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Led Zeppelin earn the penultimate spot on our Top 100 Classic Rock Songs list with ‘Kashmir,’ a stately, epic masterpiece that refuses to acknowledge that rock music should have any uncrossable boundaries.
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
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!
This is another song with a true story behind it. The name Layla relates to a book entitled The Story of Layla and Majnun, which tells the tale of Majnun, who falls in love with a beautiful young woman; but her father rejects Majnun and he goes crazy with desire. In real life, guitarist Eric Clapton, the co-writer of “Layla,” fell in love with Patty Boyd, who had married George Harrison. Eventually, though, Boyd and Harrison got a divorce and Clapton then married Boyd. How sweet! Anyway, over the years “Layla” has garnered great popular and critical acclaim. Interestingly, Both Clapton and Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers wrote and played the famous guitar licks throughout the song.
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.
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.

The Eagles – One of the biggest bands to cross from rock to country and back again, The Eagles were another band who splintered after their biggest success. Interestingly, Don Henley said that their reunion was easier because classic rock radio played them continuously after they broke up, always keeping them in the public eye.
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?
They’re not all ’60s-era legacy bands either. As rock ‘n’ roll moved into the next decades, it diversified into a number of notable offshoots – from singer-songwriters and punk to hard rock and pop-metal – and this list ties together all of those various threads. It makes for quite a journey. Find out how they stack up, as we count down the Top 100 classic rock artists.
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This is a list of classic rock songs from the 1960s through the 1990s that are heard on classic rock radio stations.[1][2] 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.[3]
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.
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.
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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…
Graveyard return with video for Please Don’t – taken from their forthcoming album Peace: https://www.loudersound.com/news/graveyard-return-with-video-for-new-song-please-dont …pic.twitter.com/mcEFn3JZbV
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.
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!
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.
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!
“Ideologically, ‘classic rock’ serves to confirm the dominant status of a particular period of music history – the emergence of rock in the mid-1960s – with its associated values and set of practices: live performance, self-expression, and authenticity; the group as the creative unit, with the charismatic lead singer playing a key role, and the guitar as the primary instrument. This was a version of classic Romanticism, an ideology with its origins in art and aesthetics.”
Easily the most subversively ingenious song to ever reach number 1 in the UK charts. The fact that it did it TWICE nearly 20 years apart was just showing off. This song, above all others, summed up exactly what Queen were whilst changing rock music forever
22 The Grateful Dead The Grateful Dead was an American rock band formed in 1965 in Palo Alto, California. Ranging from quintet to septet, the band is known for its unique and eclectic style, which fused elements of country, folk, bluegrass, blues, reggae, rock, improvisational jazz, psychedelia, space rock, for live performances …read more.
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.
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.
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As you take a glance at the list below you’ll probably notice that size DEFINITELY counts, with not one of the Top Ten boasting a running time of less than five minutes (in the original – i.e. best – form). In fact the average running time for the top ten is a massive SEVEN MINUTES NINE SECONDS.
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.
I belonged in the green and blue column This is a ranked list of the 100 best artists in “Classic Rock.”  The term “classic rock” is mostly used as a radio format to describe popular rock music of the mid 1960’s through the early 1980’s.  I also refer to that era in music as the “Classic Rock” era.  To me it begins with the Beatles’ arrival in America in early 1964 and goes up til about the debut of MTV in 1981.  Although some artists emerged after 1981 that defined the classic rock sound like John Mellencamp, Billy Squier, Loverboy, the Georgia Satellites, and the Black Crowes.  With that said, this list will mostly highlight artists you hear on Classic Rock stations.  I’m pretty strict on what I consider to be classic rock, so artists such as the Police, the Pretenders, and Talking Heads whom are occasionally played on classic rock radio will not be on the list as I consider them to be apart of the next era in music (new wave).  So here are the 100 greatest artists of classic rock.
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.
KRBE, an AM station in Houston, was an early classic rock radio station. In 1983 program director Paul Christy designed a format which played only early album rock, from the 1960s and early 1970s, without current music or any titles from the pop or dance side of Top 40.[9] Another AM station airing classic rock, beginning in 1983, was KRQX in Dallas-Fort Worth.[10] KRQX was co-owned with an album rock station, 97.9 KZEW. Management saw the benefit in the FM station appealing to younger rock fans and the AM station appealing a bit older. The ratings of both stations could be added together to appeal to advertisers. Classic rock soon became the widely used descriptor for the format, and became the commonly used term, among the general public, for early album rock music.
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.[3] 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.[4]
Many forget about this band, Eddie Van Halen Is One Of The Greatest Guitarists Ever, When They had David Lee Roth, They Were Unbeatable…. Many #1 Hits, Inducted Into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of fame… Greatest Band Ever – VanHalen88
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.
Rolling Stones – The Rolling Stones came to the U.S. a few years after The Beatles, but they are still around today, over 50 years later. With a prolific lead singer in Mick Jagger and one of the best guitarists in the world in Keith Richards, the Stones have stood the test of time as one of London’s greatest exports.
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.
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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.
7 The Who The Who is an English rock band formed in London, England in 1964 . The members are Roger Daltrey (lead singer), Pete Townshend (guitarist), John Entwistle (bassist), and Keith Moon (drums). They are best known for their live performances and hit songs Baba O’Riley, My Generation, and Won’t Get Fooled …read more.
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