfect rock tune, “Don’t Stop Believin’” is a song with a complex structure, awesome guitar runs, and sang by a Steve Perry, who may have one of the greatest voices in the world of rock. The song smashed the charts in the US, UK and many other parts of the world, and its subsequent popularity throughout the world cannot be overstated. Also, in 2009, the Glee TV series version of the song did very well. Among many other tunes on this list, this song is a solid gold rock favorite.
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. –
35? You’re joking right? This band is one of and will always be one of the greatest Rock bands out there. I literally cringed when I saw this at 35. This band is better than most that are higher up in this chart. With songs like For Whom The Bell Tolls, The Unforgiven, Wnter Sandman, whiskey in the jar and covers such as Am I evil? And Tuesdays Gone this band seems to be FAR MORE UNDERRATED than it should be. Outstanding vocals, Bass, guitar and drums I see no reason why this band isn’t a great one. Metallica!
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I suppose it’s just a generation gap speaking, but I wouldn’t have included most of the 80s songs that you did. I’d have included songs like My Generation, Respect, What I’d Say, and Like A Rolling Stone. This list just goes to show that rock has a lot of classics.